This month we are heading over to meet Janie, who is a food write, photographer and recipe creator. She blogs over at the wonderful The Hedge Combers. Take it away Janie…
What inspired you to start your blog?
Back in 2008 The Hedgecombers was created as a place for my partner and I to map out the best wild food and foraging patches in our area. The blog wasn’t public, just a private page for us to collate info & share ideas (this was long before facebook chat, Trello, dropbox etc!)
As he showed no interest in updating it, I took it over a hobby blog and wrote about life on a small Cornish farm.
Has your content changed much since you started?
Oh yes! Back then SEO was unheard of. I made my titles as cryptic and ‘clever’ as possible, so it’s a wonder anything ever got found by Google!
My images were terrible and posts were mostly pointless, reading much more like a diary entry than a blog of today. When I decided to monetise my site, I became more strategic in my direction, focusing specifically on recipes.
What have you learned since starting your blog?
So, so much. Back when I started I wouldn’t even stand still to have my photo taken, yet now I’m all over YouTube!
I sent myself off to college to learn photography, and qualified as a photographer when I was 40. I did it purely to improve my blog, but have since shot menus for local restaurants, theatres and hotels too.
What has surprised you about blogging?
I’m grateful every day that I get to make a great living, doing something I love, from home.
How do you balance blogging and real life?
Honestly, my work (mostly) doesn’t feel like work so it feels naturally balanced. My YouTube channel is focused on creating easy one pot camping recipes from my cute little VW campervan, so it means I always need to be off on an adventure. Purely for work of course!
What’s the best thing about writing your blog? And the worst?
Best thing: working from home & being in control of my time.
Worst thing: When deadlines pile up and it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day.
What advice would you give someone starting a foodie blog now?
Don’t overthink it, just get writing. You’ll learn all you need to know as you go along.
Has blogging brought you any amazing opportunities or experiences?
Yes! I’ve been on national & international press trips, I’ve authored a foodie guide book and created recipes for high end brands & national magazines. And there’s some exciting things coming up this year too!
Which have been your most popular posts?
And which are your personal favourites?
I love this recipe for Asian Style Razor Clams as it pulls together all my favourite things about my work; foraging, nature, adventure and obviously, good food!
How does it feel to be chosen as Foodies100 blog of the month?
I’m honoured, thank you