Hey buddies! It’s Georgie here from In it 4 the Long Run, a blog all about living a joyful, healthy life for the long run. I’m so lucky to have met Christina through the magic of the interwebz and without a doubt blogging has been SO much more fun with her by my side. Today I’m sharing my process from taking a recipe from idea to hitting publish on the final post.
Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes to bring a recipe to life on the blog? Hint: a lot of (really fun) work. While bloggers share a lot of our lives through our recipes and writing, we don’t often take you into the kitchen where we’re making all of the mess.
Christina and I wanted to collaborate today to show you what our process from from start to finish looks like when we’re making a recipe to share.
After 2 1/2 years of blogging, I’ve finally found a recipe development and blogging process that works for my schedule and working style. Outside of blogging, I work 40 hours at a local coffee shop, which means I get 1 full day off a week. That day is usually dedicated to creating and shooting the recipes while mornings and nights before and after work are dedicated to planning, writing, editing, promoting, designing, strategizing, working on sponsorships and all the other wonderful parts of blogging.
When I create content for the blog it’s almost always in batches. That means I’ll spend a day of creating and shooting 2-4 recipes, then spend a block of time writing 2-4 posts at a time, editing all those images and so on. This makes the process much more efficient because you’re not breaking focus to switch gears. For me, the writing process is definitely the most intense and the one area I need complete focus to work on.
Today I wanted to show you what it takes for 1 recipe to go from conception to being published, step-by-step.
Step 1: Content Planning and Scheduling
At the end of each month, I’ll sit down and start brainstorming recipes for the next month. I keep in mind seasonality, as well as adapting to what my audience enjoys. I like have all the recipes for each month planned out with content ready to publish two weeks in advance. It took me a long time to get a regular schedule in place, but having things planned far in advance gives me a much greater sense of freedom and creativity because I’m never worried about what’s going out that week. I have a decent margin for error which makes experimenting much more fun.
Luckily, and sometimes to my own detriment, my tap of ideas is always flowing. To the point where sometimes I wish I could just turn them off. All the recipes I share on the blog are relatively simple, which actually gives me more room for creativity. I find that when you have some kind of restriction it can help give you more freedom. “Simple, easy-to-make, vegetarian recipes” is a solid starting block and from there it’s about finding inspiration from my own experience and from what my audience reacts well to. Most recipes are variations on experiments I’ve tried on myself and my development process might not be as scientific as some, but over the years I’ve learned more and more what works and what doesn’t.
Step 2: Recipe Development
The recipe development process happens over time and often the recipes that wind up on the blog are ones I’ve been making and tweaking for myself for a long time. Typically when I cook for myself, I eyeball a lot of measurements, so when I’m testing for the blog it means I have my handy dandy pineapple notebook out writing down scribbles of tbsp, tbsp, cups and so on until I get things just right.
Step 3: The Shoot
Once I’m confident with the recipe, I plan for the shoot. Like I mentioned I like to shoot 2-4 recipes in a day which can be a bit of a marathon. To make this go smoothly, the night before, I plan out what I want the shots to look like. I gather the ingredients and props so I’m ready to rock. That day, I set up the shot, create the recipe, plate it, shoot it and repeat the process until all the recipes are done. I love these days because I’m usually running around the house listening to a favorite podcast or audio book and I feel like I’m in my element.
However, there are plenty of times that either the recipe doesn’t photograph as planned, I lose the light (especially in the winter) or I decide that it’s not the right fit for the blog. Another tricky aspect of these days is making too much food that I can’t finish, especially if it can’t be saved, like a smoothie.
When I was living in Boston, I’d often call my sister who I’d use as a recipe tester/Snapchat assistant. Now I’m back home, living with my family, I have a couple more people to test the recipe and finish the food I can’t.
Step 4: Editing the Photos
This is probably one of my favorite parts of the entire process. Editing the photos. I love going through all the photos, choosing my favorites and bringing them to life in photoshop. Typically I don’t have to do too much, but I always use the “curve tool” to adjust the brightness, white balance and contrast.
Step 5: Writing the Blog Post
Possibly one of the most challenging, yet most rewarding aspects of writing a blog… actually writing the blog. Writing, unlike editing or shooting, must be done with total concentration. I can’t listen to music or podcasts, I have to be “on.”
Typically, when I sit down to write about a recipe I ask “why should I care?” The “I” being YOU of course. The truth is, writing about food can get really freaking repetitive. How many ways are there to tell you that this thing tastes good and you should make it. (Not that many, really).
However, there’s always a nugget of a story in each recipe. Some relatable truth that will hopefully inspire you to feel something. Excited, inspired, amused, entertained… hungry.
Step 6: Formatting the Recipe and Post
This is when I get to put all the pieces together. Seeing the words dance around the edited final product still gives me a rush of excitement even after hundreds of posts.
Step 7: Publishing and Promoting
Finally, it’s time to schedule that bad boy to go live. So freakin’ satisfying. And when it does go live, it’s all about finding where and when and how to get it to your eyeballs whether that’s on Instagram, in your Bloglovin’, on your Facebook newsfeed or praying to the Pinterest gods it will go viral.
There you have it. From conception to published product, that’s how a baby is made… I mean recipe 😉
- If you’re a blogger – what’s your process?
- If you’re a reader – is that what you imagined goes on behind the scenes?
Want more Georgie time? Samesies. Head to my Instagram where she’s taking over for the day!
And to see my ‘day in the life as a food blogger’, head to Georgie’s post!