When I started this journey, I told myself I would give it a year. As a busy mama of four elementary-school and preschool aged kids, I was at a place in life where I needed an outlet for myself. I’ve always loved to bake, share recipes and critique the things I create to make them better. And so, after a lot of thought and research, I decided to start a recipe blog. I brainstormed recipe ideas, made recipes and I hit publish on my first post, exactly one year ago today.
A Turbulent Year
As I was feeling an impression to start this website (and acted on it), I never would have imagined the life-saver it would be to me during the pandemic. Those spring months were hard. Lonely. Filled with uncertainty. Writing and creating recipes helped me get through a pandemic, a difficult medical diagnosis, the death of my wonderful grandma (these lemon bars were her favorite) and a move to a new house. Creating recipes, baking in the kitchen with my kids and having a purpose (other than my role as mama) during this year has saved me in a way. I am forever grateful for this community. For those of you who take the time to try a recipe, share a post or leave a comment: Thank you for being here. Thank you for supporting me in this endeavor. Your love, support and comments have meant more than you know.
This past year has taught me so much. I’ve learned how to work with wordpress. How to create recipes in wordpress (you can see from some of my old recipes that I didn’t even know how to add a “recipe card” into the recipe at first–I’m still working on updating them). I’ve learned to make recipes over and over again and that when it doesn’t turn out exactly right, to just eat the soupy peach cobbler (for the 3rd time) and shelve the recipe to come back to next year. Pro tip: if using frozen peaches, thaw them and drain excess extra liquid before making your cobbler or just use fresh peaches to begin with. I am grateful for every experience I have in connection with running this website. Each experience teaches me and helps me do better in the future.
Top Five Recipes
I love looking at the analytics of my blog, so without further ado, the top five recipes on my blog this year. Is it any wonder that all of these recipes have something to do with sourdough? It seems fitting because Sourdough has become so popular this year with the pandemic.
5th. Coming in at number five: Sourdough Discard Banana Bread
This banana bread uses sourdough discard and a combination of white and brown sugar to deepen the flavor. Delicious banana bread, and perfect if you are looking to use up some sourdough discard.
4th. Fourth place goes to these: Cinnamon Sugar Muffins Two Ways
Make your muffins with our without sourdough discard. After baking, the top of the muffin is dunked in butter and then cinnamon sugar for a sweet and delicious crunch.
3rd: Third place: Sourdough Discard Crispy Crackers
These are definitely one of my favorites and we make them a lot. The perfect crispy cracker that can use up a lot of sourdough discard and tastes incredible.
2nd: In second place: Crispy Sourdough Discard Waffles
If you want seriously amazing sourdough waffles, these are them. They are crispy on the outside; soft and fluffy on the inside. Basically the perfect waffle.
1st Coming in first and knocking all the others out of the park really, these: Sourdough Discard Soft White Roll
These rolls have been number one on my site for the past few months. They are soft, tender and delicious with just a hint of sourdough tang. So glad so many of you love them too!
Statistics for the Year
I always find it so interesting to see how the statistics side of blogging works, so I thought I’d share a few blog statistics with you. Last year, my first full month of writing this blog, I had about 1400 page views. This year (looking at the last full month in January) that has increased to about 14,000 page views a month. Thank you for being here! I love more than anything seeing all the recipes you are making. I so appreciate every share to an audience big or small. My biggest blogging takeaway is to just keep writing. Slow and steady. Keep adding good content.
Profitability: One Year In
Well, I said I’d give it a year and I am still going. Am I making any money off this endeavor? No. Not yet. I have made a little revenue from affiliate links on this blog, but nothing to cover the cost of the site itself just yet. I’ve learned this year that I love developing recipes, writing them up and posting them. I also feel a need to balance my time with my family. My hope and goal is for this blog to pay for itself one day and maybe some of the ingredients I’m using through affiliate links and ads on the site. It took a year, but finally google Adsense qualified this website for ads. These ads are what will continue to allow me to give you all of this free content.
High Hopes for the Future
I have high hopes for this upcoming year. I want to share more sourdough recipes, give more baking tips and definitely share more of my family’s favorite baked goods with you. My little preschooler will be starting kindergarten next year (cue tears) and I will have more time to devote to this space once he is in school full-time. I hope to travel more (a few trips booked and planned already) and bring a little more travel content to this space as planning vacations and traveling is one of my favorite things to do with my family. I’m grateful that this year my love for baking and sourdough has been able to ease the loss of travel for the year. Most of all, I’m planning to keep developing recipes, keep writing and keep posting on this website.
And with that, a big giant thank you! Thank you for being here. Thank you for all your comments and shares. Thank you for trying my recipes and coming back to them. Thank you for supporting me in this endeavor. Here’s to year two!