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.