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The Rules

The Secret Recipe Club is a fun way to meet new friends and discover some great food blogs you may not have found otherwise. It also allows you the opportunity to step outside of your comfort zone and make a recipe from a blog you are assigned, rather than one that you pick on your own. Because of the nature of the club, each participating blogger waits patiently in anticipation of finding out who made something from their blog. In order to minimize disappointment, there are some rules that must be adhered to in order to join and remain in the club.

100 recipe requirement (updated 01/7/13)

In order to join, your blog must have at the very least 100 recipe posts of recipes you have personally tried and photographed. If you have been using your blog as a way to save recipes you find around the internet, you are most likely violating copyrights. Recipes that are on your blog don’t have to be YOUR original recipes, they can be from elsewhere, but you must have A) made the recipe and taken/posted a picture, and B) given hyperlinked credit to where you found the recipe. This also means 100 posts that actually contain recipes, not posts from a baking group where someone else has the recipe on their blog and you link to it (Tuesdays with Dorie, Sweet Melissa Sundays, Daring Bakers, etc). 100 is truly a minimum, not 99, but 100. ;-)

As of 01/07/13: To remain in the club, members must post at least 1 new recipe per month on their blog. (This does not include the SRC monthly post.) 

A note on copyrights (updated 03/01/12)

Secret Recipe Club takes copyright infringement very seriously. If an SRC member uses another blog’s photo and copy/pastes that blog’s recipe onto their own blog, even if they give credit, they are infringing on that blog/site’s copyright. “Fair use” will allow you to use a photo for the purposes of a review or reporting, provided you give proper credit to the source. Fair use does not allow you to copy and paste the entire recipe and photo to your blog. To read our complete stand on copyrights and how it affects you as a member click here.

Access to your recipes (updated 01/07/13)

As a blogger, you could have hundreds of recipes, but if there isn’t some way to find them fairly easily, then people will become frustrated and won’t want to make anything from your blog. We don’t want that! A simple way to remedy this is to display your archives on your sidebar (not a drop down menu, but a collapsible archive that displays post titles). Another way is to display your labels or a tag cloud, but that should be SECONDARY to an index or archive. Labels and tag clouds aren’t enough on their own. If you have recipe categories set up, that’s even better!  Just having your posts on your blog isn’t good enough I’m afraid. No one wants to scroll through each and every page clicking “Older Entries” looking for something. So make sure people can access your recipes without too much trouble.

As of 01/01/13, All new members must have a Recipe Index on their blog in order to join the Secret Recipe Club. Also, all current members must either have a Recipe Index, or a combination of an Archive that displays your posts titles, along with a Labels or Cloud Tag section on your sidebar. As stated above, “No one wants to scroll through each and every page clicking “Older Entries” looking for something.” That takes all of the fun out of the club, as well as time most of us don’t have. If you need help in setting up any of these options, please contact your group hostess. They would be happy to help you. All existing members blogs must be in compliance with this rule by March 1, 2013.

Want to add a Recipe Index to your blog but not sure how? Here is a great tutorial from one of our members, Sarah from The Pajama Chef. These instructions will work with WordPress platforms. Recipe Index for WordPress

For instructions on how to set up a Recipe Index on a Blogger platform, Janie from Fantastical Sharing of Recipes shared a great tutorial. Recipe Index for Blogger

Thank you Sarah and Janie! :)

Must be in English (added 03/05/12)

I do apologize, but your blog must be written in English. Even with a translator option it can be very challenging to create a successful recipe as sometimes ingredients and measurements are not translated properly, ending up in a failed recipe result. Any blogs that joined prior to March 5, 2012 have been grandfathered in under this clause. However, if those blogs leave the club for any reason and wish to rejoin they will have to abide by this updated rule.

The required links

There are a few links that must be included in your post. There are two links to the blogger you were assigned, one to their homepage and one to the recipe you decided on making. You must also include a link to the SRC website. That can be done in text link form or by using a button.

Posting on time (updated 01/07/13)

There is a specific posting date and time each reveal. In order to keep your “club membership” so to speak, you must post on time along with everyone else. Realistically there’s no reason to post late. Assignments are sent out about 3 weeks before the posting date and all blog programs allow you to schedule your post. So unless you’ve chosen to wait until the last minute to post, or worse, to make your recipe, then you are really shooting yourself in the foot and making yourself look bad. If you don’t post at all you will be removed from the club permanently.

Leaving an orphan is unacceptable and is grounds for being removed from the club. Sometimes in an extreme emergency it is unavoidable, but really unnecessary.  All blogs have the Schedule function, so at the very least your post should go live at 12:00 EST on reveal day. If you are unable to add yourself to the blog hop because of work, an appointment, school, etc. just contact your hostess through email, they would be happy to add you to the hop! Leaving an orphan without good cause will mean removal from the club.

Late posting is a no-no. As stated above all blogs have the “Schedule” function. Everyone is excited to see who had their blog each month, and not being able to find it on reveal day can be a big let down. Any member who posts late will be given a warning the first time. A second offense will result in removal from the club. I don’t want to sound harsh, but for the smooth running of the reveals, and the enjoyment of it’s members, these posting guidelines must be followed.

 Adding the blog hop code

Every post, including the reveal posts on this site, will include the blog hop. A blog hop is a list of links with cute little appetizing thumbnail pictures. Those pictures/links will take you to all the participating member posts for that reveal date. It’s a great way for visitors to your blog to “hop” from blog post to blog post without interruption.

Yahoo and Google + Groups (Added 01/07/13)

All Secret Recipe Club members MUST be a part of either our Yahoo Group, or our Google + Group in order to receive important announcements.

The Participation Form (Added 01/07/13)

In order to participate each month members are required to fill out the participation form. A reminder will be sent to the Yahoo and Google + Groups as well as posted on the Facebook group page. The participation form is due on the 5th of each month for the following month’s club (i.e. February participation is due by January 5th). If you don’t fill out the participation form, you will be removed from the club. In order to join again, you must get back on the waiting list. There is an option in the form to say “no, please leave me out this month” so make sure that you fill it out every month, even if you won’t be participating. Also, keep in mind, if you sit out for two months, you must participate on the third month or you will be removed. The participation form will go live around the 21st of each month. The link for the form can be found in the Members Only area.

Your Name (Added 01/11/13)

All members should have the owners name (First name only) available somewhere on their blog. When the person who was assigned your blog is doing their write-up, it makes it a lot easier to talk about their assignment if they can use a name. If you are uncomfortable sharing your real name, then you may use a nickname, which several of our current members already do.