To Love. To Grow. To Change. To Live.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Blogger Tidbits: How to make the most of Link-ups...

You've heard it, right?!? If you want more exposure to your blog then you should join link-ups, several, as often as you can....it'll bring traffic to your site!!!

The above is right, but only to a certain extent. It's important to understand the purpose of a link-up. What's in it for the host, what's in it for you and how to best utilize time spent linking up, linking back (to the host) and actually engaging through the link-up as a way to gain traffic to your blog.

If you haven't noticed by now, networking is a huge part of blogging if you're trying to build a community and, perhaps, grow during the process.


Making the most of linkups

Let's discuss, shall we?

So, link-ups are all about traffic (obviously), for the host and those that link-up. If everyone were to participate according to the way a link-up was originally designed to work then you'd engage with the host, link-up your site, and visit as many other links as you can. You'd comment and engage in as many communities as possible, with others coming your way to do the same.

So often, I see this original purpose (to engage) get lost in the process. Perhaps it's because we don't have a full understanding of a link-up's purpose or we're just hoping others will stop by even if we're not, just like we tend to think people will stumble upon our blog without us putting it out there (i.e. promoting / plugging it).

Could it also be that people are using and abusing the system? Uh, let's not go there but think about it, if you're not following the rules there's a pretty good chance that a lot of other people aren't either. In other words, many simply add their link and move along.

So what do you do? How do you make the most of linking up?

Host or co-host a link-up:
Most people host link-ups for one of two reasons (usually both)...
  • To bring awareness to a cause or event and / or to share ideas (i.e. crafts, recipes, etc.). 
  • To bring awareness to their blog for traffic and growth. 
..."for fun" is in there somewhere!

For instance, I'm hosting the Monthly Measures linkup because I believe it's a good way to motivate, and be motivated, to exercise and eat healthy (yeah, I'm plugging it - see paragraph 5 above). But I recently co-hosted Tell Me About it Tuesday and Grow Your Blog (GYB) Hop as a way to build traffic.

Co-hosting is helpful in that you get to pool together all of your followers to up the participation and exposure, thereby upping the growth. It also helps that you have someone to bounce ideas off of, as well as help when it comes to visiting each participant to comment / thank them for participating!


Follow the Rules:
(If the rules were followed every time, link-ups would truly serve their purpose and benefit all of the participants)
  • Follow the site of the host (and co-host(s), if applicable). This is just good manners / common courtesy, even if it wasn't a rule. Have some respect for the time it takes for the host / co-host(s) to put it together each time, code doesn't just generate itself! 
  • Stick w/ the theme / concept of the link-up (I must admit I sometimes push the envelope with this one).
  • Add the appropriate link that corresponds directly to your post, not your blog or other social media outlet (unless otherwise specified). 
  • Add the link-up button to your site within the linked post or your sidebar. This is important because it brings awareness to the link-up so that the host can get more participants which in turn leads to more exposure for everyone linking up. 
  • Visit a few others who've linked up, comment, engage...NETWORK

Link-up to smaller / newer link-ups:
  • Look for link-ups with less than 100 participants. 
  • Look for unique / fun / interesting themes / concepts (that fit your blog / interests)
I'm not here to pick on bigger / larger linkups (i.e. 100 + participants) as i still like to participate in them, when time permits, mainly because I like to support other bloggers and especially if I like the host or the concept. But, when the link-up is bigger / older there is the potential for your link to get lost in the crowd, so to speak.

However, when the link-up is smaller / newer and just starting to grow, the participants aren't as overwhelmed with so many participants and the possibility of your link being noticed increases.  It's simple math, am I right?!? You betcha, I am! So, I suggest (keyword: suggest) looking for link-ups with less than 100 people entering links (less than 50, if possible) and I also look for fun, unique concepts that fit my interests (no explanation necessary, I hope).

Here are a few examples of newer link-ups:
(of course, if you read this post in the future these link-ups will, no doubt, be in the "bigger / older link-up" category...clearly, I'm a thinker):


Spend time interacting (most important):

I believe the key is your interaction, not necessarily everyone else’s who links up.

What I mean by this is, once you link up YOU must take it upon yourself to visit as many links as you can, genuinely commenting on posts you like. In my opinion (again this is just me) it's okay to let them know how you found them (i.e. from the such and such link-up) because they should understand that you linked up to engage just as they did (so long as you aren't using the dreaded "follow me, I'll follow you back" maneuver)!

I especially encourage interacting in this way (with vigor, I might add) if you're co-hosting a link-up for the day / month and most definitely if you're paying to co-host. You might as well make the most of it, for crying out loud, and get the bang for your buck (I'm just saying)!

Ultimately, when it comes to blogging, any event you participate in is what you make it, be it linking up, a giveaway (solo or group), attending a conference, etc. We all write for different reason, but let's be honest, if we didn't want others to take a peek we could simply write in a personal diary (via the old school method or privately online). So remember, it's all in how you make the best of each opportunity you're involved in to bring awareness to your site(s).

Happy Blogging!

The above is solely my opinion and anything I've stated should be viewed / taken with a grain of salt!  

Linking up today, of course, with the lovey ladies below:

Katie Did What 

Have I missed any Tips for the Beginner?!?  Do tell!
Got questions?  I've got answers...maybe (I'm not some guru :))!
Just leave me a comment!

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18 comments

  1. Love this post! Fantastic advice and very true from what I've found, the smaller link ups are usually a great way connect with people and make new friends :)

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    1. Indeed, Elizabeth! Thanks SO much for the nice compliment, I was hoping it would be helpful!
      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment!

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  2. i was going to postpone my blog hop today because I got so many changes going on, but you made me change my mind, lol!

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    1. I can't believe you did that, my friend! I know how much you have going on to switch up your site (SO ready for the reveal)...you are far too kind :)!!!

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  3. Hi Nicole, this was a very informative post. I was contemplating starting a new link up, but was afraid until now. Thanks for the encouragement.

    P.S. I love Maddie's big girl pjs. It's amazing when you move into the phase when clothes no longer have snaps.

    Sophia
    twentyfiveseasons.com

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    1. That's SO awesome, Sophia! I can't wait to check out your link-up once it goes live. Be sure to let me know when you start :)!

      And yes, it's beyond exciting to no longer have to deal with those crazy snaps, especially when a diaper change is warranted in the middle of the night!!!

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  4. Love this post! Thanks so much, Nicole! :)

    xoxo,
    Brianna

    brileigh12.blogspot.com

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    1. So glad you did, Brianna!!! Hopefully, you've received my email as well in response to some of your questions!

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  5. So helpful, thanks for posting!!
    -Natasha @ Lovely You

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    1. Awesome, Natasha, that means I've accomplished my purpose in writing this post! Take care :)!

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  6. Thank you so much for these tips! Your timing couldn't be better, as I just started joining in link ups last week.

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    1. Oh yay, Gwen! I was hoping this would be of use to someone (whether new or old to link-ups)!!!

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  7. Thanks for the shout out my friend!!

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  8. Great post about link ups! Thanks for including us in there, too! :) I hope you're right about it becoming a bigger one eventually.. We shall see!

    xo

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    1. Thanks, Katie & no problem! I'm sure you guys will be in the mix by the end of the year!!!

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  9. Good tips Nicole! Glad you talked Rekita into hosting the Lovely Blog Hop today!

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    1. Thanks, Kim! I didn't mean to talk Rekita into hosting today but I'm glad she did!!!

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