Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy Aniversary to Cookistry!

1/1/11 at 1:11 a.m. Seems an appropriate time to post. Cookistry is one year old!

And forgive me if I'm a little self-indulgent here, hmmm?

Although I picked a name for this blog well in advance and had a template set up, I didn't start posting until January 1, 2010. I also set some goals for myself. Or really, one goal. To post, on average, once a day.

After that, I gritted my teeth and decided that Year One would be all about getting my feet wet in the blogging world and maybe asking some friends to read what I wrote. The first year, I figured, would be all about me talking to myself online.

Well, the year's up. I've done more than talk to myself.

Late one night in late March (because earlier in the day, I would have had more restraint), I had the bright idea to send an email to Adam Kuban at Serious Eats and ask him if he wanted a column about bread baking. I almost fell off my chair when he emailed back with an enthusiastic "yes" and my weekly Bread Baking column was born in April.

In September, I emailed Adam a link to my post here on Cookistry about the windowpane test, and asked if he had any interest in publishing it. Again, he said yes. That post let to the Serious Eats team asking me about writing a regular column about techniques, tips, ingredients, and more. That turned into my weekly Protips column on Slice.

Then, in November, my Sourdough Starter-Along series started on Slice, which ran every day for nearly two weeks. I was amazed how popular it was, and the first post in that series ended up being the third most popular post on Slice in 2010.

Meanwhile, I picked up a monthly recipe column for a local newspaper, the Longmont Ledger. After the first article was published on October 31, the frequency was increased to every other week. The feedback I've gotten from that column has been interesting. And it's been fun.

Then, in November I got a call from the local daily newspaper, the Longmont Daily Times-Call, and I was featured in the food section on December 1.

I've also started writing a recipe column for the monthly newsletter emailed by Cayenne Kitchen, the local cooking supply store.

And all that in addition to the monthly cooking column I've been writing for the Left Hand Valley Courier for several years.

My latest branching-out has been cooking contests. I've entered (and won) prizes at Kitchen Play, and I entered the Iron Foodie Contest sponsored by Foodie Blogroll and Marx Foods. I came in third place in the popular vote in the Iron Foodie Contest, which was pretty cool. But there was another vote going on, where only the contestants and sponsors were allowed to vote. Since that wasn't swayed by fans, family, and subscribers, that one really interested me. And... I won!

Then I entered a cookie recipe in a contest sponsored by the Culinary School of the Rockies. I won that as well, and the email that announced my winning said that the cookies were delicious and the recipe was easy to follow. Interesting. I didn't realize they were going to make the recipes, but that made winning even better.

Meanwhile, traffic at Cookistry is growing. I started tracking my visitors in April, so May was the first full month I had data for. June's traffic was nearly double that of May, and the numbers have been climbing ever since, with a few minor bumps in the road. December saw the highest traffic of the year, by a decent margin.

I'm thrilled that the feedback I've gotten both here, at Serious Eats, from local readers who read my newspaper columns. I'm clinking a glass and celebrating the fact that I haven't been talking to myself for the past year. Thanks to you, readers!

So what's the future of Cookistry? More of the same. I'm not going anywhere. I'm excited to see what the next year brings.

2 comments:

Pam Gozdecki said...

Happy New Year, Donna. Your articles are always interesting, even tho I am (gasp) both a bread machine owner and a raisin lover! Here's to another wildly successful year for you.

Sara said...

Hi, Donna. I found your blog through Serious Eats, but this is the first time I've ever commented. Your blog has been such a great insight into the world of bread baking - something that I hope to get into soon.

Happy blogaversary and new year to you!

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