Over the past couple of years I’ve tried my hardest to help others with their blogs as best I can. I’m definitely no expert, but I’ll always be happy to try and give you a leg up if there’s a bloggy question that’s driving you mad.
I’ll never forget the first time I joined a linky – and how some lovely and friendly bloggers on twitter walked me through it step by step. And even now, it’s the question that I get asked week in, week out by the new up and coming bloggers…what is a Linky anyway? And how do I join one?
So if you don’t know, myself and motherhood the real deal host #coolmumclub each Thursday, but that’s just one of a whole heap of linkys out there to explore – each with it’s own niche (or not) and a new community to tap into.
WHAT IS A LINKY?
A Linky (also known as a blog hop, link up or blog party) is a regular blog post series which includes a third party provider like INLINKZ* allowing any other bloggers to paste a link to their post in a grid of thumbnails. It creates a central page of thumbnails images linking to multiple blogs along the theme of the linky (for example, funny, foodie, or just general parenting). It is open for a specified amount of time and is run and publicised by (usually) a team of host bloggers.
WHAT’S THE POINT?
As a blogger, a linky is many things. It’s an effective way of finding new bloggers to connect with and read their content, whilst also publicising your own material. You could be the best writer in the world, but if no one finds your blog or your posts, it’s never going to get the views it deserves (unless you’re a super established blogger). Linky’s put your posts in a place other people will read them, share them and hopefully, come back for more. They might provide you with a networking opportunity, and to become part of a community.
Leaving your links on other people’s sites, and vice versa, will boost your Domain Authority, and improve your sites Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). This is turn impacts things like your Tots100 score, Klout score, and is also a rating brands might look at when considering working with you as a blogger.
WHAT’S THE CATCH?
A linky has to work for everyone – the hosts put in the hard graft prepping the linky, paying the fees, and often reading all or a shared proportion of the posts; it is a LOT of hours work. In return, they will get a surge of visitors, views and social media activity around their linky. For the bloggers, in exchange for a link there is an expectation to read and comment on a number of posts specified in the outlined rules. Think of comment as currency, and you need to pay your way.
Yes, there will usually be a set of rules as each linky may work slightly differently. It’s important to check expectations of number of allowed links, where to read and comment (for example one before yours, all hosts, one host, one other, two before yours). Some linkys police this pretty hard.
Most linky’s will feature a branded badge. This can normally be found within the post or on a sidebar. The badge is publicity for the linky and contain a link back to the owner’s site – it is expected that linkers embed this badge on the end of their linked post by copying the code and pasting it into the HTML (text) of their post.
It is considered bad etiquette to ‘link drop’ i.e. link and run. In order for linky’s to truly work, everyone has to give a little in order for everyone to receive a little. It’s also good practice to try and read and comment ‘properly’ as opposed to just a generic comment like ‘great post’. Breaking the rules doesn’t put you in a great light and ultimately you could be removed from the linky.
HOW TO LINK UP
First locate the Linky Badge code and copy it.
Pop back to the post you want to link up, switch to edit post mode, and paste the badge code at the end of the post on the ‘TEXT’ tab. Update / Save and copy the post URL.
Return to the host blog linky post. Within the post, scroll down (reading the rules, obvs) to the button which says ‘Add your link’.
Insert the copied URL of your post and tab through the title and email spaces – filling in if not autofilled. Select or upload a suitable image which will be seen as a thumbnail. When ready press ‘DONE’. You have linked!
Promote your entry to the linky by sending a tweet of the Linky URL and the twitter ID’s of the owner so it can be retweeted… (e.g. I just linked up my post ‘I CAN LINK’ with #coolmumclub @mummuddlingthru @motherhoodreal http;//www.mummuddlingthrough.com/whatsalinkyanyway.)
Get cracking on your reading as soon as you can, always adding the name of the linky at the end of your comment (e.g. #coolmumclub) so the author knows how you found the post. This gives you an idea how much traffic the linky brought you as well as again promoting the linky further.
Normally the hosts & the one before yours, but again always check the rules! Comment with authenticity and if you like what you read, share on social media with a little mention for the linky with a hashtag and hosts handles.
You’ll soon find that there is a linky running every day of the week, and you may even link up to several each day – particularly whilst growing your blog. Word of warning; it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the commitment of reading and this might be a big drain on other blog commitments (like writing!). Find the ones you love, and don’t feel bad for not getting there every week…the blog world carries on without you and will be there waiting again when you return.
So that’s all I think you need to know to get started… if you get stuck, drop me a tweet (@mummuddlingthru)! Once you’ve cracked the first time there really is no stopping you. Enjoy!
This post contains an affiliate link to Inlinkz marked with an *, If you click through and purchase a subscription to create your own linky I will earn a small comission.