One of the very first Blogging Basics topics that Lindsay and I covered was link ups and how they could benefit you and your blog. Hopefully that post gave you the knowledge and tools to add your blog to some of the many wonderful link ups in the blogosphere. Today, Lindsay and I want to take the link up concept a step further and give teach you how to create your own link up.
The Planning Stages
Before starting a link up there are quite a few things to consider. Will your link up be weekly? Monthly? What are the rules of your link up? Can bloggers add one post or multiple posts? Will you ask them to comment or share other bloggers’ work? Is there a theme or is it a free for all? How long will the link up be open; a few days or a week or two? Will you be creating this link up on your own or will you have a co-host? Will the co-host be a regular or will this be a sponsorship option where your sponsors get to be co-hosts?
You haven’t even started and already there is quite a bit to consider. No worries though; as this is your link up you get to make it what YOU want and what’s convenient for you.
Once you have the details ironed out and have decided on everything it’s time to get to work.
Many bloggers opt include a button with their link up. Anyone linking up can grab the HTML and add it to their post. A great example of this is my friend Emily and her weekly Grateful Heart Monday link up.
Designing a button is easy to do. You can create your own button following another Blogging Basics post, How to Create a Button for Your Blog. Get creative and design something that represents the link up!
Now to Create the Link Up….
I use Inlinkz as my link up tool. Setting up an account and creating templates for link ups can be done in just a few steps.
Add the wording you would like to have displayed for the link up.
Decide when the link up will go love and how long it will be open.
Decide if you will be having just text or thumbnail links when bloggers add their posts. Personally I am a fan of the thumbnail links. It allows me to either get a look at a graphic for a blogger’s post or a photo of the blogger (each blogger can decide what photo to upload as a thumbnail). I have clicked on a few links just based o their thumbnail photo.
You can opt to get notifications when someone adds a link to your link up. This is also where you can create a template for the link up. If it is a reoccurring link up and you’ll be using the same format create a template and all you have to do is change the start and end time. Pretty convenient.
After you have entered all of the information it is now time to get your link up code. Be sure to use the drop down menu to choose your blogging platform.
I Have My Code…Now What?
When you are ready to add the code to your post, add the code to your text editor in WordPress or the HTML part of your Blogger blog. When you switch back over to Visual (WordPress)/Compose (Blogger) you will only see a link.
Once the link up goes live and the post has been posted you will then see the link up.
What Can I Do to Make My Link Up Successful?
Promote and plan ahead! Many bloggers work ahead and like to add link ups to their calendars. If your link up is topic-specific be sure to let people know ahead of time so they can account for that and prepare a post. Some bloggers email link up participants to remind them that the link up will be taking place.
Be sure to give yourself time to grow. Link ups can start small and gain momentum. Do not get discouraged if participation is down.
Have you ever created a link up? Have any pointers or tips to include? Be sure to check out Lindsay’s tips on how to create a link up.