My goal is to analyze the website glutenfreegirl.com and establish elements of the site that I would like to use for my first blog assignment. I chose this blog because out of most of the gluten free blogs, this one is the most aesthetically pleasing and simple; two elements I wish to carry over into my own blog. Glutenfreegirl.com and I also will share a common audience: people who have to eat gluten free for one reason or another. Another specific element that I would like to have in common with her blog is the emphasis on fun, food cooking and light narrative, and the lack of emphasis on the tribulations of having celiac disease. I do not want my blog to turn into a rant, or “poor me” site. I want to keep it light, (both in color and easy to read text) full of bold colorful images of food, and accessible, informative easy to read text.
Visuals and Appearance
When you first get to the glutenfreegirl.com blog, your eye is drawn to the very top of the blog. She uses an out of focus photo of ripe berries paired against a lush green background as the banner for the title of her blog to be displayed on. Her blog is titled: gluten- free girl and the chef: food, stories, recipes, love. None of the words in her blog title or post titles are capitalized.
Glutenfreegirl.com has an open, inviting look to her blog. It is not cramped with too much text, and she uses plenty of photographs throughout. The photographs share a common theme of up close, mouth-watering pictures of the food prepared and enjoyed throughout the site. Here are some examples:
There is a large amount of white space, which lends to the feeling of openness. Although the font is written in a formal serif text, her tone of voice is casual and friendly. This dichotomy between font and tone works well on her site, enhancing her overall message of “hey I’ve got something to say, listen up”, but “don’t be intimidated, I still like to have fun”.
Glutenfreegirl.com does contain a large amount of advertisements on the right hand column of the blog. Fortunately, she redeems herself on this one by keeping her target audience in mind when posting adds. Every single add is related to gluten free food, or diet, and some of them look like coupons to save on items that a lot of her target audience is probably already purchasing anyway. None of the advertisements flash or move.
She also includes hyperlinks throughout her site. Compared to other blogs, it contains a medium amount of hyperlinks.
The diction of this blog is informal. Although there are no colloquialisms or slang, there is a casual tone throughout. She uses simple vocabulary for the most part, while every so often she delves into a more narrative, story-telling tone. She shifts from using an informative tone to a narrative tone often. Perhaps this shift in tone breaks up the writing to keep the readers interested. For example, she will give a little back-story to a dish she has created or learned about. After this, she will then post the recipe and additional informative comments about the gluten free dish.
Ethos, Logos, Pathos
Gluten free girl persuades her readers by including Ethos (credibility, ethical appeal) and Pathos (emotional appeal). There is not much evidence of her focusing on Logos (or logical) appeal. Gluten free girl uses her credibility as a means to persuade readers by posting that her blog is, “one of the top 50 food blogs” voted by the New York times. She also has a parent page entitled, “press”, which demonstrates to her readers her likeability and popularity. She has also published a book on gluten free food, which you can purchase by a simple click on an icon, which takes you to a parent page. Also, if a reader scrolls down just one page, they will see a collection of quotes from various reputable sources raving about the quality and content of her site.
The Pathos or emotional appeal that she uses to appeal to her readers can be seen in her writing style. Food, in many ways is already an emotional experience, and she uses this to her advantage. She does not just inform, she writes about the experience of food, the joy it brings, and the emotional experience of eating with other people. This tactic draws readers in because we can all relate to the tactile, emotional experience that food brings us.
Gluten free girl’s site appeals to people who eat a gluten free diet. It is not just mean for people with Celiac Disease, but for anyone who wants to know more about how delicious gluten free food can be. Her simple writing style and ample use of white space invites readers to feel welcome and open on the site; no sense of claustrophobia or dense text here. Her use of bold and colorful food-centric photos add to the appeal of the website. Although she uses advertisements, they are all related to the needs of her target audience. Each article has a title, in a serif font, but is understated because they are all in lower case. Glutenfreegirl.com is a blend of gluten free recipes and life experiences written in a narrative, informative, and casual tone. She uses accessible language and simple ingredients that lend to the success of her site.