Randa West of The Bewitchin’ Kitchen An Interview
Randa branched out from a foodie blog to one that covers weight loss, wedding planning and product reviews. She also has a well connected network of blogger friends who she can reach out to for help and lends a hand when needed. She uses a few memes that are regulars including Meal Plan Monday, Wedding Wednesday and Feature Friday, where she interviews and features bloggers.
Tell me about your Blog –
The Bewitchin’ Kitchen first started out as a recipe blog, but in the last couple months it has evolved into more. I now do bi-weekly “Weight Loss Wednesdays” (where I share my 60 pound weight loss stories, I even have bikini before/after pics [still not sure if I should have done that] and I share my tips too) and “Wedding Wednesdays” (I am in the middle of planning my wedding and sharing every step of the way). I also have some great reviews and giveaways, and of course recipes because without the recipes it wouldn’t be The Bewitchin’ Kitchen!
What was your first blog?
The Bewitchin’ Kitchen is my first blog. I started it in June 2009.
What is the biggest tip you would give to product reviewers?
Well, I am still new to it but I would tell everyone to put yourself out there! If there is a product that you think would make a great review, send the company an email asking if you can. If I never put myself out there, my blog would have gone in a whole nother direction.
Are you contacted by advertisers or do you contact them or both?
I have only had three companies contact me offering me a review/giveaway. The majority of my product reviews come from me e-mailing the companies asking if I could review a product and why I think we would make a good team. I also sign up at sites like Blog Friendly PR.
What is your favorite product that you have reviewed?
This one is tough! I love the food reviews but Eden Fantasys was amazing! Such a great company to work with and the Shunga Candle I reviewed is great! I actually use it on a daily basis as a cuticle cream!
What do advertisers do that you wish they wouldn’t/ do that you like?
I’m still new to reviewing products and I haven’t encountered many dislikes but I can tell you something I don’t appreciate:
A company emailed me and asked me to do a review and giveaway, or so I thought. The e-mail was very unclear. So when I replied saying I would love to help promote their company, but I was unsure if they wanted a review or a giveaway it seemed like the lady snapped at me. Saying that it was obvious that I had to chose between a review or a giveaway. It kind of hurt my feelings, because the email I received babbled on and on and showed me different examples that made no sense. By the time the giveaway ended, I received an apology from the company and was informed that she no longer worked there (they saw our email exchanges).
What I do like is when the company gives you a sincere thank you and compliment about your review! I strive to make them happy and it’s nice to see when they notice.
What do bloggers do that you wish they wouldn’t/do that you like?
I have heard that there are little feuds, but I have never experiences any negativity from other bloggers and I am thankful for that. The bloggers I have been in contact with are wonderful! I have asked many for advice and they seemed eager to help me. I would like to even go as far as saying I have made some blogger friends. However; I would like to add that if anyone ever used some of my content without linking back to me, that would not be appreciated. I would expect a link back (but I would never be rude about it).
What advertiser would you like to work with given a chance?
Eden Fantasys, in a heartbeat. Nicole was so kind and thankful, it really meant a lot. I also really enjoyed working with Sweet N Salty By Design, Bianca was very informative and not to mention her treats were to die for!
Where do you see growth in the blogging field?
There seems to be a lot of review and giveaway blogs. Actually, come to think of it 99% of the blogs I read are review/giveaway blogs. I can understand why, it’s always great to hear about the product before you purchase it (especially if it’s an important one) and who doesn’t like winning something? I have never heard of a winner saying “no thank you” to a prize that is of interest to them.
What is one thing about you that not many people know?
I am a certified make up artist, I have been wondering if I should incorporate that into my blog, but I have been a bit hesitant. There are some great beauty blogs out there, and I just don’t know if I can compete. (Not yet, anyway.) I have a passion for makeup (especially M.A.C Cosmetics) and I have about $3000 worth of it in my personal collection. (Yeah, my credit card loved 2008.)
What’s your favorite book?
I adore Breaking Dawn and Eclipse they are, by far, the best books in the Twilight series. I was surprised with how much I enjoyed that series, even the hubby loves them! For those of you who were hoping I wouldn’t chose a “Twilight” book I would have to say it’s a toss up between Survival of The Fittest by Johnathan Kellerman and Star by Pamela Anderson. I get made fun of because of how much I liked Pam’s book, I found it fascinating! Don’t knock it until you try it!
What is on your iPod?
I’m probably one of the only people in the world (aside from my 102 year old great-grandmother) who does not own an iPod. I got a shuffle for free years ago when I signed up with Telus back in 2005 but I never used it, it is actually probably in one of the boxes downstairs I never got to unpacking. My favorite music is country. Old Tim McGraw, Old George Strait, Garth Brooks, Mark Wills, etc.
What are your contact details?
You can contact me at
What events do you attend?
I have never been to a single one. I’m currently in central Alberta, Canada and we don’t get anything around here.
How do you prefer to communicate?
I love e-mail. This may sound strange, but I love to type and I’m fast at it!
Who would you recommend, and why?
Laurie at Guessing All The Way…Tales From A Clueless Mama (http://www.guessingalltheway.com/) she is a joy to talk with and she has a great blog with great reviews.
Angela at Northern Mama (http://northernmama-northerngirl.blogspot.com/) when I was starting out, she gave me some great tips and she even let me guest post last month. A great fellow blogger.
Stacie at Simply Stacie (http://stacievaughansblog.blogspot.com/) I just started following Stacie’s blog, but when I was her featured blogger she was so kind to me and I really enjoyed working with her.
Dana at Fun and Funky Mommy (http://funandfunkymommy.blogspot.com/) She is my featured blogger today on my blog! I am a new follower of Dana’s blog but I have nothing but great things to say about her. I contacted her last week from some advice and she followed up with me today, it’s so sweet how she remembered. Just goes to show that she is a caring person.
Laura at Household Treasures (http://www.householdtreasuresblog.com/) Laura is the reason I became a blogger. We have known each other since we were little and re connected through her blog. She inspired me with all the great things she did with Househould Treasures, but she hasn’t posted since August because she is pregnant with her son (due soon) and still waiting on the internet (she moved). I miss her posts dearly!
Amanda at Natural Mommie (http://www.naturalmommie.com/) when I was in a rut and was having a hard time getting subscribers Amanda gave me some great advice and she is so sweet! I really respect her as a fellow blogger.
Kelli at 3 Boys and a Dog (http://3boysandadog.com/) I was fortunate enough to do a guest post for Kelli on a recipe of mine. She gave me a great compliment and I love how close she is to her readers.
All the ladies at Holidays With The Cricut (http://www.cricutholiday.com/) I comment on this blog daily! I always liked their blog for all the neat ideas for the Cricut machine, but after a Ustream party I was a part of, I became hooked. They are great gals!
Natalie at Natalies Killer Cuisine (http://www.natalieskillercuisine.com) this isn’t a giveaway blog but if you are looking for some amazing recipes, head over to her site! She is such a nice person too.
Tenille at Feisty Frugal and Fabulous (http://www.feistyfrugalandfabulous.com/) another fellow Canadian blogger who gave me some great advice when I started, and I was sure to listen. Her blog is a major success!
What is one thing people can do for you?
I would love it if everyone who reads this, stops by my blog and has a look around. I would appreciate it if those who really enjoy The Bewitchin’ Kitchen follow me via Google Friend Connect. Thank you.