I have got one high maintenance little pup. For those of you who follow my vlogs, you know this already. But there is one thing that no dog can go without, at least a few times daily. And that is a nice, long walk. Just like you care deeply for your pet and want it to be happy, prosperous, and a beneficial part of your life, the same goes for your blog. In order for it to be happy, prosperous and beneficial, you need to take it around the block as many times as necessary.
1. Come to terms with the fact that it has to be done… and frequently.
Obviously, bad things happen if you don’t walk your pup. They’ll never correctly potty train. They’ll be all riled up and never leave you alone. They might even start to chew on things that are not meant to be chewed on in frustration of not getting its needs fulfilled. So you walk the dog, if not for a long stroll, at least for a quick pee. Now even more obviously, your blog isn’t going to start gnawing on your coffee table, but it does have needs, too. Your blog needs to put out content. Your blog needs to have a change every once in awhile. Your blog needs to market YOU — its trusty owner. So make sure you are fulfilling those needs as often as necessary. Everyone has a different schedule, and maybe yours is to post once a week. If that’s your schedule, then do it.
2. Decide on your destination before you get started.
Has Fido been pent up all day while you were at work? Or maybe he just ate a big dinner and needs to take care of some business. Before you leave the house with your dog, you probably already have a goal in mind. Or a “destination”, if you will. “Fido really needs to exert some energy, so we are definitely going to the dog park.” Or “alright come on, let’s go to your ‘spot.’” You do what you gotta do to get to that destination and that’s that. I read a lot of blogs and one thing that annoys me is when someone seems to have forgotten their destination. You need to be able to boil your blog down to one sentence, otherwise it’s too broad of a topic for one post. I would suggest that you type that one sentence into the title section so you can revert back and make sure you are driving home that one, single point. You can always go back at the end and give your post a wittier name. Witty is good. People like witty.
3. Get movin’ already!
Okay so we’ve got our destination. Now we just gotta get movin’! Maybe we’ll walk. Maybe we’ll skip. Maybe we’ll have to run because the dog is pulling us along. It doesn’t matter how you get there, just make sure you are doing what makes sense to get to your goal. Bloggers remember: when you start the writing process, you need to have content that backs up the point and subpoints of your blog. Nuf said.
4. Wave to your neighbors!
When you walk the dog, you are not just trying to get somewhere, but also making an appearance at the same time. You want to be sure to acknowledge your neighbors while you walk so that they know you appreciate their company and friendship. “Hey Sue! Nice begonias you got there!” How sweet. Well bloggers should be just as sweet — if not sweeter — to their fellow bloggers. Maybe one of the points of your post came from another blog you read recently. Give them some link love! And let your readers know that there are some other great writers out there, too. It always pays off in the long run to give a little acknowledgment. Plus, you’ll be known as the nice guy on the street. And who doesn’t want that?
5. Clean up the poop.
Welp, Fido has reached his goal. And now you have a mess to clean up. But poop happens. Everybody poops! I’m still trying to convince my boyfriend of that… but I digress. Do the responsible thing and clean up after yourself. This will only contribute to a successful walk for you, as well as the next person who doesn’t have to step in the remnants of your path. Bloggers, if you don’t know what your mess is, then you are clearly not cleaning it up. PLEASE please please please please EDIT YOUR POSTS! Maybe I’m a grammar freak. Maybe I’m OCD. But as one of your readers, I have the right to depend on you to undo the usual keyboard finger slip. Seriously. I will say that, unedited content is still content. So even if you suck at deciphering the terms there, they’re and their, at least you’re posting. But if you’re not a good editor, get a friend. I know there’s gotta be one around you somewhere. They can do a run-through and maybe pick up mistakes that you couldn’t find yourself. It’s perfectly acceptable, so at least try.
6. Bring it on home!
Time to turn around and head back to the ol’ den. You’ve reached your destination, shown some acknowledgment and tidied up. It’s time to wrap up this walk and move on to the next episode. Bloggers, follow suit. Conclude your entry with a quick reminder what what your reader should have gotten from this post and you’re done… until it’s time for your next walk around the block.
Hopefully this was insightful and entertaining for those bloggers who are already dog lovers/owners. And if you’re a blogger without a dependent pet, maybe I just taught you how to walk a dog. Either way, I think we were successful here. Can you think of a similarity that I may have forgotten? Leave a comment below. Would love to see what you come up with.
Local Matters’ 2nd annual Local Foods Week is upon us in Central Ohio and this is a great reminder of what the benefits are to eating local, no matter if you are celebrating with us in Columbus or not. “This year we wanted to use Local Foods Week to ask the community to step up their commitment to eating more local food,” says Local Matters Executive Director, chef Michael Jones. While the main objective of Local Matters is to fight against childhood obesity and diabetes epidemics, eating locally grown foods can not only help increase the amount of fresh foods in your diet, but also drive your local economy… which is obviously something every state needs right now.
So how can you be a part of the movement. Here are a few ways that I would suggest:
It’s not rocket science. Local Foods Week is all about spotlighting the businesses in the area that are selling locally grown food to benefit our diets and economy. So check out the farmers market around the corner. Or eat at that cute little place that prepares your meals with locally grown food. Do the research and give it a shot. Your taste buds will thank you for it and you’ll feel good about the cause you are contributing to. For those of you in Central Ohio, Local Matters has a great page on their website called Fresh Connect and it will point you in the direction of some great local restaurants, farmers markets, food festivals, etc. so you can have a little help to get your started.
Subscribe to Edible Communities
Edible Communities is a publisher whose goal is to teach the story of local foods. “We believe that every person has the right to affordable, fresh, healthful food on a daily basis and that knowing where our food comes from is a powerful thing.” (See About Us page.) As many of you already know, one of my clients is Edible Columbus, a member of this community. They are not only succeeding in engaging the community to learn more about the local foods movement, but a portion of their paid subscriptions goes directly to Local Matters, which is a great way for you to be able to contribute to the cause. So if you would like to not only receive an amazing, educational, beautiful publication while also giving to Local Matters, you can subscribe to Edible Columbus. If you are not in Columbus, be sure to check out the Edible Communities website to find one of their magazines near you.
Take the pledge
Local Matters is making it really easy to be a part of Local Foods Week by presenting us with the Eat Local Challenge. On this pledge card, you are asked to check three different ways that you can advocate for eating local this month. A couple examples include: try an Ohio grown food, visit a farmers market, attend a Local Foods Week events (more on that in the next section), and share a recipe featuring local foods. Check out the pledge card, even if you’re not from Ohio, see what you can do to contribute and take the pledge! Those in Columbus have the opportunity to win some prizes, so why not at least try?
Attend an event hosted by Local Foods Week
The festivities kicked off this weekend with the third annual Market to Market, which is a cross-city local foods-centric bike ride beginning at either The Hills Market or North Market and ending at the other one. There are a whole slew of events in addition to this ride in celebration of Local Foods Week and you can find a list of them here. Take a tour of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream kitchen. Check out Ingredients, a documentary about the local food movement playing at the Gateway Film Center. Attend the first annual Harvest Ball being held at Station 67 in Downtown Columbus. And the list doesn’t stop there. With so many things on the calendar, how can you to ignore Local Foods Week? Get your education on and join in on the fun!
Now that you know how you can get involved, get to it! If there is anything that you think I left out or maybe there is something specific that you would like to share from your neck-of-the-woods, please leave a comment!
Some of my Twitter, Youtube and blog followers may already be aware of my affiliation with BigDealOnCampus.com and have probably been wondering “When, oh when, is this site going to launch?” Well, my friends. Wait no longer…
Today is the big day for the Ohio State University’s Big Deal On Campus site as they are launching today with not only a “big deal,” but a FREE deal! Big Deal On Campus has teamed up with Formaggio Pizza and they are offering vouchers for a free slice of pizza pie! Just head over to the website and register so you can get your free slice and also be updated on future deals to come.
You definitely want to be on the e-mail chain for this site. There are some great deals coming… trust me, I’ve seen them. Get in the loop at BigDealOnCampus.com!