Participate in Blog Hops!
Every blogger seems to ask these two questions:
"How can I increase traffic to my blog?"
"How can I get more followers?"
I ask these questions myself and try advertising in forums, on Facebook and Twitter, through signatures on email, and even through business cards. Even after advertising in these areas, I still love to advertise through the use of Blog Hops to increase traffic and gain followers.
I participate in daily blog hops, which can help increase traffic and help you gain more followers. I also participate often because I think blog hops are fun and I stumble upon some excellent blogs through blog hopping. I even study some of these blogs to figure out how I can improve my blog.
This post will explain what a blog hop is, how blog hops work, rules of blog hops, the different kinds of hops, hosting your own blog hop, and participating in blog hops.
What is a Blog Hop?
Blog hop, also known as blog hopping, is to move from one blog after another to read the entries or to leave comments. (Definition from Bloglossary)
How do Blog Hops work?
1. Click on any of the "buttons" in each category of my Blog Hop Master List (found on my right sidebar and at the bottom of this post) for the day that you are interested in. For example, if today is Thursday, you will want to participate in the Thursday Blog Hops. If you are interested in making your own button, visit my post here.
2. You will be directed to the hosts blog of the specific blog hop. Look for the post for the blog hop. You will usually see the button on the "blog hop" post and can copy that and add it to your own page if interested.
3. Scroll to the bottom of the blog hop list and you should see "click here to enter". Simply enter your link (basic blog link or a thumbnail link where you add an icon) into the linky form. Where it says, "Name" or "Title/Caption" you will want to add the name of your blog, not your personal name. Click Submit.
4. Your link then shows up on the blog hop list. Others joining the hop may see your link and click on it, bringing you traffic. If they are interested in your blog, they will "follow" you and will sometimes leave a comment with their link. It is up to you whether or not you want to return the follow, but its always nice to do so. Life gets busy sometimes and we can't always follow everyone that follows us--just try your best to follow back when you can.
5. Take a look at the blog hop list. Find blogs that you are interested in. Follow them. Then leave a comment with your link. That blogger may then return the favor and follow back. Don't count on this always though. Through the blog hop process, you are following blogs and others will be following you.
6. Once you finish following blogs of interest in that blog hop, you can move on to the other hosts blog hops in my master list and repeat the process.
*NOTE: Sometimes the host posts the Blog Hop the night before or later the next day, or sometimes not at all. Just try again the next week if they don't post the blog hop that day.
See an example of my blog hop here. This is the basic linky, where all you have to do is enter your blog link. The links listed were from other "blog hoppers." Linkys usually close at the end of each day.
Why do blog hops have rules?
Some blog hops have rules listed. Try to read these rules but don't get overwhelmed by them. I host a blog hop on Fridays (I will have one tomorrow if you want to add your link) and I do not have rules. I really get turned off by hops that have a long list of rules and most don't follow them anyways, so I just keep it simple. Sometimes if you don't follow the rules, you will get a comment from the host. For example, some hosts want you to add their button to your site. I received a comment once saying from the host that I didn't have their button when in fact, I have had it posted on my blog hop master list for quite sometime. I simply commented back saying that I did have it and that was that. Rules are usually in place so that the host will get followers from each blog hopper that arrives to their hosted blog hop, and most times will want you to post their button on your blog, for even more traffic.
Are there other hops besides "blog" hops?
Yes. If a blog hop says "Link your blog," then do just that. If it is a "Facebook" link up, link only your Facebook Fan Page. If it is a "Twitter" link up, link up your Twitter Page. You can read the details of each hop in the hosts "rules" on which link you are to submit in the linky form. Some hops are for crafts only. Some hops are for posting the link to your favorite post or just for giveaways. Just be sure that you are submitting the correct link in each form.
Can I host my own blog hop?
YES! You can go to Linky Tools to get your own linky codes for your own blog hops. You can pick whichever day you want to host. I host a "The Frugal Free Gal Friday Blog Hop" EVERY Friday where you can enter your Blog, your Facebook Fan Page, your Twitter name, your Giveaways, and sometimes other link ups such as your favorite post or crafts. Come by tomorrow to add your link of you are interested.
What else should I know?
You don't have to do all of the blog hops listed. Participate in a couple if you wish, per day, or per week. You will see a difference in your followers and traffic. Some people are concerned that blog hops don't bring them true readers and that people follow and never come back. This isn't necessarily true. I have found MANY blogs through the blog hops that I go back to often. If someone comes to your blog and finds it interesting, they may come back. You never know. You may never see them again, but at least it was worth the try. I have gained several "true readers" through blog hops. It's all advertising, whether its through a forum or a blog hop. If someone really wants to follow your blog, they will. Don't worry about quality vs. quantity. You are getting readers to your blog and thats what matters!
How and when can I start participating?
Start participating today! I am in the process of organizing my master blog hop list. My master blog hop list can always be found in my right sidebar and is organized by days. I am currently working to organize each day into categories: your basic link hops, hops where you have to add an icon, facebook hops, twitter hops, giveaway hops, etc. It helps make it easier for you to navigate through the ones that interest you.
I organized Thursday's Blog Hop list today. You want to participate in Thursday hops today since today is Thursday. Tomorrow, you will want to participate in the Friday hops. You can find the Thursday list here. Then each day, come back and click on the current day and participate in the hops listed. Here is my master list that I also keep on my right sidebar. I have Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursdays blog hop list organized by category and hope to have them all organized by Monday. I am working on them one day at a time.
Email me if you have any questions about blog hopping at email@example.com
Hop Til' Ya Drop!