Nine-year-old Martha Payne started a blog last month analyzing her school lunches. Boring, right? But, with over a million visitors in just six weeks, she has something to teach the likes of Michelle Obama and Jamie Oliver.
Why is her blog so successful? She pretty much sums it up in her profile: “My dad says I should call myself Veritas Ex Gustu, truth from tasting in Latin but who knows Latin? You can call me Veg.”
Veg knows what The Hired Pens has been trying to tell you all this time: When people read your words, they want to hear your voice (even if we’re doing the writing for you).
Veg’s posts are short — sometimes under 100 words. She uses a recurring list that gets right to the point (Food-o-meter rating: 5/10. Mouthfuls: 23). And her posts are funny. Even suspenseful. (Will she ever find a hair in her croquette? Do we want her to, just a little bit?)
Here’s a sample entry from May 24:
Things don’t always go right. I know this because I still fall off my bike, not often but it does happen when I am trying something really tricky. Today the menu ordering system was so confusing it went wrong. I ordered an enchilada but I got a sausage and bean pitta pocket. It’s quite difficult to eat because it all falls out as you pick it up!
Note that it’s a rare writer who can get away with using exclamation points. (You can’t, unless you’re a nine-year-old girl. You probably can’t get away with saying whilst, either, unless you’re nine years old and Scottish.)
Isn’t it impressive what a few sentences can do? I feel like I know Veg, and I trust her. I even feel the same about her dad, who appears only long enough to get rebuffed on his Latin suggestion, wake her with the news the blog’s gone viral and respond to her scores of commenters. Nice job, Veg! (I even give you an exclamation point!)