As a self confessed foodie with a passion for cooking and writing, starting a blog was the creative outlet that Ren Behan was looking for. She started Fabulicious Food in November 2010, in the depths of a cold winter, hoping that it would brighten things up.
After leaving behind a career as a lawyer to look after her two young children, Ren says, “I wanted to do something for myself, perhaps with a creative angle and since I loved cooking so much, all the signs seemed to point to food!” She had been been reading other people’s blogs for a while and, with the support and encouragement of her family and friends, took the plunge and started her own.
Ren enjoys blogging about a whole host of food related topics and loves the fact that she has found lots of like-minded people from all over the world. Once bitten by the blogging bug Ren found that, “It has encouraged me to try more recipes and cook things I wouldn’t have tried before. I have baked a lot more since I started blogging and have also involved my kids in the kitchen more.”
Each month Ren hosts two blog events for other food bloggers to join in with. Simple and in Season encourages food bloggers to link up seasonal recipes using ingredients grown locally or even in their own gardens. Ren explains, “It has been a wonderful way to showcase fresh produce and to find out what’s in season in different parts of the world as well as following the seasons in the UK.” Recently, Ren also launched Family Friendly Fridays, which she initially started as a way of encouraging herself to blog more of the recipes she enjoys cooking with and for her family. After is was so well received, she opened it up for any bloggers to link up to.
Some of Ren’s most popular posts have been recipes influenced by her Polish heritage, including her Polish Apple Cake and Polish Spiced Christmas Cookies. She loves attending cooking courses, often asking for vouchers for her birthday, and says her favourite post was writing about a Pasta Class with Katie Caldesi. “The course was a birthday present from my husband and I enjoyed it so much. We ate so much and made so much in such a short space of time and those skills will stay with me for life.”
Like many bloggers, Ren sometimes to struggles find a balance between blogging and family life, but has successfully managed to fit it around nap times and school runs. Starting an ‘e-course’ in food journalism at the same time as her blog, Ren has a lot to fit in but is excited about the opportunities that this has already brought her and hopes to build on this in the future.
Ren’s top tips for those who are thinking of starting a food blog are:
- Although it is good to have a particular angle or perspective try not to box yourself in at the start. A blog is a creative process and it constantly evolves.
- Try and keep posts as short as possible, readers do not have a long time to stay and read and they will probably jump about.
- The best way of feeling more involved in the blogging community is to take part in blog events, not all of them, just pick one or two that appeal to you and keep up with them each month.
- Don’t sell yourself short, if a company or brand approaches you to attend an event, ask them to pay for your travel expenses.