What Every Blogger Wants You to Know…Part 3

but doesn’t want to tell you.

Click here if you missed Part 1

Click here if you missed Part 2

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Okay I am moving onto another post that bloggers I would love for you to know but don’t want to tell you, and this is about linky parties.   This is a post from one blogger to another blogger and I won’t say that it is EVERY blogger’s opinion.   But I know for a fact that it is many seasoned bloggers opinion. This WILL BE a controversial post.   I expect to get hate mail over this one, but it needs to be said and I have tough skin (I think) so…

There is a thing called blog etiquette.   I don’t know who wrote the book on blog etiquette but it does exist. It is weird in a profession where self promotion is okay that there are some forms of promotion that are considered a no-no.   I mean, after all, what is blogging other than a “lookie what I did”? Why are some forms of promotion okay and other ways not?

Why has this post been in the queue for 3 weeks and I have been a coward to push “publish”? Why do I not just tell you this?   Well for one, I don’t really have the type of relationship that substantiates me “calling you out” or “being critical.”   Secondly, I just chalk it up to “it comes with the territory.” Thirdly I am not sure I want the drama that this post might cause. But what we I would love to tell you is…

1.   The blogging world does not need another weekly linky party.   Hear this loud and clear friends…you do not have to have a linky party to be a successful blogger.   I have never hosted a weekly linky party and I am surviving. There are plenty of really awesome bloggers that host successful weekly link parties and have for years.   If I am going to spend time and energy trying to link my posts up it is going to be to their parties that get a truckload of traffic.   Isn’t the point of linking up to parties to get people to come to your site?

Note: I am all for themed occasional linky parties.   I have seen people who have done themed specific parties like: chevron décor link ups, mantel parties, teacher’s gift ideas, word of the year, etc.   I think those are fun.   I am referring to weekly linky parties where you can link up anything and everything you have done.

Linky parties have changed in the last couple of years. Years ago it used to be a great way to build community because everyone would visit each other’s projects.   With the thousands of linky parties each week people just link up and run hoping for traffic and it is no longer providing the type of community that it once did.   It could be because of the influx and massive amounts of talented bloggers, the ultimate linky party — Pinterest, or the busyness of our society, I don’t know.   But the game has changed and in my opinion, new linky parties are not the way to get the community you are looking for.

2.   If you do choose to have a linky party please, don’t invite bloggers by leaving a comment. Many of us feel it is not good blog etiquette to leave a comment or worse send us an unsolicited email saying something like “I love your project, you are so awesome.   My readers would love this too, come link it up to “My New Linky Party”

linky-party

Source: Crafterminds

What we hear is:

“I don’t really care what your project is I just want you to come visit my blog.”

Now most sweeter than me bloggers just delete those emails inviting us to link up to their party. I hate having to be the bad guy and ask people to remove me from their mass linky party email list but I do every time. First of all it is illegal to send me an email I did not request plus I get so many emails that when I see an email like that it is a sure guarantee that I will never visit your blog.   That might sound terrible but it just hits me the wrong way.

One of my friends, Beth said it best “A comment shouldn’t be trying to glean traffic, it should just be a sincere high-five.”

So how do you build your blogging community then? community

Source

1.   Have great content.   It is the whole “build it and they will come.”   Bloggers who have built a community have done so with a lot of work and a ton of GREAT content.   You will never meet a blogger who is successful and doesn’t have amazing content.   They go hand in hand.   Be patient, work hard, and produce great content.

2.   Leave genuine and heartfelt comments on other people’s blogs.   The comment section on someone’s blog is for cheering them on, giving them feedback, and telling them they inspire you.   If they do, leave a comment. In the beginning when you are really trying to get your name out there this is especially important to gain momentum and connect with other like-minded bloggers.

3.   Send your favorite blogger an email telling them they inspire you asking for nothing in return (I bet they will visit your blog if you do this one, I know I do).   I know I want to promote people I connect with.

4.   Use social media to engage bloggers. Don’t just show your projects on social media avenues but show other people’s projects as well.   What goes around comes around.   In the beginning it seems as if engaging is difficult but just keep at it.   It takes a lot of work to grow your community.

5.   If you do host a new linky party Tweet or Facebook out your party a few times a day to encourage more linking.   It is okay to have a small linky party for a while. Take time to visit those links and try to build community with them rather than harvesting a truckload of hit and run linkers by leaving canned comments.

6.   BE PATIENT! I know many of you think that if you would have started blogging 5 years ago like some of us did you would have a big blog.   That might be true.   It is definitely hard to get noticed in a sea of amazing talent nowadays.   But I see it happen everyday. But it takes TIME! Don’t expect to come out of the gate and build a huge following in a year. It takes YEARS to do that.   Take care of the community you do have and give them great content. And BE PATIENT!

Click here to read My Blog Story.   I have had those ups and downs you have experienced too.   I have learned year by year and have kept at it because I absolutely love what I do and can’t imagine not sharing my talent with you. But you can see my journey hasn’t been all roses either.

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  • Pamela Spradlin

    Thank you…I don’t know what else to say…just a sincere thank you for putting this out there.

  • http://myblessedlife.net Myra @ My Blessed Life

    LOVE this post Beckie!!!! I say, Amen, Amen, Amen! :)

  • http://www.positivelysplendid.com Amy @ Positively Splendid

    Great information, Beckie! I cannot agree more with the spam commenting to increase traffic to your link party/blog. Seeing a comment that says, “I love what you did here! Please link it up to my party!” is a sure-fire way not to have me visit your blog. The irony of the whole thing is that if that same person leaves a heart-felt comment, I might feel compelled to check out their blog, and if I see they are hosting a party, I might link something up that week. Regarding the linky party thing: I started one about six months (??) ago, not out of a desire to increase my traffic (because honestly, it hasn’t changed my numbers one iota), but because I was genuinely seeking a way to connect more with my readers. As a blogger, it sometimes feels like I am sitting here like the Great and Powerful Oz, spouting off tips and tutorials, but never really coming out from behind the curtain to get to know the people who are allowing me to make a semi-career (not quite to a full career yet ;) doing the things I love. A link party is just one vehicle (much like Facebook, or Twitter) where I can give my readers a voice and make our relationship more dynamic. That being said, I agree with you: there are plenty of successful, amazing blogs without them. Thanks so much for sharing your insight, Beckie! You are a gem!

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      Amy when I was writing this post I thought of you. You are the blogger I was thinking about who has done it the right way…slowly giving your readers great content and building your community slowly! I am sure it seems a lot slower for you than it has for me watching you. But I think you are doing awesome and I have utmost respect for you sister. I think your motivation in starting a party is good. And if it is working for you I say, go for it!

  • http://mmscrapshoppe.blogspot.com Michele @ The Scrap Shoppe

    Amen, sister!!! I can’t tell you how over I am getting comments from people simply to invite me to their link party. It will.not.happen. I’m not even curious to visit your blog unless I feel that you are sincere with your comments, much less just commenting to invite to a party. That is not how you get people to join you. I feel like everybody and their brother has a link party these days. OVER it!

  • Jennifer

    Hey Beckie! I don’t think this post should warrant any hate mail or bad comments at all. Everything you’ve written is true. In fact, you’re giving a lot of fabulous advice! There should be more bloggers out there like you who have found success and are willing to share advice to others. If anything, people should thank you. Miss you!

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      Miss you back friend! I am hoping our paths cross again real soon!

  • http://www.eastcoastmommyblog.blogspot.com Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

    Great Post! Love – “A comment shouldn’t be trying to glean traffic, it should just be a sincere high-five.”

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      Yah I had to steal that little gem from Beth. She is brilliant.

      • http://homestoriesatoz.com Beth@AtoZ

        Thanks Beckie :)!

  • http://bet1975.blogspot.com brandi

    Well said, Beckie. You won’t believe the amount of emails I get from bloggers reminding me that their link party is up and asking me to join. I also hate when bloggers use my email address to send links to nonsense stuff like, “vote for my baby” in this contest or promoting new items for sale in their online shop.

  • http://www.atimeforeverything.net Melissa@A Time for Everything

    This is some great advice, Beckie, and I think you presented it graciously. I cringe when I see blog comments (anywhere) soliciting linky party participants or calling for attention in general. You are so right–a visit is far more likely to take place in response to a sincere comment than a direct request.

  • mamabeck

    Bravo, Beckie! Well said! :)

  • http://www.thecreativeimperative.blogspot.com jamie

    finally, someone with the guts to say this!!! Oh my gosh, the people who send the emails saying, “the link party is up and running”… first of all, I follow through my reader. I won’t come to a blog via email. Secondly, they are making me regret ever leaving a comment on their blog!!! Now I feel like anytime I leave a comment for someone I don’t know if they’ll just use my email address for this intent. Great post! I’m really hoping people take this to heart instead of just getting angry at you for speaking the truth :)

  • http://mom4realky.blogspot.com Jessica @ Mom 4 Real

    I feel like you wrote this post just for me…sort of! I started a link party…hated it! I felt like a sell out. I never asked anyone to link up through a comment…annoying. I get that a lot! I am packing mine up. I don’t do sponsored posts, because I don’t feel my readers want to know where they can get cheap glasses. I started my blog for fun, to share my crafts and decorating. I feel like too many of us smaller blogs feel this crazy pressure to keep up and fit in. I am over that. I am just going to do my thing, and share with my peeps! Thank you soooo much for this, and if anyone sends you any hate mail, holla…I have a Louisville slugger under my bed, and would be happy to use it!

    Jessica @ Mom 4 Real

  • http://occasionallycrafty.blogspot.com Valerie@Occasionally Crafty

    Personally, linky parties today drive me crazy. When they have hundreds, or even over a thousand links, even my best content gets lost in the shuffle. I link up my projects anyway and get a few views because of it, but I agree- the best way I’ve gotten traffic to my site is by visiting other people’s blogs and commenting (sincere comments with no invitation to visit me back- most people just do because it’s polite), and through other “networking”.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts- I hope you don’t get any hate mail.

  • http://elisabethjeancustom.blogspot.com/ Melody♪♫

    Thank you, Beckie!
    Here I was thinking I was the only low-readership blogger that resented people stopping by to comment merely, “Hey — come see this incredible thingamajiggy I invented.” ‘Cause then I feel bad when I go to her blog & find that the thingamajiggy is revolting, according to my taste, & how can I leave a comment like that?

  • http://www.beingspiffy.com Jill S.

    Thank you for saying what the rest of us are thinking! I whole-heartedly agree.

  • http://sunnybydesign.blogspot.com sunny

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post. I fairly new to blogging (well under a year) and just received my first linky party request. At first I felt honored that they would consider me but then when I saw that I had to pass on the request to other bloggers I felt dirty. I couldn’t bring myself to ask bloggers that I admire to pass on their links. I’m itty bitty in the blog world and I most of the blogs I follow are ones I admire and they are successful. There is no way I would knock on their door and say hay you wanna join a linky party? It is bad etiquette all around in my book and thank you for reassuring me. I have the utmost respect for you now, not that I didn’t before of course, since you always have such awesome content:)

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      Awwww thanks Sunny. That comment was so sweet. Off to visit you!

  • http://www.hello-newday.blogspot.com Catherine

    Thank you! As a new blogger I appreciate your candid advice and observations!

  • http://www.mydecoupagedlife.com Brittany @ My Decoupaged Life

    Oh my goodness what a great post! I, too, automatically delete those emails that are just “come join my linky”. They bother me so much. Besides being a nuisance, they just prove to me that there are way too many linky parties.
    Now, I do like fostering community and so each week I feature five projects I’ve seen around blogland and other’s linky parties. I generally do leave them a comment to tell them they were featured, but I always start off with an honest and heartfelt comment. Even then I struggle with whether or not I should leave the link where they are featured because I don’t want them to think I’m just trying to get them to come to my blog. I featured them because I think they’re awesome and I wanted to share with my readers!!
    Anyway, thanks for sharing. I’ve loved reading this series. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who has these thoughts.

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      I love that Brittany and ANY blogger you feature appreciates it. I love when people leave me a link when they featured me.

      • http://hurleythurston.blogspot.com hurley

        Phewwww. I am a relatively new blogger, and I have definitely craft-lifted a few of my ideas. I have been including a link to the source on my post and then commenting on the source post with my post url to show them and say thanks. I was getting nervous that it might be wrong to do.

  • http://Www.thistreasuredlife.com Amy

    I am more of a reader than a blogger, but it drives me crazy when I see the “great project, come link up” comments on other people’s blogs. It’s obvious that the sole intention is to increase traffic. I enjoy the sincere comments much more. I can’t imagine you getting hate mail over this. :-)

  • http://piglogsandtaterberries.blogspot.com Peggy

    You know this is something that is very near and dear to my heart. You know that my blog is tiny and currently that is by choice because I am still not at the point of knowing if this is what I really want to “do.” So for now its a way for me to chronicle all the different changes we are making to the house and just “stuff” in general…. so I digress, sorry!! Back to the linky world…. a while back I kept getting e-mails from linky parties I had linked up to saying “oh I love this please come join my linky party” and do you know what? It did make me feel like all they were interested in was getting numbers…. especially since I would NEVER ever hear from them again.
    Thank you so very much for sharing with us! In all honesty I don’t see why anyone would be offended (unless its a case of you stepping on their toes because they are in the wrong and then well……) Once again thank you for being brave enough to say what needs to be said!
    HOpe you are having a wonderful week!

  • http://laurascraftylife.blogspot.com Laura @ Laura’s Crafty Life

    I am still a ‘new’ small blogger. I don’t plan on having a linky party at all. I think you nailed it on the head. Why do I need to do one, where there are already so many great ones I can link up to that will get me so much more exposure? And from the get-go it has always turned me off to get a comment about following someone else’s linky party or blog. I read each comment and check out the person leaving the comment (if I can). If I like your blog, I will follow you or link up to your party. I don’t really want you asking me when this is the first time you have probably visited my blog! Thank you for hitting ‘publish’!

  • http://www.nessatheprocrastinator.blogspot.com nessa the procrastinator

    You’re so funny! I thought this would uber controversial like bringing back lobotomies or starting a riot… I feel sufficiently disappointed. ;) I will say that I do love a good linky party. Not that I would host one ever (hello, I only have 15 followers! hehe), but it gives me a chance to browse around. The only thing that annoys the tar out of me is bloggers tend to only feature friends. I completely understand being super busy. It’s just that if we follow you, we most likely follow your friends (blog rolls are stalked). Sometimes I go to a blog and I see the exact same stuff I just saw on my blog feed. That’s why I love me a linky party. Bloggers whom I’ve never seen doing really awesome stuff. It’s nice to expand the horizon. That being said, there is a limit to the linky parties. For instance, I have a somewhat well known blog sending me weekly emails to link up and I never asked them to do that… which is really annoying. I also hate when you go to check out a linky party and the website is slow to load because so.many.people linked up.

    So I guess what I’m trying to say is: linky parties in moderation is good. You not talking about lobotomies is a let down. ;)

    • http://myfabulesslife.blogspot.com Jenn

      I so have to agree with you on the featuring friends! I have been discouraged SO many times by link parties who seem to feature the same token people ALL THE TIME! And a lot of times, in my opinion, the content they’re featuring isn’t even that great when compared to some of the other projects linked up. It’s turned me away from several link parties as of late.

  • http://www.733blog.com Kim @ seven thirty three

    This is a great post Beckie! I started my two themed Linky Parties 2 years ago and at the time it was a great way to meet new bloggers and find new projects… but slowly I’ve noticed that people come and run and I don’t know if it is worth it for ME to host the parties…. but I feel obligated because I have done it so long and my loyal readers do see the worth. I have a boy themed party that I know gets many hits and I’ve had many people thank me for it and tell me they stop by often to search through the archives, so I know that one is providing a service and would be happy keeping that one. The other is a girl themed party and I did it just so people had a place to go on my blog so I was being “fair”. Again, when I started these people visited the links often and I felt the “community” if created, but that just isn’t there anymore and I think you are spot on when you say there are just too many! I too dislike the “come link up” comments and REALLY hate when I receive emails “reminding” me about parties. I am not as brave as you and just hit the delete button. Will I take the plunge and delete my parties? I don’t know… maybe I’ll poll my readers and get their thoughts…. thanks for throwing this out there and hope you don’t receive too much flack!

  • http://adaywithlilmama.blogspot.com Mindy

    Beckie – I don’t think this would solicit hate mail at all. Thank you for being honest and always inspiring! Now come check out my blog! jk :)

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      {giggle} you are funny…I totally am!

  • Meghan

    THANK YOU!! I’m not a blogger, I’m a reader. I HATE link parties. I skip those posts as they come off to a reader as blatant self promotion for those who have lackluster content. Like you said, if you build it, they will come. Have good, content and I’ll find you (assuming I’m your target audience, if I’m not, I have no business clicking you anyway).

  • robin

    Thanks so much. I am so sick of linking parties I could scream. Most of the blogs in my reader lately don’t have content anymore unless I am following links and links and links. No thanks. Just give me what you know and love and I will stay. Otherwise, I am leaving to find content somewhere that I do love.

  • http://simplycountrylife.blogspot.com Adina Johnson

    Beckie, I wanted to send a quick thank you for taking the time to write this series. As a brand new blogger, it is so helpful to me. I think I’ll have to find that blogging etiquette book.

    I found your blog through Layla at TLC when she featured you a while back and I love all 3 of your blogs. They are incredibly inspiring and keep me up at night with ideas running through my mind:) I started my blog as a way to be accountable to myself to get projects completed, however, I am loving the connectivity with other crafty, thrifty women.

    Again, thank you very much and keep the advice coming.

  • karen

    Thanks for that. I have long since given up on my blog. I still read a few but can’t
    Waste my day anymore trying to make it pretty and have no on e read. I do love your though
    Love reading blogs of folks in the same part of the country as me. Keep up the good work.

  • http://craftingintherain.blogspot.com Steph @ Crafting in the Rain

    My only HATE is that you didn’t post this sooner ;)
    I’m glad to hear that some things that people say are “rules” of having a successful and rapidly-growing blog aren’t necessarily things you have to do.
    I’m really happy with the way my blog has grown over the last year, and that’s without hosting giveaways or linky parties.

  • http://www.impartinggrace.com Richella @ Imparting Grace

    Oh, gosh, Beckie, you’ve put a lot of food for thought out there. Now I have all kinds of mixed emotions.

    I participate in several link parties, most of which are weekly. I try to make sure that my content is appropriate for the parties–for instance, I join Beth’s Tips and Tutorials when I have a tip or tutorial to share. But honestly for a small-to-medium blogger such as I am, it’s nice to have a place to link my posts. I work hard to create good content and to make friends in the blogging world. I know I’m never going to be a “big” blogger, but I would like to have more traffic, especially since I’m a BlogHer member.

    I’ve been blogging for three years and I’ve hosted a couple of link parties during that time. At one point I tried a weekly link party but it didn’t fly, so I discontinued it. So I recently started another weekly link party that IS pretty general, although I think its theme will keep it somewhat contained–it’s called “Grace at Home,” and while broad it’s a subject that I really care about. But maybe it was stupid of me to start a weekly party. I’ve already discovered it’s a lot of work! I try to be a good hostess and visit every link. I did email a few blogging friends and acquaintances to let them know about the party; now I’m really hoping that I wasn’t obnoxious with those.

    Hmmmm. I hope you don’t get any hate mail! I appreciate your being honest and making me think!

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      I think if you don’t mind the work and enjoy it then it is fine. I just feel like people start parties because they think they have to or that it is going to be this huge traffic boost or build this close-knit community. I am sure you have found none of those to be true. But if you are passionate about your party then it is probably right for you. I just know how much work goes into those (hours in front of a computer) especially if you take the time to visit and comment on the links and I would rather spend it doing a project. HA!

  • truebluemeandyou

    As a reader I love the themed link parties ie Hunger Games, Tim Burton, etc… I used to scan the link parties looking for projects or blogs to discover new content or projects but it’s just become overwhelming and I usually skip it now.

  • http://www.mybeautifulmessblog.com Heidi

    Amen, sista! I want community, not just pageviews. And definitely not other people soliciting my pageviews. I love me some linky parties, but I don’t feel they build community like they were intended to. Intentional, heartfelt comments and sharing content/spreading the love go so much farther in creating blogging relationships. And you, my dear, are such a great example of that.

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      Aha thanks Heidi. I am sorry i didn’t see your Gigipetals feature until later. I hope you do well at it. I did FB it out though, it was just later before I went to bed.

      • http://www.mybeautifulmessblog.com Heidi

        I noticed and totally appreciate it. The deal is up until the 7th, so it wasn’t late at all :-) Thanks for being my cheerleader :-)

  • http://www.balancinghome.com Megan

    I think this is great advice. I have been blogging for 9 months and when I first started I was overwhelmed by how much work it was. I wanted so badly for people to know I existed. I very much looked up to you and TT&J. I felt like I was the freshman trying out for cheerleading and you were the senior captains. I actually emailed you both telling you how much I admired what you had done and if you had any tips for a newbie. You took the time to send me a video response! TT&J kindly responded with some amazing tips as well. Very awesome! I know how many emails you get a day so that says volumes about your (and Jen’s) character. If people slow down and make those authentic comments and learn about other bloggers I think they will be surprised at the amazing community that exists. I have made some awesome blogging buddies just by commenting. One of those comments lead to a friendship that lead to an invitation into an awesome blogging group (with some big bloggers). Not only do I get to network now, but I get to be surrounded by strong, successful woman who build me up and give me the strength to keep going. I hope most people see this for what it is…great advice.

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      You go girl! I am glad you reached out and that we could help you. I love those kind of emails. I am glad you are experiencing success and support. Jen and I definitely aren’t senior captains of the cheerleading squad…well maybe Jen is…{giggle}. She is so sweet and my biggest cheerleader for sure. I never want to lose the interaction with my readers who do reach out to me.

  • http://www.chroniclesofanightowl.com Jennifer

    Coming out of “lurkdom” to add my comment! If you get any “hate” mail, then the sender has serious issues or a guilty conscience! I love this post…you nailed it and said what MANY bloggers think! But you didn’t even go as far as what was in my head! I miss the days of if you visit someone’s lblog and say something nice, they reciprocate. Now days it seems to be all about the traffic and numbers, and definitely not the community aspect anymore. I rarely blog these days, and that’s one of the reasons! Seems like after blogging became “the thing to do” a lot of the community aspect was lost. Back when people still looked at you strange if you told them you had a blog…to me, those were the “good” days!
    I wish someone would address etiquette when it comes to linking up as well. I’ve seen so many linky parties where you are supposed to be linking up something more specific – a theme, a recipe, something handmade, etc., and you find all kinds of links that don’t even belong there! And I don’t get why some will link up the SAME post week after week! Drives me nuts! I used to enjoy visiting blogs that are linked up, but it’s just not the same anymore, and it’s sad to me. When I was blogging regularly, I wasn’t doing it for numbers or traffic, it started out as just a way to keep connected with family. When “strangers” started leaving comments, I was quite surprised, because I’m not a writer, and just go on about my life…nothing special as I wasn’t trying to brand myself or anything. The nice bonus though was the friendships that were made and built along the way.
    Goodness…didn’t mean to go on and on…all I really wanted to say was, “Great post! and Glad you wrote it!”

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      Oh I know what you mean by the good ole days. Blogging has evolved so much over the years, some for good some for bad. I am constantly trying to figure out how to better build a community. I try my FB page because that is the only thing I can think of. But I am always looking for ways to connect with my readers.

  • http://ms-smartie-pants.blogspot.com/ Laura @ Ms Smartie Pants

    I agree with alot of what you said especially, we don’t need anymore linky parties. Honestly, I think everyone is just going and linking up and few are sharing the love. I have this vision of people trying to look at EVERY single link because they don’t want to miss a thing and so no time is spent on the blogs & no community is happening. And if we are being honest when I go to a party I glance thru the links to see what I might be interested in, there are many times when I can’t find anything of interest, nothing I can leave a nice comment on to be a nice party guest. Yes there are many amazing blogs out there but there is also alot of not so amazing stuff if you get my drift. I have been crafting for 30+ years and I’ve seen it time and time again, people try to jump on the bandwagon and come up with some crazy stuff, no we don’t need our flyswatter decorated cute to match the kitchen! That makes a girl go huh??! ! Now I am not trying to be mean, maybe I just added a line to What Every Blogger Wants You To Know! ;) As for invites, I have never had a linky party so I haven’t done that but I have been excited when I have gone to a blog and seen something very close to something I have made and I wanted them to see my version. To me it’s like saying “I can relate” If we are being honest I am over linky parties AND the host who never comment but it is the necessary work I have to do for now to get people to stop by. I don’t make money at this, just doing it for fun but if no one stops by and says hi it feels like I am whirling thru the land of Oz all by myself and that isn’t the feeling I was going for! I’ve said it before and I will continue to say it. I blog because it feels like I am hanging out with other ladies and crafting, much like a guitarist feels jammin with a band, if no one stops by and says anything I don’t feel like I am jammin much, so I play the linky game to get something started! It is a different world for those of who have started blogs more recently than it was for “the masters” who started a while back. Thanks for saying what many of us are feeling. I am new to your blog and really enjoying this honesty and sincerity!

  • http://OurHandsHisHands.blogspot.com Ashley

    I love this! Thank you for introducing me to this as such a new blogger. I love your conversation with Julia and hope to not get into the “I just NEED traffic!” mentality because I am honestly just loving sharing the printables I make for myself…it’s hard though when something gets big to think your next project needs to be even more successful (which they aren’t!). Any tips to get around feeling like you need to one-up yourself every time?
    Pinterest is where I get the most traffic from and I think I will start out being very discriminate on where I link up because I what I am hearing over and over is that content is where my focus needs to be.
    Thanks again, can’t wait till the next post in this series!

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      Since printables are your thing Pinterest should be your best friend. That is where you are going to get recognized and people will find you to join your community. If you keep loving doing printables your passion will shine and people are always grateful when you provide them with something.

  • http://vixenmade.blogspot.com Victoria

    Thank you for this!!! I am SO on board with you and I wish more people who do this would read this, too. They NEED to know. I blog too and I never wanted to lower myself to leaving those floozy comments. It makes you look fake, in my opinion. Anyways, I LOVE your honesty. And I also agree on those linky parties. Enough is enough people!

  • http://hatingmartha.com Janel@Hating Martha

    Great great great!! Good thoughts, good tips…wonderful!

  • http://angryjuliemonday.com Julie {Angry Julie Monday}

    Amen!!! Praise it B!!! I completely agree.

  • Marce

    Wow, look at all the LOVE mail! Honesty, IS the best policy! Way to go for it! Shows what you are made of…

  • http://www.sweetrosestudio.com Katie {Sweet Rose Studio}

    As a blogger who isn’t so much a newbie anymore, I just wanted to extend my own personal thank you for being ridiculously awesome.

    I’ve loved reading your “What Every Blogger Needs to Know” series, but this post is my absolute favorite. I love linking to parties where I know I can find lots of other ideas and where I can celebrate the successes of my peers. When I link up, it isn’t to have someone “spam” me with a “Come visit my link party here..” Ick.

    I definitely look up to your growth and your success, but I know that I need to put in the hard work, not spam others, to get there myself. :)

  • http://www.babesinhairland.com The Mom @ Babes in Hairland

    I personally have never hosted a linky party & have only participated in a few … mainly I guess because of what my blog is. It just isn’t something that is done in the hair blogging world and it’s not the same as all the crafy and DIY sites. Because of that I guess I’ve never really gotten into them or really thought good or bad about them but I totally can see your point & annoyance with them. Especially if it brings on the lame spam e-mails etc. That being said, I kind of look at Pinterest as the huge linky party that trumps them all! So like the others, I agree that you shouldn’t have been worried about the back lash on this post. Your knowledge and input on the blogging world is refreshing so just let your opinions fly! Afterall, this is YOUR blog! :) *hugs*

  • http://www.thebloominghydrangea.com ange

    Thanks for posting this. It needs to be said and you might get a few haters but I think most of us agree with you. You are a seasoned blogger and have the wisdom and knowledge to share with us newer bloggers and we need to listen. Thanks for this series, I’ve read it all and though I don’t comment often, THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

    Awwww thanks Colleen! Your comment means a lot to me. I am glad you connected with IC and that it inspires, encourages and makes you laugh.

    • Colleen

      You’re welcome! Now, if you could make my double post go away below, I’ll love you forever, lol! I promise I didn’t see this one when I resent it. Darn iPhone!

      • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

        Done! ;-)

  • Colleen

    As a blog reader, I want to thank you for this post. This has needed to be said for a long time. I have alwys thought it rude when someone leaves their link in a blog comment. You’re right, the blog world has changed a lot in the last few years. I used to look at link parties but there’s no way that I have that kind of time, there’s way too many! On the rare occasion that I do look, I am astounded when I see hundreds of links! I always think – are they kidding? Just who looks at those? It’s so overwhelming as a reader. I think they are kidding themselves, both the original link hosters and the linkers. Do they really get an increase in traffic? If so, can it be sustained? I applaud all the creative bloggers out there, it can’t be easy to come up creative ideas so often, not to mention all the time it takes to write clearly and succintly (esp the tutorials) and to take great pictures. You are definitely my favorite blogger, you are funny and you make it real for the rest of us who only wish we coukd be so creative! Keep up the good work!

  • http://missloviecreations.blogspot.com Allie

    Beckie,

    Great post. I have thought this forever. I definitely only link up to blogs that might direct lots of traffic back to me or those who I think would particularly love my project, giving me a better chance of getting featured. I’m glad you put this out there. I always feel bad about not linking up to those who ask, but now I don’t feel so bad about it!! :) :) I have somehow missed this series. I’m off to read more about it. Love your blog and your bloggy wisdom. ha!

    Allie

  • http://shakentogether.blogspot.com keri @ shaken together

    Beckie, this is such a great post!! I am a fairly small blog and I just started my first link party and decided that I was NOT going to comment with those “come add this to my link party” comments. And I won’t lie – that was a tough decision because there is such a drive for numbers and page views and comments in this community. Some days I feel like I am in high school again and this is one big fat popularity contest. But then every other day when I stumble across a blog or project that I LOVE from a link party, get a really genuine comment (or even a question!!) or find a blogger who makes me feel like we were separated at birth … it makes it all worth it!

  • http://www.sandandsisal.com Kim @ Sand & Sisal

    When you posted last night that you were apprehensive about the next day’s post, I privately wondered (and hoped) if this was going to be the topic, and it was! Many of us consider you as one of the core founders/leaders of our niche and respect the time, effort, creativity, and class you have brought to build this evolving field. I’ve been waiting to see if the leaders would take a risk to put their necks out there, take a stand, and express the growing concern we’ve been seeing. You did! Thank you Beckie!

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      WOW KIM…that means a lot to me.

  • http://intheoldroad.blogspot.com Shasta Farrar

    I’m a new-ish blogger (6 months) and wanted to do something new for my blog. I chose to host a linky party but not the usual “link up your project” type. I thought that there was enough of those in blogland and I wanted to do something different. Something that would reveal something about that person and would promote blog “hopping”. I attempted this on 3/25 but it wasn’t well received. People seemed to like the idea when I talked about the upcoming party on my blog but few linked up. I NEVER sent emails asking people to link up….only spread the word on my blog and my fb page. Never the less, only a few people actually linked up. It was disappointing
    I still want to do something “different” on my blog (that is FUN and encourages socializing) but don’t know what to try next. I’m very disillusioned and stumped for ideas.

    To add to the linky party debate, I appreciate when a blogger leaves me a message THANKING me for linking to their party. Like many have said before, comments mean everything. I also think REPLYING to comments left on your blog is important too. It’s something that bloggers can do and I think is good etiquette also.

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      I agree but it is so hard to respond back to comments. I do try and respond to some of them but I don’t have enough time in the day to do it as well as produce quality content. I hope that isn’t offensive it is just where I am at. If you are passionate about the linky party then continue on. I don’t know the answer on how to get more interaction. It is the thing that bums me most about the evolving blog world.

      • http://intheoldroad.blogspot.com Shasta Farrar

        I certainly don’t take the “no response to comments” as offensive…esp. for bloggers, such as yourself, that have so many comments on a post. I have so few comments that I guess it’s alot easier for me. Thank you SO MUCH for your input. When seasoned bloggers share their thoughts and past experiences it HELPS new bloggers SO MUCH. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the “what every blogger wants you to know” series!

  • http://www.shabbynest.blogspot.com Wendy @ The Shabby Nest

    I LOVE this post Beckie!!! Thank you for being brave enough to write it. I have hosted a weekly linky party for a few years now. I built it the old fashioned way. There was no twitter when I started it..and I wasn’t even really on Facebook at the time. I started it, and told my readers about it, and it grew. slowly. very slowly. Now it is quite large, but that is due to word of mouth…not to unsolicited comments or emails. And that’s what I wish most new bloggers really understood. It takes A LOT of time, patience and hard work to grow your blog. But it is worth it because taking that time, being patient and networking with other bloggers is rewarding. Even if your blog doesn’t end up being “HUGE” you will have built relationships that will last a life time…and isn’t that what’s really important in this world? Thanks again for sharing this. You’re a gem.

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      Thanks Wendy for taking time to comment and support me ;-)

    • http://www.thebackyardbungalow.com Jean

      That IS the whole reason I started my blog. I’m from a small town in Montana and there’s only one other person AN HOUR AWAY that does what I do. I really just wanted to connect with other women who have similar interests.

  • http://www.thebackyardbungalow.com Jean

    Oh, what a relief!!!!! I just started my blog 2 weeks ago and recently read on a blog that stated you HAD to do linky parties in order to get traffic. They even used the revised quote “if you build it they won’t come” unless you do linky parties. Those things are exhausting! And then I can’t remember which project I linked to what party…oy! (Also, I try to only link to blogs that I’m already subscribed to…otherwise it feels like taking something for granted). I’m also kinda shy about leaving comments. I feel stalker-ish and creepy just telling somebody I like their style, or what a creative idea…especially when I don’t get a comment back even though my comment is sincere. (is that weird?) It feels a little like just one more salmon in the stream. I guess I’ll just keep plugging away and hope that what I do inspires others and I as long as I enjoy doing it. Thanks so much for this post…I already feel a huge release in pressure!

  • http://www.christineandcoblog.com Christine

    Thank you Beckie!

  • http://funkyjunkinteriors.blogspot.ca/ Funky Junk Interiors

    Well stated Beckie! I also grew my link party the old fashioned way… via word of mouth, features and good ‘ol time. Thanks for bringing this touchy topic up in such a positive way! And I love Kim’s response… so well put!

    Donna

    • http://www.onthebanksofsquawcreek.blogspot.com Katie @ On the Banks of Squaw Creek

      Putting my reply here because it relates to Donna.

      I am really picky with what linky parties I link to. I find that the bigger, longer lasting parties are more worth my time. Until Pinterest came along, Funky Junk’s party was my biggest referrer. And I think it’s because it’s more specific.

      I’m also picky about what kinds of posts I link to what parties. I would never link a parenting post to Donna’s party. I only link up projects that I think she or her readers would truly like.

      Isn’t it funny how this big ol’ internet world changes? Linky parties used to get me so much more traffic. Now, like you said, the “ultimate” linky party is what does it for me. Gets me traffic, but doesn’t get me the community I used to have!

      Anyway, I’m getting off track. Great post and I whole-heartedly agree!

  • http://www.houseofhepworths.com Allison @ House of Hepworths

    Beckie, great post! I’m glad you wrote it. I have so many different thoughts I want to say, but I’ll try to keep it brief.

    Before I forget, I have to comment on Kim from seven thirty three’s comment. I am in the same boat. I started my party so long ago that I feel obligated to keep doing it week in and week out, but let me just say, I don’t really like hosting a link party. I’m on party #94 and every week I dread Wednesday night when I have to sit down and “do my link party”. Even my kids are like, “Oh crap, it’s Wednesday. Mom can’t play with us tonight because it’s her LINK PARTY night.”

    I started my party two years ago as a way to meet other bloggers. I loved looking through all the links and featuring my favorite ones. That is the only part I actually love about my link party. I still look through every single link (even though most weeks I have more than 700 links) and pick out my favorite 12 from the group to feature the following week. I love supporting other bloggers and helping them grow.

    You bring up a good point as well: Pinterest. I have started “featuring” all my favorite posts by simply pinning them on pinterest. I’m starting to think that Pinterest will eventually be the complete replacement for link parties. It’s the big huge link party high in the sky that will make every small bloggers dreams come true. Get pinned on pinterest with someone who has a lot of followers, and then just sit back and watch your content spread like wildfire.

    The only reason I haven’t stopped my link party is because everyone that comments on it seems to love it so much. I don’t want to let everyone else down by stopping my party that seems to be so popular. As long as it continues to help other bloggers shine, I will continue doing it.

    Man, this comment is all over the place. Sorry. I don’t even know where I’m going with this.

    I will say though, I HATE getting comments that say “come to my link party”. Not only are they asking me to go to their link party, I feel like they are using my traffic to try to get more traffic to their party. An email to me is bad enough, but a comment on my blog is worse. They might as well be saying, “Hey all you HoH fans, please come to my link party”. I love helping other bloggers, but I hate feeling used. And a comment like that makes me feel used.

    Sometimes I’ll delete the comment. It just pisses me off so much.

    And as for emailing me your spam? OMG, I can’t take it! I get so much spam every day. I will admit, back when I was a newer blogger and didn’t know any better, I have spammed my readers. Most of the emails were read or deleted, but I did have a few people reply to take them off my email list. I got one email that wasn’t nice at all about it.

    I felt so horrible that I had done that, that I vowed never to spam ever again. And that is when I signed up with aweber to host a newsletter for me. To get spam from me you have to subscribe to my newsletter that I pay $20 a month to use. I will only email out my newsletter, never just a list of my readers. This way, you signed up for the newsletter and have agreed to the spam. And you can unsubscribe at any time. I put that power back into the hands of my readers. I want them to have a choice if I spam them or not.

    Funny thing is though, I hardy ever use my newsletter service. I send out probably 2 a year? Every time I send one out I have 2 or 3 unsubscribers from it, and that makes me feel so bad that now I’m afraid to even send it out at all! It sounds so stupid, I know. I really don’t want to spam my readers though, so I try to avoid sending out spam as much as possible.

    And here’s where the spam and link party collide. I save all my spam and announcements for my link party each week. If I have something random to say to everyone that doesn’t fit into a post, I save it and mention it at the top of my link party each week. So I guess it’s my spam party. lol

    Anyway, this is too long and a lot of rambling, so I’ll stop now. I should have collected my thoughts before I started typing.

    Bottom line, great post. I agree. You are awesome and rock, as always. Glad we’re friends!

    Allison @ House of Hepworths

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      HAHA you crack me up Allison. Love it all and love how you share on Pinterest. I have noticed that about you and I think that is cool! You are right small bloggers have a chance to get noticed because of Pinterest. People will come and see great ideas and follow them because of it. Pinterest has changed everything hasn’t it?

  • http://designdininganddiapers.com Taryn

    THANK YOU FOR PUSHING PUBLISH!!!! Amen to all of this! You are such an inspiration and I really appreciate you publishing this. There are so many link parties it’s overwhelming and I feel like new ones are popping up every day. There was a time when I considered starting one just because ‘everyone was doing it’ but I quickly realized that we don’t need any more link parties out there. You are right, it’s not the key to success, it’s producing amazing content! I’m still learning the ropes in this blogging world, but I agree with everything you said in this post. I used to link up to all of the party invites I got through comments/emails just to be nice but now I just hit delete. On a few occasions I think it can be a nice gesture for a party ‘host’ to invite people to her party… but let’s circle back to the main point of the post, we don’t need any more weekly link parties! Let’s focus on all of the really great ones already out there :)

    Thanks, Beckie!!!

  • http://sassafrassalvation.blogspot.com/ Kathy Brenden

    Beckie, Hi! I’m guilty. I’m a newbie blogger – under a year – and I am just looking around, trying to do what I do – doing some good stuff, writing decent content, slowly building my readership, but clearly making mistakes along the way. I have to say, though, that without posts like these- that tell the hard truth – it’s difficult sometimes to judge whether or not I’m on a good path or not. Early on, I would get “What a great project! Come link up!” comments, and I was flattered, so I would run over to link up. Now, having been guilty of doing a similar thing, I realize that the generic, copy-and-paste comment really meant nothing. I will say, in my defense, that when I’ve left a “link-up-invite” type comment, I precede it with a genuinely heartfelt and personalized high-five. And I’ve always taken time to read the relevant blog post before I invite. Occasionally, I wish they’d link up just so that I have a sort of bookmark to get back to that great post – but, I guess that’s what my Pinterest account is for. In any case, I’m a learner, and today, I’ve learned something new. Thanks for that. I keep growing, personally and as a blogger.

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      I love you open teachable posture Kathy. That is awesome. Keep building content and slowly growing, it is that kind of growth that sustains in the long run.

  • http://www.serenitynowblog.com Amanda @ Serenity Now

    Great post, Beckie!!! I might just be quoting you a few times since I’m currently running a series on link parties.

    I whole-heartedly agree with you—it seems like everyone and their uncle hosts one, and they’re all the same party. No one even bothers to stop and read the hostess’ guidelines or to see if there is a theme. They just link up. My party is supposed to be a spot for readers to link up their BEST post of the week, yet somehow I see people linking up 6, 7, 8 posts (one person linked up 14!!). I started deleting the extra ones. ;)

    I link up to a few select parties each week, but I am picky about them. Depending on a bunch of link parties for your traffic seems sort of desperate and unwise.

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      Quote away. I will check out your series now!

  • http://www.organizingmadefun.com Becky@OrganizingMadeFun

    Well, said, Beckie! I have realized that I have worked harder at becoming creative to bring traffic to my blog – as well as others by interacting with others in my niche and working together. I appreciate all your said as it is really all true. I’ve never had a weekly link party – don’t plan to – and my blog is growing steadily. It really IS a lot of work…and the longer you blog, the more content you have when people find you :)

    Becky B.
    http://www.organizingmadefun.com
    Organizing Made Fun

  • http://dollarstorecrafts.com Heather – Dollar Store Crafts

    Totally spot on – I can’t think of a way someone would even argue with this post!

  • http://bingecrafter.blogspot.com Angela

    Thank you SO much for finally telling people to lay off the linky parties! When I started trying to promote my blog last year, I read in SO many places that starting a linky party was one of the best ways to get people to come to your site. I tried some “themed” linky parties like you suggested and only got one or two posts, which was disappointing, so I knew I certainly wouldn’t have any success with this method of gaining traffic. For the last 6 months, almost half of the comments I’ve been getting on my blog are invitations to someone else’s party. It feels disingenuous and I’d rather they not comment at all. Thanks for saying what needed to be said!

  • http://creationsfromboncloddyst.blogspot.com Natasha @ Creations From Boncloddy St.

    As a new blogger, I really appreciate posts like these ones which offer some insight and guidance into blogging etiquette. I think it’s great for everyone to share ideas, tutorials, and projects with each other, but I agree that there’s a difference between sharing and spamming.

    Thanks Beckie for the advice in this post! and well for all your posts…I am unashamed to say that I am addicted to your blogs!

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      I love addicts! Smooches sister!

  • http://www.dollarstoremom.com breanna

    you’re gonna get a lot of mail over this, that’s for sure…but it’s not going to be hate mail. you’re gonna reap a harvest of people following your advice to “Send your favorite blogger an email telling them they inspire you asking for nothing in return (I bet they will visit your blog if you do this one, I know I do)”…so I hope you’re ready for that!

    I join the the throngs of people who are grateful you wrote this post. I remember when I first started blogging (just about a year ago) and I received my first invitation to join someone’s linky party I was SO FLATTERED and so excited like “people like what I’m doing! I’m making it!!!” and so I scooted over to the linky party and started clicking around the other linked projects and saw….THE SAME COMMENT ON EVERY BLOG. i felt devastated. my heart just sank. I know it was a lame newbie thing to fall for it at all…but i fell hard!

    trolling for link ups is like going to someone’s fancy dinner party and saying, “This is the most beautiful party i’ve ever been to! Would you come and do just exactly this at MY house so lots of people will come and think I’m awesome? I could really use a few more friends but I’m not in the mood to actually try and MAKE any friends.”

    maybe that was silly and harsh.

    What I appreciate most about this post is that you didn’t just proclaim “LINKY PARTIES ARE NOT THE WAY TO BUILD YOUR COMMUNITY!!!” and leave it at that…you told us *how* to build our communities. and that is a PRICELESS gift! us newbies tend to wander around aimlessly trying to figure out how to get noticed, how to make friends, how to connect with other people and bloggers…how to feel like we fit and belong and that someone is glad we’re here…but most of the tips we find are vague and cliche.

    so thank you for giving us real and valuable advice for building genuine and meaningful relationships with our readers and with each other. with the blogging train speeding ever faster down the “get as much traffic as possible!!!” track, it’s a brilliant reminder of *why* the majority of us are here to begin with, and a much needed call to action to each do our part not lose sight of that!

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      Dude sister, you are an amazing writer. Well thought out. Thank you very much for your comment. I have such a huge desire to be a role model and mentor for other bloggers so I appreciate it when people find what I say valuable. Sometimes I feel like everything is common sense but it isn’t – blogging has evolved into something I would have never thought it would and people don’t understand how to build community. It is a slow process for sure.

  • http://one-girl-vs-world.blogspot.com Laurel Ann

    I, for one, am really very glad that you got the courage to hit publish! Newer bloggers, like me, are likely to be unaware of some of the less-talked-about rules and guidelines. I found your post really helpful and I’m glad to actually see some of this actually written out instead of implied or hidden in criticism. THANK YOU!

  • http://www.addicted2decorating.com Kristi @ Addicted 2 Decorating

    I have mixed feelings about the new link parties. I know that there is a sentiment among some that the already-established parties should be supported, and no new parties should be started. But I think one problem is that, frankly, linking to a party with 700 other links and microscopic thumbnails simply isn’t fun. You get lost in a sea of other projects that are all competing for attention and clicks.

    As far as I know, I’m the only blogger who actually limits the number of entries every week, and I keep my parties VERY small–only 100 entries allowed, with very large thumbnails. And then two days per week, I dedicate to highlighting others’ projects that were linked. That way it truly is about helping people get traffic to their blogs, and not about me seeing how popular I am. I’ve had many people tell me that they love my tiny little link party is their favorite because they get a ton of traffic from it, whereas they just get lost in the big parties. To me, that’s what a link party is about. It’s not about me; it’s about showing off others’ hard work and accomplishments. Frankly, I wish more bloggers would come to appreciate the value of keeping link parties small, if their motive is truly to help the “small bloggers” get noticed.

    I definitely hate the canned comments. They’re so self-serving. I do hesitate to lump all link party invites into the same category. On the off chance that I ever invited someone to my link party, it would be because I was really impressed with their project and knew I definitely wanted to feature it on my blog. But hopefully that would come across in the comment, and it wouldn’t be taken as a canned, self-serving comment.

    Wow, sorry to write a novel here! :-D It’s a great topic, and definitely one we all need to be sensitive about. And most certainly, comments should always be genuine. Trying to wrap a self-serving comment up in a fake compliment is so incredibly transparent that I’d be surprised if anyone couldn’t see right through it.

    Great series, Beckie! Really enjoying reading your thoughts on these topics!

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      Kristi I ABSOLUTELY love love love that you limit the number of people who get to link up. I also think your motivation is awesome in setting aside two days to feature other people’s projects. I actually might go check your party out. That is intriguing.

    • http://havoc-to-heaven.com Missi at Havoc-to-Heaven

      Love the idea of keeping it small. I started following you today based on your comment, I wanted to see more. Your blog is wonderful! Missi

    • http://www.houseofhepworths.com Allison @ House of Hepworths

      I just need to comment on this one sentence you said,

      “I wish more bloggers would come to appreciate the value of keeping link parties small, if their motive is truly to help the “small bloggers” get noticed.”

      I’m glad what you are doing works for you, but just because it’s how you do it does not mean everyone should do it the same exact way. Your way is great for you, but you know what? The way I run my link party is best for me and my blog.

      I don’t limit my party and I don’t keep it as small as possible because I want everyone who happens to stumble upon my party to be able to share their posts with everyone else.

      Not everyone that comes to my party will look at every single link, but I do. I look at them all. And I don’t care if you have 15,000 followers or 2 followers, if I like your post, I will feature it the next week. I never pick posts based on who my friends are or who has more followers.

      Yes, you might be one of 700 links, but if you get featured at my party, it will drive lots of traffic to your site. I also pin all my featured projects each week, and that board has almost 13k followers, so in my opinion getting featured by me gives bloggers a pretty great launch pad.

      So, like I said, a small party works for you, and I think that is wonderful! Please just keep in mind that the world does not run on one idea alone. There’s not one right way to skin a cat. We all can do things differently. There’s not just one right way to host a link party.

      • http://www.houseofhepworths.com Allison @ House of Hepworths

        Oh, and one more thing.. I hope this goes without saying, but the #1 reason I run a link party is to help other bloggers out. I really get nothing in return for hosting each week. It’s a Pain in my you-know-what to run it, I don’t really enjoy doing it, and the only thing I get out of it is knowing I’m helping other bloggers shine and get noticed. So to infer that my motive might not be to help other bloggers get noticed b/c I keep my party open to as many as want to play is just insulting to me.

        • http://www.addicted2decorating.com Kristi @ Addicted 2 Decorating

          I said “more bloggers”, not “all bloggers”. I don’t know why you thought my comment was addressed to you in particular. It was in reference to the larger topic of the blog post, and especially in reference to the idea that hosting a link party in hopes that it’ll grow into some massive TT&J-type link party is THE way to drive traffic to one’s blog. And it is clear by the comments I see all the time on Facebook and on blog posts that many bloggers use their link parties to gauge their popularity. I see comments all the time like, “Wow, I had over 450 links last week! Let’s see if we can break that this week!” It all seems very silly to me.

        • http://ms-smartie-pants.blogspot.com/ Laura @ Ms Smartie Pants

          Allison, You have a lot of great points and I agree, the only thing that got me is when you say you do this for all of us, I know I join often but if you don’t like it and your family doesn’t like it, maybe it’s time to do something different.

    • http://www.thebackyardbungalow.com Jean

      Kristy, you do an AMAZING job of highlighting other blogger’s work! I really admire that about you. I see you do it on facebook all the time and I probably should have commented there…I just wanted you to know you’re appreciated.

  • http://through-my-is.blogspot.com Alicia

    Hi! I am a blogger and longtime reader of yours. I loved this post and thought I’d add my two cents. I try to leave comments on every post I read that inspires me. I hate seeing something on Pinterest with like 50 repins and not one comment on the person’s post. As a blogger, I get about 2000 pageviews per month now (since Pinterest!) and rarely get even one comment. I feel like community would be built if people would actually comment sometimes!

    • http://www.atthepicketfence.com Heather @At The Picket Fence

      Alicia,

      I couldn’t agree with you more! I think this is a good practice regarding Pinterest. I posted a dessert two days ago that has all of 7 comments (and I’m so grateful for each one) but normally we get quite a few more than that BUT it’s been pinned already dozens and dozens of times. So funny. Anyway, I try and visit the blogs of projects I pinned and let them know how awesome I think their idea was. I’m just trying to look at “pins” as another form of commenting… I guess it still speaks to them liking my project, recipe, etc.

      Heather

      • http://www.through-my-is.blogspot.com Alicia

        I am also very happy that Pinterest has increased my number of readers because my main goal is for people to read my blog and enjoy/be inspired by it. I also make it a point to comment on posts that I love. This was a very thought provoking post!

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      Yes it sure has changed. That is what my next post is about..I think!

    • http://sassafrassalvation.blogspot.com/ Kathy

      I agree with your comment – absolutely. My most-clicked post is entirely due to Pinterest – it’s been clicked 3,800 times. I think that’s pretty wild, especially in terms of how tiny my blog is in comparison to the Goliaths out there. But that same post has 8 – count ‘em – 8 comments. So, you out there, you love it enough to pin it, but not enough to tell me why or how much you like it? *sigh*

  • http://www.lilluna.com Kristyn

    Great post, Beckie! Seriously, girl – it’s awesome. I say ‘amen’ to everything you just said! There should be no reason to get ANY hate mail for this post cuz it’s the truth. PS – you going to SNAP?

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      Sho enough! i got a hug earmarked for you!

  • http://kristinsveranda.com/vignettes Kristin

    Sooooo true Beckie! Thanks for having the guts to share! I hope your positive feedback from it far outweighs any negative that might come. Happy Thursday!

  • http://www.homemadefrontier.com Kristin

    Every time I leave a comment from now one I’ll be thinking about it being a virtual high five.

    I’m starting 2 new blogs and I keep thinking- I just need a great Linky idea. But I don’t. I need good content, lots of it. Thank you!

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      Good luck on your new endeavors. You will do great if you focus on the things that are important!

  • http://lemonsqueezyhome.com Christie

    These posts are great:). Thank you for sharing them! I agree with them all 100% so far!

  • http://havoc-to-heaven.com Missi at Havoc-to-Heaven

    I can’t tell you the weight you have lifted off my shoulders by publishing this post today. I am a new blogger and I spend everyday with the guiltys trying to keep up with these linky parties. I don’t know who I am supposed to link with – how many times – when – AAACCCKKK – HELP!

    I am just going to stick with my 2 or 3 link parties of blogs I really like and respect and not try to be everything to everybody. I feel better already.

    I tend to be an “instant gratification” kinda gal and it has been hard waiting for followers and views, but I know if I keep up the content and stay passionate – they will come. Thanks for reiterating this for me!!

  • Julia B

    Love it! A big high five to you! I have been worries about blogging for awhile. I had a blog and I like to blog but I often worry if I am sharing the right things. But then I realized… It doesn’t matter! If I am truthful and honest ad sharing things i care about then “if I build it, they will come” and if not Oh well! Thanks for sharing :)

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      Good for you Julia. That is the exact place you should be. I want to keep encouraging you to be in that place. If you are true to who you are and passionate about what you are sharing people see that and they are drawn to you.

      • Julia @ Blue-J Cottage

        Thanks! Auto correct sucks… I have been WORRIED and I do HAVE a blog. Oh my… Gotta love technology!

  • http://Littlemudpies.blogspot.com Lindsay

    You are awesome! Thanks so much for writing this! I can’t imagine you getting any hate mail from this, because honestly in the end you are just trying to HELP and are being honest. There is nothing I find more annoying than the emails asking me to join their link party. Or the comments asking me to follow them back. I’m still new in the blog world and I am trying to make my mark, but I want people to follow me because they like what I have to say. I am so glad I found your blog, I can’t wait to read more. Thanks for being so honest.

  • http://snicketythings.blogspot.com/ Renonda

    Thank you for helping out the new bloggers! I am relatively (read “very”) new to blogging with my craft blog. I had done it on and off with a family blog for a few years. I read through all 96 comments you already have (at this time) on this post and was happy to see you didn’t have any hateful comments. I am starting to learn that I don’t have to link to all the parties (trying to weed down what I do link to by what actually brings me traffic now, surprisingly it isn’t the bigger parties) and I have already begun to ignore the posts saying “come link here.” Ironically, I found you through a link party. Not something you linked up of course, but I clicked on a link in a party that ultimately led me to you. (I really do click on a lot of the links in any party I linked to).

    I am really looking forward to learning more on your insights of blogging. These are unbelievably helpful (like clicking through on the RSS feeds, didn’t realize that one) and actually relieve a bit of stress of posting.

  • http://erinscreative.blogspot.com Erin

    I love the honesty you put out there! Keep it up.

  • http://adventures-in-mommy-land.blogspot.com/ Charlene @ Adventures In Mommy Land

    Ok, I admit it, I am guilty (or at least I WAS) guilty for posting “come to my linky party” comments when I first started my link parties. I have one now that I do consistently, the other one, I just let fall by the wayside and quit. I realized how much I didn’t like getting those same types of comments and how I didn’t always have the time to link to other people’s link parties. So I stopped doing it myself.

    I am of the opinion now that if they come and link up – fantastic! but I don’t want a reputation of beng a spammer, so I no longer “go fishing” for link ups.

  • http://www.readingconfetti.com Lorie

    I totally agree with you! Thanks for putting this out there!

  • http://thriftydecorating-nikkiw.blogspot.com/ Nicole@Thrifty Decorating

    hanks, Beckie, you are exactly right about people gleaning traffic with comments. I feel like I rarely get a sincere comment any more without an invitation to link and I find that once I link to a smaller party then I am on an email invitation list and my inbox gets jammed up.

    For me, what has grown fastest is my FB page and I think that it’s because it is devoted completely to featuring other people’s work. I truly enjoy finding great projects and highlighting them.

    Hope that most of your feedback has been positive! :) Thanks for taking the risk to share!

  • http://myfabulesslife.blogspot.com Jenn

    This post is AWESOME! I’ve actually had a few come-to-my-party comments that I truly felt were genuine and made some good things happen for my blog, but for the most part, I have to agree that it’s sort of a slap in the face to have someone stop by and leave a comment about something you think is great, only to find out it’s a very disingenuous comment so you’ll come over to their blog. In all honesty, when I was new to this I always linked up to these because I thought, “hey, they’re taking the time to stop by. They think it’s great, are going to feature this and it will drive traffic.” It’s a yucky feeling when you find how “fake” it all can be-and fairly discouraging. While I’ve made a few great relationships through the linky parties, they’ve become a mixed bag for me lately because I’m even feeling like a lot of bloggers come over from the parties and leave “token” comments so you’ll come follow them as well. I always make a point to leave comments when I truly feel something is awesome. And I don’t say that with any sort of superiority, I just want to “do unto others..” ya’ know? ;) And I have to say AMEN to the social networking thing! I’m a VERY small blogger at this point, and have had some GREAT response lately just by sharing other bloggers posts, through Twitter & Facebook, that I genuinely thought were great and wanted to share. As a result, they’ve actually visited my blog and featured some of my stuff. And I’ll tell you, as a smaller blogger, to be featured by a blogger whose work you greatly admire, and who has come to your blog without even a link party, is a really great feeling. INCREDIBLY validating! Anyway, I’m rambling, so I’ll leave it at that. But bottom line–GREAT POST! Thanks!

  • http://www.aturtleslifeforme.com Natalie @ A Turtle’s Life for Me

    I have to run and get my kids from the bus stop, so I apologize if this was already mentioned in the comments (aaah, a mother before a blogger!!)…

    One of the reasons I started my link party this year, was because it seemed that the majority of the parties I was visiting were overwhelming. If a party has over 200 or so links, I just think it’s much too easy to get lost in the sea of thumbnails and captions. And, really, a link party isn’t about me trying to get traffic for myself… it’s about trying to give all these followers who have gotten me to where I am, a moment to shine! I’ve been having my link party for about 3 months now and I normally only get about 50 links. Sometimes I wonder if the people linking up wish I tried to promote it and got more, but I love the small, intimate size. It feels like we’re all just hanging out sharing our goodies. And, really, if I keep it small then they have a much better chance of being spotlighted, now don’t they?!

    I truly do understand what you’re saying about the plethora of parties out there (and I’m also a fan of the themed ones), but sometimes those long-term ones by the huge bloggers aren’t really what people are looking for. I’m not saying they’re bad, because obviously if hundreds of people are linking up then many more people are looking for that than are looking for the small parties. But, my perspective is, even if it’s just my few people that like my small party, then that’s good enough for me. I’m not out to impress the whole blogging world… just to enjoy it with the people I’ve built a community with.

    Thanks again for your thoughts and taking the time to express them so well! I’m enjoying this series and have learned so much from you!

  • http://www.thosecraftysisters.com Linda

    Wow, there are so many comments, already, but I’m going to leave mine anyway, lol.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you this post because I was going NUTS trying to keep up with all the linky parties I thought I should be submitting my work to and feeling overwhelmed by the number of people who had posted ahead of me. I was beginning to wonder why I ever started this whole thing! But now I remember…it’s because people kept saying, “You do such cool work, you should start a blog,” and because it’s just plain fun.

    (And btw, thank you also for your genuine, heartfelt comment. Very much appreciated! You’re the first blogger I actually ever subscribed to–I think I chose very well. :)

  • Lucrecia

    Such good advice, and I don’t even blog (I have one, and I have been toying with the idea of actually *gasp* posting regularly). Originally I loved linky parties as they could be counted on for some wonderful inspiration. Now I find that 1/2 of the things linked are either not what they claim to be or in blatant conflict with the rules of the hosting blog. How rude is that?!?!?!

  • http://plumdoodles.com SheilaG @ Plum Doodles

    Beckie, you don’t know what a blessing you are. I’ve been blogging for about 6 months. I get so overwhelmed with trying to keep up with others (and fail miserably). Who would have thought blogging could have so many pitfalls? I’ve been spending way too much time linking up to parties and feeling frustrated with the results. Thank you for permission to not have a linky party and also to pick & choose where I want to participate. :)

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      {giggle} You are welcome. HA!

  • http://www.aprettylifeinthesuburbs.com/ Jo-Anna

    Hi Beckie! I think this is a really great post… there are so many blogs, blog hops, link parties, and social media outlets that it’s hard to know what is the best way to grow a blog! And I too have noticed an increase in these types of e-mails “great project, come link up” and mass e-mails letting me know a link party is up and running. I really, really dislike these as well. But I have this fear and guilt that if I ask someone to please stop with the e-mails my ‘name’ will get out there and the hate for my blog will start. So for now I just delete them…
    So anyway, I just wanted to thank you for your bravery with hitting publish on this post. Maybe the message on better blog etiquette will spread nicely now!
    Jo-Anna

  • http://www.theinternetmademe.com Carrie @ The Internet Made Me Do It

    WTG Beckie! No hate mail – just sending you tons of love for your awesome post. I was actually wondering last night if you were going to post more about blogging, and this afternoon WHOLA! Now, I’m going to secretly wonder if I’ll win a trip to the Bahamas….

    I gave up on linky parties a few weeks ago when I realized that I was linking up at number 400+, just for the sake of linking, and I didn’t really see anyone else’s projects – I scrolled quickly, and what I did catch I had seen before. I’ve noticed another blog I follow has recently been hosting themed linky parties, and although I didn’t have a post to share, I was curious!

    So keep rocking the free world – I’m still here, and reading every word you’re sharing!

  • http://www.momslittlerunningbuddy.com Katie @momslrb

    I have only been blogging a couple years but feel exactly like you do I just didn’t have the guts to say it! I respect you for it and take NO OFFENSE to it.

    GO YOU!!

  • http://www.atthepicketfence.com Vanessa

    Holy moly cannoli! This is just such a fantastic discussion and your post was super awesome Beckie! I can see that my sister already left a comment up above so I won’t say much more. ;-) But, I just have to add that as party hostesses we truly and sincerely appreciate every single person who takes the time to come over and link up. I started our party 2 years ago when I was a newbie blogger and found that I often had posts I wanted to share but they weren’t DIY or decorating related so I didn’t know where to go with them. So I started Inspiration Friday and was just so thrilled when even one person linked up! And you know what, it still thrills me to this day when we hit the publish button on our party and then we see the first handful of folks linking up. I feel so honored that anyone would take the time to come and share their lives with us and that we can provide a platform for them to do that. We have folks who link up now who also linked up 2 years ago when it first started and we truly treasure them! What I absolutely HATE is the “dine and ditch” mentality of linking up to parties where people link up and then never leave us a comment…never ever…week after week with no ‘hey thanks for hosting’. And, the other thing I struggle with is party hostesses being so concerned about “growing” their party! The intentions are all wrong. If it doesn’t happen organically then maybe it just wasn’t meant to be, you know? I really believe that sincere, genuine and appreciative party hosts matched with sincere, genuine and appreciative party guests is the true recipe for a successful par-tay! :-)
    Thank you so much for your honest and heart-felt words of wisdom and encouragement! I think a movement is starting, don’t you? ;-)
    Vanessa

  • http://www.vickiodell.com Vicki

    Great post Beckie & HI FIVE! :)

  • http://asthecardrackturns.blogspot.com/ Donna Huisinga

    I’m a newbie and this is wonderful information. I have been thinking that one of the reasons I am not seeing my numbers grow or my comments increase is because I am not linking up to enough parties since that is what everyone seems to preach. I reallly am tryng to build good content and will continue along this path and just try to be patient. It’s just hard to be such a little fish in an enormous sea! There are so many wonderful blogs. But when I do get some encouragement or a compliment, it is so uplifing and inspiring, and makes it all worthwhile. Thanks again for saying what we needed to hear.

  • http://www.beneathmyheart.net Traci

    Perfectly presented, Beckie!
    Thank you.

  • http://www.popsandpodge.com Christie @ Pops and Podge

    Wow! I am so happy you posted about this! Me and my blog partner have been debating this very same issue. We wanted to start a linky party and now I am feeling….no. I have been feeling that there are WAY too many linky parties out there! And have been hard at work linking up to my favorites but have been getting many canned invites as well. My feeling is, if I like your blog and I have a project I would like to share or get some exposure on then I WILL post it. I don’t need an invite. Blogging could be a full time job and is for many of you, so save your time, just host a good party and have some good content and features to motivate us to come and share. Beckie, I feel like you are just this wealth of information…please continue to overflow all of it onto us. Heaven knows we need to know!

  • Jennifer

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Your honest words about the back end of blogging are much more than inspirational… they are enlightening and educational. As one of the little ole’ beginning bloggers out in the world – It’s appreciated more than you know !!!

  • http://www.thespacebetweenblog.wordpress.com Karah @ thespacebetweenblog

    Another great installation in your series Beckie! And what a hot topic right now. I think Beth’s fb discussion was very interesting. I can only speak for myself, as a blogger of less than 6 months…and on the outside looking in (pre blog) it is such a fun, supportive, encouraging group of gushing comments and all around love. I don’t even recall seeing the invite comments, pre-blog, but I probably would have just thought ‘how awesome that must be to be invited to a party’. :)
    Once knee deep in blogging, and learning about link parties, and seeing some youngish blogs with thousands of followers…and then experiencing the “insincere invites” and the “i followed you, follow me back”…the thought occurs, “oh, that’s how blogs grow”.
    I am really glad to see this discussion being had because that is obviously not the only way to grow a blog, and clearly is not the original way of growing this niche among veteran bloggers…which encourages a young blogger like myself to continue on my own path. I may grow slower than others, and I may not reach as many bloggers as quickly as I’d like because I tend to get lost in blogs I like and may leave 3 comments on one blog instead of visiting 3 different blogs.
    But with solid content and genuine intentions I can’t go wrong. Regretfully, I have faltered along the way but I now feel rejuvenated and inspired to keep on keepin’ on in a way that feels true to my soul. Thank you for your blog insight. :)
    Karah

  • http://eclecticallyvintage.com Kelly @ Eclectically Vintage

    Seriously – we are all adults with amazing lives, friends, degrees and fabulous careers (current, taking a break from or past).

    That being said, a blog is a creative outlet for that person. If they want to host a link party, so be it. Their business, nobody else’s.

    Let’s encourage and support rather than institute “rules”.

    The title – What Every Blogger Wants You to Know – no, I really don’t think every blogger feels this way. I for one, don’t.

    I hear you on the follow me back comments (which I hate) and the please link to my party (when they didn’t even read your post) but if someone wants to host a link party – that’s their choice.

    Here’s to creative expression and freedom of choice – and respecting all opinions!

    And I am really sad right now because a fabulous blogger is giving up blogging because of horrid emails she received telling her she should not host link parties and leave it to the big guns!

    I’m embarrassed to know that someone actually bullied her into backing out of blogging. Shameful!
    Kelly

  • ali

    I’m not a blogger, just an avid blog reader. I appreciate the info on Google Reader as I just put my list on there. I will actually go to my favorite sites and thanks for the head’s up!

    As a reader I have to admit that I dislike linky parties and generally leave blogs that have them. To me it seems like a way to have a blog without doing the work. JMO. There are just too many great blogs with great posts out there to waste time scrolling though a bunch of links. So thanks to all the bloggers that create thoughful posts!!

  • http://www.madiganmade.com Shannon at madiganmade

    Well said, Beckie!!! Thanks so much for posting this and being thoughtful in your approach! The spammy invites and comments are rampant these days. What happened to being thoughtful, kind and making a real connection with other bloggers?
    I agree with you… you do NOT need a link party to grow your blog… and if you want to venture out to host one, it should be for the right reasons (to interact and share with your readers… not to increase traffic).

  • http://snackersdelight.blogspot.com Deborah (Snackers Delight)

    Amen! Build it and they will come…but you have to blog about something you love and basically blog for the joy of it. Eventually someone will chime in and comment or follow. Eventually…:D

  • http://diyshowoff.com Roeshel

    Great post, Beckie (Hi-Five)! I’m glad you shared this. It’s important to initiate discussions in our blogging niche in order for us to support, encourage and teach each other in healthy, positive ways. Growing a blog is time consuming and hard work. There is no easy ticket to instant overnight growth. Thanks for opening a discussion on this where ideas, opinions and advice can be shared. You have a wonderful way of getting your point across without being offensive. ;)

  • http://tomalafamily.blogspot.com Jill

    Thank you! These 3 posts are great! You are inspiring, and I really enjoy your blog!

  • http://scrapbookideas.wordpress.com Jess

    Wow, I have spent a ton of time tonight reading your blog! I found you through the Silhouette giveaway (is it possible I never saw your blog before? How? I guess I have been living under a rock lol!). First I read your blog story posts, then this series. I can identify with and agree with a lot of what you said! From 2007 to 2009 I worked really hard on my scrapbooking blog and things were going great, but I came to that same place you mentioned in one of your posts, where I was putting in a lot more effort than my blog was worth without making it my real “work”. Due to several outside reasons, I decided to take a break from it rather than try to do both stay-at-home -mom AND the blogging thing. I have started blogging again from time to time, but now just take it easy and blog for fun – not worrying about traffic or money. I totally agree that blogging has changed soooo much in the past 5 years. It used to be much easier to build community and people left so many more REAL comments – questions, conversations, etc – not spammy ones. It is sad that some people are getting desperate and trying to get traffic by any means possible, without actually making friends or getting to know their readers. Thanks so much for putting yourself out there and starting the conversation :)!

  • http://www.alittletreat.weebly.com Cassie @A Little Treat

    Thank you very much for posting this! I am very new at blogging and am trying to find my niche. I am so inspired everyday by many bloggers that I follow and now I can happily say you are added to my list! I came across this post by chance and I am addicted I like hearing the bloggers point of view and I can’t wait to delve deeper into your site. Thank you thank you for answering questions you didn’t even know I had! I can’t wait to read more and more!

  • http://www.redouxinteriors.com Karen

    I have to admit, I was a little put off by the entire debate that was going on at Beth Hunter’s FB page. But it was a good subject to get out there for discussion. I think you have done a perfect job of tackling these sticky wicket issues. I love that you reminded readers, several times that is not overnight success, that it takes hard work, perseverance, and caring for the community of readers you have. That is an issue that is definitely off putting to me, when I have made the effort to encourage another blogger who is starting out or relatively small, and there was no reply, just eerie silence. At some point, a successful blogger crosses a line where they can no longer respond to emails and comments each and ever time, or even most of the time. I firmly believe that gratitude goes a long way in making a blog successful. I think when your blog is big enough that you just cannot do the individual thank you’s, it is implied in every lovely post you provide to your readers. I truly believe the most successful bloggers in the creative home and craft category are most often the most grateful for the readers that helped them on that path to success. I have been to big blogs where the attitude is snarky, or there are negative comments made often by the writer. This turns me off and I don’t return. Blogging about creativity to me is about lifting myself up to something better and expressing my talents in the best way I can, and more importantly, hopefully brightening the day of a reader by something I shared. Now I am looking forward to reading “Your Story”. Thanks again Beckie, this was really one of the best posts (series) I have read. -K

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      Thank you immensely Karen!

  • http://www.houseofhepworths.com Allison @ House of Hepworths

    Beckie, I love this post so much! Will you stop by my party and link it up? ;) xoxo

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      Heck no! {giggle}

  • http://www.alittletipsy.com Michelle Barneck (@Littletipsyblog)

    I could not agree more with the whole post! It makes me feel a little disheartened when I see those comments that are just trying to get traffic for themselves. You think, did they even read the post, or just see it as a vehicle for promoting themselves.

    I agree that I visit those who leave really heartfelt comments or send emails. Those are like gold. Love it when someone is really sincere. I can attest to you responding to emails. You were so kind to blog swap with me way back when. It really did make me feel pretty darn snazzy.

    As for parties, I have a really small one because it has a niche theme, but I love it. It really does nothing for traffic, but I have really loyal people who link up all the time and I love seeing their projects. It has been a really fun way to connect with like minded bloggers.

  • http://www.debbie-debbiedoos.com debbiedoos

    Hi there…. I have but a few words of my own. I agree with a lot of what you said…BUT this one specific topic I felt I needed to address. You see……….
    I host a weekly linky party that NO one else has ever done before. It was a very creative idea that both my hubby and I came up with. I love to reach out to people, help, guide and be a positive role model. My party has been very successful in terms of helping NEW bloggers, guiding them and making them feel a sense of comfort in this WIDE, WIDE world of blogging. A so called safe place to land on Monday mornings, so I have been told many times. I have seen some really amazing new bloggers coming around with awesome content!~ WHO’s to say the next best LINKY party is not in the making? My party is small, yet intimate and drives plenty of traffic, and very authentic comments and friendships to people. I am NOT here to say what the WORLD needs. I just want to be a very positive part of it!~ I get the gist with the insincere comments, the spammy emails, the follow me, follow you thing. This sort of thing has been going on since I started blogging two years ago. I guess I just tuned it out, and paid no mind to it. Kinda like getting solicitors that call everyday even after I added myself to the do not call list. This sort of thing happens everywhere. The newbies are our current readers..our current new friends, they are the future of blogging. So yes, they too need to learn, but in no way would I want to discourage them from doing all the things they want to. They will figure out what works and what is NOT working. So if someone thinks of another LINKY, and it is successful in their own right..ROCK ON! You are only advocating large CURRENT linky parties to drive traffic. Large linky parties do NOT always drive the most traffic. I join one once a week that only has 30 link ups, and I receive the most traffic from her in one day than some I do in a week. NOT to mention, COMMENTS…I hardly ever receive comments from joining large linky parties. Bloggers want comments! So in closing, do newbies need to learn some etiquette?, yes, and so do we all in the process of learning together. Because truly there is NO one out there that knows it all.

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      Debbie,
      I am glad you have found success and a community with your linky party. I actually knew instantly who you were because of your linky party. I am glad it works for you. If it works for you and you enjoy it, rock on! I never discourage people from linking up to parties. I do it myself. But I definitely think that if people are looking for community and growing their blog there are about 1,000 other things I would tell them to do before starting a linky party. I think each person needs to ask themselves why they want to start a linky party. You don’t have to because everyone is doing it and most bigger bloggers who have hosted their parties for years wish they could stop theirs. I guess I wanted people to think about why they would start a linky party and not be disillusioned when they don’t get the pageviews, community, link ups, etc that they were hoping for.

  • DColquitt5

    Although I’m just a reader and not a blogger, I feel compelled to give an “outsiders” opinion on the link parties and possibly give an idea for a blog post. I read and subscribe to blogs for various reasons…inspiration, curiosity, ideas, and to see what blogs you bloggers are following (I figure if you are a top-notch blogger you are probably following the like). I really enjoy SOME linky parties, especially those that appear to limit the number of links they accept and have oversized pictures. I won’t even glance at the site if there are a massive number of links and small pictures that these fairly good eyes need a magnifying glass to see! What a waste of time!!! Themed parties are my personal favorite. Obviously I’m not going to give an opinion on the invites that are given on these linky parties from blogger to blogger, but will say that to this reader, the notion is very evident….
    Now, my blog post idea, and maybe it’s been done on one of the blogs I read and I’ve just not been paying attention or just missed the post that particular day (please point me in the direction of where to read, if so)…if that is the case, I apologize. It would REALLY be nice for the non-bloggers to be able to understand what the bloggers are talking about in relation to “reader”, “rss”, how a “subscription” works, etc. Truthfully, I love having you wonderful bloggers doing all of the legwork for me. I love the fact that I can get online and find fabulous projects and ideas without having to overwork my tired brain. I love the fact that you guys take the time to give step-by-step instructions or tutorials to complete these projects and ideas. I love the fact that if you don’t give the specific instructions or tutorials you point me in the direction to find them. I totally appreciate the time and energy each of you puts into your blogs, whether you have one or twenty of them! I find that my iPad works much differently than my laptop and I can’t tell if a blog is getting “credit” for me reading or not and I want my personal favorite bloggers to get all the credit they deserve. I want to make sure I’m doing what I should to make that happen. On a side note, even though I don’t blog and I do creep through many different ones, if I do see something that catches my eye I ALWAYS make sure to tell friends to get online and look at that particular blog. Your readers are you BEST form of advertisement…keep up the awesome work!

  • http://www.livingbytheshore.com Susan @ Afford Your Passions

    Hi! First time visitor to your blog (I found this post through a tweet…)

    I’ve been blogging for close to 8 years, but in a very small field (I cross stitch), so I hadn’t heard of linky parties until I started to diversify my blog in the past 6 months or so. I have linked to a few of them, and at one time, I hosted my own linky party (for cross stitchers, because it’s a novelty for the cross stitching community). But, I dropped it after 3 weeks or so, because it wasn’t where I wanted my blog to go.

    I know what you mean about the spam comments – I want people to visit my blog because they like me, or like my projects, or what I have to say, not because they want me to follow them, or join their party or whatever. Kudos to you for posting this!

  • Ann

    I have a blog just to share what we’re up to with friends and family now scattered everywhere. It’s easier to share more there than on facebook. I google how-to information and am often sent to a blog where I learn and then usually end up inspired to try something else. (That’s how I found your blogs.) I don’t participate in linky parties unless it is SPECIFIC to something I’m looking to learn or do so I appreciate you putting the word out there. Thanks!

  • DColquitt5

    Wow! What a great blog article idea I had!!! Guess I should’ve read the series from first to last instead of last to first….hehe…..oh geez…..

  • Rachel

    I love this! I am not a blogger, but do my share of reading a ton, and I really dislike linky parties. Sometimes I scroll through comments to find an answer to a question, and I see people who leave comments like you described above….”come visit my blog, you got an award!” or something like that. Makes me cringe, and it’s not even me they are soliciting! I’m embarrassed for that person. So couldn’t agree more with everything you wrote. Good for you for having the courage to say it.

    Thanks for the post!

  • http://www.attagirlsays.com Atta Girl Amy

    Really interesting post that obviously has sparked a lot of debate.

    I have mixed feelings about this, both as a blogger and a reader of blogs.

    I have always enjoyed link parties and actually looked forward to them as a reader. I would always find lots of great ideas and inspiration when I would visit parties and the links in them. But I have noticed lately that lots of people are linking up to the same parties and the same projects are getting featured over and over again. And some of those projects are so jaw-droppingly gorgeous and creative that they should be featured all over the place. But the posts featured on link parties are just a small slice of the creativity out there.

    As a reader, i find some of the bigger link parties can be overwhelming. There are so many darn links it’s impossible to click on even a small fraction of them. And as a blogger, I wonder how much traffic you can actually get by linking up to humongous parties. Readers can only tell so much from a thumbnail, and there’s so much competition (not really the right word!) for clicks on link parties. So, actually, smaller link parties may provide a newbie blogger a better opportunity to get noticed. But you still have to have the great content and creativity and a distinctive voice to entice readers to keep coming back to your blog.

    I’m a new blogger, kinda, in that I’ve recently started a new craft blog. (You very graciously featured one of my projects recently on Knock Off Decor, and I was beyond thrilled about that!) I’m maybe not your typical newbie in that I’ve had a blog before, and I’ve blogged before as part of my job in PR. (About nothing so exciting as crafts, though! Boring, boring stuff, I tell you. :) )

    We have toyed with the idea of starting a link party once our blog is a little more mature. But not only because we think it will bring traffic. We certainly hope that would be a side benefit. But our motivation for having a link party would be to to give others a chance to show off their handiwork. A lot of women need the boost that a compliment or congratulations on a job well done provides. (But I’m not sure that I want to tackle the work that would be involved in hosting a regular link party. I admire anyone who does.)

    Before I was blogging and showing off my projects there, I would post photos of my crafts/recipes/decorating projects on Facebook. The positive and encouraging responses from my friends there pushed me to start a blog. My blogging partner feels the same way. Blogging gives us a way to showcase our talents to a wider audience and to get a much-needed ‘atta girl. (Which is how we came up for the name of our blog, Atta Girl Says. Was that a shameless plug?)

    Link parties can provide another way for bloggers to get that encouragement and empowerment they need. I’ve heard so many new bloggers and friends, as well, question their own talents. But clicks and comments, generated through link parties, can provide that. I am still at that stage where I’m thrilled by every positive comment I get on my blog, and I’m downright giddy when someone pins one of my projects on Pinterest. That’s why I participate in link parties — small and large. It makes me feel good about myself.

  • http://www.elegantnest.blogspot.com Laura@Elegant Nest

    Wow! Just read throuh (almost) every comment and have learned so much! As a newer blogger I am learning new things every day…Thank You All!
    That is truly my favorite aspect of blogging…the community…it is so supportive and helpful! I do join link parties but always try to folllow the guidlines or themes they set which means I cant join every week, unless I am extremely productive!
    Going back to read parts 1 and 2 so I can learn some more! Thank You for sharing all of your experience and knowledge with us!

  • Jill Scott

    What an awesome, honest post. Thank you for hitting publish.

  • http://fourgenerationsoneroof.com jessica@fourgenerationsoneroof

    I’m fairly new to your site and you definitely gave me a laugh with this post :) I think all your points are right on. I have been blogging for about 8 months or so and have gotten my share of spammy comments. I will be honest, not knowing any bettter, I use to think they were genuine with the “love your project, come join my party” . I was so happy to think someone liked my stuff! Then I realized, it was a gaff and just a cut and paste comment :( Kind of made me feel pretty ignorant and in real life, I would have caught on immediately but this blogging world is certainly a learning curve! Atleast for me. Anyway, thanks so much for all the info. Have a great weekend!

  • http://www.poofycheeks.com Kelsey

    I could not agree more! I HATE when people leave comments saying ‘I love your project. I hope you will come link up with me on Wednesday.’ I think it is sort of rude because it is almost like they are advertising on my blog and chances are I won’t remember come Wednesday (if today is only Saturday). :) Well put Beckie!

  • http://www.livinglaughingandloving.com Renee @ Living Laughing & Loving

    Great post! The come share this at my linky party comments are so annoying and worse the weekly emails telling me the party is up.

    Wonder if anyone is going to comment on this post and ask you to join their linky party… hee hee! Then I guess you’ll know for sure they didn’t actually even READ or care about your post. :)

  • http://www.silohillfarm.blogspot.com Danni Baird

    Jimeny Christmas!! I am seriously confused, relieved, happy and a little upset all at the same time. I’m a new (less than 6 months) mostly craft blogger. I try to read about, follow and understand all of the etiquitte involved in blogging. I don’t advertise and I don’t have a linky party. I post something almost everyday. I read and believed that having a successful blog took time. I try to share my ideas with others at link parties. My link list is long and I’ve been featured at many of them more than once. When I began to feel a self-imposed pressure to do a craft, write a post, or link up to a party, I took a moment to STOP and ask myself if all of this was making me happy. The answer was this……the crafting and sharing it on my blog was making me happy. The linking up to parties, was stressing me. I picked the ones I liked and I stick with those. I still link up to others, but not unless I have time, which is why they are still on my list. (I do have a life.) The FIRST thing I do every morning while I’m drinking my coffee is check out my Reader and see what people are doing. I comment on their project right then and there. I’m too inspired not to. I have learned that I have developed some very good relationships by commenting on peoples post when they actually post it…..not when they link it to a party. That being said, when I do link up to a party, I look for new people I don’t follow, whose work I admire and am inspired by. Then I go look at their blog and I almost always read the “about me” because I do want to know about them and why they inspire me. So many times there is something in the “about me” part of their blog that makes me realize why they inspired me in the first place! This is how I have made some of my closest blogging friends and followers. (Sometimes on Fridays I post about one of my many sisters because, if you want to know “about me” or who I am, you should meet my sisters!) I am a little confused because you did not address the whole advertising issue, which is what I think drives most people to host link parties. Just a crazy guess….but I’d say that most of the link parties, especially the big ones, advertise. Aren’t they looking for page hits in that case and if they are getting hundreds of links, doesn’t that equate to dollars? And if that’s true, then aren’t they losing money if people drop out of their parties and go to a smaller one where they believe they have a better chance of getting recognition, which is what most craft bloggers desire? I do believe it’s not “all about the benjamins”, but come on, when I see people, especially newer bloggers who have advertising on both sides of their blog and they “really want me to link up my great project” to their party…..well, you know what I’m saying. I’ll be interested to see that issue addressed. All of that being said, I love to blog, I love to read blogs, I love to comment on blogs and I love to share my stuff at parties, new or old, whenever I have the time. If I get a feature, I feel great! If I get a new follower, I’m honored and astonished! If someone comments on one of my non-crafting daily posts, I feel like they actually read me once in a while. The craft blogging world is amazing and I’m thankful for all of it…..big, small, party or not. It’s an amazing place for inspiration…..yours included.

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      Danni, I will definitely be tackling advertising in the future, for sure. But most larger bloggers who host parties do not actually see a bump in traffic that day. And MANY of them would love to stop doing their linky parties. Advertising is a sticky topic and I plan to tackle that soon though.

  • http://tidymom.net TidyMom

    Oh how I LOVE you for pushing PUBLISH on this post Beckie!!

    AMEN to no more weekly linky parties!!…..I’ve been hosting mine for over 2 years, and I SO badly want to let it go, but I just can’t bring myself to do it. I don’t think it brings me all that much added traffic, and you’re right, people no longer click around to the links much……..but for ME, since I do the wrap up post a few days later, it does get me to go out and visit other blogs (something I seem to rarely have time for any more) and I love featuring some of the great idea linked up, so I think that’s the only reason I keep mine going (selfish, I know lol)……..but I just cringe every time I see another blogger wanting to start a weekly link up, or worse yet, you go to someone’s post who has links to 25+ parties they’ve linked to! ACK!

    As for the specialty parties, definitely more fun!!

    FYI – for the “link up to my party comment”….I edit the comment, and remove that part of their comment hehe

    Any way………great post……..and thanks so much for the unexpected sweet little message from you a few weeks ago! xoxo

    Have a Hoppy Easter!

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      Thanks for reading it Cheryl. I think the hosts that do do a wrap up are to be commended. Going through those hundreds of links is nauseating. After doing THE CSI Project every week for 2 years I definitely got the whole link up party out of my system. It is mega work! I commend you for being one of the great parties on the web. That being said I wouldn’t mind if you dropped it if it meant one more day of awesome Cheryl posts. ;-)

  • http://www.randomrecycling.com/ Emily @ Random Recycling

    Thank you up, down and sideways for this posts. (and part 1 & 2) It does feel easy to get sucked into the “I have to do it too” mentality while trying to increase your blog traffic. I’m a believer in connecting to quality blogs and I hope that people feel the same way when they stop by and visit me. Entering linky parties can help drive traffic, but now I feel much better about not hosting them.

  • http://noblepig.com Cathy @ Noble Pig

    I think you hit the nail on the head. And yes, it takes time and effort to create a community, you have to put in…it’s what you get out. Nice to meet you by the way!

  • gail

    I don’t know if you wrote a post about leaving comments, so if not, please consider the TASK of doing so from the writer’s opinion. Sometimes it takes forever to get the post accepted, so much so, it’s not worth the effort. Take this post for example – I read my blogs in Google reader, so when I clicked the post to leave a comment, I had to scroll through all the comments to get to the bottom where I can leave my comment. Othertimes there is word verification, or you hit “post” and it comes up with “post preview” and then hit post again. Anyway thanks for giving me the opportunity to vent – like I said, I’d leave comments if it didn’t take have a day just to tell someone you liked their article.

  • http://dailydwelling.com Monica

    Yes, yes, yes…so very well said!

  • http://myrepurposedlife.net gail

    Beckie–lots of comments, but I’ll leave mine, cause I know you read ‘em. :)
    I have enjoyed all three parts of this series.
    I really agree with the invite to “my link party”. I do not like it when that happens. I too think there are a LOT of link parties. Too many? probably. But new blogs need to build “their” community, just like some of us did back in the day.
    I started my link party because so many link parties had so many rules. Comment on the link before and after you… etc. My party started with no rules. Then it got to be a lot of work visiting all the links, only to see that a blog had linked to THIRTY blogs, but not mine. I required a link back, and that cut down on my time a lot.
    Do I wish I had never started a link party? I dunno, sometimes. Have I considered retiring it? sometimes.
    Your post is very thought provoking, and a lot of new bloggers read your posts, so I think you’ve really helped a lot of them see different ways to do things. We’re each our own person, and we can make up our minds, but sometimes it helps if someone sheds a little light on the subject.
    I applaud you for “sticking your neck out” with a controversial subject girl!
    Have a very Happy Easter Weekend!
    gail

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      Thanks Gail and I definitely think there are many bloggers who have parties and do it well and you are definitely one of them. Do you feel like it helps build community? From what I have heard from others they don’t think it has. Anxious to hear your thoughts.

  • http://www.sophisticatedsteps.blogspot.com Gail@SophisticatedSteps

    No hate mail here. This is a post of awesomeness. Gracias for being bold enough…even if it took you three weeks. ;) Other than leaving honest, meaningful comments for blogs I truly enjoy, I otherwise usually do very little to grow my blog. (Code for: I”m Faceless and Twitterless. Ha! And raaaaaarely link-up…yet how coincidental that because of linking up today at Serenity Now, I found you. Oh, I love irony.)

    P.S. You could probably mention it helps when you let the net search your blog. [Ahem.] I actually just did this last night. Kind of scared of creepers (hub works in network security, so I’m extra paranoid), but they probably get in anyway, right? ;)

    Time to stalk, uh, check out more of your blog. I pretty sure it’s gonna be a good one.

  • http://thepinkhouseadventures.blogspot.com/ Janessa

    I’m really enjoying this series! Thanks!

  • http://aprilscountrylife.blogspot.com April S.

    I am new to blogging and truly appreciate your post! Trying to navigate what is OK and what is frowned upon can be a little challenging with all the great blogs and ways to get it out there and I would hate to offend anyone! Thanks again for the tips!

  • http://stayathomeista.com Jessica @ Stay at Home-ista

    Leaving you a comment to let you know I really appreciate this! I read each blog on it’s webpage so that I can “count”, I think it’s nicer and I get to have more flexibility to roam around their site and click on ads if something catches my eye.

    Jessica
    stayathomeista.com

  • http://www.thegirlcreative.com Diana@The Girl Creative

    Hey Beckie! I may as well ring in on this post too! lol I enjoyed the whole series and look forward to what you have to say about advertising. :) I kind of have mixed feelings on the whole thing. I think nowadays there are so many new bloggers out there and it may be sometime before they get around to finding posts like this. I know that when I started my blog over 2 years ago I didn’t know a thing about etiquette. I think there are just a lot of people who may not “know better”, know what I mean? I personally don’t think too much about the people who invite me to join their party when they leave a comment. I don’t discount them right away. Most of the time I don’t go visit them just because I barely have time to craft these day with a baby in the house again but every now and then I do just to support a new blogger.

    One thing that I totally agree with you on is the spam emails inviting me to join their party or letting me know that their party is up. I had to nicely ask a blogger to stop doing that.

    I started my linky party a long time ago ( i think I’m at 117 or something) and in the beginning it was a great source of traffic. Not so much these days but people enjoy it and tell me they get a lot of traffic from it so I’ll continue. Maybe you can do a post about Linky Party Etiquette next??? Now that’s something that irks me when bloggers take the time (and money now) to host a party and people who link up can’t even read the post to see what the rules are. Grrrr…….

    Anyway……you’ve been one of my favorite bloggers for awhile and that will continue. Great post! :)

  • http://Www.debbiedoescreations.com Debbie

    I’m a newbie and I started a link party because I thought I had to. I do love it and I click on every link and comment. I’m hosting, that’s the least I can do. I will never again invite someone to come and link up but I do have a question: I do a weekly reminder email only to those people who have linked up to my party in the past. Is that ok? Love your series and can’t wait for you to tackle Advertising :)

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      Debbie as long as your readers know and have given you permission to email them then it is fine. However, if they didn’t sign up for email you can’t legally email them, that would be considered spam. And I know for a fact that you have to give them a way to opt out of it. I think that you have it right though Debbie. It sounds like your party is giving you what you desire in the community. If you love it…keep it going!

  • http://Dualkinderteacher.blogspot.com Libby

    Oh Beckie, you made me smile! I love this blog and I’m so glaaaad you’re addressing blog etiquette. I’m hoping you’ll cover a couple of other topics as well. I have a teacher blog, and I love the teaching community in Bloggy Land, but even that has changed over the last 2 years, some good,and some bad. I’m a guilty google reader, but now that I know that you need hits, I will definitely visit here to read. By the way, did you have a food blog? your pic looks familiar.

    • Libby

      Maybe I offended some people, I’ve lost 2 followers :(

  • http://ms-smartie-pants.blogspot.com/ Laura @ Ms Smartie Pants

    I had to pop back over and see what everyone is thinking, you were right it is certainly causing a stir! One last thing I want to say is I can have amazing content on my blog but if no one knows about it I can’t build community. Linky parties give me a way for others to find me. Think back to what it was like for you in the beginning. And honestly this is the last thing I will say everything about the blog world is moving so fast, it’s crazy to think how much things have changed in just 2 short years, this discussion is going to outlast it’s topic! :P

  • http://cjs-lil-bits.blogspot.ca/ Cindy Jackson

    Thank you for your honesty! Personally I’ve been blogging a couple of years, on and off, mostly off because I have a terrible time finding time to just sit and write…though I am trying to be a better blogger now.

    So far I have learned a lot from all three of this set of posts and I just want to thank you for putting this information out here so newbie bloggers can learn from those with more experience.

    I hope you have a great day and you don’t get too many “hate” emails!

  • http://www.hansenchristiancenter.com Lisa

    Well written. I’m new to the whole blogging world and so I don’t know a lot. Still, I have never been interested in the whole “Linky party” thing. I blog to share with friends and family and though my human nature craves recognition I will not court it (too much pressure…hahaha).

    I thank you for taking the time to write this though you feared negative response. I hope you didn’t get any or if you did it was in the minority.

    :)

  • Deanna

    Thanks for taking the time to post this! I am brand new to the blogging world and find this to be very helpful:) I have a business as well with a facebook page and one of my biggest pet peaves is when people post “I’m your newest fan…please come and like my page now. BLAH…drives me crazy!!! Anyways thanks again I really enjoyed it and look forward to reading more of your posts:)

    Deanna ♥

  • http://www.no29design.com Christina @ No. 29 Design

    Great article! I’m a new blogger and I’ve definitely set some of these rules for myself. Glad to see them in print! Thanks!

  • June

    I am not a blogger, I am a blog READER. I used to click thru to some of the links, but quickly learned that most links were repeated from blog to blog to blog. I totally resent these posts (that waste my time) showing up in my reader and have started unsubscribing from the host blog. I find new blogs thru comments on a post that I particularly like, facebook, and pinterest.

  • http://savedbylovecreations.com Johnnie

    My only complaint about this post is that it wasn’t out there when I first started blogging. I was that person who left that generic comment trying to get any kind of traffic. It doesn’t really annoy me when I get said comments today, since I have been there, but it is an absolute waste of time. Quality content = devoted readership. Creating awesome posts is time much better spent.

    Thanks Beckie!

  • http://hautetosew.blogspot.com Meredith

    Very well said! Bravo to you to putting yourself out there to say what no one else will.

  • http://GiftsWeUse.blogspot.com Ferly

    Thanks for this post and the whole series! I discovered blogs in December 2011, and started my own this year. I find this to be a really helpful series for a rookie like me. I enjoy link parties, but never hosted my own. I like the original intent of link parties to create community, but also appreciate joining in on weekly parties to get my blog some needed exposure. It has helped me gain some followers and momentum. So far, I agree with pretty much everything you have posted on this series and will read your blog story after this. Thanks for sharing your experience and insight!

    ~ Ferly
    Gifts We Use {to grow, love and serve}

  • Cara

    Very well thought-out post, Beckie! No hate mail here, but as a reader only (non-blogger), I’d like to give my two cents on “what every reader wants you to know”. I am SO TIRED of every “big” blogger selling out to Lysol, Lowe’s, Sillouette, etc. with the giveaways and reviews. I totally get that the blogger gets free stuff out of it, so yes! That’s awesome for you! Back in the day, when it was just a handful of bloggers doing it, it didn’t matter to me. However, when I see 10 blogs doing a Lysol review in the same week, it screams “sell out” to me.

    You guys are obviously very, very talented, and you are doing a terrific job with your crafts and business. That’s why I read your blog on a daily basis! However, I do feel that this “what every blogger wants you to know” is a means to criticize the “little bloggers” out there and bully them into doing what is “right” (and yes, they do need it! Especially with the linky parties. Amen!) This giveaway stuff is for the birds though. Thank you for listening!

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      Cara I do appreciate your two cents. I can also see why you feel I, or any other blogger can be selling out when we host giveaways, do product reviews, etc. I am a huge supporter and user of the Silhouette machine and Lowe’s and will continue to bring products to my readers that I think you guys might like. Yes I get paid to do all this. This is my job and I am certainly going to continue to take opportunities that present myself that align with my brand. I try and be overly selective on the things I say yes to. For every one thing I say yes to I say no to about 10 more. I also try to only do one (2 max) sponsored type posts a week. My goal is that my content will be so awesome that you will “put up” with the advertising in order to see my creative side. My goal is also to bring 3 original tutorials to you a week. Do I do that every week? NO! But I certainly try to always allow my content to be front and center and inspiration my chief motivator.

      I am certainly not trying to “criticize the little bloggers out there and bully them into doing right.” I consider myself a leader in my niche and only desire to help and educate. I hope you will continue to find inspiration here at IC and that you can take the good with the bad (in your opinion).

      • Cara

        Thank you so much for replying! I have been reading IC for a little over two years, and I have noticed how the plain old “Blogger” blogs have evolved over the years! You guys aren’t kidding when you reminisce about the “good old days” blogs! I miss them myself, as a reader! I do commend you for your tutorials, and yes, you hit the nail on the head when you said that you hope we come back regardless of the advertising promos you do. Please continue to make your OWN stuff here at IC! Whether this is your intention or not, I truly appreciate that you save most of your features for your other blogs. When I come to your site, I want to see YOUR stuff. Thanks!!

  • http://www.tiarasandbowties.blogspot.com Kim

    Thank you Becky for putting it out there the way you did! Being a smaller blog can be difficult at times leaving us {me anyway} felling like a young high school girl again trying to impress the popular crowd! Sometimes it really hurts! I;ve almost given up on the blog many many times because my following hasn’t grown exponetially as I thought it would or should have.

    That’s when I have to remind myself why I decided to begin blogging anyway! To meet and share ideas with some like minded people, make a few friends, and have fun in the process. I wouldn’t trade any of the friends I’ve made over this past year and a half!

    I have decided to cohost a small link party on my blog but have promised myself I will not do the
    ‘that’s so cute… come link up’ thing to others. The invite will always stand and all are welcome but I want to build the relationships not just the numbers.

    Thanks again for your post… you are an inspiration!
    Kim

  • http://youngandfashionable-teal.blogspot.com Tealia

    your last point really hit home. Thank you so much for straight out saying that it will take years to build something up and that bloggers who dont have good content or put effort in, wont get the payoff of more followers. hardwork pays off in the long run! so thank you!!

  • http://PaintedHomeDesigns.com d e n i s e

    you said it perfectly Beckie! thanks!
    d e n i s e

  • http://www.livelovediy.com Virginia

    Thanks for this great post, Beckie. I read it when I first started blogging and it helped so much. I came back to read it today, 5 months later, and I realize even more how much it helped me in the beginning to read all of your posts. I also remember (and so appreciated) a very sweet email/recording you sent me after my initial comment on one of the posts in this series. You are definitely a blogger to lead the pack! Thanks for inspiring! :)
    Virginia @ LiveLoveDIY

  • http://www.livelovediy.com Virginia

    Beckie,
    Hi! It’s me again! I just reread my post and realized I put 5 months! I am not a crazy lady….I meant 2! :) Hope you had a fantastic weekend!

  • Jessica @ TSOP

    Beckie, You have no idea what a precious blessing this post is to me tonight. I have literally been toying with the idea of that “goodbye post” some may write in their heads saying they are packing it in. Something has happened to my love of blogging. It feels like an obligation sometimes and not the super fun place where I can share the things I create. There has certainly been a shift in blog land with the influx of linky parties, pinterest, social media in general. And I have found myself growing weary to keep up. You have NO IDEA how validated I felt reading each insightful and candid word of yours. I too have toyed with a linky party idea feeling as if I had to. But not really wanting to. And these exact words were my own opinions when I first started blogging but suddenly felt this keeping up with the Jones’ pressure that I put on myself. Your post has literally made me feel free. And it makes me want to know you and be your friend because you chose to be honest and give thoughtfully considered advice. I love it! I pray I will look at my blog with new eyes and a fresh perspective. Thank you!

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      Oh Jessica we all feel that way! I am glad you can relate on some level to what I said. It is such a competitive large niche nowadays. Not a you vs. me kinda thing just that there are so many talented people out there. But I say if you don’t love it, then totally free yourself. And post if you want and when you want! And don’t feel like you have to keep up with the Jones’s. After all, they are totally over related. I know it because my maiden name was Jones. :-)

  • http://iowadiygirl.com Emilee

    I stumbled upon your website, and then this series. I actually did not know any of this! So thank you for sharing. I think this will help me to improve! I appreciate it!

  • http://www.kristendukephotography.com kristen duke photography

    I thought I read your whole series on what bloggers want you to know, but I seem to have missed this one. It was nice to briefly meet you at SNAP, and you have so many wonderful things to share.

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      Thank you Kristen it was nice to meet you too. I am sure our paths will cross again, maybe we can spend a little time together next time.

  • http://www.theboldabode.com Gwen

    Gimme five… up high… down low…

    Amen and amen.

    The world does not need another Linky Party… not even a BOLD one.

  • http://dewdropgardens.blogspot.ca/ Debbie

    Thank you for this series! I’m working my way through them in order but had to comment on this one. I’ve only been blogging since early this year and for the last few weeks have felt very overwhelmed. I have been having a hard time keeping up with posting on my own blog because I spend so much time reading other blogs, emails, google+, facebook, etc. I haven’t learned how to find that balance yet.
    But, the reason for my comment, thank you for mentioning the linky parties! I have joined a few over the months, always clicking on as many other shares as possible. I noticed when I do link to one, I increase the traffic on my blog a little. But I don’t have time any more now that I’m working more hours! I have never wanted to do a link party, but thought one day I will have to. Now I feel very comfortable knowing it is NOT required…probably not even wanted.
    Off to read the rest of this series, then your ‘Blog Story’. And somewhere in all this, find time to watermark the pictures for my next post…
    Thanks so much Beckie!!
    Debbie :)

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      You are welcome Debbie. I hope it helps encourage and inspire you and not make you feel burdened. Happy blogging.

  • Stevi

    Great post here! Come link up to my linky party…..hehehe kidding! I don’t blog, but have thought about it, and I really didn’t know most of this about linky parties!

  • http://thenextfiftyyears.blogspot.com Marti

    Great post! I just came across this as I was doing a search to see if anyone else thought there were way too many linky parties these days. There has certainly been an explosion of them in the last year or so. I wondered why, and your post supplied the answers.

    I’d never thought of the comments made just for the purpose of asking to link to their party. I was always rather flattered, as my blog is rather small and private, and I didn’t know how they even found me. But I definitely see your point, and it is an insincere comment, made just to promote their linky party, aka spam.

    I agree with everything you said except for the featuring others projects. Well, I take that back, I do agree that it helps both blogs to feature projects. What I don’t agree with is featuring them with just a comment on their blog telling them you are doing that. What if they don’t want you to? I have a blog I started just to collect projects with tutorials or patterns that I’d like to do someday, and I always ask people first if I can add their photo and link back to their post. Over 2/3s never respond, so I assume that comment went into the spam folder, and of the other 1/3, most say yes, but some say they would rather their photo stay on their blog. And that is fine with me because it IS their copyrighted photo, and I feel strongly about copyright.

    I hope you didn’t receive any hate mail over this post, my one disagreement was not directed toward you personally, just a difference of opinions. I think your post was very informative, especially for those thinking they need to start a weekly party to build their blog.

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      Marti,
      Thanks for your opinion and I totally get your point. I think if people are bloggers who want to grow or get recognition they are insanely grateful for a feature. Links from big sites to smaller helps them immensely according to Google. I always let people know I feature them and I have never had one person EVER say they didn’t want me to feature them. I also do the proper etiquette thing and link back though because my goal is to promote them. Usually the standard is to use one picture with a link. When a smaller blogger emails me to ask if they could use one picture it almost annoys me, to be honest (please don’t take offense to that I am just one person) because the answer is of course. Any link to my site is ALWAYS appreciated. The part that bothers bloggers is when people copy full tutorials or use more than one picture and don’t give the readers a reason to click on the site featured. Anywho…just my two cents for what it is worth ;-)

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