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In 2017 — regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, or creed – we can all agree on one thing: good health is going to cost you. Even if we’re not burdened with a major medical crisis, most of us have to deal with at least one nagging health concern, whether it’s allergies, acid reflux, or high blood pressure. And none of us wants to go into debt trying to feel better.
In a recent Nielsen survey, 43% of participants listed reducing out-of-pocket medical expenses as a top concern. How are people coping? Nielsen’s report showed that 63% of Americans are trying to eat healthier, and some 47M American households have a family member managing ailments through diet.
While these revelations may come as no surprise, they should give food bloggers pause to think about their priorities. While there are lots of ways to make your food blog stand out from your competitors, there’s one surefire way to create a site that truly helps its readers: prioritize their health.
For a lot of Americans, the phrase healthy food still has an icky ring to it, but let’s face it: we’re decades away from the dry, flavorless health foods of yesteryear. Modern cooks know how to balance good health and good taste, and readers need that knowledge now more than ever. How can you give it to them?
It’s a safe bet that many of your readers and first-time visitors have health on their mind as they’re looking for new recipes (and new food blogs to follow). Use your homepage, tag line, and other blog elements to clearly identify the specific health issue(s) that your recipes address. The bloggers at Autoimmune Wellness have done this well, providing immediate assurances to their readers that this is the place they’re looking for.
If your food blog doesn’t focus on one specific health concern, highlight the variety of issues that your recipes do address through benefits-based Tags like high protein, high fiber, and low sugar. Dig in With Dana is a model for effective taxonomy use in showcasing the kinds of healthy eating that readers are searching for.
When it comes to your home page, put delicious, healthy recipes in first place. The certified nutritionist behind The Full Helping displays nutrient-packed recipes at the top of her home page that scream good health without compromising on good taste.
Some temptations prove too hard to resist, which is why so many diets fail. Show your readers that they don’t have to sacrifice the foods they love in order to cater to specific dietary needs. Offer alternative recipes to those comfort food favorites that even the most iron-willed can’t resist. We’re pretty much bowled over by these diabetic-friendly brownies from Everyday Diabetic Recipes. No spoilers here. You’ll have to visit the site yourself to learn what the very surprising secret ingredient is.
While showing off your healthy intentions will curry favor with your readers struggling to overcome health challenges, you should still take care to make dishes look and sound enticing. The brownie recipe above, for example, is made with one very strange ingredient. If we hadn’t seen the photo, which is even as I type making my stomach growl, that one ingredient could’ve been a turn-off. However, a tasty photo keeps my mind open to healthier options.
Going back to the idea of touting your food blog’s nutritional value, consider including nutrition labels with recipes to make it easy for readers to see what they’re getting when they choose your recipe. Nutrifox and ReciPal are two tools available to help food bloggers easily generate these labels.