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On being 1: How to become a blogger

by on June 17, 2010
 

Kitchen Butterfly is 1! One! I (roman numeral).

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Actually, a bit older than one is she. He. It.

From concept to ‘live’ took a good nine months – time enough to birth a child. Or two. Or three.

Why did it take me from October 2008 to June 2009 to start this blog? Well, I’m a ladder learner – a word I invented. I love to take steps when I discover or embark on something new and so I took my time.

I turned to blogging, in shock after a good friend and my husband began blogs. Within minutes of them mentioning their blogs, my brain cells went ‘berserk’ – this was the shortcut I needed to publishing my cookbook! While I haven’t had any offers yet from book publishers, I am hopeful….hear me publishers, I remain hopeful that someday soon, my dream will be accomplished.

I haven’t looked back since: 12 months later, most of that time glued to my computer screen, I write to say thanks, to men, women, boys, girls, friends who have been there.

I said to a colleague today, ‘My blog is one’. Know what he said in response? ‘Does anyone read it, apart from your family and friends’, to which I replied with a fair amount of indignation (for dear readers, you do read me, don’t you?), ‘Yes, people outside my inner caucus read my blog!

I need to say a special thank you to the following people (minus husband and kids) who were instrumental to this blog:

One man

One man made a HUGE difference to me and this blog – his name is Yaro Starak. I found him, I can’t remember how but I am glad for it.

I read a report he wrote – Blog Profits Blueprint (please read it if you can) and I learnt two key things:

  1. Content is king
  2. How to market your blog, using peer relationships!

To set up my blog, I followed his Become a blogger guide and have since shared it with many people. Thank you Yaro!!!!!!!

Two women

My first comment ever was left by my friend, Sheila on my Greek salad post. I was excited to see it one morning when I woke up. 12 months later, the feeling of joy when I receive comments on my blog hasn’t ceased. She also taught me to make Banana bread – that is her hand you see. Thank you Sheila.

The doness test

The second woman is Jaden of Steamy Kitchen. Boy, do I admire her….and respect her immensely. She gave me the first inkling that bloggers extraordinaire were human! One of the first recipes I ever made was her Gucci steaks, I call them Steak Bling Bling, using a method of super salting the steaks to season them. Well, it ended on a good note for me, a non-steak cooker and I emailed her to say thanks and introduce my blog. She responded, within minutes and left a comment on the post. Thrilled , humbled and enthralled, she has remained one of my food heroes!

Thank you Jaden.

Sel Herbes de Provence and steak

Many readers

Thanks to you, I’ve learnt what evoo (extra virgin olive oil) is. Even if it was only a few months ago!

I have felt honoured, loved, respected and treasured.

I have cooked, baked, thought, schemed, planned and loved with all my heart.

I’ve gone to bed dreaming of mozzarella and woken up to make a pizza.

I have sought the whole of my piece of Europe for ramps – and have come up empty.

I have hated my thickening waistline but loved how I’ve grown (I’m embarking on a lifestyle change next week, pity my camera is away so no photos yet but I’ll share some recipes: goal is to shed bulk, regain health, continue blogging and eat better!)

I have despised myself for wanting comments upon comments and have been surprised how funny life is.

I expected my sushi post to have tens of comments….it didn’t, even though I visited blogs a lot and commented.

Ginger and wasabi garnishThen in April, life was busy and I made Banoffee pies, which garnered 60 odd comments – I hadn’t had time enough to blog hop and connect with people but still…

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I have had a fantastic year but I have also realised that blogging is an all-consuming fire and I might get burnt and burnt out if I don’t manage it.

To this end, I no longer read 100 blogs a night, but take my time in the week to visit blogs, to really read the recipes, to get to know the bloggers behind the blogs. Often I read posts and don’t comment, not because I don’t want to, but because I don’t need to. Because I don’t want to trap myself into thinking of reciprocal commenting. That’s my way of slowing down and getting to the heart of the matter. Thank you for understanding.

Accomplishments

I could reel off a whole load of things that have come into being – from finding myself to having my recipes as Editors picks on food52. But I will stop here.

Thankful. Grateful. Excited. Looking forward to another 12 months – but not addicted as I’ve been this last year. I need to strike a healthy balance in what I cook, how I eat and when I blog about it.

Thank you dear friends, readers, bloggers for being there and here for me. Lots and lots and lots of love. I have so much to say and have forgotten most of it.

*Mwah*.

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