Catawba Communication Professor Blogging Barbecue for Sears This Summer
April 30, 2012
"People love passion," says Cyndi Allison Wittum, a Catawba College communication professor. "I always tell my students that everyone will forgive you almost any sin if you are enthusiastic and excited about what you're doing."
Wittum will be blogging this summer for Sears on a "Grilling Is Happiness" project which includes some of the top grilling and barbecue writers across the country. Sears is hosting a corporate blog to help consumers learn about and enjoy cooking outdoors.
"My Barbecue Master blog started off as a hobby," says Wittum. "It really still is the same modest blog designed to help my family and friends with grilling questions."
Or course, Wittum does not have 63,000 plus family and friends which was her visitor count last month on Barbecue Master, and it's not even prime grilling season yet.
"You hear about web sites going viral and people getting famous overnight," says Wittum. "That really hasn't been my experience. I have an old blog on a free platform. It's been up for over six years, but onliners have found and shared my articles and given me a wonderful platform for sharing things I love to do in the evenings and on weekends to relax – grill and write."
Sears is not the first company to notice Wittum. She was selected to write the feature article and test grills for "top picks" for Consumers Digest in 2006 and 2011 and to cover the history of North Carolina barbecue and select the best RTP barbecue joints for the hotel coffee table book two years back.
"Although I do write professionally and have for over 20 years, I never marketed for grilling projects," says Wittum. "I love my job at Catawba College, and that comes first. I do like to take a few select jobs each year to stay in the loop so that I can offer my students the best and most current information on the markets in writing. But, I'm very selective, because there are only so many hours in each day."
Most of Wittum's professional writing had previously been in the technical and grant writing arenas. "Those are high demand areas with few writers in the top pool," says Wittum. "I do like to write non-fiction, so those were areas where I felt comfortable and could stay active in my field."
While Wittum enjoys a range of non-fiction areas, she says that writing about grilling and barbecue is like a dream come true. "I could talk about grilling from sun up to sun down and never run out of ideas to share," says Wittum. "I can't imagine anyone not having fun grilling with the right grill and tools. It's just a matter of finding what works for the person who wants to give it a try."
The Sears "Grilling is Happiness" project runs through the summer, and Wittum will provide six posts to the project. She is part of a team of nine bloggers contributing grilling and barbecue help for consumers who are looking to get started grilling or to "up" their grilling game.