Linky’s are great if you are a blogger looking to share your blog posts and get them to a wider audience. They are also a great way to find other blogs to read and possibly even make new friends within the blogger community. If you’ve been a blogger for a while and have been joining in with other linkys, you may be tempted to create your own. It’s not as scary as it sounds, honest. I thought I would share with you my tips for running a linky.
Lianne at Mrs Mummy Harris and I have been running Triumphant Tales for well over a year now. When we started it, we had no idea whether it was going to be a success. Neither of us had run a linky before and we were going into it with no experience at all. We guessed it would be hard work, but we were prepared to put in the effort and make the commitment. We were also very determined to make it work. We are very lucky that our hard work and dedication paid off and we are still here getting around 40 – 50 posts linked up each week, which is a great amount.
Find someone to share the load
You may be tempted to go it alone. Of course, there is no reason for you not to, if you have the time. But I would highly recommend teaming up with a blogging buddy who wants it to work as much as you do. Lianne and I had both wanted to run a linky for a long time and had never found the time or the right person. When we discovered that we were both in the same position, it was a no-brainer. It helped that we got on too – albeit virtually!
Don’t rush into it
I think the secret to our success is that we didn’t rush things. If my memory serves me correct, Triumphant Tales was a good three months in the making before we went live with our first post. We took time to do our research. We needed to decide when the best time was for us to host it and when the best time was in regards to what other linkys were open on that day. For example, if there are five really popular linkys running on a Thursday, you might be better off picking a different day so as to entice people over to yours when they aren’t so busy.
Take the time to choose your name wisely. Do you want a title with the name of the week in it? I would suggest keeping it short and snappy. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, you want it to be something people will remember and secondly, you want the hashtag to take up as little room as possible on Twitter.
Lastly, make sure you take the time to design your branding to one that you’re both happy with. Think eye-catching colours and something that isn’t already out there, sitting on other blogs. You want people to eventually see the badge and know which linky it belongs to.
All linkys need rules. How many or how few you have is entirely up to you, but you will need some in place to make it fair. The whole purpose of a linky is to help each other out after all, so personally, I think a commenting rule is pretty essential, otherwise what is the point?
You may also want people to follow you on all of your social platforms, or share a certain amount of posts on their social channels. So long as they are not extreme rules, most people will be happy to play by them.
Don’t forget your badge needs to be shared on each post or blog that is linked up. You’ll want to make sure that bad boy gets shared around so make sure this rule is one you do have. This one is very important!
Decide on additional features
This could be anything from a featured blogger, or perhaps a guest host, a Facebook group, Pinterest board or an Instagram community. There is nothing to say that you have to do any of these things straight away but it’s something to think about. You might want to see how the initial linky goes to start with. You can always introduce any of these at a later date.
When you have chosen the date that you want to launch your linky, you are going to need to promote the hell out of it. This is quite possibly one of the most time-consuming things in the very beginning. Pop over and look at other linkys and find out who is taking part. Set up a whole bunch of tweets inviting them to take part. We did this for a good few months in the early days, rotating the handles so as not to get annoying. If people linked up, obviously we would take them off the list and this would then make room for adding more. Eventually, if all goes well, you won’t need to do this as word will have got out that you run a fabulous linky and people will come back each week.
Decide how you are going to remind people each week that your linky is open for business. You may want to schedule tweets each week or you may want to send a weekly email. If you do the latter, make sure you put a disclaimer somewhere within your linky post that by joining in with the linky they are giving permission to being included in the weekly email. This is more important than ever with all of the GDPR shenanigans of late.
Running a linky requires a lot of organisation and if you are co-hosting, good communication with your co-host. Lianne and I are so used to sending each other random text messages that it’s become the norm! This is partly why you need to get on well.
You are going to be commenting on and sharing (hopefully) a lot of blog posts so you need to make sure you set the time aside to do so. Schedule it into your week. You’ll need to make sure all linky work is done before the next one starts. If you are co-hosting you can share the load. Lianne and I share the commenting, she does odd numbers, I do evens! It’s that simple, we each know who is commenting on which post and so there is no confusion.
Make sure you share the load with you co-host. Have particular jobs that each of you do. Who will set up the linky link itself? Who will add the hosts posts? Who will send the email? Who will post which tweets? Get this clear from the beginning so there is no confusion as to who is doing what, when and how.
When it comes to sharing the posts socially, this is all down to personal preference. You can share as you go or you can schedule them to go out ad hoc across the week. It really depends when you are doing your commenting. I find using Hootsuite and auto scheduling for the best time works well. It doesn’t swamp your timeline with links, and it also gives the posts the best chance of being seen.
Be prepared to work hard
There may be times that you wonder how and when you are going to get everything done. This is why organisation is key. Running a linky is no mean feat and you need to be committed otherwise it won’t work. So many linkys start and fail within the first few months because people underestimate the time and effort it takes. This is no one’s fault in particular. It just means that it’s not for everyone, and that’s okay.
Kind of a given really. No one wants to share their posts on a linky where the host has a bit of an attitude. Stick to your side of the bargain. Make the comments and share the posts that you promise to. Write a nice welcoming, linky post each week and hopefully, you will attract the right kind of people who come back each week and eventually you will have yourself a wonderful little community.
And that’s about it really. I love co-hosting Triumphant Tales and I am so proud of how well established it has become over the last year or so. Even during Lianne’s maternity leave, our lovely community has kept coming together each week to share such wonderful blog posts. Admittedly, it gives me more work to do whilst going it alone, but it doesn’t bother me. If something is worth having then you have to work for it and each week, our Triumphant Tales community makes me want to produce the best linky for people to keep coming back. Long may we continue.
You can find out more about the Triumphant Tales linky on the main page here. This includes all the rules and exactly what you need to do to start sharing your blog posts in our fab little community. Come and join us every Tuesday through to Thursday. We would love to have you!
Have you ever run a linky? Did you enjoy it? Perhaps you run one now? What do you love and hate about it? Let me know in the comments.