Five Things I’ve Learned in One Year of Food Blogging

Weeks before what is now my 1-year Blog-versary, my husband congratulated me. I’ve written creatively and consistently for one year, which is really–as far as I’m concerned–what is worth celebrating. Although I don’t have a huge following, it’s growing slowly (oh, so slowly) and steadily.
I fully expect to be right here, in this spot, for years to come. Here’s what I’ve learned during my first year as a food blogger:

1. Website names should be fairly easy to spell. When I named my blog “Pescetarian Journal,” I didn’t realize that it would be hard for people to spell. Not only is it hard for some people to spell, there are two spellings (also Pescaterian). I thought of changing the name and URL, but I’m glad I resisted doing that. My search engine ranking would have suffered. Think through your blog’s name before the launch.


2. In my opinion, it’s not the web host that matters. It’s the content. I sometimes wonder if I should have had a self-hosted platform on WordPress.org. I then discovered simply beautiful blogs here on Blogger. Here are three of my favorites: Picture Perfect Meals, Orangette, and What Katie Ate,  There are many more, but the point I’m making is this: it’s the person at the stove, behind the camera, and at the keyboard that makes the difference.

3. People are descent. I’ve interacted with hundreds of bloggers and social media moguls and mavens. I can’t say I’ve met a mean person yet. I’ve even established business relationships with a few people, and I’m amazed by the talent that seemingly ordinary people have in spades. Bloggers treat people as they wish to be treated. 

4. A publishing calendar and posting scheduling is necessary. Whenever I was lax and loose with my monthly publishing calendar, I posted fewer times. I also struggled with trying to post several times a week. Honestly, I don’t know how some food bloggers post daily or almost daily. I’m still trying to find a posting frequency that works with my life as a high school English teacher and parent of a young man with autism. Maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on myself about this, but I do know it’s important to post consistently (this is not original advice, but it’s the truth).

5. I might publish a cookbook instead of a novel, and I’m fine with that. Throughout my life, everyone who has known me has expected that I would one day write a novel. That’s tremendous pressure, and although I love reading period fiction (especially British and early American literature), I haven’t consistently felt passionate about writing anything longer than a short story. Throughout this year, though, I have amassed nearly 100 recipes and more than 1000 food photos. I’ve basically written a cookbook a week at a time. I never thought I would be as passionate about food as I have become. I’ve surprised everyone by becoming a food blogger–but no one has been more surprised than me.

Follow Me!
Follow Me!

Latest posts by Alaiyo Kiasi-Barnes (see all)

Comments

  1. says

    Thanks so much for this! I’m a new food blogger (about 1,5 months into it) and really identify with what you’re saying. I also was “expected” to write, and here I am, happy as a clam writing about and photographing food, and can also see myself doing that for years to come, if I can make it work financially somehow. Happy to discover your blog! :-) Happy anniversary!

    • says

      Hello Helene! Thanks so much for commenting. Like you, I’m happy doing what I’m doing right now, and my internal pressures to write “the great American novel” have lessened considerably. I forgot to mention that I’ve made just $150.00 as a blogger so far. Although I didn’t start blogging to make money, it would be nice for my blog to pay for itself. :) Best of luck with your blogging. I look forward to visiting your site.

      Alaiyo

  2. Anonymous says

    Nicely done. Happy Anniversary.
    I just started to follow your blog
    I am very impressed…..Thank you for
    all the help and information
    Keep up the GREAT work

  3. says

    Congratulations on your 1 year blog anniversary. Mine is coming up soon too. I enjoyed reading what you have learned over the past year and #3 is so very true. I’m glad to have connected with you via blogging and I am also looking forward to the years to come.

    • says

      Thanks for the congrats, Renee. I’m inspired by your blog, and I’m surprised to learn that you have a FIRST anniversary coming up? I assumed that you’ve been blogging for years! I too am happy that we’ve connected via blogging.

      Alaiyo

    • says

      Thanks for the congrats and for the kind words. The #SundaySupper bloggers blow me away with their talent. I’m glad to have met you via the group as well. I admire your determination to bring information and healthy recipes to so many people who need it.

      Alaiyo

  4. says

    I have been following your blog. I love it. I’m not a foodie, certainly not a pescetarian. I am from Baltimore. Seafood is a diet staple. Thanks for helping me to keep it more than shrimp, “lake trout,” and crab cakes.

  5. says

    I agree with all of your points! Happy 1 year! I wish I would’ve set up a more constant schedule on the beginning, but I never thought mine would last more than a year either. A lot of people starting a blog should read this. Wish I did!

    • says

      Thanks Carla! I’m confident that every blogger has important words of wisdom to share about their first year. Thanks so much for being such a great colleague in our #SundaySupper group!

  6. says

    Happy, happy Blog-versary Alaiyo! You have such a great blog which has inspired me to add more fish to my diet. I am still working on that, but I know where to go when I need ideas for new recipes to try. I will be looking forward to your cookbook! I didn’t realize that you have a son with autism–we have that in common.

  7. says

    An early congrats on nearly 1 year of blogging! So glad to be connected with you, your energy and your great recipes. You made some great points that new and old bloggers have to keep in mind. It’s all a learning process. :)

  8. says

    Congratulations, Alayio, n your anniversary! We do disagree about your blog’s name though, it’s great and one of the things that first grabbed our attention when we first came in contact with you. Adam is fascinated with the word. He comes from a reading family – he shares your love of period fiction – and loves words, both the words he reads and the endless stream that come out of his mouth. He says there’s magic in words when properly used. You have created a wonderful and inspiring blog and we look forward to reading you for may years to come!

  9. says

    Thank you for your thoughtful advice. As a new food blogger, I really enjoyed reading these tips. Although you call your following small, I hope to have one as big as yours soon :)

  10. says

    Hi Alaiyo! Congrats on one year of blogging! From what I can see you’re doing great!!! I agree that food bloggers tend to be decent, and so many are way more than that! I found you through the Food Bloggers Network group on Fb that we both belong to and that group has been integral for me as a I grow my blog and improve my photography/cooking/networking skills! Hope the next year is just as good for you! -Mallory

  11. says

    Your advice is so helpful especially for someone like me who started like 2 months ago. I kinda regret the name of my blog only because of the spelling because it makes it harder to find but I can only hope that my recipe ideas can inspire people just like yours has done. Keep up the good work and I wish you many more enjoyable food blogging days to come (:

    I found you through a comment you made on a post: ‘how to promote your blog’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>