What can we learn from Jell-O?

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What can we learn from Jell-O?

Last week, Margarita Ibbott posted her February editorial calendar on her blog, and it was a brilliant demonstration of how you can get blogging ideas out of everyday and special events. It reminded me of a post I wrote for From the Desk of Janet Barclay in 2011, and since it happens to be very timely, I’ve updated it a bit and am republishing it here today.

When searching for topics for my blog, I often refer to ideas suggested in the Blogging Calendar from Blog Energizer, and recommend this wonderful resource to others as well. After downloading a copy, one of my clients said that she couldn’t wait to see how I might be inspired by Jell-O Week. Although I knew she was teasing, I couldn’t resist a challenge, especially when it comes to blogging, so here goes!

Did you know that people have been enjoying Jell-O since the late 1800s? It is, in fact, a “shining” example of a brand keeping up with the times. Over the years they’ve adapted to customer wants and needs by adding non-gelatin products to their line-up, introducing new flavors, discontinuing less popular ones, and catering to the demands of health-conscious consumers.

Are we doing that in our own businesses?

In terms of their marketing, they’ve also kept up with the times, going from magazines to radio to television. Despite recent revelations that Bill Cosby may not have lived up to the squeaky clean image we knew and loved, many of us have fond memories of the many commercials he appeared in.

Not surprisingly, Jell-O even has a great Facebook Page! Here are some of the things they do to encourage people to not only Like their Page but to become active participants in their online community:

  • Allow fans to post on the Page and, even more importantly, respond to their posts
  • Ask timely questions such as “What are you doing to keep your New Year’s Resolution?” and “The Big Game is better when you’re with family and friends! Who are you watching it with?”
  • Post recipes and money-saving coupons
  • Invite fans to submit photos of their Jell-O creations
  • Create photo albums showing their “Giggle Tours”
  • Upload videos of their latest commercials

Even their About Page is nice and light, like Jell-O itself. They could easily have included a lengthy paragraph describing their many products or the brand’s history, but they didn’t.

What other effective Facebook pages have you seen? What do you like about them? How might we incorporate some of these ideas into our own Facebook pages?

My challenge for you today:

  1. Download the latest Blogging Planner & Calendar.
  2. Choose a topic that doesn’t seem to have anything to do with your business.
  3. Be creative and find a way to use it on your blog.
  4. Come back here and post your link in the comments!

Original photo by Steven Depolo, used under a Creative Commons license

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A former professional organizer, I now eliminate stress for my clients by hosting, monitoring, and maintaining their WordPress sites so they don’t have to worry about security, downtime or performance issues. When I’m away from my desk, I enjoy reading, photography, watching movies, and cooking.

Join the Conversation


  1. Linda Samuels Linda Samuels on February 10, 2011 at 8:48 am

    Brilliant inspiration! Just love how you took the seed idea, explored it and made it relevant to building a business and using social media effectively. Well done. Plus, I love the photo of the jello cubes. Reminds me of “The Great Jello Fight” I had with my cousin when I was a kid.

  2. Avatar Janet Barclay on February 10, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    Thanks, Linda! I had a lot of fun developing the idea and I’m glad you liked the results and that it brought back some childhood memories! I also remember fun times with my cousins, but no Jello was involved.

  3. Avatar Kathy Stinson on February 10, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    What I always liked best about jello was how you could take a mouthful and then squish it forward between your teeth without letting it squirt right out of your mouth. Now, how can I compare that to my business of writing? 🙂

  4. Avatar Janet Barclay on February 11, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    You could use it as a writing exercise for one of your classes. Write something about Jello that really has nothing to do with Jello.

  5. Avatar Kathy Stinson on February 11, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    Very clever!
    (As always.)

  6. Avatar Janet Barclay on February 12, 2011 at 7:27 am

    If I was really clever, I’d have actually answered your question about blogging, wouldn’t I? 😳

  7. Avatar Kathy Stinson on February 12, 2011 at 11:03 am

    You mean my business of writing? I thought you evaded that one quite nicely!

  8. Avatar Janet Barclay on February 12, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Ah, perhaps I am clever then!

  9. Avatar Kathy Stinson on February 12, 2011 at 4:13 pm


  10. Avatar Geralin Thomas on February 14, 2011 at 11:32 am

    Janet, you’ve outdone yourself this time! What this post *really* proves is just how creative and resourceful you truly are. Come to think of it, you are sorta like Jello; you’re very colorful, timeless, fun, and dependable. Clients like me know that despite all the hot trends and fads, no one is better at taking multiple tasks, with a variety of “ingredients” and wiggling, jiggling and sometimes giggling them into a beautiful, finished, “delicious” products.

  11. Avatar Janet Barclay on February 14, 2011 at 11:58 am

    Thank you, Geralin – I’m speechless.

  12. Avatar Kathy Stinson on February 14, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    Gee, Geralin’s post was almost as clever as yours, Janet.

  13. Avatar Janet Barclay on February 15, 2011 at 7:00 am

    She’s quite brilliant, isn’t she? 🙂

    I’m lucky to have such wonderful clients from whom I can learn and be inspired!

  14. Avatar Margarita Ibbott ~ on February 9, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    …and THAT is why we are friends. Bloggers inspiring bloggers to write blog posts to then re-write blog posts to then read blog post. Honestly, I love blogging and when I can have the support of others it is GENIUS.

    Loved your post. You can make anything out of Jello!

  15. Avatar Seana Turner on February 10, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    Wow, the idea of reaching outside of my field and writing a post on it is kind of scary.. and kind of exciting. Funny enough, my memories of Jello are mostly of being sick – my mother always gave it to me when I had an upset tummy:) I’ll think about this one, Janet!

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on February 11, 2015 at 6:47 am

      If you’d like to step outside your blogging comfort zone, I’d be happy to assign you a challenge some time!

  16. Avatar Sarah at Journeys of The Zoo on February 11, 2015 at 9:50 pm

    Okay Janet, I’m going to download the Blogging Calendar and see what happens.

    My favourite jell-o flavour is grape. What’s yours? Feel free to answer over on my Facebook page (http://www.journeysofthezoo.com).

    Besos, Sarah
    Journeys of The Zoo

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on February 12, 2015 at 7:06 am

      I know you’re going to love the Blogging Calendar, Sarah! I hope you’ll come back and tell us what creative idea you came up with.

      P.S. My favourite flavour is grape too. 🙂

  17. Avatar Julie Stobbe on February 12, 2015 at 8:52 pm

    My kids loved Jell-O jigglers. That’s what I was doing while I read your blog. Thanks for putting a smile on my face today. Thanks for the resource.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on February 13, 2015 at 6:32 am

      Always happy to put a smile on someone’s face – especially on these cold winter days!

  18. Avatar Kim on February 13, 2015 at 7:32 am

    Hi Janet,
    What a great blog and a great list of comments!! So true, that we can learn from others successes. I love all the links on this page too and will check out as many as I can. Thanks so much for your inspiration 🙂

  19. Avatar Anna on January 13, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    I’m a little late to the party, but I love to find resources like this. Thanks, Janet for bringing it to my attention.

    As a fun add-on, my favorite Jello pastime is making Jello Jigglers and using cookie cutters to make different shapes. Whoever said you shouldn’t play with your food!

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on January 14, 2017 at 6:33 am

      So glad you could join us at the party that never ends! I don’t think I’ve ever made Jello Jigglers but it sounds like I’m missing something!

  20. Avatar Kevin Davies on February 21, 2017 at 9:03 am

    Needed to compose you a very little word to thank you yet again regarding the nice suggestions you’ve contributed here.

  21. Avatar Alexandra on July 17, 2017 at 10:24 am

    Hi Janet,

    Downloaded your Blogger Planner and I love it! Just wanted to give you a heads up that confirmation email went to my spam folder. It looks like this is common with emails from Aweber these days.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on July 17, 2017 at 1:57 pm

      Those emails would have come from Blog Energizer, not me, but thanks for letting me know.

  22. […] Every month, week and day, there are some really strange, fun and downright funny holidays and observances celebrated around the world, which can often help you generate ideas for your blog. Some of my past blog posts have been inspired by such events as Entrepreneurs “Do It Yourself” Marketing Month, Mother’s Day, and even Jell-O Week. […]

  23. Avatar Angeline Wallace on April 27, 2018 at 3:04 pm

    A BIG Thank you! Janet 🙂 the blog planner is very useful. Is there a vegan version of Jello? 🙂 I love the fact that it has a lot of collagen.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on April 28, 2018 at 1:21 pm

      I don’t think that Jell-O makes a vegan version of their product, but if you Google “vegan jello” you’ll find a number of recipes to make your own.

  24. Avatar Le Dascy on January 6, 2019 at 12:16 pm

    Thanks @Janet Barclay for your great inspiration article . I just like blog planner and your Ideas.

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