Friday, January 11, 2019

How To Host A Blog Hop

This post is for you if you are a blogger and you would like to learn how to host a blog hop or a blog tour. 
I will walk you through the steps. If I can do it - you can do it.

The first thing that you must do is pick a topic, season or decor element. I usually brainstorm about hosting something three months in advance. 


Once I've begun planning a hop or a tour, I think about bloggers to invite. 
Usually, I have a mix of bigger blogs and smaller blogs.  
The bigger blogs help give exposure to the smaller blogs. The smaller blogs provide a new source of readership to the bigger bloggers. 
I think about bloggers that have a similar affinity and niche that way my readers are finding other different and new blogs to read.
I will reciprocate and invite bloggers that have invited me to a blogging event.
I feel that good manners are in order if you have been invited to participate in one of these events.


Once I've got a list of some participants, I'll send an email or write a Facebook post to invite them.
I encourage you to become a member of a Facebook blogging group. Not one of those gigantic ones but something smaller. We have a Texas blogging group. That is the first place I'll go to issue invites.
There is a way to make a Facebook Document so that you can get people to sign up.
I've used that and it works great.


When I've got a core group of bloggers, I'll begin discussing the details of the event.
It's time to decide if it is a multi-day or single day event.
I've called my events blog tours.
A blog hop is dependent on links before and after each blog. 
It is more stressful in a hop because of the potential of a broken link. 
(Guilty as charged.)



In a blog tour, all the participants with links are listed for each day. There is no set order for a reader to follow. They can click on the links listed in the blog post. If they get lost they just come back to the host blog for additional links.
I've hosted single day and multi day events.
There are pros and cons to both.
A single day event is a lot of blog visiting and commenting all in one day.
 There is the aforementioned stress of broken links.
With a multi day event the work is spread out.
I don't love a five day event. A three or four day event is just about perfect.


As the hostess, I make the ultimate decision about the what and when but I'll put it out for discussion and input. 
My decision is based on which day or days work best for everyone. Invariably it ends up being the same week as a much bigger blogging event. I don't know if that helps or hinders traffic. 
Once the topic, frequency and date or dates is set.
I'll confirm with each blogger to let everyone know what day they are scheduled. If there are conflicts, I'll shuffle blogs around when they are open to that.
About four weeks before the event, I'll email or message all the participants reminding them of the event and explaining my rules. I'll insert a graphic for them to use.
I make my graphics in Paint.

My rules are pretty simple:

Talk about the event in the week or weeks leading up to the event.
Post the graphic on the side bar or in a blog post.
Link back to the hostess
 Link a list of all participants
Share on various social media platforms
I love a recap post if it's a multi day event but that is not required.

Two weeks before the event I'll ask for Perma links and a photo. 
This is where things can break down.
Explain to your group of bloggers how to create a perma link even if the blog post is not finished.
Here is how to in Blogger. Click where is says Permalink. Copy and Paste.


About a week before the event, I'll create a list of the participants with their links.
I will copy this list from the HTML and then email them that. I don't know why but that is how I do it. In the email, I'll ask participants to be mindful of the order.
That is more important in a hop than a tour.
The participating bloggers can convert to HTML and add the links and then revert to compose.
This is how it looks in Blogger.


As the hostess, I write a blog post for each day of the event. I'll insert all the links at the bottom of my post  but I'll also insert the links for the day with a little blurb about each blog/blogger. I'll write something about the blogger and their style.
I'll insert one of their pictures after the blurb.

Here is a link as an example.
Cozy At Christmas Day 1

If I don't receive the Permalink or a picture, I'll put the general link to the blog and then convert after the post goes live. I'll email that to everyone once I have them all.
If I haven't been emailed a picture before hand, I'll grab one from a blog post about the season or holiday. This way, all the pictures will be in place when my post goes live. The picture may not show up in their actual blog post, so I insert a new picture once their post goes live.
No one will notice later when I switch out a picture.
On the day or days of the event, I'll visit each blog featured that day and leave a comment.
I'll share on my various social media platforms.


If it is a multiday event, I'll make a collage of each days participants and email that to the group for their use.
I use them when I create a page for the top of my blog.

Cozy at Christmas Page 


I'll send a follow up email at the end of the week, thanking the participants. I'll ask them if they want to be included in the next event.

I think that is about it.
If you have questions, please ask them in the comment section because I may have forgotten something.
Have fun hosting a blog event.
They are good traffic generators.
I'll never forget when Stacey of Poofing the Pillows asked me to be in a blog hop. I was thrilled.
It allowed me to be in touch with the fabulous bloggers of Texas.
Katie

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9 comments :

  1. Great info Katie and much appreciated. I am trying to host one next week (first time) and was kinda thrown into it because the other blogger wanted too but didn't have the platform needed. After reading this it will not be that successful. It was a last minute decision therefore not much social media chat ahead of time. :( Looking forward to doing more this 2019. Sounds like fun. A lot of work, but fun.

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    1. Hey, Cindy! I touted up your hop along with my 10 on the 10th post on my blog and on my IG feed. Will put out more this weekend. <3 Sooo glad Katie wrote this!

      Hugs,
      Barb :)

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  2. You always run great blog hops that seem to flow seamlessly.

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  3. I enjoyed very much being a part of a few of your Texas Blogger hops. It provided a lot of interest from new readers and made me stretch my skills. I think participants should understand it's a lot of work for the host of the hop and participants should expect to help by taking an active part in advertising the coming event. I really admire your skill in hosting the events and felt you did an excellent job of keeping participants informed of actions needed. You make it look so easy, but this post of yours really explains how much work there is to hosting!

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  4. No questions now but I do love the blog hops and checking out new sites, some of whom check me out and come back for more. I saw good for you for doing it and thank you for sharing because someday I just might!

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  5. Thank you, Katie, for creating this post! :) I was wondering when you {and other ladies} have asked for the permalink early... I NEVER knew I could create it early in Blogger. I have been thinking about creating a blogging post, too. All the stuff one needs to learn just to make it all happen. ;)

    Thank you for inviting me to past link hops and as I figure out how to do one, I WILL definitely be inviting you. <3

    Hugs,
    Barb :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Barb. You're so sweet. I'd love to join.

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  6. This is much needed information thank you so much for sharing. I am planning a blog tour so your post came at the perfect time.Thank you for sharing, Kippi #kippiathome

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