If you’ve been blogging for a while, you might’ve stumbled across various blog hops. You might’ve even checked them out even if you didn’t participate. It might’ve seemed too scary to sign up for something where everyone will read what you wrote.
I’m here to tell you that blog hops are great for you, despite being a bit intimidating.
Reasons Blog Hops are Good
- Networking. The secret to success is NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK. Some think this an ugly word, but the only way to meet others in the same industry is to hang out where they do. Thankfully you don’t have to get all dressed up and go to an exclusive party to rub shoulders with other writers and industry professionals: you just need a blog and other social media networks. (If you need help in this regard, check out the Basics of Author Online Presence Challenge to spruce up your online presence.)
- Finding out you’re not alone. Being a writer can be a lonely profession. But with blog hops you get the chance to meet up with other writers sharing their experiences.
- Good way to catch up with friends and meet new people. Time is a precious commodity. Sometimes it’s easier to cancel a coffee date with a friend than to keep it. With blog hops you get the chance to catch up with your friends and even make new ones without having to leave the house (or change out of your pyjamas).
Great Blog Hops to Try
There are monthly blog hops especially for writers.
The Insecure Writer’s Support Group (#IWSG) meets every first Wednesday of the month. There’s an optional question to answer, but the point is to share your writerly insecurities and get support from others on the same journey. There’s a sign up list and loads of other writers to meet and befriend.
The Author Toolbox Blog Hop (#AuthorToolboxBlogHop) meets every third Wednesday of the month. The point is to share information and tools that writers can use on this journey to becoming awesome authors. Check out the great authors on the sign up list.
There are seasonal blog hops for everyone.
Every April bloggers take the blogosphere by storm by blogging for 26 days (every day except Sundays) for each letter of the alphabet. The A-Z Challenge is a blogging marathon not for the faint of heart, yet it has awesome rewards. Everyone should try this at least once.
In the second half of the year the Cherished Blogfest happens for an entire weekend. People share cherished memories and make new friends.
Why not start with a smaller blog hop like the Cherished Blogfest that runs until midnight on Sunday? You only need to write 300-500 words about a cherished memory (pictures are welcome). Then add your post’s link to the sign up list on the official blog and visit the others and comment on their posts. Easy-peasy. Check out my post for this year’s Cherished Blogfest for inspiration. #CBF17
How to Make the Most of Blog Hops
- No matter the blog hop you try, always add the icon of the blog hop at the top of your post with a link to the original website so people can visit others taking part. Adding the icon at the top also ensures that those taking part in the blog hop won’t miss your post.
- Remember to add the blog hop’s hashtag to the title of your post – it makes it easier to find and to share across social media.
- Visit as many of the other participants of the blog hop and comment on their posts – most people will visit back and comment on yours.
- Make sure the content of your posts reflect your author brand. (Not sure what it is? Check out task 2 of the Basics of Author Online Presence Challenge to define yourself as a writer.)
- The most important thing to remember, though, is to be authentic. People want to get to know you, so let them. Don’t be a troll (people don’t like nasty comments – check out how to comment properly with task 16 of the Basics of Author Online Presence Challenge).
Go on, get hopping! There are lots of other blog hops out there – find your tribe!
Author: Ronel Janse van Vuuren
Ronel writes dark fantasy filled with mythology and folklore, some of which can be read on Wattpad and on her blog Ronel the Mythmaker. When not leading her Rottweiler pack or arguing with her characters, she’s writing award-winning fiction.