Hello there =)
So, if you haven’t noticed, I’m no stranger to hosting a link up party.
Say what? You host a link up party?
Why yes, yes I do. Two of them at the moment ;)
While I’m not the expert on them, yet, I have learned a thing or two since starting my first party in late 2014.
Hosting a link up party presents a lot of work and patience. Getting off the ground with your initial launch is just the beginning. From week-to-week party planning, promoting, tracking and expanding a blogger can have their work cut out for them.
But enough about all of that… Today we’re talking about getting your first linkup party started. And lucky for you it IS possible to be up and running quickly! I’d like to help you do that.
Mi conocimiento es su conocimiento. My knowledge is your knowledge.
Thought it looked fancier in Spanish…
How does that sound to you?
1 – Choose a Party Theme
What types of posts will your party goers be linking up?
Try to keep your theme related to the overall niche of your blog. Food blogger? Recipe link up. Craft blogger? DIY and craft projects. By choosing a theme related to your blogs theme you increase the chance for keeping people on your site after they link up.
Two Uses Tuesday came about because of my love of finding new uses (or additional uses) for items I already had; up-cycling they call it. As a newbie blogger and link up party host at the time, that was a tough theme for me to sell. So I expanded the list of allowable posts to include things people have created; DIYs, crafts, recipes and up-cycles.
Or, you don’t have to have a party theme at all; that’s cool too. You can host an anything goes link up party if you just want to be a place people can share their latest and greatest posts. If you do go the no theme route, set some limitations…
2 – Establish Party Guidelines
As much as we’d all love to run around doing whatever we pleased, life needs some rules every now and then. Link up parties are no different. Having some rules for your party keeps it on track, makes it easier to manage and everyone has fun.
Here are some rule/guideline ideas and suggestions:
- If your party does have a theme, rule #1 should be – posts linked up need to follow the theme. Makes sense, right?
- If your party does not have a theme and it’s an anything goes linky, might I suggest this rule – family friendly posts only, no adult content.
- Encourage fellowship and connecting, it’s a party after all. Request that people comment on X number of posts for every post they link.
- Set a limit to how many posts can be linked and maybe even how frequently they link past posts.
- Don’t have too many rules! No one likes a bossy party host ;)
Are your party goers following the rules? Excellent! You should reward them =)
3 – Decide Who Will be Featured
Bloggers join linky parties for two reasons: to get their posts viewed by more people and to get featured on said party. A feature means their post gets a second round of potential viewers from your blog with minimal work on their part.
Who should you feature?
- Most clicked link
- Last to link
- Host/Co-Host favorites
Those are just a few basics. What other kinds of features can you come up with?
Remember how a feature gets the blogger more exposure with little work for them? Because of that, make sure you’re picking bloggers who are following your guidelines in step 2, especially the “follow the theme” one. It wouldn’t be fair to feature a rule breaker…
Once your audience knows what they can link up and what kind of features there will be, they will want to show it off!
4 – Let’s Talk Images
Now your party needs some pizzazz! It’s time to get creative and make some images!
Utilizing your favorite imaging site, create some images to represent your party. Party and blog buttons are typically square; they fit nicely in sidebars.
Images you can make but are not limited to are:
- party button
- featured button
- post header/feature image
Encourage your party goers to add the link up party button to a sidebar, linky party page or the posts they are linking up. The featured button is well, for your featured bloggers =) They’ll want to wear it like a badge of honor.
Don’t get too anxious about making your button. You can change your mind/style as the party evolves. Two Uses Tuesday is on it’s 3rd party button. It took me awhile to find the perfect image that represented my party. I also wanted it to be neutral in color so that it looked good on everyone’s blogs; party lovers, features and co-hosts.
Let Them Shine!
Once you’ve picked your features, you’ll have to showcase them on your next post somehow. There are a variety of ways to do this:
- Collage with image map
- Individual images from the features blog post
No matter which way you choose, be sure to have a link back to the featured post so people can revisit.
5 – Sign Up for a Link Up Service
Every link up party needs a link up service provider. I mean, how else are people going to share their awesomeness, right? After some research (I Googled “link up party service and link tools”), I found a few companies that provide link up services.
- Linky Tools
- Mister Linky
- Simply Linked
Check them out and see what works best with your tech skills and budget. I personally use inLinkz for all Sarah Celebrates link up parties and love them. If you click the little froggie below and sign up for a paid inlinkz account, I will earn a small commission. For more information see my disclosures.
6 – Publish & Promote!
Party theme? Check! Rules? Check! Who will be featured list? Check! Images & link up service? Check and check!
Well, well, well… look at you! You’re ready to start a link up party! Hit that publish button.
Ok. Now what?
Now you let the world know about your party and invite them to join. Share it on all your social media channels. Tell the bloggers in your tribe to stop over and link up. Add a few of your own posts to get things going!
Don’t forget to add it to the Ultimate Linky List with Sarah Celebrates! I’ll help you promote it =)
Above all else, don’t give up! Creating a successful link up party can take some time. Be consistent and enthusiastic; your optimism will pay off! Tweet that.
Did that help?
Are you ready to start your first link up party now? If you have any more questions, please feel free to contact me! I’m always happy to help.