It will be coming up on two years since launching In NYC on April 8th. I look back at the journey from our Culinary Tour 2010 on Facebook, which was a New Year’s Resolution to try a new restaurant every week to today, when I go to so many restaurants I cannot even write them all up. Surprisingly, I’m not much worse for the wear around the waistline. I’ve learned about the restaurant industry, food trends, self-hosting a website, WordPress, writing in html, Custom Style Sheets, Search Engine Optimization, Google Analytics and ultimately how to write a better blog.
I look back at the initial posts and they really suck. No color, no food or atmosphere descriptions, no information about the chef or owner much less the restaurant concept. And those iPhone 3 photos? Yikes. In NYC has been re-designed at least 3 times and continuously upgraded to add Instagram Feeds, Google Maps, links, Search Engine Optimizers and plenty of Plugins to add functionality. The technology change has been the biggest learning curve. My favorite is my little shortcut logo for iPhone and iPad. Oh, and the mobile site has been a big improvement. And every time something gets added I want to go back and fix everything.
I am continuously in a state of flux; changing, morphing, adding, subtracting. I am adding addresses for Google Maps on every post, creating feature images, re-inventing how my posts look and feel, how to search and navigate through my site. I’ve finally hit my stride. I discovered that of the 100,000 impressions I get on Google searches in a month I get about 1500 clicks. And 98% are on my IMAGES, not on content. Why? I am too low on the Google pages to be found, but I learned that tagging every photo gets me pretty damn high on ‘Google Images’. Search any restaurant In NYC has been on Google Images and there we are. And who the hell knew until I discovered Search Engine Optimization?
People are always asking why do I do this? Is it money? Do I advertise? It’s for me. I enjoy it. And that’s a lucky thing. I look at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Foursquare, RSS Feeds, and E-mail Subscriptions and add it all up. In NYC has 2107 followers in total. It is growing daily, especially now that I’m learning the tricks of the Social Networks. I enjoy when people tell me they read the blog avidly. And I appreciate so much when they do because by all indications there’s nobody – or at least just a handful. Few hit the little thumbs up, few write an encouraging word. And there are those I know who’ve never taken the time to even look at it. But that’s OK, I tell myself. Its for me.
At least I know I can search by neighborhood, cuisine or just type the name of what I’m searching for in that little field that says ‘Search Site’ for everything I’ve done in the past two years. Its like a diary. And some of it is pretty good. Even funny. One lonely fan recently wrote, ‘I know it wasn’t your intent, but this made me laugh my ass off.’ She was surprised to learn that it WAS meant to be funny.
So here we are, two years in with 654,897 hits, 284 posts, 13 pages, 94 categories, 46 locations and a whopping 150 comments on the website. Will the fan base continue to grow exponentially? Will we hit 1,000,000 hits in short order? Probably. The harder you work at it and the more you post, the more it grows. But in the end, is it about the following or the journey? For sure, the journey. But having interested fans sure makes it all worthwhile.