January 18, 2019

My Blogging Journey – Two Year Blog Anniversary

My Blogging Journey: 2-year anniversary of Olga in the Kitchen food blog. What was achieved, how I did it and the future plans for the blog.

how to start a blog

Today, exactly 2 years ago, Olga in the Kitchen became official! It’s the two-year anniversary! These past 2 years had been a roller coaster experience for me. Lots new opportunities, new connections and the wonderful food blogging community! Mostly, for all of you (you know who you are) for making my journey one of my favorite trips these couple years. I am grateful! 

In these past couple years I have achieved:

I actually started blogging in March 2016 and had my domain changed 3 times until I officially turned the blog into Olga in the Kitchen. Yes, I couldn’t come up with anything. Whatever I chose, it wouldn’t click. I just HAD to feel it.

Here is how the journey begun for me:

There are many web hosts available you can choose from. I signed up for BlueHost and installed WordPress. Because I had zero experience with WordPress, I did not know where to start. I spent about a week trying to figure out what, how and where. After getting nowhere, I signed up for Weebly. Weebly is a copy-paste kind of website. It’s cheaper and it’s easier to use. However, but as I was adding more recipes to the blog, it started slowing down on me. I realized – if I want to turn blogging into a career someday, I need to get back into WordPress.

Almost a year later, I went back to have WordPress blog. I signed up with Food Blogger Pro, which is an excellent source for anyone who is planning to start blogging. I purchased a theme and I googled for blogging information that could help me. Took few days to get everything running, but once I did – I was on a roll. Once the WordPress was set-up, it was as simply as copy-paste. All I had to do is prepare new blog content, write, insert and publish!

Until today, I do everything myself. Testing of recipes, photography, writing blogs, posting, videos – you name it. Blogging is my part-time job and I only use it when kids are sleeping or if I have any other free time on hands. As much as I love the whole food blogging journey, family had always been, is, and always will be my priority. I would love sharing new recipes every day, but while kids are young and need my attention, I cannot turn it into full-time blogging.

My Blogging Journey:

  1. Starting a food blog was not for the money
  2. My passion for cooking and baking keeps me going
  3. My recipes are based on what my family loves
  4. Living my life while blogging
  5. My plans for 2019

Starting a Food Blog Was Not For the Money

When I started blogging, it wasn’t for the money. It was more of a recipe diary where I could collect my recipes in one place and share with my friends and family. I always loved baking and I enjoy it more than cooking. Everyone always knew Olga had something baking in the oven. If you ask my parents or any of my siblings – I always had a sweet tooth. I cannot imagine living without desserts!

how to make chocolate cake

Almost a year later, when I officially changed my domain to Olga in the Kitchen, I signed up for ads to bring a little income for the work I do. I thought “others bloggers do it, why can’t I?” Blogging takes a lot of time, effort and patience. For some people it’s an overtime. The hours spent recipe testing, dish washing, photography, editing, writing, posting – it all sounds a lot. I divide these throughout the day(s) when I have free time. If this is something you love to do, something you’re passionate about – you don’t ever think of it as burden. Your comments and kind words – it’s my motivation to keep going!

The rule is: build great content before expecting money. A lot of bloggers don’t receive a penny in their first year. Posting beautiful content and learning who the target audience are the top concerns at the beginning of food blog journey. I never compared myself to other food bloggers who had been doing this for many years. I do my own thing, have my own style, my way and I stick to it! It’s been working great so far. 🙂

My Passion for Cooking and Baking Keeps Me Going

I had none experience with blogging when I started. However, I always knew how to bake and photography kind of came naturally to me. I worked at a photo studio for almost 2 years after high school and I believe it helped me with photography as well. I never owned a fancy camera until few years ago, never owned a business, and my high school computer classes were just a hunch helpful. But I always had passion for baking. Cooking really came to me when I got married in 2012. I asked mom for recipes of soups, meats, side dishes and I got better at it as each day passed.

how to roast cabbage in oven

So many recipes I posted in the beginning, I ended up re-doing because I did not like the photography. Even now, there are recipes I make 5-6 times for the ‘official post’. I would take 150 photos of the final product and end up loving just 1. Disappointing, but true!

My Recipes are Based on What My Family Loves

Every food blogger has their own style of cooking and baking. One can have most spicy recipes, while others have more salty, sweet, sour or even slightly bland in taste. In my family, we have our own style. But remember, when you like a recipe but want it to be more spicy, sweet or sour – you can always twist it to your liking. If you want spicy or sour, add that bucket of pepper or pour that bottle of lemon juice into the meal!!

Half of my recipes are Ukrainian and we always make sure that the meals are well seasoned with salt and fresh herbs. I won’t be lying if I say that we absolutely love to add fresh dill and green onions to almost every dish! We also like to add sauteed onions and carrots to almost all soups and other meals.

how to make cabbage salad

Living My Life While Blogging

Let me be honest. Food blogging is overwhelming! There – I said it!! If you take it under control, you’ll do just fine. Every time when I’m writing a post or editing photos and I start seeing ‘unacceptable’ photos, that means I have to pause. I turn off my computer and I’m done for the day or at least few hours. I start fresh next day when I had a good night’s sleep and my cup bowl of coffee (yes I love coffee so much, a cup is simply not enough). Cleaning house or loading my washer with clothes. Doing any house chores, taking a trip to grocery store with kids. Anything not blog related just refreshes and completely restarts my brain, my thoughts and the edit process goes better than ever!

My Plans for 2019:

  • New web design
  • Lifestyle category
  • 2 new recipes each week (after new web design launched)

Let’s talk about “Lifestyle” category for a second. This is a new twist to Olga in the Kitchen. This section will include anything that is non-recipe. Some of the topics covered will be: favorite products, tips for cooking and baking, home-based, kids and more. I’m actually really excited about this! 🙂

My goal is to post couple new recipes each week and a post that would go into Lifestyle category. Not each week will have a new non-recipe post. If you don’t want to miss it – sign up for my email notifications. You will get an email every time something new is posted on the blog! You can also follow me on social media.

You can read more about me and my blogging journey on the ABOUT page! But as for now, until next journey review in 2020!

Get new and exclusive recipes right in your inbox:

  • Lunch today: Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken sandwiches! Fall-apart tender, juicy, sweet, so satisfying and so delicious. (For recipe, click 👉 @olgainthekitchen ) #olgainthekitchen
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  • One of my favorite anytime of the week salads: Cabbage Pepper Salad! Simple ingredients, very healthy and super delicious! 😋 (For recipe, click on link in profile @olgainthekitchen ) #olgainthekitchen
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https://www.olgainthekitchen.com/cabbage-pepper-salad/
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  • Ukrainian Old-fashioned Honey Babka: sweet, fluffy, moist; topped with a creamy frosting for that extra incredible taste. The easiest and the best honey dessert you’ll ever taste!💖 (Recipe link 👉  @olgainthekitchen ) #olgainthekitchen
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  • Best, easy dinner idea: Rice Stuffed Chicken Thighs! These are tender, marinated chicken thighs filled with rice, carrots and onions. The simplest and the easiest!!💖 (For recipe, click on link in profile 👉 @olgainthekitchen ) #olgainthekitchen
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Tag your creations.
  • First thing I did when I woke up today early morning? I made a batch of this Pumpkin Sheet Cake! 🧡 Pumpkin tastes even better in summer. Agreed? 😋 It’s really simple, fluffy and moist every time! (Recipe link 👉 @olgainthekitchen ) #olgainthekitchen
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https://www.olgainthekitchen.com/pumpkin-sheet-cake/
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  • A slice of Banana Cake Roll for breakfast!😋 Sweet, fruity, nutty and incredibly delicious at the same time!💛 (Recipe link 👉 @olgainthekitchen ) #olgainthekitchen
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  • Easy #breakfast treat: Sprats and Pickles Sandwiches! A combo of tangy pickles and sprats on a slice of bread. These also work great with a freshly cooked homemade soup! 😋 (Recipe link 👉 @olgainthekitchen ) #olgainthekitchen
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  • {NEW RECIPE} Crepes with Cheese (nalisniki): thin and delicate filled with farmer’s cheese filling that melts when you cook in butter or oil. 😋 This dish can be made ahead of time, either in full or in part. You can also enjoy them for breakfast, lunch or during snack time!💖 (Recipe link 👉 @olgainthekitchen ) #olgainthekitchen
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