It was a big day in Orlando on Friday, when dozens of current and future bloggers attended Blogger U. The blogger meeting was day one of the Gluten-Free Living Conference in Florida.
Most of the participants were gluten-free bloggers, with a few extra folks who are just getting into blogging and had questions about the basics. I had to take a quick picture of all the attendees!
First up: Amie Valpone from The Healthy Apple. She talked about adding flair to your recipes. One of the best takeaways I got is her recommendation of the book, The Flavor Bible. The book is filled with any ingredient you can imagine! You just look up your ingredient and find out what it can be paired with to help make the flavors the best they can be.
We had a quick break for lunch (gluten-free soup and sandwich bar) which included a yummy flourless chocolate cake.
Then it was onto Jules Shepard (who just announced her new website gfJules.com) to talk about how to launch your blog. She brought out some really interesting stats that are food for thought. I was glad she reminded me of them: The best time to post is in the morning and on Mondays. But readers are more engaged and apt to comment on Saturdays.
I spoke after that about Beefing up your Blog (& why adding news value can help). A recap in one sentence? Do interviews, use your experience, tap into research articles and statistics, and always keep your news hat on! Those tips can really help when you need a little more substance to your blog post. They can also help give you story ideas.
Mia Moran from staybasic.com talked about taking food photos. I don’t take a lot of photos for my website, but a few VERY BASIC tips when photographing food: use white bowls and plates and if you can avoid them having a lip, even better. Also, having natural light helps but you don’t want whatever you are photographing directly in the sun. Painting a simple board white, can help give you a good clean backdrop and/or base for a photo.
Finally, Gluten-Free Living‘s editor, Amy Ratner and The Writer editor, Aubrey Everett, added details on what you can do if you would like to turn your blog writing skills into more of a freelance writing gig for print. If you want to approach Gluten-Free Living (or probably any magazine for that matter), to offer your writing services, here are some tips:
- Read the magazine: it shows your interest in the content
- Don’t pitch a story the magazine just did: it shows you’re really not reading the magazine
- When expressing interest in writing for a magazine, don’t accidentally call it the competition’s name
- Pitching a story angle is well received when introducing yourself to the magazine. Although don’t write it first. Pitch the story “vision” and who you would interview
We ended the day with a great spread during the happy hour!
Of course there was so much more information revealed in this event. If you are on Twitter, search #GFLC14 and you will see some of the tips that were tweeted out Friday. That same hashtag will be used the rest of the weekend for the Gluten-Free Living Conference so you may have to go back a bit to see Friday’s info.
Saturday: Dr. Alessio Fasano of the Center for Celiac Research will deliver the Keynote Address, Ratner will talk about celiac myths, Dr. Jerry Kartzinel will talk Autism and then the afternoon is about recipes and nutrition with speakers like the Lagasse Girls, Anne Lee from Schar, Jacqueline Mallorca (Gluten-Free Living’s food editor), and Pam Cureton, Registered Dietitian from Center for Celiac Research.
Sunday: After a big gluten-free brunch, I will talk again on a new topic: the Dos and Don’ts of Raising Gluten Free Kids, then onto a panel discussion with Jules Shepard, Michael Savett, Anne Lee, Pam Cureton Cynthia Kupper, and me.
The next few days should be filled with more great information! Watch for more posts this weekend!