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Pineapple Chutney March 7, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Home & Garden, Vegetarian Recipes.
33 comments

Half the fun of curry is doctoring delectable dishes with condiments ~ peanuts, toasted coconut, chutneys, etc..

The other half is waking up your taste buds by setting your mouth on FIRE!

Here’s a recipe that will knock your socks off AND cool the burn.

Pineapple Chutney

1 can (20 oz.) pineapple tidbits in juice
1/2 c. seedless raisins
1/2 c. finely chopped onion
1/2 c. cider vinegar
1/3 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. curry powder
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. salt
dash cayenne

Combine ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a slow boil, reduce heat, and simmer for one hour, uncovered, stirring occasionally. (Or cook in slow cooker for 2-3 hours on medium high.)

Cool and serve as a condiment to curry dishes.  Store in the fridge, or pour into hot sterilized jars and seal for future use.

Approx. 2 3/4 cups

Related posts:  She’s Not From Putney, But Here’s Her Chutney (The Only Cin) * Vegetable Curry * A Month of Meatless Meals * Curry Dip

If you love recipes, and sharing recipes, visit Munchie Monday (Running Garlic) and join the Recipe Blog Hop:  Munchie Monday 3/7

7 Ways to Increase Blog Traffic March 7, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Blogging, Humor, Writing & Writers.
90 comments

Each blog starts out as a tiny minnow in an enormous  pond ~ the cyber sea.

As we develop readers (and friends), the traffic on our blog expands.  Minnows become fish and a few select fish become whales.

What determines which minnows become massive blogging whales?

L~U~C~K.

That’s right.  It has nothing to do with the quality or subject matter of the posts they write . . . they just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

Lucky Ducks!

If you believe that LUCK is the sole determining factor in life, don’t bother reading the rest of this post . . . it’s not meant for you.  

Still reading?  Good.

Blog traffic works on the same principle as customer traffic to businesses.

Think about your favorite stores and restaurants.  Why do you frequent them?

Sometimes it’s because you know the owner and feel loyalty to them.

More often, it’s because they are selling something you want at a price you’re willing to pay.

In remote locations, the right product at the right price might be enough, standing alone, to earn your continued business.

But what if similar stores are selling similar products for similar prices in the immediate vicinity?  Which store or restaurant would you choose?

The one that offers the best customer service, right?

Until you are lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time, the best way to increase blog traffic is to offer better customer service than the blog next door:

1.  Offer an enticing menu selection.  Don’t write day after day about how many hairballs your cat coughed up or what you ate for breakfast.  Mix it up a bit.  Offer real value.  Write entertaining or educational posts that make your readers look forward to swinging by for a visit.  Add humor where appropriate.  Use graphics that accentuate your posts.  Offer incentives to frequent visitors.

2.  Clean up on Aisle 13.  Remember to proofread your posts.  Edit out the extraneous and clarify the unclear.  An occasional typo is not the end of the world, but a string of typos screams that you don’t care enough about your readers to polish up your words.  Who wants to spend time in a store that is messy and disheveled when there’s a cleaner store just down the street?  Who wants to eat in a restaurant that serves enticing food on dirty plates?

3.  Create compelling titles.  If you promote your work on Facebook or Twitter, let friends, fans, and followers know you’ve posted something of interest by being specific.  A sign that says “Huge Sale ~ Bargain Prices” is less likely to draw in customers than one that lets potential shoppers know what’s for sale.  Make your “daily special” sound enticing and hungry diners will swing by for a bite to eat.

4.  Reciprocate.  Do you tire of reading, commenting, and supporting  bloggers who don’t return the  favor?  I do.  If I leave regular comments on someone’s blog and they rarely  (if ever) reciprocate, reading their blog becomes less of a priority for me.  Time permitting, I’ll still visit.  But my visits will be less frequent.

5.  Don’t take your regular readers for granted.  If your #1 fan stopped visiting, would you notice?  Would you care?  If so, let them know that their visits and comments are as important to you as the new faces  wandering into your lobby.

6.  Don’t give visitors the silent treatment.  When people take the time to post comments on your blog, read and respond to those comments.  If you don’t, they are apt to stop commenting.  Except for the occasional deranged individual, most of us prefer NOT to talk to ourselves.

7.  Make visitors feel welcome.   Have you ever eaten in a restaurant with excellent food, fine wine, gorgeous decor . . . and surly waiters?  I have.  I rarely return.  The same holds true for blogs.  No matter how enticing the articles, if readers are treated more like intrusions than welcome guests,  they are apt to leave (without offering the customary 18% gratuity).

Whether you’re a minnow, a fish, or a whale, when you’re enjoying what you do, it shows, and your positive energy will attract more visitors to your  “corner” of the cyber sea.

So don’t wait until you’ve reached some arbitrary  number of visitors, comments, or subscribers to start enjoying the journey.  Enjoy it NOW.

No rules.  Just write!

How about you?  Are you enjoying the journey from minnow to fish to {{gulp}} shark to whale?  Do you have any tips to share on increasing blog traffic or improving customer service?

Related posts:  What Blogs Do You Read & Why? * 7 Reasons to Press “Unsubscribe” * From Cyber Friends to Fast Friends * Blogging: A Waggish Waste of Time?Down The Blog Hole * I Can Name That Theme in 3 Notes * How To Entice New Visitors To Your Blog (The Laughing Housewife) * How to Write Better Titles for Blog Posts (WP Daily Post) * Great Blogging Tips (WP Daily Post)