I’ve been wanting to write a post on starting a nutrition or dietetics blog/social media for some time as I’ve had a few questions thrown my way about how to get going – believe it or not, with my relatively small following!
But I didn’t want to go it alone as I’m by no means an expert and am definitely always learning new bits and bobs about this world. So for this series I’ve called in a few amazing friends and colleagues to share their pearls of wisdom on blogging and Instagramming.
For this first post of the series I wanted to share some tips or suggestions for those of you who might be thinking of starting out with a nutrition + dietetics focussed social media account or blog. It can be a daunting prospect – to actually post articles or captions that you’ve written so that everyone can see them. And also to even know where to start. The world of nutrition + health themed blogs and Instagram accounts is big – how do you find your own little corner of it?
Firstly, I want to encourage you not get tied up in knots about being perfect at it because (1) the perfect blog doesn’t exist – we all make mistakes, and (2) I’ve found that by going for it + tweaking things along the way, I have honed the message and tone of the articles I want to put out there. It’s the same for my Instagram – I’d think that most people need to start somewhere with something in order to fully grow into the style that they like.
That said, I do think it’s a good idea to do a little planning before you set up a blog or social media presence.
Have a think about why you’re setting it up
When I started out blogging, I was just beginning my third year of studying Nutrition + Dietetics. I was finding that so many friends and family, once they found out about what I was studying, were asking pretty similar questions – e.g. “What are some filling, satisfying snacks that I can take to work?”, “Is organic food better for me?”, “Are processed foods bad?”
These were questions that I could answer based on what I was learning during my course, and it meant that I could then say to people, “Oh, I wrote a blog post on that! Let me send it to you.” 😂
I also wanted to start sharing what I was learning at uni, to try + combat some of the sensationalist headlines + messages that get thrown around. *
*And I can’t lie that another motivation was the thought that one day my friend, Laura, and I would set up a hybrid nutrition/recipe/delicious food website + cafe in California!
A blog gives you rather a lot of creative freedom to explore and discuss a huge variety of topics, so let it become your place to share anything you like from nutrition info, lifestyle pieces, personal interests, travel highlights – the list in endless!
Come up with a few subjects to discuss
Once I’d decided that I wanted to start a blog, I wanted to have a few posts pre-written, or at least started, so that I had a few to post quickly after setting it up. I had a couple of ideas up my sleeve and I spoke to a few people in person, but in the end I fired off a round-robin email to most of my friends and family asking them what they’d like to read about on a nutrition blog. I then used their responses to come up with a handful of subjects to blog about.
Don’t tie yourself up in knots trying to post
Not everyone may agree with this one, as some bloggers and Instagrammers have a very strict schedule to which they post. I will occasionally draw up a schedule for my blog posts, particularly if I’m working on more than one post at a time. And I’m not denying that it would mean you’d have more regular content, but coming at it as a full-time student and now working two jobs, I don’t want my blog to be something else to berate myself about. I’m happy for the posts to be a bit sporadic at the moment whilst I focus on my job. In the fullness of time, I’d like to develop more of a routine with it, but for now I’m happy with it as it is. Basically – have a schedule if you like, but don’t let it become something else to criticise yourself for. Maybe have a little think about how often and how much time you can realistically spend writing posts.
Think about your blog name
This can take a bit of brainstorming + don’t be afraid to chat some friends or family about it for some inspiration! You’ll then want to check that the domain is available. You can do this on websites like GoDaddy.com (and then usually pay a small amount every year to reserve that domain).
I think the most important thing to remember is to just get started and have fun – if you don’t enjoy it, your posts might feel forced and contrived. Experiment + don’t be afraid to make mistakes – if it’s a small typo or something that needs clarifying that’s easily fixed!