Today marks the two-year anniversary of starting my blog! What an adventure it has been so far. My first blog was all about one of my oldest and cherished cookbooks, my grandmother’s copy of “The Boston Cooking School Cook Book” from Fanny Merritt Farmer, and since then, I have written over 800 blogs. I remember wondering who in the world would read my blog except family and friends. I can happily report that I have made new friends all over the world from my little blog that was born from my love of cookbooks.
Here is a Top Ten List of some of the things I have learned from writing my blog:
1) It’s worth it to me just to know it is the first thing my mom reads when she wakes up. She always looks forward to it, and since she lives so far away, we have an instant connection every morning. If no one read it but my mom, I would still write it just for her.
2) People all over the world, and all walks of life love cookbooks. I hear from so many people about their favorite cookbooks, recipes, and food traditions, and how food and cooking are such an important part of life. In every country, family and friends gathering around the table is one of life’s greatest pleasures.
3) If I didn’t have my computer savvy daughters to get me started, I might not have started the blog at all – but I am learning! It was months before I clicked on the “stats” on my blog site. I thought it was something technical, so I never bothered. I was thrilled when I realized on these stats, I could find out all the countries where people read my blog, which posts were most popular, and I could see these results for what is happening right now, during one day, one week, one month, and one year! I get thousands and thousands of people reading every week and that just stuns me. My biggest following is the USA, of course, but I have hundreds of daily readers in Canada, England, France, Germany, Australia, Scandinavia, and many more. Sometimes a single one will pop up from some country I have to go look up because I don’t even know where it is located! This is what makes a blog such fun. But I don’t have the answer to this question – how do so many people find me? It still amazes me.
4) People love photos of pretty food. I bought a new camera recently and am still playing around with it, but whenever I post a photo, my readership jumps up immediately. I am starting a Pinterest site, and even though I don’t have much up yet, I get new people adding me daily. I need to work on that! The first photos I took, I got lucky and they were selected by sites such as Tastespotting and Food Gawker.
5) I am still learning how to schedule my time for blog writing. In a perfect world, I would always be one month ahead of myself. Ha! Like that ever works. Most of the time I might be one day ahead, but I usually just write one blog a day, just as a newspaper reporter writes a column a day. I never take weekends off, and I used to even write cookbook reviews seven days a week – until I realized that was too much work, so now weekends are just for recipes. That was a good choice.
6) A blog is like a job – a fun job, but still a job with a lot of work and effort put into it. I get asked all the time why I don’t have advertisers. The answer is that I don’t really care. I am not a blogger who blogs to make money; I write it for the pure joy of talking about cookbooks. Pure and simple. If any perks come along, and they most definitely have, to me that’s just icing on the cake.
7) I have learned that even though millions of recipes can be downloaded, there is still nothing like holding a cookbook in your hands. And thank goodness, millions of other people around the world agree – or I wouldn’t be writing this at all!
8) A blog is like a diary of sorts, and you can say anything you want. There is no one breathing down your neck or telling you what to do. Blogging is good for the spirit and can even be a good release of emotions at times.
9) Blogging is a great way to keep in touch with family and long lost friends. Besides my mom, my daughters and husband love reading my blogs, too, and I have reconnected with old high school and college friends. My girls live on opposite coasts, and I think they feel more connected to home just by reading the blogs – plus I love posting old childhood photos of them, then they call and say – I forgot about that picture!
Some day, I will have great-grandchildren who will hopefully enjoy reading about their long-gone great-grandma and her obsession with cookbooks!
10) Blogging enriches my life because there is the potential of making new friends and learning new things about our world. I am convinced if more people sat down to meals together, many problems could be worked out. We all have more in common than we think we have. Food speaks to the heart.