ON STARTING A LINK UP PARTY

I can’t believe I’ve already been hosting the Jack of All Trades link up for the past seven weeks! In reality, I’m still a newbie when it comes to link ups but I thought I would share some things I’ve learned through the last few weeks and some things I’ve seen work (and not work) for others in the link up world.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF YOUR LINK UP?
The first thing to figure out is what kind of link up you want. Do you want people to do something and link up a particular post? or do you want something more general? I decided that since I don’t have a huge following if I went the more specific route I would only get one or two people linking up each week, so I decided to let people share any post they want to and put the emphasis on encouraging others and building a community.

I’m not saying at all that you shouldn’t do a specific link up, those are great and I’d love to have one in the future, but if you are just starting out it might be best to go a little more general.

HOW OFTEN WILL IT OCCUR?
Is it going to be a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly link up? Those three are definitely the most common options. How often you have it will probably depend on the kind of link up you are running. If yours is fairly specific you would probably only want to do bi-weekly or monthly as opposed to every week.

WHAT ARE YOUR RULES?
This is totally up to you but I personally love it when bloggers have some kind of commenting rule, the most common one I’ve seen is that you have to comment on at least the post ahead of yours. Who wants to link up and never get anyone viewing or commenting on their post? Absolutely no one. I’ve seen link ups with hundreds of links before, and included my link, and never even got one single view or comment from it, there is no point in a link up like that to me.

DO YOU WANT CO-HOSTS?
Co-hosts are totally optional but I decided that I want to have one co-host for my JOAT link up. My rules for that are that they will also share the HTML for the link up on the designated date that they are co-hosting and they are to comment on at least 5 posts. Since the goal of my link up is encouragement and community, commenting on others posts is huge.

Having a co-host definitely involves a little more work for me since I also do a little feature including a photo of them as well as some links to posts or categories on their blog but I think it’s worth it. It is now one of the sponsoring options on my blog so I get a bit of compensation for the time put in. It’s also great because the link up gets more exposure since it is featured on a different blog each week. Therefore, hopefully growing the community.

SHARE IT WITH OTHERS
When I started my first link up I sent out an email to some of my blogger friends and told them about the link up, my reasons for it and invited them to join in on the fun. I think that helped increase the awareness of the link up right off the bat. I also share the link up on Twitter a few times through out week.

COMMENT ON THE POSTS
The first couple weeks I was able to comment on every post linked up, now I don’t have the time to do that but I am still able to comment on quite a few of them. I know it always encourages me when someone I’m linking up with comes over to my blog and leaves a comment.

CREATE A BUTTON
An easy way for people to share about your link up is to create a button. I create a 200×200 image and use this button generator online, it’s quick and easy.

MAKE LINKING UP A REQUIREMENT
I just found out today that InLinks has the option in the advanced setting to make it a requirement for people to link to your site on the post they are linking. It is one of my rules to link up to my site or blog post when joining in the link up party but I have seen quite a few times where people haven’t actually done it.

EXTRAS
There are other things you can do in your party like share the most popular post from the week before, make a collage of similar themed posts or share your favorite photo, etc, etc, etc. The ideas are endless, this is not a necessary step at all but it’s a great thing to think about.

LINK UPS I JOIN IN
Okay, I’m sure I’ll miss a few in this list, but here are some I join in regularly:

Currently @ A Mama Collective
Weekly Wishes @ The Nectar Collective
Week’s End @ Oak & Oats
Cooks in the Kitchen @ Sweet Lavender Bake Shoppe & Elah Tree

Do you like to participate in link ups?
Which are your favorites? Feel free to leave the link in the comments!

MEG @ ME WITH THE THREE

Me with the Three is mostly my view of life with three boys.  My about page says “this little spot is where I share whatever strikes my fancy at the moment. Most of the time it’s photography, family, crafts, food, and Jesus! I’m learning to live full of thankful joy, so this is a place where I write all that down.”

Meg’s Favorite Posts
It’s Society Who’s Ugly
Joy of Triumph
When it Get’s Dark

RACHEL @ OH SIMPLE THOUGHTS

Oh Simple Thoughts is a lifestyle blog. I write about marriage, Jesus, food, DIY projects and goal setting. I am passionate about being a source of encouragement for others who read my blog, and I long to push other to know Jesus more deeply and fully.

Rach’s Favorite Posts
Lessons from a Wife of a PhD Student
The hardest post I may ever write…
Our Love Story

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