Monday, March 22, 2010

Your feedback, please.

Dear readers,

I have an idea. You know how I get ideas? They usually start on a run and then they take off from there. This might be a good one, but I have some questions for YOU, please and thank you!

My brother Chris is one of my greatest encouragers, and he often suggests that I could maybe do something a bit bigger with this blogging thing. Today we bounced around the idea of me starting a separate blog and trying to get sponsorship for it. Here's my basic angle: raising healthy kids/ healthy kids' food/ instilling healthy habits in children/ involving kids in cooking and choosing healthy foods and exercising. That's pretty rough, huh? And unfortunately/fortunately there are already a bunch of blogs out there on this very topic. But if I could incorporate the Maine thing somehow, trips to pick up the farmshare, snacks for mountain hikes, picnics on the beach, I may be able to make it unique enough to gain an audience.

What do you think?

Do you think I can do such a thing without being a dietician or knowing any science behind nutrition?

Would you read a kids' food blog written by someone who is not an expert?

Is it okay to have an I'm-no-expert-but-here's-what-I-try-to-do kind of an angle?

Is it okay that my kids are picky eaters (getting better, but still picky)?

And if your answers to the above questions are YES, then, most importantly, what do I call the new blog?

And when can I quit my day job? (SO TOTALLY KIDDING!)

I will research a bit about how food blogs get started, and who knows what will come of this, but I thought I'd start with you. Can you help?


Joanne said...

A good idea and totally possible even without being a dietician.

I have looked into food blogs, as I was going to attempt a journal of our (hubby and myself - and eventually our 5 yr old son) journey away from meat and into mostly vegan diet. Finding I am terrible at keeping up journaling. We are in southern PA now. Your local ME following would be great because communities need to begin with a few good people leading. (btw - check out Jamie Olivers "Food Revolution" Fri. on ABC) Local followings - to do right by the health of one's family - is where we can all begin. There are many family Vegan blogs because of the unknown and "mysterious" diet. Check and once you have one - you are opened to a wealth of other "favorite" blogs that they follow. Good resources all around. I do notice that those blogs with sponsors often had writers who were part of publishing articles in magazines or online as well. Their names were out there somewhere at first. Do your blog together with contributing work to some local papers (BDN column!! perhaps) and you will have sponsors. Send work to a particular Science teacher at BHS and see what may come. . .

Joanne said...

Oh Yea, your writing is relevant and humorous and with your family experiences and others friends involved, and your sense of fitness and adventure,. . . and your photography - you could have many followers in the area and as Maine wannabies! Best wishes to making it happen!

Emilie said...

Joanne... I've tried to find your contact info.. Can you send me your email?
Thank you SO much!

Michelle said...

Emilie I think we know that you know more than you think we think you do! ha ha!

You are the biggest "I'm gonna go for it" person I know. It is your enthusiasm about things that inspires us so and is so contageous and would therefore make you perfect for something like this.

I seriously think that you should give this some serious thought. Which you probably seriously are or else you wouldn't have appealed to us. And don't worry about knowing the "science behind nutrition"... you have Jillian Michaels' little protege living with you to help you out in that department!

I say go for it! There are plenty of things to do in the great outdoors in Maryland for this reader to relate to your Maine experiences with.

Thank you so much for all your inspiration!

maria. said...

i agree; this is a really good idea. i think there are a lot of young maine moms who would benefit from such a blog. in addition to the bdn, you might also want to consider approaching bangor metro and/or the maine edge.

you might want to contact (you may already know her) mary lake who runs (local vegan/gluten-free blog). i know she is a local teacher as well (not certain where she teaches), and she might have some valuable insight.

it was really nice to see you on saturday, even though the circumstances were the worst imaginable. i don't blame you for wanting to get home to your kids after the funeral. the service was lovely. i hope you are doing well (i'm feeling raw too; i still don't understand how this is something that actually happened), and hopefully some day soon-ish i'll be able to sneak into bhs for a visit.

Joanne said...

I thought I was, but now I'm on as a follower!

ann said...

I think you should contact Michelle Obama and become her #1 assistant in her effort to curb childhood obesity. I bet she'd be very interested in your ideas and approach to doing just that. I can't think of a better person to assist her! You could eventually become a cabinet member, but that would be such a loss for the teens in Orono. What a dilemma!

Kirsten said...

I think it's a great idea! You really do have a flair for this blogging stuff and you are always interesting! I really like your dietary stuff and also your posts about how active you guys are. I think the way you live your life makes you an expert in health, nutrition and parenting. And for me, maybe the fact that you aren't an "expert" with letters behind your name makes you more approachable and what you are doing more possible for regulah people like me. Even though the Manharts are clearly not "regulah." You are so brave when you let yourself be personal and it's not over the top--a real skill, I think.

One thing I'd love to read more about is the reality of your schedule--just how to you guys fit all this stuff in?! What arrangements do you and Sam have to make your schedules work? I have a lot of big ideas and I put some of them into action, but the everyday nuts and bolts can sometimes trip us up.

I'm totally into the idea you are cooking. The fact that you are in Maine is a really great focus too, you will have tons of great opportunities for different posts--the variety of places to go really helps shake things up! This summer, I plan to take the kids all over the state to different trails and the lakes etc. Maine, though. There is no better state! We are hoping to visit out there again this summer, maybe we can finally get together!

I'm trying a little about what you are proposing with my blog but yours is really interesting, easy and enjoyable to read and I like that you include more than just your outside adventures. Once my class is over (and I don't have to be as focused as a sample blog) I am hoping to incorporate more nutrition and just little family asides, family or personal challenges/goals etc. I was hoping to spend a lot of time this summer with my aunts who grow and put up all their own food (truly inspirational and completely ridiculous how hard this seems to be)-- with the kids helping them out a little. Looking forward to your new blog!

Nancy said...

#1 You should do this!
#2 I want to know what Kristen asked about. How do you and Sam figure out the scheduling, make it all work, do all these amazing things for yourselves and your kids and your family and still have time to stop and take amazing pictures as it is all happening? Do you ever get annoyed with each other? Does it ever feel like too much?
#3 You asked if it's bad that you're not a dietician and that your kids are picky eaters (snort!). This is what makes it appealing. I don't want to read more "expert advice". I want to read about a real mom with a real life and real kids who weren't BORN loving kale.
#4 Ann is absolutely right: figure out how to get on Michelle Obama's radar and the world will be your oyster, not to mention a much better place. Which leads me to what you tell all of us:

SNW said...

Yes, I like your 'real mom' stories (like helping with Skyler's painting, just a little). It makes me have even more respect for those moms in the locker room who must be totally wonderful brilliant cool people but ..find themselves saying things like, "did you just SPIT on my shirt?"

Sylvia said...

Hey Em,
I don't know a lot about blogging and making money, etc., but my friends at certainly do. If you want their contact info to ask them more about it, let me know and I can help you guys make a connection. They asked me once to be a regular blogger for them on green kid issues, but I am just not prolific enough - it takes me way too long to write a blog I like and I'm not inspired enough to write all the time, etc. But they would have been able to pay me a bit to do it so they make enough to "employ" some bloggers - but they both still have day jobs. I don't know how any of you find time to have day jobs, obsessive running habits, kids AND blog! What am I doing with my time? Anyway, that's my input!

Amy said...

I don't have any tips on how to get it going, but I totally agree with everyone who's commented so far. You should go for it! I love reading your blog and would undoubtedly love this new one too :)

Therese Muelleman Dansby said...

As a pediatric nurse and future mom (with a very picky eater as a husband), I think your idea is great! I only started blogging myself, so I don't know how to make money with it, but check out No Meat Athlete's other blog: He also has a week-long e-mail feed called "7 Tips All Health Bloggers Make" that I subscribed to, and one of them talked about making money. Best of luck, and I can't wait to see what happens!

Christine said...

Go for it!

I am Phoebe...hear me muse! said...

Yes! You've inspired me, definitely! I think there's wonderful potential here to brighten lives in connecting and sharing more and more, bigger and bigger.

emily said...

Emilie- I think you are missing one critical point in this discussion. You already have the blog you are talking about! Its right here.

It sounds to me like you are ready to get some financial support for your blog from web advertising and that you are interested in writing for a larger audience. Perhaps if you feel that you don't want advertising to go towards a family blog you could pull out the most personal family posts and leave them in a blog that is called the "the Manharts", and rename your current blog (the one that already has lots of readers) to encapsulate the ethos of your blog. Naming your novel/memoir...

It seems that when you started your blog it was for a tight group of family and your closest friends. As your blog has matured and your audience has grown it seems the content has shifted in a number of directions. The strong personal voice of your blog makes it something readers want to check-in with.

This is not to say that if you decide to have a little startup about tools for creating/sustaining happy healthy families, it wouldn't have great success. I have no doubt that it could. Its just to say that basically, you already have that startup going so perhaps a little naming, branding and advertising could be tacked onto the Manhart blog (with its new name that is more specific to your voice/message) without you having to write twice as much since clearly you have VERY FULL days!

Oh, one other thing. You need to tag your posts (starting now)! Family, running, swimming, projects, contests, cooking, nature, travel etc so that readers could use the blog as a resource for all the ideas you have already shared...

Good luck either way!
Emily N

oh- you may know this site already but its a french fashion blogger who is very personal and yet she has a massive readership.