The #1 Way to Build Connections with Other Food Bloggers

 The #1 Way to Build Connections with Other Food Bloggers

  • 7 times out of 10, comments left on my blog are from other bloggers;
  • 2 times out of 10, they’re left by happy recipe reviewers (or unhappy, potentially, I suppose, too! That was so many commas);
  • 1 time out of 10 it’s my mom or O feeling bad because they asked for a photo of a recent recipe and I glare beady eyes at them and mutter that it’s “been on the blog for days”.

The #1 Way to Build Connections with Other Food BloggersI don’t blame the non-blogging reader for not regularly commenting “just because”; I rarely did before I blogged! But bloggers understand the importance of these little dollops of feedback to the blogger psyche and feeling of connectedness. That’s why, of course, 70% of my blog comments are from other bloggers. You’ll notice, too, if you scan the lengthy comment list at Smitten Kitchen or Pioneer Woman, the vast majority of comments have hyperlinked names, which means they have a website they deemed relevant enough to add to the text box of the comment form.

So how do other bloggers find your blog? How do you start a relationship with them? Wait for them to come to you?

Only if you really like waiting.

And of course, if you develop enough traffic through other channels, other bloggers will come to you, but it will be a slower process than if you take the reins. Here’s my simple method for finding other bloggers worth connecting with.. and developing a real relationship with them.

1. Find related bloggers

You might have no idea how to go about actually finding your peers in the blogging world! Simply Googling “food bloggers” will land you in the upper echelon of food bloggers, which can be a dead-end and a goldmine, depending on how you go about it. It’s unlikely that, as amazing as Deb of Smitten Kitchen is, she has time to personally interact with every single comment (hundreds on each post – can you blame her?). However.. loads of food bloggers go here to comment and link back to their blog.

This is where I visit to use the “stumble upon” method of finding peer bloggers to connect with. I make use of two channels:

The #1 Way to Build Connections with Other Food Bloggersa. Scroll down to the comment section and ctrl+click (or right-click, you Windows-user, you) > Open in a New Tab several of the hyperlink-enabled names of commenters who left meaningful comments you can relate to.

I’d avoid anyone who leaves a comment like “Nice post!”, because you’re looking for bloggers a) you relate to, b) actually read copy, c) aren’t spamming for self-interest alone, and d) leave meaningful interaction.

b. Peruse FoodGawker and Tastespotting for gorgeous photos by bloggers who actively promote themselves

There will be some “big players” on these FoodPorn sites, but, if you too have your photos accepted by FoodGawker and Tastespotting, you’ll often find your peers there with a micro-taste of their blog presented. You can often tell, in one visual bite, what sort of food they make, what their “perspective is”, and if they’re a bit snarky or funny, by the recipe photo blurb.

Take this screenshot, for example..

The #1 Way to Build Connections with Other Food Bloggers

I was struck by the gorgeous photo of hot chocolate with what looks like homemade marshmallows. The title, however, got me. “How to make fancy-ass hot chocolate”? I HAVE TO BE FRIENDS WITH YOU.

I shouted it.. that’s why I used caps. I shouted it.

2. Get to know the blogger

Now that you’ve sectioned out several bloggers, take some time and read their work! Do you relate to their style of writing? Do you love their photography? Do their recipes sound amazing? Maybe this is one of the blogs for you! Does their blog seem extremely developed and already well-read, whereas yours is a newborn? Try finding a blog that might be considered more of a “peer”, but don’t be afraid to aim high, either. Do they talk a lot about fitness.. and you haven’t exercised in years? Maybe this isn’t the blog for you to connect with, unless it’s your New Year’s resolution to get in shape! These are all things to consider.

If you’d enjoy reading their blog regularly, leave a meaningful comment on one of their most recent posts and make sure you subscribe to new and reply comments.

If you’re lucky, the blogger will use the Disqus plugin, which allows the comment thread to read like a Facebook thread. You’ll get notifications when they personally reply to your comment, rather than just anyone on the comment thread in general. You can also reply directly from an email reply, which is awesome! But my love for Disqus is another post for another day.

If the blogger responds to your comment, that’s great! That means they also value interaction and have sturdy blog “manners”. Proceed to the next step, text adventure-style.

If the blogger does not respond to their comment, give them a second chance. Wait for another post and comment again. If still, nothing, you’re better off trying to build a connection with other bloggers who value your interaction more.

The best way to organize bloggers in this no-man’s land is by adding them to an RSS reader. I love Feedly, but you might be a Feedburner type yourself. Just make sure you go back and actually read your feed! My general inability to do this on a daily basis leads me to this fool-proof way of maintaining these all-important connections..

The #1 Way to Build Connections with Other Food Bloggers3. Subscribe to your new blogger friend’s posts via email

This is the #1 way to build connections with other food bloggers!

Unless you’re diligent about checking your RSS feed reader (and you may be) or the blogger happens to have a lucky Facebook page that gets pushed to the front of your newsfeed, this is the best way to never miss a post. I view new posts from my blogger friends as personal emails that I need to interact with!

Of course, this isn’t for 30 bloggers you’d like to get to know, unless they don’t post that often. But for the select few you really like and enjoy reading, subscription via email is the way to go.

What if this blogger doesn’t have an email subscription? I bet they’d love to receive a comment requesting one! All you have to say is that you love reading their posts and wish they had an email subscription so you’d never miss one. Wouldn’t you be tickled by that comment? Don’t be shy.. you totally would.

As a bonus approach..

make sure you connect with them on social media, which, in the food blogging industry, is most likely Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook.

Twitter is a great way to have real-time conversations with another food blogger and ask meaningful (but short) questions, whereas on Pinterest you can show love for their recipes by sharing them with your followers, and Facebook can be a great way to receive updates.. but Facebook tends to push non-promoted posts to the back of your newsfeed.

That’s it! I guarantee you this is the best way to consistently build connections with bloggers out there to whom you really relate. Never underestimate the power of blogger relationships, whether it’s just to lament the troubles of photographing ice cream or share tips on new advertising channels.. or even promote one another on your own platforms!

Do you have any tips on building blogger relationships?

Stay tuned for more food blogger-related posts and a shiny, brand new food blogger project!

Comments

  1. ateaspoonofhappiness says

    I love that you did a post on this. I think if there’s one thing that I have yet to truly tackle in the blogging world, this would be it. There are only a few other bloggers – including you, obviously – that I have connected with. It’s sad to say, but it’s true. I personally haven’t subscribed via email yet, but I added a section to my Feedly for my “favorites”. Specifically because I don’t want to miss commenting on their new posts. Your ideas for finding new people to connect with are great and already on my to-do list. Thanks for sharing this!

    • thestylistquo says

      It was so frustrating for me, too! I always saw these groups of bloggers that were super tight and did like.. birthday party recipe linkups and stuff, but I never understood how they got there! Since I work from home, each email is an individual task to me, so email works super well. I always forget to check my Feedly! I love getting your posts in my email :) Did you see my screenshot of it?! Ha!

  2. annashortcakes says

    Great post! I found it via the Southern Food Bloggers group. I am always trying to connect with a wider audience. You are so right about trying to form a bond with other bloggers. The ones I am most inspired by have played a surprisingly large role in how I think about my blog and how it evolves. Blogs are such a great community! You can check out my blog at http://annashortcakes.com/. Constructive criticism is always appreciated :)

    • thestylistquo says

      Thanks for checking it out! You’re right, it’s amazing how much a blog and blogger—whom you’ve never met at all, oftentimes!—can impact your life, art, and own personal style. Yet there are so many existing “cliques”, although that’s a negative word. Perhaps.. established circles? Either way, I’ll definitely be subscribing your blog! :D

  3. says

    Thanks so much for posting this! I’m a very new food blogger and am trying to find my way the blogging world. I’m a Memphian too and was buying a new camera the other day (so now I’ll have no excuse for poor photography!) and heard about norococo, which led me to your site. I look forward to reading more of your posts!

    • admin says

      Great to *meet* you! I’ve been complaining lately about not having enough Memphis food bloggers, that write actual recipes, that is! You should check out my side project, . It’s super new so there’s only one post (right before Christmas and then I got totally overwhelmed with the holidays!) but Sophorn (norococo) is actually working on a post about buying a lens for food photography! I cover my transition with food photography, and I think you would like it! I actually tried to get a Memphis food bloggers group together (yep, I’m the one who owns the domain “memphisfoodbloggers.com and hasn’t done anything with it – ha!), so we should start something!!

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