While I’m not an expert in linky parties and still have a lot to improve, I’ve participated in enough linky parties that I want to talk about Linky Party Basics – For Host(s) and Guests.
What is a linky party?
A linky party is hosted by one or more blogs where you can link up your latest post, which is then shared with the readers of that blog. If there are multiple hosts, your link is shared with the readers of the other hosts too. These parties usually last for several days before it closes and will open again for link ups the following week on the same day.
How do linky parties benefit you and the host?
Well, blog linky parties are a two way street. Linky parties help the host(s) by generating added traffic, boosting their stats, can generate income, and can create more followers. Linky parties can benefit the linking up blogger (guest) by providing blog exposure to the host’s blog readers and other linky party participants.
Are there rules?
Yes. Most linky parties have “rules” to follow if you choose to participate. The rules can range, but the host(s) will usually ask that you follow them in at least one social media platform, post no more than 3 links, link back, link only certain type of posts, and visit at least 2-3 other link ups. Do you follow the linky party basics?
Here are some tips and basics for participating in blog linky parties -
Linky Party Basics for guests:
o Follow the host(s) on at least one of their social media platforms. I prefer to follow Bloglovin, Google+, Twitter, and lastly Instagram. If their social icons don’t function properly, please let the host know so they can fix it.
o Link to your post. Do not link to your blog in general.
For example: WRONG = http://mypinterventures.com because this leads to my blog in general.
CORRECT = http://mypinterventures.com/easy-no-craft-supplies-bunny-silhouette/ because this leads directly to the blog post.
o Link back or display a party button on your post. Why? Because it takes a lot of work to host/co-host a linky party. You are receiving the benefit of added exposure and you should do the same for the party host(s). Not to mention, in order to have a “featured” post, most hosts will ask that you display a party button or link back to the party.
o If you’ve been featured at a linky party, link back or display the “I was featured” button. Make a feature page (for those that have been featured a lot) or display a feature button in your sidebar. I use Gallery (Jetpack) widget that rotates the buttons.
o Create a linky party page. This will help you keep track of your linky parties and keep your sidebar cleaner.
o Visit at least 2-3 other link ups & comment. I know it’s hard and takes a lot of time, but it does pay off. I will often visit the bloggers that posted comments on my blog and will periodically go back through my comments and visit them again. Why? Because if they took the time to visit and comment, they may have similar interests to me and I may find something I like on their blog. Also, if you are at the beginning of the party and don’t find anything of interest, check back later.
*If you have captcha, please turn it off. I’m not sure why this is necessary if you can moderate your post or make it so only registered user can comment? It makes it harder for people to post a comment on your blog. Also, make sure your comment section is easy to find. A fellow blogger told me that my comment section was hard to find and hopefully I corrected it Also, don’t put your blog URL in a comment post. The blog owner can see your blog URL in their dashboard.*
o Follow your fellow bloggers on their social media. If you click on a link you like and you like that blog, go ahead and follow them on their social media sites too. You’ll get notices when someone follows you in one of your social media platforms, so take the time to check them out and see if you would like to follow back.
o Share link ups you like. Sharing helps your fellow bloggers get more exposure. Share on Pinterest, Twitter, Sverve, Stumbleupon, Facebook, Google+, or whatever social site you prefer. Just share… sharing is caring.
o Visit other blog’s party pages. This is a great way to find other blogs to link up and share posts with.
o Use your best post picture. I’m not saying you have to be a professional photographer, but when there are over 100+ link ups, a good picture will provide more clicks/visits. Pictures are important and you can use PicMonkey to spruce them up and add text to the image. *Adding text to your image may be useful for those link ups that have a limited amount of description text available. I’ve been to a few parties where I could not type out the entire title of my blog post because there was only 15 letters allowed in the title.*
o Make your pictures easily shareable and pinnable. Have you provided share buttons that are easily seen? Check to make sure you have filled in a description for your pictures and changed the title. The easiest way to check this is by trying to pin one of your images and see what is filled in on the Pinterest box. I know I’ve forgotten to do this numerous times.
o Tweet, Pin, Facebook, Google+ the linky party. Meaning, if the host has provided you with a tweet link, go ahead and tweet about the party or share it on one of your social media sites. This will help grow the party. You’ll get more views and the host will get some exposure too.
o Thank your party host. Thanking your party host every single week may become redundant, but if you find a lot of link ups that you like, you may want to let the party host know. *Would love to get feedback from party hosts about this one.*
Linky Party Basics for hosts:
o Make sure your social media icons are grouped together at the top of your blog and have working links. I’ve been to several blogs where I’ve had to scroll down to find Bloglovin (my favorite way to follow, so pretty please sign up for this :-)) or the icons don’t link to the correct platform.
o Make sure your co-host(s) text links are linked to correct place. I’ve clicked on a few facebook/Google+ text links and ended up somewhere else.
o Follow back your party participants on social media. Maybe think about hosting a themed party that will attract link ups with a similar niche. This way you’ll find blogs to follow that will interest you too.
o Provide a party button with a “no follow” link. If I can’t find a party button, I will just list your blog in text form at the bottom of my post. I think a party button gets more attention. Check to make sure the html button codes work. There have been several html codes that don’t work and I end up saving the image and manually linking back to the party.
o Provide a feature button with a “no follow” link. Providing a feature button helps promote your blog. Make it easy to find and check to make sure it’s working.
o Visit your party guests and comment on their blogs too. I know that this can be overwhelming if you have a large amount of participants, but the task can become manageable if split it between several hosts. Visit each blog that participated in the linky party and have at least one host comment. There are many parties that I’ve been to and never hear from any of the host(s). Come and visit me at least once
o Don’t set your social media to “private” (mainly instagram) and don’t use a verification process (Twitter). If you’re going to set your social media to private, you may not want to use the icon on your site or create a separate account for the blog. Using a verification process on your Twitter makes it difficult for someone to follow you.
o Pay for InLinkz or Linky Tools so that the thumbnails show on your page. Okay, this isn’t a must or deal breaker, but it’s so much nicer and easier if all the link ups are visible on your page. Maybe it’s because I’m a visual person and why I have a Pinterest addiction.
Question for the party hosts – Do you mind if at the end of the linked up post is says “I link up at these parties” and it links to a party page with no other mention of your blog party? I’ve seen several bloggers do this and was wondering if this is considered linking back on the post?
Hope you enjoyed the post. I’m by no means perfect and I’m still improving on a lot of what is mentioned here, but I hope that these tips on Linky Party Basics can help others too.
So what do you think of these Linky Party Basics? You may agree or disagree, but I would love to get your feedback and add to this list.
Posted on these linky parties (see my party page for direct links):
Weekend Retreat Party #63 @AKA Designs, Inspired Weekends @Horrific Knits, Inspire Me Please @Liz Marie, Flaunt it Friday #202 @Chic On A Shoestring Decorating, Friday Frenzy @Close to Home,