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You hear it more and more often: blogging is dead or Almost dead. It’s the thing your grandparents started but kids these days are on snapchat, periscope or one of those other new channels.
If they are looking for a review on a machine or book (if they would still read a book, because wasn’t printed media dead too??) they check YouTube and not Google. Blogging is the dinosaur way of getting your message across.
300 words? Or more?
But is it? The average attention span of people is short so the “rules” are that you should write no more than 300 words in a post and that post should have a few good quality images too to break up the lines of text. But on the other hand you hear people telling you that some of the most ‘viral’ posts are 2000+ words and no images at all. In other words: it’s a damn confusing business and for someone starting out with a brand new blog it might be frustrating too. Here you are with a spanking new blog and no one is reading it. Even worse: people tell you it is doomed and you should go to Instagram or better snapchat.
For years I have been using the Editorial Calendar plugin for scheduling my posts and to get some kind of structure into the planning of whatever I was gonna share. However, since I moved to WPML, the plugin didn’t perform so well anymore. In theory I should have been able to switch between English and Dutch, showing one of the language per screen, but in reality it got stuck a lot of the time. That meant that I saw one language but not the other. So – other than going into each post separately – I had no way of knowing what I had done and what still needed doing.
So when I saw a mention somewhere on facebook from someone who was wildly enthusiastic about CoSchedule I wanted to give a try straight away. Anything to make my life easier really! You can try it out for free for 14 days or even longer if you’re still unsure if it is for you. After the trial period it is not a free program but will set you back 10 dollar each month (per blog). On first glance I thought it was quite a hefty price but in the meantime I have become so attached to CoSchedule that I can’t really work without. It’s making my life so much easier and more organized!
First of all because I can see both of my languages in the one calendar. So I never have to guess wether or not I did translate something or not.
You see…. And I do know this about myself… I am a little crazy sometimes.. And I also think that I can pack 48 hours into any given day. And to be honest I initially had planned to keep this quiet. “This” being a travel blog I started.. 😉
I was just missing the travel bit here mostly. Because yes, my blog is about food, travel and photography but everything is really centered around food. And if you’re coming here, which is obviously a foodblog, you might be less interested in travel stories. Or so I assume (and based on the traffic in the travel part as well)
I normally don’t really do a lot of blogtour things or blog hop or whatever they’re called. Not that I don’t like them but I wouldn’t really know where to find the time to be honest. So when Yo asked me if I wanted to be the next in line I hesitated for just a brief moment. But then I realized it was more about the writing part than anything else. A part I sometimes feel is under appreciated by myself and in need of some revamping if you like. So I said yes…
So first of all; the woman who did this to me is Yo. Yo has a profound love for anything Umbria and that is what she writes about on her blog Umbria in English.
I’ve not met Yo in real life yet, although I can see us at some point in the future on a sunny terrace in her beloved Umbria sipping a good glass of wine and talking about the finer things in life… 😉 We keep in touch mostly through facebook I think and if you don’t know her blog, go on and check it out. You’ll find some good tips on Umbria there.
Jeezzzz… I can make it so hard on myself sometimes… And well also for the rest of humanity (well, ok let’s not exaggerate..the few people that are following me) Because; what is my name on Twitter again? Is that @simoneskitchen or @junglefrog or was it @wickdkitchntale or was there even another name somewhere out there? Yes, there was but that one is eliminated so let’s not go there! Otherwise it would get really confusing! O and let’s not even talk about all the old blogs that are now past tense… Because the final goal is to have just two blogs; one Dutch and one English. Period.
Did you ever notice how many blogs are out there with one purpose in life and that is to blog about blogging? I can hear you think… really? Yes, really. In my search for eternal wisdom I discovered that there are so many people who want to ride along on the blogging hype that it becomes a weird kind of circle. They want to be a successful blogger, so they give other people advice on how to blog, how to work with seo (search engine optimization) and how to generate more traffic (type in the search term ‘how to generate more traffic on your blog” and you’ll get close to 845.000.000 hits. I didn’t even know that was possible…..)
In just a few months time my blog will be celebrating it’s 5th birthday! Over the next few months you might find a few retrospective posts popping up and me getting a little bit nostalgic now and then… You’ve been warned! O and this is a fairly long post too.. 😉
I’ve been blogging now for a little under 5 years. I didn’t start right at the beginning of the world of blogging but still, I’ve been around for a while. While there is a big difference in blogging between the US and Europe, it seems that the blogging bug has now fully hit the Netherlands as well. I am part of a Dutch foodblogger group on Facebook and the amount of food blogs that keep popping up is amazing really.
When I started 5 years ago I was one of the few here that had a blog and as of today there are only a few Dutch bloggers that blog in English. (I like my world to be a little bigger then our tiny country, even though there is something to be said for blogging in your mother language for sure)
And over the course of the last couple of weeks I’ve come to wonder why people start a foodblog? Why is it all of a sudden a big thing? Why do new blogs pop up on a daily basis? What is the reason it has gone from slightly weird to popular in the space of maybe a year or so?
As most food bloggers will be able to tell you; the need for props can become an obsessive thing… I know I suffer from it in a major way (ask Tom, he will immediately confirm this fact to you!) so I am always on the lookout for cheap finds. Thought I’d share some tips with you on where to find good props that cost next to nothing.
- Second hand stores (do you call them thrift stores?); you can find real treasures there for virtually nothing. Cutlery, glasses, lone plates
- Markets; for fabrics there is no better source then a market. Since you only need about a meter or so of most fabrics your dollars will go a long way there if you look for bargains.
- Fleamarkets; if you can see past all the junk, you will definitely be able to find a good deal there
- My stylist has this trick of ordering a sample of – for instance – bathroom tiles. If you need small surfaces that can work really well.
- DIY stores; you can buy cheap cuts of wood there and paint them yourself in whatever color you want and in whatever style you want to. Doesn’t cost a thing…
- Supermarkets; our supermarket has regular offers for cute bowls and plates. See the stack of bowls in front (bottom left picture)? Those bowls where only 2 euro each. Not bad for bowls that pretty!
- Grandparents/parents; you’d be surprised at the treasures that can be found close to home. Have a snoop around the kitchen of your grandparents and if you see something funky, ancient or fabulous ask if they still use it. if so you can borrow; if not you can take… 🙂 (obviously if allowed!)
- Garbage; ok this is maybe a weird one but over here people call the garbage guys for larger pieces of furniture and such (tables, chair etc.) That is then picked up on a particular day in the week at which point all the ‘junk’ is put outside by the sidewalk. If you look around you can find amazing wooden surfaces there for free. A friend of mine found the best table ever, between the junk… Absolutely free. Just don’t be embarrassed when people look at you funny
Let me know if you have another fantastic way to get your props for as little as possible. I buy expensive ones too but I cannot afford to do that all the time!
When I was invited by Jenn from Jenn Cuisine to take part in the 7 links project I said yes without thinking long and hard about it. I’ve been blogging now for three years (wow, has it really been that long??) and blogging in itself has brought me so many things. New friends and a whole community of wonderful people I would never have known if not for blogging, it taught me that food photography is really the thing I like most, it has improved massively on my web ‘designing skills (I know, being on wordpress is not really designing but at least now I understand a little bit about html and css codes… But I think above all, it helped me discover my true passion for food. I loved food before blogging, it’s not that I started blogging and all of a sudden realized ‘o, wait… cooking can actually be fun..’ No it wasn’t like that but it would not have learned the things I know today if not for blogging and reading all those foodie blogs out there.
The other day I was having dinner with two of my best friends and on the menu was an item called ‘Livar’. My friend looked at me slightly puzzled and asked if I knew what Livar was. Without any hesitation I could tell her that the name stands for Limburgs Varken (pig from Limburg) and shortened to Livar. I could have told her that the pig is a cloister pig and more such information that she didn’t want to know… So I kept it at the fact that it is really tasty pork meat… And she was utterly impressed that I even knew what it was. It’s just those little things that make you realize how much you’ve learned in those 3 years (and how much I still have to learn too!)
So looking back on my 3 year blogging history it’s quite fun to think of my best posts but difficult too! So many to choose from! 379 posts to be exact but I’ll give it a go! Here they are..
My most beautiful post
That was a difficult choice. Not that all my posts are utterly beautiful (I wish!) but because there are a lot of posts I have fond memories about for one reason or the other. The one I ended up picking was the one that got stuck in the back of my mind and it’s the post on lavender macarons that I made for Mac attack.
As anyone who has ever made macarons can tell you… it’s not so easy!! So when this batch came out I was over the moon thrilled that they looked so pretty. Do you notice those gorgeous little feet?