p.s. There is a Cranberry Sauce recipe at the bottom of this post
I started this blog, as I wanted to share my love for cooking great tasting, fresh, simple, healthy food. What I didn’t realise was that the whole process and almost ritual of blogging was something I’d want to continually strive to be better at. Self improvement for me is addictive.
I started this blog in 2011, but 2012 has been a far steeper learning curve. As well as learning a lot more about cooking and nutrition this year I have learnt how to be a better food blogger (I hope!) Since the end of the year seems to be all about reflection and list making here’s one from me for you.
10 tips to better food blogging
1. Interact with other bloggers: In September I attended Food Blogger Connect. Europe’s leading food blogging conference. Not only did I learn heaps about blogging technique I met dozens of other bloggers. A place we could all be nerdy about blogging, and share our passions and inspirations. In a world of social media nothing quite beats having real conversations with real people. I’m now part of the volunteer team and looking forward to FBC5 in July 2013.
2. Read other blogs: I’ve been reading paleo and healthy blogs for yonks, but must admit I have spend less time reading other blogs. I’m now loving reading other blogs, which inspire me to be better. There are some fantastic photographers and writers out there, yet we are all different. I love how much room there is in the blogosphere for all of us. I can also recommend some new software – Nuffnangx which helps you keep up to date with all your blog feeds on your mobile device. Go explore!
3. Buy a decent camera: Hardly an obvious one, but my blackberry just wasn’t cutting it was it? I spent a bit of money on a hybrid camera. A panasonic DMC-LX5, which still allows me to use the automatic button and get a shot I am relatively pleased with (I just don’t do cameras). I’m looking forward to the Summer months when natural light makes taking photos v easy. Maybe in 2013 I will take a photography course…
4. Have fun with a photo editor. I must admit, ever since I discovered Pic Monkey a few months ago, I’ve been a bit addicted to making photo montages (see above). Such fun and will liven up any blog post. Plus it is super easy to use (I could never quite get the hang of the photo software on my computer)
5. Go on a food journalism course. Since I was (and still am) really enjoying the writing aspect of keeping a blog I signed up for a 1-day course at City Lit (London) this summer. I would highly recommend for both content and value for the money. Learnt loads from course leader journalist Nikki Spencer about food writing in general which isn’t just confined to blogging.
6. Keep it simple. When it comes to layout and design of the blog a white background with colourful photos and simple approach to items in the sidebar etc can go a long way to keeping the content the interesting part of the blog. My pink girly theme has been officially kicked to the kerb, and a simple layout brought it.
7. Visit a tile shop. Recently I went to a tile shop and bought home two slabs of stone and slate. It’s helped to get variety in my photos, and prevent me from ever again having to use the disgusting worktop that is currently in my kitchen (dealing with that is project 2013).
8. Get a better phone. Something I will do next year, but at least I’ve acknowledged I need to get out of my current contract and get a phone that can handle reading blogs on the go (have you ever tried reading a blog on a blackberry??), social media & instagram!
9. Use Social Media. I didn’t really use twitter much before this year, and now have over 700 followers (who are you all???). Plus I stopped being shy with promoting things across my facebook page. I was paranoid (one of my faults) that people/friends didn’t want to read what I was posting, or that I was posting too much (something oddly you don’t worry about with twitter). If people don’t want to read what I write they don’t have to and that’s OK.
10. Be yourself. At all times. Probably the best thing I’ve learnt. Stop comparing yourself to others, remember why you started the blog in the first place, stick to your morals and write what you know.
So I will leave you with a Happy Christmas, wish you a happy and healthy 2013. And just because this is a heathy food blog – here is a my personal healthier take on a Cranberry Sauce recipe which I’ve just knocked up for Christmas day.
Ingredients (makes 1 x 300mls jar)
- 300g fresh cranberries
- 35g raisins
- 150mls apple juice
- 1/2 tsp orange essence
- 4 tablespoons of coconut palm sugar
- Place all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer until the cranberries have popped and gone mushy. The apple juice should evaporate off and leave you with a gooey thick jam-like consistency.
- Transfer ingredients to a jar (sterilized if possible), and leave to cool before serving. Will keep a few days in the fridge in an airtight container.