Blog Hops/Link Parties Advice from a Beginner Blogger

Blog Hops and Link Parties: Advice from a Beginner Blogger

When I started blogging five short months ago I had no idea what a Blog Hop or a Link Party was.  I thought if I just started writing people would just magically appear on my ‘doorstep’.   I now blame my arrogance on ignorance.  I was going with the “If you build it, they will come!” metaphor, but like everything in life the more work you put in the better the outcome.

One of the best ways to get your name out there and connect with people with similar interests that might be interested in reading what you have to say is to join a blog hop or link party.

The first question I had was:  What is a blog hop or LinkUp?

The definition according to the Inlinkz website is:

The linkup is an efficient way to connect with your readers and their followers, reach bigger social network audiences, make your blog come alive and increase your traffic.

In other words, a blog hop is a time frame in which a group of bloggers share links to other blogs so that readers can ‘hop’ to them.  Each blog hop is usually hosted by a blogger on the same day every week and can be shared by more than one blog.  The purpose of a blog hop is to visit other blogs and follow the ones that you like and in return gain a few readers yourself.

How to add your blog post to a link party:

There are different programs that bloggers use to host blog hops or link parties.  This is an example of what you might see when you link up.

At the bottom of the list of the bloggers that already linked up there will be a button that looks similar to this:

Blue Button

 

Click on the button to add your link.  This will take you to a screen that looks like this:

Fill in URL

Add the URL of the blog post that you want to link in the first box, the name of your post or project and your email address.

At the bottom of the screen you will see an image source block.  You can let the linky tool choose the image for you or you can upload your own image.

Upload a photo

 

I find that loading your own image works a lot better as you get a clearer, crisper image of exactly what you want to share.  If you want to choose an image from your blog you can press “select from blog” or select an image from URL.  If you choose “select from blog” it will let you select a photo from the post that you are linking.

 

Link party button size

 

After loading your image, press done, which will take you to this screen.

Back to linkup

 

You can then share the link on the social media of your choice and then go back to the list of links.

You are now done with the ‘Joining the link party or blog hop’ part.   I have a list of link parties that I join on an almost weekly basis here:

It is good etiquette to add the link parties that you have joined to your post.  On WordPress the steps will be as follows:

  • Go to the dashboard of your page as if you are going to edit it.
  • Add “Linking To”  at the bottom of your post.
  • Type in the name of the link party that you joined.
  • Highlight the name of the link party.
  • Press the add link button which looks like a paper-clip.
  • In the window that opens add the url of the link party that you have linked up to.
  • Click the box that says ‘open in a new window’.  This is important.  If you don’t tick this box a reader that clicks on the link will be taken away from your blog.
  • Click ok.

I add all the link parties that I’ve joined at the bottom of that blog post.  It is good etiquette to add a link back to the link party that you have joined.

Comment and connect with people on the link list.

A few tips that I learned from trial and error that I’ll share with you.  I find it is easier to learn from other people’s mistakes rather than trying to re-invent the wheel.

Tips for Beginners:

  • Read the rules of the link party carefully and don’t presume that every link party is the same.  Don’t link your blog when the rules state that you have to link to a specific blog post.
  • Don’t just ‘link and run’.  I try to comment to 4 – 5 blogs on every linky that I join.  My personal system is to comment on the two people in front of me, the host and any other blog that looks interesting which leads me to the next point.
  • Make sure you use a good thumbnail image.  If there is over a hundred blogs linked people will comment on the one that draws their attention.  Your image makes a difference in the traffic that you can expect.  I learned this by linking the same post with two different thumbnails.
  • Comment on the link party page to say thank you for hosting.  I also try and make a point of visiting or following the host on one of their social media pages.
  • Please make it easy for people to comment on your blog.  I do not want to set up a profile to comment on your blog.
  • Allow people to comment just with a name and url.  Some people do not like giving out their personal information.
  • If you are joining link ups and blog hops to gain followers, please make sure that it is easy for people to follow you.  If I have to scroll to the bottom of your page to find your social media buttons I will not follow you.
  • Try and link up as early as you can.  On most hosts blogs you can add your email address to receive a reminder when the linky opens.
  • The size of a linky does not make a huge difference in engagement.  I have some smaller linkies where I receive a lot more engagement than from the bigger ones.  Try and join an assortment of different linkies in your niche.
  • If you are on Google+ , it is a nice idea to add # and the link name and share it on your page.
  • The size of a linky does not make a huge difference in engagement.  I have some smaller linkies where I receive a lot more engagement than from the bigger ones.  Try and join an assortment of different linkies in your niche.
  • If you are on Google+ it is a nice idea to add # and the link name and share it on your page.

 

If there is any tips that you would like to share I would love to hear from you.  A lot of link parties seem to be for recipes or crafts.  If you know of any Parenting link parties I should join please add them in the comments.

If you enjoyed this post you have a look at my list of link parties:   Link Up Party List for Bloggers

 

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This post was linked here:   Twinkly Tuesdays    Bloggers Brag Pinterest Party    Wednesday’s Wisdom  Brilliant Blog Posts  Pintastic Pinteresting Party  Get Your Shine ON Thursdays  Thriving on Thursdays  Pin Junkie Pin Party  Friendship Friday Blog Party  Friday Feature Linky Party

 

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44 replies
  1. Marianne
    Marianne says:

    Thanks for this. As a brand new blogger (been at it a few weeks now) I’m still new to a lot of aspects of blogging.
    I joined a couple linky parties already, but I struggled to understand what they meant when they said “link back”. I assumed that by adding my link it was “linking back”. Your point about putting a link in the post I was linking to made it all clear.
    I also agree about the comment section. I’m working on transferring my blog to wordpress and hope to have a better comment system there.

    Thanks again.
    Marianne
    http://www.preciselyhousewifely.com

    Reply
    • Mariet
      Mariet says:

      Hallo Marianne
      Thank you for stopping by. I’m still learning as I go. I’ve only learned that it’s good etiquette to go and visit the blog of someone that comments on yours. Now I feel terrible that I was so oblivious about that in the beginning.

      Reply
  2. Lyn@The Travelling Lindfields
    Lyn@The Travelling Lindfields says:

    Great post. I blogged for a couple of years before I discovered link parties. When I did my stats went through the roof. I also discovered a lot of great blogs out there that I enjoy reading, following and commenting on. It’s a win/win situation.

    Reply
    • Mariet
      Mariet says:

      I’m glad in jump on the band wagon before I completely knew how everything worked. My approach of learning as I go paid off in this situation. Thank you for stopping by.

      Reply
  3. Sandra Lynn
    Sandra Lynn says:

    Great advice for anyone participating in linkups! I do one, currently; am hoping to fill in the rest of my days with at least one, soon! It definitely matters how the linkup is run :) Thanks for sharing here :)

    Reply
    • Mariet
      Mariet says:

      You’ve got an amazing success rate for your blog, I’m humbled that you took the time to comment. Thank you for stopping by.

      Reply
  4. Autumn
    Autumn says:

    Thanks for this post. I get SO confused about Linkys. Plus, I found that in bigger link up, if your not in the first 20, your kinda screwed on the traffic front. Its super interesting because I took a blog course ($197) and the didnt say anything about Link ups. I am shocked because there are so many. I am doing one at least once everyday to drive traffic.

    Reply
    • Mariet
      Mariet says:

      Thanks for stopping by. I’m learning by trail and terror which linkups works the best for me. I found that linking up with a few smaller ones actually drive more traffic than the bigger ones.

      Reply
    • Mariet
      Mariet says:

      Hi Megan
      I made so many mistakes in the beginning but found that jumping in is sometimes the best way to learn. The blogging community is really kind to newbies and I think the biggest mistake is to do nothing. Thank you for stopping by.

      Reply
  5. Louise
    Louise says:

    These are good tips – I follow a similar pattern with commenting working on the theory that if most people do something similar then hopefully everyone will get some blog love. I’d definitely agree with the advice to join linkys early on if you can too.

    Reply
    • Mariet
      Mariet says:

      Hi Louise
      Thanks for stopping by. I’m not always sure what the etiquette is, but I feel you have to start somewhere. I love your ‘From the mouths of babes’ linky even though I don’t always have something to link.

      Reply
  6. Jennifer Abel
    Jennifer Abel says:

    Great tips for newbies. as there are many new bloggers who need to have the help of other bloggers . i love link ups and I have one myself and co host another. Another great tip for newbies is to co host before starting your own link up this way they get the hang of things.

    Reply
  7. Free
    Free says:

    Thats funny cause I’m writing a similar post and I thought the same thing. If I build it the will come. Not the case at all. Boy was I wrong. I think after we get over ourselves we quickly realize that we have to put in some real work.

    Reply
  8. Janine Halloran
    Janine Halloran says:

    I remember feeling so lost and confused when I did my first linky party. These are great tips! Thanks for linking up to the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Party. I have pinned your post to the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Board.

    Reply
  9. Kori Tomelden
    Kori Tomelden says:

    These are really great tips for anyone – new or not – to keep in mind when participating in blog hops and linky parties. They’re definitely worth the time, especially when you become an active participant. I’ve discovered quite a few new favorite blogs this way.

    Visiting from Get Your Shine On

    Reply
  10. Donella Crigger
    Donella Crigger says:

    This is a great post! Keep an eye out in the blogging groups for opportunities to share this. I’ve seen so many people ask lately, “What is a link party?” This is the definitive guide! :) Thanks for linking up with us at the Get Your Shine On party. We appreciate your shares!

    Reply
  11. Ashley
    Ashley says:

    Hi! Thanks for these great tips. I just started blogging and I was super confused on “link parties” and “blog hops”. I didn’t know what they were and I thought they were two different things. I wish I found a clear guide like this when I just started! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  12. Morna
    Morna says:

    Thanks for this- some good tips – I really need to make my page more mobile friendly- I hate the techie aspects of blogging! I love link ups and I tend to read the posts towards the bottom as I’m always late to the party!!

    Reply
  13. Mackenzie Glanville (reflectionsfromme.com)
    Mackenzie Glanville (reflectionsfromme.com) says:

    Hi I just found you on #twinkly Tuesday, I guess your thumbnail stood out to me. Great and interesting post. I have just started a linky party with a fellow blogger and so far it is going great, we offer prompts. Mostly people follow the rules, but we had a couple who didn’t follow the rules, it was tricky as I didn’t want to offend, but I guess like you say people should read the rules. Anyway I think you’ve put a great post together! Well done xx

    Reply
  14. LittleOandMe
    LittleOandMe says:

    Fab tips! I wish I had read this when I first started out. I completely agree with the smaller linky comment, i have met some lovely people through one.
    #twinklytuesday
    Becky xx

    Reply
  15. Lisa (mummascribbles)
    Lisa (mummascribbles) says:

    I wish I’d have had this post when I first started blogging! I remember googling all about them as I had no idea! Now look at me, I’m running one! How things change ay?! Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

    Reply
  16. Lisa@intotheglade
    Lisa@intotheglade says:

    This is brilliant! I am a brand newbie like not yet 2 months and this is so useful. I didn’t have a clue what a link up was either and I still don’t know anything about google and hashtags ha! Thank you so very much for this x

    Reply
    • Mariet
      Mariet says:

      Hi Mary
      Thanks for stopping by. Are you on a WordPress blog? If you are then I can help you. You copy the link button code and in WordPress where you type your blog post at the top you have two options: Visual & Text. Go to the text page and paste the code from the link button at the bottom of the text page. Then go to the Visual tab and the button will be there for you to move around.
      Hope this helps.

      Reply
  17. Karren Haller
    Karren Haller says:

    This is good information, there are tons of bloggers that are just getting started hosting a blog hop and your tutorial will be very useful and informative!!

    Thanks for stopping by to link and share on The Oh My Heartsie Girl Friday Feature!!
    We appreciate you shared your blog with us!! I have Pinned and Tweeted your post!!
    Have a great weekend, Karren~Host
    Karren Haller recently posted…The Ultimate Party on G+, Week 51My Profile

    Reply
  18. Kim
    Kim says:

    This was very informative. I started doing blog hops/link parties about a month ago and have been amazed at the number of them. I am constantly find new ones. I have lately been working on Pinterest Collaborative boards and stumbled about along the way to figuring it out, but I think I finally got it. Have a good weekend!

    Reply

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