One year on: The triumphs and failures of a food blogger

blog birthday

It’s been a year since I started this blog, and golly it’s gone quicker than Jimmy saville’s reputation. In a fleeting 12 months I have gone from a blogging nobody to a….well a blogging nobody, was I expecting anything more in my first year? Of course not and the reason is simple, I have common sense. Every year around Jan/feb there is a huge influx of food bloggers that throw themselves at the keyboard, bashing away with boundless enthusiasm convinced that they are going to get a book deal in a week, attain monolithic status in the blogging world and makes hundreds of millions of pounds and never have to work again. The truth is blogging is far FAR away from that, it takes determination and hard work for no financial reward for a number of years no matter what you write about. It’s hard work, something I think so many new bloggers fail to understand.

I am not new to blogging and maybe that’s where my common sense has come from, I’ve written a few blogs in the past, one of which I sold because I just didn’t love what I was doing and the others, well let’s just say they were a vision derived from pound symbol eyes and I quickly realised that this was not for me, sure I would love to make a living from blogging but I know that as with anything in life it takes hard work. I can’t lie and say I don’t want to succeed because I do, doing something you love for a living is everyone’s dream right? But the last thing I want to do right now (as I see so often these days) is slap tons of adverts all over the place in a vain attempt to scrape a few pennies together. It just isn’t worth it and I would much rather put the time and energy into giving you the best writing I can.

So what have I learned over the past year? Well I think the biggest learning for me is how much work is involved running a food blog, it’s even more work than the previous blogs for a number of reasons. When I present a recipe to you guys I make it look like a simple affair. I write down the ingredients, I list the method of cooking and I place some good or not so good pictures for you to gorp at. The end result is a lovingly presented post for you to read and comment on, a post for you to disagree with, slate, pick up grammatical errors, smile at, love or hate, enjoy or reel in disgust, share with friends and family and god knows maybe give one of the recipes a go!

Running a food blog is not easy I can tell you that for a fact. I have a full time job that as well as paying my bills it also funds the blog, it pays for the hosting and all the ingredients I buy for the recipes. If you read the blog regularly you will notice I tend to write recipes mostly on Wednesdays and Sundays and that’s because these are on – most weeks my days off, so this allows me the time to develop, make a recipe, photograph and write up a post.

I wake up pretty early on a blogging day to give me enough time to go out and buy any ingredients I might need and to plan out the recipe. I have so many recipes that haven’t made it to the blog yet simply because they are still being worked on and just simply won’t do for the site yet. (the potted crab recipe I created was awful). After making the recipe I will then set about photographing it. This can be a tricky affair for me as I haven’t yet mastered my camera, and even after a year the functions of a cannon eos 1000d still confuses me, but I’m getting better over time. After photographing the food I then have to sift through all the pictures to find the right one for the post. I then crop and re size the pictures before writing up the post. It’s a long day and a day off is rarely a day off. Even on the days I’m working I get home and start working on promotion, making notes on future recipes, engaging with people on social networks, tweaking the design of the blog, replying to the few emails I get and working on my book.

I have had some successes and failures over this past year, the biggest success if you like was being invited to speak on BBC radio 5 on the horse meat scandal, I was a complete wreck and at first was reluctant to do it, but I did and I was happy that I did. I have also met some amazing people offline and online. Some blogs you might want to have a look at and follow on twitter are below. Failures have been a big part of the blog, not only recipes not turning out how they should but also the negativity and doubtfulness of others can have a huge impact on your self esteem. I have had periods of complete blogging meltdown. I’ve thought about jacking the whole lot in on a number of occasions because of something someone has said or emailed.

So you see there is a lot for me to think about and I ask not a single penny from you. I give my work freely to you because I enjoy doing it and you know what? For all the work I put in, the best reward is when you guys like what I do, no amount of money in the world could compete with the satisfaction of knowing someone has tried and liked one of your recipes. The minute someone makes something of mine I feel an instant connection with them, I feel proud that the food that makes me happy has made someone else happy too.

Well I shall conclude this post by saying thank you, thank you for reading my posts and thank you for supporting me. I will carry on giving you the best I possibly can for as many years as I can. Blogging isn’t easy, but you make it easier :)

Thanks for reading

Some blogs to follow:

Eatlikeagirl – She is a wonderful woman, and has been blogging for 6 years

Foodurchin – A funny witty food blogger, full of sarcasm and good recipes

Northernsnippet – This woman is hilarious, a landlady of a pub she vents on her blog with funny consequences

Elliebakes – Ellie is fairly new to blogging like me, she is sincere and a lovely young lady that makes some amazing cakes!

Tinnedtoms – Jac Is great, wonderful blogger and some great recipes for mum’s

Gingeybites  -A ginger midlands food blogger, witty and humourous with a positve approach to food

Essexeating – Dan is a great bloke, loves his food and isn’t afraid to shout about it.

People on that there twitter:

Nigel slater – Has been an inspiration to me, and loves talking on twitter

Mat follas – 2009 Masterchef winner, mat is so friendly and loves some banter

Amanda lamb – She was the original scottish widow, now a foodie/presenter. Gorgeous woman and very chatty

Eatlikeagirl – Niamh is always on twitter, a London foodie and crispaholic

Gregg wallace – Well know masterchef judge, a great bloke and has lot’s of time for people.

Elliebee – Writer of Ellie bakes, a great girl with lots to say on twitter.

Theribman – Famous in london for his amazing ribs, A great bloke and he sells hot sauce…which is stupidly hot as well as delicious by the way


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8 Responses to One year on: The triumphs and failures of a food blogger

  1. KB 09/10/2013 at 16:16 #

    I’ve stumbled on your blog looking for inspiration to my own food blog started about a month ago and I have to say within a few lines of reading your work you’ve instantly captivated my attention. I like your honesty and style of your writing which I can immediately picture you in the kitchen, standing there and listening to you. Love your sense of humor too, I do hope you’ll make a video somedays and post it. All the best and I congratulate you on your success of such a good blog.

    • Adam Garratt 09/10/2013 at 17:44 #

      KB, thank you very much for your kind words, it’s comments and praise like this that make it all worth while. I hope you carry on with your blog and not give up, there’s tough times ahead my friend but stick at it :)

      All the best

  2. Kavita 04/09/2013 at 06:35 #

    I agree, hard work but lots of fun too. Met so many great people through blogging. As you say, best to do it for the joy of it, rather than in the hope of money or book deals. Whatever will come will come. :-)

    • Adam Garratt 04/09/2013 at 18:32 #

      Aww thanks Kavita. I wish more non bloggers would understand how hard it is. Recently my best friend got the urge to start one, and when he asked what it involved he just didn’t bother in the end.

  3. Jac -Tinned Tomatoes 06/05/2013 at 19:31 #

    Happy blog birthday Adam. It is a lot of hard work, but fun and so worth it too. Thanks for the kind mention.

  4. Gingey Bites 06/05/2013 at 17:46 #

    What a great representation of what it is to be a food blogger! I always liken it to having a second job. I get home from my day job and start on my night shift..
    Anyway, congratulations on your 1 year anniversary! Mine is coming up in June :-) and thank you too for the mention!

    • Adam Garratt 08/05/2013 at 12:10 #

      Thank you Gingey, It’s so much like a second job. Sometimes I don’t get to bed until early hours. I have also fell asleep at my keyboard before now

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