Welcome to our latest food blogging Podcast and here we are with Food Blogging FM 019.
You can listen to the Podcast on the link above on Itunes, You can also listen to the Podcast also via SoundCloud, Audioboom & Stitcher. You can also read all about it below or click to download the ebook version on the banner above.
What Is Featured In This Podcast?
Understanding a successful blog round up – We all know that we do blog round ups in order to get more social media shares and to spread the word about our site, but getting the logistics in place is harder than you think!
The ideal round up – if you’re looking for a carbon copy to follow of how a round up should look and what it should feature then this is it, step by step!
Taking part in round ups – learn more about us and us taking part in round ups as well as creating them.
Links & Resources Mentioned In Food Blogging FM 019:
- Recipe This
- The Ultimate Guide To Pork Shoulder
- The Ultimate Guide To Butternut Squash
- The Ultimate Guide To Cauliflower
- The Ultimate Guide To Sweet Potato
- The Ultimate Guide To Broccoli
- The Ultimate Guide To Cooking With Eggs
- Buzz Feed
- The Dallas Socials
- Bloggers Sharing Links
- Blog Post Round Up Database
- Blogger Round Up Requests
My blog is just over a year old. In that time I have an average of 350 shares for every recipe that I have published to my blog. Some have been better than that some have been worse. It is thanks to all this social sharing that I have excellent SEO results with SEO being the leader in the traffic that comes through to my site.
But if you want to safeguard 500 social shares to your next blog post there is nothing better than doing a round up. In case you’re wondering what a round up actually is, then it is those blog posts you see such as “top 10 chicken recipes” that feature recipe images and links to other people’s blogs.
People do them in the hope that the people featured will go on and share the content via their own social media channels and that it might just go viral and get them a lot of shares.
But I personally find that they can be rather time consuming and like them to be good quality content and this has meant that I have not got that many of them out.
But looking at the ones I have done I have achieved the following results:
- The Ultimate Guide To Pork Shoulder = 1500 social shares
- The Ultimate Guide To Cooking With Eggs = 885 social shares
- The Ultimate Guide To Cauliflower = 433 social shares
- The Ultimate Guide To Broccoli = 420 social shares
- The Ultimate Guide To Butternut Squash = 216 social shares
- The Ultimate Guide To Sweet Potato = 41 social shares
This is an average of 582 social shares for each of our round ups. This is a case of less is often more. By doing less round ups but making sure they are of quality I have added 3495 social shares to my site.
Plus even though I have put great effort into the content, the work afterwards to see the results has actually been rather small. It’s about putting the effort into the right place!
My Carbon Copy
#1 – Choose your subject
The first thing I do is choose my subject and make sure its fitting to the content of my blog. If for example you have a vegan food blog then focus on a certain type of food that you associate with vegan followers or you could focus on a vegetable that vegans eat a lot.
Just like with my highest social shared round up about the pork shoulder we have a following that are interested in easy family meals and that love things in the slow cooker. Because pork often ends up in the slow cooker it was the perfect chance to have a big shout out about our pulled pork recipe and then at the same time have a big emphasis on similar recipes.
We have also done a lot of round ups on a lot of foods that are basic in a lot of peoples diets that we can get work with to get extra attention to our own blog such as a recent one that we did about eggs.
Unless you are vegan or have an eggs allergy the chances are that you will have eggs in your diet on a daily basis and that by covering a common food you are likely to be able to tap into a bigger audience that will relate to what you write about.
When you choose your subject also make sure you have covered the subject a lot yourself on the blog, so that you have plenty of your own content to promote and to link to.
For example with each of the round ups that I have done I would say on average I have 5 recipes on each subject prior to doing the round up.
#2 – Find People To Connect With
The next thing you need to do is have a good look around and find people that you could actually link to. Who is going to be the partners of your round up and is their site of the quality that you are looking for.
I find the easiest thing to do is to put together a blanket list. A list of people that agree to you using them in your round up and future ones, that way you don’t have to send loads of emails out each time you do one. You could simply search their site and then use them as you please.
But most important of all is that it’s your reputation on the line so their site must be high quality. By high quality I mean that you don’t want to be involved with a site that has a lot of pop ups, loads slow, has low quality content or that just doesn’t fit in that well with what your readers are looking for.
The next important thing is that they actually have traffic and a social media following. This may sound selfish but you’re in it to get social shares and to increase your brand, so if they have a spammy site with no traffic or hardly any followers then it is hardly going to work out for you!
I have as a general rule that they must have at least 5000 social followers throughout the different social media networks. Plus they must have an Alexa rank in the top million. A site with a small amount of traffic will be in the top million so this requirement is really not difficult.
Plus there is a lot of work that goes into producing a round up and you have to think that you are there for traffic, therefore make sure you have a decent amount of people on your blanket list that are high traffic or high social engagement sites.
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Then what I do is go to the high traffic sites first when I am looking for people to feature in my round up feature.
The best places I find for finding sites with good recipes is Pinterest. Search for a recipe type that you’re looking for and you will be left with loads of great graphics. Then look through those that have a high social shares and then if they have done well for them, then you know they will do well for you!
My second port of call is always the round up groups on Facebook. They are great as you can post what you’re looking for and people with then suggest their own content and it saves you looking.
The problem I have with this though is that those that apply can often either offer very similar content to each other or it can attract spammy sites. For every 100 people that offer you to use your content 75% of them will not be suitable so it can be like looking for a needle in a haystack.
Then when you have your list of recipes that you have found to use you can start planning your post.
#3 – Go beyond just writing a round up
I have seen zillions of round ups that start with a sentence of text, then 15 recipes with 1 line of text for each, one round up graphic and then it is done. You should never ever do a round up like this as you are saying “I’m a spammer please don’t share my content”. Though you are probably shouting at me saying “I’VE SEEN THOSE” because they are everywhere.
Here is what you should be doing:
- Have a good title
- Tell a story within your round up and treat it like a blog post that gets the readers engaged
- Have several graphics that people will want to share
- Give the readers something extra
- Showcase the people who you are linking to
- Make sure your content is share friendly
For example take my ultimate guide foodie round ups. Each and every one of them is telling the story about why I love that particular food, fond memories of eating it, nutritional facts about it, the history of the food and so much more.
It also features at least 10 people’s recipes after all this information as been presented to the blog reader. Then it ends on a beautiful infographic that people will want to share. From a search engine point of view Google gives priority to longer posts therefore my round ups are always at least 1000 words long, sometimes even 2000 words.
You could then use this template as a model for when you create yours. You could do a piece on the benefits of eating eggs for breakfast. Then guide people through how you like your eggs for breakfast and have an infographic about eggs. Then you could include information about how people from different parts of the world enjoy their eggs. Then the actual round up could be “10 recipes featuring eggs for breakfast that are not fried”. Then you can focus on a lot of different recipe ideas such as muffins, boiled eggs, frittatas and so forth.
The people that feature in the round up will love what you’ve done with the content and would be happy to share it and that is without you giving them other reasons that I am going to highlight shortly.
#4 – Graphics galore
The biggest thing you need to work on with your round up is the graphics. I have been featured in many round ups myself and the amount that didn’t have decent graphics was huge. This meant that instead of me sharing it throughout Pinterest and all the groups I am on, meant that it instead just ended up being tweeted as that was all I could really do with it.
The graphics you should be looking at is:
- Blog title graphic
- Round up graphic with a collage of the recipes featured
- Recipe image for each recipe featured
- Plus any other appropriate graphics
I find the most important ones here is the blog title graphic as it is the first thing that people see and it grabs their attention and they want to share it. Not everyone has the resources to pull off infographics but if you do, then go for it.
Here is an example of our infographic on the ultimate guide to pork shoulder:
But for an absolute minimum you should have a blog title graphic, round up graphic and the images of the recipes featured.
#5 – Social sharing tactics
So this leads to the best bit of the round up and that is actually getting the social shares and kick starting a big social media buzz.
You have to be doing a good bit of social sharing yourself for you to get people’s attention and for it to make a big difference to your round up campaign.
I always start this by sharing the blog post to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, Stumbleupon and Medium.
Then I will share every graphic featured on Photobucket, Flickr, Imgur and my own Pinterest boards. This will mean that for a 15 part round up with the graphics suggested above I already have 18 graphics on Pinterest. Add to this the social sharing I have already done then this is 79 social shares and this is without any big effort.
Then what I will do is make sure each of the images on Pinterest goes on as many appropriate Pinterest groups as possible and they will be drip fed over a period of 30 days, as this will keep the buzz alive and keep people talking about it. This can then lead to another 150 pins and that is without other people sharing them as they see them.
On Twitter I will @ any of the bloggers featured in the round up and attach their image and a link back to the round up. They are then likely to retweet and so are their fans and this again can give it a huge Twitter boost.
After this I am a member of a lot of the popular social sharing groups on Facebook and I will feature it on there for even more social shares.
#6 – A friendly email and link
The same day the article has gone live on the blog I will also email those featured in it. I will tell them that I have already scheduled it to go out to all our Pinterest Groups and if they wanted to share it themselves this is where they can find it.
But the thing that gets me noticed is not that I have emailed the person but I have sent them the link to share their own recipe. They love this because you’re not asking them to share your blog post, you are in fact asking them to share their recipe to their social media followers. This is a big difference and very few would say no to it.
I also point out all the places I am sharing their recipe and thanking them for letting us use their recipe and how great it is.
In other words you’re sending them an email telling them what is in it for them, not that you want a social share!
#7 – The Buzz Feed Promotion
Buzz Feed is one of the biggest sites out there and they are perfect for round ups! You can open a free account and as a community member you can submit your own round up to their community. I see that many people just copy and paste their blog post onto Buzz Feed and this is WRONG. You actually want to create your own round up just for them. Feature all the recipes you did in round up, though make sure one of yours is the first one. Then give it an amazing title and publish. Keep it original but with the same recipes.
Then just like with your own blog post, promote it in the same ways so that it gets everywhere. This is then adding even more to your social shares and the visitors count through to your blog.
#8 – Repromotion
Then last on the list is the repromotion. Who said that all those social sharing tactics just had to be done the once? Well I always do it twice. I am not talking about sharing them on Pinterest twice but having new tweets, new buzz about it and most importantly linking to it.
Just imagine for a moment that you did a round up about breakfast eggs that are not fried (like I mentioned above) and you did a new eggy breakfast. It could be some French toast or a new frittata recipe. You then link to the round up or could even suggest it as further reading for further breakfast ideas.
Or you could even create a new graphic for the post and then use it in a campaign over all your different Pinterest groups. Or in my case I wasn’t on any groups when I did my first round up on this blog, so each time I get on new groups I can go in and repromote the post to all these new places that have not seen my round up yet.
Taking Part In Round Ups Yourself
You have heard about how to get the shares on your round up but what about taking part in round ups yourself?
It is an excellent way to grow your brand and I have been lucky to feature in some great ones already.
You never know until it happens how successful a round up could be. But get on the right one and then you are heading for blog traffic gold.
I have been featured on about 100 round ups now, which is not bad for a site that is just over a year old. But out of those 100 about 10 of them have been good quality ones and has brought me good traffic. I think it is also about being around at the right time and being involved in a round up that has had a lot of shares.
For example I had my link (not even a recipe image) featured on the Dallas Socials on a big round up about Airfryer Recipes. It has been featured 6,200 times on Pinterest and has brought us 1380 unique visitors to our site. It still brings us traffic now and we are really pleased with the results. The Alexa rank of the site is not even in the top 1 million but thanks to the Pinterest shares it is a great traffic source.
By taking part in round ups on a regular basis, you can of course get yourself on ones like this and imagine that if over a five year period you featured on 100 of these, then it can bring in a really good amount of referral traffic to your blog.
Here is an example of how our traffic splits and how (thanks to round ups) we have a good amount of referring traffic:
For us we use the same round ups that we request to above, then if we get featured on a good one then great!
But remember to always share the posts if you are featured in them as they are more likely to feature you in the future. And you never know how viral it might go. If the round up is not that great just share it somewhere like Twitter where graphics don’t matter as much!
That’s A Wrap
Thanks for listening to our Podcast and we have loved sharing with you our top ways to complete a round up so that you get a decent amount of social shares. If you understand how they work and what people want then you will get the amount of shares you really want.
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