Pamela C. Pajuelo is the founder of Señorita Vino, a blog dedicated to making the joys of wine accessible to Latinas and anyone new to the wine world.
Being exposed to wine early in life by her Peruvian-Italian father, Pamela’s passion for wine was sealed in college during a summer abroad in Switzerland where she was introduced to local wines.
A writer by profession, Pamela wrote cookbook reviews for Library Journal magazine, is currently writes about wine for TheLatinKitchen.com and holds Certified Specialist of Wine credentials from the Society of Wine Educators.
“In particular, we seek to create a forum for Latinas who like wine but may feel somewhat intimidated by the notion of selecting, tasting and talking about it,” Pamela C. Pajuelo
When did you start blogging?
Five years ago I started a blog about food, but my life at the time was too consuming to blog regularly…or so I thought.
After attending Hispanicize in 2011, I realized that there were multitudes of people who held jobs and had responsibilities, yet they found time to pursue their passion via blogging. Ironically, this is exactly what I told an audience to do at Hispanicize when I was asked at the last minute to speak on a panel called “PR Pro by Day, Blogger at Night.” Hmmm, I thought. I guess it’s time to follow my own advice.
Why did you start blogging? I’ve always loved wine and writing. I never thought to combine these two passions until I realized that a) I could and b) there were no Latinas blogging about wine.
Do you any have advice for beginner bloggers?
Two things that really helped me were committing to a weekly post and getting out there and networking with other bloggers. Publishing a new post each week was a chore at first, but after about the second month of weekly posts, it became as much a part of my schedule as my regular client work. As for networking, I can’t stress enough how essential this is in terms of developing name recognition for you and your blog. You’d be surprised by the generosity, support, encouragement and thoughtfulness of the blogging community.
I have made wonderful friends. And by being invited to join some Facebook blogger groups, my blog gained exposure to brands and publications, resulting in media opportunities and a contributing writer gig with Latina Magazine’s “The Latin Kitchen” website. Building my network began by attending one conference, and since then it’s grown exponentially. Do it! You’ll get so much out of it.
What tips can you share on attracting new readers to your blog?
Be consistent, be professional, be strategic. Commit to writing a post at least once a week or once every couple of weeks, depending on your schedule, and don’t deviate from it. When you start getting invited to blogger events and attending conferences, conduct yourself as you would in any other profession. You never know whom you’ll meet – it could be a prospective sponsor or the head of an influential blogger collective or someone who can connect you with brands or other opportunities to attract new readers. Last but not least, be strategic. Think about what other social media platforms you can use to help drive traffic to your blog. And be strategically creative.
Recently, I went to a weekend-long wine festival with a group of 10 friends. I had t-shirts made for each of them with my blog logo on the front, and my Twitter handle and Facebook information on the back. I had coached my friends through a mini-elevator speech so that they’d know how to respond if people asked about the shirts, and sure enough, they did. I saw a boost in traffic and Twitter followers after that weekend. Last but not least, produce engaging content. I subscribe to the philosophy that content is king, so make sure your writing is tight, evocative and has a unique voice.
What is you photography style process?
Point and shoot (kidding). I try to capture images that make wine look appealing and approachable. I have all the admiration in the world for food bloggers who can make something as mundane as chopped vegetables in a pan look like a work of art. I think I’m lucky because photographing vineyards, wine glasses and bottles of wine is pretty easy when you consider I can shoot outdoors in natural light. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to take a photography class.
What inspires your posts, what flavors do you love?
Generally, I’m inspired by something new that I’ve learned about wine. The whole mission of my blog is to take the snob factor out of wine and to let people know that you don’t have to be a walking encyclopedia of wine to enjoy it. Wine has been around for thousands of years, there are thousands of grapes, and thousands of things a winemaker can do to affect the flavor of a particular bottle. For these reasons, no one can possibly know everything there is to know about wine – it’s a lifelong learning process.
I recently completed a certificate program in Wine Education and Management from UCLA, and I’m currently studying for a professional certification in wine education. In other words, I’m exposed to new facts about wine every day. I like to share what I’m learning in a way that’s entertaining and down-to-earth. As for flavors, I enjoy wines with floral aromas – the beautiful white flowers in a Riesling or the violets in some Syrahs.
What have you learned from blogging?
Blogging is all about community. I’ve engaged with readers from all over the world. A reader in Australia asked me where he could find cilantro after reading a recipe I posted for Peruvian style arroz con pollo. I was tweeting back and forth with Spanish readers when Spain played in the Euro Cup final this summer. Closer to home, I received a photo from an L.A. reader who made a bumper sticker out of the title to a post I wrote about California’s wine industry. Best of all, though, is going to conferences and events and meeting in person fellow bloggers whom I’d previously known only on Facebook or Twitter. It’s almost like you’ve known each other for years; the bonds forged on social media are stronger than most people would imagine.
What are your goals for the future?
I’d love to start posting videos on my blog. I admit I’m a bit of a technophobe when it comes to electronics, but in the next few weeks I’ll be investing in a SLR camera that also has video capabilities. With wine, there’s so much that lends itself to video – interviews with winemakers, wine tasting events, and virtual tours of different wineries.
Be sure to follow Señorita Vino on her Journey in the wonderful world of Wines:
Image Credit: Señorita Vino