Alongside many other bloggers, I am always on the look out for new blogs to read that reflect my interests as well as introduce me to new interests. I can be quite specific about the ones I like to follow, as fashion and beauty are not my strongest hobbies – I selfishly much prefer blogs like my own which focus on lifestyle with a more diverse mix of interests.
For that reason, it’s not always easy to find new reads – I don’t agree with the whole ‘follow back’ policy that a lot of bloggers seem to buy in to, as I find it a lot more useful to be following writers that I have a genuine interest in – whether its the topics they cover, the style they write in or the way they present their blog with nice images, a nice design etc (preferably it will tick all of these boxes!)
Here’s a few tips and tools for finding new like-minded bloggers.
If you have been blogging for a while, you’ll probably already know about the weekly Twitter chats that go on. There’s a plethora of chats to choose from – I usually dip in to the #lbloggers chat on Sunday nights at 7pm, which I believe is followed by #bbloggers. There’s all sorts of denominations of chats cropping up now, including #pbloggers (parent bloggers), #psbloggers (plus size bloggers), #foodbloggers and more. Your best bet is to follow the appropriate hashtag on Twitter to find out when they take place and you can also look at previous chats to find bloggers that are active in the community. The Twitter chats are always really friendly and occasionally interesting topics will be discussed – I have to confess that I find some of the topics a bit dry or not relevant to me, but I can still find people to chat with or follow.
I recommend using Tweetdeck or Hootsuite to follow the right hashtag based on your interests – not only will it be easier to follow the chat as it happens, but you can also be updated to any tweets using that hashtag which happen outside of the chats. I will often tag my blog post tweets with #lbloggers or #bbloggers etc depending on the topic of the post and I know a lot of people do the same.
Carrying on with the Twitter theme, I wanted to share with you a great tool called Followerwonk. Followerwonk can do all sorts of things, but the most value I get from it (both personally and professionally) is searching Twitter bios. If you search for terms such as ‘UK lifestyle blogger’ or ‘Manchester food blogger’ (just examples), you will be presented with a list of relevant Twitter users, ranked by their ‘social authority’ which basically monitors the number of tweets, followers and people they follow.
This is great if you are looking for quite specific types of bloggers, as vague terms can bring up a long list of results, many of which are not quite what you’re looking for!
Followerwonk requires you to connect with your Twitter account, so make sure you’re logged in to Twitter first to make it easier when you sign up.
I know, I know. Many of you aren’t using Google+ and probably never intend to. However, Google+ is quite handy for searching for other bloggers using its People search. There are many other benefits to being on Google+, including the Lifestyle Bloggers community (and other communities), not to mention the SEO benefits. But we won’t go into that.
Where does Facebook fit in?
I have to admit, for me Facebook just doesn’t do much for bloggers. I have only just recently set up a business page for my blog, so it’s early days – and certainly bigger blogs will have much more engagement than I have had so far, but when it comes to discovering new bloggers, Facebook hasn’t quite nailed that in my mind.
Saying that, you could always perform a search on Facebook for ‘lifestyle blog’ or similar and glance at the results that you get. The problem with Facebook business pages and groups is that there are a lot of spammy ones which buy followers and post utter rubbish to your feed. That’s the last thing you want. For me, Facebook is best once you’ve already found the blogs you love – follow their Facebook pages to find out when blogs go live and any other updates around that content. I try and make my Facebook page different to my Twitter by posting ‘teaser’ updates for upcoming posts as well.