All about LINK PARTIES / Part 1 ~ Party Etiquette

All about Link Parties / Part 1 - Party Etiquette via Funky Junk Interiors

Here I go hosting Party Junk, a link party every week and have NEVER offered a tutorial on how to link up to one. Or the expectations of the party.  Or what they even are!

Well, today it’s time to change that. So many new bloggers are coming on board asking worthy questions and we all start somewhere. So here’s my take on:

All about Link Parties

Part 1 – Party Etiquette (this entry)

Part 2 – How to link up to a party (now live)

Part 3 – Should you start your own party  and how – to come!

1. What’s a link party?

 

A link party consists of a blogger adding a special link feature within their blog post, that enables visitors to link up their own blog posts.  It’s a very cool way to share everyone’s creations in one sitting.

2. How does one link up to a link party?

 

In a nutshell, you prepare your post on your blog and publish it. Once live, you copy the url of that particular post and paste it into the host’s link feature.

Full visual tour of this process will be in Part 2!

 

3. Is it possible to join a party if one doesn’t have a blog?

 

Yes and no. As long as you have your photo online somewhere and you are able to copy and paste the url, it’s possible. However you won’t be able to tell your story which is part of what we all love so much.

For this reason, if you wish to join my own party, Party Junk, and you don’t have a blog, I have an open invitation for you to post your project photo on my facebook wall during the event. We hang out there and yak about party features anyway, so come on over! πŸ™‚

4. Do / should party hosts visit all the links to their own party?

 

It’s my belief that whenever someone starts a new link party, they say to themselves, “Mine will be different! I will visit and comment on each one that links up! Oh yes I will!”

And then the parties get larger and larger. Your dog forgets you exist and now eats next door and your children have had to go for 2 weeks without clean socks because YOU ARE GOING TO VISIT ALL THOSE LINKS BY GOLLY.

PartyJunk has grown to the size where visiting each link is no longer feasible. I could either use my time to visit more without comments or visit some with and without comments. My preference is to comment because sometimes your projects deserve a standing ovation. And I just want to be a part of that.

But please know, it’s difficult for me to see my button in your blog post without thanking you in some way. Darned hard. It’s for that reason I do lots of Facebooking so I can reach as many of you as possible without giving up food, water and sleep (and pet and child) in order to respond to you.

5. How can one get more visits to their link up?

Thumbnail choice

It’s first about your thumbnail. Keep it plain and simple and choose a nice clear shot. An entire room will not show up in a tiny thumbnail. The thumbnails on Party Junk are fairly generous which does help.

Description

And sometimes your description. If you label your post with your blog name you may get more hits as well. The default is 50 characters but I can up that if you’d like me to.

Content and photography

I’m personally drawn to original projects. And junk. Because I really love originality and junk. πŸ™‚ But naturally I look beyond that for something unique that catches my eye, no matter what the linkup is. I look all the categories over as best as I can.

And because I have a feature blog I Love That Junk, I look for stunning photography. Clear, sharp, bright, well staged pictures that I feel I can endorse as my favs are the ones chosen.

Comment

Have you made a comment lately to a link party host? Please do! You’ll be noticed moreso by the host and others, especially if it’s a meaningful one such as which was your link up # and why you chose to share it. I LOVE those little attached stories!

Remove word verification.

Did you know word verification is a Blogger default? If you’re a new blogger, you likely have it on without even knowing. 

So… you may be getting more hits than you think. Maybe just not comments. I admit if I have to jump through too many hoops, I move on myself.

 THIS POST will help you to make your blog comment friendly.

Funky_Junk's_Party_Junk_link_party

6. Is linking back to a party a big deal?

 

You’ll notice that most hostesses request a link back to their party within your post. This can be done via a button or text link. 

Why? Because it drives traffic back to the party.

Link backs are a common courtesy that ought to be honoured if that’s part of the party host’s rules. Consider it a thank-you to the host.

I personally no longer require a link back to my own parties, but many still do. So please do if they request it.

Part 2 will explain how to link back.

7. How about buttons on the sidebar or separate page?

 

It doesn’t work the same way.

Subscribers in readers don’t see the buttons if they are not in the post and search engines won’t pick them up. A link back is meant to be IN YOUR POST and doesn’t work to the host’s advantage otherwise.

Some link features now have an optional setting a host can choose making a link back to their post mandatory. The feature reads your post’s code and if the link back isn’t there, it’ll reject your post. I don’t use it because I’m concerned newbies will have a tough time with it. But I’ll admit I’ve been tempted.

Please consider a link back as a thank-you to a host for bringing new traffic to your blog if they ask for one.

8. As a party goer that links up, must I visit all the other links?

 

I wouldn’t have that expectation of you. However the more visits you make, the more connections you make. Comments can drive traffic back to you as well as land you more follows.

When I first started blogging, I linked up to EVERY party I could and commented to EVERYONE I could. It’s effort that pays for itself.

9. Can a person link up to too many parties or the more the merrier?

 

Yes, it can be too much.  I’d suggest to pick up to 5 great parties you love and stick with that. Your content will be seen as fresh and new, not overrun. No one likes to visit a party with all reruns. You’re doing yourself and the party a favour if you limit your linkups and maybe even rotate them every so often so you hit different parties.

I myself am more drawn to feature someone that has linked up only a few times vs someone that has 50 parties listed under their post.

Google doesn’t even like all those linkups in your posts. You and the host may get dinged for them as they can come across as spam. Less is more.

Party Pet Peeves

 

The Party Crasher

“Hi I like your party come enter my giveaway follow me I just followed you don’t make me unfollow you because I will if you don’t follow me”

Hmm… πŸ™‚

 If you wish for new traffic your way, I suggest to leave a thoughtful comment that pertains to the party you’re visiting. You’ll likely draw visitors back because you were so thoughtful. Please leave the free advertising at home.

The Rule Breaker

A recipe in a textile party… how’d that get there? 

Hey, that linkup is here… every week. 

And this one just has stuff for sale… my advertisers that pay for the same service will LOVE this…

All link parties have rules. And each party has different rules. Always give someone’s rules a good read through. If they’re too restrictive, you can always move on. BUT… one should never break them.

Please read the rules to each individual link party you visit and respect the subject matter. Rules maintain the integrity of a party and you’re saving the host from having to delete when she’d rather be visiting.

Part 2 – How to link up! – (click here)

 

Newbies will LOVE this. I’ll be showing all the steps with screen shots on how to link up to a party. You’ll also learn how to link back to that party within your post too.

Any questions? Comments? Suggestions?

Let’s talk!

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  1. Thanks for this post! I just had a newer blogger ask me about link parties and I did my best to explain, but you’ve done a much better job so I sent her your way πŸ™‚ You have a very gracious way of sharing your thoughts; thank you.

  2. Donna – You’re just awesome! Not only do you rock the junk, but you’re so nice to help the newbies!! I want to move to Canada and be your neighbor (not in a stalking kind of way, tho) I just want more nice people in my life!! haha!!

    Have a wonderful day!!

    Hugs ~~ Suz

    Now…. if you could just create a post on how to keep the linky parties list organized – – I’ll find a new one that I like, link up to it one time, and then forget about it in a week or two… I HATE that!!

  3. Thanks Donna, I am glad you are sharing this tutorial. When I linked to your My Story party, I had no idea how to add the button in post. However, I did figure out how to link your blog name.
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us πŸ™‚

  4. Thank you so very much!!! I’ve been struggling for a long time…picking and clicking and trying to figure it out on my own! A disaster in the making! πŸ™‚ Looking forward to learning how to finally do it correctly!

  5. I wasn’t sure how to remove word verification on my blog (per your great advice!) so I had to look it up. I wanted to share what I found, if that’s ok?
    You can turn off the word verification from your dashboard.

    1. Go to your dashboard: http://www.blogger.com/home/
    2. Click “Settings”
    3. Click “Comments” in the Settings submenu (there is also a tab named “Comments” but that is the WRONG place).
    4. Scroll down to where it says “Show word verification for comments?” and click on the “No” radio button.
    5. Scroll down and click the “SAVE SETTINGS” button.

  6. Yeah! Standing ovation for Donna! Fabulous post and series. From a fellow party host, thank you for writing this! We will definitely be sharing this series at Inspiration Friday this week.

    Heather

  7. Thanks for sharing your wonderful suggestions. I will be looking forward to part 2. I can never get the blog buttons to be organized at the bottom of my blog they are all over the place and different sizes! Any help in that area would be appreciated. Thank you for all the tips!

  8. Hello Donna! I LOVE YOUR BLOG! I have had you on my reader for a while and I just became a follower. I am a little frustrated and I was wondering if you could help me out. I am not computer savy and don’t understand what is going on. Every time I visit your blog (even in my reader) I get this nasty message “Debug Assertion Failed” and blah, blah, blah…. The only option that will get rid of it is to choose “abort”. When I do you go away. I really want to spend more time learning and enjoying your junk. Do you have any ideas?
    Also, to post my comment I will have to try selecting anonymous as my profile, it wouldn’t let me on my bloger account…?….

  9. #14 Susan, regarding the signing in deal, when blogger upgraded, it crashed and burned loads of settings. The best fix I’ve found to date to correct what’s broke is to try a different browser. I went from Firefox to Safari and it fixed all my sign in issues. Or you can attempt to update your own browser, but I found switching worked best for me.

    Regarding that weird message, this is what I found on the net: Assertion Failed Problems usually happen when the computer’s registry system overloads with to much data, or when certain system files become missing or broken.

    I suggest to google the issue and pick and choose a route to fix that. There are many. πŸ™‚

    Donna

  10. #13 Connie, one way I’ve seen many organize all the buttons in their posts is to use a link feature in your own post with all the buttons attached. I thought that was very clever!

    When you slgn up for a link feature, you’re given an html. You can cut and paste that same html over and over for each party you sign up to as desired.

    Just know, that isn’t free but it is a very price efficient tool. I’ll be talking more on that within the series.

    Donna

  11. Donna, thank you for explaining this. I had no idea linking up would be so scary to me :-)! (like stage fright while sitting in my living room by myself)

    I didn’t know the word verification was a default – I hate those things, it’s off now! I look forward to learning about the buttons – I can link text, but I don’t get the buttons. Thank you again for all the knowledge you are so generously sharing.

  12. Glad you’re doing this tutorial (?) /SHOW AND TELL all about LINK PARTIES!

    Oh! You should get with Debbie–over at Debbies

    http://debbie-debbiedoos.blogspot.com/

    and link this up somehow to her NEWBIE PARTY LINK…there are lots of newbies with great blog ideas and things that would benefit so much from this information!

    Of course y’all could work out all the great spectacular details…{wink}

    Love it!

    Pat

  13. This is such an excellent post, Donna!

    I just started blogging in October and I loved seeing all the link parties on different blogs because it gave me access to so many amazing project ideas; so, I finally joined my first link party… and silly me, when asked for the Name of my link I entered in my OWN name – D’oh!! I felt so silly! Well, I think I may have gotten the hang of things now – but this series is going to be absolute gold for all of us newbies out in Blogland! MUCH appreciated, for sure!!!

    Thanks so much for looking out for us!

    Take care,
    Christina
    designingbynumbers.blogspot.com

  14. Well, she (Debbie) sure did comment already. I guess I missed her comment.

    I think I was chasing a rabbit when I was reading your comments to some of the other comment posters… he he , I tend to get sidetracked like that! {I’m nuts like that!)

    Anyway– Linky parties are fun. Glad you’re doing a tutorial on it…love your series. they’re the best!

    Pat

  15. This is a great tutorial Donna. When I was a newbie, I was confused about the technical aspects of linking. Now, I’m pushing talented newbies I’ve met in blogland to start. I can refer them to your tute now. Yeah! Thanks.

  16. After seeing a link party on another site and wondering how to do it, I saw your instructions next! Thanks. I’m looking forward to the rest of the lesson.

  17. But what about etiquette for readers? If I go to SNS and see something cute from Little Pink Cottage, I click on the picture. That sends me to their blog. Sometimes I just read one post, sometimes I get lost there. When I want to get back to you I usually just hit my previous pages arrow. Should I look for Your Button on their blog to link back instead? Is that what you are talking about? I want to do everything the right way. Can you also explain the difference between visits and page views on your stats? I look at them every once in a while. It is fascinating. I also like to see the dots on the map of the world and see who is visiting. I should probably get a job or a life. Ann

  18. Donna…you were my very first link party linkup. I didn’t know what the heck I was doing, but after a few hiccups I figured it out and the rest is history. So like I was a link party virgin…I think that would make a great book title πŸ™‚ don’t ya think? But now I’m ???…nope I just won’t go there.

    This was a great post, can’t wait to see the sequels.

  19. #28 Nutbird, do whatever is less work for YOU when you visit. Yes, a blog host will rank higher in hits if you exit from the host blog and reenter but that’s too much to expect for visitors and not required although the thought is appreciated!

    Visit – someone coming to your blog for the first time

    Page visit – how many times they click on different pages within that one visit

    Donna

  20. Oh, thank you so much for the information!! I’ve been curious about the trackback and exactly how that works. Cannot wait to read about it in the next installment. =o)

    A few months ago, I also went to buy a Canon T2i and walked out with a Nikon for the exact same reason. It fit in my hand better.

    Thank you!

  21. Thank you for thinking to do a tutorial! I just started blogging last month and linky parties are about the ONLY way I get traffic. So I LOVE them and RESPECT them!! πŸ™‚ But I can’t figure out how to link back to the party, so your next post is going to help me a lot!! I haven’t had the chance to link to one of your parties yet, I just started following last week, but I’ll be around from now on! πŸ˜‰

  22. This is great info Donna, so glad you wrote it. One thing I try to do is only link up when I have time to visit others. I start with the blog before and after me and go from there depending on how much time I have. I hope people don’t link and run. But I have to say I think some do. They try to link up to as many blogs as possible. I know there is advice out there to do just that. For me, I don’t think that is always the best way.

  23. Great post as always Donna! I totally messed up on my first link (Put their link on my sidebar but was too new to know I needed it on my post. Got blown away by them.) So – I appreciate when hosts give the new guys a second chance and advice. Most importantly (hope that is a real word) posts like this are priceless to new bloggers.
    As for linking up – when I do I link in the morning and spend the afternoon/evening enjoying checking out the other fabulous link posts. That’s when I can really enjoy them and not feel so rushed to comment.

  24. I believe your SNS was my first link party this past summer! I’m pretty sure I didn’t do something correct that first or even the 2nd time! LOL! I have a problem of forgetting to add the link button in my blog posts. I eventually remember and go back to put it in. I usually try to tell bloggers what link party I found their post at so they know where I fond them. I don’t know if it matters to others, but I’m always curious how others find my blog.

  25. Great post! I love the part about the “follow me or else I’ll unfollow you”! Being fairly new I’ve gotten a few of those emails & feeling obligated, I followed! I stopped that a couple weeks ago! ANNOYING! Why do people do that? What’s the matter with them! πŸ™‚

  26. So great Donna. I stopped being a party host for some of those annoying reasons you mentioned. Mine was for thrift finds and home decor projects. It was so discouraging to have people not link back, link the same projects, or links unrelated to what the party was about. πŸ™ and I agree with Jessica- I want people to follow me because they like my content, and when I follow someone else I do it because I like theirs. Thanks for the great post.

  27. Hi Donna! Thanks so much for explaining why sidebar and party pages aren’t as effective. When I started 3 months ago, I was putting all the buttons at the end of my post. As I joined more parties, I became frustrated at how messy it looked. So then I started creating tables and re-sizing all the buttons. Which was ok, but was more work. I then moved all the buttons to the sidebar, thinking that I was giving all these great hosts more exposure since they showed on every single page of my site. Plus it made it very easy for me to see which parties were each day. I never considered that people using readers would never see them. I receive all my stuff by email. I have never used blogger, since my hubby is a WordPress expert, he set me up self-hosted on his server. Now this makes a little more sense. I also had cut back on the number of parties I was visiting after a “big” blogger referred to linking up to more than 3-5 parties a week as being a “lady of the evening” on her facebook page. I keep reminding myself that the first and most important part of marketing is getting yourself out there and letting people know what you do. I’m sure she didn’t get to where she is by only linking a couple of places per week. I can’t wait to see what else you teach us. Thanks SO much!!

  28. Not only do you always have the best content and teach us in easy to understand fashion, but you have the best commentors as well. I always have to read each and every one.
    I admit that I have not mastered html and buttons. I paste the image and add words to which I connect my link backs. I would love to learn the “proper” way to do it. If you can add info on resizing buttons to look more uniform, all the better. Even if buttons 101 has to be a different post.
    The only time I do not add link backs (and I apologize) is Wordless Wednesday when I link to dozens of sites as I find them. I do try to mention a few though.
    Another thing I do with WW posts is try to visit everyone who comments on my post, but sometimes it does take days.
    There is no way a party hostess could visit everyone every week.
    I agree with your advice to use your blog name when you link up, but sometimes the project name is as good if not better. A good title or project name sways me to click, as much as the photo.
    I look forward to the next installments, as I don’t know what you meant about having all your parties connected and a link feature to attach them. I did a seperate page for parties, divided by days of the week, but quickly lost control of that. So I try to put the links individually at the end of my post. Time consuming and sometimes I have to edit and add a link.

    THANK YOU to you and all the wonderful ladies (and men) who dedicate themselves to giving us the link up opportunity week after week.
    It draws traffic to each of us, helps us find new friends and great content, and is a lot of FUN.

  29. Donna,

    So very timely, as I just launched my blog this past week.

    Is what #46/Adrea said true about going to too many parties? I do enjoy a good party — but now I’m concerned I’ve overdone it a bit. In my defense, I just started and wanted to start building some traffic …

    Also, am looking forward to finding out how to organize all my “whore-ish” party buttons at the end of the post — will you cover that in your next post?

    • Hey Linda, no, I’m not going to cover how to store all the links or blog buttons or ? because I don’t like to emphasize linking up to the amount that requires worrying about this.

      I vote to link to up to 5 of your fav parties and leave it at that, via text links or buttons.

  30. Donna…is it rude to put more than one thumbnail into a linky party? I’m not sure about that? I just happened to have two projects to share this week and want to make sure I’m not rude?

    Thanks for your tutorial…Awesome stuff!

    • Hey Wendy, no, I don’t find it rude, but you also want to avoid spamming a party with too many from the same blog for sure. Or at least space them out? Common sense plays the main role in this one. Link up and enjoy! πŸ™‚

  31. Donna – Thank you! I’m new to blogging and so clueless how these parties work – I’ve been doing everything wrong! Now I just have to figure out the basics and how to link back within my blog! I’ve been doing the sidebar link. More to learn….

  32. THANKYOU for the tutorial. It took me three weeks to figure out how to link up to parties. My oldest grandaughter would just do it for me but I watched and learned. Haven’t had a problem since BUT I do think there is a faster and better way to do it than I am doing. So excited to see part 2. There are not enough words to thank you as this whole blogging thing has been a HUGE education in the computer. I have been blogging for only seven weeks now and love it. There are such great people out there and their blogs are fantastic like yours. Off to read part 2 and thanks again.

    Nann

  33. I had to come back to this post and read that I’m not alone…I have two basic rules: follow me and link back. I can’t get anyone to do it! I was sure to share this link with my readers.

    • Hi Amy! These days I personally don’t tell anyone to follow me nor link back. I figure they will if they desire to. I’d rather have followers that want to stick around vs. feel they have to. The decision has worked for me!

  34. Hi Donna!! I found this post via the conversation on Link Party Etiquette on “Home Stories A to Z”s facebook page. Honestly, you’re another of my fav bloggers, so I can’t believe I missed this. Then again, I’m new to the blogosphere and have been overwhelmed (in a really good way!) by all the amazingly creative projects out there (and here. Especially here, lol).

    Anyways, I just wanted to say a big fat “THANK YOU SO MUCH!” for taking the time to explain the basics to newbies like me. I try to be as genuine as possible, but after reading your article and Beth’s discussion, I found that I was breaking a few rules without even realizing there WERE rules! (Gulp… My bad.)

    Also, on a side note, thank you for all the inspiration you throw out into the world. As someone I believe to be truly blessed and talented, it’s gratifying to see when you get the spotlight for all the amazing work you do. It’s also inspired me to work my (not so little) tush off at growing my blog and (hopefully) being as successful as you one day!! <3 to you and all you do.

    ~Nicole @ http://www.shabbybeachnest.com

  35. Hi Donna!
    I found your blog through Pinterest and LOVE it! Its one of the blogs I check all the time and actually inspired me to do my DIY projects on my own blog. I hope you dont mind that I added your URL to one of my posts. I havent done a DIY post yet, Im just finishing up a spring cleaning on my blog and have found these tutorials AMAZINGLY helpful!You explain everything so well and I can do it without being completely lost! THANK YOU!!!

    I wanted to ask one question though, Im not sure if I want to add this feature yet or not, but Im thinking about getting one of those pin buttons and have NO idea how to do that. Can you share how to go about it?

    Thanks Donna!

    -Kacie

    • Hi Kacie, depending on whether you have blogger or WordPress, the methods are all different. I’d suggest to google for the answer on your given format. How to install a pin button is a whole other blog post! πŸ™‚

  36. Donna, thank you so much for offering your help and insight. I’m not new to blogging, but this is a very different venue than what I’m used to with my writing and other blog. I’ve yet to jump onto the link party wagon. I’ve been slowly setting up my blog as I go and I often look back in your archives for your great tips. Again, thank you so much for passing the information forward.

  37. Hi

    I’m a soon-to-be-blogger (hopefully!) and I’m intending to find, say, up to 5 link parties to link to. I know I need to link any new project to only the relevant one(s) for that week – i.e. if a recipe ensure I’m only linking up to a party which includes recipes – but what if it’s relevant to 3 or 5 of them? Is it acceptable to link the same project to all of them during the same week? If the host’s rules say you can only link something original/which has been recently blogged, does this still mean I can link my same project to all parties?

    I may be wrong, but it looks to me as though some parties have HUNDREDS of new links per party. How are these organised? I’m sure I’m not alone in only scrolling down for so long before I get tired of looking, so if my project was accepted but I was going to be number 250 would this not be a waste of time? Do some parties accept too many entries or, generally, does everyone else continue looking to the bottom of the page? Grateful for any advice, thanks.

    • Hi Dawn! Yes, it’s common for link party upper folks to link up the same project to multiple parties. This is why I suggest to only choose a few, not loads. You don’t want to saturate the market with your project and the link party host appreciates unique content too!

  38. THANK YOU! I am a newbie and very overwhelmed! You have answered so many questions I have had! I am so happy I stumbled upon this post. Again, thank you so much for sharing! -Tena

  39. This is post is exactly what I need right now… thank you. I’m a total newbie doing my best to figure out how to attend link parties and making PLENTY of mistakes I’m sure. I really needed a bit more info that the small amount a host will usually share, and this was exactly what I needed. I will be back to link up someday soon–thanks!

  40. I think it’s common courtesy to visit or follow the hosts and visit a few of the others linking up but that’s all I feel I should do. I don’t like adding their link to my post. I mean, how many times would I have to go in and edit my post if I added everyone’s link to it? TOO MANY!