Chapter Eight – The First Year

the first year

I can hardly believe it’s been a whole year since I first went public with my little blog. You guys, I love my blog. It has become such a big part of my life; my identity, even. I have long been a food blog follower, lurking behind the scenes, scoping out recipes and familiarizing myself with the lives of the authors behind the blogs. It was always a little daydream of mine to have my own little corner on the web, to share all of the recipe ideas that constantly flow through my mind and talk about my own experiences in the kitchen, and in life. I’m so glad I took the leap!

Reflecting on the triumphs and challenges this past year…

  • Technology

I have learned SO much the past year. If you’ve started a blog, or really any website, you’ll understand when I say that it isย overWHELMING. You suddenly find yourself using words like “coding”, “javascript”, “plugins”, and “SEO”. SEO!? I was introduced to computers and the internet at a fairly young age, but it was all surface knowledge. I had no idea how much actually goes into the flashy websites that I frequent.

Just when I start to become comfortable with maintaining and operating my website, something gets updated or I click on something unknown, and catastrophe strikes. I then spend the next few hours (or days), combing through forums online trying to decipher the problem, all the while feeling like a bit of an imposter. I truly feel like I’ve sort of guessed and fumbled my way through the set-up and maintenance of this site. I often see things I would love to change or improve, but have no idea how or where to start.

Time, and resources. Two things I’d love to have more of! ๐Ÿ™‚

The other monster that I just can’t ignore is SOCIAL MEDIA. Aaah. I was that person who didn’t even have an active Facebook profile before starting the blog – I’ve never loved social media, but it really seems to be a necessary evil in food blogging. I will say I have grown to love and appreciate Instagram. It’s fun and easy to use, and I can honestly say I’ve created real relationships through it! I have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to Twitter, and even Facebook is still a bit of a giant mystery to me. Plus, who has the time for all of these platforms!?

  • Relationships

Starting the blog, I never expected to make such strong connections with fellow bloggers. I absolutely LOVE reading the comments from my friends, and I love commenting in return on their posts. It’s amazing how you can really start to feel like you know someone just through an online relationship. I so appreciate all of the support and love from this amazing group of people – you know who you are!!

I truly enjoy reading the posts of my food blogging friends; not only do they provide amazing inspiration for my own blog creations, I’ve found myself trying new recipes and getting great ideas for dinner, breakfast and snacks without having to look very far.

  • Balance

When I talk about balance, I’m referring to my own personal struggle with the demands of running the household, caring for my two little boys full time, and managing the blog. Oh, and dealing with pregnancy on top of that! It is NOT easy. I have so much respect for those bloggers that are working, momming, and operating a successful food blog. How!?!

I spend 90% of my evenings working on the blog; writing my own posts, commenting on other bloggers’ posts, making food, editing photos, and brainstorming recipe ideas. Most of my photos are taken at night, without that glorious sunlight! Thank goodness for my tabletop fluorescent light. With the exception of that one fantastic day per week where my in-laws take the boys off my hands, I get zero time during the day to work on the blog, especially since my oldest son has stopped napping. I do spend some time on the weekends preparing food for the blog while Etienne is home – but I’m always so rushed to take photos of the final product, as the food I’ve made is usually also our meal for that day.ย  I just cannot waste food, so we eat EVERYTHING that I make, with some of it gifted away.

I often feel discouraged by my photos or the amount of time I’m afforded to style the food; I feel things could look SO much better and I could take truly wonderful photos if I had more time to practice and try different things (like videos)! I often daydream about the endless time I would have if the kids were all in school, and I could take advantage of that glorious sunlight, and actually take photos of food without someone screaming for Mama or having utter chaos erupt on the other side of the door. I have to do a check-in with myself every now and then to lower my expectations for what I’m able to achieve within my own personal constraints, and to stop comparing myself to others!

One day, I will have more time to really work on this passion of mine!

  • Goals

When I think of what I hope to achieve with the blog, I know that one day I’d love to earn enough money from it that I can justify spending more time and money on it! I don’t expect to ever be a top blogger, nor do I really think I want that – but I do hope for some degree of success! I guess success is how you define it, right?!

I’d love to have a few more pins go viral, or to gain a larger following on some of those social media platforms I was just complaining about. Hopefully the blog can one day be more than just a hobby, but for now it is my favourite way to spend my “me” time, and my mind is never far from it.

With a new babe coming in a few months, I am certain I will have to slow down a bit – but I know I’ll get back into the groove eventually.

A big THANK you to all of you who have read and followed along this past year. I absolutely love when someone tells me they’ve tried a recipe; it is so rewarding.

Here’s to another year of learning, growing and obviously, eating.

โ™ฅ

 

 

 

 

36 Comments

  1. You’ve done so well Katherine with your blog! You should be so very proud. I think you are way better off than me when I started my blog and social media is a beast! I concentrated on FB and Pinterest and nothing with Instagram, because I was so concentrated on those and my photos were horrendous and EVERYTHING about a blog is overwhelming! I love that we found each other and I look forward to every post you do! Yes there are headaches, but you’re on the right track and things will amazingly keep get better because you are following your dream and passion and don’t forget, we’re all here for you my dear! I’m so happy for you!!

    • EVERYTHING about a blog is overwhelming!! You are so right. I didn’t realize everything that was involved with it until I started doing it! I love your insight – thank you so much for the comments, Kim, and the support and encouragement! It seriously means the world to me. You’re a wonderful friend to have in this blogging world!! XO

  2. Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen

    I can relate 100% to everything you said about technology. As soon as I get the hang of something it changes! And OMG I wouldn’t even have a personal FB account if I didn’t need it to be connected to my blog’s page. But girl, I can’t believe you’re discouraged with your photography. Your pics are always beautiful and I’d never know you struggle with it! Have a great weekend and I’m excited to see everything the next year has in store for you and your blog!

    • Oh man, I’m sorry to say it but I still hate Facebook haha! I do not go on as much as I should for the blog, because it just kind of makes me cringe ๐Ÿ™‚ THANK YOU for the compliment, and all of your support and encouragement, Kelsie! You are an inspiration and a dear friend to have!!

  3. siftandsimmer

    Wow, you’ve accomplished a lot in 1 year, Katherine! I totally understand everything you’re saying, especially finding the time to work on the blog when you have a young family to take care of. You’re so lucky you have your in-laws around to help you that one day of the week! Every little bit helps. Your photos are so beautiful too! And I’m the same, I can’t stand to waste any food — all the food on my blog is usually eaten by us. ๐Ÿ˜› Can’t wait to see your growth in the next year! Cheers!

    • I am definitely lucky to have that one day per week to myself! I always look forward to it, and jam-pack it with things to get done!! So glad you can relate to my post, it’s nice to know I’m not alone!! Thank you so much for everything, Michelle!! I look forward to see what else you’ve got in store as well ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I can relate to all of this! Youโ€™re doing a fantastic job! Keep it up!

  5. I can’t believe you’ve only been blogging for a year! Katherine, you’re amazing. I’m so glad you’re here. xo

  6. Congratulations on an amazing year Katherine. So glad we connected! I can totally relate to so much of what you wrote, especially when it comes to social media and striking a balance with the rest of life! But you’ve accomplished so much in just a year, and you should be so proud!! I look forward to reading your posts twice a week. You have such an authentic voice and your recipes are awesome! Can’t wait to see what you have in store for year 2!!

    • I am so glad we’ve found each other, Leanne!! Thank you SO much for all of your kind words, support and encouragement. It truly means the world!! I’m glad you can relate to my post – such a strange beast that we’ve found ourselves in, hey? I hope you have a fantastic weekend! XO

  7. Katherine,you have created such a beautiful blog in just one year, it is amazing. I have also been blogging for just over a year and I really understand the craziness with kids. Haha…they always need something at that vital time when you are ‘ in the zone’ frosting cookies or have that perfect angle on your camera to take a pic and they shout ‘MOM WHERE ARE MY SOCKS?’ ๐Ÿ˜ฉ
    But I am so glad to have connected and become friends with you this past year….thank you for sharing your experience with us.
    Have a wonderful weekend ๐Ÿ˜Š

    • Thank you Ashika!! I think you’re doing amazing as well – I’m so glad you understand what I mean about blogging with kids! I laughed out loud at your “where are my socks” comment haha! Those are the moments you can’t capture on a camera or explain to someone who hasn’t experienced it!! I’m SO happy to have connected with you my dear, and from so far away!! I hope you had a great weekend, and thank you again for all of the support!

  8. It’s strange that everyone thinks, foodblogging is easy! So much of my time goes in making and styling recipes, creating a presence on social media and reading more about blogging! But your photography and blog is at an amazing place for just 1 year!! I struggle to balance this with my work and personal life! I hate technology and dread even a small change that I need to make to the website.. Now that I know you have been blogging for just one year, I am so inspired to put in more effort in what I am doing! Congratulations again and you are doing an amazing job with this blog!

    • It is such a strange hobby/profession to explain to people – and there’s just no way to explain all of the work that goes into everything!! I’m glad you understand my dread of technology – it’s something we need to work with but if you’re not comfortable with it’s so hard!! Thank you SO much for the compliments my friend. I’m so happy we’ve connected!! XO

  9. Happy Blogiversary!! I am so happy to call you my blogging friend! I love your blog and all your recipes and creations. I can’t wait to see what you bring this year! And I too HATED social media before I had my blog. I had a FB page that I hadn’t touched for five years that I had to start again hahaha ๐Ÿ˜‰ XOXO

    • Thank you Kelly!! I am so happy to call you a blogging friend too!! I love looking at what you’ve been up to! Your recipes are always SO yummy!! Haha – I had to resign up to Facebook too when I started the blog – a necessary evil I suppose. I hope you had a great weekend!! XO

  10. You should be SO proud. I don’t think I even knew anything about SEO until 2-3 years into blogging, LOL. And it’s still a challenge! Blogging with two young children is a daunting task and you do it so well. Congratulations!!

    • Thank you so much, Liz!! There are so many things to learn – I feel so lost when it comes to all of that stuff!! It is definitely a challenge blogging with kids! I so appreciate all of your support ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope you had a wonderful weekend!

  11. I think most of us fellow food bloggers can totally realte to everything you said! People who aren’t in this business think blogging is so easy, but if only they knew! ๐Ÿ˜‰ So glad to have “met” you through this crazy virtual world!! Can’t wait to see what you have in store for us this year! Cheers!

  12. This has been my first year blogging ( I haven’t hit a year yet) but you seem like an old pro already

  13. marcie@flavorthemoments

    The struggle is real Katherine! I started my blog much like you with no active social media accounts so the learning curve was huge for me. Having to be present on social media is one of the biggest drawbacks to this job but at least we get to work from home right? That’s amazing that you shoot all of your photos at night — I wouldn’t have known that! I’ve never done it and I swear, planning shoots around sunlight can be so difficult. You’re doing an amazing job and I’m so glad we’ve connected this year — congrats on your first year of blogging!

    • It is SUCH a big learning curve, isn’t it?? I had no idea what I was getting into when I started! Social media is a beast for sure – and there’s unfortunately no way around it ๐Ÿ™‚ I would LOVE to take my photos in perfect sunlight, but you’re right – it’s so difficult to get the timing right. Thank you so, so much for your support and friendship!! I’m glad we’ve connected, Marcie! XO

  14. The Home Cook's Kitchen

    you should be so proud of what you’ve achieved!!! I love your work ๐Ÿ™‚ and can definiteyl resonate with what you’ve been saying, the first year is crazy!!!!! and i still aren’t on top of anything! ha ha can’t wait to watch your blog grow x

  15. Let me begin by saying that you are at an amazing place in just one year!!! From what I have learned is only fellow bloggers can truly relate to the effort that it takes. With the OG bloggers, seasoned bloggers and new ones popping every day, it is so very hard to make an impression. But, I’ve grown to love this community who are so willing to support one another – a blessing indeed. From what you’ve accomplished in just 12 months, I see a very bright future my friend. Wishing the best that the blogosphere has to offer!!

  16. What an awesome year you’ve had, Katherine!! Blogging is definitely a whirlwind! I wrote a post a while back (15 things I’ve Learned as a Food Blogger) that you may find funny. Social media is definitely time consuming and a struggle at times. Like you , I didn’t even have FB until the blog and that wasn’t even right away….so it definitely pushed me waaaaaay out of my comfort zone. I find it difficult balancing a full time job and the blog. Most of my evenings and practically all of my weekends are taken up with the blog. I remember before I got really serious with it, that I used to casually go out on Saturdays for coffee and what not and that definitely doesn’t happen very often these days. Buuuuut, I do love blogging, especially making connections and real friendships with other bloggers, yourself included ๐Ÿ™‚ I think your photos are absolutely beautiful and your recipes are so good! Can’t wait to see what year 2 brings you. All the very best! XO

    • Dawn! I just read your blogging post the other day, it was so awesome!!! You are hilarious. It sounds like we have a lot of the same struggles, which is reassuring! I’m also kind of glad to hear I’m not the only one spending evenings and weekends blogging!! Sometimes it would be nice to just be “normal” and have those casual Saturday coffees hey!? But you’re right – it has become such a big part of my life that I can’t imagine stopping now. Thank you so, so much for the love and support you always provide!! I’m glad I found you!! ๐Ÿ™‚ XO

  17. Congratulations on the success of your blog over the past year, Katherine! You have created a beautiful little space to express yourself and I’m so glad that I’ve discovered it. With a young growing family, I am impressed that you can find the time and energy to create content, maintain a blog and social media sites. Blogging is not easy and so time consuming, with ups and downs. But we do it because we enjoy the process, as frustrating as it can get at times. Keep up the great work!!

    • Thank you so much Thao!! Blogging is not easy, you have that right for sure! I can’t lie and say it’s been easy managing it all, but it’s true, we do it because we enjoy it! I’m so glad to have “met” you as well, and I always look forward to your own posts! I appreciate all of your support! XO

  18. Wow! Only 1 year in and a busy Mum to boot and look how much youโ€™ve accomplished. Your site looks great and photos are great. Iโ€™m 2 years in and have not managed to customise anything on my site. Iโ€™ve also only just started to appreciate my photography style

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