Once you’ve got your blog up and running, you may start wondering about what next?
How about finding your way into the UK blogging community?
Why join a blogging community?
Blogging is a fantastic hobby, but by its nature, it’s often just you, the screen and a cup of tea.
Being a part of the blogging community means connecting with other bloggers. This can be a good thing because:
You’ll find new blogs to read (and be inspired by)
Having a network of friendly bloggers to hand makes solving tech headaches a LOT quicker
People you meet in the blogging community may read and share your blog posts
You might meet blogging friends in real life – hey presto, new friends!
When you’re having a bad day, blogging friends have been there, done that and can offer great support
How to find fellow bloggers
Bloggers are everywhere, but here are our favourite ways to find and connect with other bloggers:
1. Join a Linky
A Linky, or Link Up, is where one blogger invites other bloggers to ‘link up’ posts on a particular topic or theme, hopefully encouraging more people to visit the original blogger’s site, and all the other bloggers who link up. It’s a great way for newer bloggers to discover similar blogs and bloggers, and visiting linked up blogs and leaving comments will encourage people to visit your blog, in return. Some of our favourite Linky’s running at the moment include:
Bake of the Week gives you the chance to show off all your homemade creations including savoury bakes, biscuits, breads, cakes, tarts.
Recipe of the Week, a ‘no theme’ recipe linky where participants are encouraged to share the love.
We Should Cocoa is a monthly cooking challenge for food bloggers based on…chocolate with a special ingredient or theme changing every month.
CookBakeShare is not just about cakes and bakes, share your recipes and some of them will be shared in a round up the following week.
Credit Crunch Munch is all about saving some money, whilst still enjoying great food.
But there are LOADS of Linky communities to join, so do look around and see if you can find something that appeals to you – and that might be different from week to week!
2. Facebook Groups
Facebook groups are a great way to meet other bloggers and there are LOTS of Facebook groups out there. Some are for all bloggers, while others are for bloggers in specific niches – such as craft, food or parenting. Then there are groups around specific topics that are open to bloggers and non-bloggers – for example, a group might be based on the city where you live, or a particular sport, hobby or school. The best way to get started when looking at Facebook communities is to search for them – there’s a Flea Enterprises Bulletin Board where we share blogging opportunities for Foodies100 bloggers, and there are lots of groups specific to UK Food Bloggers – just use the search bar to get started.
Twitter is pretty much the world’s biggest networking opportunity and there are literally thousands of UK bloggers on Twitter every day. So how do you get started? One approach is to search Twitter for “food blogger” and see who’s using those terms in their Twitter bio. Another approach is to click on a Twitter hashtag that seems interesting to you, and see who else is Tweeting using that hashtag – popular blogging hashtags include:
#foodblogger – a hashtag often used by food bloggers who want to connect with other like minded bloggers
#foodies – everyone using this hashtag has some interest in food so you will likely ‘meet’ other bloggers
#recipeoftheweek – a hashtag used by food bloggers connecting through the Recipe of the Week linky mentioned above
#fdblogger – another hashtag used by food bloggers
#foodiefriday – Look out for this hashtag…on a Friday
4. Blogging Events
As you find your feet as a blogger, you’ll be invited to (or consider paying to) attend a blogging event or two. Or twenty. There are events hosted by brands – coffee mornings, lunches, fun activities, glam parties
– sign up for Foodies100 to get on the radar of PR agencies. You might also consider attending one of the myriad of blogger conferences and networking events. We humbly suggest that our own free BlogCamp events are probably the most fun and informal of these offerings but other events can also be fun, and a great way to meet fellow bloggers.
5. Build a Local Network
Trying to make small talk with 200 people at an event, can be pretty difficult. One way to network is with regional lunches and meet-ups. Make a note of your favourite bloggers and arrange a get together. No brands, no conference sessions – just a relaxed lunch in an inexpensive local restaurant.
If you’re nervous, don’t be shy about asking in a Facebook group or on Twitter – “Hey, are there any bloggers around X who fancy meeting for coffee?” Commit to a date and location rather than trying to please everyone who responds (because that’ll never happen), and consider a meet-up without kids because you’ll find it a lot easier to chat that way!
Sometimes, especially for new bloggers, blogging can seem full of cliques that seem snooty or exclusive. Actually, it’s not that – it’s just that people tend to have limited time on social media, and they like to spend it chatting with people they know and are friendly with. The vast majority of these people are welcoming and don’t mind in the slightest if you butt into their Twitter conversations or Facebook threads. But it’s still a good idea to find other bloggers who can become part of your ‘tribe’ – either because they’re local to you, write about the same topics as you, or perhaps they’re new bloggers like you. Seek out these blogs and bloggers on Twitter and consider a collaboration – perhaps you could team up to swap guest posts, or interview each other? Maybe you could team up with a group of local bloggers to create a round-up of amazing blog posts? If you’re feeling ambitious you could consider a more involved collaboration, like a jointly-hosted Linky of your own?
what bloggers say
We spoke with some Tots100 and Foodies100 bloggers and these are their top reasons for being a part of the blogging community. What do they gain from it? Here’s what they told us:
- “Making life-long friends.” Susan K Mann
- “Recipe inspiration, cooking tips and tricks, restaurant recommendations from around the world and especially foodie friendships.” Emily Coates
- “Friendship by far. There’s no greater thing to have come out of blogging that that.” Tanya Barrow
- “Self-confidence and the belief I might actually be good at something.” Lisa Hodson
- “What are the trends in food blogging? Does my blog stand out from the crowd? I love commenting on other food blogs, it’s like a little family in your screen.” Helen Costello
- “The diversity of people. Getting to know people from all walks of life you wouldn’t normally have a chance to meet.” Kate Gunn