Blogging 101 | Of Memes and Widgets, Helpful Tips and Tools
Last week, I published an introduction to what I hoped would be a fun collaborative series. I had hopes of this being a series that allowed me to work with some of the blogger’s I admire most and also give you, the reader, a chance to ask any queries you might be curious to know more about or offer your feedback as a reader in this blogging world.
(If you read the introduction post, feel free to refer to it and ask your questions.)
Today, the first post from that series is here. In getting started, I’m going for easy considering the post is more about simple tools or helpful ideas you might use or benefit from in the blogging world. One of the questions a reader asked was whether or not we had any helpful widget tools or tips about a new link up series they have in-the-words.
This leads me to today’s useful tool option a blogger can make use of: a link-up widget.
Helpful Blogging Tool, the Link-up Widget | One of the most convenient and easiest ways to encourage participation in a new series is to make it a link-up series (which we’ll discuss more about later down the page). One of the best ways for you as the organizer and the participants to enjoy organization is making use of a link-up widget tool. Here are three options.
Inlinkz | Although it’s super user-friendly (yay for user friendly interfaces!), sadly many of this widgets features are primarily only for those of us willing to put a little money into our blog. There is a free trial period, and after that, it gets a bit pricey. It can be as low as $3 a month, which is relatively inexpensive or for a “business” blog, 20/month.
If you don’t plan on hosting a meme every month or weekly, the costs will add up. If this is the case, perhaps making use of the service on an as-needed basis is an option. Unless I’m missing something, nearly everything outside of the trial period will cost.
Mister Linky | This link up tool is super simple. There is a free option, but from my research, you’re limited to only one option unless you upgrade. The least expensive upgrade is the “silver” package that’s 5/year, which isn’t bad. The gold prices at 10/year and platinum at 20/year.
You can read more about the specifics of the upgrades on the website. The Mister Linky code would look something like this:
Simply Linked | This is a free tool for bloggers, but for some reason the widget hates me. I used it with success once or twice in my early blogging days and since then have been unable to successfully master its intricacies.
How about you: Have you discovered a helpful widget tool for those of us looking for a link-up option? Share your thoughts down below if you have!
Memes | Creating and joining Memes While we’re on the subject of link-up widgets, let’s move into “part two” of this post. Typically link-up widgets are required for memes.
What is a meme? In the blogging world, a meme is a series that a blogger hosts monthly, bi-weekly or weekly. Some of the more popular book blogger memes is Top Ten Tuesday hosted by Broke and Bookish and Waiting on Wednesday hosted by Breaking the Spine. If you have a fun or clever idea for a meme, go for it. It’s definitely a fun way to create a stir in the blogging world.
Bonus tip (we’ll talk more about stats and readership at a later date if there's interest): a meme's purpose is multi-fold. It also brings you new readers and allows you to interact with bloggers you might not have otherwise met.
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Disclosure: this series was created with you, the reader, in mind. The tips myself and the contributing bloggers have shared aren’t the only methods on “how to” blog. They’re simply a collection of helpful ideas and tips that we’ve found useful. We’re still learning to, and look forward to learning more through this series.