Friends, is it really October already? How did this happen? Here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest we had a week or two of fall weather, and then for the last few days it’s been in the 80’s. VERY unusual for this time of year. Frankly, I’m perfectly happy to embrace the season of pumpkins, pies, casseroles, soups, and cozy snuggles with my favorite people. But not all at the same time.
I just passed my 5-month blogging anniversary. Blogiversary? I’m going with it. As I considered all that has happened in that time, I thought I would share with you 5 Things I’ve Learned in 5 Months of Blogging. So as my brother would say, get cozy.
I bite off more than I can chew
This statement, without question, pretty much defines me. In 35 years of living, I have yet to learn that I am not, in fact, Superwoman. Case in point – in September I signed up to participate in VeganMofo, or the Vegan Month of Food. The idea is to post at least 20 times during the month of September. Since I post only vegan/plant-based recipes, this seemed like the perfect thing for me. Never mind that since I started blogging I’ve been lucky to post once a week, let alone 5. Not to mention that September represented my absolutely busiest and most stressful time at my full-time job (not complaining, it’s just a fact). And…life happened, literally (more on that later). So yeah…I got two posts in and that’s as far as it went. Here’s what I learned from this experience. I am not allowed to participate in VeganMofo again unless I have already drafted every single post for the whole month ahead of time. So, I should be ready in September 2020.
I’ve also done things like mention possible giveaways on Facebook and then not follow through, because I completely forget that I said anything. New rule – no hints at fun things unless it’s already on the books.
One final note to self on this topic – do not, under any circumstances, wait until the day of your daughter’s birthday party to make the food. Because you will have a meltdown and your sweet daughter will come pat your arm as you cry saying, “hurt, hurt.” This is not a moment you want to repeat. It sure was cute, though.
Pinterest is Powerful
Early in June, just over one month into my blogging adventure, I posted a new method for How to Cook Spaghetti Squash. I was very excited about it and wanted the world to know how to get longer spaghetti squash “noodles”, so naturally I pinned the image on Pinterest and shared it with a few group boards. Most of my posts so far have gotten a few hundred pins in their lifetime, but Spaghetti Squash? As of this writing, it has been pinned almost 49,000 times.
The next highest recipe is Vegetable Bolognese, approaching 7,000 pins as of today. This means that 75% of the people who find this humble blog come from a pin about spaghetti squash. And they stay about 10 seconds (long enough to re-pin it) and then head back to Pinterest. That’s just how this crazy food blogging stuff works, and I’m totally cool with that. I do it myself all the time! One major plus of all this is that the post shows up on page 1 on Google when searching for “How to Cook Spaghetti Squash”. On the same page as Martha Stewart! Is this my life? So thank you, Spaghetti Squash. And thank you, whoever started the Pinvalanche that just keeps going. I’m beyond grateful.
Heart and Hustle Pays Off
When you first get started as a food blogger, it’s really easy to look around at the BAZILLION other bloggers and feel like you are just not in the same league. Comparison is a really really bad idea, because it pretty much guarantees that you will feel crappy about yourself. So early on I decided that I couldn’t get wrapped up in blog stats (how many page views, etc.), and that I should just focus on creating awesome posts for you lovely people to enjoy. I took a month off from looking at any of the numbers, and it was a great experience. I learned that when I put my efforts into what really matters (hint: NOT the number of page views), then naturally, people will come and find me. And if they like what I’m sharing, they’ll stick around. As it turns out, this approach seems to be working, and at a pace that I can handle. This has meant some nights editing a post until 2am, because I do this in my “free time”, which basically means time that I should be sleeping. I really care about what I’m doing, and have gotten so much encouragement that I’m on the right track, so sleep can wait. By the way, I totally borrowed the phrase “Heart and Hustle” from Fizzle, which is the absolute best community for online entrepreneurs that ever existed. Between Fizzle and Food Blogger Pro, I’m surprised I have any time left to sleep.
Your Feedback Feeds Me
From the beginning of this adventure, I’ve gotten feedback from so many of you fabulous people that you are enjoying the recipes I’ve shared and even my writing. I seriously do a little happy dance every time this happens. Lately, it’s been happening more regularly, and it is totally spurring me on. Here’s one of my favorites from the the Vegetable Bolognese post:
If you have made any of the recipes, I humbly thank you from the bottom of my heart. Seriously, it brings me joy to be able to share what I love with you all, and even more so when you tell me that it was something you loved. Bring on more happy dances!
Sometimes Life Happens
If you’ve been following along for a while, you’ve probably noticed that I went radio silent for a couple of weeks recently. Well, I didn’t really, but I definitely have been down for the count. Sometimes life happens, literally. Yep, you guessed it – I’m 10 weeks pregnant! I’m thrilled, a little scared, but most of all, I’m nauseous. Almost all the time. In fact, I feel rotten as I type this. So as you might imagine, this is very inconvenient for someone who needs to be in the kitchen in order to keep bringing you tasty recipes (let alone cook for my wonderful family!). At the moment, it’s the last place I want to be. I’m approaching the end of the first trimester and I am crossing my fingers and toes that the next phase will be a little easier. In the meantime, I’ll still be posting as often as I can, but probably more along the lines of cooking tips, products that I use and recommend, and links to tasty things my blogging buddies are cooking up. I can’t wait to get back in the kitchen and feeling back to normal again! (Hear that, Baby Kumquat? Help your Momma out, mmmkay?)
I’d like to take this opportunity to give a shout-out to my husband who has been taking such good care of me and letting me play the pregnancy card whenever I want. You are a wonderful human being, Michael. Thank you.
Ok, so that’s all 5 things! I’m so glad that you are on this ride with me. Here’s to another 5 months – I can’t wait!
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Alexa Hampton @adventuresofa20 says
Congratulations, Beth!!!! Wonderful news!! Also as a more novice blogger I appreciate you sharing what you’ve learned your first 5 months! : )
Meredith @ Unexpectedly Magnificent says
“I am not allowed to participate in VeganMofo again unless I have already drafted every single post for the whole month ahead of time.”
THIS! I didn’t sign up for it this year because I knew I’d never have the time to come up with recipes every day. I don’t know how people do it without planning months ahead of time, ha ha!
CONGRATULATIONS, BETH!! On your pregnancy, your lovely reader comments, and your hard work paying off (page 1 on Google?! Damn, girl)! You’re such an amazing writer, cook, and friend. You deserve every good thing in life and more!
Jasmine Lukuku (@TheBlenderist) says
Congratulations! I thought you seemed a little quiet lately. I hope you feel better soon. You have done so well in the first few months of blogging. The future is looking bright!
Congratulations Beth! You’re a great writer and I really enjoy your blog. Cheers w green smoothies!
Alyssa S says
I LUUUUV your blog!!! You’re doing awesome here and a huge congratulations!!!
Suzy @ The Mediterranean Dish says
Congratulations! And happy pregnancy. I did wonder why you were so quiet:-) Love this post! Thanks for sharing; it is good to know others feel similarly about blogging. It is a bigger commitment than most people think. Keep on keeping on, girl. Love your blog!
Hannah Elizabeth says
I CAN. NOT. WAIT. to meet the new Baby Hornback!!!! 😉 And I wish we could be there to help you with cooking stuff when you’re not feeling well. Many hugs to you, Beth!
P.S. I fall in love with with that Vegetable Bolognese over and over again, every time I have it. Proof of how awesome this recipe is: I try not to serve the same dish twice in a month, preferably a couple of months…the first time I made this for the fam, they asked, “How soon can we have this again?” So I made it (wait for it) later that week!!!! *Gasp* My meat-loving brother even thought the sauce had meat in it!
Marie Mayssonnier-Feldman says
Congratulations Beth! Thank you for this post, your lessons are invaluable for a newbie like me ( and gotta try that vegetable bolognese everybody raves about!)
Lynn Andrews says
Wooooooo! We ate a lot of pasta with red sauce when I was pregnant with Allen because I couldn’t stand to be in the kitchen and that’s all Ben could cook. Yay for husbands who allow the pregnancy card. I keep trying to pull the “I had your baby” card but it’s not quite holding up 😛
Rachel Ballard says
Congratulations Beth! I’m so glad to hear that even with a few flops you’re hanging in there and having some good successes too! And yay on baby #2. So glad for you and your family. Just keep moving ahead at whatever pace you can manage and don’t forget to blog ahead before baby comes so you can let those posts roll when you’ve been up all night. 🙂 Super proud of your success!
Congratulations on the new baby coming! Being so nauseous is awful, and I do want you to know that ginger helps, in any form that you can get on your tongue and down! After I gave my too-skinny niece some ginger to suck on, she was able to eat her first real meal in 2 1/2 months. Give it a try and please pass it on, try to remember it for someone else!
I appreciate your honesty and your dedication to your blog. Your dedication to yourself, however, takes precedence! You are growing a family, so be well and relax.
Kelly @ Trial and Eater says
Congratulations on the baby and on your first five months of blogging! In other news, I have nominated you for a Liebster award! This is just a way to recognize newer blogs and connect bloggers. You can read more about it here: http://www.trialandeater.com/1-year-blogiversary-and-liebster-award/
Olivia @ Olivia's Cuisine says
Congratulations on the baby!!! Also, I loved reading this post. I often feel overwhelmed with blogging and your post helped me remember that Im only human! 🙂 Lots of health for you and the baby!!!
Congratulations from a fellow FBP member. Such fantastic news!
Rebecca @ figs and pigs says
Wow your doing so well in 5 months you must have worked really hard at it, very inspiring I’m a new food blogger too and finding it fun but a challenge. congratulations on the baby.
Wow good job with that pin!! holy moley! I’ve also been blogging for about 5 months now and can totally relate! You’re rocking it though!!!
Kathi @laughingspatula says
Congratulations Beth! Love your blog! Your commentary is always so fun…I lost track of you for awhile but will subscribe so we can stay in touch! Now….take it easy and don’t over do. This blog will be here tomorrow, and the next day and the next….
Nora @ Savory Nothings says
Awwww congrats Beth, that’s great news! I remember my first trimester all too well… I was nauseous 24/7 too! Just thinking the word “kitchen” was too much… 🙂 hope you’re feeling better by now!
Lynn Lovejoy from Order in the Kitchen says
OMG! I didn’t realize you were pregnant when I met you! Congratulations girl!! That is amazing! Love your blog!
Lisa @ I Dream of Eating says
Great 5 month report! I just started posting to my recipe blog this week, after procrastinating for months on doing it. I am still trying to figure out Pinterest, among other things.
Congrats from another FBP user … That’s great news!
Congrats on your blogiversary…that’s awesome. Just looked you up on Pinterest….you live in the same city that I do. 🙂 Oh and thank you so much for the lentil soup recipe….just got done eating it and it was very good. Nom nom….
About the morning sickness, I found that with one kiddo I drank ginger beer (no alcohol, just stronger than ginger ale), and it helped a lot. And spicy foods calmed my tummy down too. Weird but true. Enjoy!
Taylor @ What Vegetarians Eat says
Congratulations on your pregnancy – so exciting! I’m sure we’ll we get to hear tidbits along your journey 🙂 It’s wonderful reading your insights on blogging. Even though I started my blog over a year ago I still feel like it’s just the tip of the iceberg and I’m still learning so much and finding my way. It’s nice to see other bloggers’ progress and experiences as well.
Also, I wanted to let you know that I’ve nominated you for the Liebster Award which was passed to me by Meredith from Unexpectedly Magnificent. It’s just a way to reward our fellow bloggers for being awesome and also to bring awareness to newer blogs and help build a community. You can check out my post for more info here: http://whatvegetarianseat.com/liebster-award.
Hey there Beth – I followed you over here from Food Blogger Pro. I would agree with everything you said. 🙂 Congrats on your super powerful PIntrest squash post! AWESOME. 🙂
cookingchat (@cookingchat) says
Congrats on the baby! Good reflection on your first 5 months. Definitely relate to the biting off too much piece! [another FBP connection here]
Marie Mayssonnier-Feldman says
Great post! You are doing amazing with Pinterest: this is a great inspiration!
Bo Johnson says
Just found your site, and loving it. Was looking for the recipe for vegan sour cream mentioned on another site.
Hi, Bo! I’m so glad you are liking what you see so far! I’m on a short break right now but I’ll be back with lots more recipes in January! 🙂
Congrats on the little one! And I am SOOOOOO checking out that veggie bolognese. I am also, a meat lover. I’ll let you know how it goes!
Thanks, Trish!! Little man is giving me a run for my money, that’s for sure. I’ll be very happy when he finally makes his appearance as he apparently is an aspiring kickboxer. I’ve heard very good things about the Vegetable Bolognese from carnivores, so I’ll be so excited to hear your thoughts!
As a noobie blogger myself it’s nice to find an article like this and learn from other people’s experiences. Thanks for sharing. I’ll particularly use your information on pinterest and make better use of it.