Wednesday, April 18, 2012

How to Find a Good Blog Party

Hi, bloggers. Today brings post #4 in my How to Blog Party series, which is written for new and experienced bloggers...lots of tips and tricks for joining and hosting a blog/link party. You can click here to start at the beginning of the series and see a round-up of all the posts so far. Last week, we talked about when you are ready to join a blog party.

This week's topic is: How to find a good blog party

A few of the questions I get from new bloggers are:

1) Do I have to be invited to a blog party?
and
2) How do I find a good blog party? 

The answer to the first question is easy. No, you do not have to be invited to join a blog party. Since most bloggers host link parties for the sake of growing their sites, they welcome any and all guests...provided that the content shared is relevant/clean and the participants graciously read and follow the guidelines for the party.

If you're cruising the blogosphere and find a link party that looks interesting and you have a post that will fit the theme of the party, go ahead and link it up!

The second question may have a slightly more complicated answer. Maybe it's a no-brainer for you, as it seems as if you'll find a blog party on every blog out there these days. There is, however, a difference between a blog party and a good blog party.

A good blog party is beneficial to both the person hosting it and the guests. Quite honestly, much of a blog party's success comes from the guests. Do they follow the guidelines for the party? Do they actually participate and make an effort to engage other party-goers, or do they link up a post and run to the next site?

Ideally, the hostess gets a decent amount of traffic and some new Followers/Subscribers from the guests and other visitors...and the guests who participate receive the same.

Don't let the size of a blog party discourage you from linking up. The quality of a link party doesn't always have to do with the size of the blog hosting the link-up or even the amount of links you see on the site, although some large parties are obviously popular for a reason. There are many smaller blog parties that are worth your time...and you may end up with more traffic from those small parties.

Here are a few ways to find a blog party:

  • Read other blogs, comment, and click around through people's blog rolls (lists of a person's favorite blogs--usually on a sidebar or separate link/page). Many bloggers who host regular link parties make a note of it somewhere on their homepage.


  • There are also entire sites and blogs dedicated to showcasing and organizing lists of the blog parties around the blogosphere. One example is Linky Here. Those are nice to browse, but many times the parties listed are those which have been uploaded by the hosts. So it's not always an accurate picture of what's out there.


  • Look at the links that bloggers list at the end of posts they have added to blog parties. Usually, you'll see something like "Linking to ____" (insert name of blog or blog party here).


You can remember which ones you want to join by keeping a list in your post dashboard, a Pinterest board dedicated to blog topics, or an internet bookmark file.

Deciding which parties you enjoy and are worth your time will take a bit of trial and error. Try a few different parties several times each, and discover which ones are the best for you and your blog. Link up selectively (!) and wait to see which parties you A) enjoy the most and B) bring you a good return for your time.

Other tips? 

Look for blogs that publish features from party-goers, whether it's through a feature on the host blog or the host's FB, Pinterest, or Twitter pages.

Look for parties that have a few guidelines in place for participants. These are the parties that you can typically expect a good experience from. The hostess asks that guests meet certain guidelines (ie. linking back or visiting other guests), and will usually go take the time to visit links, give a few shout-outs or features, etc. My own experience has been that free-for-all parties with no rules or guidelines tend to give very little return.

You've read up, you know how blog parties work, you know how to find one, and you want to link something up. How do you choose a post to link up? Join me next week for the answer!

If you enjoyed this post or found it helpful, I'd love for you to click the "Pin It" button to add this post to Pinterest, or +1 me for Google+. 

12 comments:

Lauren said...

Great series- so helpful since I have just started participating in blog parties this week. I have already seen my traffic increase and discovered some great new blogs. Glad I found this!

Krystle @ Color Transformed Family said...

Thanks for this series. I have really enjoyed it. I hadn't heard of LinkyHere until you mentioned. I will have to check it out.

Kelli @ RTSM said...

I love a good blog party, and I know that they were a big reason that my blog grew early on. I have slack up on participating lately though because I don't have the time to visit around and I don't want to link up if I can do a little visiting too!

Richella said...

Isn't Kelli's comment above just the best? She has such a wonderful attitude. What an amazing place the blogosphere could be if there were more people who felt and acted as she does! You and she are a great deal alike--both of you are awesome!

As you know very well (because you've helped me and I so appreciate it!), I'm hosting a new weekly party. It's small, but I think it's doing pretty well. It's certainly not generating a lot of traffic for me, but I've met some really nice new bloggers and I feel like I'm doing something that really does fit with my blog's theme. I love big parties and I really appreciate them, but I have a deep appreciation for the smaller parties, too--especially now that I've hosted a few and see how much work goes into being the host!

Thank you for all the good advice you offer, Amanda. I really appreciate you.

Kim @ NewlyWoodwards said...

These are good tips, Amanda. I have gotten away from blog parties because I don't have the time to truly "work" them and get around to other blogs. I have personally found that smaller blog parties are usually more beneficial to me because people can actually get around and see your blog. Sometimes the biggest ones are a bit overwhelming. But, I agree that it needs to be beneficial to the host and participants.

Jessica Bruno said...

Hey Amanda! This is a great series. Thanks for the tips and I just pinned ya :)

Laurel said...

Thank you for the tips! I just started joining linky parties and working on testing them out. So far, the best are the ones that ask for calls to action, I think people feel more like they should visit the links versus just dropping in with theirs!
Looking forward to reading more!!

Patricia Purcell said...

Hi, I just discovered your blog and am now a new follower. I've only been blogging since January, and am still trying to figure out what blog hops are good. Sometimes it seems like I end up with comments and new followers and other times it seems like I just wasted my time trying to comment on others blogs. Thanks for the advice, I look forward to learning more.

melissa@joyineveryseason said...

really practical and straightforward advice ... thanks for that and also for hosting your weekend bloggy reading party - it's been a great source of other blogs to read + guests for mine and I always look forward to it!

Vicky said...

The tip about the Linky Party Blog was worth the price of admission! (you know, free). How generous of you to share all of these tips, organized by series no less. You sure are helping me out, as I am a new blogger in a humor niche. I don't bake or refinish tables or things. i just blog about my crazy life! Linky Party will help me find where I belong. I think I subscribed every possible to your blog! Great content!! Thanks a MILLION!

~joy!
Vicky @ sleeping in an unmade bed

Erin {Home Everyday} said...

I'm new to blogging (about 8 weeks in). I have been reading a great deal about link parties, and your site is by far the best resource so far. I totally appreciate this post, and all your posts on this topic. I find a lot of people have list upon list of parties that they link up to, and I was wondering if it was even worth it? So far, your weekly link party and HiSugarplum are the only ones I have linked up to so far, as I feel like they are well organized and encourage blog interaction. Thank you for all of your blog resources!

anne @ wit wisdom and food said...

Great post! It is funny I actually found your blog from a party link at Two Twenty One. then searched on google for information on finding good parties and you popped up again. It is meant to be. Thanks for the info. Maybe I will see at a party some time soon.

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