3 Blogging Lessons from 3 Years in a Restaurant

Hi East & readers! My name is Kiersten, and usually you can find my over at She is Fierce, where I like to write about blogging, current events, feminism, and even some creative writing among other things.  Today though, Nadine was nice enough to let me come hang out with you guys and talk about what waitressing throughout college has taught me about blogging.

photo from here

Throughout college – and even now that I have a “real” job in my field – I spent my weekend nights serving cocktails and Bangers and Mash to hundreds of different people.  One could argue the point that all this got me was a deep-seated hatred for kilts and enough money to pay the bills, but I’d say I learned so much more than that.  There have been a million lessons buried underneath the tables to be bussed and $14.00-after-taxes-paychecks, and some of those lessons have helped me out in the blogging world.

 1 // It’s not as easy as it looks

As a waitress, I had a lot of people insinuate that what I was doing was easy because it was not a job which required a college education.  “Why should I tip you,” they would ask, incredulous. “All you do is bring me my food.”  Let me just be the one to tell you – it is so much more than that, and so is blogging.  When I started my first blog, a joint effort with my high-school best friend five years ago, I thought it would be as easy as write when I feel like it, hit the publish button, and be done with it.

Five years later, and I can tell you that writing it and hitting post is a lot more than 1-2-3, and after that, there’s plenty more work like sponsorships, affiliate programs, social media, e-mails, and much much more.

2 // Some people just don’t want to be happy

At least not with what you’re able to give them.  You’ll have customers come into an Irish restaurant looking for a specialty frozen margarita, who simply won’t understand why that’s not an option here but might be at the Mexican restaurant a block away.  You’ll have women who insist on remaining in the restaurant throughout a two hour black-out which is spanning a three-block radius, and who will demand that you bring them food even though the kitchen is literally pitch black.  Surely they are aware that these are illogical requests, but they will ask anyway.

As a blogger, you will get these questions as well.  Fashion bloggers will request that your food blog write more about which foundation you prefer.  Companies will ask you to advertise their product free-of-charge.  And they will be simply incredulous when you cannot fulfill their requests.  Trust me when I say, they know their requests are ridiculous, and they are not going to be happy with any of your reasonable offers to help them.

3 // It’s all worth it at the end of the day

Usually, at least.  You might have had a 6-year-old throw his cranberry juice at you because he wanted ketchup, and you might have had a table leave without tipping you.  But at the end of the night, when you’re counting your tips, it’s usually worth the last nine hours you spent running a marathon around the restaurant.

In blogging, I’ve found that despite the rude comments, and the posts that don’t seem to go over as well as you’d expected, it’s usually all worth it for the incredible community you get back, and the rewarding feeling you get to experience when you see that people are actually enjoying what you have to say.

Nadine here, and I have to add, I was once a waitress and to this day, it was the hardest job I ever had. But isn’t Kiersten awesome? Make sure you head over to She is Fierce, follow on Bloglovin, or catch up with Kiersten on Twitter.

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