How to Run A Blogger Link-Up

blogger link upMore and more, I see my fellow bloggers running link-ups, or posts on a predetermined topic that encourage their fellow bloggers to write posts on similar topics and post a link to it on the original blog. For me, it’s been a great way to engage in the blogging community as well as find out blog topics when I’m stuck. Not sure what one looks like? I participated in this one on weekly wishes and will be partially participating in this Blogtember one all month long.

I set up my own for my dance blog in which I’m basing this article off of. Honestly, it was a lot more work than I usually put into a blog post, but I’m hoping it pays off in the end. Mostly, it was because of setting up accounts and designing widgets for WordPress that were difficult, but I think it’d run a lot smoother a second time around.

 

Pick a Topic

The first thing you’ll want to do when you decide to host a linkup is decided what your topic is going to be. It can really be just about anything, but it had to be something a lot of different people can write about. You have a couple of options. Some people go with ones that are part of a series, such as a weekly link up such as weekly meal planning posts or weekly goals or wishes. Other people, like the Blogtember link-up, do a series of different topics.

For my first link up, I decided to go with a universal post that would be a one time thing, allowing people to share entries over the next month and sharing it pretty frequently on social media and posting update posts reminding people the link up is still open.

 

Design A Button

Many of the link-ups people do have some sort of 125 x 125 button for people to copy and use in their posts to help spread the word about the link-up. This was probably one of the most difficult steps for me, especially because you want the design to be catchy and eye-grabbing without being too annoying. I’m not 100% with how I made mine, but I’ll make alterations for my next button since I’m only using this button once. If you’re doing a series, make sure you’re in love with your button because it should be in use for a while for consistency.

If you have Photoshop or Gimp (one of my favorite free editing software) you can use that. Or, you can use something like Ribbet online to make it pretty quickly.

 

Create HTML So People Can Grab It

This was an even longer process for me to figure out. Every bit of code I was finding to add a text area box to add so I could add a text box with HTML in it wasn’t working on WordPress. So you’re in luck if you’re using WordPress (but it should work for other platforms too) because I finally found what did work: a “Grab My Button” code generator. This way, even if you don’t know how to code yourself, you can quickly create a button people can grab.

 

Create Your Post

You’ll want to create your own post that fits in with the link-up as well, but this part is pretty simple. Write a well-written post your readers can connect to.

 

Create Rules

Many of the link-ups I’ve participated in had a base list of rules. It’s up to you how strict these are (but it’s good to keep in mind if they’re too strict when your just starting out, people might be discouraged about participating). Sample rules include linking back to the original post, using the button in the post, staying on topic, and commenting on the post in the link-up before yours to get to know your fellow bloggers and create conversation.

 

Create an easy Link-Up

One option is to have your fellow bloggers just leave links in the comments and then manually add each to your post as comments come in. However, there are several different services you can use so that bloggers can add their link and it will automatically be displayed on your page. I chose to use InLinkz (which I’ve added links to before on other blogs and it worked quite smoothly. I’ve also seen other people use LinkyTools. While the first month is free, I opted not to try it out because after the first month its $2 a month. InLinkz was pretty easy to set up, too. Just pick your setting and then plop in the  code.

 

Create Conversations

The most important part about Link-Ups is creating conversation and creating community. As the host, make sure you interact with a lot of bloggers, and encourage others to do so as well.

Have you ever participated or run a blogger link-up?

About Kristen Gillette

Kristen Gillette is a freelancer who has written for a wide variety of publications including Philly2Night.com, two.one.five. Magazine, and Cred Magazine, thINKingDANCE.net, the Philadelphia Dance Journal, TechnicallyPhilly.com and more. She runs AdultBallerinaProject.com

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