Do you have a love hate relationship with anyone or thing? I do, INSTAGRAM, I love to hate it!! I’d give anything to never have to open the app again, but at the same time all I want to do is see the response to my latest post.
Posting on Instagram to me is like gambling on the slot machines, every post is like pulling the arm and watching the fruit spin around and seeing where they are going to land, hoping that each time it could end up with the bells and whistles going off. Not everyone has hit a jackpot in their lifetime, I’m fortunate to say I hit a little one the first time I played the slot machines so I know the feeling of bells and whistles with a staff member running up to you carrying a token book to write out the value of your winnings for the cashier (I’m that age, not quite coins cascading out of the machine, yet pre-digital). Feeling like I peaked too soon in my gambling life, I have never really played it again since, mainly because I’m pretty sure it could lead to a really bad addiction.
IG is the similar because just over a week ago I posted a picture, granted it was pretty and not my typical type of photography and it hit the jackpot. With over 4000 likes and close to 400 new followers, for this little blogger it was HUGE, jackpot huge!! So you know what comes next right? Each and every post since then has been an “is this it” moment.
For us bloggers IG is really important as it is obviously the gateway to our blogs, but more importantly it provides feedback for us as to how the public is responding to our work or in my case my photos. On a business level it is an incredibly important way to connect and be spotted by the brands, many will quietly follow a blogger until they feel they have a big enough reach to promote their products. This is where the triangle comes into play, more followers = brand recognition = monetising their work and let’s be honest, who would not want to earn payment for doing what they love?? You see, it is not all about just having a big following and being able to boast at a dinner party, but more about turning your blog from a hobby into a fully fledged business.
Another very important reason why I love to hate IG is because I have met the most incredible people and bloggers from different corners of the world. From a fellow South African vegan in Australia, to my good Texan friend Frank who even sent me a private Happy Mothers Day message, Louise in the UK who I have even met for lunch and a stroll through Whole Foods (yes us bloggers are very boring!). Two days ago I held a long chat about all things photography with a baker from Singapore. Without IG I would never have met these amazing, inspirational and supportive people who cheer me on just at the perfect time when a positive comment is really needed!
So the long and the short, I’m not going to hang up my IG anytime soon, even though it has become really hard for bloggers to be noticed due to the latest algorithm that has been introduced. Sponsored posts have become more important to IG than the support of their community, but for me it is less about a business and more about connecting and meeting fantastic people. Thank you so much for all the great comments and support that I have received over the years, having recently hit 5000 followers (it was not easy let me tell you!), I’m humbled that so many people want to see what I do, for me that is way better than hitting any jackpot!!
In celebration of this achievement, I thought I’d share my choc chip skillet cookie. What could be better than a huge cookie either to enjoy all to yourself (wink, wink, you only had one cookie!) or to bring it out as a dessert served warm with ice-cream or cream? The size of the pan will make a difference as a small 20cm pan will result in a higher, softer more cake-like cookie (personally I prefer this way) or a larger pan will produce a thinner crispier version, entirely your call.
- 1/2 cup coconut oil - melted (but not boiling)
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar - buy it here
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 3 cups ground almonds
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
- 1/2 tsp raw apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 tsp Himalayan salt
- 100g dark chocolate chips / chopped slab of good quality 70% or higher
- Preheat the oven to 170ºC
- In a bowl mix the coconut oil, coconut sugar, and vanilla extract.
- Add the eggs and whisk using a hand blender, until it looks like a gooey caramel.
- Add the almond flour, bicarb, raw apple cider and salt.
- Stir well.
- Mix in half the chocolate chips.
- Transfer the mixture to a 20cm skillet pan or an ovenproof pan.
- Press the remaining choc chips into the top.
- Bake for 30min
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly.
- Serve with ice-cream