One week ago today we had our End of Summer Blog Party! It was a ton of fun, thank you to everyone who participated. Blog Parties are always a great way to get more involved in the blogging community, to meet new people, and read some amazing new blogs. I host a blog party about every two to three months in the hopes of encouraging community and reciprocation among bloggers.
Have you ever considered throwing a blog party?
If so, here’s some advice.
While Blog Parties are a huge hit, they can also be a lot of work, and they can often fall flat without the proper motivations and engagement. Just like throwing a party in real life, the host/hostess cannot simply provide an atmosphere, ditch out, and then expect his/her guests to have a good time. As a host/hostess, I suggest you follow these simple guidelines:
- Create specific rules and invitations
- It is not enough to yell “Blog Party” and hope the crowds will come. Set up what a blog party is for first time participants. If you have a specific theme, state it! If there is something you want your guests to answer, ask the question, get the party started! Also, if you have specific rules (as most parties should), be upfront with them right away. For instance, my strictest rule is that no one is allowed to comment “I followed you, please follow back.” I don’t accept the “follow game” at my parties and so I make sure to post that in the instructions.
- Turn off comment moderation (at least for the duration of the blog party)
- Many of you may have different comment restrictions on your blog. Maybe you have to approve every comment every single time, or you only have to approve comments from first time posters. While this may be helpful in other areas of your blog, it is detrimental during blog parties. Bloggers cannot actively engage in the party if they are waiting in the queue to become “approved.” For the duration of the blog party, turn off comment moderation.
- Engage with every. single. blogger. Write back (you cannot be a silent host!)
- If you were hosting a party at home and someone came up to you, introduced themselves, and talked about their favorite hobbies, would you simply turn and walk away without saying a word? NO! (At least, I hope not.) Your guests are your responsibility. It is your job to make sure that the are having a good time. If someone comments, for goodness sakes, be kind and respectful enough to comment back!
- Ask questions to your guests.
- Just as you should respond to comments, you should engage by asking questions. What does the blogger like to write about? What are they currently working on? This is all about making friends people and the only way that works is through engagement.
- Visit every. single. blog. that comments (show reciprocation).
- I mentioned earlier that I do not play the follow game. Just because someone follows my blog does not mean that I will automatically follow them back. However, I will visit their blog and check it out (especially if they comment during a blog party)! Again, if someone has been kind enough to drop in to your party, be reciprocal. It will take you 30 seconds at most to click on their blog and look around. You may even be pleasantly surprised to find that you love their blog and want to follow! During blog parties, I follow anywhere from 5 – 20 new blogs.
- Kick out the trolls.
- Last, but not least, sorry to say, the bigger your party, the more likely you are to find that the trolls have escaped the dungeon. Be on the lookout for blogger-trolls who are only there to stir up trouble or garner followship without actively engaging in the community.
Well there you have it, my five stress-free, guaranteed guidelines on how to host your very own blog party. If you host a party soon, I hope to receive an invite!
Happy Blogging Everyone!
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