Everything you ever wanted to know about a Blog Hop
And a few things you probably didn’t!
First of all, we need to take care of that little detail—what is a blog hop?
A blog hop is a place for fellow bloggers to come to share their ideas—in the form of blog posts.
It’s a meet-up. Kind of like the Farmers Market is to gardeners—where they meet to sell their wares. Or like a tea party or quilting bee! By coming together, more people see what you’ve got and what you’re up to!
Same with blogging.
But Why Would I want to Blog Hop?
You spend time writing your posts, but who’s gonna see what you wrote? You’ve got to get it out there for like-minded people to notice it!
If you blog using WordPress.com, as the free version, you have the wonderful advantage of being connected to the Reader. This is an awesome way to find and reach out to people. Use it if you have it!
However, if you’ve started a self-hosted blog, sometimes you can feel like you’re kind of alone out there. It can be hard to find other bloggers who might be interested in your content. It will happen if you are persistent, but it can take awhile.
A Blog Hop really helps this!
You basically link your posts to another blogger’s site (whoever is hosting the blog hop or link-up party—same thing). Then, other similar bloggers do the same. You then have the opportunity to see posts on your general theme, and others can see yours too!
This does several things:
- Lets you see more posts in one location
- Allows others to see your posts
- Helps the host to get more traffic to her site
- Potentially helps you to get more traffic
- Gives you great ideas!
- Connects you to other bloggers who blog about content you have an interest in.
It’s a win-win for everyone!
And let me just be clear that you don’t have to be a blogger to love a blog hop! Where else will you find such a collection of on-topic posts, right at your fingertips?
Why do I need to know about blog hops?
For the reasons above and so you’re not alone, wondering when someone will “discover” your blog. That may happen, but most of the time, if you don’t go after putting yourself out there, at least a little, you will fade into the background of the blog world.
I know. I speak from plenty of experience.
But How does a Blog Help Me?
Sooner or later, you’re going to learn that if you want people to see your blog, they’re going to have to find you. So, as above, just posting on the blog hop will make your blog more visible.
Every week/month/whatever the time period of that blog hop is for, the hosts choose Featured Posts. They take turns choosing to keep it fresh.
If your post is featured, then it gets all kinds of special attention. A Featured Post will:
- Be highlighted on the next Blog Hop for everyone to see
- Be shared on social media accounts
- Overall get more notice.
Where can I find a blog hop or link-up for my type of blog?
At first, you’ll have to do a bit of searching. Use key words like Blog Hop, Linky Party, Link-up Party, then your interest.
For example: I like to blog about Homesteading, Health, Homeschooling, Godly Womanhood, and Gardening.
So then, I would go looking for, for example, Homestead Blog Hops. There are several that I found. Of course, one of the first ones I found was the one I now help to host, the Homestead Blog Hop. But there are many. Once you find a couple, that’ll lead you to others.
It helps to pay attention. When you find a blog hop, pay attention, and sometimes you’ll see that the bloggers say other blog hops where they share their posts. Follow those sites, and you’ll soon have more hops than you can keep up with.
Making the most of blog hopping
Once you find some blog hops that you are interested in, find out when they run.
Typical blog hops will run for a week, half a week, some even two weeks or a month, allowing you to come back multiple times!
Using our example of the Homestead Blog Hop , it runs from Wednesday 6am until Sunday evening. This means that anytime during that time period, you can come and bring a post to link.
There will be a blue button with the InLinkz information on it, which you will click to “enter” the blog hop.
You then go to the bottom of the posts already posted, and click on the Add Link button.
From there, you add a link to one post from your blog. You can choose a picture from your post to grab attention to your post. Edit the lines below and make sure they look right, then click Done. Add as many as they will allow.
You’ve posted a post on a blog hop!
Follow the rules.
As we tell our teens, no matter where you go, all through your life, you will have rules!
Follow the rules of the hop, or they don’t have to let you play!
Keep in mind that you are a guest, visiting someone else’s blog page, so they get to make the rules.
Most rules are super simple. They will also you to follow:
- The number of posts (many say a maximum of 2-3 posts, but some don’t limit).
- Type of content. (Many forbid directly advertising posts, other blog hops, and basically posts where it’s just gonna benefit you).
- Subject: Homestead blog hops should relate to homesteading. But that’s a broad subject, so it allows for many different topics. Some blog hops specifically ask for encouraging posts, specific holiday-related content, or stories, for example. Stick to the topic stated.
- Courtesy Rules. Some blog hops specifically ask you to follow some of the hosts/hostesses. If you don’t have time to do that, you may want to reevaluate if you want to come to join the hop. They are providing you with a service and asking for a small service. Most aren’t mandatory, but it is courteous.
- Reach out rules. Almost all blog hops I visit ask you to show some love and visit a couple more posts. That really is the whole purpose of the blog hop! Again—when I’ve discovered that I just don’t have time to visit other posts, then I know that I’m just too busy to participate. I come back later.
- Link Back Rule. Most hops want you to somewhere on your blog indicate that you are sharing to that particular blog hop. You can write this at the bottom of your post or on a special page.
- I found that it was easier for me to just make another page on my blog where I list where I share. That way I’m covered, and I don’t have to keep typing they information. Also—it provides a bonus for my blog readers, who can stop by and find a nice list of blog hops already linked. (I will say that I don’t always update this list super fast).
- Blog Hops and Link-Ups
Never underestimate the power of an invitation
I’ve discovered that almost everyone responds to courtesy.
The very first blog hop I attended, when I didn’t even know what a blog hop even was, happened because the hostess came to my blog and invited me to join and share.
I was happy to share what I’d written, and little by little, I realized that she’d opened up a whole new world for me! Her blog still runs actively, but the blog hop is sadly gone! I will always remember Lisa, and look at her as my homestead blogging mentor. By the way, her blog is The Self Sufficient Home Acre, and it’s a treasure-trove of homesteading wisdom and experience. ?
If you’d like people to find out who you are, visit other blogs, and get into what they’re writing about. This isn’t a “I scratch your back so you scratch mine” kind of thing. You just have to actually enjoy reaching out, and eventually some will check out what makes you tick too!
It’s not all about you.
Visiting blog hops is fun!
It can end up with more people seeing your stuff.
But don’t make it all about you. Just try to keep it back and forth, and then you’ll enjoy it more!
The golden rule of blogging
You know what your mama always said, “Do into others as you would have them do unto you.” There’s Biblical wisdom in that advice.
Don’t take without giving.
Assume the best in your fellow bloggers.
And be sure to say Thank You!
If you visit a blog hop, leave a short comment for the one hosting. It is work to keep these blog hops running, so that’s a courtesy not everyone thinks about.
If your post gets featured, be like the thankful leper. Go back and say thank you! They are helping you, after all! ?
Some Lesser-known Blog Hopping Tips
Nobody may even know if you do these, but I’m gonna share some tips that will be a wonderful way to give back to those whose blogs you visit, and will cost you really nothing!
I did not know or understand this for a long while. And sometimes I do forget. But if we all followed these little tips, we’d be helping others while following our own interests.
I took these tips from the Blogger’s Pit Stop, where I post if I can!
Tips when visiting posts
Go to a post that interests you, leave a comment if you appreciate it. Don’t leave from that page, either click on another page or an ad e.g. a Google ad that attracts you, and leave the site.
Why leave in this manner?
By all means, if you see an ad that interests you click on it, and the post owner will be thankful for the tiny donation.
Clicking on another page to leave the site helps stats of the owner.Blogger’s Pit Stop
Did you get that?
Simply, whatever page you are reading, if you’d just click on any other link or any ad, before leaving, you help the blogger. Even if you do not buy anything. It still helps.
And don’t give into the temptation to feel like, “Well, I’d better not contribute to the riches of this blogger. They’re probably raking in the dough.”
They may be, or they may not be. Just because they’re selling something doesn’t mean they’re making a killing. many bloggers are not even making enough to cover their website fees. It really takes a lot of time to make a blog work.
Don’t laugh—but my family knows I’ve not made enough on my blog to buy a new sweater at Walmart!
So, if you can show courtesy, especially with no cost to yourself, why not?
Blog Hops are Fun!
Blog Hops are worth it! All you have to do is jump right in! ?
Where do you blog hop? Let me know in the comments!