When I started my blog, I set up a Twitter account, and I messaged every blogger who followed me with the same question: “Have you got any advice for a newbie blogger like me?” Lots of answers came back, but there was one common idea that kept cropping up… join a linky!
Honestly, I had no idea what a linky was! – (If you’re not sure either, check out this post on “What is a linky party and why should I join one?“) – But once I worked out what to do, my stats shot through the roof (comparatively!)
Lots of bloggers join linky parties, but I know very few who utilise them to their full potential. I’m going to share 5 top tips with you and then break down exactly why and how this boosts your blog. I hope you find it helpful…
1. Find a linky that works for you
There are hundreds of linkies out there, and they’re all be slightly different – different times, different rules, different topics, different genres. So find the ones that work for you. Here are 6 linkies that I highly recommend (1 for each day of the week, and the last one is my own!)
Start with a few and see how you go. At my peak, I was joining 12 or more linkies every week!
2. Be first on the list
I strongly believe the key to making the linky strategy work, is to be at the top of the list. And the only way to be at the top of this list is to add your link before other people do.
Find out what time your chosen linky opens (it will usually say somewhere on the page) and join as close to that time as possible. If you’re not a morning person, you’re going to struggle as most start accepting links at about 6:00am GMT. I can’t bring myself to get up quite that early, but at 6:30 every morning, you will find me, bleary-eyed, huddled in a blanket, peering at a computer screen.
Ah the glamourous life of a blogger!
But it’s worth it. If you’re at the top of the list, people see your post first when they’re trying to decide which ones they fancy reading.
Also, lots of people do their commenting when they add their own link. That means the earliest posts get a lot more comments because they’re the only ones available (i.e. linker 15 only has 14 posts to choose from so you have a 21% chance of being chosen, but linker 30 has 29 posts to choose from so you only have a 10% chance of being chosen)
BONUS TIP: Remember, you don’t have to do your commenting when you link up. I link up at 6:30am and then I come back at lunchtime to do my commenting. Get yourself at the top of the list and then do your commenting at a time that’s convenient for you.
3. Tweet the hosts
I think every linky I’ve joined has encouraged participants to tweet the hosts. Usually the linky has its own hashtag so you tweet the hosts your linked post and include the hashtag. I usually say something along the lines of:
Five Incredibly Useful Linky Strategy Tips For Bloggers – linked to #blogcrush with @lucy_at_home @naptimenatter https://lucyathome.co.uk/blogging/linky-tips-bloggers
The host will then retweet this to their followers. This advertises your post to a lot more people, and it increases your Twitter engagement stats (another thing companies are interested in).
4. Follow the rules
I’ll admit when I first started joining linkies, I saw commenting on other people’s blogs as nothing more than a necessary evil – the price to pay for getting people to leave comments on mine.
One or two people go further than this and blatantly ignore the rules. I will tell you now – this is NOT good blogger etiquette. We all have weeks when we accidentally mess up, but regular freeloaders risk being banned from the linky altogether.
Having said that, I’ve now grown to love my commenting time. Liare great because there are loads of interesting blog titles all in one place so you just find something that interests you. I’ve read posts that made me cry, made me laugh, taught me a new skill. And there is new stuff every week!
Crucially for your blog stats, though, commenting on other people’s blogs brings you exposure.
- When you comment, use your blog name (so I put “Lucy At Home”). Now everyone who reads the comments has heard of your blog
- If you write a really interesting comment, people sometimes click through to your site to find out more about you
- If you comment regularly on someone’s site, they begin to notice you, and may well go to your blog to reciprocate. I’ve done this lots of times
- Some blogs have the “comment luv” plug-in installed. This gives you a no-follow link back to your blog (if you don’t know what this is, don’t worry – just trust me that it’s good!)
BONUS TIP: A common linky rule is to comment on the blog linked up before you. If you’re planning to add 2 links to the blog hop, add your first post and then wait for someone else to add one before adding your second. Otherwise, you miss your guaranteed comment because the person before you is you!
5. Share, share, share
If you find a post that you enjoyed, share it. Most bloggers have sharing buttons installed on their blogs so, with one click, you can tweet the post or send it to Facebook.
This is a kind thing to do and is a great way to build relationships with other bloggers. Of course you should never share a post for the sole reason of wanting the other blogger to share something of yours, but you will often find that if you help other bloggers out, they will help you out. That’s one of the lovely things about blogging.
So I hope you’ve found these ideas helpful. How many are you doing at the moment? Are there any ideas here that you’ve not considered before? Have you got any other link strategy tips that bloggers would find helpful? Please leave your feedback below.