What Are Link Parties For?
I participate in a bajillion linky parties each week. I love them! What better place to find new blogs, and get inspiration? Plus, its a great way to gain exposure for your blog, and a means to meet others who are interested in the same things as you. I’ve amassed countless resources for sewing, blogging, fashion, and gotten lots of cool tips and inspiration from them. That’s why I appreciate the fabulous hosts so much, and have added a party page to my blog.
Please be mindful that bloggers host parties to increase their stats, and their revenue. They love seeing your projects and getting feedback too- I find it hard to believe anyone blogs just for money. It’s so consuming that you really have to love it. But it’s still a business.
A linky party is advertising. Just like a retail store offers a little promotion to get you in the door- they are hoping you’ll stay and shop for a while. Except in the blog world, your host doesn’t necessarily want you to buy something- just to hang out and come back. Visit people so they wanna come back too. More hits= higher ad prices.
Hosting can’t be easy….Plus, InLinks charges hosts for their service. Whether your host is using a paid service or not, they spend a lot of time and put a lot of effort into their party each week. Many hostesses spend the week visiting blogs who linked up, leaving nice comments and just being sweethearts. Then they choose projects to feature, and spend time writing feature posts. I can’t imagine all the time that goes into it! So we should always play nice.
Diana Rambles has a great series about linky parties. Her post titled “Linky Party Etiquette” should be required reading for anyone who links up.
I’m a certified link junkie. I play nice. I visit links. I pin, plus, tweet, and like your party. Not because you told me to, but because I genuinely appreciate you for hosting, and I’d like to reciprocate.
6 Tips For the Link Party Hostess
Lately, I’ve noticed some hostess faux pas that really need to be mentioned.
I’m pretty sure your blog won’t shrivel up and die if I don’t visit. But as a consumer, I’m probably your target market. I have the time to browse your blog and the means to buy from your sponsors and advertisers. I’m an Etsy freak, PayPal should send me a Christmas card, – and when I see a product I like on your site, I buy it. I’m the one who purchases your e-books and patterns, & recommends you to my friends. So please don’t treat me like I’m inconveniencing you, or ” putting you out” as we say in the Midwest.
Bloggers can make their readers uncomfortable at a party. I’ve chosen not to participate in the parties that don’t follow good host etiquette, and don’t have them on my page.
I was raised a certain way. We take our manners seriously in Oklahoma. If my manners are A+, I expect nothing less from anyone I befriend, do business with, or associate with in anyway. I’m not trying to be mean, just honest. Rudeness is downright offensive to nice people.
Here are 6 suggestions to make your linky party more friendly, and get more guests to link up.
Don’t Require Me To Follow You On Every Social Media Platform
I’m a fan, not a stalker.
I’d rather subscribe and maybe like on Facebook. Or follow on Bloglovin & G+. I have different people in different circles, because I’m able to see more content that way. If I saw all the bloggers I love, promoting the same post in 6 different places every day, I wouldn’t read any of it! I’m not real active on Twitter or Instagram. Don’t require specific platforms, unless it’s a party focusing on a specific platform. You’ll lose readership.
Ask, Don’t Demand
For most bloggers,the goal is to get as much exposure as possible. Of course we want to be pinned and subscribed to and loved! But readers don’t like to do it at gunpoint.
Have you ever went shopping and dealt with a pushy salesperson? You are already in the store. Obviously, you are interested in what they have to offer. So most likely, you want to make a purchase…
Making it a requirement to subscribe is sort of like if you are in the store, and the salesperson tells you a purchase is mandatory if you want to shop. Most of us would turn around and walk out, even though we really, really wanted to try some things on.
Before I ever joined a linky party, I came just to visit and see the projects. I was just aimlessly traveling around the Internet. I was subscribed to several blogs that host linkys before I ever linked up, because I fell in love with the charm of the site, the wit of the writer, or the inspiration from their personal projects.
We are already at your site. That means we like what we see. We join linkys to increase our stats too. We want to connect with you. Just tell lead the horse to the water. He’ll drink.
(Hosts, I do empathize with you. I would be very disheartened by the people who only show up to a party and leave.)
Justine from SewCountryChick sets a good example with her party. She asks that you visit other links, tells you how to add her button, and usually closes with,”It would make me very happy if you could Follow my blog!” No pressure, no demands, and you subscribe because you want to see more.
Choose Your Words Carefully
I recently came across 2 parties that actually, really said: “If you join this party, you must join our site with this platform. It’s the least you can do.” and worse, “You will NOT be featured and your link will be deleted if you don’t subscribe, Twitter & Facebook follow all four hosts of this party.”
Kara from Petals To Picots understands the psychology of words. You can tell she has writing and editorial experience. I like how she once used the word guidelines instead of rules at a party she hosted.
Hostesses should avoid entitlement language, like “it’s only fair”, Or “its the least you can do”. It just rubs me the wrong way, and looks desperate.
Remember, you earn your fans and followers. They are your fans because they like your content, your personality, your photos…whatever. They may subscribe for a linky party, but if you want a fan, who reads your posts, clicks your ads, and pins your material- earn it.
You may think I’m just being fussy here, but words are powerful. You want to host a good party? Be a gracious hostess.
Don’t Threaten Me
TYPING IN ALL CAPS IS SCREAMING.
CAPS LOCK WITH A BUNCH OF EXCLAMATION POINTS AT THE END IS SCREAMING WHILE SHAKING YOUR FIST!!!!!!
I totally get why you want a button within the post. I’m going to tell you why I prefer it on my party page.
I link to so many parties, it would literally take me longer to add all the buttons to my post than it took to write the post. And, I like having a direct link to your site so I can visit anytime I want. Those are the selfish reasons.
Here’s why you shouldn’t mind your button being placed on my link party page instead of a post:
I have never once clicked to a link party from within a post. I’ve asked around, and none of my blogging friends have either. Plus, it gets buried.
However, when I run across a new blog, I do check out their party page. If I see a new linky I didn’t know about, I head over and copy the button to my page. I don’t know the statistics here, but in my humble opinion, the party page is prime real estate. Think about it. Anybody on that page is looking for parties. Anybody on the post is looking for how to decorate a lampshade. They probably won’t pay much attention to your button. Have you ever clicked on a button within a post? I could be wrong, feel free to weigh in on this one.
Don’t Forget Your IOS Users
A lot of IPad,iPod, and iPhone users can’t grab your buttons. I have several linky parties I can’t join because the sites button isn’t compatible with Apple products. :(
(Apple also isn’t really compatible with InLinks & Linky Tools either…we can’t crop our photos. So that’s why my photos look meh at your party. Well…that and I’m a lousy photographer. Moving on.)
About half my visitors are on an IOS device. So if you know how to mess with the technical stuff, fix it. We’ll love you even more.
I hope I haven’t offended anyone who hosts a party. Before I read Diana’s Linky Party Etiquette, I’m sure I committed some linky crimes too. If your linky party is rude (and you don’t want it to be) change it. No biggie :)