10 Tips on Link Parties and How to Get Noticed

Do you link up to weekly link parties, but wonder what it is you need to do to stand out from others? Wonder if it’s worth your time? I thought I’d take time to talk today about why link parties are fun and important for bloggers, as well as ways you can get yourself noticed out of the hundreds of other projects.

how to get noticed and featured at link parties

First of all, I wanted to start by saying that I’m no expert on this topic, but I do have some experience with it. For the past year I am in charge of doing the Top 20 Sundae Scoop post for I Heart Nap Time (if you don’t know Jamielyn, definitely stop by her blog and see why she’s such a huge blogging force!). Sundae Scoop, starting at 7 p.m. on Saturday night, gets around 500+ submissions each week and I take my Saturday morning every week and look through them to find the 20 that stand out most to me. So I thought I’d tell you what I personally look for when I’m doing my round up in hopes maybe it’ll help all of you get noticed! It’s kind of long…so bear with me.

Let’s take a step back first though…why are these link parties important?

Link parties are SO important for newbie bloggers and seasoned bloggers alike. How is anyone going to see your amazing work if you don’t advertise it and yourself!? Link parties help get your work noticed, as well as connect with other bloggers in your niche. It’s so important to stop by and check out other bloggers work too and leave comments on stuff you like because it helps others relate to you more and want to see what you’re all about. So after you link up, always stop by and check out what others are up to.

There are SO many link parties, how do I know where to go?

A lot of bloggers, like myself, keep pages on their sites fully dedicated to their favorite link parties. Create your own listing of link parties by day either on your blog or in a spreadsheet and make a note of which ones you want to link to each week. It’s a great way to stay organized and I can guarantee you’ll see an increase in your statistics if you link up regularly. Here’s my page of link parties I like to attend.

Now onto the next part…how to get noticed.

Ever link up to your favorite link party over and over again every week and never get featured? I once saw a comment on a blog where a girl was complaining that she never got chosen as if it was a game of some sort or a contest–it’s proof that feelings CAN get hurt and people CAN get frustrated to never get that coveted feature on a big blog, but once you do, take note of what it was about that project that got you featured.

Here’s what I notice and look for when I’m sorting through 100’s of posts:

1.      Quality, well lit photos.

  • Photography is SO key in getting a feature. I’m no professional photographer, that’s for sure, so I’m not going to preach about what you should and should not do because I am so guilty of this myself. But as a human being, my eye is drawn to one thing versus another. If there are two chocolate cupcakes linked up that week and one has an amazing photo and the other looks like a cell phone photo, I’m going to go with the bright, clearly edited post versus the cell phone photo. I’m currently working to get my photos better and if you’re serious about blogging and being featured, you should too. Using programs like PicMonkey or Picasa you can edit your photos and brighten them up a bit more. There are millions of photography classes and tutorials online…take some time and learn a little about photography and I’ll bet you’ll see an increase in features if you’re submitting amazing photos along with your amazing ideas.

2.      Original, never seen before ideas.

  • Bloggers are looking to feature something their readers will go “gaga” over…an idea that’s completely new and hasn’t been seen before. So going back to the chocolate cupcake…even though your chocolate cupcake recipe may be divine, it’s not necessarily unique. So if you want your cupcake to get noticed, style it in such a way that MAKES it unique. Add a cupcake topper or some sort of new icing recipe and that will make your chances of being featured much greater.

3. Link up YOUR ideas.

  • Yes, it’s great that you did a post outlining 50 of your favorite recipes on the web, but they’re not your own. I’m looking to feature unique ideas that are your own and that you put all the hard work and time into. So link up YOUR projects and your creations, but keep those round up posts coming because your readers will appreciate the time you took to put all of those in one place. It’s fine to link these posts up, but don’t be heartbroken if you’re not featured….bloggers want to showcase your unique ideas.

4. Don’t try to sell stuff on link parties.

  • I’m always so bummed when I see a great idea in a link party that I think would be a great feature, then I click on it to feature it and it’s an Etsy vendor trying to sell that craft vs. show us how to make it. If you’re wondering why your amazing crafts are never featured, it may be because you’re trying to get us to buy it, rather than show us how to make it. So do everyone a favor and if you’re an Etsy shop, please don’t link up. The link party host won’t be featuring your idea, no matter how amazing.

5.     Keep in mind the timing of seasonal ideas.

  • We’re always looking for amazing seasonal ideas that we can share with people. We want original ideas that people are going to love that they can do for the upcoming “holiday” and typically you’ll want to do those ideas several weeks before that holiday to give your readers time to recreate them. Think of your seasonal ideas early and submit them to blogs and you’ll probably have a better chance of a feature then too. If you wait til Easter week and submit an Easter post, you’ll be competing with 200 other Easter posts. But if you start at the beginning of March or even the very end of February and submit an Easter post, there will be less out there and your post will stand out more. And seasonal just doesn’t mean the four seasons of the year either…here’s a good look at seasonal blogging ideas and The Graphics Fairy put together an excellent list of editorial calendar ideas:

January-resolutions, weight loss, organizing

February- Valentine’s Day, Martin Luther King Day

March-St. Patrick’s Day, Spring, Easter

April- (sometimes Easter), Spring

May-Mother’s Day, Memorial Day

June- Father’s Day

July- Fourth of July/Independence Day

August- Back to School

September- Fall Ideas, End of Summer, Labor Day

October- Halloween

November- Thanksgiving

December- Christmas, Hanukah, New Year’s Eve

6.       Size your photos appropriately.

  • If you’re editing your photos, be sure to size them nicely to fill up the whole width of your reading pane. I like to size mine about 700-750 pixels wide. If your photos are too small, then it can be hard to capture the awesomeness of your creation and the blogger looking at your site may be turned off at how tiny your photos are. We want BIG, BRIGHT photos! Also, when you’re editing, take the time to name your photo and save it. For example, when you download your photos the computer assigns it a generic name. Change that name from “photo1234345″ to “Easter Cookie Recipe” and it will help with your blog’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

7. Name your photos and/or create a pinnable image.

  • Going back to editing, create a “main shot” of your project with the project name on their, as well as your watermark. You’ll always see my pinnable images at the top of my blog post…here’s an example:

mini buttermilk pancake stacks

Notice the photo is BIG, bright and tells the reader exactly what they are looking at or what the title of this project or recipe is called. It’s a great way to attract attention on Pinterest and bloggers love to use these photos for blog features.

8. When linking up, choose your BEST photo that will most likely attract the most attention.

  • Take your time when linking up to make sure that you’re showcasing your best and most attractive project photo and naming it appropriately, as well as cropping it right.

9. Don’t link and run.

  • If you want to attract attention to your blog, you’ll need to spend some time also visiting other sites. Click on the links that most stand out to you and try to notice what it is that caught your attention. Leave that blogger a comment and tell them what you liked about it. Comments are a great way to get noticed and find other blogs you like.

10. Get to link parties early.

  • I have about 5 link parties that I try to RELIGIOUSLY get to right when they start because if I do, I can usually get a lot of traffic on my blog quickly. In February I linked up to Tatertots and Jello right when her party started, I caught her eye with my Valentine’s Day Heart Willow Wreath and she ended up sharing it on Facebook at the height of her link party time. I gained 100 NEW Facebook followers in an hour by having good timing, a good photo, and a unique idea!

I know this seems like a lot, but once you’ve been blogging for a little while all this becomes second nature. Be respectful of the blogs hosting parties because they are taking time out of their day to look at how talented you all are and help you showcase your talents. Say thanks to them for hosting the party and try to link back somewhere on your site (I use my link party page as a place for free advertising for their party).

Let me know if you have any questions or anything you’d add to this list!

Abbey

Comments

  1. says

    Awesome and details article on link parties. Love it!
    I was literally jumping up and down to see my Friday link party on your link parties list. :D

    Have a great weekend!

  2. says

    Thank you, thank you thank you for this post!! Seriously, I needed it, because I spend a lot of time wondering a lot of these things. I have spent a lot of time with my photography but have neglected some of these other parts. One thing, what if you don’t know exactly when a linky party starts?

  3. says

    Thanks for the tips – I blogged for a year before I decided to try and work at growing my blog so I’m new to link parties. One question – do you find that the traffic you earn becomes sustainable, or if you miss a week of parties does your traffic suffer?

    • Abbey says

      Meghan, it’s really about a few things in this case…if I miss a week, then yes, I’m probably missing some traffic, but it’s nothing too noticeable. If I get featured (like today) then I definitely see an increase in traffic, but the pins I get on pinterest help too in directing traffic my way. Bottom line, I see more traffic from linking up than not. If I miss a week, I probably just won’t see that jump in traffic that I normally do. My blog isn’t big enough yet to be a “staple” of where people visit on their own without finding me through a referring site. Hope that makes sense :)

  4. says

    Thanks for all the great ideas. I have been trying to work on getting seasonal posts done a little sooner, but I typically make a craft right for a particular holiday or season. It is hard for me to plan ahead enough to get my craft done, photographed and posted about before it is too late! :)

    • Abbey says

      I know Laura, it’s hard! I have just learned to mark my calendar and aim to get my seasonal posts up earlier and if I post one late realize it probably won’t get as much attention because people don’t have enough time to make it.

  5. says

    This was extremely helpful as my goal is to start to link up.
    I apparently am going to have to work on photos.
    I would like more information on how to make a button.
    Also I am wondering if there is a place you can direct me to to learn how to put the project name and watermark on a picture ?

    Thank you for your help and sharing the knowledge you have gained so freely with others!

    • Abbey says

      You can use PicMonkey…there is a free and paid for version for $5 per month. I pay for it because it gives me more options, but the free will do the trick. I do all my editing in PicMonkey before I post any photos on my site.

  6. says

    This post is great (as is your link of linky parties). As a new blogger – just 5 weeks since I started my blog – it is great to read this. I appreciate you sharing what you have learned. :)

  7. says

    Great tips. I have been blogging for almost a year and haven’t fully taken advantage of linking up to parties as much as I should. Maybe that is why my blog hasn’t grown as quickly as I would like. I am going to try to make an effort to link up to parties more often.

  8. says

    Great tips. The lighting in my house is terrible even in the middle of the day, I’ve tried a lighting system and it’s still not working out. I”m pinning to remind myself about your other tips!

  9. says

    Thanks for all of your tips Abbey! Because of the time difference I usually have a hard time remembering to link up right as the party starts so I think I need to be more diligent with that. Of course that’s once I get back into blogging of course! I am taking a little bit of a brake right now!

    Megan

  10. says

    Thanks so much for all these tips Abby, I am new to blogging and have been doing lots of link parties. The hardest part so far is figuring out when exactly they start… But that just may take a few weeks of trial and error I guess?
    Thanks again,
    Krista @thehappyhousie.com

  11. says

    This is great information. Super helpful for a newbie! I have been too afraid to join in, you have inspired me to give it a try! Thanks much.

  12. says

    I can’t even remember how I stumbled on your site, but I’m really, really pleased I did.

    I’ve been blogging very sporadically since almost three years now but haven’t really found my niche.

    This post is great and full of helpful tips. Thanks for sharing.

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