Grow Your Blog: Getting Featured

Hey there, friends!  All of us know that one of the best ways to grow a blog and gain exposure is by linking up at popular parties.  And if one of those hostesses happens to feature our project, well, that can be a huge boost to our stats and our readership!  For example, Jen from Tatertots and Jello once featured my decorated clothespins and for awhile she was one of my top referral sources of all time!
Today, I want to share with you some tips for getting featured.  There’s no guarantee that your project will be chosen at any given time, but if you follow these guidelines, I think they’ll help your posts get the attention they deserve.

 

1. Take Great Photos. {and/or edit them to be awesome}
I’m going to be honest right off the bat. Between caring for Little Crafter, working part-time, running the house, running an Etsy shop, and keeping up with the blog, I simply don’t have time to visit every post linked up at Shine on Fridays.  I’m guessing that’s the case for most, if not all, bloggers who run link parties.  That being said, when I’m deciding which projects to feature and visit, the first thing I do is scroll through the party and look for thumbnail images that catch my eye.  No matter what kind of project you’re sharing, it’s good to keep these things in mind to up your chances of getting noticed.

* Am I choosing the best photo of my project for the thumbnail image?  You want to showcase the finished product, not the process.




* Is my photo bright and well- lit?  If not, you can easily edit in PicMonkey.

 

* Is my photo too “busy”?  Staging can be good, but remove unneccessary clutter from the background.


2. Be Original.
I hate to say it, but no matter how great your melted crayon art is, you’re probably not going to get featured.  Because everyone else has already done it.  Don’t belive me?  Take a look

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When I’m choosing who to feature, I’m looking for something I haven’t seen a million times already.
Something that makes me go, “WOW!” Or, “Why didn’t I think of that?!” Or best of all, “I want to do/make/have that!”

3. Be Timely.
Not everything I feature is seasonal, but of course in the fall, I know my readers are going to want to see cool things to do with pumpkins or a yummy fall treat recipe.  In November, I’m going to have my eyes open for holiday ideas and gift tutorials that I can share.  If you link a Valentine craft in June or a pumpkin in February, it’s not going to be what people are looking for.  Also, be aware of current styles and trends in the blog world {ie: the chevron craze}. 


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Linking up a project that fits in with what the average blog reader is interested in at the moment increases your chances of getting not only featured, but lots of visits too.

4. Follow the Rules.

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Every party has its own rules.  Make sure you know and follow them.  For example, many hosts require you to post their button or a link to the party on your site somewhere.  Some specify that it has to be within the post, while many are okay with it being in your sidebar or on a party page.  Recently, I got an email from my sweet friend Jessi over at Practically Functional because she wanted to feature one of my projects but I had forgotten to add her party button to my page.  I felt awful, of course, and got her button up right away, but she would have had every right not to feature me.
Sorry again, J! 

5. Be aware of the particular blog’s style, focus, and readership.
Certain blogs have a niche, like children’s activities/crafts or home decorating.  I don’t typically link up Little Crafter’s latest projects at French Country Cottage, nor do I put my latest furniture upcycle at Made By Little Hands Monday over at Delicate Construction.  It just wouldn’t work.  The readers of those blogs, as well as the authors, are looking for certain things.  Some parties are free-for-alls; others aren’t.  Try to judge which projects are appropriate for which parties instead of just linking everything everywhere.  Or if you do share everywhere, at least don’t be surprised when your kid’s fingerpaint art doesn’t get a feature at some places, know what I mean?

6. Leave comments and let your hostesses get to know you.


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As a hostess, it’s always nice to get comments from partygoers that say “thanks for hosting.”  In the meantime, it helps them to get familiar with your name, particularly if you exchange a few emails back and forth.  If you leave a personal comment, and possibly even mention what you linked up {without doing so in a generic or spammy way}, it may even encourage a hostess to go seek out your link and check it out.

7. Don’t give up!

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Those tips should serve you well, no matter what party you’re linking to.  Just keep in mind that some of the parties have hundreds {and hundreds and hundreds} of entries and even if you do everything right, when someone is choosing just ten or twenty projects out of 700 to feature, you may not make the cut.  Don’t be discouraged, and don’t stop linking!  Keep on trying and also try to find some smaller parties to link to where your odds of a feature are doubled or tripled just based on the number of projects shared each week.

And now, just for giggles, here are a few tips that are specifically One Artsy Mama related.  Here are a few sure-fire ways to catch my attention with your link!

Make dessert.  Or something equally yummy looking.

Pumpkin Scones via The Swheat Life
 

Yes, this is a craft blog, and yes, I feature lots of crafts.  But I write my posts between 2-5 PM which means I’m almost always hungry while I’m perusing the party links.  Those pumpkin chocolate chip cookies or the Reese’s Mousse Pie are just going to call my name.  That’s all I’m sayin’. 
These pumpkin scones also incorporated suggestion #2:

Mention something you know I can’t resist.
Those babies claim to be “Better than Starbucks.” We all know I’m going to have to go visit.  It’s a no-brainer.  Starbucks.  The Baltimore Ravens.  Ballroom Dance.  Mod Podge.  You guys know my weaknesses…probably as well as I do! 


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Make something I can do.
Cheap, quick, easy.  Yes.  That’s the kind of projects I’m always looking for.

I hope you find some of these tips helpful, and I hope they start you on your way to more and more features you deserve!  Questions?  Comments?  Other helpful tips?  Lay ’em on me!

Happy Blogging!


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41 comments on Grow Your Blog: Getting Featured

  1. Desire Empire
    October 22, 2012 at 4:09 AM (2 years ago)

    Yes I did Amy thanks. I haven’t linked up for a while but plan to soon.
    Carolyn

    Reply
  2. Modern Day Disciple
    October 22, 2012 at 4:50 AM (2 years ago)

    Nice post! You rock! ;) I live for Cheap, quick and easy. What does that make me? lol

    Reply
  3. AnaMB
    October 22, 2012 at 8:46 AM (2 years ago)

    great infos! so useful to know :)

    Reply
  4. Sue@House Pretty
    October 22, 2012 at 9:49 AM (2 years ago)

    Thank you so much for the “insider secrets” and for taking the time to share them!

    Reply
  5. Heddy J.
    October 22, 2012 at 12:31 PM (2 years ago)

    Love your tips! Thanks so much for sharing! :-) Now, if you’ll excuse me…I have some feature-worthy blog posts to create! :-)

    Reply
  6. Darby Hawley
    October 22, 2012 at 5:31 PM (2 years ago)

    Great tips Amy!!! I’m going to make sure I implement these :-) I have to say, of all the series on blogging, and this is my favorite!!! Thanks for being real girl!

    Reply
  7. Just Jenn
    October 22, 2012 at 7:18 PM (2 years ago)

    Great tips- I am new to blogging….. Looking forward to growing and learning!!!

    Reply
  8. Katie @ Favorites and Things
    October 23, 2012 at 12:53 AM (2 years ago)

    Great post, thanks for all the information! I’m recently back to blogging after taking about a two year break so it’s great to get some information on how to raise my readers back up.

    Reply
  9. {Steph}
    October 23, 2012 at 10:40 PM (2 years ago)

    This is a great post, Amy! Lots of things I wish I would have known when I first started blogging. :)

    Have a great day!

    Steph @ Silver Boxes

    Reply
  10. Eva {Tales of the Scotts}
    October 24, 2012 at 11:06 AM (2 years ago)

    Great post! Probably the hardest thing you mentioned for me to do is leave a comment for the hostess. So many “go live” at the same time and with everything else I need to do at home, etc., I feel like all the time I have is to link up. Like this morning, I just linked up to 6 at one time. But, gives me something to work toward. :-) Thanks Amy!

    Reply
  11. Kelly @ thelilypadcottage
    October 25, 2012 at 11:59 PM (2 years ago)

    Really great tips, I’ve been blogging about 2 months, so slowly figuring it all out, thanks! Kelly

    Reply
  12. Garden Chef
    October 26, 2012 at 6:59 AM (2 years ago)

    Great tips, Amy! Can’t wait to apply them all!

    Reply
  13. angelicscalliwags
    October 26, 2012 at 9:26 PM (2 years ago)

    As a fairly new blogger these tips are so useful, thank you!

    Reply
  14. Linda Kilsdonk
    October 26, 2012 at 9:31 PM (2 years ago)

    What great and encouraging ideas! Thanks so much for sharing! Linda @ paperseedlings.com

    Reply
  15. Michelle
    October 26, 2012 at 10:33 PM (2 years ago)

    Thanks for the tips, Amy! :)

    Reply
  16. Jenna
    October 27, 2012 at 12:32 AM (2 years ago)

    Great tips!

    Reply
  17. artclubblog.com
    October 27, 2012 at 1:20 AM (2 years ago)

    Very helpful post, filled with some great tips. Thanks!

    Reply
  18. Designed by Dawn Nicole
    October 27, 2012 at 2:24 AM (2 years ago)

    Great tips as always, Amy! Thanks for sharing. I’m with you on the Starbucks. Even my 4 year old is well aware and will say, “Let’s go to Starbucks, Momma”. It just warms my heart! :)

    Reply
  19. SJ
    October 27, 2012 at 3:38 AM (2 years ago)

    Great post and lots of helpful tips, Amy! I’ve been catching up on your whole Grow Your Blog series and it’s full of useful info. Consider me your newest follower :)

    Reply
  20. Trina
    October 27, 2012 at 4:20 AM (2 years ago)

    Hi! I’m visiting from TGIF! Great tips! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  21. Bethany@http://thislittleestate.blogspot.ca/
    October 27, 2012 at 4:13 PM (2 years ago)

    Thank you for all of these tips. I found you through a link up party and cant wait to catch up on all of your blogging tips! Thanks for taking the time to teach us newbies a thing or two. :)

    Reply
  22. Jessi @ Practically Functional
    October 29, 2012 at 11:36 PM (2 years ago)

    Great tips! I’m working on brightening up my photos. My apartment is kinda dark, but that’s no excuse! Thanks for sharing at The Fun In Functional!

    Reply
  23. ARod Rodriguez
    November 2, 2012 at 4:24 AM (2 years ago)

    great post lots of good tips thanks for sharing

    Reply
  24. Marty Walden
    November 2, 2012 at 5:05 AM (2 years ago)

    These are great tips! I know all these things but I get sidetracked and forgetful. Thanks for the reminders to pursue excellence!

    Reply
  25. Lynn
    November 2, 2012 at 12:56 PM (2 years ago)

    Thanks for the helpful tips. I’m fairly new to the blogging community but I am definately hooked. I’m also an Etsy Junkie. Nice shop!

    Reply
  26. Ann
    November 3, 2012 at 3:05 AM (2 years ago)

    Excellent post with useful information. Thanks for sharing these great tips.

    Reply
  27. Jeannie-JB
    November 3, 2012 at 5:17 PM (2 years ago)

    Good tips – saw you featured at Stuff and Nonsense and came on over to check you out.

    Reply
  28. Marisa
    November 7, 2012 at 2:55 PM (2 years ago)

    I just discovered your blog through Pam from Threading my way. Thanks for all the great information you have here, now you have a new follower, I love your blog and I’ll visit you often.
    Marisa.

    Reply
  29. Kendra
    November 12, 2012 at 9:25 PM (2 years ago)

    Thank you for sharing. Gaining followers and static readership has always been a struggle for me. Sounds like I should focus a bit more on link parties!

    potspansandpaintbrushes.blogspot.com

    Reply

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