Firstly, I want to say thanks a lot to you Ileane for the possibility of this interview. It's a pleasure to be featured with all your readers. As a tiny introduction my name is Gera, short name of Gerardo (Spanish) or Gerald in English and I live in Uruguay.
I've been a foodie and also techie – all my life. Just for reference technically, I began with the first computers with DOS operating system, and fortran language. Professionally, I'm in the engineering-area interested in business themes, when I'm not blogging 🙂
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN BLOGGING AND HOW DID YOU PICK THE NAME SWEETSFOODS FOR YOUR BLOG?
I've been reading blogs for more than 5 years but I started as a blogger near the end 2008/starting 2009
I don't put a concrete date because at the beginning my posts were sporadic and with few frequency. Today I wished I had more posts and regularity in the early stages.
Why the name of my blog? Well, I choose a foodie name as you guess because I love sweet foods this is the main reason. At the same time I train to burn the kcals [calories] involved in the process.
But recently I'm shifting my blog gradually to be more a “blogging & social media” blog with a mix of food themes. My tech-side is appearing and I can't stop it!
Why this change? Because I've re-evaluated my blogging long-term strategies and as a foodie it isn’t my point to make a cookbook or design my own recipes, because I'm just a food-lover.
On the other side, adding more technical /social topics, the scenario looks better and wider, reaching new people at the blogosphere.
I've been mentioning these facts at my blog several times and I assume that readers are noticing it.
GERA, YOU HAVE SUCH A DELIGHTFUL AND DELICIOUS LOOKING LOGO, WHO DESIGNED IT FOR YOU? DID YOU GET YOUR BLOG DESIGN FROM THE SAME ARTIST?
My avatar and my blog-header were designed by me. I like playing with photo-editors programs when I've time.
I've changed the header lately, because at the start it had a collage of desserts as the centre, but now I've featured more a social aspect at least at the top, due to the changes I'm doing, already explained before. My blog is in Blogger with a theme I've tweaked and my comments are with Intense Debate but with some hiccups lately with them. The future will see if I migrate to WordPress.
YOUR BLOG IS AN INTERESTING MIX OF RECIPES, CONTESTS, BLOGGING TIPS AND SOCIAL MEDIA ADVICE. WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO BLEND THESE TOPICS ON SWEETSFOODS?
Bizarre combo, isn’t it? Originally I put my efforts on food-subjects basically and not mentioning too much technical posts. Contests & giveaways appeared naturally with companies offering to do the same; while later I invested some time to promote even more the idea. As you know giveaways are like candies to kids and we all love freebies!
Recently I'm entering deeper into the benefits of blogging and social media arena, this fact allows me to explore themes that I enjoy a lot and hope to my old & new readers too. My blog never was a typical “food blog” because I've never posted only recipes and recently less food, than before, so I can call it like a food – social media blog. As you see, I like breaking blog rules when I can.
First we're bloggers and second we should choose our niche. I remark over and over that blogging is a mix of ingredients, namely: writing, grammar (my weakness as my language is Spanish), copywriting, research, technical aspects, internet marketing, SEO, social networking, photography…and the list go on and on…If a blogger doesn’t understand that you must have an idea of most of the points mentioned, it'll be difficult to have success, whatever is the definition of success for her/him.
My target is bringing to my readers successful blogging recipes based in social media concepts. It doesn't matter if you're a foodie or not, because if you love blogging like me, blogging-social themes are universal.
The SweetsFoods Approach to Social Networking
HOW HAS SOCIAL NETWORKING IMPACTED YOUR BLOG AND WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE SOCIAL NETWORKING TOOLS?
Social networking for me is crucial and should be for all bloggers, but unfortunately it isn't. I've found and I'm still finding bloggers that have zero idea about it and this is very annoying.
Pick up a niche and you'll find them, no matter if they “belong” to A, B or C – blogger's lists, whatever. They seem like bots, no replying to comments, only asking but never giving, not interacting, really I don't understand them and why so many make those social media fails. For this reason is that I'm constantly updating my Google reader.
My favorite social networking tool is StumbleUpon, where I'm active frequently; a great community yes a community – not just only a social bookmaking tool. You can find there a lot of interesting people as well as a way to increase blog traffic, even in old articles.
There's no-brainer but the other is Twitter because Twitter is a power networking tool and I need to have more time at Facebook. I like also BlogEngage, MMOSocialNetwork and I need to explore others like Bloggerluv, etc. With more and more social sites appearing, it isn't easy to have time for all.
ARE YOU USING ANY SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION TECHNIQUES? WHAT’S IS A GOOD SEO TIP FOR NEW BLOGGERS?
Yes I'm trying to improve my SEO as soon as I “digest” some technique that can be applied to my blog. You can do blogging without SEO, but you can have better results with, at least, some SEO-friendly posts.
I'm not an expert in the SEO-field, but some basic tips could be:
– Do a research of the appropriated keywords related to your post (long tail keywords are better) with the free tools like Google Adwords Keywords and Wordtracker. Then insert them in title, first sentences of your article and into the body. (Don't overdo it, just that feel natural)
– Insert your keywords in the URL of the posts avoiding if possible, unnecessary words.
– Write for your readers and not for the machines, aiming to mingle the seo and human worlds.
– Use synonyms, plurals or related keywords in the articles, use tools like Google Wheel for brainstorming.
– Use keywords in the “alt” properties of the images you put on your posts.
– Interlink using “anchor text” in the posts, instead of using the infamous “click here”. It's better a link to your own blog, for instance: “how to customize your amplify page” than how to customize your amplify page, click here – bad!
– Post outgoing links to worthy blogs or articles with the correspondent “anchor text”, again.
– Suggest to search engines the importance within the text with H1, H2, H3, etc plus with bold and italics.
Of course there are tons of SEO-techniques this is just a few that can be done often.
WHAT DO YOU REALLY ENJOY THE MOST ABOUT HAVING A BLOG?
Love meeting new people, more that I'm in a Country (Uruguay, in South America) that isn’t well known outside and “far” of all, just only known for the football and Uruguayan food plus in the recent World Cup that we achieved the 4th place.
I really wish that someday I can meet several bloggers/readers off-line in person not for photos or posts, in that way the social networking will be completed and successfully-closed as it should be, well at least this is my concept about social media 😉
Ileane thanks so much again for your Interview!
- Have You Met Ileane Smith from Basic Blog Tips? (fmsseo.com)
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