One year ago I wrote my first blog post. For years I had been emailing my family and friends after making a recipe I thought they would like and finally I decided to start a blog to reach a wider audience. There are lots of helpful sites like 28msec.com that have resources that educate and inform new bloggers and website owners so I was thankful for that because I had no idea what I was doing (still don’t really) and wasn’t sure if people would actually read it. This past year of blogging has exceeded my expectations and has been such a fun journey!
My favorite part of blogging is hearing from people. I love running into people at the grocery store who tell me they are picking up ingredients for my recipes. I love getting texts and emails from people who have tried the recipes and the pictures I receive always bring a smile to my face.
I love that I still actually have a lot to learn. I love that I still am learning every day when I’m blogging. There is so much to blogging, more so than I first thought when I first started. Things like Twitter, Facebook, and even Instagram are a lot harder than I first thought. But they are so important to my blog. I know so many other bloggers who somehow keep on top of their social media. Most of them note the importance of building an online following when it comes to self-promotion and getting people to read what you’ve written. When it comes to getting more facebook, twitter, and instagram followers, it’s essential that this is done organically – perhaps with the help of a growth service – so that you can reach out to and engage with new people without having to resort to fake followers which could both tarnish your image and put your standing at risk on whichever platform you do this on. I was talking to one of them the other day and I remember she was telling me that it’s a lot harder than she first thought as well. But she only recently found out that you can get instagram followers for free, so she’s considering doing that. She asked for my opinion on it, but I said that I would have to think about that. Even so, I’ve still come a long way and so has all the other bloggers around me. I’m so proud of myself and everyone who has a blog. I know it’s a big commitment and a lot of thought has to go into it.
So what has been my top blog post from the past year? Surprisingly, it was one of my simplest for how to use overripe bananas. I guess people really like their bananas. What was my favorite post to write? That’s a tough one but it’s probably my granola bar recipe. As soon as we booked that rock climbing trip I knew that I wanted to create an energy snack and as I watched in awe as my kids climbed effortlessly, I knew exactly how I was going to write the post.
I’ve had amazing opportunities come my way in in the past year as a result of the blog. I’ve done some teaching in schools which is so much fun. It combines my two passions for working with kids and cooking. I’ve also attended great events like Truckerton. I never imagined getting paid to write about eating!
I’ve also had the opportunity to work with fantastic companies that are in line with my beliefs. I tried out Door to Door Organics at a time when my CSA was failing and it was a life saver. I’ve referred so many people to Door to Door Organics who fell in love with the service also. I have discovered amazing products like Blue Avocado which have helped me lead a greener, more sustainable lifestyle.
So what does the future of the blog hold? More recipes of course! I find inspiration for cooking everywhere. This past weekend I traveled to South Carolina and ate some fabulous food that I’m already looking forward to re-creating like fried okra. I’m also hoping to do more teaching and will be looking for ways to do this. I hear from parents all the time that they are feeling inspired to cook with their kids and this makes me so happy!
The blog is like a third child to me. I think and talk about it constantly. Thank you to everyone who has read it and given me feedback. Keep it coming! And most importantly, thank you to my husband for being so supportive of the blog. He waits very patiently while hot food gets photographed before he can eat it. He spends long car rides giving me ideas and helping me talk through recipes. He’s also a great taste tester! I’m also grateful to my kids (who can’t read this yet) for being so much fun to cook with. It warms my heart when they tell me I should blog about something good we are eating or when they talk about wet ingredients versus dry ingredients.
I would love to hear what you have enjoyed most about Vegging at the Shore in the past year. What has been your favorite recipe? The culinary journey is just getting started so stick around because there is a lot more good food to come!