What are blog linkups?
A linkup is a collection of blog posts written by individual bloggers. The linkup is hosted on a blog (or multiple blogs at the same time) using a tool which allows visiting bloggers to add a link to their own posts. The blog party or linkup opens on the same day each week, usually at the same time. You can visit each week, adding your own link, and visit the links shared by other bloggers. It’s a virtual party.
Definition via The SITs Girls
To put it simply, a linky is when a host blog invites other blogs to link up a post, with the purpose of giving the linker and host, additional blog traffic and comment love.
It is also a great way to build an active blogging community, introduce the host blog’s readers to other blogs, and in some cases, provide blogging inspiration by providing a writing prompt or theme for the linky.”
As a new blogger link parties can be a great way to meet other bloggers and find blogs that you love, create relationships, bonds, find your tribe members. When you add your link to the party others have the opportunity to visit your blog, read your words, get to know you. Priceless.
I have met so many incredible people through blog linkups, made friends, absorbed knowledge, and grown my own blog by leaps and bounds.
Each blog linkup has it’s own personality, rules, and benefits. For me, there are a few things I am looking for when participating in a linkup:
- Host rules and topic of linkup
- Participation of Host
- Social Media Promotion
- Benefit for my blog
- How large is the linkup
- Cohesion with my editorial calendar
These are the criteria that I work with as I have found the most benefit for my blog. This may not be what works for others or for you. Use your comment section and analytics to get the most benefit out of the linkups you join. But most of all, have fun!
How I get the most benefit from blog linkups.
1. Read the rules of the linkup.
Each party/linkup is different. Some require you to follow your host on social media. Others require that you link back to the hosts blog when adding your post, either through a text link or through a badge they’ve created for their party. Follow these rules. Your link may be removed if you inadvertently break the host’s rules.
2. Is there a specific topic to the linkup?
Some linkups follow a certain topic, i.e. recipes, crafts, home decor. Other linkups follow a prompt, such as Silent Sunday or Wordless Wednesday, for these two parties you add a link to a photo that you have taken that week, without adding words to caption the photo. Bloggers add links to the photographs they have taken during the week and visit other blogs to check out their weekly photos and comment on them. I participate in a few of these weekly photo linkups. I love working to take a great photo week after week, and I love seeing the photos that others post, inspiring me to be more creative.
- I love the photo linkups as I can kill more than two birds with one stone, better my photography, make friends with other bloggers who add their photos, we visit each other each week and have created friendships. I also post the photo I have taken on other social media platforms-Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Each week this photo gives me a lot of bang for my buck! Multitasking at it’s best.
I also assess if the topic of the linkup fits in with the theme of my blog. Or can I make it fit? One of the things I feature on my blog are gluten free, healthy recipes, so it makes sense that I enter several recipe linkups each week. But if the topic of the linkup is “underwater basket weaving” or some other topic that doesn’t fit in with my blog’s purpose it would be fruitless for me to enter the linkup. I could create a post around any type of linkup, even “underwater basket weaving”, but it wouldn’t benefit my regular readers. Why waste time researching and writing a post that doesn’t fit your niche or your blog? Choose wisely.
3. Create your editorial calendar around the linkups you visit regularly.
For example, I visit a recipe focused linkup on Monday night, so I strive to write a recipe post to be published on my blog every Monday. This saves me time and stress, once again, killing two birds with one stone.
Every Wednesday, at 5 am, I have a linkup on my blog. The subject is “What are you working on?”, you can add a post about any project you are currently working on or you can add an older post, giving new life to project from your archives. The project theme encompasses so many options, I didn’t want to limit anyone. My blog is all about making life better-in all ways, I find the projects that other’s are working on inspire me in my own home, community or blog. Hopefully it will inspire others too.
So, as I work on my editorial calendar I know that on Saturday I am posting my Silent Sunday Photo, on Monday I am posting a recipe, Tuesdays I post for my linkup-“What are you working on?” Wednesday, on Thursday I work on posting a list, a criteria for another linkup that I like to participate in weekly. I tailor my schedule around the linkups I like to frequent, once again, killing two birds with one stone.
4. Know the day and time the linkups open each week.
Many linkup hosts will schedule the party to begin at the same time each week, I like to enter linkups right when they open, or close to it. It’s most advantageous to you, as a blogger, to add your post link near the top of the party. More people will see your link, giving you the opportunity for more visitors to your blog, more exposure.
Some hosts will tell you the time the blog opens or offer to email you when the party starts. Hosts that advertise the time their linkups open are my favorite ones to join and I do my best to show up on time each week.
5. Do not link and run.
Get to the linkup as soon as you can, the posts near the top of the linkup have the opportunity to get the most views. When I enter a linkup I read the posts located near me in the party line-up. If I am on the third page of links I read the ones that are on the same page, I want to give love to others who entered late, and I’m hoping they give love to me.
Each party I participate in I leave a comment for the host. She is taking the time to host, I feel that leaving her a “thank you” is the least I can do, and each person entering the link should. I also visit at least 2 other blogs, reading their post, and commenting. I do not link and run. And neither should anyone else.
Karma, people, KARMA!!! READ THIS! Do not blow your blog Karma!
6. I give huge consideration to the number of hosts the linkup has.
If there are multiple hosts the linkup has more exposure, giving more bloggers access to your blog. This can be a good thing. But if a linkup has too many hosts your link is one is a sea of many, adding yourself to this party could be a waste of your time.
When I began joining linkups I chose the larger parties, with 8-10 hosts, thinking that it would give me the best exposure. Sometimes when the linkups are shared on this many blogs your link gets lost. Track each linkup in your analytic program, see how many referral visits you get each week from the linkup, assess whether this linkup works for you and your blog.
7. How many posts are you allowed to add to the linkup?
Many hosts allow you to add as many posts to the linkup as you would like. Other linkups only allow you to add one. The linkups I like best are the one’s that limit each blogger to one post each week. These linkups have been the most advantageous for my blog. When each blogger can add 4, 5, or 6 posts the linkup grows too quickly, and it’s so easy for the post that you add to get lost in the crowd.
8. How active is the host of the linkup?
I enjoy joining linkups with active hosts, these hosts read each entry and they leave a thoughtful comment on the owner’s blog. Creating relationships is key for me, if I am participating in a linkup week after week and not getting a visit or thoughtful comment from the host or any of the other participants, I’ll move on. I want to create a connection with others as well as page-views. If the linkup is too large the hosts cannot visit each link and still have a life, I understand that, I will still link if the analytics prove it to be advantageous.
I think that linkups are a stepping stone, while building your blog following you should be participating in as many as you can. You are creating relationships at this time and building your following.
For the best benefit, make sure you’re doing this or you could be wasting your time!
9. Does the host promote your link?
Look for linkups that Pin, Tweet, or Share your post. Many do, making the linkup a win-win. The host benefits by gaining page-views through hosting the linkup weekly, the guest benefits by gaining exposure. Each benefit through Social Media interaction and by building relationships with other bloggers. Total win-win.
But don’t do this…puh-leaze!!!
10. Find out which linkups are best for your blog.
Keep track of the linkups that you participate in weekly. I have a spread sheet for each day of the week, I enter the name of the host blog, the opening time of the linkup (if I can figure it out), which post I link from my blog, and how many other blogs I visit at each linkup.
After I have been active in the linkup for a month I assess the usefulness of the linkup for my blog through Google Analytics and my comment section. Then I decide whether continuing to visit the linkup is beneficial for me and my blog. If I have not received a visit or comment from the hosts, or other bloggers in the linkup, I will find another one to take it’s place. Linkups are a tool to help build relationships and page-views for your blog, if it’s not working, move on.
Not every link up works for every blog. That doesn’t mean that it’s not a great linkup, it’s just not great for you. If you really enjoy the hosts then follow them, read their posts, comment on their blogs. Hopefully, in return, they will do the same and you will form a great friendship, or mentor-ship.
I love linkups.
I participate in at least 25 a week and I have just begun hosting one, actually now two! I believe that linkups are the best way to meet other bloggers and build a tribe or a following. But, I have limited time, as do you, to build my following. I have to assess what works best for me. The tips above help me get the most benefit out of participating in linkups, reduce frustration, and increase my blog following.
And the friendships gained? Out of this world!
Do you agree with my tips? Do you have some I’ve missed? Let me know in the comments below!