What’s it like to be part of a bustling nutrition practice, while also writing for and coordinating a prolific blog? We’ll find out in today’s interview with Alex Raymond of Rebecca Bitzer & Associates and Empowered Eating, a separate blog designed to specifically support those who are recovering from an eating disorder.
In her role as editor and blog coordinator, Alex and her intern Caroline work together to make sure a new post goes up on both sites at least once a week. On top of that, they schedule social media posts for each article to make sure it’s getting the widest reach possible (Meet Edgar saves them tons of time, she says). They also like to go back and re-post some of their more popular articles and seasonal blog posts.
Why start a second blog when the practice blog is already such a gold mine? “While we do have many blog posts about eating disorders on the RBA website,” Alex explained, “the Empowered Eating blog posts are really geared toward that population, as well as posts to educate health professionals and to support loved ones of those struggling. Blog topics can vary from recipes to new research surrounding eating disorders to various tips for recovery.”
“We need more positive articles out there about food!”
Alex says their weekly blogging schedule hasn’t been that difficult to keep up, since health, wellness, and nutrition are such hot topics these days. She finds inspiration from articles posted on social media, news outlets, or even movies and TV shows.
She’s most inspired, she says, by the questions her clients ask or common themes she’s noticed in their sessions. “These days, having a disordered relationship with food is quite common. People are always trying to find quick nutrition fixes or some perfect diet. And many times these quick fixes don’t work and a ‘perfect diet’ doesn’t exist.
Some of these individuals may go on to develop a full blown eating disorder. So, I like to remind myself that my voice and what is said on our blog matters. We need more positive articles out there about food!”
To keep their content fresh and their readers engaged, Alex recently started a series of brief videos called “Mindful Minutes,” such as the one below about orthorexia. Specifically for the Empowered Eating blog, these videos cover topics like body image, mindful eating, and self-care. The goal is to supplement, not replace, the blog posts.
Writing for readability
Like most wellness bloggers, Alex and her team of bloggers try to write posts that have both excellent SEO and readability. She finds that the readability piece is the hardest for them to get right. “As dietitians, we like to elaborate on our ideas. But, having too long sentences actually decreases readability.”
As she goes back and edits posts – hers and others – she finds herself making executive decisions to cut down on sentence length, while still trying to preserve the original message of the content.
Balancing your blogging time
All of this takes time, so I asked how she fits it all in. She says it’s not always easy to balance blogging, editing and seeing clients, so she tries to schedule time to work on blogging.
Yet as we all know, creativity doesn’t always follow a schedule. “If I feel the inspiration coming, I try to write down all my thoughts in either a journal or a Google doc and save it for later. It’s so important to just go with the inspiration when it comes so you don’t lose it.”
If she finds herself with both inspiration and a little extra time (say, on a flight), she might sit down for 45 minutes straight and finish an entire post. Then she’ll send it to Caroline for publishing, but depending what’s already in the queue it may not go up for another few weeks.
Typically, she can finish two or three posts in a few days, but other times she only gets to blog once a week and it can take two weeks to finish something. On average she spends about 60-90 minutes per post, depending on whether she also records a video.
Luckily, Alex says blogging is something she truly enjoys doing, and is sometimes a form of self-care. “If I’m home when I’m writing, I like to just sit down with a cup of tea or coffee and relax. I’ll either have music or the TV show Friends in the background.”
And we all need our blogging friends! I’m glad to have made some new friends in Rebecca and Alex, so I could bring you these insights into what goes on behind the scenes of a productive wellness blog.
P.S. Does your clinic have a blog you could be writing for? Don’t miss the opportunity to share your ideas, spotlight your expertise, and attract new clients! Here are some of my tips for being part of a blogging team.