Blog Changes & An Update For My Subscribers

Hello, internet! | Will Cook For Friends

Hello, everyone!

Today is supposed to be another article from my educational series FAK Fridays, but I’d like to address a few blog changes that are happening instead, so please forgive the interruption to your regularly scheduled post.

First, I want to thank you guys — my readers — because you are what make this blog so special. When I first started out, blogging was very much something I did for me. A way to explore my passions, put myself out there, and express myself. It has presented some interesting and unexpected challenges along the way, but with baby steps and lots of attention and caring, it has grown into something so much bigger than I ever could have hoped or expected. Now when I sit down to write, I’m not just doing it for me, I’m doing it for you, too. Blogging often gets a bad rap for being a solitary thing, an anti-social thing, but I think it is just the opposite. Whether you know it or not, when you read a post, or make one of my recipes, or leave me a comment, you are making my day. You are a part of my world — a big part — and I cannot tell you what it means to me. Some people might call this little corner of the internet of mine small, but by my measurements it is pretty huge… and it just keeps growing! So, to all my new readers, welcome! And to those of you who have been with me for a week, or a month, or from the very beginning, thank you! You are what make this all worthwhile.

But enough with the mushy gushy, now on to those important changes I mentioned…


Some of the changes that are taking place on this blog are pretty obvious… I’ve put up a new blog banner (isn’t Cartoon Me adorable?) and there are some minor changes to the text and design of the site overall. On the right hand side-bar you can now find social media buttons linking to my facebook, twitter, pinterest, etc., so if you’d like to connect with me it’s easier than ever.

Other changes are more subtle, and behind-the-scenes. They’re also pretty important, so bear with me.

As some of you may know, Google Reader will be going away at the end of this month. What’s that you say, it is the end of the month already? In my usual fashion, I’ve procrastinated until the last minute. Basically what this means is, if you subscribe to this blog (or any others, for that matter) via Google Reader, you’ll have to find another feed reader to replace it. There are plenty of options out there, though, and many of them will allow you to transfer your Google Reader subscription list directly into them (but you need to do this before Google Reader goes away, otherwise you’ll have to manually find and subscribe to all your blogs again).

So far I’ve been using a site called Feedly, which makes it very quick and easy to migrate all your Google Reader information over when you sign up. You can follow Will Cook For Friends on Feedly here, or you can find a detailed article on alternative feed reader options and how to download your subscription list here: Google Reader is Shutting Down; Here Are The Best Alternatives 

Along with Google Reader disappearing, there are rumors that Google Feedburner is going away. This pertains to everyone who subscribes via e-mail and receives updates to their inbox. In the event that these rumors are true, I’ve switched to a new e-mail host program and transferred all of my previous e-mail subscribers to the new service. You may notice a change in the appearance of the e-mails you receive, but hopefully that will be the only major difference. If you encounter any problems with the e-mails, or are receiving duplicates, please let me know. You can e-mail me directly at [email protected], or just hit “reply” to one of the new e-mails – unlike before, all e-mail responses will now be read and responded to by yours truly.

And of course, if you aren’t a subscriber, you should get on that! There’s a box on the right-hand side of the page (just below the social media buttons) where you can enter your e-mail to get new posts delivered right to your inbox. There’s no spam, I promise, and if you change your mind you can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of an e-mail… but that would make me sad, so I don’t recommend it.

One final thing I’d like to mention isn’t so much about the blog, but about me. One of the biggest challenges of blogging (or anything, for that matter) is being brave enough to put yourself out there. To be yourself, without reservation. The thing I admire most about my favorite blogs aren’t the recipes, or photos, or even the things they share, but the people behind them. The personality, the character, the stories that draw me in and keep me coming back for more. They are unapologetically true to themselves. I’d like to say I’m that confident, but I’m really not… in fact, being true to myself is one of the hardest things I’ve tried to do. And that’s something I’d like to work on. From now on I’m going to try to make things a little more personal around here. I want you to get to know me better. We’ve been going at this long enough now, I think it’s time to move on to the next stage of our relationship. (No, not second base.) It will be a gradual change, of course, and I don’t know if many of you will notice (or care), but if you do I hope you like what you read, because it will be me.

Not that it wasn’t me before, but you know what I mean.


Willow, from Will Cook For Friends
Well, hello, good lookin’! You come here often?

Before I go, I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback, if you have any. I want to get to know you better, because this space — this little corner of the internet — isn’t just mine, it’s ours. And I think that’s pretty awesome.


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19 Responses to Blog Changes & An Update For My Subscribers

  1. Javelin Warrior June 28, 2013 at 9:27 pm #

    Great post, Willow. I think letting the world see the “real” you is definitely the right thing to do, not just from a moral perspective but even from a blogging success perspective. You’re so right – I bloggers I love the most are the ones I feel I “know” through their fearless presentation of themselves… And BTW, I love Feedly. Just a great service and so easy to use… That’s how I just popped over, actually ;) Have a great weekend…

    • Willow Arlen June 29, 2013 at 3:15 am #

      Thanks! I always try to be honest and genuine, but I think I hold back a lot, too. I just need to be a little more confident in who I am, and putting myself out there. Definitely easier said than done. Baby steps!

  2. movita beaucoup June 28, 2013 at 9:30 pm #

    I love my little space here. Oh, I mean OUR little space here. I’ve loved getting to know you here, and can’t wait to see what else you’ve got up your sleeve.

    Also, that photo of you up there is one of the most adorable things I’ve ever seen. It makes me feel like I know you for reals.

    • Willow Arlen June 29, 2013 at 3:18 am #

      Thank you! I thought about you while I was writing this… you’re one of those people I really admire for being bold and confident (or it seems that way, at least). You’re an inspiration!

  3. Ariana June 28, 2013 at 9:51 pm #

    I love it all! Well written, well spoken, and I’d LOVE to get to know you better! I’ve long admired how much of *you* you put into your postings….at least as much as the recipes and mouth watering pics. Keep it up! We love YOU.

    • Willow Arlen June 29, 2013 at 3:20 am #

      Oh, the flattery! Thank you so, SO much. It means a lot to hear you say that.

  4. Jen @JuanitasCocina June 28, 2013 at 10:42 pm #

    Helloooooo gorgeous! I’m in for the ride, baby!

    • Willow Arlen June 29, 2013 at 3:22 am #

      Haha, glad to have you on board! You’ve been such a supporter for so long… thank you!

  5. Foodie Stuntman June 29, 2013 at 1:51 am #

    I love your avatar.

    • Willow Arlen June 29, 2013 at 3:22 am #

      Thanks! I thought it was time for a little change.

  6. shannon weber June 29, 2013 at 12:14 pm #

    it looks so great! i love it! good job, you; it gives me hives to even think about making changes to my own blog (because i am just that way) and yours really came out great. it’s worth mentioning that i loved your space before, and i love it now also. :)

    omg i have yet to say anything via blog about the feed issue with Google Reader. oy. *procrastinators unite*

    • Willow Arlen June 29, 2013 at 10:37 pm #

      Thanks, Shannon! It’s a little intimidating sometimes, but I like to play with changes every now and then… it was definitely time for something slightly different! And as for Google Reader, it almost didn’t occur to me to mention it to my readers… yikes! Glad I came to my senses before it was too late.

  7. Art June 29, 2013 at 5:46 pm #

    I love the banner. Check mine out if you get a chance:

    • Willow Arlen June 29, 2013 at 10:38 pm #

      Thanks, Art! Looks like we have a similar fondness for cartoon versions of ourselves, huh?

  8. CJ - Food Stories June 29, 2013 at 8:28 pm #

    So glad to “see” you, Willow ~ Can’t wait to learn more about you :-)

  9. jessica @ hungrygems June 30, 2013 at 5:47 pm #

    Love it, Willow!

  10. Rose July 2, 2013 at 4:27 am #

    Love it!

  11. Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes July 25, 2013 at 7:19 pm #

    Willow you are so amazing, I am grateful to have gotten to know you through blogging a little over a year ago and proud to call you my friend! Can’t wait for the change! xo

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