Building a Blogging Community (Recipe: Banana Bread)

I have been blogging for almost four years now, and while I am no expert at all to food blogging, I have seen a lot of things as the food blogging niche has completely exploded into something beyond belief. When I first started blogging, there was a small, intimate handful of us. Now, there are more food blogs than any one person can keep track of… it has gotten quite insane!

What I have noticed over the years, however, is there seems to be two different groups of bloggers. Neither “type” of blogger is good or bad… there are just two totally different philosophies on how they will build their blog.

One type of blogger is the blogger who is all about growth and development of their blog. It is all business and getting to the top of the mountain with ultimate success and financial reward as their main motivation. They are not in it to build friendships. They are not in it to assist others. They are in it for themselves and to become a brand name in food blogging. They believe the information they have is proprietary and they don’t really want to share their blogging tips, photography tips, etc. because it might help to make someone more successful than them. Twitter and other social media outlets are used as a marketing tool versus a chance to engage with others. This isn’t saying that they aren’t nice and kind… there are many bloggers who fall into this category who are some of the nicest people in the world. Their motivation when it comes to blogging is just purely business.

The other type of blogger is the one who thrives on building a community of people to help and support each other with their blogging efforts. They rally around each other, celebrate successes, promote each others blog posts, and do not see the other bloggers as competition. They look at working mostly with PR companies and brands that want long term, mutual relationship.  Their first thought isn’t “what’s in it for me” but instead “what’s in it for us”? Sure, it may take them longer to make it to the top of the mountain, but more than likely they won’t be standing there alone…they’ll have a support network of people they’ve built relationships with standing around them cheering them on.

One of my personal goals with blogging is to help as many people as possible find their way along their own, authentic blogging path. This is one of the reasons why I started Adopt a Blogger a little over three years ago. I wanted people to have a person they could trust and count on to provide that sense of community in this big blogging world. Adopt a Blogger will be launching again this month with a new website and a new format! I hope, if you are new or experienced, you’ll join me in building up our blogging community.

I am also excited to announce that I will be speaking about the value of building a blogging community at the BlogHer Food 2010 Conference in San Francisco. I’ll be on a panel with some bloggers that I truly admire: Elise from Simply Recipes, Ree from The Pioneer Woman and Alaina Browne of Serious Eats (I know… pinch me now. I am so lucky to be paired with such a great group of talented ladies!)

So with that, I leave you with this thought (and a link to a killer banana bread recipe from Simply Recipes). What kind of blogger are you? Do the actions you do everyday in regards to your blog speak volumes to the world about how you want to be perceived as a blogger?

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  1. says

    What a wonderful post. I agree that creating a community is really important and enjoying the process of blogging. For me, the aspect of meeting new people, learning new things and expressing my creativity is the most rewarding. I participated in “Adopt of Blogger” last round and was paired with an outstanding blogger, Lindsay from “Love and Olive Oil”. She was super helpful and wonderful. To this day, I know that I can reach out to her and she would be right there. Love to be a mentor this time! :-)

  2. says

    A provocative post. I can’t help but wonder who the heck you are talking about, these “business” food bloggers, since you don’t mention any names…

  3. says

    I’d really love to be a community-type blogger, as I see more value in it. But I have a hard time getting away from the “what’s in it for me” attitude. (Just being honest here.)

    Thanks for providing the Adopt-a-Blogger forum. My pairing this year didn’t work out. Hopefully next time will be better.

  4. says

    Yup I’m definitely a community driven blogger – in fact that’s one of the things I love most about blogging – the wonderful people I’ve met (both IRL and online). Sure I use twitter as a marketing tool, but I engage in conversation and other randomness much more than just spamming my own links. I even tweet about other people’s posts – there’s a LOT of audience to go around, so why not?

  5. says

    Thank you for such an interesting post. I’ve only been blogging for a couple of months and was new to all this sharing. I have to admit that I find it very encouraging when people leave comments and inspiring when people share their ideas. 😀

  6. says

    Interesting..never thought of it that way! I’m a newbie & trying to figure this blogging stuff out! I love to share recipes & love how everyone has different twists on them! I also made Banana Bread that week! We must of been on the same wave length!:) But I was too impatient to wait for the I made muffins instead! Turned out nice!:)

  7. says

    great post as always! :)

    Although I would love to make a few extra bucks to help pay for school, its more important for me to have a supportive group of foodie friends! :)

    However, I seem to be having some problems with that. I’m not quite sure what it is that I’m doing wrong, but I havent been able to create those kind of special relationships I see that many food bloggers have. I’m intrigued to know how people get to know each other? I’m thinking it may be because the majority of food bloggers are either moms or are a few years older? Perhaps some tips on that? 😉

    Anywho, I will be one of the first to sign up for the next round of Adopt a Blogger!

  8. says

    Wow, you raise some good points. I agree that I’ve seen both kinds of blogs, but I think I’m drawn more to the blogs that are in the latter category – wanting to build community & sharing what they know. That’s how I feel too. The more we can do to help others around us, the better we’ll all be for it in the end. Thanks so much for this great post…and the banana bread recipe is a nice bonus too!

  9. Kris says

    Great post. I would love to see you at BlogHerFood. I didn’t get a ticket this yr. Which totally bums me out since I live in SF. I learned so much last yr and met so many cool peeps – including you! And thanks for mentioning adopt-a-blogger. I better check in with mine!!!

  10. Lauren says

    I have definitely seen people who are only in it for the money, the sort of people who only tweet links to blog posts, and never respond to comments.

    I’ve been blogging for a year now, and I find it interesting to find new ways to increase traffic to my blog. But I always try to focus on community, I would rather have a small number of people who comment on my posts And take the time to interact with me than hundreds of people who just view!

  11. says

    This is a very true post. I started blogging 6 months with my normal blog, where talk about all kinds of stuff. I have been fortunate to have forged a blog friendship with three wonderful bloggers, and I get to meet them next months for the first time; but they embody everything everything that made me join blogland: friendship. eventually I started posting more and more about food to the point that I decided to open a food blog a month ago. The myriad of blogs is amazing! They are all beautiful blogs but I have noticed the distinction you make. It is very palpable. I think though, deep down we are all after the same thing: making more friends, and sharing our recipes or whatever food topic we have.

  12. says

    I have a confession to make. I have grown online communities for a living for almost 15 years. I rock at it. I can whisper to a board or a group and have the community grow and respond.

    Here comes the confession: I haven’t nurtured my blog community much at all. I have no excuse. I could do it. I need to do it. After Friday, I REALLY need to do it. I know how, but somehow my blog, built as a gift for the ones I love, never has reached out to build the online community for which I have passion.

  13. says

    Brand new blogger and I just stumbled upon this. Thanks for your insight! I began my blog as a creative outlet as I start my professional career in consulting. I’m looking to become part of a larger community to build relationships with others w/ similar passions. If you still run you’re adopt a blogger program, I’d really love to participate :)



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