Our blog of the month for September is…The Worktop! Congratulations to Tina who loves the first meal of the day so much she dedicates this gorgeous and tasty blog to breakfast and brunch recipes. Who knew there were so many delicious options to choose from!
Over to Tina…
What inspired you to start your blog?
Way back when, my first blog lived on geocities. It wasn’t a food blog, and I’m sure I would be so embarrassed if I could see it now, but I’ve always loved designing web pages and creating content. I guess you can say I’ve always been a blogger at heart.
I’ve also always loved food whether it’s cooking it or eating it. One day I found myself reading food blog after food blog, mesmerized by the beautiful photos and interesting recipes. I started seeing food blogs as a way one can document their relationship with food, and I decided I wanted one of my own.
Has your content changed much since you started? If so, how?
Yes, definitely. The Worktop started out as a general food blog, but as I started sharing more recipes, I realised that I was constantly sharing breakfast and brunch recipes.
Breakfast and brunch is my favourite meal of the day, so naturally, everything on the blog was breakfast and brunch. Since I enjoyed sharing about morning meals so much, I decided to just stick to breakfast and brunch recipes only. Now, you’ll only find one type of recipes on The Worktop – breakfast and brunch recipes!
What have your learned since starting your blog?
You could definitely say I haven’t gone a day without learning something new since I started blogging! There’s so much I can touch on in this question.
First and foremost, I’ve learned loads about designing, building, and managing a web page. There are a lot of technical tidbits that go behind a blog, and they are always evolving. I’ve also learned a tremendous amount about photographing food. I don’t think The Worktop would be where it is if I hadn’t put in the time and effort to develop my photography skills.
But on a whole, I’ve learned that it’s important to chose wisely how to spend my time on the blog. When I look at the list of things I want to do with The Worktop, it’s like walking into the most beautiful farmers market filled with ripe fruits and vibrant vegetables. You want to buy cartfuls, but you realise you only brought a £20 note. What are you going to spend the £20 on?
What has surprised you about blogging?
I’m always pleasantly surprised by the friendly blogging community. It can be lonely sometimes working from home, but there’s a great online support network for bloggers. The funnest surprise is when I bump into a “virtual friend” in person at a blogging event!
How do you balance blogging and real life?
I used to look at professional bloggers and think that it looks great because they can work from home or anywhere. It can be like that, but for me, I find that I need space and quiet. Our toddler has a great nanny and a nursery that he attends for half days. I spend half the day with him in the mornings, then I get a few hours of uninterrupted time, and then once his dinner and bedtime routine is over, I can pop back to working on the blog.
What’s the best thing about writing your blog? And the worst?
The best thing about writing The Worktop is the delicious food I get to eat all the time!
There are some frustrations that comes with the blogging territory. Sometimes I feel like I’m in a new city without a map (or phone), but I need to find a specific coffee shop to meet a friend. I don’t quite know how I’m going to get where I want to be.
What advice would you give someone starting a foodie blog now?
Think through the blog like you are making a big life decision. I know people who spend weeks researching cars before buying one. Think through the blog the same way. For example, is this really the blog topic that you want to be writing about six months or three years from now? Are you on a blogging platform that you really like (I use a self-hosted WordPress site)? Does the blog have a name that will grow with you?
A blog evolves with you just fine, but you’ll save yourself hassles along the way if you can get as much right in the beginning as possible.
Has blogging brought you any amazing opportunities or experiences?
Blogging has given me so many amazing opportunities that I’m grateful for. While using new kitchen equipment is fun, and I get a surge of pride when I see my recipe featured on a well-known publication, the most amazing experiences come from meeting other people.
From working with top food photographers to taking cooking lessons from celebrity chefs to chatting with new food bloggers, it’s these personal connections that I tend to remember the most.
Which have been your most popular posts?
This Overnight Chia Seed Pudding with Almond Milk is currently the most popular post.
And which are your personal favourites?
I love chia seed pudding, so in addition to the Overnight Chia Seed Pudding with Almond Milk above, this Chia Seed Pudding with Coconut Milk is also a favourite.
But on a different note, I’m really happy with this Cotton Candy Coffee. I created it as an second anniversary gift to my husband since traditionally, second anniversary gifts are something made with cotton (plus he loves coffee).
These Milo Muffins also hold a dear spot in my heart. Our toddler is named Milo, and I created these muffins when I was 9-months pregnant with him. Of course he wasn’t named after the drink, but definitely didn’t hurt having a tasty recipe to his name. After all, I don’t think we would have named him Milo if we didn’t enjoy drinking the Milo mix.
As you can see, most of my favorite recipes tend to be personal to me.
How does it feel to be chosen as Foodies100 blog of the month?
Humbling and exciting at the same time, but also feeling very shy about it too. Blogging is something you think you can hide behind the computer and just do your thing, but it really isn’t. You have to write about your personal experiences and really put yourself out there…and here I am!
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