Table of contents for Blogging Add-ons
As one of the events in the BlogOlympics (at the silver medal level), you can choose to participate in a blog carnival. At the gold level, you can host a blog carnival. If you’re not sure how to do this, here’s your chance to learn!
Finding a Blog Carnival
To participate in a blog carnival, first you have to find one. BlogCarnival.com features a good list of blog carnivals. You can use their search functions to find carnivals on categories that you write on—parenting, family, homeschooling, etc.
One precaution you have to take as you screen potential carnivals—see if they’re current. A lot of the carnivals listed haven’t published in months. BlogCarnival.com lists lots of carnivals that have been marked as discontinued, but many others haven’t been officially discontinued but aren’t published anymore. Look at the date of the previous and next carnivals—if it’s coming up, you’re probably safe.
Another way to find a blog carnival is word of mouth. That’s how I found out about Works-for-Me Wednesday, one of the most popular weekly carnivals out there! Every week, bloggers (mostly mothers) share tips on everything from shopping to cleaning to scrapbooking to blogging. Participate this week!
Participating in a Blog Carnival
It’s important when participating in a blog carnival to write an on-topic post. Find out the theme of the carnival, especially if there are special themed editions for holidays. Works-for-Me Wednesday has monthly themed editions on the first Wednesday. An off-topic post is unlikely to be included.
Finally, don’t forget to submit your post to the carnival! Use the method they ask: a Mr. Linky (WFMW Wed), the official BlogCarnival.com submission form (CoFL), or comments or forms on the site itself. When you’re dealing with dozens or even hundreds of entries, it’s difficult to track down all the entries submitted in “unorthodox” ways.
It’s generally best to submit recent posts to the carnival, if not new posts. Some carnivals have rules about the age of submitted posts; be sure to follow those guidelines.
If you’re targeting words people use in search engines (‘keywords’), be sure to include those in the title of your post. They’ll then be used in your link.
Hosting a Blog Carnival
If you volunteer to host a blog carnival (or start your own), there are a few guidelines that will make your hosting stand out.
If you’re using TypePad or WordPress, be sure to send trackbacks or pingbacks. This is often one of the first ways I know that my entry has been included in a carnival.
Try grouping entries in a new way. One of my favorite Carnivals of Family Life was hosted by Digital Rich Daily, where he took the time to categories entries by themes for each letter of the alphabet.
Participating in an on-topic blog carnival is a good way to drive traffic to your site and earn links—and hosting is even better! Find a good blog carnival to participate in and complete a silver medal event in the BlogOlympics!