Below is a list of frequently asked questions. Please read through them first. If you don’t see the answer to your question, feel free to contact me.
1. Are we required to participate each month?
No, you can sit out for a month or two if you like. Keep in mind that if you sit out for 3 months you will be removed to make room for new members. If you want to rejoin, you will have to get on the waiting list. Extenuating circumstances will of course be considered, just let your hostess know. Each blogger will be required to complete a participation form to be included each month. If you don’t fill out the form, you will be removed.
2. Can we make changes to the recipe we choose?
Absolutely! Think of this like any other recipe you find on a website, blog or in a cookbook. Treat it the same way as far as adaptations are concerned. So if you prefer to make a recipe a bit healthier, or leave out the nuts, or maybe make it gluten free, that’s all totally fine. Just be sure to note any adaptations that you make, just like any other time you would do so. The only difference now is that you are being assigned a blog to choose a recipe from.
3. What if the recipe fails, how do we handle that?
Obviously there are many factors that could cause recipe failure. It could be that the ingredient list was off, there was a measurement typo, the instructions weren’t specific enough, or quite simply, user error. Whatever the case, the idea behind this club is two-fold: 1) you will branch out and find a recipe somewhere you may not have looked otherwise, and 2) you are helping to give exposure to the blog you are assigned. If a recipe doesn’t work, please choose another one and try again. I ask that you try up to 3 recipes before calling it quits. In the case that all three are failures (let’s hope that doesn’t happen!) please let me know privately and we’ll go from there. PLEASE don’t wait until the last minute to tell me about this, the sooner the better.
4. What if I won’t be around to post on the posting date?
The posting day for The Secret Recipe Club will always be on a Monday. If you are at work, out of town, etc, you can schedule your post ahead of time. Both Word Press and Blogger have this option available. However, if you must bow out on your assignment, please let your hostess know as soon as possible so we can find a replacement!
5. My blog is fairly new, can I still join? (updated 12/7/11)
Because the idea behind the club is that someone will be choosing one of your recipes, there needs to be a good collection to choose from. The minimum I will be looking for is a blog that is at least 9 months old with approximately 2-3 posts per week, so 100 recipe posts minimum. This has been changed, it used to be 6 months and 60 posts. However, we have found it difficult for members to find something to make with too small of a selection.
6. I am an international blogger outside the U.S. and Canada, can I still participate?
Yes, but your blog must be in English. It will definitely be challenging some months with international blogs in the mix (finding ingredients, converting measurements, etc) but will also be a lot of fun and allow us all to step outside of our comfort zone! International bloggers should use the time zone converter to calculate when their post needs to go live each month (based on CST – U.S.). Also, make sure the time zone is set correctly in your blog settings or the scheduling will be off!
7. What is a bloghop and why do we need the snippet of code?
A blog hop is basically a linky list that has everyone’s recipes in it. If you click over to this example post and scroll down to the end you’ll see a collection of recipe thumbnails and links. That’s the blog hop. It will appear at the bottom of everyone’s posts, that way visitors can “hop” from blog to blog without interruption. The blog hop appears when you paste in that snippet of code at the end of your post.
8. How does my link get added to the blog hop?
On reveal day, go to the blog hop at the bottom of your post and enter your link. Click on the “Add Your Link” button. Enter the url, the title of the recipe, and your email address. Click the Submit Link button. Choose the picture you would like to display and your entry should be in the blog hop. (NOTE: if you see a little frog that says X links in collection, click the frog, then click the blue add your link button) The blog hop will remain open for 12 hours to allow time for everyone to add their links.
9. With the recent changes announced for 2012, will we all still post together, at the same time?
Yes. However, instead of an early morning reveal, the time will be at midnight EST. That’s also the time your blog hop will open.
10. Can the participation form be filled out early or do we have to wait for the 5th of the month?
Once the announcement has been made that the form is ready, you may go ahead and fill it out. The deadline for filling out the form is the 5th of each month. If you have forgotten the password, please contact your hostess.
11. Can I add my link to the blog hop after work since I won’t be home at noon EST?
No, your post needs to be added to the blog hop before 12:00 noon EST on Reveal Day. Your actual blog post needs to be scheduled for midnight EST. If you are unable to add your post to the blog hop on time, please let your hostess know before Reveal Day, she will make arrangements to get it added for you. There will be a “who had who” list sent out, which means your assignment will be coming to look to see what you made. So even if you aren’t in the blog hop right away, people may still be looking! :)
12. Is it required that we comment on all the blogs in the reveal??
There is no actual commenting requirement. However, I strongly encourage you to try and visit and comment on as many as you can as it really helps develop a sense of community. One of the most gratifying parts of blogging is receiving comments. I would like to see everyone at the very least commenting on the blog that made something from their blog!
13. I was removed from the club, can I join again?
It depends. Most likely yes, depending on the circumstances. If you failed to fill out the participation form, sat out for several months, or left voluntarily and would like to come back, simply fill out the form to join again. You will be placed on the waiting list. If you were removed due to inappropriate posting, behavior or other derogatory issue, your request will be reviewed on a case by case basis. but chances are if you were removed for one of those reasons, you probably won’t be asking to come back.
14. Is there a list of bloggers that are participating?
Yes, here’s the list of bloggers.