WOW! Today is the 1 year anniversary of The Charming Detroiter! I am so thrilled and beyond excited to have made it to this point. This first year has been full of some ups and definitely some downs, so come along as I share some of those experiences with you as well as my top favorite recipes from the last year!
1. Where it all began…
For years I’ve wanted to start my own food blog. I briefly had a stint back in 2011 when I ran a blog called DinnerStat.com. But I just didn’t feel the creative juices back then like I do now, and I also had this little thing called medical school to complete!
The time was ripe, however, when I was winding down my last year of medical school, about to start this great journey that we call a job. With a paycheck. Incredible, right? I decided that I could continue to dream and wish about what my blog could be like one day, or that I could just start it. And so I purchased TheCharmingDetroiter.com!
2. And the rest was history! Sort of…
The first few months (okay, like the first 7 months) were kind of rough. I started out eager to share my absolute love and passion for cooking and food with you all, my amazing readers. But in a day and age where everyone and their grandmother is posting their latest meal on Instagram, food blogging is hard work.
In the beginning, my photography was atrocious! I was lucky enough to have a decent camera to work with, but I didn’t know anything about food styling. Or lighting. Or actually working a camera. Thanks to the amazing community of food bloggers online (especially Food Bloggers Central and the associated Facebook groups), I was able to quickly pick up a lot of great tips and techniques.
3. What have I learned so far?
- Warn your significant other: your dinner will require reheating! And seriously, be nice to them. I don’t know what I would have done without my incredible fiancé: he is my extra hand when I need one, my lighting at restaurants when it’s too damn dark for proper food photos, and he is the one who sits there patiently at the dinner table, waiting me to grab those last few shots before we eat. He is my #InstagramHusband.
- Artificial lighting works wonders once you know how to use it. I used to moan and groan that it was always too late and dark out to shoot my photos properly. When I finally found some DIY techniques for lighting (and purchased a couple of these and these) and realized that I can recreate whatever type of lighting I want in my home, it was a huge relief! Now I shoot sometimes at 9pm at night with no problems, other than a rumbly tummy!
- Food blogging isn’t just about food blogging. You can cook, you can photograph, you can write. But you have to market if you want other people to see it. There is just too much information bombarding your readers every single day on their computers, their phones, their tablets, that you have to market wide and market often. I don’t pretend to be an expert, but once again have learned a ton from the FBC Facebook groups!
- Always improve. I never have a perfect post. Even my most popular posts, even the posts that I stand back and say “boy, that’s perfect,” I will come back to in an hour or a day or a month and find something that I could have done better. That is the nature of blogging though, and you simply can not get hung up on these things. Get your content out there in the best form you can with the time you have – don’t mull things over for days on end!
- Find something you love, and then work harder than anyone else at it. No explanation necessary.
4. And now, for some favorites!
These are my favorites from the last year, in no particular order:
Now tell me: what is your favorite of my recipes over the past year? What have you learned from this blog? What have you learned about food, or cooking, or food blogging on your own? Comment below and share with me! And be sure to join me on my next year of blogging by joining the email list here: