ATTN: Sales Team!

Welcome new members of the Wheatless Wonders online sales team!

Your first assignment is to start selling adds and sponsorship opportunities, so we’ve laid out some specifics to get you going:

1. Banner Ads.  We have three available spaces for banner ads–a banner at the top of the screen (728 x 90 pixels), a large one on the right hand side (350 x 600), and a smaller one on the left (300 x 250).  They are priced according to size (bigger sized ads cost more) and according to the amount of time the ad runs.

2. Sponsored Buttons.  We have space for two buttons with direct links back to our sponsors.  These buttons are 150 x 75 pixels and appear above the fold on the left side of the site.  They will be clearly marked as “our sponsors.”

3.  Affiliate Programs.  The Wheatless Wonders blog often links to products related to gluten-free living.  Find an affiliate program that will allow us to monetize those links and then get it set up on the site.

4. Sponsored Posts.  Once a week we will have a sponsored blog post.  The sponsor’s product must be related to gluten-free living and not be a direct competitor of Wheatless Wonders.  For example, a company that sells xanthan gum or that specializes in baking tools would be ideal.  These posts will be marked as sponsored, but in them we will discuss the product and include links to our sponsor’s website.  The sponsor will have a chance to read and edit the post before it goes live.

5. Blogoversary Bash.  The one year blogoversary of Wheatless Wonders is coming up in only six months.  We’re planning a two week long series of contests and guest posts and we need sponsors.  While we’ll be giving away plenty of Wheatless Wonders products, we’re also looking for donated prizes related to gluten-free living and baking.  Sponsors for the Blogoversary Bash will appear on a list on the site for the entire two weeks with a link back to their site, no matter how big or small their donation.


CEO Apologizes

In a recent interview with the Syracuse Tribune, our CEO expressed a negative view towards the Dutch population.  Her views are entirely her own and in no way reflect the feelings of our company as a whole.  Wheatless Wonders always has been and continues to be an equal opportunity company that welcomes people of all nationalities, races, and ethnicities.  We are very sorry for any problems this incident may have caused and are taking action to ensure it never happens again.  We have terminated the CEO and all current employees will go through a series of sensitivity training classes.

While the CEO has been terminated, she released this apology to our customers:

I am so sorry for what I said. It was a careless comment that I never intended to be hurtful. Regardless of this, I should never have said it, and I apologize for how my thoughtless words have hurt our customers.


Top Five Tips for Gluten-Free Baking

Gluten is the “glue” that binds bread ingredients together.  It’s what gives bread its elasticity and makes it fluffy and soft and a good source of protein.  Without it, you might not be getting the daily amounts of protein your body needs.  You might also be thinking that without gluten, you’ll never enjoy bread products again.

Not true!  Here at Wheatless Wonders, we’re dedicated not only to bringing you the best gluten-free products available, but also giving you the tips you need to make your own gluten-free breads at home.

1. Use “Ancient Grains” High in Protein.  In ancient civilizations, our ancestors used gluten-free grains that were high in protein like amaranth, buckwheat, chia, millet, quinoa, sorghum, and teff.  These grains are not only high in protein, but have other valuable nutritional properties as well.

2. Your Gluten-Free Dough Won’t Look Like Regular Dough.  If you’ve ever made homemade bread before, you have an idea of what your bread dough should look like.  So when you make your first gluten-free loaf, you may be surprised to see that your dough looks like this.  This is how it’s supposed to look, so don’t mess with it!  When it’s done rising, it will look like what you’re used to.

3. Measure Your Flour Exactly.  When measuring flour, we tend to scoop first and ask questions later.  But later might be too late when your overly starchy bread is already in the oven!  Follow the steps listed here to ensure you’re not adding more flour than your recipe calls for.

4. Moisture Is Key.  Gluten-free baking can come out drier than we’re used to.  Compensate by adding honey, applesauce, or other pureed fruits to your baked goods.  Be careful that your dough gets neither too dry nor too moist–either one can have disastrous results.

5. Use Xanthan Gum as a Gluten Substitute.  While some gluten-free bakers prefer to avoid Xanthan Gum, it can be a useful thickening agent in baking and keep your gluten-free baked goods from turning to crumbs.

Have more tips to share?  Let us know in the comments!

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Introducing Wheatless Wonders

Hey everyone!

I’m the official blogger for Wheatless Wonders.  Living in the U.S. and trying to eat gluten-free can be tough.  Whether you have an actual gluten allergy like Celiac Sprue or just want to change your diet, Wheatless Wonders is here for you.  We’re dedicated to providing you with gluten-free bread products that are still light and fluffy and don’t taste like rocks.

What can you expect from Wheatless Wonders that you won’t get anywhere else?

We’ll be sharing our favorite gluten-free recipes that your whole family can enjoy.  Plus tips on the best flour alternatives you can find right in your local grocery store. And we want to hear from you!  Do you love acorn flour?  Or do you swear by rice flour?  Whether you’re just now embarking on your gluten-free journey or if you’re an old pro, you’ve got a story to share and this is the place to do it.

Join us as we work to bring you the best in gluten-free living.

What’s Next for Gusset Press

To keep up with emerging online trends, here’s what you can expect from the blog in the next few weeks.

  1. Tumblr.  You’ll be able to follow the blog on Tumblr, where I’ll be adding links to new posts, pics of the projects I’m working on, and the occasional how-to knitting video.
  2. Facebook and Twitter.  If you’re like me, then you don’t subscribe to blogs so much anymore as you do follow them on social media sites.  Follow me on one–or both–of these sites to get links to new posts and to chat about knitting.
  3. Foursquare.  I’ll be testing out Foursquare and checking in to all my favorite local yarn shops.
  4. Pinterest.  Have you discovered Pinterest?  I have to admit I didn’t get it at first, but now that I’ve had the chance to play around with it, I’m hooked.  So I’ll be creating knitting boards and collecting pics of the projects I want to make and the new tools I’m currently drooling over.

What trends do you see taking center stage in the next few months?  What are you doing to keep up and where do you want to see Gusset Press going in the future?  Let me know in the comments!

Week 10 Assignment

The three statistics most important to growing my blog audience:

  1. Referrals.  I want to know which sites link to mine, and specifically to which pages.  Do they link to a blog post that was particularly interesting or helpful to them, and are other people clicking on their link to get to my site?  And when I post a link to various social media sites, which ones are generating more traffic? Do I have more followers who will see my link and click it on Twitter, or on Facebook?
  2. Most visited page.   I can make assumptions about which topics readers are interested in or which of my interests the majority of my readers share, but I don’t know.  At least, not by just guessing.  By measuring this stat, I’ll be able to see which posts are actually my most popular, without having to guess based on number of comments.
  3. Keywords used to get to my blog.  This is a particularly useful stat because it tells me how random readers are finding my blog and if they’re finding what they’re looking for when they get there.  If they’re getting what they’re looking for, then chances are they’ll want to read more posts from me.

The tools and statistics I will use to track these numbers:

Google Analytics.  Google Analytics provides free tracking information once you set it up on your blog or website.  It can be a little overwhelming to try and parse at first, since there are so many stats to look at, but it’s easy to get the hang of it and it really does provide a lot of useful information.

One statistic I see as a problem:

The stat I see as the biggest roadblock for blog growth is engagement.  Even if readers click on a link and visit my site, are they staying long enough to read a whole post?  Are they exploring the site and reading more of what I have to say?  Or are they just blipping in and out of the page, glancing at the first few sentences and then moving on to someone else’s site?

My solution to this is to monitor engagement stats, paying attention to how long each person stays on the site and how many pages they look at.  Once I have a feel for which posts are holding their attention, and which ones are sending them packing, then I’ll know how to better tailor my posts to hold my audience’s attention.

RFP for Apple

Anyone can display banner ads, but here’s what I can offer in addition to CPM ads on the side of my blog:

1. Direct discussion with my readers about what new apps they, as knitters, would like to see, complete with monthly polls.  This will provide you with honest feedback about how happy knitters are or aren’t with current apps and what they would be interested in buying if it was available.

2. A new feature on the blog where I highlight and interview an artist who makes skins for Apple products.  This is not only fun, but helps equate owning Apple products with creative expression, whether that means picking out the perfect skin to represent yourself, or using Apple products to improve your knitting experience.

3. A guest post feature where readers talk about how their iPad, iPod, or other Apple product has improved their knitting experience.  (For example, using iPad to carry all your knitting patterns with you at once and using apps to replace some tools you’d otherwise have to pack with you, like a yardage counter for planning projects.  Or using an iPod to listen to podcasts or audiobooks while knitting.)

4. Since I often review knitting books on the blog, all links to view/buy the book will be for the iPad version (if available).

5.  Interviews with knitting app creators about what inspired them to design their app(s) (i.e. what knitting need it filled for them or what physical tool it replaced).

New Go! Packs are Here!

This week marks the launch of our new Keeley Krackerz Go! Packs, for when you’re on the go.  These pocket-size treats come in three flavors–peanut butter, cinnamon apple, and, our personal favorite, pumpkin spice.

Go! Packs are perfect for that much-needed pick-me-up after a hard workout at the gym, or to beat the afternoon lull at the office.  They also make great snacks for kids and teens with busy after school schedules.  No matter what your lifestyle, Go! Packs provide much needed nutrition that’s ready when you need it.


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How to Play with Your Food

Summer picnics and barbeques are the perfect outdoor settings to play with your food, Keeley Krackerz style.  Let your imagination run wild and have some fun with the kids while you wait for the grill to heat up.  Scientific research shows that getting in some play time is an important part of a healthy life, and it’s something we tend to forget as we get older.  If you’re an adult, you might be a little out of practice, so we’ve put together some playtime tips for the whole family:

  1. Build a cracker castle using peanut butter as the glue.  It’s not only fun, but when you’re finished, you’ve got a healthy snack ready to eat.
  2. Have a contest to see who can make the tallest cracker stack without it falling over.  No peanut butter allowed on this one. 😉
  3. Play a game of checkers using crackers as the pieces.  Use round vs. square crackers to differentiate between teams, or whole wheat vs. regular.  Any piece that gets jumped gets devoured–you can always grab a new cracker if you need to crown any pieces later.
  4. Play a game of tabletop football, using a cracker as the ball.  Set up goal areas on either side of a picnic table and use your fingers to kick/flick the ball towards the goals.
  5. Pretend you’re having a fancy tea party.  Use blackberry jam as caviar and spread it on crackers as hors d’oeuvres.  Make mini-sandwiches using crackers, low fat turkey, and cheese.
And, when in doubt, ask your kids!  They’ll have fun coming up with new ways to play with their food, and creative activities will make family barbecues that much more memorable for everyone involved.

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