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Creating Community and Getting Inspired with Blog Hops and Events

As Donkey sings in Shrek 2: One…is the loneliest number that you ever saw…. Writing a blog need not be…

As Donkey sings in Shrek 2: One…is the loneliest number that you ever saw…. Writing a blog need not be a lonely or isolating experience. Doing a blog hop, participating in a blogging event or creating and running an event or a challenge (like the photo and writing challenges we run here at The Daily Post), are great ways to meet others who share your interests, discover new writers and sites you can add to your Reader, and find inspiration for new posts.

Participate, then Create

Blog hops and blogging events can help you find your blogging posse. Photo by Darren and Brad.

Blog hops and blogging events can help you find your blogging posse. Photo by Darren and Brad.

If creating and running your own blogging event feels a bit overwhelming, you might want to start by finding a blogging event to join. We keep an updated list of blogging events here at The Daily Post. Into photography? We’ve got you covered. Into food blogging, fashion, or other creative hobbies? We’ve got your back.

If you have a posting frequency you’re shooting for, participating in an event can help you stay on track and help you meet that goal. In fact, it can help you fill your blog’s editorial calendar with new post ideas.

Start and/or Participate in a Blog Hop

What’s a blog hop, you ask? A blog hop can be run in any number of ways, but here’s what it generally involves:

  • A group of bloggers agree to post about a given topic by a deadline they agree on.
  • The blog hop usually has a central page that participating bloggers can send a link to.
  • Readers can then visit each link, “hopping” from blog to blog reading each author’s take on the subject.

Emily at The Waiting started a weekly nostalgic hop called the Remember the Time Blog Hop along with co-founder Ashley. Emily, who runs the hop with Kelly of areyoufinishedyet.com, says that the blog hop has resulted in some pleasant surprises.

Remember the Time started out as a way for me and Ashley (my co-founder) to just luxuriate in some of the memories we had of growing up, but it has grown into a place where bloggers who would otherwise never have known each other can share some of their most special stories,” says Emily. “We are all a little amazed at how much we remember! I love how our participants are cross-generational; we all learn from each other and realize how much we have in common.”

Here’s another sample blog hop that recently took place for bloggers who like to write about their pets. These were the guidelines.

Hosting Your Own Blogging Event

Once you’ve participated in an event or two and made a few blogging friends who are now frequenting your corner of the internet, you might consider starting and running your own blogging event. Now that you’re in charge, you get to decide what topic(s) and genres your event will focus on, as well as the duration. Into poetry? Why not create a blogging event that encourages participants to write a poem a week, or on the schedule that meets your blogging goals? Into fiction? Photography? Design your event around the topics and genres you’re most interested in.

To help you get started, we’ve got a Blogging Event Survival Guide you’re welcome to use and share with your participants. Be sure to submit your blogging event to us — we’ll add it to our list to help you generate interest and participation.

* This post was edited post-publication to note Kelly’s involvement in the Remember the Time Blog Hop. –Krista

64 Comments

  1. Please visit! I just started my blog and will be blogging daily. I would love comments and views of others so please say how you feel, thanks ! Diana :)

    1. @dlovski
      @sharanya konandur
      I’m confused. Do you host any blog hops and events on your blogs? If so where? You see I visited both blogs and liked both of them too, but I’m unable to locate any such events on either blog.

    1. @countingducks
      I am into natural linking patterns and that means I refuse to participate in all unnatural backlinks schemes and awards memes and any and all contests, giveaways and anything else that smacks of ganging up to get backlinks. Your content is high quality content, countingducks. My advice is to keep clear of all such link gaming behavior.

      1. Right. You started me laughing out loud. I’ve never heard you being so fierce. I’ve never been Freshly Pressed, squeezed or even lightly nudged, so I’m always tempted to try something which might get the authorities to look at my Blog, but I agree this path is not my natural style

      2. I tend to agree with you, despite my own naïveté on the subject. I don’t like superficiality. I want a genuine experience. I don’t want to look at the numbers for numbers sake. I want to know if what I’m writing is appealing to the audience that follows. I don’t want a bunch of followers who never actually read what I write. That seems a waste. Any advice YOU, in particular, have I’d love to hear it. You’re definitely more in my line of thinking on the subject.

      3. I got sucked into one of these, I am new to blogging and by the time I figured out what was going on it was to late. And I, sadly, had already participated. Are there a lot of these kinds of things that go on in the blogging world?

  2. I just started posting to linky parties, and my subscribers have increased 500%!! They have evened out, though… maybe trying one of these will keep my view increasing! I don’t want to be a blogger that is always checking stats, but the success makes me smile. :-)

      1. It’s this thing hosted by some bloggers, usually weekly, where there is a general theme and you can post a link to one of your own posts on that topic. Then, you usually go show some love to others who joined the party.

      2. So similar (or maybe identical) to this Blog Hop thing that was mentioned? I’m just trying to figure out a way of generating organic interest in our blog. It’s new and I realize it takes time to build up a proper readership but I want to make sure I’m doing the work of getting it out there instead of just sitting idly by and waiting. But I also don’t want to generate false readership either. I’d prefer that the numbers reflected some genuine interest.

  3. If there are any other bloggers that share the same topics as our blog, I’d love to consider doing a Blog Hop. Stop by and see if it’s up your alley and let’s go from there!

  4. We’re noticing in the initial responses that some folks are wondering about the impact of link-ups like blog hops. Although some folks do abuse links to game traffic — that’s something we don’t advocate — most blog hops are just friendly bloggers getting together to share the love. We always advocate sharing the love.

    1. @krista
      Encouraging beginners who don’t have a clue what natural and unnatural linking patterns are and specifically how they affect pagerank to participate in what amounts to game playing to gain backlinks schemes is not in my well considered opinion a dignified and natural way of gaining backlinks and earning pagerank. And, referring to this game playing as “sharing the love” smells very bad to me.

      1. I can only speak to what we do with our blog hop, but it is by no means a way to increase traffic to our own sites and create a false sense of community. We love nostalgia and we wanted to create a space where people who share our interests could get together and read each other’s work while at the same time sharpening their storytelling abilities. It’s easy to write off bloghops and linkups – I know I did before I started participating in them – but not all of them are attempting to game the system.

  5. I have participated in some events, including the A to Z April Blog Challenge and the 50 States of Pray on Christmas Eve events. Now I am ready to host my own. I want to do one that encourages people from all 50 states of the USA to post pictures and or words of their Independence Day activities and the way they celebrate.

  6. That’s what I totally agree with – “Writing a blog need not be a lonely or isolating experience”.

    Once having got the writing bug, blog entries should be shared. I would add here – Reading a blog need not be a lonely experience. :)

    Like events, there is always something novel to inspire, excite and attract.

  7. I love blog hops. I’ve done several on my short story blog and I’ve ‘met’ a lot of really great people. That’s one reason why I’m doing my own, called 20/20 Five. It’s an opportunity for us to get to know each other

    You can check out the premise at 2020hines-sight.com

  8. Who wants to start a Blog Hop? :D
    We can decide the theme on saturday-sunday, someway based on the news. Then write about it the rest of the week, and commenting and responding on each others posts.

  9. If it gets me some true followers I would be willing to try. I’m a new blogger and it is hard to write about the little things in life and have only 2 people read it.

  10. Well not even sure if a blog hop, blog party, link backs etc are all just synonyms. But I participated in a blog party before on a topic that I like and I thought it went well. People read it, most comments I ever got but more than that I got to read various points of view on one theme. It doesn’t replace an actual party of course lol but it was cool.

    Now recently, I wrote a post in which I asked readers to chime in and link back if they wrote on the same theme. That went nowhere. I’m new and don’t have many followers yet or consistent readers (I guess) so it’s cool…but for me it’s genuine (based on what I like and wanting to connect with people). I haven’t even been blogging long enough to be “scheming” or jaded by anything…it’s easy breezy right now. The way I wanna keep it

    1. Glad to hear that you’ve been having a bit of fun — that’s what it’s all about. We have a weekly Community Pool feature you might enjoy. If you ask a question on your site, but find you’re not getting the types of or as many responses as you’d hoped, you can always leave a comment on the Community Pool post and invite readers to drop by and share their thoughts: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/?s=community+pool

  11. I would like to know if it is possible to use linking software, such as inlinkz or linky with a wordpress.com site, or whether that is only possible on the .org platform? I am about to launch a Lovely Leftovers blog hop on my food blog, and would love to have a quick way to get participants to link up. Thanks

  12. Really good post! I hope to be participating in blogging events shortly. In the mean time, please check out my blog, any criticism or compliment is appreciated!

  13. Got a gist of the community blogging events as posted above.

    But are the keyword ‘tags’ not sufficient to get visits from relevant/targeted readers through search engines ?

    PS- I am a newbie :)

    Thanks

    1. @inspire and rise
      Hi there, I am a retired librarian with years of tagging experience. I answer a lot of support forum questions an visit blogs to check out tags. There I note that most bloggers are not adept at tagging and worse still they are far too focused on it thinking it will bring their blogs traffic from search engines like Google and BIng rathe than comprehending what I will now quote.

      Quoting Matt Cutts of Google: “These days search engines pay more attention to your keywords in your content than they do to your keywords in Tags/Categories.”

      1. The most common mistake new bloggers make is spamdexing ie. assigning an excessive combined number of categories and tags to any post. Keep the combined total of the two under 10.

      2. The second most common mistake new bloggers make is tag spamming ie. assigning a unrelated categories and/or tags that the text in the post does not support.

      3. The third most common mistake new bloggers make is changing datestamps to try and keep their posts rising to the top in the WordPress.com topics pages. The software will post only under the original datestamp and timestamp. Editing datestamps will not change positioning but it will create a 404 (page not found).

      The rule of thumb is to assign the least, not the most, combined number of only relevant categories and tags that accurately describe the post content.

      For tips on tagging see > http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/2013/03/15/quick-blog-post-tagging-tips/

      Also search for the post titled “Revisiting Keywords and Tags” to watch the Matt Cutts video in it as well as reading the pointers there too.

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