Lessons learned from local blogger

I had coffee recently with a local mid-Michigan blogger who has been at it a lot longer than me. Kati Mora is the “girl behind the plate”. She’s the founder of Around the Plate blog, launched in 2009 as an outlet to talk about her passion — nutrition.

In the two years of running the blog Kati has grown a significant following, generating comparable traffic to other nationally-known dieticians her field who are seen on TV and other broadcast media.

In meeting with Kati my mission was two-fold. First to pick her brain about her success in blogging, as I’m still a newby in the blogsphere. Secondly, to invite her to be a guest blogger on Vision Mid Michigan, my online magazine focused on positive things happening in our region. By the end of our two-plus hour chat, I’m happy to report … both missions accomplished.

You can look forward a some words from Kati in an upcoming issue of Vision Mid Michigan. As for her experience as a blogger, here are a few tidbits I gathered about how she’s grown Around the Plate.

  1. Generate content often, but don’t go it alone. Kati’s goal is to post new content to her blog at least three times per week. To accomplish this Kati taps into student interns from Central Michigan University to create posts. Each of the three interns are assigned to review and summarize specific blogs in the nutrition industry. These summaries , along with the student’s input,are shared as a post on Around the Plate. In addition, interns are given the chance to craft their own blog posts monthly. This is a win-win for both Kati and students; providing content for the blog and an opportunity to be published for the interns.
  2. Experiment. Kati is constantly trying new ways to grow her audience and expand the amount of valuable information in her blog. Recently she launched an initiative to establish thePlate Community. Kati calls this an experiment to bring together a diverse group of both nutrition experts and everyday individuals looking to improve the way they eat … and blog about it. So far, Kati has gathered more than 20 nutrition-minded bloggers to join thePlate Community. Kati anticipates The Community will establish her blog as a hub in the nutrition industry. As an added bonus, members of The Community will have the chance to serve as Guest Bloggers … another win-win.
  3. Be your brand, always. In discussing the question of when and how to best represent your blog (aka – brand), Kati says she’s always “the girl behind the plate.” “If you aren’t your brand, who will be?” Kati asked. A good point, I’d say.

After picking Kati’s brain, I tossed out an idea to her; asking if she’d participate in a meet-up of mid-Michigan bloggers in the near future. “Great idea,” she replied. If you’re a blogger located in mid-Michigan, stay tuned for details of a meet-up soon. Details to follow.