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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The Sunshine Blogger Award- My Most Notable Blogging Nomination

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This morning I had a spring in my step because I had been nominated for The Sunshine Blogger Award. It is my most notable blogging nomination to date- mainly because it is the only one I have had! You would think I was up for an Academy Award the way I went on about it to my partner and it gave me the motivation to get on with my writing work for the rest of the day. It is just nice to get recognition for the effort you have put into creating a blog from a fellow blogger. The blogger in question is Lalas Journey.

Bizarrely, had she not been the person that nominated me, she would have been on my own list of nominations as I love reading her interesting posts. Also, we have a shared passion for wine! Thank you for my nomination.

The Rules

  • Thank the blogger(s) that nominated you in the post and the link to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  • Nominate 8-11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the ‘Sunshine Blogger Award Logo on your post and/or in your blog.

My Nominees

Everything’s better when you’ve had a cuppa tea (Awkward Whale)-

Just for writing about a diverse range of topics and for getting into the spirit of the blogging community.

With Colours and Canito in the Kitchen

Just for opening my eyes to the delights of Mexican cuisine and writing about food that looks fun.

Hub City Girl

Just for writing about so many different topics with useful hints and tips.

Book Em, Jan O

Just for making me smile with her Haiku and for sharing interesting stories about ghosts.

Julienne Red

Just for having such an attractive looking blog with great photos and tasty looking recipes.

Alex’s Nibbles

Just for being brave enough to try some of my recipes and then sharing a link to a meal she had enjoyed. 

Just Another Woman with a Blog (The Beasley)

Just for giving me fond music memories with her Friday blogs about top ten hits of each year. 

A Plate of Happiness

Just for being my latest resource for Indian food.

The Questions I Was Asked

1. If you won 1-million dollars, what is the very first item you would purchase with your winnings?

Very boring, but I would pay off my mortgage to reduce my financial strain.

2. What is the one place you have always wanted to travel and why?

I would love to go to India. I think it is an interesting culture and seems like a beautiful and diverse country. Indian cuisine is also my favourite type of food!

3. What is your biggest fear?

Something happening to my children.

4. What animal/insect are you most afraid of?

I am not afraid of any animals, as such, but rats and cockroaches make me cringe. Also, I can’t bear the thought of a moth’s wings touching me but I love butterflies.

5. What is one accomplishment in your life that you are most proud of?

Giving birth to four beautiful children. After that, it would be putting myself through a degree while I was a single mum who worked full-time.

6. Would you rather be stranded on a deserted tropical island or lost in the woods?

Tricky one as there are pros and cons to both. I think I would have more hope of getting back out of the woods if I kept walking in a straight line.

7. Baths or showers?

Baths as I hardly ever use my shower at home. I like the idea of long relaxing baths. Unfortunately, I am not very good at it. If my partner runs me a bath with bubbles and candles, I am instructed to take my time and relax. I start by washing my hair and then shaving all the bits that need shaving and then lie back. I soon get bored and get out only for my partner to tell me I have only been in the bath for seven minutes start to finish.

8. Are you a night owl or morning person? Why?

Without a doubt, a night owl. I think it is because I was a dancer when I was younger and would perform at night. It always seems like a more exciting time of the day. On saying that, if I get an early night and a decent night’s sleep, I actually function better in the mornings than the evenings and get lots done.

9. Favorite television show?

I am a big fan of cooking competitions. However, my favourite television series of all-time is Casualty. It is a British medical drama series that is aired on Saturday nights in the UK and I haven’t missed a single episode since it started when I was a child.

10. What would be your signature cocktail? This could be alcoholic or non-alcoholic.

Well, it certainly wouldn’t be one without alcohol in it! I will say sex on the beach because it sounds like fun!

My Questions to My Nominees

  1. If you could have any superpower, what would you choose?
  2. Who is your favourite author and why?
  3. If you were on death row, what would you choose for your last meal?
  4. What is the most unusual thing you have ever eaten?
  5. On holiday, do you prefer sunbathing on the beach, strolling around historic areas, or trying new and daring activities?
  6. What was the last movie you watched?
  7. Do you believe there is life on another planet?
  8. If you could have dinner with any celebrity, who would you choose?
  9. Who is your biggest inspiration?
  10. What is the best gift you have ever received?
  11. When was the last time you danced in the kitchen just for the sake of it?

Making a Vague Plan for My Food Blog

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I have previously written about my grand plans for my food blog, The Fruity Tart, and about all the things I want to include on the blog. Although the main aim is to post lots of recipes, I also want to include restaurant and product reviews, lifestyle posts, fun articles, factual lists, health blogs that relate to food, and food news pieces. Basically, I have grand ideas that are far beyond what I am capable of in the time I have available.

My posting has been very random in many ways as I have been adding recipes as and when I am cooking them or if they pop into my head. This means I have found it difficult to keep track of whether I have a good variety of different types of recipes posted and I cannot remember what I have done without looking down my list of blog posts

The perfect example of this came this morning when a recipe I occasionally make popped into my head and I added it to the blog. When I came to add a photograph, I realized that I had a photo of the dish already on the saved pictures section on WordPress, so didn’t need to find it from my phone or Google Images. I thought this was odd but I do sometimes add photos to WordPress as I take them ready to use at a later date. It was only after I posted it that I realised I have already posted that recipe about a month ago.

Just a few days ago, I decided to keep a spreadsheet with ideas for different aspects of the blog that I can add to whenever I want and highlight them as I have added them. I am quite a visual person, so having a colour coded worksheet is good for me and helps me to get organized. It’s just a shame I didn’t look at it this morning!

Of course, my planning is only vague and not a strict regime. I will still add things as I make them as the instructions are clear in your head and you don’t have to search through photos on your phone if you upload them straight away. I definitely think that a bit of forward planning will help me to get more organised and to make sure that I don’t double up on things again in the future. 

 

This post was in part inspired by the Daily Prompt ‘Vague’ on The Daily Post

He’s Finally Taking Me Out……

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One of my main plans on this blog was to write reviews of various eating establishments as I usually eat out on a fairly regular basis. Unfortunately, a number of things have stopped me from doing so recently.

  1. My dad died earlier in the year and I haven’t felt too much like going out.
  2. I was made redundant from my second job and this has impacted on my family financially and put a stop to eating out.
  3. My partner and I booked a meal out locally for Valentine’s Day and he came down with a stomach bug so the meal was canceled and I ended up drinking wine and watching TV on my own. 

Finally, I am getting the opportunity to eat out tonight! It is my sister-in-laws birthday and we are traveling to Manchester and staying overnight at her home as she lives about a two-hour drive away from our home, which is between Lancaster and Blackpool in Lancashire. This will allow us to have a drink while we are out.

I am not entirely sure where we are eating yet, but no doubt it will appear on my blog over the next few days. It is more likely to be a pub meal than a fine dining experience, I would think. I can’t wait!

 

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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