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What originally attracted you to the IZEA community and how did you find out about it?

 I first heard about IZEA from several food blogger friends at a conference.  As soon as I got home, I checked it out and joined.  I was attracted by the fact that we are able to negotiate with companies for various campaigns.  This is a unique aspect of IZEA for sure.

Describe your blog in 140 characters or less…

 Spiced is a food blog with recipes that will instantly become favorites!

What inspires you to blog?

 I enjoy blogging because it allows me to tap into my creative side.  I’ve always enjoyed working with details and numbers, and blogging allows me to use both sides of my brain.  Another really cool thing about blogging is that I feel like I am connected directly to the latest trends and hot topics.  I enjoy knowing which ingredients and companies are currently trending in the social media world!

Do you ever get stumped for what to write? How do you overcome this?

 Yes, I do get stumped!  To get past this, I try to include personal stories about the recipe or one of the ingredients I’m using.  For instance, I recently posted a recipe using fresh peaches, and I used the opportunity to tell stories about picking peaches with my grandpa when I was a little boy.  Other times, I just work in a funny story about something that happened recently.  When I’m writing my recipe notes, I always try to jot down some notes for what I’m going to write about in the post, too.

If you were President for a day what would be your first order of business?

 That’s a tough one!  I think I would selfishly push for a 4-day work week.  I’d gladly work 4 10-hour days if every weekend could be a 3-day weekend.  My wife and I have lived in upstate New York for a couple of years now, and there are still a ton of places we want to explore…and that would be so much easier with an extra day every weekend!

What do you love about IZEA?

 I love the creative freedom which has been given to me by the companies I’ve worked with.  This allows me to be more inventive with my recipes!

What has been your favorite IZEA campaign?

 My favorite campaign so far is one I did with Honeysuckle White/Shady Brook Farms turkey.  The Southwestern Stuffed Peppers that I created for that post were absolutely delicious!  In fact, I have a bunch of bell peppers in my garden right now, and I think I’m going to make another round of these stuffed peppers for dinner soon.

How do you actively stay engaged with your audience?

 I respond to each and every comment on my site.  Over time, I’ve gotten to know many of my regular readers through these comments, and I enjoy the connections that we’ve made.  For me, the connections are a very important side of blogging.  I work from home, and it’s easy to get lost in my own little world, so I particularly enjoy chatting with other bloggers via comments.

What tips can you give other bloggers that can help set them apart and stand out?

 First and foremost, stay true to yourself.  This might sound cliché, but it’s true.  Your blog is an expression of yourself, so only post things that you want to post.  Your readers will appreciate this authenticity, and I’ve found that they will support you because of it.  Second, never stop learning.  There is always something new to learn when it comes to blogging.  It might be a new recipe technique, a new photography skill or even a better understanding of SEO…but there is always something new to learn.  Set aside time each week to learn a new skill or improve on an old one!

Complete this thought: If I could, I would…

 …start a dog rescue park in my backyard.  My wife and I love dogs, and nothing would make us happier than being able to create a dog park where rescue dogs could come and live!

Congratulations on being our Creator of the Month, David! Be sure to check out all the delicious recipes at Spiced!