So it’s been one month at Choqoa.com and what happened? At first I’m really happy myself to finally have created a place to share my passion. I really should have started this earlier, but speaking with hindsight is always easy. Blogging takes time and energy, though passion fuels the fire, so let’s rock on to make the story pay off. It’s a great after all to synthesize my addiction in words that I can easily share with you.
At present the site is gaining visitors from all continents, which very nice to spot and also the main reason for me to blog in English. In the map below you see where visitors come from and I indicated for fun the growing zone of cacao, which is about 20° up and down the equator. See for yourself:
Next to direct traffic and already some interesting Google search results, I also get a good amount of visits through my Cacao Aficionado photos on Flickr. It’s encouraging to see that both hobbies strengthen each other. The Choqoa on Twitter account also helps a little to drive int’l traffic. It’s pleasant to spot some people here that are equally into (digital) marketing and share the curiosity and passion for chocolate (jacksonbr, jomarbr, timwillems, Emakina). Stats are picking up slowly, there definitely is still work to do for building more extensive traffic, so I also created a Choqoa Facebook FanPage to which I invite all of you to join too!
And also off line in real life, a lot of encouraging things happened. On my chocolate safari in Düsseldorf I discovered new brands like Hussel, Coppeneur and Maglio, and also the Neuhaus bars bought later on in Antwerp seem interesting. I went behind the scenes at chocolatier Goossens, and all of the people whom I had taste from ‘my’ chocolate reacted exactly as I hoped, though most of the time I was rather nervous awaiting their first impressions.
I went networking on the Max Havelaar FairTrade Colloquium and was very enthusiast meeting the people from Callebaut over there. They were charmed by my story and invited me to share more about our passion. In return I learned a lot from them too, and above all they were really helpful in providing a lot of new information on the cacao market. Their Account Manager was even so friendly to provide me with the origin samples for that other great offline experience: my first wine & chocolate pairing.
As for actual business resulting from this blog, I’m excited by getting a freelance job for one of the world’s most famous chocolatier brands, and I’ll be helping to develop their online & digital strategy. Next to that, it’s still about exploring various opportunities for how we eventually really may get into cacao business: whether it is venturing in a self-owned project or by joining the industry at a marketing related position, that is still open. Next milestone will be the Salon du Chocolat, next week in Paris!