I don’t usually blog about blogging because I’m pretty sure I’m not an expert. Like I can’t even add basic tags and all that good stuff. But I have been hanging around linky parties for awhile because I love seeing what other bloggers have been up to and making new friends. In addition to seeing what’s going on in the blogosphere, link parties are a great way to share your work with others and drive traffic to your blog.
I used to link up to lots of different parties but with the amount of crazy specialist appointments for the boys, furniture finishing, my own writing and all the other stuff going on over here, I pulled way back on the amount of time I’m linking up. If you’re looking to increase your links or see why your traffic is dwindling, here are a few reasons bloggers might not be linking up.
There are two major platforms for hosting a link party, InLinkz and Linky Tools. I’ve stopped participating in most parties that use Linky Tools simply because there are too many steps involved to link up. When you want to link more than one post, you have to start all over from the beginning. InLinkz is a one page, easy click and link and when you link another post, it just opens the form again, rather than sending you back to the original party page. When I was looking for a party to co-host, I avoided any using Linky Tools. I still link up to one or two because I feel a real connection to the host but that’s about it.
I understand the need for most bloggers to use pop ups because everyone swears they’re key to increasing your mailing list. I’ve gone back and forth about installing them but I’m still holding out. Maybe it’ll happen one day so I don’t want to be too judgy. I can live with one pop up on your site but if I have to deal with one every time I click to a new page, I’m out of there. For example, if you’ve truncated your post so that I click the “Read More” button to go the party and a new page with another pop up shows up, it’s just plain annoying. I also wish there was a way for pop ups to recognize those of us that have already subscribed. I find this so frustrating that sometimes I want to unsubscribe just because of the irritation factor.
TOO MUCH CLUTTER
Usually this happens when there are so many hosts, all of whom are sharing what they posted this week and/or their own personal features that the party is almost too hard to find. Scrolling down for pages isn’t cool and I don’t think it does the features any justice either. It’s just clutter at that point.
TOO MANY RULES
I’m not a rule follower so maybe this is just me but too many rules has started to send me packing. I get the need to follow the host, I think that’s just polite actually. I also don’t like to link and run so I do spend time visiting other bloggers. But adding all sorts of other hoops and bells and whistles and it starts to become too much. Like the other day when I saw someone had added that to be featured I need to visit the two before me and the two after me. First, that means I need to come back later to see who linked up after me. Secondly, I’m not going to visit someone just because they happened to get there before me. That becomes meaningless, particularly if I don’t like what they posted. I do think some rules are important since things can get out of hand. If you’re a food blogger and you only want food posts, that’s a rule that I get. Keeping things family friendly…totally get that, too. But if I have to vote on the week before, sign up for email, and you want the blood of a virgin and my first born, I’m probably not right for that kind of party.
And maybe it’s my OCD or need for things to be pretty but I’m also considering removing myself from parties that insist that I add their link to my post. I’m still doing it because I’ve been linking up with some hosts for a long time but I think it looks kind of tacky and unprofessional at the bottom of every post. I need to figure that one out.
Just like in real life, parties should be ready to go when guests arrive. It’s not possible for people to keep checking back in to see if the party has started. I keep a list of when parties start. A few are never on time. Like never. After awhile, that gets old. Guests shouldn’t have to chase a host to hang out with them.
A couple of weeks ago, I actually saw that someone had posted their party early. I thought that was cool until I realized that the post was up but the link ups were scheduled for later. Hey, accidents happen. I have been know to accidentally hit publish when I meant to hit save. But when your email triggers me to pop over and the links aren’t working for hours, it’s pretty inconvenient. When it happened again this week, I took the party off of my list.
YOU’RE A TOTAL NO SHOW
I know life gets busy and crazy but when you start skipping weeks because life got in the way, it discourages bloggers from attending. It’s one thing to be busy and skip features with the promise that there’ll be double features next week but when the party gets missed all together you’re losing trust with your readers. I usually hang around for awhile longer but when it happens more than a few times, I delete your party from my list.
I love reading blogs and I’ll come back week after week to see what you’re up and to link up but if I’m suddenly on a mailing list that I didn’t ask for, I feel tricked and used. I know the link parties are about traffic but it’s cheating to add someone to a mailing list when they just wanted to visit and link up. I don’t mind an email reminder that you’re party is starting but anything I didn’t ask for is just spammy.
The bottom line is link parties need to be user friendly. Too much flash, too many distractions, inconsistency, and too many rules make the party a flop and people will stop coming. Parties, real and linky, should be fun. What do you think? Got any link party pet peeves?