{Handmade Business in 31 Days — Day 10, Linky Parties: to participate or not?}

Day 10// The longer I blog the quicker I am to feel overwhelmed with participating in all of the linky parties, online events + other seriously fun “stuff”. Because I want to participate in them all. There are so many creative parties to join. Because of course I like to bake. And of course I think painting furniture is fun. And who doesn’t want to write a DIY post??? Share tours of my home, I want that too. And and and. All the bloggers who link up ~ I have to click on all of their links. All.

Oooops, there goes my afternoon.

original photo via society6

The truth is linky parties are an amazing online invention and you should participate, but only if it fits with your purpose statement. My opinion — cuz really, I know you want to know ;) — is if the linky party doesn’t fit your purpose statement you shouldn’t participate. Your blog’s main focus is to highlight your handmade shop + share more about who you are as the designer. Right? {Sometimes we have to discuss hard stuff in this 31 Days series.}

Also related: it’s super confusing for your online community for not-what-you-said-you’d-be-blogging-about topics to show up. If you paint + sell your art, and you use your blog to promote the art in your shop, linking up every week/month to something that is not at all related to your purpose statement is… well, weird.

Trust me, I’ve been guilty of this myself. Linky parties are exciting. You put them on your calender and you prepare your content, and then you write about the set topic, and you feel so darn proud! But those new readers they sent your way, unless these readers will want to stay connected with what you blog about on a normal day, they are probably lost readers.

Here’s my solution: If you absolutely must participate, see if you can tweak your content to something that fits better with your blog/purpose statement. Instead of writing your post around “Show us your favorite crock-pot meals”, tweak the post so the focus is on how you have been super busy with new projects {which of course you have already shared on your blog since new projects falls perfectly in align with your blog/purpose statement}. You then share something else that fits perfectly with your purpose statement, and end with asking readers to share their meal planning tips while successfully running their business. See the difference? But my advice still stands: don’t risk your online community’s trust by blogging about something that really has nothing to do with why they are coming over to read in the first place. What if, instead of participating you took the theme and found a way to share your unique, personal, totally relatable experience with your online community?

Amen.

Homework// Is there a linky party you need to re-consider participating in? Or perhaps there’s one you really should join because it’ll {positively} stretch who you are as a blogger + designer?

Share your thoughts with us below — do you totally disagree with what I wrote, or are you nodding your head in agreement?

click here to read all “31 Days” blog posts, yeow!

Comments

  1. 1

    says

    That’s good advice, Maggie. I’m not promoting a homemade business, but what you’ve written here makes sense. And even reading the 31 Days links (just a few) is so time consuming that I can’t imagine writing one! It’s part of that “make good choices” speech parents give to their children. I admire how you are able to bring things around to your “story”. Perfect example.

    • 2

      says

      @Southern Gal, Oh I am so glad you are able to pull the content and make it fit your purpose. Yes this is tailored to businesses but I do think a lot of this content can be altered for everyone’s unique situation.

      PS. My parents used to tell me that allllll the time when I’d leave their house and head back to college on Sunday afternoons. Ha! xoxo

  2. 3

    says

    Hee hee!! I tried to link up one time a while ago and couldn’t figure out how to do it because computers totally hate me so I’ve never tried since!!! This post makes me feels soooooooo much better about all those linky parties I have missed!!!!!
    I think you should write a book about this series. I have read a couple books about handmade businesses and nothing has come close to the awesome information you are providing. Thank you!!!!!
    Lots of love
    Angela

  3. 8

    says

    i agree…mags you need a book deal.

    any book editors or publishers reading this…GIVE OUR GIRL A BOOK DEAL!! :) thousands of us look to her for buz inspiration on this blog…give her a book :) :)

    love ya

    ;)

  4. 9

    says

    I totally agree… there are soooo many link parties out there. I’ve realized lately that you really can’t participate in them all, but because there are so many there are some out there that fit with what I write about. I’m loving this series… thank you thank you for all the wonderful knowledge and advice!!

    Dawnelle

  5. 10

    says

    I participate in linky parties only when I have content from the past week or two that fits the party. I don’t ever create something for my blog just because there is a link party for it. So, there are weeks when I don’t link up. However, they do generate a decent amount of traffic to my blog, so I definitely think they are worthwhile!

    • 11

      says

      @Laura @ Laura’s Crafty Life, OH you are SMART!!!!! Yes, I am nodding with you here. If it truly works, I see no harm in participating. And I love that you mentioned “content from the past week or two” — nothing is weirder than super old content that doesn’t really fit the linky party topic anyway!

  6. 15

    says

    BING-GO!

    I never put it together that my readers want to read about what I TOLD them I’d be writing about. I “say” I have a focus, but then go on to write about whatever pops into my mind, thinking that readers from all over will be attracted to my natural charm and wit! ;) I have gotten a lot of traffic from the link parties, but before long those people seem to disappear. It makes so much sense now. Sort of like an “I could have had a V8″ moment.

  7. 17

    says

    Thanks for addressing this topic. I know sometimes I feel “out of it” not participating in many link-ups, but it’s so true that I want my blog to have focus and not be all random/about whatever everyone is blogging about. And feeling like you HAVE to read a certain number of blogs just because you participated in a link up can be overwhelming(!) and not a good use of time

  8. 18

    says

    I just find linky parties to be so time consuming. I mean I know it doesn’t take much time to link to one, it’s the remembering who has them weekly and on what day they are posted. I do them if I can remember but honestly, the times I do are few and far between. I ‘m feeling very stretched creatively right now creating a new product line and blogging every day (thanks to @thenester) that I can’t find time. And don’t forget I’ve got to spend a majority of my day snuggling my girls!

  9. 19

    says

    Okay, so here’s a question. Let’s say you already have a lovely little blog, where you write about life and spirituality and your soul… and you’re thinking about launching a handmade business. Would your recommend a new site where the topics will be more in line with your mission statement (and you can send your community there if they’re interested in following along), or reshaping the old site into that direction (I struggle to imagine that working well) or just incorporating projects when they come up, linking to the etsy shop. Any thoughts?

    • 20

      says

      @Annie,
      I’d be very interested in hearing some input on this issue, too. I have two blogs–one that is on my business website–but I rarely update it. And my other blog where I share advice for women on how to live a fun, frugal lifestyle.
      I didn’t realize how time consuming it would be to keep up with two blogs! My problem is that I love wrting the advice one but the sewing blog is the one that could potentially help my business.

  10. 21

    says

    I like the idea of linky parties but not sure how i should go about them — I want bloggers to know I design for them but how am i the web/graphic/blog designer and consult suppose to say to make people go ” i wanna hire her” with out looking like i need clients asap .. thats my problem lol

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