Want to make friends and learn about new recipes, tips, tricks, and your next home decorating project? Start a linky party on your blog.
Blogging Book: How to Blog for Profit Without Selling Your Soul
Before jumping into our Stock Photo discussion, Ruth Soukup of Living Well Spending Less announced on her blog last week that she will be making major updates to her book, How to Blog for Profit (Without Selling Your Soul). You can get the ebook for your Kindle right now for $4.99, and get the updated version for free. The price will go up on the updated version.
I know, I know – well-run linky parties can be a lot of work. They can also bring new readers to your blog, help you meet other bloggers, create a platform for you to promote yourself and other bloggers plus lead to guest posting opportunities down the line as you build relationships.
Step 1: Decide on your goal for the party.
Are you doing a one-time party, or do you plan to keep the party going over time? An on-going link party builds value for you and your fellow bloggers over time by creating community and buzz while a one-time party may need a lot of work to make it successful.
Step 2: Pick your party theme.
Go with your passion on this one, as long as it’s not too off the wall. Recipe and decorating parties are a dime a dozen. Your favorite meatless meal or favorite project using dollar store items are niche-targeted, will be slow to build, and yet attract better-written posts over time. Reluctant to stick to a smaller topic every week? Start a party schedule and include it every time the party goes live.
Use a theme. A party theme helps you with promoting the party through Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, and it gives you a searchable topic for a Pinterest board which also helps promote the posts.
I run and co-host 3 linky parties with different themes. On Monday, I co-host Motivation Monday, mostly focused on inspirational writing and healthy living. We also include craft and home organizing posts. On Tuesday, I hold a Pinterest Foodie party with my friend Heather and Thursday is home for the Fabulously Frugal Thursday party.
Step 3: Hostess with the Mostess
Find at least one other host blogger for the party. You’ll have someone to shoulder the details if your kids are on the sofa with the flu. Your other host blogger will have their own connections for promoting the party. If you each tweet, Facebook, Pin, and Google+ the linky, that’s 8 possible ways for other bloggers to find your party.
Don’t forget to promote to your tribe and ask them to promote the party on their networks. Make sure you thank the bloggers helping you promote your party, and help them promote theirs.
Step 4: Party Planning
To run the party, you need linking software. Inlinkz, Mister Linky, and Linky Tools are the most popular linking tools. I use the paid version of Inlinkz because I have 2 on-going linky parties, Motivation Monday and Fabulously Frugal Thursday.
I use thumbnails to show off the posts. A picture truly is worth a 1,000 words when you have only about 10 seconds for a reader to spot something and click on it. As a blogger linking up, I find Inlinkz easier to use since I don’t have the extra step of cropping my images while linking up.
Step 4: Send out the Invitations
Promote, promote, promote.
- Put a badge for the party in the sidebar on your blog.
- Include a reminder at the top of each post; I use Thesis Open Hooks for this purpose.
- Tell your network.
- If you run across a post that fits with your theme, comment thoughtfully, and invite the blogger to join your upcoming linky party.
When the party goes live, promote again – Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Make each promotion fresh and appropriate for the venue. Remind your Facebook readers where they can find more fabulous reading material.
Once you have two consecutive link parties, start an email reminder list for the participants. I run both of mine through MailChimp which is free for the number of subscribers I have. I created a template with the party badge, a simple message each week thanking bloggers for linking up, and a link to that week’s party. Approximately 30 to 40% of the bloggers on the email reminder list open the email and 15% click through to the linky post. Even if participating bloggers don’t click through to link up, they have a reminder in their mailbox for when they’re ready.
Step 5: Circulate
Bloggers love comments, and they love when a party host stops by to comment on their hardwork. Having multiple cohosts ensures that someone will visit most of the posts, comment on them and promote them where appropriate.
My fellow hosts and I each do a round of 10 posts working our way through the linked up posts, and then we start over again. This method allows us to spread the commenting over several days without being overwhelmed. We pin posts with well-developed content on the linky party Pinterest board. As a host, I tweet and share posts that resonate with myself and my readers.
When making comments, I always end with a thank you for linking up to the blog hop. Some blogs don’t include urls when making comments. Getting the blog hop name into the comment reinforces the value of participating plus lets other bloggers/readers know about the linky party.
This post originally ran at GLO; the original post is no longer available.