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!