This month I am delighted to introduce Jac from Tinned Tomatoes as our blogger of the month. Her speciality is vegetarian cooking, but you will find a whole host of treats on her fantastic blog, where she has been writing since April 2007.
Jac, like many others, started blogging after she was inspired by reading another blog, in this case The Next Nigella. She attended a Web 2.0 course, which covered blogging, and decided to give it a go herself. Jac tells us, ” It was a bit of a challenge to myself to try out more dishes and to catalogue them online.”
Whilst she loves developing and sharing her recipes, Jac says one of the most important things to her is being part of a community. She actively joins in with the chat on twitter and in food blogging forums, always taking time to offer support and advice. She says, “Food bloggers are such a lovely lot and I have made a lot of good friends.”
Sometimes the blog posts and recipes that are so simple and quickly thrown together are the most popular and Jac’s Quick & Easy Banoffee Pie proves this point with nearly 6000 views so far, and more every day! She says, “I cringe when I look back at it, as I was cursed by winter lighting and the photos are truly awful, but that doesn’t stop people from visiting it in their droves.” (We think it looks pretty gorgeous!)
When we asked Jac what her favourite blog post was, she had trouble narrowing it down to just one and gave us a list to look through! We had to agree, it was a difficult decision but we loved the look of the vibrant Fig, Beetroot and Feta Salad and her favourite cookie recipe, Chocolate Chip Cookies with Fudge.
If you like to join in with foodie challenges then Tinned Tomatoes is the place for you. Jac runs a monthly feature, along with Lisa, called No Croutons Required, which focuses on soup and salad. She also runs Bookmarked Recipes, where she encourages bloggers to start using all those recipes that they bookmark from magazines, cookbooks and online. Jac also runs a feature called Food in Fiction where she reviews fiction titles that include recipes and have a heavy food element to the story, usually including a recipe and an interview with the author.
Like most of us, Jac battles with blog-life balance. With her day job and a young son to look after, her blogging time is limited. Her aim is to carry on featuring tasty recipes and developing her blog, as well as growing her second blog, Little Tums, which features recipes for babies, toddlers and older children.
As Jac is such a pro when it comes to blogging, we asked her to share some of her top tips with us for those who may just be starting out or wanting to grow their audience. She says:
- Post regularly and visit lots of other blogs to see what they are doing
- Make friends with other bloggers – you will soon feel the support network that food bloggers provide
- Take part in some foodie challenges – they are great for providing blogging inspiration and to get to know others
- I recommend visiting the Foodies100 blog which has some great articles on blogging. I have learned a thing or two from them myself, blogging is a constant learning curve (thanks Jac!).