About this blog
The Country Skills blog has built up a loyal and regular following since its launch in the autumn of 2011 and now regularly achieves monthly page view figures in the region of 15,000. Geographically, readership breaks down approximately to 50% UK, 25% USA, with further significant contributions from Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and EU countries.
In the four years since the first post was published the blog has acquired a reputation as a source of reliable advice and information on a wide range of food and sustainability topics, most prominently smoking and curing, sourdough baking, and home brewing, with a number of articles achieving top-5 google rankings, referenced widely by other blogs and shared on social media platforms. The manifesto of the blog – to encourage readers to make or grow things they would otherwise have bought – remains unchanged, and chimes with a growing social concern with ethical choices around food and consumerism.
The top 5 posts from the blog over 2015 give a good flavour of what our readers enjoy –
- Sinfully Simple Cider – yes, you really can brew this at home!
- Smoking and Curing (including DIY Cold Smoker Build)
- Smokin’!! DIY Cold Smoker – design and build
- Built Like A Barn Door – or, how to make your own shed doors [Guest Blogger]
- Fillets Of Fish – how to gut, clean, and fillet a trout – Blog Advent (16)
As the blog’s primary author, I enjoy chatting with over 2000 Twitter followers @CountrySkills and love to engage with – and learn from – others who share my interests. I have been privileged to share with them the ups and downs of our recent move to a Cornish smallholding, from which more stories, challenges, experiments, successes and failures are bound to emerge!
Book and product reviews
If you have a book or product you think may be of interest to readers of the Country Skills blog, then please make contact by emailing email@example.com. I will not promise you a blog post in exchange for review product – but will write an honest review, if I feel it is likely to be of genuine interest to the blog’s readership. (I have a bit of a thing for cookbooks, as readers of the Cooking the Books series of blog posts will testify!) You can see an example of a Country Skills blog review post here – From the Bookshelf – foragers’ field guides.
If you specifically require a post or article to be written then please contact me to discuss the possibility of a freelance writing assignment – my rates vary depending on length & content – please see ‘Work for hire’ below for more details.
Work for hire
I am happy to discuss taking on paid writing assignments, either for publication here at countryskillsblog.com or elsewhere. I write on a wide range of food, lifestyle and sustainability-related subjects – my interests in these areas are broader than you might think, so please do ask if you’re unsure whether a particular subject might be suitable. My freelance writing rates vary according to the length of the piece required and any necessary research time involved, but are broadly in line with the NUJ freelance fees guide. Please get in touch via email to firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your requirements.
I have from time to time accepted blog posts by guest authors, particularly where these expand on my personal areas of knowledge and experience and where I feel they are likely to be of interest to blog readers. I will not accept ‘advertorial-style’ guest blogger content, so please don’t ask. If, however, you have an idea to share that you think the readers of this blog will find helpful – particularly if it develops and expands on areas the blog has already covered – then please drop me an email to email@example.com or find me on twitter @CountrySkills and we can have a chat about it.
The disclosure policy for posts published at countryskillsblog.com is as transparent as I can make it – if I have been paid to write a post, or have received free of charge books or products to review, it will be clearly indicated in the blog post. That’s why every review post on the blog has a prominently-placed ‘disclosure’ paragraph, and will continue to do so. While I aim to be unbiased and even handed, I’m only human. This way you know everything I know!