Hello and welcome to part 2 of my week-long blogiversary bonanza!
Just in case you didn’t hear (where were you?), yesterday was my blogiversary – Easy Peasy Foodie is now a whole year old! And, because I believe birthdays should be celebrated properly, I am planning a whole week of birthday content.
Yesterday I shared 10 things I have learnt from my first year of blogging and today I am sharing 10 highlights from my first year of blogging…
Then this is the schedule after that…
Sunday: My 10 most popular recipes from my first year of blogging
Monday: 10 things I’ve learnt about food photography from my first year of blogging
Tuesday: 10 top tips for wannabe food bloggers
Wednesday: How to start a food blog
Thursday: A day in the life of a food blogger
So lets get cracking…
10 highlights from my first year of blogging
…although I say highlights from my first year, in reality I have already posted about the first half of my first year in this post. So I’ll try not to repeat myself too much and mainly share the highlights from the second half of 2016.
So here are the highlights since Christmas…
1. Finally getting into the Foodies Top 500!
The Foodies 100 chart is basically like Top of the Pops for food bloggers. There are over 5000 food bloggers just in the UK and the Foodies 100 team rank them according to various metrics such as the number of visits your site receives and the number of social media followers you have. Back at the end of 2015, you found me a little sad that I hadn’t quite made it into the top 500 (after going from outside the top 1000 to number 572 in less than 6 months, mind!!). One of my big goals for 2016 was to get into the top 500 and do you know what? I did it!!!…and much better! I am now ranked at 304 and super chuffed with myself. I know rankings and statistics aren’t the be all and end all, but they are a massive encouragement to a (still relatively) newbie blogger.
2. Starting to do reviews
Doing reviews was one of my top priorities for 2016, and I’m pleased to say I’ve already done loads of them! And I’m really loving it – I love testing out recipe books, recipe boxes, organic boxes and snacks etc. and sharing my favourites with you. If you want a flavour of what I’ve been sharing – check out my reviews of Gousto, Persiana and Mr Kipling’s Exceedingly Good Slices or click here for the full list of my reviews.
Speaking of which…
3. Redesigning my blog
I’ve been busily improving the look and feel of my blog, since the start of the year…I’ve done loads, but still have a few things I want to tinker round with. I’ve totally rewritten my About Me page and added photos. I’ve created a Work With Me page for PRs and brands to know what I’m about and get in touch. I’ve completely redesigned the sidebar and added a big photo of me (scary!) and made the search button more visible and I’ve finally added a way of subscribing to my blog. I would eventually like to go further and create a weekly newsletter, but sadly there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to do everything I want to do RIGHT NOW – I’m going to have to be patient!
My Work With Me page has lead to me being contacted by a number of brands, which I am super excited about.
Don’t forget to sign up in the sidebar to receive my posts straight into your inbox!
4. My first giveaway
One of the most exciting things I’ve done this year was launch my first giveaway – to win a hamper of Mr Kipling cakes – sadly the competition is now over…but I’m sure it won’t be the last! If you want to make sure you are one of the first to hear about my next competition, make sure you subscribe to my blog and then you will never miss out (see I’m getting good at this self promotion malarkey! 🙂 ).
5. Getting better at Social Media
I’ve been trying really hard this year to improve how I do social media. I’ve been working hard, not just to promote my blog posts, but share other interesting content I find and just generally be more ‘social’, I’m also starting to share more – behind the scenes stuff – the things that don’t make it onto my blog but are interesting/useful/funny. I am super chuffed that my number of followers has increased on all my social channels this year and I’m especially pleased that my number of Twitter followers has increased so much…back in December I was a little sad that I hadn’t quite made 1000 twitter followers…now I’m heading towards 2000!
If you want to follow me on social media I’d love to connect with you! You can find me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Google + (though I’m most active on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram).
6. Improving my photography…dramatically!
OK, so I’m still not the best food photographer around…not by a long shot, but I am so much better than I was…and the reason? Well there are two really…a whole lot of practice and a brand new camera! In February I became the proud owner of my very first DSLR camera. And I can’t quite believe how good the photos are from it! It’s like my photos are now in a totally different league…I know I still have loads to learn and I don’t really use my little baby to it’s fullest, but I am super pleased at the results I’m getting already 🙂 .
For those who are interested, I spent a lot of time pondering which camera to get and in the end went for a Canon 1200D with a Canon EF 50 mm 1.8 STM Lens. I would highly recommend both for anyone wanting to get into food photography more seriously – the 1200D is a pretty much bottom of the range DSLR, but so much better than anything I got out of my £50 compact camera.
If you want to hear more on this subject, watch out for my post on photography on Monday!
7. Getting accepted onto Tastespotting AND Foodgawker!
Tastespotting and Foodgawker are photo sharing sites dedicated to beautiful pictures of FOOD! Getting a photo accepted by one or other of them is a real achievement and can mean a huge increase in visitor numbers. Back at the end of 2015 I was super chuffed to have finally got a few photos accepted onto Tastespotting (I have since had several more accepted), but I was completely stumped as to how to get photos accepted onto Foodgawker. I eventually gave up submitting the photos I was taking on my compact camera, but when I finally got my DSLR I tried again and FINALLY got a shot accepted…and then a week later another one!! I’ve still only managed two, but here’s to hoping for many more acceptances in Year 2 of blogging!
8. Getting organised
I love blogging, but I can’t deny it does eat up A LOT of my life (see yesterday’s post for more on this). As a result I’ve had to get organised – so I can achieve as much as possible in a short space of time. One of the first things I did in January was go out and buy a big A4 spiral bound pad. In this I record all my weekly and daily to dos. It has made a huge difference in my life!
I’ve also tried to give each day a focus so I get everything I need to done – so Monday is about writing and editing my recipes, Tuesday and Thursday are about promoting my posts on social media and blogger linkups, and getting on top of my household admin, Wednesdays are all about reviews and Friday is when I focus on developing my blog and making it even better – it’s also occasionally when I take a day off! Then on Saturdays and Sundays I just keep the social media ticking over and try to focus on spending quality time with my family!
If you want to know more about a typical day in my food blogging life, come back on Thursday when I’ll be sharing ‘A day in the life of a food blogger’.
9. Making money from my blog
OK, so I haven’t made vast sums yet, but I have made a little – enough to be encouraged that it is possible to make a living out of blogging. Fingers crossed I continue to make money with my blogging in Year 2!!
10. Having people tell me they’ve made my recipes and really enjoyed them.
This was my number one highlight at Christmas and it remains the same now – it is by far and away the best thing about food blogging. I love it when someone takes the time to tell me they have tried one of my recipes and enjoyed it and even takes the time to show me pictures – I am genuinely delighted every time – but especially when it is for something special like Christmas or a birthday treat.
Stats and chart positions are lovely, earning money from my blog is nice, but THIS is definitely the best thing about blogging!!
Thank you all so much for your support and encouragement over the last year. And thanks especially to those of you who have made an Easy Peasy Foodie recipe or two…
If you ever make one of my recipes, please do let me know – it genuinely does make my day to hear that someone has made my recipe and enjoyed it!
And don’t forget to come back tomorrow and find out which of my recipes made it into the top 10!
**Just to let you know, scattered throughout this post are a few Amazon affiliate links – if you buy something from Amazon after following my link, it doesn’t cost you any more, but I will get a small commission – thanks in advance! 🙂 **