Today I’m taking a stroll through my blog’s archive. Eleonora, of Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino, Rome resident and culinary guide extraordinaire, nominated me to take part in Tripbase’s 7 Links Project. The goal of the project is to “unite bloggers (from all sectors) in a joint endeavor to share lessons learned and create a bank of long but not forgotten blog posts that deserve to see the light of day again.”
Hundreds (thousands?) of bloggers have already taken part in the 7 Links Project, and I’ve very much enjoyed discovering what everyone has to share. As a blogger, writing one post after another, you often end up forgetting everything you chatted about, and so I think this is a great opportunity to go back in time, reflect on your reasons for blogging and share older posts that perhaps newer readers have never seen before. Hopefully, you’ll discover you’ve come a long way, just like I did.
To learn more about Tripbase’s 7 Links Project, read the simple rules.
Your Most Beautiful Post
I’ve struggled with food photography since the very beginning of my blog, and it frustrates me that I don’t get better more quickly. I sometimes delay publishing new posts because I can’t take pictures that I find good enough to illustrate my words. I tell myself I shouldn’t aim to be good at everything, but so many bloggers can do it all with such talent and creativity that I can’t let go of the ambition to get better. There is one post I’m proud of, visually speaking: How to Make an Authentic Bolognese Sauce. Everything just works together. I remember that taking the pictures felt easy and effortless, but somehow, I can’t make that happen every time. Practice, practice, practice, as they say.
Your Most Popular Post
By far: How to Make Macarons: A Detailed, Illustrated Step-by-Step Recipe. It’s one of my earliest posts and its popularity has been constant for over a year. I knew macarons were popular but I never thought a step-by-step post about this French delicacy would be my main traffic driver. Published almost a year and a half ago, it still gets thousands of unique visitors per week. I am planning to improve it by taking new (better) pictures, and I am currently working on a troubleshooting post based on all the comments I have received and replied to since this post was published.
Your Most Controversial Post
It wasn’t controversial per se, but one post that generated a nice, healthy exchange was I (Heart) Kimchi. Like all traditional dishes (especially ones that were created thousands of years ago), kimchi can be made in many different ways and most families bring their own twist to it. I decided to make David Chang’s Momofuku kimchi and, because this chef always does things his own way, the recipe appeared less authentic to some readers (because of the addition of soy sauce, amongst other things). I’m not Korean, and I’m no kimchi expert, but to me it tasted great. Since then, I’ve promised myself to try different, more traditional recipes, and the next on the list is Kimchi Mom’s (her how-to video is fabulous!).
Your Most Helpful Post
How to Make Gnocchi: An Illustrated, Step-by-Step Recipe. Many people love the taste and texture of delicate Italian gnocchi, but most people have never dared, or have failed, to make them at home. Thanks to Eleonora’s tried-and-true family recipe, I mastered these flavorful little pillows. According to the comments and emails I got following the publication of that post, the recipe and my step-by-step pictures and video helped lots of other cooks to successfully make gnocchi at home as well. It’s my third most popular post of all time.
A Post Whose Success Surprised You
How to Make Gelato: A Detailed, Step-by-Step Recipe (yes, I do notice that how-to posts tend to be very popular!). I was intrigued by how gelato was made and how different it is from ice cream, so I investigated a bit and churned out a beautiful Cherry and Raspberry Ripple Gelato. Since the base of a milk- or cream-based gelato is always the same, my post turned into a very popular how-to (my second most popular post of all time). And this was before the release of the movie Eat Pray Love! People really do love creamy iced treats.
A Post You Feel Didn’t Get the Attention it Deserved
Two of my posts lose the popularity contest and I wish it weren’t so. They are both posts about Quebec: the first is about the Eastern Townships, a beautiful area in the south of the province where world-class ice wines and ciders are produced (Roadtrip to the Eastern Townships: Wine and Cider Tastings); and the second one is about Quebec’s apples, with which I created An Apple Lunch Menu Featuring a Tartare of Marinated Trout and Smoked Salmon. The popularity of a post can seem so fickle and random sometimes – I’m sure the way I wrote these posts or marketed them (SEO nightmare!) has something to do with it. The fact that I write in English also made my readership grow mostly outside of my birth province, but I wish more people were interested in the small pocket of French-speaking people in North America that we are. In fact, one of my goals for the future of my blog is to write more about Quebec’s cuisine and heritage. I just hope my readers will like it!
The Post That You Are Most Proud of
Rome’s Forno Campo de’ Fiori Pizza, At Home. In Rome, I went head over heels for Forno Campo de’ Fiori’s pizza. I loved it so much that thinking of it was enough to give me urges to fly back to Italy. After reading Bon Appétit’s excellent Italy-focused issue, I felt I just had to try and make it at home (if only to save on a plane ticket to Italy). Thanks to the magazine’s crust recipe and my vivid souvenirs of Forno’s simple but oh-so-tasty toppings, I managed to replicate this Roman wonder in my own oven. Now, this crust is our favorite and the one I always make when we crave for pizza. I garnish it according to Forno tradition or I let my imagination run wild with new flavor combinations.
Thanks again, Eleonora, for nominating me to participate in Tripbase’s 7 Links Project. The bloggers I would like to see share tips and lessons learned about their blogging experience are:
- Amy, of Kimchi Mom
- Angi, of Rice & Wheat
- Nikki, of Art & Lemons
- Mardi, of Eat, Live, Travel, Write
- Catie, of Pitchfork Diaries
Let’s pass it on!