Veganism / Vida Vegan Con 2011

Vida Vegan Con: The Accidental Journalist

Hi Everyone! I’m at the Accidental Journalist panel at Vida Vegan Con. When you become a blogger, you might not think of yourself this way but you essentially become a journalist. This panel covered techniques for bloggers on grammar, style, publishing and finding your blog’s identity. All of the speakers, Gabrielle Pope (author, playwright and co-author of the blog Vegans on the Move), Dawn Quinn (blogger at Vegan Moxie) and Michele Truty (Vida Vegan Con co-founder and blogger at Vegtastic Voyage), hail from a publishing background.

Here are their tips for better blogging and publishing:

  • Consistency is key.
  • 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.
  • Don’t repeat yourself.
  • The longer your piece, the less likely someone is going to read it. Try to trim extraneous words. (Uh oh…I’m in trouble!)
  • Be aware of economy of language. If it shifts to a new post, write a new post.
  • Personal anecdotes are engaging.
  • Readers are going to come back for you. “Don’t edit yourself out. Let you be you in your writing.”
  • Keep “so what?” in the back of your mind. Why should someone across the country care about a restaurant review in your city/town. Connect it to a larger issue.
  • If you have recipes on your blog, you need to create your own format. Keep your directions simple. Don’t have to over explain. List ingredients in the order they’re added.
  • Put as much info in there as possible. When writing events or restaurants be sure to put contact information, hours, location, website, Facebook page, Twitter, etc.
  • If you’re a recipe blogger, when you get a recipe from a cookbook, don’t post the recipe online. Get permission from the person. (Yikes! I’m in trouble again!)
  • Double check facts and hyperlinks. Make sure names are spelled correctly.
  • Read your post aloud before publishing.
  • Have a friend read your post before publishing.
  • Before publishing your post, walk away for an hour or even sleep on it and come back to it.
  • Many established blogs welcome guest bloggers. A great way to put your foot in the door.
  • If you’re really established and you want to pitch, send query letters. Most magazines don’t accept unsolicited pieces.
  • When sending query letters, get to know who you’re reaching out to really well. Don’t send a magazine or a high traffic website a full piece. Explain in the query letter why your piece is perfect for the site/publication. Find the editor’s name to show you’ve done research.
  • Don’t confine yourself to vegan magazines. Pitch to many different outlets.
  • Choose your words carefully. Once you put your words out there, they’re out there.

I think these are great tips for vegan bloggers, food writers…and all bloggers in general!

Read all my posts on Vida Vegan Con 2011 and follow my tweets at #VidaVeganCon.

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2 thoughts on “Vida Vegan Con: The Accidental Journalist

  1. well, I’m screwed on the length thing too. I tend to babble once I get rolling….clearly I need to work on self editing :) Thanks for posting the highlights!!! I didn’t make it to this one. And it was awesome meeting you tonight!

  2. i can fully understand why the animal rights movement supports a vegan diet (100% cruelty free!).. but i cant understand why also vegetarian, how can they see nothing wrong with cruelty to cows, chickens, ect.. i am SURE the dairy people are confused, (SO AM I) the CRUELTY OF DAIRY IS OK….. they (peta, all others) are only in it for all other animals, just not animals needed for dairy, and all groups support this?!………. NO WONDER, so much cruelty still goes on. companys (cosmetics, ect) are thinking if peta (& all others) has NO! problem with dairy. why wont they (cosmetics, zoos, ect) leave us alone!..

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