When thinking and planning for the year, obviously IBOT features pretty high on my bloggy priorities. Whilst I would love for this linky to grow in numbers, what I would love even more is for it to grow in community. For us to get to know each other, and enjoy and respect each others places in the webby world.
With this in mind, here are my tips for getting the most out of a link up.
Try and get in early. It’s not always possible, but when you can, write your post the day before, so that all you need to do is link it on the day. Posts that appear a lot later than others tend to get less hits, as some bloggers link, and then choose to start reading and commenting straight away.
Visit the other blogs and see who is commenting the most, and make sure you visit their blog. They are probably more likely to return the favour, and if you can form a relationship with that person via comments, you may have a commenter for life.
Make commenting easy for people. Captcha’s are great for catching spam, but they are also a comment deterrent. If you are spammed, you can always delete it.
Comment on others blogs. It sounds easy but it is soooo important. In a small linky, with a reoccurring crowd, people soon learn who is posting and running, and that leaves a sour taste. Call it Karma, or just sowing what you reap, but if you want to get comments, give comments.
Have a catchy title. In a big link list, you need to be able to stand out from the others. What is drawing people to your blog?
Seize the opportunity to find new blogs. It can be easy to just stick with the ones you know and like, and let’s face it, you would probably have read those ones anyway, so it’s no extra work. Why not try and find new people to read? You might find new friends, or a new favourite, and you will be getting yourself out there.
When visiting, choose to follow via GFC, networked blogs, face book or twitter. We bloggers notice new people, and look to see who they are. We are more inclined to visit back a new follower. And there is nothing wrong with leaving that in the comments. ‘Loved this post.I’m following you now.’
Pick a number of blogs to comment and stick to it. I choose to read at least 10% of entries, or five at minimum, depending on which is highest. You don’t need to read every entry, but you should make an effort to read some.
Choose entries in a fun way. Read the first three that appear after yours, and the two before. Or random.Org which ones to read. Choose a word and then read the first blog that starts with the letters of the word; whatever you do, make it interesting. It doesn’t have to be a chore.
Open three posts at a time. This saves you time in the host page reloading, and it makes it quicker to read. It’s very achievable to read three posts at a time, and once you have done that a few times, you realise you have actually read nine, or twelve, or fifteen.
We have all had people say they can’t comment cause they are on their iPhone, and there is some truth to that. It’s harder but not impossible. If you really can’t do it, engage via Faceboook or twitter instead. Let the person know you have read and enjoyed it. Or come back and comment later when you have a chance.
Let’s face it, some posts there isn’t much to say, but you don’t need to write an essay. A simple, ‘I never knew that, Thankyou,’ might be all you can manage, but it means something to the author.
If you can’t read, don’t link. It’s that simple. We all have busy weeks where we can’t give as much as we would like, and life happens, but maybe today is not the best day to join in. There is nothing wrong with saying I can’t do this today. No one will think any less of you.
Follow the rules. If there is a theme, stick to it. A thankful Thursday post needs to be thankful. Things I know should be things you know. And Wordless Wednesday should not include an essay. People switch off if you just randomly link any old post, cause that is what is open, and it doesn’t win you any friends.
Make the most of Social Media. A host will often retweet your post link if you @ them so they know you are there. And hosting is a lot of work. A simple thanks, or Facebook mention goes a long way.
Comment on the hosts post. They have gone to the effort to set the link up, and if they are a good host, will make the effort to read and comment on your blog. It’s good to show the love back.
Don’t be a troll. It might sound obvious, but if you leave a nasty comment, others will read it, and will think less of you. If you don’t agree with a topic that’s fine. Pick something insignificant to comment on, or just leave. ‘If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all,’ applies to blogging as well.
Leave your preconceived ideas behind. I never used to watch vlogs, now I love them. A review or a giveaway may actually be of interest to you, even if you have read three for the same product. Someone who may not have interested you before, may have written something brilliant today.
Remember the blogging world can be brutal, but it can also be beautiful.
But it’s always what you make it.