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Tips for the Aspiring Blogger

ChocolateSilkPie.jpg

 

I feel almost silly writing out tips for bloggers... I am not nearly as accomplished at blogging as some of the people out there, but I get asked questions about it often, so I thought that in honor of the Adopt a Blogger event going on, I would throw my two cents into the ring.

First of all, let me introduce you to my new blogging friends... my adoptees are Yamiam and Jennie. I will most certainly be doing a more formal introduction later, but I at least wanted to get their links out there for all of you to visit - hint, hint!

Okay... on to my tips.

1) Blog Regularly. By regularly, I don't mean every, single day. That isn't necessary and could easily cause burnout if you put that kind of pressure on yourself. My suggestion would be to do 1-3 new posts each week. If you want people to keep coming back, you have to give them something new to come back to. 

2)  Contact. Give your readers some way to contact you via email if they have questions, or as Deb over at Smitten Kitchen mentioned to me... give someone a way to contact you if they have a book deal for you!  Some of your readers may be too timid to leave a comment on your site directly but may feel more comfortable emailing you with questions. Have a "contact me" button, or something on your blog so that those individuals can easily get a hold of you.

3) Photos. We are foodies... we like recipes and details, but we LOVE photos. If you have access to a digital camera, try food photography on for size. Your photos don't have to be perfect! Just give us something to look at along with your post.,

4) Give and you shall receive. If you want people to visit your blog, you first have to visit the blogs of others. Don't spam other blogs with your information... just visit those blogs that interest you and leave genuine comments. You will be amazed at how many people will come and visit you based simply on a comment you might have left at someone else's blog.

5) Find your place...find your style. We are all unique and everyone has something different to bring to the table, so to speak. Don't try to copy someone else's style. Be yourself and blog about what comes naturally to you. If you stay true to who you are, eventually the whole blogging thing will come very easily for you!

6) Don't make visitors register. If you want people to leave comments on your blog, don't have a big registration process for them to go through. Do the standard Google, Wordpress, Squarespace form, but don't make people fill out a private registration just so they can make a comment. Chances are, you will lose the interest of potential regular readers.

7) Participate. I know what you are thinking... hypocrite! I am the last person to talk about participating in blogging events. I used to do so regularly, but just haven't been able to do as much as I would like to lately. If you want to connect with others in the Food Blogging community one of the best ways to do so is by participating in the hundreds of blogger events that happen throughout the year. You can find a complete list of various happenings in the food blogging world as they are updated, here.

I hope this was helpful to some of you new blogger's getting started out there. Veterans...if you have any suggestions, feel free to leave them here. Later on I will compile them all (with credit to you) and make another post for our newbie blogger friends! 

For suffering through my endless babbling, I will leave you this recipe for Fluffy Chocolate Silk Pie. This is a decadent, rich and delicious dessert from the February 2008 issue of Simple and Delicious magazine.

Fluffy Chocolate Silk Pie 

1 (9 inch) unbaked pastry shells
1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow creme
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter, cubed
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate squares
2 tablespoons strong brewed coffee
1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped

Topping

1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  1. Line unpricked pastry shell with a double thickness of heavy duty foil. Bake at 450 degrees for 8 minutes. Remove foil; bake 5 minutes longer. Cool on a wire rack.
  2. Meanwhile, in a heavy saucepan, combine the marshmallow creme, chocolate chips, butter, unsweetened chocolate and coffee; cook and stir over low heat until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Cool. Fold in the whipped cream; pour into the crust. Let chill at least 3 hours before topping with whipped topping.
  3. For topping, in a large mixing bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add confectioners' sugar; beat until stiff peaks form. Spread over chilled filling. Garnish with chocolate curls if desired.

 

Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 at 11:10PM by Registered CommenterKristen | Comments46 Comments

Reader Comments (46)

Great post, but you know me...I LOVE THE PHOTO! I've got to stop reading your blog at midnight. I always end up with the munchies!
January 17, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterheather morrow
Excellent advice...I may still this for my post. :)
I agree with all of it especially the don't make people register. There are blogs I don't go back and visit. I also HATE when they fish for you to go look at their blog. If you post on mine, I do go and look at yours. I am also not a fan of asking to be on someone's blog roll.
January 17, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterpeabody
Great advice. I'll add a few thoughts. (1) I can't stress enough the notion of reciprocating -- become an active reader and leave positive comments, and the blog world will find you. Don't expect comments if you don't leave comments. AND don't blog just for comments -- they are not an indicator of whether you're doing a good job. It can take months to get your first comment. (2) Don't write posts that say that you have nothing to write about that day. If you don't have something to say, don't post. (3) Think about what value you'll add to the food blog community, whether it's good photography, interesting recipes (or recipes that you've tested, modified, or just didn't work), restaurant reviews, travel tips, sources, new products, etc. Add something of value with each post. (4) Think about who you want your audience to be. If you use profanity in your writing (and that's fine, if it's your thing), you probably won't be included on some blogrolls (like mine), because I know that kids read my blog. (5) Have fun!
January 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLydia
Not silly at all, Kristen! Very useful tips, actually.
January 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPatricia Scarpin
I'll take all the tips I can get.
Thank you!
January 17, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermegan
Thank you for sharing those tips! I just discovered your blog yesterday and have enjoyed reading and looking at your photography.

I was wondering if you could tell me how to add a "contact me" box on my blog? Or can you refer me to an on-line guide on how to do it?
January 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPatsy
Good list - particularly number 5. I don't think I found my voice for at least a year...maybe still haven't? I keep misplacing things.....
January 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKatie
Awesome post!! I have to say I *LOVE* checking in on your blog....fabulous pictures, awesome receipes....and lots of persoanlity....always a good read!! You've inspired me to step back into the kitchen a little more...and for that Jared thanks you!!! :) See you soon, Jen
January 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer Mullinax
Great tips Kristen! I didn't even think of the "contact me" button?! What a great idea! Yes, I'm a newbie ;)

I just want you to know that as I'm typing, I'm drooling over that Silk Pie! OMGosh, I'm gonna have to make it - like SOON!!! :o)
January 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKathy
Those are very good tips, Kristen.
January 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCynthia
Great tips!
You are one rockin' blogger!
:)
January 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLisa : )
These are great tips! I'm off to add a "contact me" link. =)
January 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJennie
Hola Kristen! I'm one of the newbies. Thanks for all your efforts helping us! These "rules" are what I have come up with after 7 months blogging... they are just common sense... but it took me a while to figure them out! I wish somebody had told me about them when I started.
Today I'm posting about my Veteran pal foodieblogger!
Cheers!
January 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNĂºria
Great tips Deb!! I am still waiting patiently for my adoptee to contact me. I have up on my side bar and I have emailed her :( It will be great once I can let people know a little bit about her and cook up a few of her Asian recipes.
January 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBellini Valli
WONDERFUL tips. Now if I could only follow them. I have been lacking for 3+ months now. Oy.
January 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer
Thank you so much for your advice. I have been wanting to begin blogging but am most intimidated by the fact that my photography skills are a bit lacking. So I just decided to go for it and hopefully will have my first post up this weekend. My goal is to become a Daring Baker...The pie looks so yummy! Thanks again!
January 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGinny
This came at a great time. Thanks Kristen. The pie looks yummy!
January 18, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjulie
Thanks for the advice!! It's really helpful and I'll keep all the tips in mind.
January 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterYamiam
Thanks for the advice!! It's really helpful and I'll keep all the tips in mind.
January 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterYamiam
those are all great tips! i just found your blog through this adopt a blogger event... what a great idea! :) i would also love to know how to add the contact me form that you have on your blog...
January 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMrsPresley

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