Instead of sharing a new recipe or cooking tips today, I wanted to answer some questions I’ve gotten from readers recently. I’m a lot more comfortable writing about food, but since a few people have asked, I figure there may be more who are interested in these questions.
How do I get started with blogging?
If you want to start a blog, the best way to is to just start! Don’t make it complicated. Just dive in and have fun. Give yourself time to play with it and discover what you like to write about.
My story is similar to many others. I had a small poetry and writing blog that I started in 2006. Then I discovered food blogs, and decided I’d like to try to build a site that would grow. I started on Blogger in October 2008. I still remember discovering that I had a follower (a friend of mine). Back then, I didn’t even know you could follow blogs!
It took me a while to figure out what I was doing. The first 6 months for me was all experimentation with little to no direction. I don’t have any regrets about spending that much time learning my way around. Have fun with the process and enjoy the ride.
How did you grow your blog?
I’m always trying to soak up any info on growing my blog.
My number one answer to that question is solve a problem. If you can find a way to help your readers in some way, your blog is likely to grow.
My second answer is to keep learning. I’ve gone through spurts over the years where I’ve read everything that Problogger and Copyblogger published. I still read both of those sites, as well as Savvy Blogging, Blogging with Amy and more. I’ve taken a photography class and read many books on writing, photography, business and more. Learning new things is not only a way to grow a blog, it’s what makes the adventure fun.
I feel like my site has grown steadily, but not necessarily quickly. My blog (and myself too) is a lot more like a slow cooker than a microwave.
Is your blog successful?
No one asked me that question, but I wanted to answer it.
Eat at Home has been a success since the day it launched. Here’s why:
- I started it. I didn’t continue wondering if I should/could.
- I overcame my fear and posted the best recipes, writing and photos I could. Not the best on the web. The best that I could do.
- My best has improved – another success.
- I’ve climbed the big learning curve of computer tech stuff. I’ve learned to hyperlink, basic html, how to use social media, what SEO is, how to change hosts and more. Tech stuff doesn’t terrify me anymore. I don’t like it, but I’m not afraid either.
- I’m becoming a better writer.
- My photography is improving, not just of food, but people too.
- I’ve made many friends, both readers and other bloggers. The people are the best part of it all.
- And yes, my blog now earns an income. This has been a huge blessing to my family and I’m very thankful for it.
My blog is a success because it creates an “atmosphere of growth” that boosts my happiness. I bet most other bloggers would say the same thing about their sites.
“What is your favorite thing about Eat at Home?”
See all of the above. I love to learn!
The flip side of this question, my least favorite thing is having to put my own photo out there on the web. I cringe every time I see my picture. Isn’t that awful? I’m trying to get over it, but so far it’s not working.
“What’s the hardest task to keep up with?”
Blogging related – the hardest thing to keep up with is creating enough new recipes. Especially when life gets busy, it’s hard to find time to come up with something new. However, those times of standing at the pantry and having to pull dinner together in just a few minutes have also produced some of our favorite recipes.
Not blogging related – laundry. Good gravy! 6 people can create a mountain of laundry in a week.
“What inspired you to include contributing writers?”
I like to try new things, and it seems like a new adventure to add writers to the site. I’m also hoping to ease up my work schedule just a bit. With homeschooling, family life, the blog… I’m hoping that having a few contributing writers grants me a little breathing room.
Do you make a living blogging?
No. But I do make a part-time income doing something I enjoy that rarely requires me to leave the house. Not that I don’t like to leave the house, it just means I don’t have to worry about childcare in order to work.
For 20 years, I’ve defined myself as a stay-at-home mom. I still define myself that way. Or sometimes as a homeschool mom. But I have to say, it’s fun to be able to do something a bit different than “mom” work every day. And it’s a great feeling to be able to contribute to the household income too. The internet has made new things possible that I couldn’t have dreamed of 20 years ago when I had my first babe.
Does blogging take over your life?
No. Because I’m earning an income, I do have responsibilities that have to be taken care of on a regular basis. That means I have to factor time for work into my schedule. Or more accurately, squeeze the work into all the activities that go on in a day. I’m not sure how many hours a week I spend on blog related tasks. It’s a lot more now than when I first started. Since I find most of it to be fun, it doesn’t really feel like work. Best job in the world!
But blogging hasn’t taken over my life, in the sense that it causes me to miss out on time with my family. I’m very grateful for that.
That is probably the longest post I’ve ever written and more than you ever wanted to read on the topic. I’d love to hear what you think. Do you have a blog or are you thinking of starting one? How do you grow it? What’s your favorite part of blogging? Leave a comment and let me know!