Why Better Bloggers Need To Learn How To Make an English Trifle

Just in case you don’t know, trifle is a traditional English dessert.

Very popular at Christmas time but great for parties too.

Only one problem.

You have to use a traditional recipe or it doesn’t work.

A bit like blogging!

You must get it right or it won’t hold up.

Want a better blog?

Just follow my grandma… and learn how to make an English trifle!

Here’s my grandma’s method.

  1. Use your prettiest glass bowl.

I use one of hers that she passed down to me.

I love her bowl. Sadly, they don’t make them like that anymore…

You can see all the layers of the trifle through the glass and it looks so tempting.

Same with your blog site. 

You need to make it as inviting as you can.  Your Side Bar(s) should make it clear what your blog contains and your Page Titles should invite the reader to find out more – to taste your blog and see if they’d like to eat some.

2.   What’s the first thing they’ll see, on the top?

Chocolate sprinkles? Cherries? Or something they won’t expect, like edible nasturtium flowers?

Same with your blog.

Which of these Headllines would you read…

  • How to build your blog
  • Why Better Bloggers Need To Learn How to Make An English Trifle

You need to tempt your reader with the unexpected.

Make them sit up and take notice when they read your headline.

If it’s ordinary, they’ll buzz off.

3.   An English trifle needs jelly.

Now I’m being a bit controversial.

There are two camps in England: those who use jelly in their trifle and those who don’t. It’s personal.  I use it because… well because my grandma did.  By jelly I mean the flavoured gelatine cubes that come in packets and you dissolve them in hot water.  You pour the jelly over the sponge cake which lines the bowl and then it sets. (I’ll deal with the sponge cake next…)

In my opinion, trifle without jelly just doesn’t hold together. It flops.

Same with your blog.

It needs jelly. It needs a well thought out, strong point for each post.

You need to have something important/useful to write about or your blog will simply flop.

Don’t write insubstantial personal waffle  because no-one will read it.

4.   Choose the best sponge cake/fingers.

You need to line your glass bowl with sponge fingers.

They support the other ingredients. They soak up the jelly and support the fruit. (That comes next.)

Same with your blog.

When you’ve decided on the topic for your post you need to use the best writing you’re capable of.

You need to connect with your reader.

You need to choose the right ‘writing voice’ for them.

You need to be clear.

You won’t write a memorable post without time and effort. It doesn’t work.

5.   The magic ingredient.

Tradtional English trifles always contain a generous amout of sherry.  This is poured over the sponge cake before the fruit is added (tinned fruit usually), and needless to say it tastes pretty good. No-one seems to mind if children have sherry trifle but, even so,  the amount of sherry is never mean!

Everyone says that trifle without sherry is no trifle at all.

Same with your blog.

It needs a Magic Ingredient.

A special touch.

A unique flavour/style/authenticity.

It needs to contain the ‘essence’ that is you.

I guarantee that if you blog as if you’re making my grandma’s English trifle, everyone will want to know your recipe!

And they’ll Share it with their friends, like you’ll be Sharing and Tweeting this post…

Over to you -

  • What, in your view, is the most important ingredient for a successful blog?




  1. I love the comparison! and I love the picture too, I would definitely eat it right now. thank you for the blog’s traditional recipe, you gave here very good advices and I’m gonna use them.

  2. You forgot the most important ingredient of all namely love.

    If you do not make the triffle with love it just looks like a few ingredients thrown together. But if you prepared it with love everybody will recognise it as a triffle and will enjoy eating it, afterall many people also eat with their eyes.

    This means for your blog that your design may not be just thrown some plugings together. No, make your design with love, because that is the first your visitors will see. If your design is a mess many will leave instantly and dont eat your content. But if you make it look nice and people have no problem to navigate thru posts and pages then they will stay for awhile to eat what you have written.

  3. Well this is a great approach of blogging success. I keep telling people that the process of success is the same whether you’re writing a musical piece, writing a blog post or selling in a local store, but most people can’t see the similarities. Let us take the example of a song for a second. No one will ever listen to a song in the first place if they see that the song title looks stupid, and that’s the case with a post title or blogs title or whatever you call it (i call it the first magnet). The intro of the song must be great in order for the listener to keep listening and not get bored (second magnet). I’m not going to name every aspect, but i’m sure everyone has got my point. Success has the same ingredients but just in different shapes.

    • I like your comparison with song titles, Edgar. It’s the same with book titles, isn’t it. We only pick up that book in the book store if the title attracts us.
      Thanks for this today.

  4. Thanks for the blog recipe, really good parallelization, now it is time to give to people to eat it, spread the word out, and see what they say, the same with the blog :-)

  5. I enjoy an English trifle and this blog post. Your point about the title is well-taken as I saw the title on Twitter and clicked through. Excellent concept. Thanks.

  6. English trifle is a great thing. I have tried it only once and in my area we don’t cook it at all, but I like the way we compare cooking a trifle with creating a blog. Blog creation sounds so delicious then.

  7. Linda, first off, I have to compliment you on your creativity. Comparing blogging with an English dessert and making perfect sense takes quite a lot of creativity and expressiveness. Kudos! And the special ingredient – you definitely have it.

    I have never tasted the traditional trifle but suddenly have the urge to do so :).

  8. Thanks for a wonderful recipe.
    I have tried many times to repeat the dish my grandmother! But I miss not only the special dishes (which as you said: they don’t make them like that anymore) but also that special state of mind: not in a hurry, love to all. I hope that this is not related to age ?

  9. A good blogger can really keeps all these questions in mind while giving name to its post or giving headlines. nice post. a good informative post for bloggers specially for newbies like me

  10. Linda – your trifle:blog analogy is intriguing. As to the most important ingredient for a blog: It needs to be unusual, just as your idea for your current post – building a blog is like finding a cherished and treasured way to make one of the most elegant of desserts.

    • Thanks Barbara,
      I like your use of ‘cherished and treasured way’!
      Just have to keep on keeping on!

      • Linda – “Just have to keep on keeping on.”
        In the beginning my epitaph on my grave stone was going to be:
        She kept on keeping on.

        Many years later my epitaph on my vase was going to be:
        She danced to the music of a different orchestra.

        And several years after that:
        She danced to the music of a different orchestra -
        but first she had to hear the music.

        And so it will be.

        • Barbara,

          I love your attitude. It’s given me something deep to think about and even to write about on my blog.

          I’m trying to hear the music, but perhaps I should stop trying and then I’ll hear it…

          Thanks so much for this.

  11. Thanks ,really nice post.I really enjoyed.Post more posts

  12. Haha, what a delicious analogy :)

  13. Well, to compare trifle and blog creation is a superb idea. It is great that there are people who have such ideas. I think how every housewife will understand how to create a blog.

  14. Glynis Jolly says:

    Well Linda, now I know how to make a trifle. YUM!

    My posts have a tendency to be more like cobblers. ;)

  15. Well, Linda, you just made me hungrier! I love your “English” themes with your posts… still have to search for the prettiest bowl though! :)

    My magic ingredient would be humor…. the extra colorful jelly that makes it interesting till the last drop. Yes, humor always has the readers attention held on for a longer time..at least I am hoping it does!

    Hungry for dessert now!

    • Yes, Hajra, humor is a great extra ingredient for a blog. You have the skill to add that but not every one does.
      It;s your talent and that’s what makes your blog so special. We all have to discover our secret special ingredient and then.. we’re on our way!
      Thanks for this. So wise.

  16. suzanne g. says:

    This made me hungry for blogging!! Nice post! So True! Thanks for sharing…You do sure blog better!

  17. Crazy that I have been thinking about trifles for days! Seriously! I’ve always wanted to make one, but never gotten around to it for one reason or the other…the picture of that trifle just looks so good I might have to try to make one this weekend :)

    By the way, I think what’s “on top” is also one of the most important things. Your title is what caught my eye!


  18. Hello Linda. this has been a nice analogy and a different approach to your run-of-the-mill blog tutorial. AND I learned a little about trifling too :D

  19. I’m not a big fan of catchy titles because they don’t have SEO benefits in the long run. But I guess it depends on your blog as well. If you blog regularly and have an established audience then it might be a good idea to do things a bit differently, at least once in a while.

  20. This is totally true.. It’s all about the presentation to your viewers.. When you have great presentation, your viewers will be glued to your blog for a longer time and then they will start to read your contents..

    • Presentation is key, in my view, Ricardus.

      With blogs, trifles, fashion, home, everything. We only get 3 seconds to make that first impression!
      Thanks for dropping by.

  21. There are really nice guidance for new blogger. Nice article.

  22. The blogging now is getting more and more difficult and people need to leave good content to make comments approved and in other side,people need to make sure the google can index the comment swifter.So ,this article is so great that teach people doing bloging work how to reach such a good result.Thanks for sharing!

  23. Information Center says:

    in view of the picture, looks delicious
    nice posts…

  24. For me, a very important thing is that your blog delivers for the promises it makes.

    If you told me that you’ll write about this and that – make sure you do so. Otherwise, your English trifle will fool me with it’s amazingly delicious appearance only once. If I taste it, and it’s not great and sweet. I’m not coming back for more.

  25. What brilliant advice! I just created an English Trifle (http://www.picturebritain.com/2012/02/my-english-trifle.html)–no jelly, sorry :)

    I need to keep this info in the databanks and remember it every time I sit down to post. Thanks!

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