Wow! I cannot believe I have been blogging as The Wacky Spoon for a year already. In the beginning, there were so many things to learn. Remember those first days? What’s the first thing you did? I remember booting up my computer and searching, “How to set up a Blog.” Sound familiar?
Here is the most common advice I got:
1. Choose a blogging platform.
2. Register a domain name and hosting.
3. Design your blog.
4. Add posts and pages.
5. Start growing your blog.
Some of these steps were relatively easy and take little time. Others were overwhelming hard and took hours of research, effort, and devotion.
1. Choose a blogging platform. An easy task. All my research recommended WordPress for its ease of use and popularity. Today it runs nearly 30% of the internet with 50,000 new websites being launched daily, according to codeinwp. Let’s see what the new editor does to us. Just when you think you have it master along comes something new. Yes, expect changes all the time!
2. Register a domain name and hosting. Theoretically, this is supposed to be the fun part and for the most part, it is. Just take care in choosing your domain it will live with you for a long time, become your identity, and assumptions will be made based on it. As the Romans said, nomen est omen! The Wacky Spoon, believe it or not, did have some thought put into it. I knew it was going to be predominantly a food blog, therefore it would involve a lot of stirring and sauteing which I do with a wooden spoon in hand. Spoon just made sense.
Wacky can be defined as funny or amusing in a slightly odd or peculiar way. I cannot think of a better way to describe my form of cooking. The mixing of ingredients, the addition of flavors, and the combining of foods that finally becomes a recipe are a precarious adventure. Some of my “creations” have been amusing while others have been slightly peculiar! You have to kiss a few frogs before you find a prince, right? The only difference in cooking is you have to eat the frogs.
3. Design your blog. I went through three themes before settling on my current one. Choosing a theme is a personal choice but, still needs some research before going live. WPbeginner suggests choosing a theme to complement the content of your website. Some themes are better suited for readability, while others are more suited for pictures. My current theme is suited for food blogs and is WordPress “Healthy Living”.
Some themes can slow down a website which can be frustrating for both you and the reader, as I learned the hard way. I had to learn about pixels and publish options. In those early days, I even had to learn HTML just to change my font size and color, insert tables, and code recipes. Then I upgraded and a whole world of plugins became available to me. Although I still use HTML occasionally. Sometimes it is just easier.
4. Add posts and pages. Finding your voice is a slippery slope. I’m not even sure I have found mine completely yet. Some posts flow easily while I struggle with others. Honestly, there isn’t always much you can say about mashed potatoes. The one constant is my focus which remains farm-to-table.
I am still learning my audience. When I think I have a winner, it gets a few clicks. Other times I think I’ve posted a mediocre post and get many hits. Seems you are as diverse and individual as I am, but I am studying you and hope to find the right blend that has you running back for more. Here is what you thought this year:
The top 10 posts on the blog were (and a drum roll please):
10. Bacalhau no Forno
9. Italian Spaghetti Sauce
8. Sweet Potato Rounds
7. Apple Fritter French Toast
5. The Market
4. Saffron Chicken & Rice
3. Pork Chops & Apples
2. Italian Pot Roast
1. What to do with all those Beets
5. Start growing your blog. Growing the blog has been an elusive creature that I have yet to see. I have gone from 1 (thank you, honey) to 201 in my year here on the world wide web. I have tried the recommend suggestions such as responding to comments and leaving comments on other sites. I got my butt on Instagram, twitter, etc. to promote posts, have scheduled 2 -3 posts per week at 9:00 AM sharp (the amount of weekly posts is still being debated. Some recommend quality vs. quantity which is the philosophy I choose to follow). But it is slow growing, for sure. I remain optimistic and determined. However, if any of you have any advice for us late comings we are all ears! Please leave your tips in the comment section!
My year here on the blog has not been wasted. I have enjoyed meeting you. You have made me laugh while sharing purposeful insights (sorryless.com), have shared your life with me (surrealistique.com), have taught me to cook better (indianeskitchen.com), have supported me (ajeanneinthekitchen.com), have given me friendship (@tinykitchencapers @giveitsomethyme), have always been there with a kind word (mistimaan.wordpress.com), and have inspired me to do better (mrs-twinkle.com).
I am looking forward to next year, of having more conversations with you, of meeting new people, following, and being followed. I promise to keep trying to find ways to improve and interact more profoundly with you! Thank you for taking this journey with me!