This article was originally published in the March 2017 edition of Dietetics Today Magazine under the title “Get Blogging – Technical Tips”; I hope that you find it useful!
The technical part of setting up a blog or website can often feel overwhelming, especially if (like me) you aren’t the most tech savvy person in the world! I was very fortunate to have a lot of support from this side of things, but these are some of the tips I have started to pick up in relation to website management.
There are various ways in which you can create a website for your blog:
- Build your website using one of the several user friendly sites which also provide hosting (such as: wordpress.com or squarespace.com).
- Join a blog network where you sign-up to a specific site and post blogs to this without needing your own website (for example: medium.com, eblogger.com or tumblr.com).
- If you plan to make videos then creating a YouTube account and linking this to social media may cover your needs.
- Facebook has also developed features such as ‘Facebook Notes’ which facilitates posting blogs straight to Facebook, and ‘Facebook Live’ where you can post live videos.
- Or there is always the option to pay a web developer to create a website for you.
Once your website is up and running you can add a variety of features such as categories, subsections and plugins such as: ‘recent posts’, photo galleries and links to social media accounts. Different websites will vary in how the layout can be altered but they will usually have a help section to support with this, and there is also a large body of contributors who provide tutorials and technical guidance via help forums and YouTube videos etc. You can also use websites such as Google Analytics and Yahoo Web Analytics to monitor the demographics of who has visited your site, for example: the amount of visitors, time spent on different pages and which countries visitors are from.
Engaging with Social Media
Although there is a lot of terrible nutrition advice on social media, when used responsibly (by a Dietitian for example!) it is also a fantastic platform to dispel nutrition myths and spread your message to thousands of people from all over the world.
I have found setting up a ‘Facebook Page’ to be a particularly good way of sharing blogs, opinions, nutrition articles and memes. Learning how to use Twitter was a bit of a hurdle for me, but once I got going I realised how good it is for staying up to date and for interacting with the Dietetic blogging community; who were all extremely welcoming and helpful to a newbie like me. Taking part in RDUKchats on twitter is a great way of joining in online Dietetic discussions. There are plenty of other social media platforms available to help with blog promotion, such as: Instagram, Pinterest, Snap Chat etc.
Reactions on social media can be unpredictable; sometimes a vaguely funny meme will get hundreds more ‘likes’ than a thoroughly researched blog. In general, discussing nutritional hot topics and trying to be short and snappy with the use of infographics and memes seems to work quite well, but learning to engage best with social media is likely to be an ongoing process.
Although getting to grips with technology can seem like an onerous task, there is a lot of support available with this and once you get going it is a really effective way of engaging with the public on a large scale and spreading Dietetic wisdom!
If you would like more information on starting a dietetic blog check out the other 2 articles from this series: