Blogger recognition awards are fun to participate in, because they offer an opportunity to share a bit of background about the website and share links to favorite similar websites that you might not have seen before. So in that light, I'm sharing a bit of background about how and why this website was created for a bit of insight about why plant based diet is so compelling and important to me. And why I started developing and adding plant-based recipes to this website.
Thank you to my blogger friends
I was nominated by the following blogs to participate in this program:
- Wanderlust Vegans. This is a vegan travel blog that also discusses minimalism. I love the story about how this husband and wife team found minimalism, too. Check it out!
- Nuts & Walnuts. Recipes! (And just recently, hot sauce. It spoke to my heart!) Blogger Mari shares wonderful recipes, many of which are from her Croatian/Slavonian heritage. I have some friends from Croatia, so I love to understand more about these kinds of dishes.
Alright, let's answer the questions.
How I started as a blogger, and this website
I started blogging around 2002 while working in tech. I can barely believe it was about 15 years ago (and I started making websites several years before that!). This was before there were "blogs," and instead my husband and had to create our own website from scratch that had comments attached to the bottom of pages. The idea was more of a "question and answer" functionality than conversation. And I never, ever talked about myself - it was all tutorials and how-tos. The website itself was pretty manual to operate, and temperamental too (the website was hosted on a computer sitting under my husband's desk), but it did the job. I mostly wrote about technology and allowed people to ask questions about the code I wrote about.
Once blogging platforms were developed, I was on board with those going forward. First I continued to blog about technology (animation, and web coding), then video and graphics, then dogs (2010 to present), and now plant-based recipes!
I started to incorporate plant-based nutrition into my diet a couple years ago, but it was part of a gradual transition. I had not yet encountered "plant based" as a term or kind of diet until a little over a year ago. Once I watched some documentaries that involved factory farming, I decided the transition would be more "cold turkey" than "gradual" and I switched over completely. As I continued to learn, I became engrossed in the science too and felt that I would like to create a website about what I learned, and also the recipes I liked best. I realized I loved taking food photography and developing recipes out of my pantry and fridge, and putting it all together as content on a site. Who knew? And that's why I created the site, and have stuck with it.
Plant-based eating and helping others learn about its benefits soon became my passion, and I am working at growing and learning more. I enrolled at Tufts University late last year to take a course about Developing Healthy Communities, covering behavior science, education, and nutrition.
I still need to make my logo though! (I am still a logo and web designer by day, so it's a bit embarrassing I've put off my own logo for so long...)
Advice for new bloggers
Choose a topic you not only love, but choose what kind of content you like to create. For example, I love some subjects but do not also have a love for writing about them, drawing them, and so on. Most blogs fail (upwards of 90% or more), and I believe the difference between having a blog that lasts and one that doesn't is taking a deep dive on what you like to create content about (not just a topic of interest).
Then think about where you want your site to be in a few years. What does it look like? What kind of content is on your site? This will help you determine what kind of site you need, and where it should be (on a platform somewhere, on your own self-hosted site, or maybe it's a podcast instead of a blog!). And don't be afraid to elicit help. Sometimes paying someone a handful of hours to put together your site will save you a few weeks. Sometimes that cost is worth it!
Blogging isn't necessarily about the traffic, it can be all about the creativity as opposed to numbers. However, if you are after traffic, think about the things you look up online and form your content around these questions. What kind of questions do you ask? Google loves finding answers, so be that answer. Create useful things, and people will come.
Lastly, if you start to earn money, know that you are a business. As a business, be aware of the law. Know that there are laws around most things, such as writing reviews and running sweepstakes (often called giveaways). Make sure to protect yourself both in the content you create, the content that will get stolen from you, and your website as a whole (privacy statements and terms and conditions). Ask questions! There are communities all around for helping you learn what you need to know as a blogger and a business.
And never let people take advantage of you. The time you invest in creating content and running your site is worth compensation. If someone asks for something, don't be afraid to ask for compensation (money, fair trade/swap of services, etc.). Your time is worth it, and is almost always better spent working towards your own goals as opposed to someone else's if money isn't on the table.
Discover new blogs about health, plant-based living, and lifestyle
Here are some amazing sites also nominated for this award that you might want to check out! Many of these bloggers are part of a small group I belong to related to vegan blogging, so I regularly check out their amazing sites. I hope you like them as much as I do! And also remember to check out Wanderlust Vegans and
Nuts & Walnuts too.
Great websites that blog about the vegan lifestyle and more:
- The Urben Life: Dairy-free and egg-free blog
- A Plant-based Nurse: Food focused vegan blog
- The Crumby Vegan: Veganism, animal activism, and sometimes the dog too!
- Lettuce Liv: Vegan lifestyle and beautiful recipes and photography
- Plant-Based Plan: Nutrition and meal planning
- Bear Plate: Outdoor lifestyle and vegan recipes (suitable to take with you!)
- The Nomadic Vegan: Traveling as vegan! Take veganism with you on the road.
- Keeping Up with Denisa: Vegan and lifestyle topics from a teenage blogger
- Susans Journey to Wellness: A beautiful personal account with mental health and food (Facebook page)
Latest posts by Jen deHaan (see all)
- Spicy Cranberry Mushroom Bok Choy Stir Fry (Low Fat, Vegan, Oil Free) - January 13, 2018
- Is consuming fermented soy (like tempeh or miso) harmful or beneficial? What about soy? - January 10, 2018
- Dominion (2018 documentary) - January 7, 2018