300 Posts and 5 Years… Now What?

According to WordPress, this is the 300th post on Cookography.  It is also been about 5 years since we started food blogging, first on which fold into the much better titled, cookography. Since we are hitting these milestones and also starting a new year, I thought it would be a good time to pause and looking at where Cookography has been and get your advice on where we should go.

Where we are

Cookogaphy may not be the worlds most popular recipe site, but we are getting a decent amount of traffic. Right now we have one post driving lots of traffic to the site. Other posts get lots of traffic, but do not even come close to comparing to the French Onion soup post. Here is the crazy thing… I have no idea why it is so popular. My guess is that the Title is sort of fun: “The Best French Onion Soup (Ever!)”. For a while it was even the number 1 or 2 result in Google for French Onion Soup., but has dropped recently.

I am not complaining about the posts popularity, but it would be great if things were a little more balanced. Cookography’s traffic ends up being seasonal, based upon when it is French Onion soup weather. Have other bloggers had something similar or do you have more equality between posts? Any thoughts on how to highlight other posts better?

For the most part, the majority of our posts are on recipes we have tried. We don’t really have a cool angle or a type of dish we focus on; instead we just try to document the food we cook. The result is more organic, but lacks a focus.

Going forward

I am looking to switch things up a bit and it would be great to get input from you guys on what we should do. Any hints or thoughts you can offer on any of these topics would be really helpful. The payoff? … a better Cookography!

  • Types of Post – Right now we mostly post recipes and the recipes are sort of randomly selected. Should we try to find an angle or narrow our focus? Should we be doing more posts on cooking technique, equipment review, food trends, dining reviews or ingredients? Would you like to see more posts on food blogging itself; such as tutorials on food photography or blogging software?
  • Layout – The design for hasn’t changed in a while. Should we do an overhaul? Is the Text readable, too big or small? Do you like the size of the photos, should they be bigger? Is it tough to find things? Do you want an easier way to find recipes? How would you feel about another Ad?
  • Posts – So what do you think of the writing? Do you hate our terrible grammar/spelling? What do you think of the text before the recipe? Would you like to have a story about why we chose the recipe, tips on cooking the recipe and/or our  thoughts on how it came out? Do we have to much or too little writing in each post? Do we have too many photos, not enough?
  • Comments – We don’t seem to get many comments… why is that? Are the posts not engaging? Is there something technical that makes it a hassle?  Is there something we should change about the design or layout that would make you want to post more? Should we be replying to more comments?
  • Open Mic – Also feel free to tells us other thing that are not working. Anything you want changed or added? Let us know!

Please leave a comment and let us know what you think! Also, feel free to tell us we are awesome and don’t need to change a thing :)

13 thoughts on “300 Posts and 5 Years… Now What?

  1. Hi, I found your site recently but I can’t remember how.

    I’ve subscribed because the pictures are great and I like your writing. I have a post on my blog called “Black Pedro” that gets heaps of traffic – but never any comments (even after I edited it to beg). One can’t tell the vagaries of readers – my site’s not the least bit christmassy.

    I don’t often comment on food blogs, there’s not much else to say besides yum usually and I’m not overly keen on being sycophantic for the hell of it.


  2. Your French Onion Soup recipe is how I found your blog and why I bookmarked it. There is nothing quite as divine as savoring some truly amazing French Onion Soup. Personally, what I tend to search for is not new or unique or fancy angles on food/recipes as much as terrific recipes for old standards/favorites. Also, this is up to you, but an anthropological history of the food you feature would be fascinating to read–where this recipe originated and its cultural/geographical significance. I never see this type of information on any food blog or website I read, and I read several. Just some things to consider.

  3. I like the stories behind the recipee; the tips and substitutions for ingredients, and the photos. I need to know that the recipee isn’t too hard or complicated before I attempt, and I trust your judgment.

  4. HI – came upon this after searching for the Cook’s Illustrated Steak Recipe. I generally look for recipes for X, rather than recipes that use ingredient Y. Data point of one :)

    And if I really like a site, I will follow on twitter. I don’t tend to read many blogs regularly, because they don’t change that often. But if I get a note on twitter that a new item has posted, then I go there. Another data point of one.

    Good Luck and Happy New Year.

  5. I’ve been blogging for a couple of years now and have similar issues. (I have a recipe for pumpkin bread using fresh pumpkin, and it gets a ton of traffic during the winter holiday time, but not at other times.) I’m noticing less comments now than when I started…I think it’s because I don’t have as much time as I used to to Tweet and comment elsewhere, so people aren’t returning the favor? (I don’t know if that’s it or not…) I’ve noticed some bloggers turning to Facebook, and I recently created a fanpage for my blog–it’s increased readership, but not necessarily commenting, etc. Some people have told me that they’re starting to use FB as a sort of RSS reader.

    Anyways, I wanted to comment since I subscribe to your feed and don’t comment often–just wanted to let you know that there are other bloggers out here that run into similar issues. I like what you’re doing!

    • Hmm… interesting! I setup a Facebook page where my posts automatically go, but I haven’t noticed much traffic coming from it. It is good to hear that other bloggers are in a similar spot. Thanks for commenting too! I think I am going to have to try the pumpkin bread recipe… I will try to do it non-seasonally too :)

  6. More about how to take blogging photos is always helpful. As are cooking techniques. Everybody does recipes which are good but breaking away from that every once in a while is nice. Cooking stories, restaurant reviews, etc.

    Congrats by the way!

    • Thanks Donna! Thats what I have been thinking too. It is really tough to come up with recipes that haven’t been covered to death or always come up with a unique take on it. The Bitten Word guys have a great approach, where they cover all the recipes in different food magazines. Short of a cool angle like that, it is tough to be unique.

  7. Ok so here are some thoughts because I am your biggest fan

    1) Setup a twitter account for Cookography to drive awareness and drive traffic to your site
    2) Do more on how you are taking the photos because I think this is what sets you apart from other food blogs since most of them have crappy photos and yours rock
    3) Do tags (index) along the side so people can look through recipes by grouping (quick, healthy, chicken etc)

    • Thanks! Unfortunately the parents already claimed the #1 fan spot…
      – We do have a twitter account @Cookography, but we aren’t good about using it. I think we will try integrating the feed into the page so you can see what we post and link to
      – I am definitely game for documenting the photos! It is more fun than the writing
      – Yea, I gotta clean up the tags. Right now they focus more on the ingredients than the type of dish and it is tough to pull up posts using the tags.

      Thanks!! Hopefully other people will chime in now!

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