We cannot believe it, but it is our 1 year blog-iversary! It feels like just yesterday we were in the kitchen baking our first ever blog recipe. (Mini cake mix donuts). There we were, dragging a giant table into the living room so we would have ample light because according to our internet research, natural light is the best light. Trying to style food photographs when we have never done it before. It was a hot mess.
Let’s be honest. We are still a hot mess. There’s a 99% chance that we will always be a hot mess. But, we have gotten a much better handle on the whole blogging thing and have learned so much over the past 365 days. When we decided to start this blog, we just wanted a fun place where we could share our baking adventures. We never anticipated how much it would grow and how much we would absolutely love doing it. Sure, sometimes blogging can be really difficult and time consuming, but we wouldn’t change it for the world. We have learned a lot over the past year, and we thought we would share some of it with you!
But first, enjoy some of our favorite pictures and recipes from the past year!
Now, let’s get into all of the things we’ve learned!
- How to maneuver a website- We knew we wanted to start a blog, but we knew absolutely nothing about working a website, purchasing a domain, any of that stuff. Completely clueless. Pretty much everything we’ve learned has come from us clicking buttons until something happens. Seriously. And Google. Can’t forget the Google. Sometimes it was incredibly frustrating, but we are starting to get the hang of it. We still learn things every single day.
- Food photography/lighting- Photogra
phy can make or break a website. People want to see high quality images. You could have the best cookie recipe the world has ever seen, but if your pictures don’t look good, people are not going to click on them. Is our photography the best in the world? Hell no. We have room to improve for sure. However, throughout this journey, we’ve learned how to style our pictures, and we learned the importance of natural light! Natural light from a window is legitimately the best way to photograph. It is the only way we shoot. We drag a table into the living room in front of the window and take our photographs from there. It is annoying, BUT natural sunlight works wonders on photographs. No fancy lighting equipment here! To illustrate how our photography has improved take a look at the below images. The first image is from our very first blog post. Do the donuts look good? They sure do! But the image itself is just a little lacking in the visually appealing department. It is quite blurry and the white balance is making me cringe.
The second picture you see here below is of a blog post we did a couple months ago for no-bake Oreo truffles. I think there is a big difference. It is brighter, crisper, and styled better overall. This improvement came from playing around with the camera, working with different food props, and diving a little deeper into our post processing software. We use Adobe Lightroom. (Totally worth the money)
- The importance of social media- The most efficient and effective way to grow an audience is to utilize social media! Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, everything. Make your presence known and let your stuff be seen. The more outlets you use to showcase your work, the larger your reach will be. So post away! In just a year we have organically grown our Instagram to over 10,000 followers and growing which is something we never imagined. That’s 10,000 actual people that are interested in the things we are baking! Crazy. Just crazy.
- Proper English grammar– Just kidding. We will never learn. We don’t care if our commas, aren’t where they should, be and neither, should, you.
- Patience is important- Building an audience is hard work and requires consistency and resilience. It is not going to happen overnight. Or even over 100 nights. When we first started, we used to check our stats constantly. “Three people viewed the website today!” Two of those people were mom and dad. It can be frustrating, but you need to be patient. Are we going to be able to quit our jobs and blog as a career anytime soon? No. It’s hard. We are 2 of the most impatient people in the world. You just need to keep plugging away and working hard and your website will grow. Trust us, you’ll be fine. Your website will be fine. Everything will be fine.
- How to not actually kill your sister when you disagree- We love each other. We really do. However, we disagree. Sometimes she wants pink frosting, and I want purple. Or, we don’t think the other persons frosting swirl is good enough. (Which is a regular occurence) We can get frustrated with each other real fast. So, here are some tips we use to calm the heck down.
– Stop what you’re doing and pet the cats. Their fur is magic.
– Look up pictures of baby animals.
– Stop and remember that if you kill her, you’ll have no one to binge watch Ghost Adventures with.
- How to not compare ourselves to other blogs- It can be really hard sometimes to see other blogs and how successful they are. You wonder what they are doing that you’re not, and how they have such a big audience. It can be really discouraging. But it is important to remember that those blogs are not your blog. We work very hard. Blogging is honestly like a second job. We just have to remember to keep working hard and doing what we are doing. Those other blogs didn’t grow overnight. A lot of popular bloggers have been doing it for years and years!
- How to stay creative- One thing that makes blogging difficult sometimes is the constant need for new and interesting content. When you want to keep a consistent posting schedule, you need to make sure that you have content to write about. Sometimes we get into ruts and struggle creatively. What do I want to make? Why can’t I think of anything to make? I must be broken. Might as well never bake again. It’s frustrating, but that’s where the good old internet comes in handy. Looking at other blogs that we love and scrolling through the baking tag on Instagram is a great way to get inspired.
- The blogging community is so supportive- One thing that blogging has given us is a virtual support system. We get so many messages and comments on social media telling us how much they enjoy our blog, and how great our recipes are. These types of comments and messages are what keeps us going in the times that we get discouraged. In addition, if ever we need help with a website issue there is always someone online who is willing to help. Which is great, because again- we have no clue.
The most important thing we have learned in the past year is to just do whatever the fuck makes you happy. Sorry for the language, but this point is so important I needed an F bomb. Life is too short to not do what you want to do, and don’t let anyone tell you any different. This blog has given us so much joy. We LOVE doing it. It makes us excited to do work and inspires us to always be creative. One of our favorite quotes of all time is from Julia Child- “Find something that you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it”
Have a great week!