Most bloggers celebrate their blogaversarys with a grand cake of some sort and a giveaway. If you’ve been following my blog lately, I’ve baked enough desserts to last me a year, and frankly… the giveaways tend to get tiresome. I’m celebrating with words and reflection.
Jan. 1 will mark the beginning of the second year of The Recipe Girl blog. It was started completely on a whim. I wasn’t new to the internet food world. I already had the parent site RecipeGirl.com up and running for a couple of years. But ironically enough, I had never really discovered food blogs much until about a year ago. Frankly, I just wasn’t aware that they really existed. Once I started exploring them though, I was hooked. I felt I had to create my own, thus The Recipe Girl began.
Reflections after my first year of blogging…
#1: The world of food blogging is a lot bigger than I ever could have imagined.
#2: Food bloggers are nice and compassionate people. Honestly. I find it shocking that it’s possible to create internet ‘friendships’ with others… and that sometimes those internet friendships turn into face-to-face meetings and ‘real’ friendships. How cool is that?
#3: There’s a heck of a lot of talent in the food blogging industry… budding photographers, writers and bloggers-come-cookbook-authors.
#4: Most bloggers choose and post about the best recipes. In other words, you can usually trust a blogger’s recipe choice to be something fantastic.
#5: Blogs with frequent spelling errors are simply annoying. I realize that everyone might not have strength in spelling (and that’s unfortunate) but I find that as much as I might enjoy a blog… if it has spelling errors, that’s a deal-breaker for me.
Tips for the new guys…
#1: Food blogging isn’t for everyone. If you can capture good photos, have the ability to write interesting posts and can make chocolate chip cookies look amazing… then you might be fit for blogging. Blog about recipes that are unique and delicious. No one really wants to read about your flops or recipes that are just ‘okay’ (unless you have a really compelling story to accompany your so-so recipe). And please don’t post a blurry photo. If that’s all you have, blog about something else.
#2: Blog for fun, and don’t try to make your blog more than it is. Not everyone is fit to write cookbooks and be on the Martha Stewart show. If you have talent, it will show, and good things might happen to you. If not, then just have fun with it, and share with friends and family.
#3: Don’t try to be everyone’s friend. Let relationships with other bloggers happen naturally. Find other blogs that you find worthy of visiting, and comment when you find a post that interests you. (Don’t feel like you have to comment on every single blog every time you visit). Never ask for a link exchange. If someone enjoys your blog, they’ll add you to their blogroll.
#4: Retailers will come out of the woodwork to offer you free food products in exchange for a discussion about their product on your blog. At first, this will seem really cool. But you don’t have to accept every ‘free’ offer that comes your way. Keep in mind that a post on your blog is a free advertisement for these companies that stays on the internet forever. Do you really want to publish free advertising for companies in exchange for a little sample?
#5: There is such a thing as too many giveaways. I think it’s okay to do a giveaway once in a while if it’s something really wonderful to be giving away. But again… if it’s just a company looking for some free advertising, you may want to reconsider.
What’s in store for the future of RecipeGirl?
#1: I’m happy to continue blogging about food. I love to look for creative, unique recipes that I can tweak to make them more my own style. It’s fun to share them with the world to see if the world thinks they’re cool too.
#2: Photography has become a passion of mine… I’ll be acquiring a new camera/lens sometime soon, and I hope to learn more about photography and shoot more amazing food photos.
#3: RecipeGirl.com will be launching a newly designed site in the next few weeks- which will finally combine the parent site w/ the blog. This has been a large project of mine that I’ve been working on for the past year.
#4: Once the new site launches, a few wonderful, well-known cookbook authors will be working with me to share entertaining menus and tips on my site.
#5: And finally… I have an idea for a cookbook. Stay tuned!
Thank you readers for your kind comments and continued support!
congrats on the wonderful year you’ve had. I will say that I have used several of your recipes in my classroom and they have been huge hits. Can’t wait to see what you have coming up in the future
Mandi (a.k.a MissMandiGirl) — December 30, 2008 @ 7:23 PM
Congrats on one year! I’m still a few months new to your blog but enjoy your posts. I keep a recipe blog, My photo’s are terrible, but I keep the blog mostly for myself and my family to see what I’m cooking though
Your tips for new bloggers are spot on. I recently started my own food blog to focus on an area of my photography that I’m interested in expanding as well as to talk about my love of healthy food and cooking. It’s HUGELY different blogging about food than it is blogging about photography … definitely a learning experience for me. I’m looking forward to getting better at it in 2009 – and to following your blog though all it’s exciting changes!!!
Great post! Thanks for sharing your reflections on your first year of blogging. We must have started right at the same time and I’m working on my goals for my blog for the new year. Here’s to a great New Year to you and your family!
What a great post and introduction to the world of food blogging. Your blog is always a delight and your passion shines through, Lori. I am so happy to hear your wonderful plans for 2009. Warmest wishes for the new year!
Your reflections are wonderful, especially the stuff about friendships, talent and the best recipes. I have gotten so much love, and wonderful food, from everyone.
As for the new bloggers – I agree on the blurry photos, and I am sad for people who don’t have other options. But your tip that really stood out for me was the don’t try to be everyone’s friend, don’t ask for links one. Yes!! I actually have wanted to post my philosophy of blogging, as it were, for a long time. And the big thing is just what you described. You DON’T need to comment on every post and you (and I even mean me!) definitely don’t need to ask for a link. It doesn’t work like that. *Sigh* Maybe I’ll write about that on my own soon.
It sounds like you have a lot of fantastic stuff forthcoming. I can’t wait to see it. You continue to be a great resource and a great inspiration. Best of luck to you, your site and a possible book (!) in 2009!
I LOVE this!! Your tips are spot on, and totally true.
HAPPY NEW YEAR, LORI!!! I can’t wait to see what you present on your blog in 2009
Mark Boxshus "Cookie Doctor" — December 31, 2008 @ 1:45 PM
Congrats to you for a job extremely well done. I love reading your blog as I find it creative, uplifting and very refreshing. Also, your sense of humor as adds additional flair and color. Keep up the great work
Happy New Year to you — and how exciting to have new plans. It will be fun to see what you have in store. I had to chuckle on the point about misspellings. Being an English teacher for years keeps me biting my tongue on that.
Great tips: short, honest & to the point. Sounds like 2009 already has lots of new and exciting things in the works for you. Best wishes with all of your plans, not just for your site, blog and ideas, but for yourself as well. It's an exciting time!