A blog party, is a way to connect with your readers. Now as we mentioned in the previous post a link up is a very efficient way to succeed. However, in order for your blog party to be successful, some rules must be followed.
While hearing the word “rules” makes you think that it is a list of things your participants should not do, it is actually the road map to making the whole blog party awesome.
One of the rules, we’ve already mentioned, is the theme. You should set the theme so you get a nice linkup. Entrants should follow the theme in order to enter their links.
You can also set some rules on what each participant needs to do in order to be accepted.
Some of these rules can be:
- Notify their following.
- Promise to visit/leave a comment on other participants blogs too
- Follow you on your social media accounts.
- Agree to be notified about subsequent linkups.
- Put a banner on their own blog that they are partying here.
- Plan ahead
All these are traffic-enhancers. Let’s see them one by one:
1) Notify their following.
This would be to tweet, pin or post your blog post to facebook. In this way, they will actually notify all their followers that they added their link to your linkup and urge them to “come and see”. The party equivalent would probably be “Bring a friend”.
This is one of the most powerful methods to increase your traffic. Fact is, you can only reach YOUR followers. Say you announce your linkup to all your twitter followers, your facebook friends and send some emails too. But you cannot reach your readers’ followers. They will do it for you. And they’ll be happy to do so.
InLinkz provides tools to easily announce the links each participant adds, as soon as they do. Of course, in the tweet, post or pin, both the entrant’s link and yours are present by default so they get to brag about it too! It’s a win-win situation.
This brings purely new visitors for you. Some of these new visitors will be next linkup’s contributors which will, in turn, invite their own following (make your next linkup entry count bigger and grow your subscribers list)
2) Visit & leave a comment to other people too.
“Please visit & leave a comment to at least two links before and after your own”.
This is a very powerful sentence. Why? Because it will bring traffic to participants! Yes! They’ll be glad and they’ll come back next time you throw a party. But the key is to visit the people AFTER. Apparently, those who will do what the sentence says, will have to wait a while and come to your site again after a couple of hours/days to see who those, after their own link are. This is not only good for traffic. It is good because, while visiting, they may see something they like.
Leaving a comment is much more powerful as it connects them emotionally and makes the traffic increase powered by you, much more obvious. Moreover, comments are a major drive for your readers to keep the blog running and provide precious feedback.
3) Follow you on social media.
Another important step for future linkups:
Setting as a rule to follow you on social media (mainly in twitter, facebook, google plus and pinterest) will allow you to quickly build those communication channels too. While you will get the chance to let them know by email (see below), you will also get a chance to ask them to spread the word. Nobody would forward your email to a thousand people. Almost everyone would retweet your tweet though (of course, tweets are less effective than email so you still need the email list we discuss exactly below).
Do not forget: Having a decent following, gives the impression that you are an important person and makes someone easier to follow you.
Small tip: Always keep your followers’ number bigger than the ones you follow. It shows prestige and helps you actually read some tweets from the people you are really interested in what they are saying.
4) Agree to be notified about subsequent linkups.
After each linkup ends, you have the option to grab the emails of all the entrants. This is a very good way to build your mailing list.
For example, using mailchimp you can keep a full list of all your readers. As you may already know, mail is one of the most powerful marketing media and building a list is very important. Just make sure you let your users know that you may use their email addresses to let them know about your linkups or they may mark your emails as spam.
(see how to connect mailchimp to InLinkz here)
Small tip: Using web applications like mailchimp instead of your own gmail account is preferred, as these applications are optimized for this kind of usage and they even kick those who mark you as spam, out of your list. Sending through gmail, you risk not only being marked as a spammer and getting your email address blocked but in some cases, but if you send to a whole list using your CC field, you’ll expose all your readers’ email addresses to everyone and this really pisses readers off.
5) Put a banner on their blog that they are partying here.
Asking for your participants to put your banner in their blog is like leaving a note in their door that notifies their visitors where they’re partying.
This has two major benefits:
- First, it is the obvious benefit of increased traffic. Your participants’ readers go to their blogs, and see their post (for example the “macro photos of nature”). Then they see the banner that links to you, click through it and come to see more like it.
- The other benefit of the banner is getting backlinks. As you may already know, in order to get ranked higher from search engines, you need to have good referrals from other blogs. The links that lead from other blogs to yours, act as referrals. It is like asking for a good photographer in your neighborhood and everyone directs you to one specific person. Well, he has the most backlinks in the real world. The same happens here. When they ask around, they find you. In addition, you have the major know-it-all, Google, that sees who is referring to you and plays along.
Note: (banners should get your reader’s eye so we’ll talk about that also in a future post)
Participants may ask: “Why should I put the banner on my blog?”
Well, the answer is because you do the same for them, by exposing their link to all your followers and to the followers of all the people they will come and visit through everybody else participating and putting your banner in their blogs.
If you are really serious about backlinks, you can even enforce this rule from the InLinkz dashboard. Nobody will be able to add their link to your linkup unless InLinkz detects a valid backlink on their blog post.
6) Plan ahead.
Strategy is a big word.
What that means, is, that you need to know where you are heading with a linkup. Running a linkup for no reason will probably do some good. But having a specific strategy with your linkup will allow you to have measurable results.
If you consider running a linkup, prepare your steps in a notepad (see at the “keep in mind section” for a list of actionable stuff to do when running a linkup).
Having a couple of themes noted down for future linkups will help you feel productive instead of searching to the last minute for something hastily souped-up.
And remember: Put yourself in your reader’s shoes. Do you ask for too much? Would it seem strange to go by the rules you’ve set? Is what you set in your theme feasible by your readers? You might be able to create exquisite ornaments from seaweed. But you would be probably the only entrant in this “seaweed ornament” themed linkup.
By tracking I mean “watch the traffic statistics“. This is a good habit to have as a blogger in general, not only for linkups. And most platforms provide a way to keep an eye on your traffic. This is the only eficient way to see if something you did, had a positive impact to your blog.
The top dog in website traffic statistics is Google Analytics (GA). It is probably the most intimidating to start with too. – there is a post about GA for mommies in the works though, just to get you started so you can see the results you get from InLinkz as hard numbers
Now let’s move onto more technical details about creating a linkUp.