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! 🙂
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?
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.
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. 🙂 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.
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.
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”
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.
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?