but doesn’t want to tell you.
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 dÃ©cor 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”
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.”
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.