Saturday, 27 August 2011 02:04

How to Blog: Tips for Vegan Bloggers from Vida Vegan Con

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On my Vida Vegan Con roundup I started collecting all the vegan blogging tips from attendees who are at the panels, but there was so much great advice I figured I'd make a separate post! Thanks to all the amazing "tweeple" who shared all this great info! This will be updated until the end of the conference (Sunday night)

Tips from Successful Vegan Bloggers:
  • Michele Truty of Vegtastic Voyage: "the longer a piece is, the less likely a person will keep reading it." "Let you be in your blog." "A minute to double-check facts saves you hours correcting an error and managing comments it generates." 
  • Gena Hamshaw of Choosing Raw: Blogs are useful for venting frustration, but it's important to move on. Negative comments are sometimes right, and you can learn from them. 
  • Leigh-Chantelle Koch: Hate the cesspool of negative comments? Turn that feature on your blog off. April F: "read the Four Agreements"  
  • Christa Shelton of Veggin' Out with Christa: the tone you adopt when responding to ugly comments can powerfully shape the conversation. Be yourself. Authenticity is positive. 
Extreme Food Writing Makeover panel with Dynise Balcavage:
  • Figure out: Why do you blog? What differentiates your blog? This will help you focus.
  • Show, don't tell. If a nut is delicious, describe why it's delicious. Slow down and think about the five senses
  • Always assume the reader doesn't know what specific foods taste like, so describe them well.
  • Food is 3D, maybe even 4D, and very sensual
  • Words are your ingredients. Every word should be there for a reason
  • Verbs: Get specific. Did you walk or did you stroll, wander, amble. Find another way to say "is" or "are". Consider all options: nosh, chew, chow down, gobble, savor, inhale, devour. Don't limit yourself to obvious words.
  • Adjectives are like accessories: do you want a "delicious" brownie or and "orgasmic" brownie. Take 30 sec to write 5 adjectives that describe u personally-then see if they match ur blog.
  • Adverbs are like MSG: overused an mostly unnecessary. 
  • Be careful with "always" and "never" and "perfect". Nothing is absolute in this world
  • Exclamation points are like decadent fudge. You don't want to eat it every day
  • Blog posts should be 150 - 300 words
  • Ground readers with a title
  • Stay focused, don't wander, don't assume
  • Before you click publish: revise (does this reflect my voice? review verbs, cut words), check links & proofread
Story-making and Food Blogging with Terry Hope Romero:
  • If you haven nothing to say on your blog, post a picture of a cat
  • What's YOUR story? What exactly will readers like best about the story? Why do you blog? What's your blog mission statement? Describe blog in 1 sentence 
  • Ask yourself, what story am I going to tell and how is it going to make me different?
  • Write a sentence or two about who you are. Make that your mission statement. Imagine you are a TV show.
  • You have to be your own editor
  • If you tell a good story, it will help keep your blog afloat, focus your blog. A story had a beginning, middle, end: promise, info, promise delivered.
  • Do a dance of info and emotion in the middle. Tell someone the info and put a little you in there. 
  • Never write blog post that starts with, "I was bored at work" We all get bored at work. Who are YOU & why will reader come back? 
  • Write brief posts: consider linking to recipe instead of posting the entire recipe text in post. Average blog reader is insanely distracted. This works to your advantage and against you.
  • Question one: What is your reader like?
  • Question two: why are they here?
  • Question three: what keeps them up at night?
  • Question four: how can you solve their problem?
  • Question five: what do you want them to do about it? 
  • Question six: how are they going to resist?
  • Question seven: how can you reach them better?
  • Don't let "monsters"in your head get in your way, like thinking nobody cares, overthinking or striving for perfection.

Opinioness of the World, who was at the conference, listed some tips from the Extreme Food Writing MakeoverStory-making and Food Blogging and Accidental Journalist panels on her site as well. Here are some of my favorite:
  • Pick a style and stick with it. Language is always changing; the dictionary changes every year. You’re not going to keep up with it but neither are your readers.
  • Personal anecdotes are engaging.
  • For beginning writers, you often just write what comes to mind. And that’s fine but you want to move beyond
  • Keep your blog afloat. There’s a lot of blogs out there. Don’t let yours get lost in the sea of blogs.
  • Use a photo in every post.
  • There are no experts. Technology is always changing. Don’t let that hold you back.
  • Your audience is your best friend, even if you don’t have one yet.
Positive Blogging Panel:
  • "Readers are going to come back for you. “Don’t edit yourself out. Let you be you in your writing"" 
  • Have a positive attitude or provide opportunities for readers to feel positive. 
  • Negative entries are authentic, give insight into the person. 
  • Roots of anger come from anguish - we should choose compassion instead. 
  • Reader should seek blogs they jive with. 
Restaurant Reviews:
  • Be conscious of how you critique vegan restaurants - it's their livelihood so contact them privately and try to resolve it that way. 


Thanks to @JLgoesVegan, @bookie85, @snarkyvegan and @opinionnessworld for sharing this all on Twitter!


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