Let's talk about link parties today. I've been co-hosting the Weekend Wind-Down party for a couple months now, and I've learned some things as a co-host that I didn't know as a blogger!
Lots of bloggers participate in linky parties, on a weekly or even daily basis. There is a lot of work to it - for each party you have to add your links and then link back to the blogger in your post. Depending on the party rules, you may have to follow the blogger on social media or add their button to your site. Lastly, it is good etiquette to visit other links and comment or share their posts. All of this, just for ONE party!
I thought this was a lot of work - and it is! - but then I started co-hosting the Weekend Wind-Down party. I realize now just how much work goes into a party from the host's side of things! For instance, did you know....
...that a week is a very short amount of time? Silly, I know...but the time between weekly parties goes by sooo fast. Seems like just a day or so, and bam! All of a sudden it is Thursday, time to get my party post scheduled to make sure it goes up on time Friday. The party host really has to be on her toes to make sure the post goes up on time. A lot can happen beyond her control (blizzards! power outages! internet connection fail! computer crash!) to keep the party from happening. She has to defy all party-pooper odds in just 7 days to make it happen.
...that a party takes time? You might think that having more co-hosts means less work for everyone. Not so! I think it takes more work, because you have 8 blogs, schedules and lifestyles to synchronize. Each of the WWDP hosts pick a feature each week that we share with each other. Our super-fantastic blogging friend that started this party shares the linky code with us each week. We try to stay in touch through a Facebook page. But we're not all in the same time zone - we are spread out across the country, actually! - so it all takes time. The party host spends a lot of time making the party beneficial for you as a blogger.
...that a party doesn't yield a whole lot of return? Sure, the hosts do get some extra follows and likes, depending on the rules of the party. But not all bloggers obey the rules, and only a few of those will actually translate into relationships and return for the host. The host sees a bunch of links each week...and thats about it. The party host rarely even knows if people are enjoying the party or not. Bloggers link, visit each other, and leave - they don't give the host any type of feedback. I guess no news is good news??
...that hosting a party is fun! I enjoy the bloggers I do get to virtually meet and enjoy collaborating with them. And I've learned sooo much from the links that have been shared...I'm a pinning fiend every week, saving things for later! The party host enjoys the links and blogs just as much as you do.
So despite the hard work on both sides of the spectrum, the host and the bloggers keep coming back for more. So what can you, as a blogger, do to help the party host see a party success each week?
1. Follow the rules. As a host, I waste a lot of time each week looking for a post to feature. I see the ones that catch my eye, and then spend several minutes searching the respective blog looking for a link back to our party. Our policy is that we can not feature a blogger that doesn't link back to us. I read some fantastic posts each week that I can't feature, and that makes me sad! If the bloggers follow the rules about linking up, that saves us time and allows us to feature and share more unique posts and blogs. And the biggest reason you link up is to be seen, right?
2. Share the party. Help us do some of the footwork by sharing the party on social media! You know this only takes seconds!
3. Interact with the host. In the case of the WWDP, even just interacting with one of the co-hosts per week is good party etiquette. This could mean leaving a comment on the host's blog (you are already there, how hard can it be?) or on her social media page (you have to follow her on one anyway!). Let her know if you appreciate the party, or your favourite link, or just simply thank her for the time she is spending promoting YOUR blog. You have no idea how much this will mean to her!
Those are the things I have learned about hosting a party, and it has changed the way I participate in other parties! What is your take on linky parties? Have you ever hosted or co-hosted a party? Do you link up to parties regularly? Any other insight to share?
Here are some other links you might enjoy:
How to Host a Successful Linky Party via Diane Rambles
Make the Most of Link Parties via Snippets of Inspiration
Linked up to The DIY Dreamer and Link Party Palooza