Edible Ink is officially one year old!
This post is a celebration of Edible Ink’s first year in the blogosphere, an intent for the year to come and general notes on what I’ve learned about blogging over the past year. Including…
And most of all, I have some special surprises in store for you, too! As a thank you to the readers of Edible Ink, I created a Free Resources page, with two immediately available and ready to download. Read on to find out more.
Why start a blog?
As a food enthusiast, I’d often post photos of my home-cooked meals and restaurant adventures on social media. In particular, my posts about meal prep seemed to pique interest. People were interested in how I meal prepped and what I was cooking.
But of course, there’s more. I didn’t just want to create a blog chock full of recipes. While they are my go-to when I’m searching for something new, strictly developing recipes was not exactly what I aimed to do.
I’m a writer first and foremost and that’s exactly what I wanted to keep at the forefront of Edible Ink’s mission.
I sought a broad range, including reviews of local restaurants and general creative musings on the topic of food.
Food is an inevitable joy of life. We all eat it, we all (at some point or another) make it. Sometimes we enjoy it, sometimes it leaves us wanting. Sometimes we have a great relationship with it, and other times, we struggle.
The point is, food — making it, eating it, sharing it with others — is a universal human experience.
I found it an incredible canvas on which to begin writing a blog.
Here’s the thing. Blogging takes time. It’s not easy. And in a competitive world, sometimes you get sucked in to what other people are doing seeing what works for them and thinking, “Hey, I should do that too.”
Intention in art is everything. Focusing on that intention, and ensuring each step taken aligns with that intention is not easy.
And so there’s a necessary and natural shift happening here at Edible Ink. The recipes aren’t going away, they’ll just be less frequent. But the shift, primarily, is more about honing down exactly what Edible Ink is meant to be.
First and foremost, it should be an entertaining, informative experience for you, the reader.
I aim to entertain, to provoke thought, emotion and appreciation for what’s going on with food around us. That’s why you come to Edible Ink. To read about food in a way you haven’t before, to learn something new and to be entertained.
How can I improve my blog?
Here are top three areas for improving and building Edible Ink in the next year. These three items can be applied to any website or blog.
1. Learn Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Ah, yes SEO. It’s an inescapable technical, unglamorous aspect of having a website of any kind. This year, with an influx of free time, I signed up for an SEO Specialization Certification course through Coursera.
If you’re interested, yes I believe it’s been worth the time and effort! As a result of what I’ve learned, I’ll be going back through the blog and updating posts, including adding recipe PDFs and more value-driven content. Additionally, the content I create moving forward will be crafted with optimization in mind.
2. Engage on social media.
Personally, I go through push-and-pull struggles with social media. Most of the time, its a valuable tool to share and connect with others. Other times, it’s a black hole of false information and negativity.
But hey, we’re all about finding the bright side here right? That’s why I’ve decided to invest in it as the former — a tool to connect with others, to provide them with valuable content through my blog, and as a means to share content with them directly.
Additionally, I’ve finally broken down and invested in a social media post scheduler. This helps keep me organized and engaged with social media, without having to spend hours crafting posts every. single. day. More on that to come later.
3. Plan all of the content.
This is KEY. This year, I went through a three-month period where I didn’t post anything. It had to do with current events, yes, but I also felt I didn’t have time to properly craft a post. So I went for an organization and planning method. You can download my post planning spreadsheet template here, on the Free Resources page. This is what I use to organize my posts, and plan ahead.
Is writing a blog worth it?
It takes time and dedication, but in the end, its worth it.
Like all things, you can experience burnout. When that happens, I’ve learned, it’s a sign to shake things up, take a good look at what I’m doing, the mission behind the blog, it’s content and where find room for improvement.
Striving to be better is an incredible source of motivation. When I feel stagnant or uninspired in my blog, I’ll take a good look at where I can improve, or take a peek at my ongoing idea list and see where I can create something new and exciting.
I’ve learned so much about crafting content with a purpose, that serves the reader first. As with anything, it’s an ongoing process. Your feedback is extremely valuable!
Most importantly, the blog has provided me an opportunity to connect to my community through writing. Sharing the blog on social media helps to create new community around what I write.
My main goal with the blog is to use writing to spread joy, knowledge and insight through the love of food. In doing so, I hope to uplift local businesses and create a community around Edible Ink.
Here’s to another year in the blogosphere!
Thanks for your ongoing support.