At NMX 2013, the ladies from Six Sisters Stuff presented a session on a little-known tactics for building your blog community and driving traffic: link parties.
A link party is essentially a list of linked images generated by a blog’s community. Usually there is a theme and the link party’s call for links is posted at the same time every week. For example, The Pinspiration Party is a weekly link party where you can link up posts that talk about recipes, craft projects, etc. inspired by something you saw on Pinterest.
Many bloggers in niches like tech, social media, and business have never heard of link parties, while bloggers in niches like food and DIY are getting hundreds or even thousands of new readers per month using link parties. On the food blog I run with my mother and sister, we’ve built our traffic substantially using link parties (including the one hosted by Six Sisters Stuff), so I was excited to hear that this session would be part of NMX.
My sister, Jessica, was able to attend this session live to take some notes about just how you can reap the biggest benefits from link parties. Here’s what she found out about getting results:
- “The bigger the blog, the more the traffic…bigger blogs are more competitive.”
Popular bloggers who run link parties will have hundreds of bloggers link up every week. You can get traffic from these link parties, especially if you catch the linky (the tool used to allow readers to submit links) when it goes live, but don’t overlook the little guys. Brand new link parties can help you build relationships with other bloggers and stand out from the crowd.
- “You’re going to see 10 times more [traffic] if you’re featured.”
Most link parties feature bloggers from the previous week every time the new linky goes live. Obviously, you want one of these featured slots, as it puts your link front and center. In order to get featured, the Six Sisters bloggers have two main pieces of advice. First, use a great image. If your picture stinks, it is very unlikely that you’ll be featured. Second, put a unique twist on your post. A recipe for mashed potatoes is probably not going to get lots of attention. A copycat mashed potato recipe from a popular recipe that includes a secret ingredient has a much better chance.
- “The thumbnail is crucial…A picture really is worth a thousand words – or 100 pageviews.”
A good image isn’t just your key to getting featured. It also will encourage others to read your post. This is especially true with popular link parties, where you’re competing with hundreds of other thumbnails. What makes yours stand out? How can you entice readers to click? Think about it when creating your images and make sure your use a good thumbnail.
Want even more link party tips, including directions for hosting your own? Check out the full presentation, which is part of the NMX 2013 Virtual Ticket, available to all NMX University premium members. Don’t miss this great session and the hundreds of presentation recordings from our conference. Get your ticket today!