For you lovely bloggers out there, in May 2015 I wrote The Linky Guide to explain to new bloggers how linkys work & how to join them. Today I’m going to tell you how to host a blogger linky of your own! Woohoo!
Here is my advice on how to run a successful linky. I hope you find them helpful!
1. Get Involved in the Blogger Community
Before considering hosting your own linky it’s a good idea to have joined several different linkys yourself so you understand how they work. Also, joining linkys will help you get to know other bloggers & for them to get to know you.
I host two linkys you can find more about here, I’d love to have you join.
Being an active part of the blogger community will help your linky to be more successful! Other ways to get involved with the community are to comment on blogs, RT, like on Facebook & join Facebook blogger groups.
Get yourself out there into blog world & make friends.
Make a list of your friends’ Twitter handles in Word or notes on your phone. This list will come in handy to invite your blogger buddies to your new linky party when it’s ready.
2. Figure out what your linky is about
You want a well organized & clear linky from day one. So, ask yourself these questions to figure out what kind of linky you want to run.
- Do I want a theme?
- If no, then carry on to the next question.
- If yes, try to figure out if your theme will be successful ie: are there enough bloggers who write about your theme to link up with you. If not, consider a different or more broad theme.
- Do I want a co-host?
- There are benefits of having a co-host like splitting comments, having extra RT’s for those who join your linky & having a combined larger following to advertise the linky to.
- If you decide to have a co-host, choose a blogger who you know, get along with & think you will work well with.
- When will I start & stop the linky?
- Think about what days/times suit you & also what works well for bloggers in making this decision.
- If you choose a day/time that doesn’t seem to work for people, be flexible & change it.
- What will be my rules?
- To me, the less rules the better – don’t go overboard with to do’s for someone to link up.
- Typical rules include commenting on the host post & other linked posts & adding a backlink or badge that links to the host’s blog.
- What will I give back to my linkers?
- You can offer to RT linked posts, comment on them, feature one weekly or share them on various social media networks. You can offer all of these or a few. Just be sure to consider how much time you have before you make that decision.
3. Create a great linky name with Twitter in mind
Your linky name can relate to your blog name or relate to the theme of your linky… or both!
Linkys & Twitter are usually connected in several ways. Hosts will usually RT their linkers posts. And, hosts often invite likers to join their linky with a tweet. All tweets involving the linky will include the linky hashtag. So, it makes sense to create a linky name that will work well in hashtag form.
Consider these points:
- Does the hashtag already exist? Type it into Twitter to see. If it does, modify it so you have something unique.
- A long hashtag isn’t going to fit on Tweets so keep it as short as possible. My two linky hashtags are #CandidCuddles & #BloggerClubUK.
- Choose a name that is easily remembered & not overly complicated.
4. Create a badge
You don’t have to use a badge to host a linky. You can simply ask for a backlink, but most hosts have badges. The badge serves two purposes. First, as a link to the host’s blog. Second, as advertising for the linky. When bloggers or other readers see an interesting badge, they will click it & pop over to your blog. So you want the badge to look nice as an advertisement for your linky.
Things to keep in mind in creating your badge:
- The linky hashtag.
- Twitter handles or blog names of the hosts.
- Choose a font you can read – seems obvious but keep in mind the badge is tiny.
- An image that relates to your linky & looks nice.
- A badge that’s an appropriate size like 200 x 200.
- I link my badges to my homepage instead of the linky page.
For directions on how to create a grab badge / linky badge, read a great post by Louise at Little Hearts Big Love: How to Create a Blog or Linky Badge in 10 Minutes.
I use Canva to create my linky badges which you can see here:
5. Choose a link up tool
There are a few options of linky tools to run your new linky. The linky tool is what you use to create a code that you paste into the text portion of your blog. When the linky is live, people click on the link which allows them to add their posts to your blog.
If you have a co-host, you each copy the code to your blog & all of the links will show on both of your blogs.
I use InLinkz (affiliate link) to run my linkys. Inlinkz is easy to use & I like having images for each linked post. By the way, the affiliate link is $1 off the cost of my subscription for anyone who signs up through my link.
Inlinkz is really easy to use. One pointer I’d give is to allow 100 characters for your linkers post titles – they will love you for it.
6. Advertise your new linky
A linky party isn’t a party if people don’t come link up with you! So be sure to advertise your new linky lots.
Here are some of the ways I advertise:
- Create a post in advance letting everyone know a new linky is coming to town.
- Ask linky hosts & Facebook group admins if you can share your linky announcing posts on their linkys/ in their group.
- When your linky goes live, tweet everyone! Share it on all of your social media networks, into Facebook groups that gave permission & shout it from the roof tops, okay maybe not from root tops but let everyone know it’s live.
- It takes time to build up a group of loyal linkers so keep on advertising every week.
- Keep a list of Twitter handles of those who link up with you so you can invite them back next week.
7. Keep Calm
Again, it takes time to build a linky so don’t panic if people don’t join right away. Being desperate for linkers doesn’t entice people to want to join the party. So stay calm & keep positive advertising going.
I recommend being a nice host! Thank people for linking up on Twitter. If you choose to leave comments, then leave thoughtful ones, not one-liners simply saying thanks for linking. In my opinion, no comment is better than those types of comments.
Be prepared that some people don’t follow the rules. Meaning they don’t comment on your post, they don’t comment on others, they don’t add your badge. Linky hosts handle the rule breakers in different ways. Some do nothing & carry on. Some make a huge fuss using bold & caps shouting that everyone MUST FOLLOW THE RULES OR ELSE. Some nag or threaten linkers to follow the rules.
It’s a personal choice how to respond, but I do recommend staying calm. Most people follow the rules & to me, it’s not worth stressing over & I think it puts people off being shouted at in caps.
I hope you find these points helpful. Most of all, have fun with your new linky. Make it your own! Tweet me your new linky @CuddleFairy for a RT. And let me know how you get on in the comments. Best of luck xx