February’s Blog of the Month- How To Cook Good Food!

Foodies100 Blog of the Month
Many congratulations to Laura who blogs at How to Cook Good Food as she is this month’s Blog of the Month! Laura is an ex-chef turned a cookery tutor, freelance recipe developer and supper club host. Laura loves cooking and creating interesting flavour combinations and original recipes.
Over to Laura…
What inspired you to start your blog?

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!

Has your content changed much since you started? If so, how?

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.

What have your learned since starting your blog?

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.

What has surprised you about blogging?

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. 

How do you balance blogging and real life?

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.

What’s the best thing about writing your blog? And the worst?

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.

The worst thing about the blog is when technical things go wrong, or when you write a whole post and for some reason don’t save it and it’s gone, so frustrating!
What advice would you give someone starting a foodie blog now?

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.

I also think new bloggers need to reach out and befriend other bloggers who share your interests and goals. It’s important to have blogging friends for support and  to help. None of my local friends have blogs and don’t really “get” what I do most of the time! 
Has blogging brought you any amazing opportunities or experiences?

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.

Raymond-Blanc- HowToCookGoodFood
Which have been your most popular posts?
There are two, I am always amazed at how these posts are always my top searches and they are both fairly old posts.
Roasted Mediterranean vegetables and grilled chicken kebab with a home made chilli sauce.
grilled vegetables-HowToCookGoodFood
And which posts are your personal favourites?

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.

How does it feel to be chosen as Foodies100 blog of the month?

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.

As well her blog How To Cook Good Food you can find Laura on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest

Sally is the publisher of Foodies100, the UK's largest directory of brilliant UK food and drink blogs and bloggers. Every day of the week, we promote the UK's best and most exciting blogs about food and drink.

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