I’ll start by mentioning that I first published my blog in July 2016, so I have about ten months under my belt. Accordingly, I still class myself as a relative Newbie Blogger; mainly because during this time, I’ve had to get my head around lots of social media I really hadn’t considered the importance of prior to blogging. And let’s face it, social media is important to blogging. As far as I can see, and definitely at my stage of blogging, social media is key to driving traffic in the direction of my blog posts. Without social media, my blog would just be another unread piece of flotsam drifting through a vast electronic ocean. And I would be the only witness to it wallowing in the deep dark depths of blogging despair, where it would float forever undiscovered in the unforgiving ocean we call the internet. A mere ghost of a once good idea.

The Newbie Blogger Versus Linkies

Okay, so the metaphor may be a tad dramatic. But in truth, it’s not far off the mark; because without social media, I truly believe that in the early days any blog would flounder.

In February I published a post entitled The Newbie Blogger Versus Twitter, where I discussed the positive impact Twitter has had on my blogging journey. It was also in this post that I touched on the ‘linky’ and how linkies have helped me promote my posts and meet new bloggers. With this post I’ll be taking my thoughts on linkies a little further by discussing how, as a newbie blogger, I feel about linkies now; the good and the bad.

But first a question: the English language pedant in me would love to know what the correct pluralisation of the term linky is: ‘linkys,’ or ‘linkies’? I’ve seen it written both ways. I’ve even seen it written ‘linky’s,’ which for me is cringe-worthy because of the possessive nature of the ‘s. I suppose as I have used it above and it feels more natural to my sophist nature, the ‘ies’ form will suffice for now, unless you can persuade me otherwise. I’m sure there are those who would disagree and it will come down to whatever common usage is. Anyway, I digress.

Let me get back on track by saying that linkies have been very kind to me, but I have seen arguments against joining linkies. So I’ll start with the negative first. And the main one seems to be that linkies only serve those who host linkies. I would like to address this view on behalf of the newbie bloggers amongst us, and probably from the viewpoint of many more established bloggers. The best way to do this is describe what a linky is. Please bear in mind that I am targeting newbie bloggers who may not have joined any linkies or who may be wondering about any benefits involved.

The Newbie Blogger Versus Linkies

A linky is a platform managed by bloggers for bloggers to showcase posts. The premise is that you add your post(s) to the linky after adding the linky logo to your post(s), and other bloggers get the opportunity to read and comment on your post(s). The idea also being that once you have placed your post you read and comment on the post before yours and share the post on your social media. You are also asked to comment on the host’s or hosts’ posts and, once again, share on social media. You can of course read, comment on, and share as many of the other posts as you like. That’s the premise at its most basic.

So let’s address the negative mentioned above, that linkies only serve the hosts. Yes, the hosts do gain a lot from managing their linky, obviously: their linky logo is attached to every post; their posts are read by all those who link up; and, their posts are shared by everyone who links up. If they run a successful linky, then their blog is definitely enhanced by doing so. It is a very positive medium for the host(s). But I would still suggest that this is a fair return for running the linky. So I disagree with the statement because the benefits to those who post to the linky are also clear to see.

  1. Sharing: (With the newbie blogger in mind.) Sharing a post to a linky exposes your post to a bigger audience than your social media may normally reach. Your post is read and hopefully shared by another blogger and the host(s) as a minimum. This is mutually beneficial because the idea is that sharing is on a quid pro quo basis: you publicise the host(s), and the favour is returned; you publicise a fellow blogger, and a fellow blogger publicises you.

  2. A larger audience: If the bloggers who post on the linky follow the rules (I’ll expand on this later), then you are going to broaden your blogger community far quicker than without the linky. Established bloggers get to read your posts and share to their established audiences, which will contain many new potential readers you are not currently linked to. Sounds like a winner for any newbie blogger! An example of the positive happened to me the other day. A very established blogger read one of my posts and complimented me, whilst punctuating the compliment with the statement that they had never visited my blog before. They then tweeted my post to their very substantial audience. A definite winner for me.

  3. Community: I briefly mentioned broadening your community above. Linkies are a good way of doing this. I’ve met some great and extremely supportive bloggers through linkies. This is priceless for a newbie blogger finding their feet and their community.

So if the above points highlight some of the positives, are there any negatives? Well, as with any reliance on a chain effect, links can be broken. Weak links in the chain will ultimately cause things to break down for someone. Linkies are no different.

The Newbie Blogger Versus Linkies

  1. Link dumping: this is probably the biggest and worst problem. What is link dumping? This is when a blogger adds their post to the linky but then leaves without reading, commenting on, or sharing other posts. Now, I’m sure there are occasions when life gets in the way and the link dumper forgets to revisit the linky to fulfil their end of the bargain, but this breaks the chain for the blogger who placed their post prior to the dumper, because the chances are their post is not read, commented on, or shared by anyone other than the host(s).

  2. Not sharing: Okay, so not all linkies request that you share on social media; but some do. And anyway, why wouldn’t you? I’ve been on the receiving end of ‘not sharing’ on a few occasions. The blogger who posts to the linky after you may or may not read your post but doesn’t share. In my mind, the sharing is probably the most important element of the whole linky process. We all want our posts to be read; we would appreciate the odd comment and definitely want the share. That’s a given. But there will always be bloggers who shortcut the process and skip the sharing. But, in my limited experience, these are few and far between. But it does happen. That’s why a some linkies mention ‘sharing the love’ in their rules. And as far as I’m concerned that includes sharing as well as commenting.

  3. It’s only bloggers: this is a point I’ve heard argued: that the audience isn’t real, it’s just bloggers reading bloggers. But I don’t see the problem with that. Those bloggers have an audience different to yours; that’s when the non-blogging readership becomes involved. Hence, the importance of sharing what you read when you visit a linky. I would suggest that this is an argument made by some of those who already have a large established readership, and unlike newbie bloggers have no real need for the support of a good linky. Or, because of their established readership, it makes little or no discernable difference for them.

Where linkies are concerned, I think the newbie blogger can dismiss the negatives in favour of the rewards associated with the positives. I now regularly link to three or four linkies a week (see below), and they’ve been great. Yes, there are moments of non-sharing from some fellow bloggers, which I personally struggle to understand, because it only takes a second to share. But you are guaranteed that the hosts always read, comment on, and share. You just have to ignore those who don’t follow the rules.

So the one thing I would suggest to any newbie bloggers is find some linkies and jump in. You’ve got nothing to lose but some of your time reading, commenting on, and sharing other bloggers’ posts and promoting your posts by being read by those who have a larger following than yourself. On another positive, you also get access to some really great writers and posts you may not have found otherwise, which adds fuel to your blogging ideas. You can pick up on trends and join in. Linkies really are a great platform for getting your blog out there.

So that’s my take on linkies. I hope you find them as fruitful as I have. Below I have listed the five linkies I now hook up with. Some I’ve been with for a while, a couple I’m new to. And there are probably dozens more other linkies bloggers would happily endorse. Have fun linking up.

Linkies:

#ThatFridayLinky run by @TwinMumandDad & @NigeHiggins4 – opens weekly on a Friday;
#TriumphantTales run by @mummyharris86 & @JakiJellz – opens weekly on a Tuesday;
#DreamTeam run by @3_LittleButtons & @BridieByTheSea & @rhymingwithwine – opens weekly on a Tuesday; and,
#BestandWorst run by @Helsy_1983 & @RunJumpScrap – opens weekly on a Wednesday.
Another I link up to from time to time is #BlogStorm, run by @Laura_Babykicks & @Mr_Kitney. It’s a monthly linky for posts that are specifically about blogging.

If you’ve never joined a linky before and want to give it a go, you could do a lot worse than those mentioned above.

 

 

JakiJellz

 

Rhyming with Wine

 

Best of Worst

 

Twin Mummy and Daddy