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Blogging Advice Wanted

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 05:14 PM

Hello all,

I initially started a blog when I had to communicate to friends and family what I could and was eating. It's actually turning into something I really enjoy, and I'm starting to feel the pull of marketing and getting readership. Experienced bloggers-- what did you do that worked really well? What was a waste of time?

Non-bloggers: what do you dislike seeing on blogs? What makes them worth returning to?

All advice and ideas appreciated!
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2/2010 Malabsorption becomes dramatically noticable
3/2010 Negative IgA EMA; negative IgA TTG
4/2010 Negative biopsy
5/2010 Elimination diet; symptoms begin to resolve on gluten-free diet round two (10 days)
5/2010 Diagnosed gluten sensitive based on weakly positive repeat IgA & IgG TTGs and dietary response; decline capsule endoscopy.

Now, what to do about my cookbook in progress? Make it gluten-free?

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 06:44 PM

I dislike it when bloggers get cocky. I've seen bloggers get popular and all of a sudden their blog is going to save the world and they're quiting their jobs to "get their message out".

Other than that I love good recipes and meal plans.
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Busy mom to 3 great kids (4, 8 and 18)

Gluten free since April 6, 2011 ~ Also sensitive to coconut, coffee and food dyes

Joint pain, mouth sores, back and neck pain, migraines, stomach pain, chronic fatigue, ADD and depression are all gone.
Wishing I had been diagnosed before celiac robbed me of the cartilage in my toes and the 3 babies we lost to miscarriages.



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Posted 13 June 2011 - 06:48 PM

I'm pre-reminding everyone who answers that it's not appropriate to link to your own blog. If you have an example to show someone either pm them or put it on your profile. You CAN link to other people's blogs to demonstrate something good or bad.
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Posted 14 June 2011 - 03:41 AM

Humor!! I really only follow one blog and that's because she's a friend of mine, but I have read some entries in some of the blogs that inspired her and I can honestly say I prefer hers because of her humor.

One of the things that I've seen in hers and in some of the others is the phrase (or something like it) . . . Back when I did blankety-blank which you can read about here (where the here is a link to a previous blog entry.) Don't know why, it just rubs me the wrong way. I think you can link back, but not so obvious . . . Back when I did blankety-blank and the blankety-blank becomes the link.

Now my friend follows many (home decorating) blogs. One of her pet peeves (and it would be mine if I followed more blogs ;) ) is when there is just a short entry that doesn't really pertain to their blog topic. She was wondering if people with corporate sponsored blogs have to post every so many days whether they have anything to say or not. She has admitted that she has felt the pressure to post even when she hasn't been working on anything because she doesn't want to lose the followers she has.

I'll be following your thread because I've been thinking about joining the blogosphere . . . although it will probably just be a few relatives and friends that feel obligated to follow it . . . and anyone else that I pay off :P
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Posted 14 June 2011 - 04:38 AM

If you all start blogs, I will feel obligated to follow them! So I better tell you what I expect from you! ;)

- Funny
- Yummy recipes with beautiful pics
- Silliness
- Cute pics & stories of your kids & pets but not stories about Joe and Myrna's cruise (& I don't even know that Joe is your second cousin on your mom's side)
- Humorous
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Posted 14 June 2011 - 05:25 PM

Good, solid advice. Exactly what I expect from this lovely crowd. But, folks, I'm sorry, I'm sure I'm insufficiently funny and I have been guilty of the blatant HERE link. (In my defense, I was writing partly for my grandmother, and blatant seems advisable.)

I would recommend it if you like writing at all! I've found the discipline to be motivating and writing practice to be helpful. It's also making me actually measure and record for recipes, which I often do not do. My pet peeve is when someone blogs, but has really low quality writing. I'm not demanding a pulitzer here, or even perfect spelling, but reasonable attempts at mostly correct grammar. Death to the run-on sentence!

What about stories about my landlady's grapes, or my mother's bunny? Do they fall under Myrna & Joe (who is actually my uncle).
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2/2010 Malabsorption becomes dramatically noticable
3/2010 Negative IgA EMA; negative IgA TTG
4/2010 Negative biopsy
5/2010 Elimination diet; symptoms begin to resolve on gluten-free diet round two (10 days)
5/2010 Diagnosed gluten sensitive based on weakly positive repeat IgA & IgG TTGs and dietary response; decline capsule endoscopy.

Now, what to do about my cookbook in progress? Make it gluten-free?



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Posted 14 June 2011 - 06:02 PM

No one has mentioned this yet, but one of the most important things for me is that it's well organized and easy to navigate. Maybe I'm different from the average blog reader however. I don't realy "follow" blogs as far as reading them every day or every week. Instead, I like to search blogs for the type of recipe I am looking for. I hate it when I stumble upon a good recipe on a blog by doing a google search but then I can't find any other recipes that appeal to me on that blog because they don't have an index or don't have tags. I should be able to land anywhere on your blog from a google search and from there quickly figure out how to get to your homepage/index of all your recipes (assuming it's a recipe blog).

I really like it when there are tags for things like gluten-free, Dairy free, soy free, vegan, etc but it's more imporant that I can at least search by type of recipe (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, dessert, baked good, main dish) and maybe food type (beef, vegetables, chicken, eggs, ect)?

However you choose organize it try to be consistant in the tags you use.

Another thing that bugs me is when there is a WALL of text before the blogger gets to the actual recipe or even before a picture of a recipe. If you have to tell a story about the recipe make it short or break it up with paragraph breaks and photos that are topic appropriate. Pictures can tell a story SO much better than a sentence. You should give a picture first and then explain it in the text, IMO. If I have to scroll through a long and boring narrative to get to the recipe/point/first photo I am less likely to be interested in searching your blog for other pages of interest. I'm going to go elsewhere. I don't really care if a blogger is witty. If what they write is well written and to the point and, the site is easy to navigate and they have recipes that interest me I will be back.
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Posted 14 June 2011 - 07:05 PM

I'm avidly following this thread because I have a blog, too (linked from my profile). We're thinking of changing our main website's home page so that it is not the blog, because it seems like it's too hard for people to clearly understand what we *do* and what our services are. I want to have teasers to various recent blogs from the home page as well. If you are just going for the ad revenue, though, you definitely want your blog front and center.

Do you use google analytics on your blog? It can be a useful way to see what kind of entries are getting more visitors and seeing which entries visitors are spending a long time reading and following links from. We still have a ways to go in really putting that information to use, but we are gearing the new posts we write to focus on the characteristics that the most popular posts share.

I'm also torn - I started cross-posting all our blogs here on celiac.com and wow, I can't believe how many people are reading them! In a couple days I've had more hits on this blog than we did since we started keeping track on our other blog in March. We definitely need to improve our SEO.
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Our family is transitioning off the GAPS Intro Diet and into the Full GAPS Diet.
Gluten-Free since November 2010
GAPS Diet since January/February 2011
me - not tested for celiac - currently doing a gluten challenge since 11/26/2011
partner - not tested for celiac
ds - age 11, hospitalized 9/2010, celiac dx by gluten reaction & genetics. No biopsy or blood as we were already gluten-free by the time it was an option.
dd - age 12.5, not celiac, has Tourette's syndome
both kids have now-resolved attention issues.



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Posted 14 June 2011 - 07:20 PM

I started a blog for a few reasons, and have been pestered a few times to do it. One of the reasons, is because my friend insisted I should write a horror book about my doctor stories. I said, I'm not comfortable with that [Simply because I don't find it all that fascinating, and I'm not sure I could write a book.], so he said write a blog. I'm also writing one because my counselor said I need a outlet, and I am also using it to keep track of all my foods and stuff.

From the way I see it, if you want readers. Just stick to yourself, and keep posting stuff that pulled people to begin with. However, If you really want to try for it... do this.

- Read other peoples blogs, and try to interact with them. If people see that you care, they'll try to understand you better also.

- Make entries, and then in the key words list post things that are very relevant to your blog. It will help when people search for things your blog discusses. [i.e. Say it's a gluten free cooking blog, post things like... gluten-free, celiac, recipe, or such. The key words list is there so that people who are looking for that, have a easier time finding it.]

- Make a second blog, that focuses more on your day to day, use that blog for your everyday posts and link it with your first blogs. Use your first blog just for things that you've described it for, and keep it focused. The people who began reading it, began reading it just for that reason. However, having the second blog may pull in more people, and your old readers may begin to read it to get to know you better.

- Go to other websites, and cross promote there. See an article on gluten free stuff? Post a link to your blog in the comments. [Obviously, first make sure you can post it there.]

However, if you really want readers who you feel connected to... try to understand them. Try to know who you're targeting and marketing for. If people feel you're trying to be popular, you can loose people like that. Also, remember you can run the risk of getting the... I'm following you because everyone else is, and it makes me seem in crowd. However, they may not actually read your blog. Good luck! :)
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Bloodwork Borderline, Positive biopsy from doctors - June, 10, 2011
Gluten free diet started.

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