Coffee Date: Tayler Lofquist of Tayler Made

https://twitter.com/#!/taylofquist/status/160396282408603648

Tayler Lofquist is the author of the blog Tayler Made: A blog about food I can actually eat.  Lucky for me, Tayler is also one of my closest friends.  Tayler was one of my roommates freshman year.  Her hard work and dedication to school work always inspired me (she was either 1 or 2 of our graduating class at the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences at George Washington University).  I will never forget how honored I was to get a subtle shout out I got during her speech at graduation.  I have always been inspired by Tayler; however, learning about her mission behind her blog has shown her strength and compassion.  Tayler created her blog because she has multiple food allergies and sensitivities (such as dairy, eggs, cane sugar, tree nuts, and peanuts) and must eat gluten-free foods.  Instead of wallowing in soy gluten-free ice cream Tayler decided to help people in similar situations.

Want to find out more about Ms. Lofquist and Tayler Made (of course you do)?  Here’s her Preppy Postgrad Exclusive Interview:

1. How did you come up with the idea or focal point for your blog?

I was diagnosed with multiple food allergies and sensitivities about six years ago, and had to eliminate a lot of common foods such as dairy and gluten as a result.  Learning how to navigate through those allergies to find foods that I could eat and enjoy was a bit of a challenge at first, and there weren’t many resources available to me during that transition.  So I see the blog as an opportunity to provide others in a similar situation with a community, as well as tips and ideas to help make living with food allergies a little bit easier!
2. If your blog had a mission statement what would it be?

To form a community of individuals with food allergies who want to have fun sharing recipes, tips, and stories with one another!
3. What advice would you give to people who have just started or would like to start a blog?

I think one of the most important things about blogging is to let your personality show through in your writing.  Blogging is a great opportunity to develop your voice and hone writing skills, and I always think the best blogs are ones that have a healthy balance of useful information with insightful or funny anecdotes.  Your blog doesn’t have to be an e-diary by any means (unless that’s what you’re going for!) but showing who you are through your writing keeps your blog interesting and differentiates it from all of the other blogs out there.
4. What forms of social media or widgets do you use to gain readers and followers?

This is definitely something I need to do more of- but right now I mostly use Twitter and Facebook to promote Tayler Made.  Facebook is mostly useful for sharing your blog with your family and current friends, while Twitter is a great tool for finding an community that is relevant to you and using your blog to gain a voice in that space.  I also want to start looking into more food-centric social tools like Pinterest to promote the blog as well!

5. How have you been able to gain friendships with other bloggers?

A few of my friends keep personal blogs of their own on everything from fashion to music to cars, so I love following whatever friends of mine are saying online.  I have also had some success in connecting with other bloggers just through Tayler Made, especially those in the gluten-free and food allergy community.  This is something I definitely want to expand, however, especially since I’m still in the early stages of developing and growing my blog.

6. What goals do have for your blog?

So far I have had some success in connecting with restaurant managers and others on the food production side through my work, but that is something I’m definitely hoping to expand over the next few months.  But as cheesy as this sounds, the biggest win for me as a blogger is when someone tells me that my writing helped them find a new food that they love that is also compatible with their allergies, or that something I discussed on the blog helped them to think differently about something or be inspired to be less frustrated with their allergies. I’m also starting to get absolutely flooded with amazing recipes from my friends and ideas for topics to write on, so I hope to keep testing out those recipes and helping out my friends as much as I can!  And, I definitely want to be more like you and post at least 3-4 times a week 🙂
7. How do you get inspiration for posts?

Like I said above, I have a lot of people sending me recipes these days, so that has definitely been an inspiration to be creative and test out something new in the kitchen whenever I can!  My biggest inspiration, however, usually comes when someone asks me a question about my allergies or when I learn something new about food allergies in general.  For example, one of my coworkers was surprised to learn that I can eat ketchup, so I ended up writing a post about my love for Heinz ketchup.  It’s still one of my most popular posts and was a lot of fun to write!  I also try to write about my favorite restaurants and foods that I eat all the time to show how accessible so many of those foods can be.

Like what you’ve read?  Check out Tayler’s blog and follow her on Twitter at @taylofquist.

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