According to Kenji Lopez-Alt, There IS a Science to Blogging

Kenji Lopez-Alt of Serious Eats, offered several good pieces of advice to bloggers at the food blog South 2013 gathering in Homewood, Ala. Saturday.

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HOMEWOOD, Ala.– They saved the best for last as Kenji Lopez-Alt gave the keynote address, the culminating event tonight here at Food Blog South 2013.

Courtesy: Kenji Lopez-Alt

His presentation was chockfull of wisdom based on his years as a scientist trained at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and most recently as the chief creative officer for Serious Eats,  a family of websites dedicated to the celebration of food started just six years ago.

Even though this isn’t a food blog,  this BAMAPRODUCER blog is as good a place as any to share some of the takeaways from the Lopez-Alt’s address, which was entitled “The Science of Good Blogging” here.

A criticism of the organizers of this event– he hardly had enough time to present what I think was the most substantive address of this one-day conference.   He was rushing through enough material for a 90-minute address, at times losing his place in his notes.

You could tell he was scientist and yes, a cook too.    But, public speaking may not be his favorite thing to do.

Along with crude diagrams showing his thinking on various issues related to blogging,  the presentation also included some tips for those who are blogging on anything anywhere, not just food or recipes.

The Hallmarks of a Good Blog
According to Lopez-Alt, good blogs:

  1. Are Well-Written
  2. Are Personal
  3. Instill TrustTo  make a blog good, Lopez-Alt says one has to have a clear vision of what the blog is and once you start blogging, have a regular schedule of posting to it.

If you’re blogging and reading and responding to questions from your audience, you’re doing your readers a disservice.

“Blogging is about social interaction,” Lopez-Alt said.  “It’s about give-and-take.”

The good and bad of the blogging

According to Lopez-Alt,  what’s good about blogs is also what can make them bad.  Anyone can blog.  Millions of voices can be expressed on blogs and they’re free.

“Every opinion has an equal opportunity to be heard,” he reminded the 150 or so attendees who stayed around for his 5 p.m. keynote address..

This thirtysomething who was named by Food & Wine as one of the 40 Big Thinkers 40 and Under, believes his story is one full of lucky twists.

You might say I’m glad one of those “lucky twists” brought him to food blog South 2013 here in the Birmingham metro area.

Are you a Level 4 Blogger?

According to Alt-Lopez, there are four levels of success when it comes to blogging.

Level 1-  Using Blogging as an Outlet for Communication
Level 2- Using A Blog to make a little extra moneyLevel 3- Using a Blog to open doors to provide opportunity
Level 4- Allows the blogger to be totally financially independent.

Level 4  is where the fewest bloggers are today.    I’m not sure I know many bloggers who can truly say they’ve made it to Level 2 where they’re making money on their posting.

Since Alt-Lopez says you need BOTH Originality and QUALITY to make your blog stand-out,  I think this one is definitely HIGH on QUALITY.

Since it just reports on this important keynote address, there’s nothing original here.  But, Alt-Lopez’s insights are definitely high-quality in nature.

The true test of their impact will be in my future posts here.  Let’s see if I learned anything.

Better still, in the spirit of engaging my community,  YOU TELL ME  was this just high on quality or was there also some originality in this post?     I promise to respond to your response.

Author: George Daniels

George L. Daniels is an associate professor of journalism at the University of Alabama. After spending eight years in the local television newsroom working as a producer at stations in Richmond, Virginia; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Atlanta, Georgia, Daniels moved from the newsroom to the classroom. He’s conducted research on diversity issues in the media workplace and change in the television newsroom as well as media convergence. Before going to work in television news, Daniels worked briefly as a freelance writer for The Richmond Free Press in his hometown of Richmond, Va.

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