Hello cupcakes! Casi here. I am beyond thrilled to be welcoming our newest absolutely amazing contributor Alissa Circle — blogger over at Rags to Stitches. I am sure many of you have followed but if you haven’t — now is the chance to get to know this super-great gal. Oh, did I mention I am BEYOND thrilled? Meet my friend, Alissa.
Hello new friends. My name is Alissa and I blog over at Rags to Stitches. I also run a lifestyle blogging agency called Pollinate Media Group where we work with brands like World Market, People Magazine, Pottery Barn Kids, Bloomingdales and many other amazing brands. I’m so excited to be a new contributor here at cupcakeMAG. I’ve been a long time fan of Casi and I’m not going to lie when she asked me to be a Blog + Biz contributor, I was thrilled that we were going to have the chance to work together.
I’ve been blogging since 2007 and when I started blogging I knew no one and had no clue how to navigate the blogging world. Everything I learned was through watching others in the industry, whose blogs I loved. Now years later, blogging has become one of the sexiest businesses to be in and for great reason. Today more than ever brands are realizing the power of the voice of bloggers. Why? Because they’ve worked to create authentic relationships with their readers. Those relationships are proving to be more powerful and create more conversation than the expensive billboard on the side of the road. Over the years I’ve have bloggers who will ask me how they can create these relationships and find ways to grow their blogs so they can work with brands. I even developed my Sowing Seeds Consulting Program to help come alongside bloggers who are looking to grow their blogs.
One of the biggest questions I’m always asked is about Linky Parties. Since it seems to be a hot topic. I fully support using link ups to help you grow your blog and viewership, but I think you need to understand how to use them to your benefit. So with that said, I thought I would share a couple tips about Link Ups with you today.
WHAT IS A LINK UP?
A link up or a linky party is usually hosted by a blogger in efforts to help bloggers be able to share their creativity + blogs with a new audience and drive new traffic to their blogs. Link ups usually have a theme to help others know whether or not they want to link up. For example, a blogger who focuses on home decor and diy, might host a link up featuring a variety of fun diy projects. By linking up you are able to check out other projects as well as link up your own. Often times the host will feature those who link up the week prior so it’s a really great way to be seen. Some link ups even have multiple hosts, which is another way to gain exposure to your blog if you can become a co-host.
WHERE DO I LINK UP?
I think the first thing to understand is that there are a lot of link ups out there, but that doesn’t mean you should be linking up to all of them. It all comes back to knowing your niche. Most bloggers have an editorial calendar that guides what they post about each week of the month. If you focus on a specific topic on your blog you need to find link ups that align with what you write about. Why? Because people who read the hosts blog, do so because they love that person’s content. If your content is similar to their content, most likely that reader will enjoy reading your blog too.
One more thing. It’s important that when I say similar you know that I don’t mean it as “the same.” You always want to make sure you’re creating unique and creative content for the link ups you are joining.
WHAT ABOUT “FOLLOW ME” LINK UPS?
Follow Me link ups often create a call to action from the reader. They are created as a way to drive traffic to your blog, shop or social media channels. The biggest piece of advice I can offer you about Follow Me link ups, especially when following your blog is encouraged, is that you create a post for that link up that welcomes people to your blog and tells them a quick story or anecdote that draws the new reader in and makes them want to follow you. Go the extra mile and help that new reader feel welcome. If you just link up your blog URL, once the reader lands there, what’s keeping them there?
HOW WILL LINK UPS HELP ME?
- They expose you to a new audience
- They allow you to network with other bloggers. You never know, you mind find a great person to host a link up of your own with
- They inspire creativity
- They can grow your readership
- They can help create community
IS THERE SUCH THING AS LINKING UP TOO MUCH?
Ok, I think the answer to this depends on who you are talking to. Personally, I find link ups to be beneficial in driving traffic to your blog, however, I will say that you should work hard to find the ones that you feel really bring traffic to your space. You could link up in 20 different places each week, but if you’re only gaining new followers + traffic from 5 of those 20 you need to decide if your time is being valued linking up to all 20. Maybe you need to focus your time on the 5 link ups that are benefiting you and then find ways to reach out to those hosts about co-hosting or other opportunities where you can work together.
I’m sure you’re on information overload by now. So I’ll leave you with this. If linking up is an overwhelming task to you and it’s not driving traffic to your blog you need to look at whether or not it’s valuable to helping your blog grow. Make sure you are researching link ups in your space and determine which ones will work best with the authentic content you are posting.
If you find yourself with a lot of questions still, please check out my Sowing Seeds Consulting Program or email me at: email@example.com