I was inspired to start a blog by a good friend of mine who moved over to Australia. She was the only friend I had who really loved cooking and eating and had a keen interest in food. She is Japanese so she taught me lots about where to shop and what to buy in Japanese food stores. When she left, I decided that starting a food blog would be a good way to keep talking about food without boring any of my non foodie friends and the lodger we had at the time showed me how to set up a WordPress blog. I have been blogging ever since, which is now 5 years!
I don’t think my content has changed much over the years, but I think food trends do play a part in what i write about. Although I am influenced by food trends-much like fashion- I don’t follow them rigidly. I would say my content has always been about fresh, modern flavours influenced by the growing season.
I have learned so much since starting a food blog. Before blogging I had hardly touched a computer and was scared of them – I knew nothing about technology. Now I feel I can run my blog competently. My photography skills have improved over the years and my food styling is getting there, but the thing I love most about blogging is that I am always learning. I learn by reading lots of food blogs and from attending workshops, events and food conferences. I have also learned loads from all the other food bloggers that I am friendly with. They are a friendly and inspiring bunch – so knowledgeable and intelligent.
I am always surprised by brands and pr firms who expect us bloggers to work for free or so called “Exposure” for our blogs. Also, I am always saddened by the amount of content theft there is and it makes me realise that blogging doesn’t have a hard and fast set of rules to play by which makes it tricky to protect your work.
I am getting so much better at balancing out my blogging and real life now. I regularly take breaks which usually means I work very little in the school holidays. I find that when I have time away from the blog, I come back refreshed and often with new ideas and inspiration. I also work outside of the blog so if I am busy with my freelance cookery teaching and supper clubs, then the blog has to take a back seat for a week or two.
The best thing about writing my blog is the ability to create recipes and images from scratch that I know are mine. I love the creativity of it and it satisfies my artistic temperament. I studied art and art history and have always regretted not going to art school, so my blog is my creative space and food is such a creative medium to work with.
There are so many more food blogs now I imagine than there were 5 years ago so i do think you have to have an original voice and style to make you stand out fro the crowd. I also think even beginner bloggers now have to have better quality photos than when I started and you also have to be totally switched on to all the social media channels including videos which are my nemesis but I am convinced this will become more important than the written word.
The best bit for me about blogging has been the opportunity to meet some talented chefs. A a chef myself I am always inspired by watching how other chefs work and of course trying out their food is a real treat. I particularly enjoyed meeting Raymond Blanc at the launch of Henri le Worm, an educational cooking app created by his son. It is a dream of mine to stay at Le Manoir, I love everything Raymond has achieved in his life as a chef and he has maintained his career without the burn out suffered by so many other chefs, a real legend.
My meringue and passionfruit roulade and my simple rye soda bread rolls, they are always commented on whenever I make them and I do make recipes from my blog regularly as I genuinely enjoy eating them.
It feels so good to be chosen as a Foodies100 blog of the month almost five years to the day of my first blog post (March 2011). I feel like I am only just at the start of my blogging life, the time has simply flown by, so here’s to many more years of writing recipes and sharing them with you all.