Here are the bloggers, whom I met in Spain and a couple of my observations stemming from these meetings.
I’d like to point out that this isn’t an analysis nor a research of the Spanish blogosphere. What’s important to me are the meetings and conversations, and I’m describing what I’ve learned from the particular individuals.
I’ve been able to meet popular Spanish bloggers and what’s interesting, is that many of them work at advertising and PR agencies. Thus, I’ve had the opportunity to share my experience in social media campaigns and working with opinion leaders. My “six years of working with bloggers” has usually created a ripple and in those moments I understood that it’s a heck of a time because otherwise I still feel like it’s a blink of an eye.
Right, let’s get down to it.
Paula is among the top 5 most popular bloggers in Spain. We met right after she came from New York Fashion Week. She’s already been getting ready for another trip. She leads active life so I was all the more happy that she found a slot for me in her busy schedule. Very nice gal and a bona fide digital influencer, as well as a luxury fashion brand ambassador.
She’s a social media strategist for Mercedes-Benz Madrid Fashion Week, and among the publications she works with as a fashion journalist are Vogue México and Latinoamérica.
Blogging is her full time job, which becomes apparent after seeing the professional photo shoots and posts on her blog. “There are no random photos on my Instagram. I create them with a photographer, everything’s planned. The same goes for Facebook and the blog. I take great care of the quality of the things I publish.”
She’s also pointed to the fact that anyone can have a blog but not everyone becomes a digital influencer thanks to it. The blog is one of Paula’s stomping grounds, a very important, but not the only one.
Martin set up a blog a couple of years ago to review his favorite restaurants and spots in Madrid. Today, it’s one of the biggest websites in Madrid and Martin has a team of people helping him.
Apart from that, he runs a PR agency linked to the food and restaurant industry, organizes food blogger meetings, hooks up food bloggers and brands and organizes events for culinary brands. See what setting up a blog can lead to?
We’ve met at a coworking spot, where the website’s editorial staff has its headquarters. During the meeting, Martin’s phone was blowing up, and Victor – one of the editors – was just nodding his head, saying: “Now you see how busy he is and it’s all because of Madrid Differente”. Wow, crazy.
When I first saw the website, I immediately felt at home. Pinkish colors, restaurants, cafes – exactly what I like. You’ll really find a ton of information about places and events in Madrid there. It’s a shame it’s all in Spanish. “Running a multilingual website means extra work. We’ll consider it in the future” – Martin told me.
Thanks to Martin I’ve visited excellent cafes, where you can comfortably work on your laptop and enjoy a cup of coffee. I asked the right person, all the recommendations have made their way into a post: Cafes to work at in Madrid.
Lauren Aloise, Spanishsabores.com and MadridFoodTour.com
It was with Lauren that I first met after my arrival to Spain. She invited me for Madrid Food Tour, during which, for several hours, we’ve been visiting culinary spots, savoring all types of delicious foods. Read more in: Madrid Food Tour.
Lauren comes from the USA, however, she fell in love with Spain and likewise, she got married here, runs a culinary-traveller, and also came up with the Madrid Food Tour and Barcelona Food Tour initiatives, which are her sources of income. Obviously, she’s got a lot on her plate, as sometimes, she has a couple of groups ready to take a culinary tour at the same time. You can tell she loves her job, though. Lauren is another living proof that you can monetize your blog-related activities and create an awesome project.
Coffee shops recommended by Lauren have also been included in my post.
I’ll remember the encounter with Cecilia for a long time. We agreed to meet at a cafe, and I got the subway stations mixed up. Cecilia proved to be relentless in her wait. “She must be angry and mad at me and will probably try to get rid of me as fast as she can” – I was approaching the meeting spot all stressed out. Well, I was in for a surprise, as I was greeted by a smiling, nice girl. We couldn’t stop talking. You know, same frequency.
Cecilia’s blog is her hobby, and not a day job. She loves writing, so creating posts has become a habit of her. She writes about books, concerts, movies, design and restaurants. Besides, she makes amazing collages and products utilizing them. Take a look: CecileCollage.es I got a notepad with her collages as a gift. Thanks!
Cecilia works at an ad agency, where she, among others, stays in touch with bloggers on behalf of brands (some of those brands are the same ones I’ve been working with in Poland!). We were amazed at how much we have in common.
We started to come up with ideas on how to join forces and create an international blogging campaign, and I inspired Cecilia to organize blogging meetings that will lead to joint projects. I love this type mutual inspiration.
When we finished our coffee, Cecilia opened a magazine lying right next to us and… immediately saw an article on Spanish YouTubers (you’ll find the list of them below). The signs are everywhere.
Moreover, we met at a cafe which I listed among the most work-friendly spots in Madrid.
Ben fell in love with Barcelona and moved there from the UK. “Barcelona has everything I need: the sea, mountains, excellent restaurants, beautiful architecture, people happy with their lives. Look around, it’s so nice here” – he tells me while showing me one of the plazas in the Gracia district, full of sunlight and with a gent playing a guitar.
He’s a journalist working with popular UK magazines but he’s able to work remotely. It wasn’t easy to arrange a meeting with Ben, as I caught him during a very busy period. Anyway, we’ve managed to eat breakfast, have a coffee and chat on a sunny square.
On his blog, Ben reviews interesting spots in Barcelona. He set it up only a couple of months ago, and he already receives invitations from restaurants and hotels. When we were splitting, Ben told me that in case I’ll need help with any aspect of Barcelona’s blogosphere, I have his full support on the spot. Now that’s motivational!
It was a delicious meeting. Looking at its name, you can figure out Mireia runs a food-related blog. She reviews restaurants and cafes in Barcelona. She took me to the Mercat de la Boqueria market, a place very popular across Europe with fruits, vegetables and fish, where even chefs from renown restaurants are said to shop; to the Escribà chocolate shop, where chocolate is turned into art, and to Chök, the chocolate kitchen, that has delicious donuts.
Mireia used to run a fashion blog but she’s been always attracted to cuisine. Her family has a number of patisseries, and she loves to celebrate cooking. Aesthetic taste is also important in the kitchen, so Mireia shut down the fashion blog and launched Myfoodhunter.
Mireia works at a PR agency too, which deals with the culinary industry (she also stays in touch with bloggers), so she’s been able to mix her passion with profession perfectly.
A Polish blogging accent in Barcelona. Monika has been living in Barcelona for 5 years, where she moved along with her husband, Paweł, with whom she runs the blog. They live in a house right next to the beach, a dream come true.
They write about their life in Barcelona, but also about travelling with their little son. There’s a lot of useful information for everyone who plans to visit Barcelona.
I’ve learned a lot of interesting stuff from Monika about the Catalonians. Most of all, that they love to spend time at restaurants and cafes. Even if they’re unemployed, people will do anything to be able to eat out. This seems to be true, there’s plenty of grub spots in Barcelona, all filled to capacity. People rarely cook, so if they have kitchens, they’re basic. Also, you probably won’t find a husband in Barcelona, as most men aren’t looking for steady relationships. Obviously, you can’t generalize too much, but the opinion hasn’t fallen from the sky.
I have nothing but great memories from this meeting and a feeling it wasn’t the last coffee we had.
Susana runs the most popular beauty blog in Spain. It’s totally professional, with tips any woman can use.
She set up the blog as a form of after-work recreation. Somewhere along the line, she quit her corporate job, started her own web-developing business and focuses on developing the blog which enjoys considerable success. Susana has built a community that trusts her recommendations and tips, and most important to her is their trust.
Susana also conducts courses at the… “University for Bloggers”. That’s right, there is one in Madrid, and it offers courses on setting up, designing and optimizing a blog, WordPress, working with brands, etc. Interesting stuff.
Maria lives neither in Barcelona nor Madrid so we weren’t able to meet, however, she liked my project so much that we’ve been staying in touch via email.
She runs a beauty blog, and in 2014 she was awarded with the Bitacoras Award for the best fashion-beauty blog.
She was the only blogger who told me that she meets other community members offline, outside of official events – they go shopping together, eat out, spend their free time. This may be a start of a bigger trend.
Here are some other blogs that drew my attention.
Iwasn’t able to meet their authors (busy schedules, travels), however, I’ve managed to establish email contact with some of them and I highly recommend that that you visit these sites:
Miriamalbero.com – fitness, active lifestyle.
Dulceida.com – fashion and lifestyle.
Blogs about foods and restaurants:
They all conduct communication in Spanish. Listed below, are some of the most popular ones, mentioned in various rankings and articles.
Check out their formats:
General remarks on bloggers and blogging in Spain
This is not some imaginary information, but rather conclusions and observations stemming from conversations with bloggers.
- Fashion, food (containing restaurant reviews) and beauty blogs constitute the lion’s share of the Spanish blogosphere.
- Most of the bloggers (about 90% of those I met) don’t feel like they belong to a bigger blogging community, which together launches various initiatives, meets offline and helps each other in blog-related matters. Usually, if bloggers meet, it’s at events organized by brands.
- There’s a Blog of The Year contest in Spain, organized by the 30minutos magazine, however, the bloggers I met don’t treat it too seriously. “Yeah, well, that’s a nice, little annual contest organized by a magazine. It may be OK for rookies but you shouldn’t pay too much attention to the results” – is what they’d say.
- Bloggers work with brands, although the number of them able to make a living off it is rather small (mostly in the fashion category).
- Culinary bloggers are reluctant to establish relations with companies, as they reckon that by endorsing products they will lose credibility. They do, however, participate in events organized by brands.
- The blogger-business relation is mostly based on barter agreements – this is the information I gathered from both, bloggers and brands.
- Some of the bloggers venture into businesses related to the topics they blog about. For example: Lauren Aloise: Madrid Food Tour; Martin Lopez Cano: PR agency hooking up bloggers with brands, organizing events involving bloggers; Susana Garcia: courses for bloggers; Paula Ordovas: PR campaigns for brands.
- Bloggers don’t publish books. There are rare cases, like Martin’s, who’s cooking up a guide to Madrid, but apart from that I didn’t see a blogging-publishing trend like the one present in Poland (last year, there were several dozens of blogger books published on a multitude of topics: travelling, food, fashion, beauty, even novels).
- I feel like there’s a need for an awakening, spurring blogging activists, who will initiate conferences, workshops, cross-blogging activities and meetings. Here’s where I give a nod of approval to the people I met, because I saw sparks in their eyes when I told them how we get the blogging community going in Poland.
Now’s your turn!
If you know of any Spanish blogs worthy of recommendation, link to them in the comments. If you want to add anything about blogging in Spain, let me know. I’ll be happy to include more information in this post.
And now I’d like to say big thank you to those, who support my project, help me keep it going and cheer me up:
- LOT Polish Airlines, for making the trip to meet the Spanish bloggers possible. I couldn’t do it without you.
- Orange, for providing me with the Go Europe plan, which made it possible for me to call and email all these fantastic people on the go (access to the Internet was indispensable throughout the journey, as I was looking for cafes, for example).
See ya in another country! I’m starting to pack my bags…