Monday, November 5, 2012

FNCE Reflections -- Melissa Ciampo

The first session I attended at the 2012 Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE), was “Calling All Food Bloggers: Stay in the Game,” presented by Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN and Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC. Toby and Dana are the authors of the Healthy Eats blog, located on the Food Network website.

As an amateur blogger, I was interested in absorbing as much advice as I could. For my fellow interns with more experience blogging, they found this session to be pretty basic and uninspiring. However, as I am in the process of starting my own blog, I found the session to be very informative and helpful as I begin to formulate ideas for my first blog post.

 For inexperienced bloggers (like myself), here is what you missed from this session:
  1.   Blog-writing is informal. When writing a blog, your tone should be relaxed and it’s okay to use contractions. The content should be personal and humorous, yet relatable for a wide audience.
  2. Keep it short and sweet. Blog posts should be between 250 – 600 words. If you want to add additional information, link to a previous blog post or to a website containing additional information.
  3. Don’t use abbreviations. Your audience will include a variety or people. So when posting recipes write out the entire word for measurements. For example, gms should be grams and tsp should be teaspoons.
  4. Take your own pictures. Using your own pictures makes posts personal and fun. The art of photography was a main topic at this session, to summarize here are some useful tips:
    • Use natural light
    • Avoid reflective surfaces
    • Take food pictures at an angle, rather than overhead
    • Add garnishes
    • Upload photos as jpgs
5.      Categorize your posts. Use tags too, but don’t overdo them. Maximum number of tags should be 3 to 5 per blog post.
6.      Learn your “value.” Your value = your blog traffic. You can monitor it by checking the number of page views, or using Google Analytics.
7.      Promote your own posts via social media. Share the link to your newest post via Twitter or Facebook to acquire new readers and reach a broader audience.
8.      End your post with a question. This will prompt readers to leave comments, increasing the conversation and making your blog a more interactive experience.
9.      Use your resources. Develop a list of favorite resources you can use for recipe conversions, current news, and/or blog post topics. Some recommended at the session included

a.       ListServs

10.  Generate new content regularly. In order to gain loyal followers and stay current, aim for posting new entries twice a week.

After attending this session, I was finally ready to start my own blog. I hope you find this advice as helpful as I have. Happy Blogging!
Posted on behalf of Melissa Ciampo

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