***Party Host(s) I have a few questions at the bottom of my post for you***
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 READ what type of posts you can link up.
- Some link ups only want specific types of posts. For example: recipes, crafts, decorating, etc…
- Many do not want you to add your own linky parties, contests, giveaways, etsy shops, etc…
- Linking up inappropriate posts creates more work for the party host(s) because they have to go through and delete these posts.
- Don’t link up more posts than you are allowed. Why? Because it takes the spot of another link up and we’re all there to try to get equal exposure. Placing more link ups than allowed will push another further down the link up.
- Some host(s) will create separate sections for specific types of links. For example: A section for crafts and a separate section to link recipes. Check to make sure you are linking in the correct section.
o Link to your post.
- 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 Text 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 text 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. In the beginning, I used the Gallery (Jetpack) widget that rotates the buttons.
o Create a linky party page.
- A linky party page will help you keep track of your parties and keeps 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 to 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.
- If you’re at the beginning of the party and don’t find anything of interest, check back later.
Misc. comment tips:
- 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.
- 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 🙂
- Do not to put your blog URL in a comment post. The blog owner should be able to 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.
- When you get notified that someone followed you on one of your social media platforms, take the time to check them out and see if you would like to follow back.
- Don’t link up on social media link ups (ie. bloglovin, twitter, facebook, pinterest, etc… if you aren’t willing to pay attention to your notifications that you have new followers and follow back – granted that these aren’t spam accounts or totally different niches than you are interested in.)
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.
- 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.*
o Thinking of hosting your own party?
- Parties are a lot of work, so before hosting your own party, try being a temporary co-host at one of the linky parties you attend. Most have sign-ups that will allow you to apply. This will help you get your feet wet and a feel at how parties are run.
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 & visible.
- I’ve clicked on a few facebook/Google+ text links and ended up somewhere else.
- Co-host links should be easily visible on the blog party. Text links are sometimes hard to find and easily missed. My favorite way to see it listed with a blog logo picture or a photo with the links to each host’s social media – Blog/Twitter/Facebook/Pinterest/Instagram
o Make it clear on what type of posts you will allow.
- If the linky party is only for a specific type of post, state that clearly.
- If you do not allow certain types of posts, state that clearly.
- Optional – Specify how many posts you allow per blog.
- Randomizing the link up helps make sure everyone gets equal exposure. This is especially good for link ups that have over 150+ links.
- Reverse order link ups also help those that link up later get equal exposure as those that linked up first.
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.
- If you are hosting a social media link up, you should be willing to follow new followers. Pay attention to your notifications.
o Provide a party button with a “no follow” link.
- If I can’t find an html party button code, 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.
- If you want people to grab your button to display on the bottom of their post, make your button a reasonable size – resize the images to 90×90, 100×100, or 150×150 Take a look at the very bottom of this post. See examples of what each size looks like at the bottom of this post. I’ve posted buttons that I’ve resized and button codes directly from blog hop pages so you can get an idea of how size matters.
- Read this article by Moms Make Money – Linky Party Buttons Under Attack by Google?
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:
- Is it a post considered linked back if it says “I link up at these parties” and it links to a party page with no other mention of your blog party on the post itself? I’ve seen several bloggers do this and was wondering if this is considered linking back on the post? Example: Linked to these parties on my party page.
- Is it okay to display your party button at the end of the post and then provide direct links via a party page? (Since I don’t always link to the same parties each week, this is how I do it. My readers can visually see what parties I’ve linked up to and find it on my party page).
- Do you prefer a direct text link back within every single post link up? Why? Example: Linked at: My Pinterventures
- Do you have any other suggestions or tips for party guests?
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.