Wednesday, April 11, 2012

When Am I Ready to Join a Blog Party?

Welcome back, bloggers! This post is part of 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 reasons to join a blog party.

This week's topic is: When am I Ready to Join a Blog Party?

Some people will tell you that new bloggers should link posts up to as many blog parties as possible, and as early as possible. I disagree, and I'll tell you why today.

(Remember, I'm not an expert blogger and I don't have all the answers, but I have been blogging and participating in link parties for several years now. I've learned a lot by watching and asking questions of more experienced and successful bloggers.)

So, when should I start linking up to blog parties?


The good news is, linking up to blog parties has nothing to do with how many Followers or subscribers you have! There's no magic formula or "go" light to tell you when a good time to start would be, but there are a few things to consider:


1. When you know what a blog/link party is and how it works.
I get a lot of comments and emails from new bloggers who don't know what a blog party is, don't know how to link up, and haven't read the guidelines for my party or anyone else's. They end up pasting in random links or URLs without understanding the point or process of a blog party.

I think a lot of bloggers (old and new) just assume that a link party is the only way they might get some traffic to their site, and they link up without knowing (or sometimes caring) how blog parties work. That's not beneficial to the blogger or for the person going through the trouble of putting together the link party!

Please, if you are unsure of how the blog party process works (or even what a blog party is), don't link your posts up. I really suggest reading more about the blogging process, blog etiquette, SEO, etc., before trying to start bringing in traffic through link parties. This series, my Commenting 101 series, the Blogging Myths series, or some of the other wonderful blogging tips listed in my Resource Page are great places to start! Learn about growing your blog and connecting with other bloggers before worrying about link parties.

2. Have some good content under your belt!
You're a new blogger, and you have a couple of really fabulous projects under your belt and you want to show them off. A link party sounds like the perfect solution, right?

Again, there's nothing wrong with joining a blog party if you understand how they work, but it might be smarter in the long run to wait until you have some good content to share on your sidebar or "projects page."

If Sally Blogger clicks over from the blog party and really likes your Family Room Makeover, chances are that she might want to go digging around your blog and hunt for more fun projects (Pinterest fodder, anyone?). The more you have to show off, the longer Sally Blogger is going to be engaged on your site, clicking around, Pinning links, and maybe even subscribing or "Following" you.

3. When you have the time to participate.
We'll go into this another day, but joining a link party does require a bit of effort if you are conscientious about  following the guidelines that each hostess has set in place. This might mean adding a link back to the hosting site, commenting on a few other blogs, and more. (This will be covered later in the series)

In short, don't link up if you're not planning on reading the hostess' rules for her party or following up with comments made from other party-goers. Not following through makes for a poor party guest. Bluntly stated, but true.

You've read up, you know how blog parties work, and you're ready to put your work out there for new readers to see. How do you find a good blog party? 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+. 

11 comments:

  1. I really agree with you about making sure you have time to participate, and I usually try to leave a comment when I follow a link. It's just nice. :) I also try to let them know what linkup party I found them from, because I'm always curious about that when new people find me!

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  2. I love it when people let me know they found me from a certain linky party. Normally, I try to make a point to go back and take a look at their blog as well. Since I am still fairly new I am still in the process of working on my projects page but agree it will be very helpful.

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  3. I love blog parties (which is a good thing, since I started one of my own just a few weeks ago). It seems to me that they can be a win-win. But I think maybe we should all think about joining a blog party only when we have time to remember the Golden Rule. We should treat our hostesses and the other party guests as we would want to be treated.

    As a new hostess, I must say that I do appreciate it when someone links up a post. After all, they had to visit my page in order to link up, right? But what a big difference it would make if they would also include a link back to my blog and if they would leave me a comment!

    I know that, despite our best intentions, we often fall short of being able to do all that we intend to do. But I wonder if we'd be better off to participate in fewer parties and apply the Golden Rule to the ones in which we do participate.

    You're providing food for thought, that's for sure! Thank you for this series!

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  4. love this--I've said it before and I'll say it again--THANK YOU for doing this series. I live for these types of posts these days-trying to learn as much as I can!

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  5. Another week with great tips for party participants. The Golden Rule certain holds true for blog parties.

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  6. I'm loving your series. Thanks for mentoring, based on your experience. When I first started blogging...it was articles such as this that helped me become more informed to "blog etiquette" and what link parties were. I was like a sponge...and, I'm still new (4 months now); but, I still love reading these articles. I feel we can never stop improving ourselves and encouraging others. Thank you so much!

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  7. Great post and series..thank you!

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  8. Loving this series and as always, looking forward to next week :) I pinned ya to one of my boards. Have a great night.

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  9. Great post Amanda! I'm always surprised at how many people don't read the rules. They're really missing out, if the hostess features projects from the party. Most won't feature those participants that didn't follow the rules!

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  10. Great post, Amanda! I agree with all these points, especially the content. I'd expand on it by adding that you have good content to post to the party. If you're posting the same project the second (or more) week in a row, or you just threw something together tat you're not particularly proud of, it might not be the best week to link up.
    Also, if the party has a theme, like "boy crafts" or "Mother's Day" you shouldn't be linking if your post doesn't fit the theme.

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  11. Thanks Amanda! I just recently started my own teaching blog and I'm really excited about the possibilities. Obviously I want to create more traffic so I've been thinking about link parties. Thanks for the helpful advice. I think I'll pin this now and save it for another day:)

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I love to hear your feedback! Please feel free to leave comments...just don't send me spam asking me to buy stuff off your website! I've got three kids and no money to purchase your magic weight-loss pill or bust enhancement, or whatever else you might be selling. Thanks, and I look forward to hearing from you! :)

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