Another year is about to end, and 2018 has been a spectacular year for food blogging. Here is a list of my top 10 recipes on the blog, recipes that have been a favourite, not only with my family, but also with my readers.
How it all started
Food blogging, although fun, can be a time-consuming, sometimes frustrating, but (mostly) satisfying job.
When I first started blogging, some 3 years ago, I had a dream of growing a successful food blog, and ultimately making it my full-time job.
I must say, I had no clue whatsoever what I needed to do, I just knew that l loved cooking and baking, and l wanted to share my passion with other people who could find inspiration from my recipes.
And it surely didn't help that I had recently given birth to my first daughter, which meant that free time was a luxury I could not afford.
Given that I hardly had any time to eat a cold sandwich, never mind cook a whole fancy dinner, having a food blog seemed pretty impossible to achieve.
How my food blog started growing
So, yeah, at first it was painfully slow, and I wondered if I should just quit and wait for a better time when I had more free time on my hands.
Well, free time did not come, and I still struggle with that, 3 years later. Especially that my second bundle of joy came along, and I just got busier. And more sleep deprived.
But with the second child comes the wisdom, and you suddenly become an expert in multitasking ( no office job can ever beat that!!!), and you learn how to be a less stressed, happier human being who can enjoy the little things in life.
And that's how my food blog started to bloom, and pay some bills. If the girls keep me busy during the day (and pretty much throughout the night), I still manage to squeeze a few hours here and there to work on the blog.
My photo skills have improved considerably, although there is so much still to learn, but, comparing to those first photos, they are pretty decent nowadays.
And, after years of having an office job, I am now a food blogger. Yaay to that!
What has made the difference
Having great recipes is amazing, but traffic won't come your way if no one discovers them. Pinterest has been a game-changer for me.
Once my photos started to improve, I started getting traffic from Pinterest, which gave my that boost of confidence I so needed. And Pinterest is still my best bet when it comes to traffic nowadays.
Although it constantly changes, and pretty much drives me crazy, I'm still on top of the game (finger crossed for even better).
Search engines are on the second place, and I am trying my best to get better results from that. I've been working hard on SEO, making my posts user-friendly to improve my chances of being blessed by the almighty Google with more traffic.
Still a work in progress, but already so much better than the previous year. And what made the real difference was the SEO audit I had with Casey Markey of Media Wyse. Casey is so knowledgeable, and his input has made a massive difference to my blind blogging.
I can now tell that I (pretty much) know what I am doing, and this December has been the best month so far as traffic and income are concerned.
The ever-changing Facebook is still a puzzle for me, so traffic from there is nowhere near as big, but one can only hope in a big change. And an even better 2019.
The best recipes of 2018
So, what have been my best-performing (and of course delicious) recipes this year?
- Honey Mustard Chicken Breast - by far my most popular recipe, and pretty much always on the first spot, except some days here and there when the seasonal recipes take over. I admit I was surprised at first how it became my number one recipe so quickly, but it truly is delicious, so that shouldn't be such a surprise. Do give it a try!
2. Grilled Chicken Avocado Wrap - this recipe has been the second favourite for a while, and it's still proving to be popular, especially after the New Year, when we all want to leave those sugary, fatty foods behind. A must-try recipe, it's super simple, but so delicious.
3. Gingerbread Man Cookies - this recipe is super popular during the festive season. It's utterly delicious, super easy to make, and a great favourite with kids. Nothing like a good cookie to keep everybody happy.
4. Crispy Baked Chicken Wings - who doesn't like some yummy chicken wings? Forget about some greasy take-away chicken wings, and make your own healthier version at home. I absolutely love them, and given how popular they have become, I am pretty sure I will make them again and again.
5. Scalloped Potatoes - I've had this recipe on the blog for quite a while, but at first it was hardly noticed. Not surprisingly, given the fact that the photos were quite terrible, so after I improved the recipe, it suddenly became ever so popular, especially before Christmas.
6. Waldorf Salad - this healthier version of the classic recipe has been on my top 10 for a while, no matter the season. I guess a good salad can always beat any fancy recipe. No need to spend lots of money on store-bough stuff.
7. Chicken Soup with Garlic and Sour Cream - my family love soups, and this Romanian "Ciorba Radauteana" is definitely a winner with us. The soup is very popular in Romania, and rightly so. It's super yummy, and dead easy to make.
8. Rice Krispies Peanut Butter Balls - my refined-sugar free treat is one of a kind. Kids love them, and I must admit, I love them too. Why buy sugary stuff, when you can make your own healthier treat at home?
9. Moist Carrot Cake - favourite not only at Easter, but pretty much throughout the year, this cake is pure lush. Nowhere near as sweet as the ones you buy from the shops, but far tastier and so easy to make. You really must try it!
10. No-Yeast Beignets - if you are short of time, but still want to enjoy some delicious beignets, this is a recipe for you. Ready in no time, and heavenly flavourful.
And that's my year so far. Let's see what 2019 has to bring! I wish you all a Happy New Year!
If you’ve liked my TOP 10 RECIPES OF 2018 or any other recipe on the blog then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious food and what I’m getting up to.