Two Years of Blogging: What We’ve Learned

 

Wei Leili NYCHey friends!

Today marks two years since this little blog of ours took its first steps into the real world, and we think that’s one hell of a feat (if we do say so ourselves). So today we’ve decided to share what we’ve learned these past two years, and also give you a little insight into our future plans. Because whether you’ve been with us since the beginning or you’re just now stopping by for the first time, you guys are what makes this blog worth writing every week. So, this one’s for you. (And for Harry Potter, wherever he may be now – anyone else excited about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child coming out today? Well, you should be.)banana bacon peanut butter cucpake

Leili Townsman

Leili here!

Two years ago, I had just returned to school and wanted desperately to do something fun and worthwhile with my free time. When our first few posts went up, I vividly remember feeling giddily terrified of what people would say, or if anyone would bother looking at it at all. When everyone around us told us they liked what we’d done so far, it gave me the courage to keep going. A few months in we had a couple new followers, which meant this was no longer just read by our families and close friends. Our yolk baby was growing.

chocolate orange challah

If I could give one piece of advice to people who want to start a blog, or want to start any new venture, it would be this: don’t wait, just do it. You will never be totally ready, but that’s okay – imperfection can be a beautiful thing. And two years from now you’ll either be glad you jumped in when you did, or you’ll still be debating whether or not to go for it. Trust me, the former feels a hell of a lot better.

yeasted orange waffles and chocolate hazelnut spread

Another piece of advice: don’t go it alone, if you can help it. Wei is my rock, and we keep each other motivated to keep this blog going week after week. It helps to have a friend who depends on you just as much as you depend on them, especially if you want to commit to something that will (hopefully!) last for many years. (Love you wifey.)

Now, with a small but steady following, we’re starting to learn the ropes. But I still have so much more to learn, and I’m constantly feeling like the new kid in class. But every day we push ourselves to make our blog a place people look forward to visiting as they drink their morning coffee. If we can make that happen, it’s all worth it.

Leili graduation

While it’s almost impossible to choose between my children, I’d have to say that my top three recipes are the Chocolate Orange Challah Bread, the Triple Fudge Peanut Butter Brownies, and Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream. I’ve made these again and again and they always get rave reviews. (Because chocolate, probably.)

vegan ice cream bird's eye

My favorite recipes of Wei’s have got to be her Chocolate Toffee Cookies, Roasted Five Spice Pork Belly, and Three Herb Mushroom Pasta. And her Chicken Fried Rice. And Avocado Toast. They’re all so good, trust me.

Pork Belly Platter 2

Aside from everything that’s been going on here at Yin and Yolk, I’ve been through a lot of changes since July of 2014. I traveled to Europe, survived a breakup,  graduated from college, saw off a close friend as she moved across the country, and fixed a broken relationship. I went to Portland for the first time, and dyed my hair every color between blackish red and reddish purple. It’s been a wild ride.

Heartbreak Leili

This coming year, I’ll be traveling to Dublin on my own for my first solo trip. I can’t wait to try a real life Guinness (and maybe visit the Leprechaun Museum. That’s a thing). You’ll be hearing all about it when I get back in mid-September, so prepare yo’selves.

singing beach

I’ll also be taking a short trip to the west coast to see Los Angeles and San Francisco soon. You’ll be hearing about that as well; I’m going to Tartine it up.

Other than that, everything is up in the air. And for the first time in my life, I’m okay with not knowing what’s going to happen next.

Alison Walking

Banyan Wei

Wei taking over.

It’s such a strange and gratifying feeling whenever people react to me telling them that I have a food blog. For one, I think I still blush when people compliment us for the photography or the recipes – I still feel very new to this. Secondly, for all the effort we put into this, my favorite feeling is when people tell us that they actually took the time to read a post and recreate a recipe. It makes the long nights worth it.

Scallion Pesto Pasta Cheese 2

For fellow content creators, you already know this: blogging and generating new material consistently is a lot of hard work. It is, without a doubt, a full time job. I’m not trying to discourage anyone from getting creative, but understand that it takes up all of your time. A blog doesn’t have office hours. It’s 24 hours a day. It really is like having a baby.

To piggyback on that: be consistent with posting. It makes all the difference in your attitude and blog ethic.

pointy wei wei

With that little disclosure set aside, let me jump into how much Yin and Yolk has meant to me. For me, it’s been my creative outlet and a way for me to escape into something I love. For the entirety of this blog, I have had a full time job. Balancing the two can be challenging and sometimes it’s just outright stressful to keep up on our posting schedule. On several occasions, Leili had to take over for me for a week or two until I smoothed things out on my end.

But when I do generate content that I am proud of and you guys respond positively to it, well, then my battery gets recharged again. It gets me excited for the next time I get to shoot and edit photos. Heck, it makes grocery shopping more inspiring.

It’s never going to be perfect, but it’s worth pursuing. Right?

Guac Grilled Cheese Board

As for the past couple years in my personal life, it’s been interesting. I’m a fairly private person but I’ve had some heartbreaks here and there, and I’ve come out on the other side each time a stronger person. Sometimes I get a little lost but I’d like to think that I always find my way back. Having the blog as a constant helps. Honestly, I find that I feel happiest when I’m by myself. I seriously love me some Wei time.

Leili helps, too. I mean, we did start this blog out of boy talk while consuming large amounts of food. We still do that today.

Cookie Tin

Pumpkin Souffle

If you’ve made it this far into the post, an enormous thank you for reading and for all your support. We love you to pieces and we can’t wait to jump into our third year with all of you. We’ll try to make you proud.

Wei Pier

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