The end of the year seems to be the right time to reflect on the past year, focusing on the triumphs, less on the failures and sharing any wisdom learnt. Nearly two years ago, I wrote a post offering some tips on things I’d learnt in my first 18 months of blogging, and I’m so happy to be still blogging two years later. I’ve moved along a bit and definitely up a gear. The great thing about blogging is that there is always something to learn and improve upon. Anyone else addicted to self-improvement?
My blog improvement tip list this year is a concise five items, and being a short list I hope it leaves you some easily attainable goals for focus on in 2015!
1. Get professional
If you want to be considered professional, look and write like a professional. I recently had a professional photo taken by friend and photographer Joanna Yee. Gone is the blurry iPhone pic, replaced with one I am sure helps me, my personality, and my professional attitude to this blog come across. You don’t need a professional photographer – grab a friend with a decent camera and bake them something in return.
In terms of writing professionally I’ve recently engaged the help of an editor who specialises in editing food writing and blogs. I now have my work proofread by someone who sees the work with fresh eyes. It has taken away that nagging feeling that I’ve misspelt a word or written something that doesn’t quite make sense. I now feel confident in my professionalism every time I press publish.
2. Seek out inspiration
An obvious one, this, but the only way to grow and to be continuously inspired to write and to cook is to get out there. This doesn’t have to mean expensive trips around the world (though my trips to Tuscany and Paris this year helped!). Each time you are lucky enough to eat out at restaurant, really think about what you’re eating. Look at the plating, notice any interesting flavor combination and store those thoughts for when you’re staring blankly at the fridge back at home. Can you recreate that dish or meal or its presentation?
3. Self host
I use WordPress to host my blog, and last year I finally made the jump to self host through wordpress.org. It wasn’t without a lot of stress, but ultimately worth the pain and temporary loss of all my photos! I now have full flexibility over widgets, and layout and all the fantastic plugins that just help the blog to work better. My stats have improved dramatically since I took the leap to self host.
4. Install an antivirus
Do you carry your entire world on your laptop? I know I am guilty of this, and God forbid what would happen if I lost it or had it stolen, or hacked. A whole year’s worth of work would be gone in an instant! Back up your work to an external hard-drive and to protect against hackers install the best antivirus you can find .
5. Be yourself
I said this before, and I’ll say it again. Be yourself, and continue to be yourself at all times. If following someone else’s blog or instagram feed is installing feelings of jealousy or loss of self worth for the fabulous work you are doing then simply un-follow. Use that energy to focus on being you and the best version of you at that!
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