This is a special article for Nutrition is Medicine in celebration of my 100th post! I started Nutrition is Medicine almost 2 years ago, and today I would like to share with everyone some things I have learned about being a nutrition blogger!
Writing an article can sometimes be the least time-consuming part of blogging. It can take weeks just to get your blog set up exactly how you want it (if you aren’t a web designer). Aside from writing and formatting, there is also the task of trying to get your work out there. Networking and social media are both important aspects of blogging as well. I try to set aside time on most days to work on Nutrition is Medicine.
It can be discouraging when you don’t get very many page views or followers when you first start, but don’t give up! Keep in mind that most successful bloggers have been blogging for at least a few years. The term ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ always comes to my mind for building a successful blog. When I think about what Nutrition is Medicine looked like when it started, I am amazed by how far its come, and I am excited for where it’s headed!
2. Sharing is a Two-Way Street
If you want people to share your articles and recipes, you need to do the same for them. If you choose to share your articles and recipes in a group, make sure you stick around and check out some of the other things that have been shared. Platforms like Pinterest, Google+ communities, and Facebook groups are all great for this type of thing.
Writing guest posts for other blogs and sharing others guest posts on your blog is a great way to get your work out there and share some new perspectives with your readers as well. Most bloggers are more than happy to share guest posts on their site as this means less work for them!
3. Lead by Example
While it may not be possible to follow all of your advice (especially on a nutrition blog), if you can’t follow most of your own advice, people won’t take you seriously. In regards to health blogs, people want to follow someone who is healthy, or is in the process of getting there (and has actual result to show from it). If you aren’t able to take your own dietary or lifestyle advice seriously, you may want to focus on those changes first and start a blog later when you are more established (or keep your blog as a personal journal instead). Don’t try to help others before you have helped yourself.
If you take note of some famous nutrition bloggers, they have usually done something impressive with nutrition or fitness, or both! Take for example Sarah Ballantyne (The Paleo Mom) who lost 120lbs with the paleo diet and healed a long list of health issues (IBS, acid reflux, migraines, anxiety, asthma, allergies, psoriasis and an autoimmune skin condition called lichen planus) with the autoimmune protocol. Or Sarah Fragoso from Everyday Paleo who went from being overweight and suffering from depression to a successful paleo personal trainer (with killer abs!). While it’s not possible for everyone to have such dramatic before-and-after stories, most people will have something that changed when they began their health journey; use this to your advantage! If you had positive changes happen, tell your readers about it. People are more likely to follow you if you have a success story. If you don’t have a personal success story but work in the health industry, you could have some clients write testimonials for your page as well.
4. Be Human
While people like a good success story, they also like honesty. We all make mistakes and have slip ups; if you are honest with your readers about this, it is usually well received. However, there is a balance that needs to happen with this. If you are posting often about how you slipped up on your diet, people aren’t going to take you seriously. On the other hand, if you are experiencing a rare hardship that is causing you to backslide, readers are usually supportive and understanding if you let them know. Everyone needs a break sometimes. However, there will always be people who will take the opportunity to criticize you as well, so be prepared to take negative comments with a grain of salt.
Readers also like people who are interesting and unique. Pretty much every other nutrition blogger on earth enjoys hiking, cooking, and spending time with their family (as awesome as these things are). While it’s great to include these things in your about section, don’t try to make them your defining characteristics. Having a designated about page with some background information on yourself is always a good idea for readers that want to know more about you. Include your other hobbies and things that make you, you! You can check out my about page here.
5. Don’t Write About Things You Haven’t Done Yet
This was one of the first mistakes I ever made when blogging. I did a 30 day challenge and I posted at the end of each day what I ate and what I did for exercise. I was doing this to give people an idea of how to do the Whole30 challenge. I quickly realized this is a bad way to go about it because I kept slipping up; not completely falling off the wagon, but eating more fruit and nuts than I planned, and missing days working out. Because I was doing it to help others, I ended up scraping the whole thing about 20 days in. This was because I was in the process of moving and just couldn’t keep up with the daily posting, tracking meals, or even making meals! I would like to do another 30 day challenge in the future, but I plan to condense it to one post with each days meals listed, and I won’t actually publish it until I have completed the 30 days.
There have been studies done showing that announcing your plans before you actually do them makes you less motivated to actually follow through. This is because the announcement itself gives you a sense of satisfaction. Making plans can be exciting, but following through takes a lot more work and dedication.
6. Don’t Use Other People’s Things
Make sure your blog is mostly your original content and not the work of others. Anything you use that is not yours should be properly credited to the owner (including pictures!). It is better to use your own content whenever possible. Blogging gives you a great opportunity to develop a lot of useful skills such as photography, photoshop, web design, researching, writing, social networking, and even filming. While its great to share other peoples articles and resources, people aren’t going to stick around if your entire blog is just other peoples stuff (unless you run a recipe share website like stalkerville). When sharing other peoples stuff make sure you include a clear statement that this is someone else’s work and link to their website. It will reflect poorly on you if people think you are trying to pass off other peoples work as your own.
Have you learned a lesson with blogging?
I’d love to hear about it in the comments!