Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Baby Blogger's Experience

When I first made my blog back in...I guess it was February of 2011, I posted a couple things, and then I got bored. Of course no one came and looked at what I had posted, because no one knew it even existed...and although I knew a lot of people blogged about all sorts of stuff....I didn't know how to search through the blogs to find people who had similar interests to me. I also thought that I didn't really have anything to say that would be of interest to anyone except myself.

So after posting a couple things...I left and forgot about blogging.

It wasn't until recently that I started posting again. I guess I don't even know what made me come back. Maybe I saw something online that brought me to someone's blog. I probably started reading comments from others, and visiting their blogs and reading their posts. I subscribed to some and read about all of the different things that they had made and how they were transforming their homes, and it started to get interesting.

Then one day, I saw a Link Party on someone's blog. Oh my...what is this all about? I was seeing little pictures of all kinds of interesting things...crafts, recipes, projects, etc. After following some links, I found other blogs that were really cool and interesting and full of things that I loved. As the days went by I saw more link parties on other blogs. After looking them over and reading the rules and getting a general idea how they worked, I decided to add one of my posts to one. So I did....and the next time I come back to look at my blog, I noticed that people were coming to visit me! 

So what is a Link Party?
A Link Party is when an author of a blog (the host) invites you to link up a post from your blog. You share the URL and a photo from your post and it is then added to a thumbnail gallery. The thumbnail gallery consists of everyone else's posts that they have shared. Once you have shared your link, other people can click on it to visit you, and you can in turn click on everyone's to see their posts.

In the past month or two, my stats have shown that I went from less then 100 page views to over 11,000....and it is all due to sharing what I blog about through link parties.  

Also, not only have the link parties increased traffic to my blog....but I have discovered so MANY talented, interesting people. I've learned about craft projects that I never would have thought of, recipes that I want to try, blogs that have inspired me to try furniture refinishing and even repainting my kitchen and redoing my cabinets. I've seen inside so many beautiful houses and gotten amazing ideas for home decor and organization.

So where do you find the link parties? Most of the ones I join I have just stumbled upon while browsing through people's blogs.
Below, in no particular order, are the awesome blogs that host weekly link parties that I have joined that have generated the most traffic for me. Click on the buttons to visit them.

Sew Many Ways     A Bowl Full of Lemons  

  DIY Show Off blog   Craft DIY Ideas Between Naps On the Porch

 Serenity Now blog  

Also, if you visit Where I Party, you will find a lot of other blog sites that host great link parties. I know there are other ways to increase traffic to your blog, but I really enjoy sharing my links at these parties, and being able to see all of the other things that people are blogging about. I know they are a lot of work, so I just want to take a minute to thank each host, if they are reading, for taking the time to host your parties, and for giving me a place to share with others.

A couple things to keep in mind when joining a link party:
1. Each party has it's own rules, regarding the number of posts you can add, or the kind of thing you can post, so make sure you read them before joining.
2. It's always nice to leave a comment and thank the person for hosting the party
3. Instead of just posting your link and leaving, stay for a while, and visit some of the other sites that are posted....there are some AMAZINGLY talented and interesting people out there blogging, so take some time and go check out their blog.
4. If you visit someone's blog, leave them a little love and post a comment. Everyone loves to get comments!
5. Always add a link back to the link party in each post that you share, whether it is a text link, or adding a blogger's button to your post. So each time you link to a party, you will need to go and edit your post to include the host's link. It is time consuming, but very important so that others can go and join the party.

I just want to state that I am NOT an expert at link parties...I've never even hosted one. I'm just sharing my opinions, my experiences and the little I have learned about them since I started 'partying'.  :)

It really does make a difference when you know people are taking the time to visit your blog. Even though not everyone leaves a comment, you know you just aren't .....typing into thin air, so to speak. Don't get me wrong...I love when someone leaves a comment on some little inexpensive crafty project I've done, it's like a pat on the back, or an 'atta girl' haha....and I always try to reply to each and every comment I get. Bottom line's not all about getting attention or saying 'Hey, look at me!" me it's about sharing, and interacting with others, and knowing that even if I post about something silly like microwaving rice, or how much I love my vacuum, there's usually always someone who will be interested in what is going on in my little world. 

For a while I struggled with something to come up with to blog about. I didn't take on big expensive room remodeling jobs, or have the means to create elaborate tablescapes with fancy, expensive china, or the know-how to tear out my carpeting and lay a new hardwood floor. I don't grow award winning roses to expertly arrange in front of my window. I'm no where near a gourmet chef, so I can't post about cooking. So what do I write about? What will people want to read?

Then one day, on someone's blog, I don't remember who's.....they wrote:
"Don't know what to blog about? Blog about what you love."

So I do. And I'm having FUN doing it. Do I know all I need to know about blogging? Heck no. But by reading others blogs I have been learning little by little.

So in closing (this post ended up being a lot longer than I anticipated), I just want to say, I am in no way an expert in the blogging world. I'm a baby blogger....who almost gave up before I really got going. I guess I wrote this to not only thank the people who host all of the wonderful link parties, but for everyone who's blog I learned from, got inspired from, got encouragement from. And to in turn, give just a little advice to those who may just have started blogging.

So far, for me, this is turning into quite a lot of fun. :)

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1 comment:

  1. Jackie, these are great observations about linky parties, increasing traffic, and getting to know new people. You brought back memories about when I first stumbled on the whole linky party scene and those first times I linked up ;) Thanks so much for sharing your tips with us at the Blog Tips Cafe linky party over at I Gotta Create!


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