Blog Advice, Anyone? (Please!)


Hello, dear loyal readers,

I am about to undergo a blog redesign—the first in many years—and I’d love your advice.

I really enjoy blogging, but it’s also good to take a step back and reassess every once in a while. Sure, I can look at my traffic data and search results. But those points don’t always tell the whole story.

I’d love to know what you think.

  1. What do you like best?
  2. What do you like least?
  3. What do you wish I would do differently or more of?
  4. What do you wish I would do less of?
  5. What are your favorite blog topics?

I’m open to your ideas and would love to hear them!

Thanks! And I’ll keep you posted!


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21 Responses to Blog Advice, Anyone? (Please!)

  1. Dana April 2, 2014 at 8:36 am #

    I read your blog on feedly, a subscription service. Id read more–and click through links–if you provided your whole posts in subscription services instead of a teaser.

    My favorite posts are any where you share even small details of things you experience or what’s new with you. I love the personal touch and you naturally do such a great job of exploring the bigger picture through small experiences.

  2. Debbie C April 2, 2014 at 8:43 am #

    Everything I was going to say Dana already said beautifully! Some blogs I receive send their posts so that the entire new post comes through in the email. I really like that.

    Also, I am a 51 year-old mom of a 7 year-old, so I feel like we have something in common. I would love to hear some more about motherhood or family. You don’t have to be specific. I respect your family’s privacy. Thanks for asking!

  3. Vanessa April 2, 2014 at 9:04 am #

    What Dana said.

    I’m trying to raise a strong, healthy, empowered daughter, and any good anecdotes/pointers/book suggestions would be great!

  4. Jenny April 2, 2014 at 9:04 am #

    I really love the personal blogs – stories of your life and pictures. I’m not a huge fan of some of the guest bloggers who are scientific and over the top. Some of the topics lately haven’t grabbed me, and I am an avid reader. Keep it real and simple and back to the basics.

  5. Michelle Shaffer April 2, 2014 at 9:06 am #

    I like when you invite the reader’s interaction- like posting pix of spring etc. Loved when you wrote about your vacation to Australia. I especially love when you write about what you are cooking and how the recipes/dishes invoke memories of your family. These are the things that resonate with me. I am always interested in what is happening on the farm and in the world of organic farming/gardening/eating.

  6. Cara Achterberg April 2, 2014 at 9:18 am #

    I like the practical stuff – projects I can do, gardening ideas that work, recipes I can use, etc. I also appreciate the latest info on research and laws regarding organics, additives, toxins, etc. I trust the informatin I get from you more than many of the alarmist blogs out there. It would be helpful to have a little more information in the teaser/title that comes through in the e-mail.
    Thanks for writing and being a living example to follow.

  7. Marta Hill Gray April 2, 2014 at 9:32 am #

    I tend to only read what you write. Guest bloggers, depending on the topic are really hit or miss for me. Your humanity and ability to share things that are personal make me want to know your more. You are someone I relate to, and you also provide information and resources that I share constantly with others.
    I get the Rodale Newsletter and there are many things there that I enjoy and share, however I do not read the newsletter every day.
    My favorite topics are those I can share or integrate into my life.
    Home, gardening, destinations with purpose, precious insights around life and those we love. You are a tender person who has a large mantle to carry which is no small thing. My favorite blogs are those that remind me of things I would share with a friend over coffee or lunch. New discoveries, food, funny stories and items both large and small that make life sweeter, easier and more fulfilling.
    Hope this helps, you are nice to ask and it is my pleasure to be one of your fans.


  8. Tracy Herz April 2, 2014 at 11:53 am #

    Maria, I like seeing your sense of humor which is always fun. Cooking with Alice Waters and the Australia vacation are favorites. Recipes are great and I have only noticed a couple of guest bloggers who were not consistent with the overall voice. I love the tagline. I have bought a lot more organic food since I have been reading because leading by example is persuasive. Tracy Edmonds Herz

  9. Sarah Stack April 2, 2014 at 12:36 pm #

    Ditto to all the comments listed so far. It’s your insight and beautiful way you articulate your wisdom that keeps me reading your blog on a daily basis! I usually don’t care for your Guest Bloggers but I certainly loved and appreciated your guest, Robyn Hessinger! Thanks for reaching out to your readers, Maria. Happy Spring!

  10. Yen April 2, 2014 at 12:40 pm #

    Wow, exactly what Marta Hill Gray said. And for my own indulgence your blogs about your kids, raising them, starting schools, being a mother (is there anything you wish you could have done and not) etc.
    You’re one hell of a blogger! Thank you Maria!

  11. Alice Green April 2, 2014 at 1:41 pm #

    Don’t we all love to be asked what we like? I know I do. And I love all of your blogs, including all the guest bloggers. Without their additions we would be only getting one person’s wise words, but with them we have a family of wisdom! I love most hearing anything about family, raising kids, loving your children. I wasn’t raised with love and at age 70, still say if I could have changed anything in my life, it would have been to have a mother who loved me. So I am so grateful and happy when I read of mothers like you, Maria, who LOVE their children so openly and wonderfully! Recipes are my least favorite, but I wouldn’t want you to stop them, as I love knowing there are good cooks out there everywhere. I look forward to seeing Maria’ Farm emails in my inbox and read them feeling like I’ve just heard from one of my best friends. My heart hopes you keep blogging forever, or at least until I die. Thank you for sharing so much of your life with strangers, although, by now, I feel like a lot of us have become friends. I just wish I knew how you are able to do all the work you do and still have time for us!! Maybe that’s one reason I am grateful for the visiting bloggers, that way I know you are getting a break and I’m always hoping it’s giving you more time with your children and time for yourself!! Thank you so much, I doubt you will ever know how much you add to other’s lives by sharing your own with us.

  12. Donna in Delaware April 2, 2014 at 1:49 pm #

    Maria, you know that I love you. You may not always be correct, but who is? What you are doing is inspiring to most of us, and we surely appreciate the time and effort that you put into your blog, being that you are an extremely busy person. I would love for the page to come to my email automatically, like it once did, instead of having to use my search engine everyday.

    I love your guest bloggers, especially Renee James, Dr. Eliaz,
    Maya, of course and several others. They keep us informed and have us think about life, love, health and happiness, just like you! Keep up the good work. The recipes are lovely, and travel updates are fun. You are the real deal, for most of us. Thanks for your insight, and I look forward to more informative, fun and educational blogs!

  13. Nikki Lindqvist April 2, 2014 at 5:29 pm #

    I very much enjoy your blog when it’s you writing it. If I see it’s a guest writer, well, it depends on the topic. But I’m mostly here for YOUR insights. And practical things. I love to eat so food stuff, yes! Love recipes. I’m not remotely spiritual, so I skip that stuff. But of course many people ARE. I enjoy your travels. Please keep educating us on organics, in general. And the politics of it. If you have opinions about it, that is. Thanks for your blog!

  14. maria (farm country kitchen) April 2, 2014 at 7:43 pm #

    You guys are all absolutely amazing and I adore you! Thanks so much for your feedback. My favorite line, I must confess, is from Alice “My heart hopes you keep blogging forever, or at least until I die.” Made me laugh! Me too, me too. And may we all be blessed with long happy lives!

  15. Brooke April 2, 2014 at 9:50 pm #

    I love how diverse your blog is.
    I love that I can log on everyday and read something that broadens my knowledge.
    I particularly like the gardening, organics and random thoughts.
    Plus I have just finished reading you book and am busy planning my garden once our house (first house) is built.

  16. Laura K April 3, 2014 at 10:48 am #

    Hi Maria,
    Even though I don’t read as many blogs as I used to (which I think is the trend) I applaud bloggers who persevere with writing, and haven’t totally shifted their expression to Instagram or Facebook or etc. I access your blog through the Daily Fix or Facebook, I don’t use a feed. So what grabs my interest the most are your stories of adventures – whether it’s the Caribbean or Dietrich’s Meats. You introduce me to new places and ideas and I love that you’re pioneering for me. Your voice is very personal. Freshen it up, maybe, but keep blogging.

  17. Penny April 4, 2014 at 10:20 am #

    I love all of your blogs. The scientific guests aren’t my favorite but you do need a break once in a while and I always seem to learn something. I love your recipes, your guest bloggers Maya & Renee. I love that you say it like it is and you reveal so much of the personal you. It reassures me sometimes that “I am not the only one” with a particular interest or issue. Keep it going Maria but send it to our emails daily as it used to be. The links don’t appear to always be up to date. A part of me would me missing if you stopped blogging!! Thank you.

  18. J. Cummings April 4, 2014 at 9:16 pm #

    Hi Maria —

    I love your blog – and don’t really read any other “blogs!” I love your seasonal blogs with “calm” advice. My favorite was your end of summer blog. I really like it when you connect us back to the land. I love your recipes — especially the ones that are “vintage” and hard to find. I think you did a pickled egg recipe…. I had been searching for that one for years. I love your photography. I enjoy reading a magazine called “Country Living” and your blog reminds me of that. Whenever you connect this forlorn “city” person to the country that she would so love to live in, I am happy. I also love it when you just throw a question out there. Keep blogging … I so appreciate your blog. Blessings — Judy C. Evanston, Illinois

  19. Rick April 7, 2014 at 1:30 pm #

    I hope you don’t change content. I find your posts interesting and usually informative even if the subject holds little immediate interest. I arrive here through links in the Daily Fix so I may be missing other words of wisdom.

    I do not care for the blog format. There is little enough room on a web page and readers are now inured to the right column (see Nielsen Norman Group research) so useful information ought not be put there. Navigation and searching are also problematic (at least they are to me).

    That being said if you are willing to continue to share your thoughts then you just do it any way you want to. I’ll be here.

  20. Joyce Hinnefeld April 9, 2014 at 11:01 am #

    Coming a bit late to this discussion to add that I too especially like your guidance on being a good, though busy, mom (particularly of daughters). Keep encouraging us to make sure we eat dinner together! It’s so important to me, but also harder and harder to hold on to as both my life and my daughter’s keep getting busier.


  21. Ann April 9, 2014 at 11:24 am #

    Your blog is the best! I love the recipes, personal stories, inspirational and spiritual thoughts, and tips on health and yoga. I agree with the comment about having fewer guest bloggers. Anything about activities at Rodale Farm is always great to see. Thanks so much for all that you do to spread the word about healthy living!

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