Blogging’s become a way of life for Raglan mum Emma Galloway who’s notched up 20,000 hits from all over the world since she started her gluten and dairy-free website just five months ago.
“That’s how you get your name out there,” reckons the former chef. And she says the effort is paying off.
Emma’s site has already had a mention in a recent Little Treasures magazine – for its “fantastic” recipes – and now she’s featuring in the summer issue of Allergy Today along with four of her recipes and a separate panel story about how her blog is attracting international attention.
Most hits, she says, come from America followed by New Zealand, Australia and then Britain. There’s also “some odd ones” – from South Korea, Egypt, Israel. Lately, all up, the hits are coming at a rate of between 200 and 700 a day.
For Emma, 30, it’s opened up her eyes to another world. “Before I started my blog I didn’t [even] know how to copy and paste.”
But while she once confined herself to Facebook and emails, Emma now blogs day and night, when the kids are asleep or at the local childcare. She is, by her own admission, obsessed with cookbooks – and has been for a long time – so blogging’s “like an online recipe journal”.
She experiments in her own kitchen, writes recipes, takes photos and basically keeps a running record online. She considers herself lucky to have been able to tap into top blogger Heidi Swanson’s American website 101 Cookbooks through which she now reviews cookbooks herself, in turn increasing exposure to her own site.
“She (Heidi) listed my site as one of her hundred or so favourites,” says Emma. “It means I get quite a few hits via hers.”
Heidi is the “grandmother “of cookery blogging, she adds.
Now Emma is eyeing an appearance early next year on TV One’s Good Morning show to talk about her blog. “It’s terrifying and exciting at the same time.”
And she wants to write a cookbook of her own sometime soon, she says, which is one of her main reasons for blogging. “It’s a good way to get a profile.”
Emma’s been in touch with some publishers and hopes to put a proposal together within the next six months. “I’ve pretty much got the recipes I want in it.”
Half of those, she explains, are adapted and half are from scratch. The recipes are vegetarian, gluten-free and “mostly” dairy-free to suit what she says is a growing trend.
It wasn’t until Emma had her children Ada, now 4, and Kye, 2, that she was forced to explore a gluten-free diet herself. Even as a trained chef – she started out at Raglan’s former Molasses café – she reckons she “struggled big-time” with an alternative diet for her kids who couldn’t tolerate gluten and some dairy foods.
The options weren’t “completely alien” to her, as a lifelong vegetarian, but for lots of people with similar problems they were.
*My darling lemon thyme is the blogspot where Emma writes about “the things I love, my family, food and recipes, my vege garden and how we cope living with food allergies”.
Check out Emma’s recipe below and site at www.mydarlinglemonthyme.blogspot.nz