The Ultimate Guide to Blog Hops is going to tell you
- What a Blog Hop Is
- Why you may benefit from a Blog Hop
- Drawbacks of Blog Hops
- How to Set Up a Blog Hop
What Is A Blog Hop?
A Blog Hop occurs when two or more bloggers create a link between their sites to coordinate a themed post.
For example: “A Spring Home Tour” would be the Theme
The blog, Your Home Your Happy Place writes a post and anywhere within, before or most typically after the post, there is a link to another blogger’s site with the name of either their blog or their post. Spring Tour at Example: “A Spring Home Tour at Chatham Hill on the Lake” would be a text link.
Each participant’s post should state within their post that they have joined with other bloggers to bring them this special event and please visit their sites at the links below.
Here is a Blog Hop that I hosted in Fall with 10 other bloggers: Festive Fall Home Tour
In this tour, I put the links to the other sites at the beginning of my post and used thumbnails that they provided as my link.
Why Blog Hop?
The most valuable reason to Blog Hop is to increase exposure to your blog by inviting other blogger’s readers to your site. You have the opportunity to win them over to subscribe to your blog too.
The second reason to participate in a Blog Hop is networking with other bloggers. Blogging can be a very lonely and isolated experience. When we participate in group projects we get to know each other better and build relationships of trust and support. These relationships can be fruitful for future projects.
The third reason to do a Blog Hop is simply learning. Lots can go wrong when we do joint projects and often people are learning for the first time about scheduling posts, copying code, and solving problems.
The last reason to participate in a Blog Hop is that it really looks good on your site that you are networking with others. It can give credibility to your site, not only to your readers. but affiliates or media that you are wanting to work with.
Drawbacks to Blog Hops
1. Timing and participation can be an issue.
When you announce a Blog Hop and ask for participants you typically will get a decent list. However, as time gets closer people start dropping out because their schedules are not permitting them to get the job done in time. So if you wanted 12 participants and you get 6, that can be disappointing. However, I believe even 2 is worth your time. It is a benefit to your readers to be linked easily to another post about the same subject with a new perspective.
2. Quality of the participants is not always consistent.
I have had experiences where participants really did not follow the theme. They were suppose to do a minimum of a 3 room tour and instead they decided to show one photo 15 ways. Or you asked for a minimum of 8 photographs and they only provide 3. Bringing a less than desirable post link to your reader may upset them and will discredit you in your reader’s eyes. It would be like you saying “let me introduce you to my friend” and based on their relationship with you, they visit with your friend and then the friend says something that insults the person. Time is precious and we want to respect our reader’s time by linking to other blogs whose posts are worth it. The best way to handle this is making clear requirements for your Blog Hop well before the LIVE date.
When someone you haven’t worked with before is entering a Blog Hop, ask that they forward their finished, scheduled post a few days early so you can evaluate the work and offer help if photo quality is bad or they misunderstood the concept.
3. Blog Hops can be time consuming the first day.
Often there are coding mistakes the first day and this affects your post because there may be a broken link or when they get to the other person’s post there are boxes with question marks inside where their photos should be. There needs to be one admin that is able to deal with issues at publication time. I recommend using a separate chat room in messenger when getting close to publication, so on that day all participants can quickly communicate what is going on and fix problems. A second or third experienced blogger can also help the admin as the morning goes on.
How To Set Up a Blog Hop
1. Choose a Theme
Some themes I have used in the past are: “Chili Cook Off”, “Spring Home Tour”, “St. Patrick’s Day Menus”, “Christmas Home Tour”, and this year we are doing a Bunny Hop! 3 consecutive weeks starting with “Easter Home & Table“, “Easter Menus & Recipes” and ending with “Decorated Eggs and Baskets.”
Really anything goes. If you are into DIY, you could do “3 DIY projects for the Bathroom”. If you are into Mommy Blogging, it might be “Best Baby Toys for 2018”. All you need is something your readers would love and at least one other blogger to link with.
2. Set a Publish or Go Live Date
This one is pretty self explanatory, but I would encourage you to look at your stats. If you have a regular schedule for posting then at least pick the day when you get the highest views. If you post irregularly, typically Tuesdays are a high viewership, but that can change based on the niche.
3. Start Your Post
You want to give your post a title and then if you are in Word Press, go to the right side where you usually publish. BTW, pick a great keyword for your title if possible.
a. Go to the little Calendar Icon where it says Publish Immediately. There you click on “Edit”.
c. Then select “OK” below the date and time that you selected.
d. Last you go to the little orange button which shows Publish but will now show “Schedule” and click that.
e. Your button now changes to “Update” and it allows you to continue to write and edit your post and update it, but you can now pass your link on to the group.
4. Grab Your Link
This is where problems occur with coding and broken links on LIVE day.
a. Go to your Permalink and now that you have scheduled your post, there is a link provided.
b. Copy that link, not the link that is in your browser because that one will end in “edit” and will not work.
c. Paste that link in an email or messenger to your admin and other participants when instructed.
d. WARNING: the link will NOT WORK until the date and time it is scheduled to publish so don’t fret over it.
e. SECOND WARNING: DO NOT change your title at all or you change your link and the link you just gave over will not work when it goes Live.
If you grab the Permalink it will look like this: https://yourhomeyourhappyplace.com/guide-blog-hops/
If you grab the browser it will look like this: https://yourhomeyourhappyplace.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=3535&action=edit
Notice the second one ends in “edit?” This is NOT the look you want. You need a nice clean link like the first one and you will only get that in your Permalink.
4. Insert The Participants Links into Your Post
There are many creative ways to insert links in your posts. In the past I have created banners in Canva and then put the title of the other participants post or blog in the banner. You can then share that and they can grab it at Canva.
When you add the banner you do it as “add media” and then add their link to the URL area of the media.
So under “Display Settings” you go to the “Link to” section and in that link area paste the permalink of your participant who is named in that banner and then press update and your banner when clicked will take your reader to the other blogger’s post.
This is an advanced link up tool and definitely takes more time.
One drawback to this tool is Branding Issues. If I am participating with someone whose brand is pastels and I am using brights, it is not going to look great on their site.
However, you can do this on your site only. The other participants can either use a text link or make a banner that is within their branding colors and fonts.
To insert a Text Link you simply Write the name of the Blog or Blog Post Title of your other participants in your post and then press the Link (chain icon) at your tool bar and paste in their link and update your post.
5. Finish Your Post and Be Ready On LIVE Day
You can endlessly update a post even after it has gone LIVE. But your goal when participating in a Blog Hop is to be done prior to LIVE date and time.
Do your best to be available when the LIVE time rolls out so you can check that you published and that your site looks good.
6. Trouble Shooting
a. Click each link you have inserted and make sure they go to the post and scroll through that post and make sure their photos are showing and their links are intact.
b. Click through your link on their site to be sure your site is linking through.
If everyone’s link is working then celebrate and start sharing!
I think I have only participated in one Blog Hop where we all linked up without an issue, so be prepared to get to work in the first hours of a Blog Hop.
c. Problems that occur most will be Broken Links.
a. First go that person’s web site to see if the post is published. If it is not yet published, they did not put in the correct time or date. Give them a quick messenger in the private chat so they can try to update their scheduled publish date and time and get online with their post.
b. If their post is published, the easiest thing for everyone in the group to do is simply copy their browser link and go into your Word Press edit and click the link and paste the new link in and then press update. It should work now.
I know that may sound confusing since I told you NOT to use the browser as your link in step 3, but that was PRIOR to publishing. After published the browser holds the accurate link to their post.
You now have a published Blog Hop!
It’s time to start sharing, pinning and posting.
If you would like to participate in a Blog Hop, join us!
I would love to know if you have any questions about participating, creating or any of the details of a Blog Hop.
Thank you for visiting. I would love for you to share this post with your blogging friends, pin my feature image which you can find by backing out of the post and seeing it on the home page. Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest are also clickable on my home page so you can follow me there!