Which are the best blog linkies to enter?

Ducks in Formation

Last updated 22 October 2013

A popular way to interact with other bloggers is participating in linkies (also known as events or carnivals). Linking posts is an effective way to get other bloggers to notice your site.

There are many blog linkies covering different themes, each with varying requirements and “pay back”. New ones pop up all the time, some run for years.

Naturally everyone likes supporting their friends’ linkies but if you also want to gain back links and improve your blog rankings, here are some points to consider.

 

Is it easy to submit?

Entries are either collected via email or embedded script platforms i.e. LinkyTools or InLinks. Script linkies usually display entries submitted so far (often as thumbnails).

It’s annoying if you submit a post if the host omits you from the round up. Linkies submitting posts via online forms rather than email reduce the likelihood of this.

Check linky rules before taking part. Hosts often ask for fresh material in new posts although some allow old material too. It depends on the host’s reason for running the linky; beyond the community aspect they may seek to generate fresh backlinks or to collect pictures to republish in crowd sourced post.

 

Does the linky publish round ups?

A full round up of linky participants features pictures (and/or written summary) from everyone with a link to their post. We think this is the fairest way.

Alternatives are to embed script showing thumbnails into a new post. This doesn’t give any back links and a lazier way to showcase entries. It’s easy for hosts but doesn’t reciprocate the link love that participants have showered upon you by taking part.

You might be surprised to hear some linky hosts don’t even publish round ups, nor visit participating blogs to comment back. Some publish just a few favourite entries. Not many hosts can do this regularly without exhausting everyone’s goodwill – but if the event is an easy one people may still take part.

 

What kind of back link will I get?

Assuming the host does publish a full round up, their page rank is just one factor towards how “juicy” a back link you get.

If the linky regularly gets lots of entries, link juice from the round up post will be heavily diluted.

What’s more, if host’s site publishes a short RSS feed, links beyond the truncated portion of the RSS feed won’t contribute towards certain ranking algorithms i.e Ebuzzing.

So far as link building is concerned, bloggers could get as good linky juice from lower page ranked sites publishing full round ups of fewer participants. In other words don’t assume a well known linky hosted by a higher page ranked site routinely getting 30+ entries a month is better .

The small linky host will surely appreciate your support whereas the more widely known linky host might be swamped compiling their round up (assuming they do one) and not interact much.

 

Will taking part in a linky bring traffic?

A popular linky publishing 50+ entries in a round up may pass little link juice but get you more page views.

Earliest entries in thumbnail linkies may benefit twice due to click throughs on the announcement post and being featured nearer the top of the round up (before everyone’s attention is exhausted). Also, towards the end of the linky period, RSS readers might grow bored of seeing yet another entry. Furthermore, readers who didn’t enter the linky may have little interest in the round up.

Even if the linky doesn’t yield traffic at first, a round up might get long term Pinterest click throughs. But it’s a big “might”. Check whether linky terms state entries will be pinned (or if host blog allows pinning) if you are concerned about this either way.

 

Start your own linky

Brilliant idea! Do take part in other linkies to see how much work it is.

Some hosts are fastidious about commenting back, others rarely do, especially if there are many entries to track. So if you’re a new blog you might get more engagement from another new blog’s linky.

Someone starting their own linky who never takes part in anyone else’s is a bit like never accepting anyone else’s party invitations but expecting everyone to show up on your birthday. It looks like you’re only doing it for the presents…

 

Beware the branded linky

Brands sometimes run linkies which are little more than link building schemes masquerading as competitions. You might say any linky is a link building scheme and absolutely this is their point. Whether you would blog about a brand as a competition entry merits a blog post in itself. This is not the same as non branded blog linkies offering goodwill prizes (although if the blogger has been paid some may disagree).

 

Where to find new linkies

Watch out for them on other blogs and social media
Check The Food Blog Diary for recipe linkies.
Blog forums with running threads announcing new linkies.

 

Checklist:

  • Does the host collect entries via embedded forms or email?
  • Do hosts of this linky always publish full round ups?
  • Do all entries get featured in the round up?
  • Does the host promote entries further by tweeting or pinning them?
  • What’s the page rank of the host due to link back to you?
  • Does the linky ask you to link to a commercial site?
  • Does the host’s site publish a full RSS feed?
  • Are there restrictions whether you can submit the same post elsewhere?
  • Would you enjoy doing it anyway? :-)

 

What attracts you to take part in linkies?

Written by Guest Professor Sarah Trivuncic

Photo: Chuck Allen / Flickr

Post By Sarah Trivuncic (4 Posts)

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9 comments to Which are the best blog linkies to enter?

  • Great post Sarah! I’ve never been very organised about entering linkies but tend to choose the ones that fit well with my site and that are run by someone who is likely to write a round-up post and hopefully tweet about it too! The tips here are all really useful and i’m going to be paying much closer attention when I’m looking out for new linkies to enter.

  • I must say when I first started blogging as a hobby I would specifically make things for a certain linky challenge as I might fancy winning a prize that was on offer but these days things work in reverse. I make what I want to and if it fits in wth a linky challenge then I enter it. Interestingly I have seen these challenges where only a few posts will be chosen and steered well clear as I just couldn’t see the point in wasting my time wth such a concept.

    Great article Sarah:-)

  • I’ve never really thought about any of this stuff. I just like entering blog challenges because it helps me widen my recipe repertoire and sometimes encourages me to cook things I normally wouldn’t think of cooking. It is a great way to get to know other bloggers.

  • Great to read your tips Sarah. I do think sharing the linkies with someone is a good idea as it can be time consuming if you are someone that likes to put together a round-up. I think it’s fair to do do a round-up but what with work commitments I would struggle to do so every single month!

  • Crikey, I am so naive. Chele and I started We Should Cocoa because there were virtually no blog challenges around and certainly no chocolate ones (not that we were aware of anyway) and we thought it would be a good challenge. We didn’t even ask for a link back to both of our sites. I had no idea bloggers were so calculating. Although I’m learning all the time, I still have a long way to go as I don’t understand half of the checklist!

    For sure, doing the round-ups and commenting on bloggers posts takes a lot of time, but to me, this must absolutely be done. I have certainly noticed that some bloggers (and those that should know better) do not do this and it does make me cross.

    • What this post meant to flag up was that different linkies have different “pay back” and that lesser known linkies are just as worth while as some bigger ones.

      In my experience We Should Cocoa has always been a sociable fun blog event with lots of interaction between hosts and participants. Exactly as it should be!

      In the US there’s long been a trend of bigger sites running linkies with scores of participants every week but whom only feature up to 10 in a round up. A minority of linkies in the UK are run this way but it could be a growing trend and we wanted to make bloggers more aware of the pros and cons of each method.

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