My Food Blog in Numbers

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I have noticed lots of blog posts recently regarding various blogging achievements. I don’t think I have had this blog for long enough yet to get too excited about my progress, but reading these other posts did make me think about how I am doing so far.

On the whole, I think the blog is going really well. I am only doing this in my spare time as I work full-time and have four children. I am definitely making progress, though. As I once worked in the Maths department of a secondary school, I am a fan of numbers and statistics. I thought it would be fun to assess my progress so far in terms of numbers. Here goes!

182– Number of followers on this blog.

567– Followers on Twitter.

14- Followers on my new Facebook page that I have recently set up. Feel free to add to this number!

3,000– Number of views on my blog so far.

16– Weeks I have been posting as The Fruity Tart.

155– The number of posts I have published so far.

2,000– Likes I have received.

252– Comments on my posts.

1– Award Nominations

9– External backlinks to my blog (not including ones that I have created).

Thanks to everyone for their support so far and I am looking forward to many more months, or years, of blogging.

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I’m In It for the Long Haul

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Although I have been working as a freelance writer for seven years now, this blog is a relatively new venture. In fact, as I am writing this, it is just eight weeks old. I started off with big ambitions, but I have found it more challenging than I thought and I have not produced anywhere enough content. 

However, this hasn’t deterred me from keeping going. This week, I have had so much paid work that I had planned not to write anything on my food blog at all. I was going to concentrate solely on my paid work and sorting out the house. I don’t know how, but at the end of each working day, I have found myself taking my laptop to bed with me as I couldn’t resist the urge to sit and post something on The Fruity Tart

I have decided that there is something very addictive about blogging. I love checking my views, my likes and who is now following my blog. However, this isn’t the only addictive part of having a blog. I have also become addicted to checking out the reader section of WordPress to see what other people have posted. I am now following a wide range of blogs, so my reading material is diverse. While some are fellow food bloggers, I am also enjoying reading poetry, historical and factual information, personal experiences and blogs about all sorts of niche subjects. 

Regardless of how successful my own blog is, blogging is so addictive that I am definitely in this for the long haul. 

Written in response to the Daily Prompt ‘Haul’ on The Daily Post

This Is Harder Than I Thought

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The whole food blogging business is a lot harder than I had anticipated. I started the blog as I have spent years writing for other people’s blog and decided to do it for myself for once. The reason I chose food is that cooking is something I enjoy and spend a lot of time doing every day. 

The first problem I have faced is the amount of time it takes to write for the blog and then promote it on social media. Fitting this around looking after the children and my full-time work as a copywriter is difficult; far trickier than I thought. Thinking of new ideas constantly is another aspect I have found challenging.

It has also involved me sorting out my social media pages. For example, I have been on Twitter for years but have gone through phases where I have hardly needed it for work. For that reason, I have made no attempt whatsoever to connect with people and had only a low following. I have gradually worked on increasing this over the last month.

I have also felt completely overwhelmed with the task I set myself when I first started the blog. My initial intention was to add every recipe I know and then create many more. I have started with the basics, such as sauces and pastry. I have suddenly realized how many recipes I know and just how long this will take me to write. 

Another of my intentions was to regularly write reviews of restaurants in which I have eaten. Time constrictions have prevented me from reviewing the places where I have eaten over the last few months and my financial situation at the moment is preventing me from eating out at new places. 

There have also been some issues along the way, such as when I needed to change the name of the blog for legal reasons and having problems with adding photographs to the blog. 

I am not saying I am giving in as I love a challenge and always see things through. However, I really anticipated what a huge task I had set for myself. Unfortunately, being overambitious has always been one of my worst traits. It is over a month since I started this blog and I intend to keep it running for at least a year before deciding whether to continue. I know full well that I will feel so attached to it after putting in a full year of work I will keep it going.

Food Blog Photo Disasters

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So far, this blog is going well, although it still needs some work. One of my main issues is photos. The images used on blogs make a difference to whether or not a post attracts readers or not. To be honest, my images aren’t great. I would love to take my own photographs for everything I post on here, but so far this isn’t happening. I reckon about 10% of the images I have used on this blog so far are my own and the rest are images from the Internet that are free to use commercially and modify.

There are several reasons for the issues I am having with phots:

  1. Sometimes the hustle and bustle of cooking meals while looking after four children and work at the same time mean I simply forget to take a photograph of the food I have made.
  2. I don’t necessarily write about food that I have made recently, so I have to use other images.
  3. I don’t have a camera, so any photos I do take are on my mobile phone.
  4. The lighting is bad in my kitchen and dining room. The food looks fantastic on the plate but the photos do not reflect this at all.
  5. There are lots of images available online until you try to search for ones that are free to use and then the selection of decent photos gets much smaller.

I would love some tips from other bloggers, either on how to take better photos on my mobile or places I can find good quality images of food on the Internet that are free to use. I currently use the advanced settings on Google Images, Flickr, Pixaby, and Pixels. 

Any tips?

One Month and a Big Thank You

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I have just received an email informing me that it is now a month since I started this blog. Wow! That has gone fast. I just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone that has read my blog, commented, liked, shared and followed. The photo is me saying ‘Cheers everyone!’

I have plenty more to write about- reviews, recipes, lifestyle, and tips. However, what I have enjoyed the most is reading other people’s blogs.  There is such a diverse range of talents, knowledge, interests, and opinions.

I am looking forward to the rest of the year blogging on here. The mini-mes would also like to say a big thank you for supporting their mum in this new venture:

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Why is Breakfast So Difficult?

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NOTE: This photograph is quite clearly not my kitchen as I cannot face the shame of putting up a picture of the scene of devastation left by my kids in the morning! This is a free pic from Google Images chosen simply to represent breakfast. 

With 20 years of parenting experience and plenty of practice making homemade meals every day, you would think I had the breakfast routine pretty much sorted. However, that is definitely not the case and it seems the most difficult meal of the day to organize.

In the evenings, we always sit down together as a family to a homemade meal I have prepared. This usually involves me cooking using a variety of ingredients for approximately an hour before sitting down at the table. To make the meal, I will often have both the hob and the oven on while using an array of pans, dishes, and utensils.

At the same time as cooking, I usually have the dog running around my ankles, my younger children racing through the house, my older son asking about going out with his mates and my daughter ringing me to ask all sorts of ridiculous questions (she has just moved into her own place and realized she needs to function like a normal person). 

Despite these complications and distractions, I am perfectly capable of serving a decent meal to the family, so why can I not function to serve breakfast?

Breakfast at my house is typically either cereal, porridge, toast or a yogurt for the children and a strong cup of coffee for me. To achieve these two ‘meals’, I simply need to chuck a couple of slices of bread into a toaster and pour some cereal and milk into a bowl. Simple enough?

It seems to verge on the impossible to do this some days. Nobody seems to make it to the dining table at breakfast and eats their breakfast wherever they are sitting, I serve the wrong food to the wrong child on a regular basis, I burn the toast and spill cereal all over the kitchen. The minute the food hits the bowls, the children change their mind about what they want and they refuse to eat what you serve. 

Yes, a food blogger and former catering professional is admitting she cannot cook toast and serving cereal is an impossibility. I guess I am just not a morning person! I am just thankful that my husband feeds himself in the morning. 

Blog Name Change

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This is just a brief blog to let my followers and readers know that the name of the blog has changed from ‘The Grub Hub’ to ‘The Fruity Tart’. You might notice this change in your notifications.

I was contacted by a company who told me that the name was infringing on their Copyright and that I needed to take action to change. Of course, I responded promptly and took action to rectify the situation.

I spent all of last night checking out different names and word combinations in search engine listings to find a name that would not infringe on any Copyright. I have also spent the morning changing the domain name on here with the support of the WordPress team. 

The content of the blog will change in no way at all. It will still include my recipes, food news, restaurant reviews, helpful tips and many other food-related blogs. The content that was already listed on this blog also remains the same.

I still have a few changes to make so that the blog fits with the new name, but I am looking forward to making a fresh start as The Fruity Tart today and hope that people will continue to visit my blog and enjoy my posts.