Monday, February 14, 2011

Blogging 201 ~ Lesson #5: Utilizing Linkies for Blog Exposure -- Yours and Readers'

As FrugalMom shared in Blogging 201: Lesson #3:  Becoming a Blogger Friendly Blog & Blogger, linkies play a vital part in the blogging community.  They offer the blogger an opportunity to share what they have posted at their own blog as well as an opportunity to let their readers share
what they have published.

Blog Hops or Carnivals

Blog Hops are sponsored by blogs to give other bloggers the opportunity to visit other blogs and have other bloggers visit them.  Most blog hops are offered each week on a blog on a particular day.  For example, Follow Us Monday Morning at Frugality Is Free is offered each Monday.

PhotobucketEach blog hop has their own rules and you need to be sure and read these closely before participating.  Some require a button advertising the blog hop be published in your post or on your sidebar, some require you follow the host blog and a number of others on the linky thru Google Friend Connect,  etc.

I would advise participating in many blog hops before you host one of your own to get a feel for how they work.  Once you are familiar with the etiquette of blog hops, you may want to try hosting one on your blog.  But just because you build it, does not mean they will come.  You need to stop by blogs and leave a meaningful comment on an interesting post and add something like, "I would love for you to stop by "Name of My Blog" for my "Tuesday Blog Hopping Mania" each week and link up.  Make the quoted texts links (for instructions see Blogging 201, Lesson #2).

Blog hops take time and a lot of leg work to get off the ground.  Many blogs will not lend themselves to blog hop type of blogging activities.  Simply CVS, for example, is so focused on CVS only that blog hop activity would only get in the way.  So you need to decide if this is something that will fit in your theme.  But they are often a good way to get exposure early on in your blog's life.

Specific Post Sharing Linkies

PhotobucketPhotobucketMany blogs will offer linkies weekly for a specific topic.  Recipes, crafts, shopping trips, frugal tips, favorite photos are just a few.  Sometimes they will be more specific:  a recipe using chocolate, a photo of a flower, etc.  Again, many will require or at least request a link back or a button be added to your post you are linking up.  You can see an example of linking up to many linkies in this Valentine Family Tree post at Sarah's Scribblings.  Many times, as was the case with the Valentine Family Tree post, a host blogger will make a second post featuring some of their favorite posts which gives added exposure to the blog.

Once again, I would advise becoming familiar with these by participating in them before hosting your own.  And when you do, like with the blog hops, you will need to stop by blogs and leave a meaningful comment on a post  that fits the theme of your linky and add something like, "I would love for you to stop by "Name of My Blog" for my "Frugal Friday Figures" each week and link up your shopping trips.  Make the quoted texts links (for instructions see Blogging 201, Lesson #2).


Be sure and follow the instructions of the host carefully.  Also, be sure to link to your exact post you want readers to visit, do not link to your blog homepage.  To do this, if you don't know how, click on the post you want to share, copy the URL and use that.  Another way is the right click on the title of the post and "copy link address" and paste this into the linky.

Linky Services

There are different linky services you can choose from, many offer free services.  Someoffer lists of links and some offer thumbnail photos.  Here is are a few most common ones:  Simply Linked, Mr. Linky's, Inlinkz, and  Linky Tools (now a paid subscription is necessary).  The paid subscriptions seem to run about $2 a month.

To add a linky to your post you just "create the linky" at the site and copy the HTML code and enter it into your post.

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