In the blogging world, we’ve heard that social media is one of the best way to gain traffic on your blog. That is true, but what about other ways to gain traffic?
Link up or blog hop is one of the oldest path to go when you want genuine traffic and interaction on your blog. Not familiar with it? You are not alone. Let me tell you about it and why we pretty much are missing out on more blog traffic.
LINK UP BASICS
What is a link up/blog hop party?
It is a way to connect bloggers with new readers and highlight their best content. The best part is, bloggers also get a chance to be featured on bigger blogs, which entails what? – TRAFFIC!!
Link up parties (just like any other parties) have themes. It is within the host’s decision to whether host it by herself or invite other hosts. Most of the time, at the end of every party, there will be a “featured blog post” based on votes/likes.
LINK UP PARTY ETIQUETTE
- Right Clickable Image
When you participate in a link up party, it is customary to vote/like a blog link on that thread. This allows the host to decide on what to feature or highlight for that theme.
It is very important that when you participate, you have a right clickable image. This allows readers to just right click your image and save rather than saving using their server. This saves time and effort.
2. High Quality Images
Personally, I am more interested on clicking posts that have quality image/thumbnail. I try to stay away from blurry or pix-elated photos. Spend time on creating an eye catching thumbnail and that includes your choice of fonts as well. This gives you an extra point or two and be more likely to get votes/likes or best – be featured!
3. Follow Party Rules
Each host determines what rules participants need to follow when joining a party. A lot of these rules include following social media or blog. I’ve had my fair share of bloggers who follow then un-follow me after the party ended. This is a definite no-no! Just like a normal party, rules need to be followed or you get kicked out, in this case – deleted.
Keep in mind that link up parties are a great way to increase traffic on your blog, so make sure you abide by the rules when you choose to participate.
HOW TO START A LINK UP PARTY
Choose a theme
This allows bloggers to look through their old posts or write a new one.
Choose a theme that is overall related to your blog – Food blogger? Recipe link up. Lifestyle blogger? Try Crafts/DIY link up..and so on.
Don’t want a theme? That’s okay too. You can do anything goes link up party. Bloggers can link up their latest and greatest posts. if you decide to go this route, make sure you set limitations though.
This sets the tone for your party. As much as we just want to drop link and leave, this is not how it goes. We want genuine blog traffic so we should be able to abide by the rules to get to that point.
Establish simple rules. No matter how exciting and appealing your party is, if you have strict rules – this can break your party. For short, no one will join.
Below are some basic rules/guidelines that are easy to follow:
- Make sure you highlight the fact that bloggers need to follow the theme. Link up posts that only goes with the theme. Remind them to link up a specific post and NOT their blog homepage.
- Encourage connection among bloggers. Suggest to have them visit or support bloggers that participate and show them some love (comment, like, share, etc.!) You can even include to have the participants follow the your social media/blog as part of the rule.
- Set a limit on how many bloggers can link up.
- Don’t be too bossy! Keep the rules short and simple.
Pick Who Will Be Featured
Bloggers participate on link up parties to increase traffic on their blog, why not give twice as much – by featuring them. How do you decide on who to feature?
You can choose either (or BOTH)…
- Blog that is most clicked
- Host/Co-Host favorite
As the host, you have the power to choose how many blogs you feature for that theme. Make sure these “featured posts” did follow your guideline above.
Link up parties are fun, you get to create all sorts of images.
- Party Button
This is highly recommended when you host a party because this allows bloggers to easily share your party to their social media or blogs. This is sort of your “advertisement”. Put this on your sidebar as well for easy access and view.
I suggest to create a 250 x 250 pixels that says your blog name, theme and very short description of what the party is about. Create a button through this easy to use button generator.
- Featured Button
This is something that’s optional but a great way for featured bloggers to highlight their achievement. They can easily grab this button and place it on their blog as a way of “showing off”.
Don’t forget to include a link back to the featured posts on your next link up.
Sign Up For A Link Up Service
All link up parties need a service behind them to make sure it goes smoothly. Here you can track which post has the most clicks, most views, etc!
This is where you schedule your link up and add details. Below are some of the link up services you can use.
Check them both and see which preference you want. I personally use Inlinkz because I can choose the FREE option and still have a great link up party.
And You Are Set
You got your theme, party rules, link up service – you are ALL SET!!
All you need to do is spread the word about your party and invite as many people as you can. Always remember, just like a regular party – have fun!