To Link or Not To Link…

What about linky parties?
From my personal experience, link parties are one of the most surefire ways to grow your readership.
Here are my answers to the most FAQ about linking up and hosting your own party.
Linking at Other Parties
1. Should I bother to join link parties?
Yes.  Absolutely.  Run, don’t walk.
2. Should I link to every party out there?
Sure, if you have no job, no family, and do nothing but sit on your computer 25 hours a day.  For the rest of us, there’s just no way.  It’s time consuming to link up, especially if you have more than one new project to share, so you have to learn to pick and choose the parties you most enjoy and that are most beneficial to you. 
3. Where should I party?
Shine On Fridays!  Kidding aside, there are a few things to consider when you’re choosing where to link up.  First, check your traffic stats.  You’ll notice that there are certain sites that consistently get you page views when you link up.  If I look at my all time page views, a lot of them come from Pinterest and Google searches, but also from four specific parties: Whipperberry, Carolyn’s Homework, French Country Cottage, and Craft-O-Maniac.  I make sure I do everything I can to join those parties each week. 

     homework      

Also, find the parties where you feel most comfortable.  If there’s a specific party you like because you like the host, you get personal feedback on your projects, you get featured, or for any other reason, by all means, keep linking there!  There are several parties I consistently link to just because I really like the girls who run them and I want to support them. 
Finally, if you have a niche, find a few parties that cater to certain project types.  As you know, I do a lot of kiddo crafts.  It’s by no means the only thing I blog about, but there are several parties I attend that feature nothing but kid projects.  Those are great to link to because I know the people coming there are interested in the kind of things I’m sharing.  Plus, they’re great places to get inspiration!  Are you a chef?  Find a foodie party!  A bargain hunter?  Find a “thrifty finds” party…trust me, they’re out there!  There are even parties just for new bloggers who have been blogging less than 6 months or have fewer than 100 followers.
Hosting Your Own Party
If you want to give it a go hosting your own linky party, here are some things to consider.
*Partners
If you can find another blogger to partner with you, your success will probably double because you’ll be drawing from both her followers and your own.  Just make sure you clearly divide up who is responsible for creating the code, commenting on links, and how you’re going to handle features.
*Get the word out
“If you invite them they will come”…or at least a lot of them will.  When I link up at other parties, I click on projects that catch my eye and invite them to come on over to Shine on Fridays and share there too.  When you invite, though, make sure you leave a meaningful, thoughtful comment about the project, not just, “nice job, come link at my party.”  We all hate that.  My policy is that I only invite people if I actually like their project, and I take the time to look at it and give them some encouragement about it. 
*Inlinkz vs. Linky Tools
As of right now, I actually have a subscription to Inlinkz, while Kara has the Linky tools one.  We take turns “creating” the parties each month, and for the most part, the services seem equal.  The one thing though that makes me want to switch to Linky Tools is that when someone checks their traffic, the blog itself shows up as the source, rather than inlinkz.  Remember how I said you should find out who your main traffic generators are?  Well, if a blog has inlinkz, they could be your biggest traffic source of all and you wouldn’t know it.  Know what I mean?
**I actually just heard from a representative from InLinkz regarding this issue; apparently they’re looking into it and may make some changes that would resolve this problem!**
*Make it “fun!”
There are a billion link parties out there.  So, be sure you try to make yours memorable.  Use large thumbnail images so people can really see what’s been shared.  Offer giveaways sometimes.  Create a memorable name and button.  Build a sense of community by commenting on the projects folks link up and featuring lots of them on your facebook page, twitter, and your next party post.  Get excited about it…if you aren’t excited, no one else will be either!

Don’t assume that your blog is too small; this is one of the best ways to grow!  Give it a try and see how it goes…you can always start with a free inlinkz or Linky subscription using just text links for a few weeks to see how many entries you get!
Hope that’s helpful…just some ramblings of One Artsy Mama!



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19 comments on To Link or Not To Link…

  1. Amy
    March 3, 2012 at 11:18 AM (3 years ago)

    I like this post…interesting & informative…Thanks for sharing

    Reply
  2. Sue@House Pretty
    March 3, 2012 at 12:03 PM (3 years ago)

    Thanks for this. I thought my blog was way, way, too small. Hmmm…I’m starting to reconsider.

    Reply
  3. Veronica and Daniel
    March 3, 2012 at 2:21 PM (3 years ago)

    All of your info is so helpful (and very well written!). Thanks for the tips and advice.

    Reply
  4. Phil and Darby Hawley
    March 3, 2012 at 11:47 PM (3 years ago)

    These are great tips! I always thought about hosting a link up party!

    Reply
  5. Terry
    March 5, 2012 at 12:57 PM (3 years ago)

    Super point about inlinkz not showing the referring blog. I didn’t realize there was another option. Thanks for the info.

    Reply
  6. Designed by Dawn Nicole
    March 5, 2012 at 1:10 PM (3 years ago)

    Thanks for sharing these thoughts on Link Parties! I find I get some sincere invites but more often I get the “nice job, come link at my party.” comments on my tutorials and those just don’t come across as sincere, especially when there are so many link parties to choose from! Great series! :)

    Reply
  7. Aris @ InLinkz.com
    March 5, 2012 at 6:22 PM (3 years ago)

    Hi Amy,

    I “overheard” this conversation about tracking the referring sites and I am more than intrigued to find out more about it. I have already taken some temporary measures to avoid referring from InLinkz.com but it would make me happy if you could contact me at my personal email address at aris(at)inlinkz.com so we could help each other in making InLinkz better.

    Thanks in advance,
    Aris, InLinkz.com

    Reply
  8. Kate
    March 5, 2012 at 6:46 PM (3 years ago)

    Thanks so much for these posts. I’m brand new to this blogging world and am learning as I go. Your tips have been great! Can’t wait to read tomorrow’s!

    Thanks for the inspiration!
    Kate
    http://crafty-kate.blogspot.com

    Reply
  9. Repeat Crafter Me
    March 5, 2012 at 10:38 PM (3 years ago)

    I am really enjoying this series! I try to have fresh content on my blog 5 days a week and try my best to link up as much as possible. I am getting a lot of traffic to my site, but not a lot of followers. Any tips on getting more followers as well as Facebook likes? I did a giveaway one time but am afraid if I keep doing giveaways I am just getting fair weather friends and not “likes” because they are genuinely interested in my blog. I wish I could sit down with you and pick your brain about this over coffee! LOL! Thanks so much! – Sarah @ Repeat Crafter Me

    Reply
  10. Shiloh
    March 6, 2012 at 1:22 AM (3 years ago)

    Ooh, I think this post was the most helpful of all for me so far. I’m going to pin it and re refer to it as I go along.:)

    Reply
  11. Elena
    March 7, 2012 at 3:02 PM (3 years ago)

    I started linking to parties a few weeks ago, but this week I really sat down and linked because I did my first tutorial and I wanted to share it. In three days I went from about 150 pageviews a day, to almost 1000. Part of that is because a number of people pinned the tutorial. I could *not* be happier :)

    Reply
  12. Linda
    March 11, 2012 at 1:36 AM (3 years ago)

    Thanks so much. I really needed some direction here. I’ve been blogging for 4 years with moderate success but when I started doing parties I saw a big jump. It’s fun to have people really reading the stuff you write. I have a craft blog and like to show how my sister and I make things, all kinds of things. Thank you so much. Linda

    http://twosucculentsisters.blogspot.com/

    Reply
  13. Kate @ A Creative Cookie
    March 13, 2012 at 3:47 AM (3 years ago)

    Thanks for this! I link to lots of Link Parties each week – that was how I grew my blog! I just link to lots each week (I have an ‘ultimate’ linky list on my blog) and it’s gotten me so far. This series is great – I’ve been pinning my favorite posts!

    Reply
  14. Kristen
    August 6, 2012 at 1:20 PM (2 years ago)

    Hi AMy!!! A little late. But I thought I should let you know that I enjoyed this series. Thanks!!!

    Reply
  15. Rose Jes
    August 23, 2012 at 11:04 AM (2 years ago)

    I love your blog! I just found you from Destination Craft, you were giving blogging advice, I’m now following your lovely blog. I have been tempting to reach out to other bloggers and have them guest post for me, during the special month in October the event is dedicated to all things fall… crafts, recipes, decorating, Thanksgiving, and Halloween. would you be interested to taking part in this event?
    I’d love to here form you. Come visit me @ http://www.arosiesweethome.com/

    Reply
  16. Becki Lewis
    November 2, 2012 at 3:56 AM (2 years ago)

    Thanks for the great tips! I just started a link party, and I appreciate the tips!

    Reply
  17. Phyl Van
    December 21, 2012 at 2:51 AM (2 years ago)

    OK! I get the part of how to link up to the party, but I can’t find an answer of how to link back! Just how do you do that on WordPress?

    Reply
  18. Diane | An Extraordinary Day
    April 4, 2013 at 3:06 PM (2 years ago)

    Hmmm….I’m just picking up on this now. Wow…I wished I had made a connection and started reading your helps months ago. I just started linking up for the most part since Thanksgiving. I had read lots of blogging experts…but they said nothing of linking. It was something that I had just noticed and started exploring. Since I have been ‘working’ on linking my page views have gone up dramatically…and yes…it takes a lot of time which I will not always be able to give.
    I have 2 questions…
    How does hosting a link party increase your page views significantly to make it worth the time of reading and commenting on every link up? Or is there other value?
    And the comment you made about inlinkz is probably no longer true I’m guessing?
    Thanks!!
    Wishing you An Extraordinary Day!

    Reply

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