If you’ve thought about hosting a blog hop, but don’t know how, this post is for you. Blog hops are a great way to network and increase the traffic to your blog.
1. Pick your audience – Think about the audience you want to invite to your own blog. What do you write about? Who do you want to reach? What type of content would they be interested in? I’ve participated in blog hops for stay-at-home moms, Bible study participants, and writers. Although there is some overlap, each of the audiences has different goals and interests.
2. Draft some topics – After you’ve selected your audience, think again about the type of content they would be interested in and brainstorm some topics. The topic could be very general – anything to do with raising children; or it could be specific – discipline techniques that work with preschoolers.
3. Pick dates for the blog hop – You could set your blog hop to happen every Wednesday for a month, or every other Monday for twelve weeks, or every Sunday indefinitely.
4. Set up the blog hop “infrastructure” – I’m using InLinkz for my blog hops. It’s easy to set up an account, and you can create as many link-ins as you want for less than $2/month.
To set up your blog hop, you’ll need to enter a name for your blog hop, a description (so people know what it’s about and how to participate), the dates, and how the links will be displayed (usually with thumbnails). There are many other options you can select, such as receiving an e-mail every time someone links in so that you can make sure the links are working.
5. Invite people to participate – I send invitations through Facebook, Twitter, and organizations of which I’m a member. Think about where your target audience hangs out and place your invitation there. I found it helpful to keep a list of participants so that I could follow up with them if there were issues.
6. Send detailed instructions to participants – Here’s a sample:
Thanks for indicating you’re interested in participating in (Name of blog hop). The blog hop will start on (Date), but I would encourage you to write your post ahead of time and schedule it to post then. In your post, please mention you are part of the blog hop and include a link back to my blog (include link), so that others who are interested may also participate. This also encourages your readers to check out other posts on the blog hop.
I have developed a blog hop button for you to share on your site. Here is the code: (provide code; here is the code for my Writers’ Blog Hop button <a href=”http://new.inlinkz.com/luwpview.php?id=358604″ target=”_blank”><img src=”http://ruthlsnyder.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/blog-hop-for-writers-sm1.jpg” border=”0″ /></a>) NOTE: I will post on Monday, February 3rd about the process I followed to create my own button.
On (start date), make sure your post is live and then copy the link. Go to (provide link for blog hop e.g. http://new.inlinkz.com/luwpview.php?id=358604) and enter your name, e-mail address, and link to the post. You will also be able to pick a thumbnail which will appear on the blog hop site.
If you have any issues, feel free to contact me at: (provide e-mail address).
7. Write and schedule your own post – In order for others to participate, you have to have your own post up. Make sure you include the button on your own site and give clear instruction on how both bloggers and readers can participate.
8. Check links as they are added – As I mentioned, Inlinkz will send you an e-mail notification every time someone adds a link (as long as this option is selected when you create the link). Set aside time to check out each link. Sometimes people will insert a link to their website or blog in general rather than a specific link to the post for the blog hop. Inlinkz allows you to change the link so that readers will not be frustrated by having to search for the post they’re interested in reading.
9. Advertize the blog hop – Inlinkz gives you a built-in Twitter option which will post a tweet with the click of a button. You can copy and paste to share the link on all your other social media sites. If you want, you could also send e-mail invitations which include the link. The more you and your participants advertize, the more likely it is that you will all get increased traffic on your site.
10. Follow up with participants – During the blog hop, leave encouraging comments on participants’ blogs and share their links on your social media sites. Encourage them to do the same. After the blog hop concludes, follow up with the participants and find out what they liked and whether they have suggestions for improvement.
I’m currently hosting a blog hop for writers. If you’d like to participate, check it out at http://new.inlinkz.com/luwpview.php?id=358604
Have you participated in a blog hop? What did you enjoy about it? If you’re hosting a blog hop, feel free to share the link in the comments below.