Monday, April 28, 2014

Blog Hops and Link Ups

I started my blog about a year ago. I really have no interest in becoming a high-profile blogger. I'm not doing this to earn an income, endorsements or recognition. It's really just for me. That being said, it IS still nice to have someone reading and get a little feedback.  Blog hops and link ups are a great way for a new (or even established) blogger to get their name out a bit, and to find new friends and blogs with similar interests. I'm quite the blog hopper myself. I keep a link-up list here on the blog, and keep a Pinterest board to help me keep track.

I'd been a pretty active contributor in the Motivation Monday link-up, and a few months ago, when Wendy said she was looking for some new co-hosts, I told her I was interested. It's been fun to be on the hosting side of a blog hop, as well as just a participant. 

I've been thinking about blog hops ... what makes it successful. I found a couple blog posts with tips and recommendations (here & here).  I've been thinking about what I like when it comes to a blog hop ... and I've love to know what others think too!

  • Consistency: I don't know about you, but after participating in a blog hop for a while, I come to expect it to be there *Ü*  I am disappointed if I have MY blog ready and then I go to link up and the blog hop isn't there that week. Has that ever happened to you?
  • Theme: I go back and forth on whether I like there to be a specific theme. On one hand, a theme can serve as a writer's prompt, pushing me to write something I might not have otherwise. I do know, if there IS a theme, I do like to know about it in advance so I can be thinking about my post, and not writing it that day. Did you like it when our Motivation Monday's had a theme, or do you prefer just the general link up? Did the list of themes ever inspire you to write something not originally planned?
  • Links: Blog hops will generally show as simple links, or photo image squares. I DO like the picture option, it makes it a bit more personable. As a host however ... the picture option does generally carry a charge with it, and it does add more length to the original blog post each time (it can look a bit cluttered). What is your preference?
  • Duration: Most blog hops run for about a week, but I've come across some that only go for a day or so. Often times I've taken the time to write up my blog post, then I go to link up only to find it has closed. 
  • Linking Back: I normally always try to link back to the blog host on my post. I know some blog hops actually require this (you're link will not be accepted unless there is a link-back present). I will also really try to follow the request to check out (and comment) on a few of the other blogs in the link up. I actually think commenting on the other blogs will make the connections more than just posting your own link.
Those are some of the items that impact MY participation in blog hops. I do like where there are multiple hosts, as that does help spread the info about the blog hop a little more. Some blog hops will showcase a link or two from the previous week ... I like that! Having a clever name, and a cute button can impact participation too I think! I do take notice when the blog hostess takes the time to come and comment, although I know that can be a practical impossibility with some of the larger ones!

There are so many blog hops out there ... sometimes I will link up for more than one on a single post. Do you have any thoughts on that? Is that considered bad etiquette? 

Blog hops definitely motivate me to blog more ... and as I'm blogging about a healthy lifestyle, I like to think that they help motivate me there too, simply so I will have something to write about! What about you? Do you participate in blog hops and link-ups? Why or why not? What draws you to a link up? What don't you like?  Leave a comment telling me ... and if you'd like, link up with the Motivation Monday team in our blog hop each Monday and get motivated!

The link-up entry is below, but going along with this topic, I thought I'd recap my weekend and linkup with Marvelous In My MondayMove it Monday and Motivational Monday.
  • Friday was actually pretty good, even with late start at the middle school and early out at the elementary I got in pretty good steps ... this was mostly because of an impromptu treadmill 5k. I plan on writing a little more about that on Workout Wednesday, as it's pretty monumental and I think it deserves it's own post! *Ü* I spend the evening at a basketball game for #3 where the kids were on fire and hitting three pointers all night long!
  • Saturday started with a growling tummy. I had really controlled calories Friday and my stomach was complaining! Hubby just looked at me and asked "what exactly is going on over there?" It was a busy day, we had five basketball games and one soccer game (overlapping, so I attended two basketball games, Daddy handled the soccer and #2 hitched a ride to his double header). TOM hit and I went to bed early. Like 8:30 early.
  • Sunday we had some family activities, went up to my brother's house. I resisted the treats there but still overindulged in hubby's delicious BBQ that evening. I took a rest day ... didn't even get to 4000 steps on my pedometer!
I'm usually really good on Mondays, motivated and ready to get back at it. I'm feeling quite sluggish today though. It's cold and dreary outside and that doesn't help. Hopefully I'll shake it off, I need to as the weight IS up after the weekend.As always, you can keep up with my daily activities in my Day to Day Doings. I am trying to stay current!


9 comments:

  1. Jen this is a great post! I love blog hops and link ups, they heard earn me some readers and some good blogs to read! I met you! Boom! I do get disappointed when link up disappear ESPECIALLY with notice, one of my favs just vanished which kinda is a turn of from the hosts * shrug *. I like theme hops, its gives me ideas because my blog is mostly about fitness. I like the link ups with the pics its is filling but it just makes it friendlier and more inviting. I like that that last a few day but I think if they last toooo long How could it become a weekly hop? Linking back to one or more of the host is, to me, just respectful its takes work to do those link ups. I love the idea is showcasing previous posts Its fun!
    I ramble ...lol

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    1. You can kind of tell the "hopping" people, as you do tend to "see" them at a lot of the same ones each week :) They are just fun! Ramble away :)

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  2. Jen thanks for sharing about all the blog hops. I linked up with Moving Monday and Marvelous Monday as well. I also added a link to your post on my blog post today. I hope that is okay. I think it would be so fun to know at the end of the day how many steps I take. Sounds like you had a busy weekend.

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    1. Love to have a link-back ... most bloggers do :) I've been a pedometer person for YEARS now, I can tell you how many steps I've taken any day for the past eight years or so. It's motivating too. Hope you keep hopping!

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  3. Thank you for joining my blog Jen! I liked this post of yours and the fact that there are no so called "rules"
    The one thing that I did not like about some blog hops was the fact that when I would join someone else;s blog (maybe the Hosts')the person never returned the favor, and I would also love to add my number of readers. Other than that I think Blog hops are awesome!

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    1. As I was researching before posting, just finding what others had written before me, there was a post that put down blog hops, saying that it wasn't worth the "work" when they did have a list of requirements. No big rules here on Motivation Monday or on most of the hops I frequent (some ASK that you follow and such, but I don't know that it's enforced or anything) *Ü*

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  4. I love blog hops party because I get the opportunity to meet so many great bloggers like you.

    herweightlossdiary.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks! It can be a little hit and miss ... I do try to check out the others linking up. Sometimes there isn't a connection, but I've found quite a few blogs I now follow through hops and many have said that's how they came here. *Ü*

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  5. I really enjoyed your post about blog hops. I enjoy blog hops, but my time has been more limited lately. I have been trying to put extra time into exercise. I have cut back to just the one hop.

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