What is a Linkup Party? What is in it for you as a Host? Cohost? Guest? This post will answer those questions and explain how this little known activity can increase the way you expand your presence online and help you attract loyal followers. Give it a try and see for yourself!
What is a LinkUp? How does if benefit the host and the guests?
Whether you call it a “linkup”, a “linky”, a carnival, a blog party, a grid or a blog hop, the linkup is a very efficient and rewarding way to connect with your readers. It is an active social blogging event that brings bloggers together. The way linkups work allows you, the blogger that runs the linkup, to create a different kind of relationship with your readers.
What usually happens is that the blog reader acts as a content participant and reader. They visit, they read and leave. There are some occasions when they may leave a comment here and there or share the party or some posts, but that is all. As soon as the blog post is read, it is discarded and the reader just waits passively for your next post to repeat the process. It is up to you to make the party beneficial to you and your guests. But you need to teach them how! Inlinkz.com
What needs to be done is to engage the reader and let them know and feel this is their blog too! That there is something they own in this blog post and what that is, to leave their own posts and get visibility. Your party gives them credibility and exposure. This will turn them into a more loyal, active reader and a contributor to your blogging success. You also promote their links, follow their socials and newsletters, give page views, and share and comment on the readers links. This is where the linkup comes in. See what you need to do for a successful party.
How it works
There are two main services that facilitate creating these parties. The InLinkz linkup tool will let you create a widget within your blog post, that allows your readers to add their own links to your linkup. Once a blogger has entered a post to a linky, the entire post information is available to use again. The second time around just a simple click enters the post URL, title, your email and a thumbnail of the featured image. This makes it more efficient when you attend multiple parties. Adding links produces a colorful gallery that is built by your readers with their own posts. The tutorial for creating your party from Inlinkz can be found at Creating A Party.
The second source is Linky Tools. Each time you want to add a post you must enter the Post URL, The Title, your email, your name and indicate where you want the image uploaded from. The caveat with this service is link information is not remembered and you need to add all the content each time you add your post to a party. Both services have a small fee to use as a host and to allow images. Inlinkz does have a free program for bloggers just wanting to co-host a party and share the code. I tried to get some links and screenshots from Linky Tools, but most of the links didn’t work and the majority of those that did led to marketing information for his blogging books. You can start here at the Linky Tool home page.
What is required of a host for a successful party?
One blogger, known as the host, will create the linkup criteria in the Inlinkz. A short post is written and usually features from the last party are chosen. This is shared with the cohosts and published simultaneously on all blogs. The party is updated in real time on all the blogs. To keep Google happy it is good practice to have any recurring images uploaded to each host media library and not share a URL from a third party (the main host). This way the blogger controls all aspects of the image and the post will run faster too. The intro and any news from a blog should be written fresh in each cohosts own post. You will be engaging with the guests and letting them get to know you. Content won’t be seen as thin or duplicate and each host can highlight the information they want their guests to see. The rest of the post is then shared on all blogs as well as the party code for the linkup. If active links for other blogs and social follows are part of the post each host will publish, make sure the links work and you have indicated how you want those links followed and opened. A successful party is never a cut and paste job from title to linkup. When you put yourself into the linkup others will want to contribute and return. They will feel they know “you”!
Ways to increase your linkup traffic
You need to promote and announce your party and its hashtag everywhere you go. Crosspost when you publish the party. Use your own social media buttons. Schedule follow up shoutouts through Co-Schedule, Buffer, Hootsuite, etc. Visit other blogs. Leave a hearftfelt comment and invite them by hashtag to your party. Make that hashtag trend! It will be easy to identify comments that are not showing interest in the post so be sure to comment something you mean and be honest. But don’t be a link dropper. It is rude and can actually have a negative effect. Attend others parties. Attend a few of the cohosts, too. They appreciate comments, shares, follows and page views too! The linkup appears on all host blogs in realtime, but the perks of an actual VISIT do not!! Be appreciative of your own cohosts and let them know they are a part of the event by commenting on THEIR party post.
Preparing for your linkup is the most time consuming work that has to be done. In order to fully engage your audience, you need to have a well-prepared linkup. Following is what you need to have before you start partying:
Your linkup needs an introduction of what is accepted and expected from your guests. Introduce your cohosts and give some kind of information about them and their blog and provide a link to their blog that guests can click. Some parties will also highlight social media profiles of the hosts and cohosts for follows. Make sure you let the guests know what the party ettiquette should be. If you have rules and guidelines, or suggestions of actions you want them to follow make sure it is clear. Don’t be shy to ask for email signups for party reminders or other important aspects your blog has to offer. Show kindness and respect for your guests and let them know you would like some in return. Be clear in the start time and day of the party and stick with it!!! If you are unable to keep to the schedule, post a small explanation of why the party is cancelled and when you expect to be back. Your guests are bloggers too. They understand that life happens and you will be back. Be sure to answer the comments your guests leave. Comments are a two way street.
Ways the guests benefit
We all spend a lot of time and energy drafting the perfect post. We want it seen by as many readers as possible and we want to make a good impression so they will follow us on social media, get our email, and return again another day. Attending and even hosting link parties give you a great bang for your buck. There are hundreds of parties each week. They are all types, sizes and number of hosts sharing the linkup. As a guest you aren’t limited by anything other than the posts you add and the energy you put into enaging with the hosts and other guests. When you add your link to a party it will appear on every blog of the host and cohosts. That increases your audience many times over. If you leave your link and run off you are defeating your purpose. Getting the hosts to know you, to recognise the posts you produce, and to share your posts on their social media platforms are important! Visit each host and comment and follow. Or rotate the ones you visit each week. But follow your hosts, comment, share the party and their posts too. Find other guests posts and visit those posts that appeal to you. Let them know you were there and how you found them. It is always nice to know how you came across their link so they can see where their efforts are paying off. Share their work, follow them and signup for their email. Promoting your blog and your work is all about discovering new blogs and engaging!! Many parties allow all types of niches. But many want only a certain type of link, or maybe it is a few invited bloggers that have a theme and you are invited to read the posts and comment. Be sure to read the guidelines and follow them! Most hosts are understanding of a slipup or two, but don’t make it a habit. Most of all to keep the party going and productive you need to WORK at it just as much as the Hosts. All participants will notice the difference and they will appreciate the opportunity to expose their work through the party and remember your blog. Parties are a great opportunity to introduce yourself and your blog as well as cultivate loyal readers.
Attending and hosting link parties are not only fun, but if you follow these guidelines you will see you are now part of a village. No longer are you at the whim of some algorithm or hoping to be found in a mountain of other posts. Try a party or two and have some fun. See what all the buzz is about. The least that will happen is you will find other blogs and bloggers to follow. Parties are another great way in addition to social media platforms to promote your posts.
I would love for you to visit my weekly parties. Over The Moon opens on Sundays at 6:00 pm EST. Wonderful Wednesday opens Tuesdays at 9:00 pm EST. Thursday Favorite Things opens Thursdays at 9:00 am EST. Come and get inspired! You can easily add your link by pressing the blue button near the end of the party post. See attached image below! (See what I did there?)
Thanks for showing interest. See you at the party! Also see my Link Party Directory for a current list of blog parties I attend.
See also article in my Work Smarter category. Questions All Bloggers Need to Ask