This submit has been a long-time coming; it simply took a pandemic, and my life being flipped the wrong way up for me to get to the purpose of writing it.
The time has come to say goodbye to Naturally Ella (and hi there to a brand new web site: erinalderson.com).
It’s been a hell of a run. One thing that began as a side-project my senior 12 months of faculty pushed me right into a profession I had no thought was even doable. The positioning helped me fall in love with meals, greens, and galvanizing others to have enjoyable within the kitchen.
Over time, I’ve dug deep into my presence on the web and the way that aligns with issues I consider. I do know I don’t owe anybody an evidence, however I’m one for a little bit of transparency (and I do know fairly a number of of you will have been round for a few years). The reality is, I’ve been operating some type of this web site for 13 years, and it’s solely been up to now months I’ve been capable of decelerate to think about the affect of all these years.
Right here’s what it’s good to know
The vital information: as of January 1st, 2021, all new weblog content material on Naturally Ella has stopped***.
The brand new web site, you ask? I’m conserving it easy and simply being me: erinalderson.com.
In case you’re prepared to come back on this journey with me, you’ll be able to comply with me on Instagram and/or sign-up for my new newsletter. I received’t be bringing any emails with me, so that you received’t hear from me once more as Naturally Ella when you’re at the moment subscribed as soon as this web site closes down in March.
Why am I doing this?
For higher or worse, this web site has principally been simply me over time. It’s by no means actually felt like ‘a model,’ and I’ve all the time been hesitant to name myself an ‘influencer.’ After all, Naturally Ella is a model, and I’m an influencer (we technically all are, I simply occur to be on this house).
Nevertheless, the all-or-nothing enterprise method to running a blog is exhausting, and never one I’ve been capable of really feel snug in for a very long time. I began this web site in 2007 to share recipes I used to be making (not creating) and different issues I preferred.
Ultimately, running a blog turned one thing you can earn money from, and in return, a push occurred to ‘preserve individuals on the location.’ Running a blog turned about cash, search engine marketing optimization, and a race I someway discovered myself operating with out absolutely understanding why I used to be even operating.
I’ve been combating this for years. I’ve posted recipes that I wasn’t tremendous happy with within the title of visitors. I fell into the comparability gap and incessantly chatted with individuals about visitors, earnings, and greatest practices (not good content material). I left my world of academia, and with it, I someway misplaced my widespread sense about what it’s to analysis and perceive the world at giant. I stored operating with out wanting up.
However, I finished operating for a myriad of causes and eventually regarded as much as see many issues I didn’t like.
For starters, sitting in a haze of wildfire smoke for weeks on finish has continued to push me to look at my very own life and the methods I contribute to local weather change. Sure, companies are chargeable for a big half. Nonetheless, there are issues in my day-to-day life that want to alter: the surplus, the reliance on low cost items, and the sheer quantity of plastic I nonetheless discover myself surrounded by (even after a push away from single-use merchandise).
I’ve requested myself questions like, what’s life when there’s a heavy push for consumerism and capitalism? What roles do influencers play in pushing these agendas? Influencers are a line-item in promoting budgets. As an alternative of billboards, it’s Instagram posts. It’s all a numbers sport.
I ought to say, I don’t fault anybody who makes cash this way- it’s simply not for me anymore. These firms usually require non-competes, which suggests I’ve usually left not capable of speak about native companies I assist. It’s additionally felt unsuitable to be pushing #advert when a lot on the planet feels heavy. I’ve thought for a very long time; there must be a special means.
On high of that, I’ve been sitting with what occurs when the online is overrun by recipes created for principally one objective: search engine marketing domination (ie: getting the highest lead to Google search). Not solely will we find yourself with homogeneous recipes, however these recipes are additionally white-washing recipes deeply rooted in tradition/historical past.
Meals writing and recipes should be advised by the individuals who have the connection. Sure, meals is all the time adapting and altering primarily based on migration, however after we work inside an trade closely dominated by white voices, we lose loads. I’m not a voice that must be telling you how you can make jollof rice or ramen, however I do know there are various voices on the market that ought to; they only haven’t had the chance or platform.
Sure, you may make recipes and ignore the meals’s historical past, however you lose the richness behind what makes a dish that dish. That is one thing I really feel that meals bloggers miss the mark on again and again.
Why a brand new web site?
To possibly assist clarify: I’m the kind of person who I begin recent after I get a brand new telephone/computer- by no means import a back-up. There’s one thing to be stated for beginning recent, and I really feel like that’s what I’m doing right here. I’ve gained quite a lot of information over the previous decade, and this web site not seems like me- I’m not Ella.
The brand new web site received’t have advertisements and received’t have sponsored content material (and sponsored content material shall be minimal and confined to Instagram). It’s going to simply be me, sharing the content material I genuinely wish to share. Sure, there shall be an occasional recipe, however I’ll be focusing much less on pushing out new recipes week after week and extra highlighting content material (recipes/writing) from others, with a big emphasis on BIPOC voices.
A few of this I’ve already began on Instagram, and I’ve to say, I’ve discovered a lot and have loved studying a various quantity of writing. I hope you can find that as nicely when you determine to comply with me alongside this new path.
I admire everybody who has made my recipes over time. It’s been the one cause I’ve stored going. Because of my husband. He was the one who initially helped me get the unique web site on-line and has been an unbelievable assist system. I really feel deeply fortunate to have somebody assist me even when the concepts might sound extraordinarily wild (and never money-making).
I additionally wish to say thanks to Honey (the business). I’ll discuss extra about them as soon as I’m absolutely up and operating on the brand new web site, however they’ve held my hand loads by way of the years and, extra not too long ago, helped me take my current studio model and switch it into one thing that felt identical to me. I’ve spent so a few years feeling like I wasn’t Ella, it feels wonderful to have one thing that does really feel like me.
I’ve no clue what the following few years will maintain, and it’s all the time nerve-racking to say goodbye to one thing. Nevertheless, I’ve by no means been so positive that that is the appropriate resolution for me.
*** Initially the location was slated to go offline on March thirty first however attributable to some contractual obligations, the location shall be staying round in the meanwhile. All new content material shall be on erinalderson.com however most older recipes will keep round on this web site till additional discover.