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If you’re anything like me, you’ve got a holiday gift list a mile long. Family, friends, co-workers, clients, teachers, your local auto repair shop – hey! why not ingratiate yourself with the people who provide emergency services at potentially unwieldy rates!?
However, my eagerness to share the spirit of giving is quickly dampened by a few factors:
- not everyone celebrates the same holiday,
- buying even inexpensive gifts all around would be wildly expensive,
- inexpensive gifts tend to lack thought, and
- who wants to burden a loved one with yet another tacky tie or coffee mug?
I’ve found a solution to the dilemma that sweeps away all of the problems while actually increasing my own sense of excitement. Baking! That’s right. Sending someone special sweet treats is a win-win situation, and a box full of decorated cookies is invariably met with genuine delight. In fact, one friend confided that she looked forward to her box every year just to see what would be inside!
Fortunately, I’ve got the best resource in the world for original, delicious holiday goodies: my clients! Their food blogs are filled with yummy ideas for a holiday cookie treasure trove and also provide powerful models of effective blogging techniques.
Jingle over to Christina’s Cucina for this authentic German cookie recipe, which also happens to be gluten-free.
I love that Christina provides some backstory for these little gems, and that she explains how she solved the problem of a partial recipe. It’s not uncommon for older generations to pass down recipes that aren’t quite as explicit as we of the Google Age are accustomed to. Rather than toss up our hands in defeat, however, Christina’s post encourages readers to find a similar recipe online, combine the two, and experiment a smidge to duplicate the original.
Christina also takes gorgeous photographs of each step of the recipe, which helps visual learners feel more confident as they bake. Take a look at the comments section as well. Isn’t it wonderful when bloggers take time to respond to readers?!
Who can resist this holiday classic? Rich chocolate, chilly peppermint. Mmmm.
Colleen of Little Homesteaders keeps the narrative for her homemade peppermint bark recipe short and sweet, getting right to the good stuff, and like Christina, she captures the steps of the recipe in photographs.
If you’re a food blogger with a desire to grow your audience, take a couple of cues from Colleen. First, be sure that your most gorgeous image includes the name of the recipe as well as the address for your blog to be sure readers can find you easily when your posts are shared on social media. Second, collaborate with other bloggers. It’ll lighten your own workload while also expanding your audience to include theirs.
Chocolate. Orange. Cheesecake. As if those ingredients weren’t enough to make your mouth happy, these rich, delectable dessert bars are also easy to make and gluten-free. Could you ask for more?
Tanya, the food blogger at Lemons for Lulu, takes gorgeous closeups of her dishes and remembers to include that simple, but important text element. She creates a sense of familiarity by sharing stories from her own childhood. That friendly, personal touch goes a long way towards winning over an audience.
If you scroll down to the bottom of the post, you’ll see a tidy, printable, shareable recipe card. When we helped Tanya get Lemons for Lulu up and running, we installed EasyRecipe, which allows food bloggers to quickly and painlessly turn recipes into Pinterest rich pins. That one addition to your food blog can drastically increase readership as it makes your recipes more visible on social media and to Google’s recipe search engine.
There’s nothing quite like a cookie that smiles back at you, but did you know that, according to traditional beliefs, gingerbread can also ease indigestion? Me, either!
However, Kimberly, the blogger at Daring Gourmet, takes the time to enliven this customary holiday recipe with a short history of gingerbread, including its past uses. That’s thinking outside the box. Most people enjoy a bit of interesting trivia, and many of our culinary staples have curious tales that would capture the attention of readers. It doesn’t hurt that she also includes photos of her adorable son indulging in the cookies. Utterly irresistible.
First of all, let’s talk about how much lemon and ginger and sugar would brighten up a dreary December day. A lot.
Second, let’s talk about the fact that these cookies from Heather at Sugar Dish Me can be stored in freezer and pulled out to bake any time you need a cookie fix. If you’ve got a cookie jones, you don’t want to have to mix and stir. You want to pop those babies in the oven and then dig in. Done.
Finally, Heather’s humorous rhapsody on the stresses of the holidays make the post highly relatable to the rest of us. Don’t we all wish we had just a little more time to get ready?
She’s combined beautifully composed photographs with attractive font to make extremely Pinnable post images, and like Tanya at Lemons for Lulu, she opted for the tech savvy EasyRecipe Plus plugin to create recipe cards that are easily discovered, read, printed, and shared.