Eeek – It’s my blogiversary! Easy Peasy Foodie is 2 years old!!!
Where has the time gone?
Just 2 years ago I barely knew what blogging was…had only read a handful of food blogs and had no real notion of what I was getting myself into.
2 years later I have an award winning, prize winning, Top 100 blog which is rapidly turning into the fully fledged business I always hoped it would.
Just like my first year, my second year has been a whirlwind of fun and hard work, ups and downs (though mainly ups, I’m pleased to say!).
And just like last year, I wanted to share with you some of the highlights of this past year. But before I do I just want to say a massive THANK YOU to all of you my lovely readers, supporters, followers, commenters, likers, subscribers and most of all, to all of you wonderful people who have made my recipes and taken the time to let me know you really enjoyed it – you literally make my day, every single time!
My second year of blogging has been utterly amazing and I am so excited to see what my third has in store – thank you all for helping me make my dream a reality!
15 highlights from my second year of blogging
There have been so many highlights this year. I though last year was pretty good, but this year has been amazing! In fact, there is usually some sort of mini highlight every day…a nice email that lands in my inbox offering me a really exciting collaboration, a sudden flurry of interest in a particular recipe, a milestone reached in social media followers or page views, a move up the Foodies 100 chart…or just a really lovely comment. It’s the wonderful thing about blogging, it may be hard work but there are an awful lot of happy moments!
I was originally going to make this my top 10 highlights from my second year of blogging, but so many fab things happened last year, I wanted to share them all! I hope you’ll indulge me 😀
Getting into the Foodies100 Top 100
This was a HUGE one! The Foodies100 is a chart which ranks UK food bloggers based on a whole raft of metrics – social media followers, page views, domain authority etc. It’s kind of like Top of the Pops for Food Bloggers and each month over the last 2 years I have eagerly awaited my new score coming in…and nudging up a little bit each month.
This time last year I was pleased as punch that I had finally made it into the Top 500…I had no inkling that in only a year’s time I would have made it all the way into the Top 100. It happened last month – I seriously had to double take when I moved all the way from #109 to #89!!! Yes, there was a dance round the kitchen. Sadly, this month I slipped back down a bit, but I’m still inside the top 100 (just), so now it’s time to redouble my efforts to make sure I stay in there and don’t slip any further back – fingers crossed!!
Winning my first blogging award
Back in September I was super pleased to win my first blogging award for my Turkey Tikka Masala Meatballs recipe, which won the Best Blogger Recipe category at the British Turkey Awards. I got attend a fabulously glitzy awards ceremony in London and was given my award by Hugh Dennis. It was all rather surreal, but totally wonderful.
Winning my first blogging prize
Not only did I win my first blogging award, but I also won my first blogging prize! And in fact, I think, the first prize I have won since I won a Sony Walkman at the school disco in 1992. This was a BIG DEAL!! I won a competition hosted by Foodies100 and Tesco to design an innovative recipe using Tesco Cypriot New Potatoes…after much umming an ahhing, the result was this super delicious Greek Style Chicken Traybake. I was super pleased with my entry, but I had no expectation of winning as the standard was so high, so I nearly fell off my chair when I discovered I’d actually gone an won first prize!
My Website Redesign (& discovering I’m not as technologically challenged as I thought I was)
Over the last year I had become increasingly aware that my website didn’t look that great design wise, and really wasn’t good enough to take me to the next level. I needed to totally overhaul the design, but I kept putting it off, as I knew it would be such a big job and I was scared!! I needn’t have been though…the new theme I chose (the Divine theme by Restored316) was a dream to install and I was proper proud of myself at having managed to do it all myself with no help. I even redesigned my logo…I was originally intending on using this logo as a holding logo until I got a designer to make a proper one, but I got so many lovely comments about it (I especially loved the ones where people asked which designer I had used!) that I decided to keep it!
A huge highlight of this year was being asked to join the CookBlogShare team. CookBlogShare is a blogger linky – basically it’s place for bloggers to share their recipes and other foodie posts.
CookBlogShare is not just a fab linky, it’s also an amazing Facebook community – if you are a food blogger (or a blogger who sometimes blogs about food). I strongly recommend you join the CookBlogShare Facebook Group – it’s such a great place to chat to fellow bloggers, get ideas, ask questions and find out about opportunities.
If you are a blogger and have a recipe you want to reach a wider audience, you can share your post via the latest linkup – check out the pinned post on the CookBlogShare Facebook Group to find where it is each week.
If you are not a blogger, but love food and cooking, do still check out the CookBlogShare posts – it’s a great way to discover new recipes and foodie bloggers!
Meeting one of my foodie heroes
Back in October I got the chance to do a food writing course and meet one of my foodie heroes Karen Barnes, the Editor of ‘delicious.’ magazine. I’ve been regularly getting ‘delicious.’ magazine since about 2010 and so it was such a treat for me to meet Karen – though slightly scary having to read out my writing to her! The whole weekend was huge highlight of the year for me. Amazing food and accommodation, courtesy of the lovely Lisa Osman and All Hallows Farmhouse and amazing teaching from Karen. Plus wonderful company. I rather wish there was a part 2!
Makelight Food Photography Workshop
Another similar highlight was going on a Makelight Food Photography Workshop in London run by Emily Quinton and Catherine Frawley. Emily Quinton is a very talented photographer and instagrammer who has branched out into teaching others how to take amazing photos. For the Food Photography Workshop she teamed up with the equally talented Catherine Frawley, who specialises in food photography and who regularly takes photographs for top notch clients such as Waitrose, ‘delicious.’ magazine and Vegetarian Living. It was an amazing day. It was particularly useful to see exactly what a professional photographer does on a shoot and try to emulate her…I took some amazing photos that day (see below)…and I hope you have seen a development in my photography style over the last year!
Getting accepted by Foodgawker
I have put in loads of effort into my food photography over the last year, so I was properly delighted when I had my first photo accepted by Foodgawker. Foodgawker is a photo sharing website and the editors are quite fussy about what they will accept, so getting accepted onto Foodgawker is a real achievement. My first acceptance onto Foodgawker was this delicious slow cooked beef chilli. And now I’ve got to the point where most of my submissions get accepted onto Foodgawker, which is a real milestone.
The River Cottage
Another fab moment this year was being part of a group of bloggers invited by the River Cottage and Foodies100 to visit River Cottage HQ in Devon and take part in one of their cookery courses, followed by a massive feast of fabulous food. It was an amazing experience and not one I expected to get so early on in my blogging career. The River Cottage is just as magical a place as you might expect and the food is incredible – I would well recommend it as a place to go for dinner or do a course! Sadly I didn’t get to meet Hugh, but it was still a totally unforgettable experience 🙂
Finally getting to meet my blogging chums!
Another fabulous thing about the River Cottage was I finally got to meet some of the bloggers I had only been in touch with virtually up until then. It was lovely to meet my blogging friends in the flesh – they are real people, who knew? And I have never met a lovelier group of people!
My recipes going viral
OK so ‘viral’ is relative! But this year I experienced for the first time what it feels like to have a recipe go a bit mad.
First my Thai Red Tofu and Sweet Potato Curry was featured on the Vegetarian Society’s Facebook page in January – when lots of people were doing #veganuary (going vegan in January) and so that recipe went crazy for about a week.
And then my One Pot Harissa Chicken and Butternut Squash Pilaf went a bit mad on Yummly a couple of months ago – not sure exactly why, but it was another fab week for my stats!
Starting to make money with my blog
This was a lovely feature of my last year. I went from making pretty much zero in my first year to making a lovely steady income from blogging over the last year. I know it’s not all about the money, but it does help! As much as anything, earning money from my blog gives me confidence that my blog can be a real business and not just a glorified hobby!!
Landing my first AND second brand ambassador roles
Back in December last year I was delighted to be asked to work as a brand ambassador, or rather a ‘Lambassador’, for the ‘LAMB. Tasty Easy Fun’ Campaign. As part of being a Lambassador I get to share my love of lamb and to bring you lots of delicious and easy lamb recipes, as well as hosting lamb giveaways and featuring other exciting lamb related content on my blog.
Then in January I was also asked to work as a Froothie ambassador…for my first assignment I was given their latest power blender, the Froothie Optimum G2.3, to put to the test – you can read my review here. If you are looking to buy a blender, or trade up to a more powerful machine, I would highly recommend it – and I’m not just saying that because I am working as a Froothie ambassador – I genuinely LOVE my blender 🙂
Figuring out subscriptions
As part of my blog redesign back in January I finally started to get my head around subscriptions for my blog. Until that point I had a very basic plugin that would simply send out my latest blog post as soon as I had published it, but it didn’t look great and was very inflexible.
Now I have something much better – I still only send out a couple of emails a week with my latest recipes, but now I have the option to make my emails look much better and feature photographs. My new system is much more flexible and will allow me to improve on the look of my recipe emails and occasionally send other emails out too – for example if I have some exciting news, or a giveaway that’s just started or about to end.
If you would like to sign up for my emails – just fill in one of the subscription boxes, either in the sidebar or at the bottom of this post or go to my Subscription Page. In return I will send you a couple of delicious and easy recipes each week – signing up for my emails means you will never miss a recipe! And, of course, I promise I will never bombard your inbox with spam or sell your email address, or any other similar nonsense!! 😉
Still enjoying it all!
Probably the most important bit! I am still thoroughly enjoying blogging. I did wonder if, after the excitement of starting a new thing in the first year, my enthusiasm might die down in the second year, but quite the opposite – I am even more in love with blogging! I love how it’s an ever changing thing – there is always a new challenge to overcome, a new opportunity to take hold of and a new milestone to reach. Blogging is many things, but it is certainly not boring!
Last year I celebrated my blogiversary into a mini series of blogging related content – sharing many of the things I had learnt in my first year of blogging and I had fully intended to do the same this year as well…buuut, in the nicest possible way, I am just too busy at the moment…I have various projects on the go and others in the pipeline, and I’m doing quite a bit of behind the scenes work as well, so I’ve taken the decision to not completely try and stress myself out and go mad on the blogiversary content this year…I hope you’ll forgive me!
I will, however be sharing my 10 most popular recipes from my second year of blogging tomorrow and I do hope to produce some more blogging content in the near future – watch this space! (And let me know if there is anything you’d love me to write about)
In the meanwhile I encourage you to go and visit the blogiversary content I produced last year…there’s a lot of good stuff there:
And thank you all once again for supporting me in this wonderful blogging journey – you are all fabulous!!
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