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Twitter Tips for Beginners (5): Blog Hops

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Cokie the Cat: Hollywood Insider: Twitter Tips for Beginners (5): Blog Hops

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Twitter Tips for Beginners (5): Blog Hops

You've probably see a lot of references to Blog Hops on Twitter. We've talked about a couple of blog hops but I haven't gone into detail as to how they work, so let's go over that now. (If you're new to Twitter, catch up with us by clicking on the Twitter Tips tab up top.)

I host the #ThankfulThursday blog hop, BlogPaws hosts the #WordlessWednesday blog hop, and every Saturday, there's the 
Saturday Pet Blogger Hop, which is hosted by Two Little Cavaliers, Life with Dogs, and Baby Patches from Nip and Bones.
A blog hop, is a group of blogs which are connected with a common 'hyperlink' and usually with a common theme. If you click on any of the links at the bottom of a blog post that is part of a blog hop you'll be taken to another blog post with that same theme. You can just keep clicking on other links and visit (or hop to) all sorts of blogs, 'follow' or bookmark the ones you like, leave comments, make new friends... It's really pretty cool.


This post will be my entry in the Saturday Pet Bloggers Hop. The theme for this hop is simply pet blogs. Anyone with a pet blog can join! Even if you don't have a pet blog, you can still hop to the different blogs and see what the pet bloggers (or the pets) are up to this week.

Look at the bottom of this post and you'll see that I've joined the Saturday Pet Blogger's hop and 'linked' to the other pet bloggers in the list. The list will grow until the hop 'closes' tomorrow. Then it will be closed to new entries until next week. You can always stop by and hop to all the blogs, though.

There are a few programs people use to create the common hyperlink for a blog hop. Linky Tools is the one I use. It's $2 a month to the person hosting the hop (free to everyone else in the hop) and worth it to me because it's so simple to use. I found a great article about alternative programs here though, if you're interested.

So say you want to join the Saturday Pet Blogger's Hop. Write a post that you'd like to share in the hop, then go to one of the blogs that you know will be participating.

Some blog hops have a button or badge you can put on your own blog, so you can just click on it every week and go straight to the blog hop, like the one I made below. If there is such a button or image, it's generally expected that you'll put an image of the button, with or without a link to the original blog hop post in your own post - if you can figure out how to do that! That way visitors to your site will know they've found a post that's part of the blog hop.



What are you thankful for?
Two Little Cavaliers has a Saturday Pet Bloggers Hop button like mine with the code for you to add it to your blog. Theirs is in their right sidebar here. You might also see a link to the hop on Twitter. 

However you get there, read the blog post, then go down to the bottom and where it says something to the effect of Click Here To Enter, that's what you do.
When you click that link, it will take you to a page where you need to enter the url address that will take readers directly to the post you've written for the blog hop, not your basic url, i.e. www.cokiethecat.com.

You want the long url. Mine is http://cokiethecat.blogspot.com/2011/10/twitter-tips-for-beginners-5-blog-hops.html, which will take my readers directly to this post. If you can't figure it out, leave a comment below and I'll try to help you find it. Meanwhile, it won't hurt anyone if you just put in your basic url. As with Wordless Wednesdays, there are usually no Blog Hop police. 

The link program will ask you where you want to link it to, that is, for your own blog post's url address, and for a caption or title to submit with your link. The captions are generally limited to between 15 and 30 characters, so type in whatever fits that describes your blog or your post. I usually just write Cokie or Cokie the Cat, depending on how many characters they allow. In this case, it says 'maximum 25 characters,' so I wrote: Cokie the Cat: Blog Hops as my caption.

See the blog hop link captions below: "I Want to be a Vet," "Doodling Dogs," "My Life with Flyball Dogs," and "How Much is That Doggie?"
Next, at least with Linky Tools, you're asked if you want the program to 'Auto crop' your image or to let you 'crop your own image.' Not all hops use images, some just use your written caption as your link. This one allows/requires an image. I always click on 'Let Me Crop My Own Image' so my head doesn't get cut off in the pic or something.
Then you click 'From File,' 'From Web,' or 'Generic' for where to get your image/pic. I always click 'From File' and grab an image off my computer, usually one I've used in my blog post, or it could be my Twitter avatar or any pic, really. 

Once you've selected a pic from your computer to use for your blog hop link image, it will come up with arrows you can use to crop the photo the way you want it. Remember, this will be a tiny photo, so don't include too much detail. Your face is better than your whole body, and just you is better than you in front of your house.

Once you've cropped your photo, you'll be given the option to go back to the blog hop. Do that and you'll see that your pic and link have been added to the bottom of the list. It might take five minutes, so don't do it again immediately if you don't see it right away.

The next step is to add the code to your blog so your readers can see all the other participants in the blog hop on the bottom of your own post and join from your blog!
Go back to the blog hop back to the bottom of the page where it says 'Enter Here,' and below that it should say, 'Get the code here.' Click there.
See "Get the code here..." at the bottom.
That will bring you to a page that looks something like this:
Highlight and copy the text in the box, then back to your own blog. Log in if you need to, so you can go 'behind the scenes' in your blog. Find your last post, the one you linked to for the blog hop and click on Edit, so you can edit the post.

In the upper corner of your post it should give you the option of HTML or Compose. Compose is what we usually use, when we want to see what our blogs will look like as we create them. HTML is all the mumbo jumbo code that we don't understand a lot of! That's what you want right now, though. 
Compose is highlighted on the left, above. To add your code, you'll want to click on HTML.
You want to open up your blog hop post 'in HTML' then scroll all the way to the bottom of the post. At the very bottom, past the code you copied up above. Just paste it and hit Save or Update. Then click View Blog.

You should see your blog post, with all the other blog hop links at the bottom, and voila! You've successfully navigated joining a blog hop!

If it didn't work, leave me a comment and I'll try to trouble shoot it for you, but I think you'll be fine. 

Now go visit the other bloggers in the hop. Protocol suggests you 'follow' and comment on the posts of the host(s) of the blog, but again - no police. Follow and comment on all the blogs you like. Tell them you're from the blog hop, and make friends!

If you want to know how to create your own blog hop, let me know and we'll talk about that.

As always, corrections, additions and questions are encouraged!

Let's go to the Hop!
Cokes



11 Comments:

At October 15, 2011 at 3:20 AM , Blogger Painter Pack said...

Thanks to the blog hoppie, we found you!! Hope you will check us out as well. Our kitty blog is new, but our dog bloggie is old!!

The Painter Pack Cats
Sophie and Salem

 
At October 15, 2011 at 4:00 AM , Blogger Mariodacat said...

Excellent post pal. This is going to be so helpful to first-time bloggers.

 
At October 15, 2011 at 4:13 AM , Blogger Kjelle Bus said...

Ho Cokie !
Thank´s for the lesson about bloghop.
Now I´m a participant on Saturday Pet Blogger Hop :)
Have a pawsome CATurday !

 
At October 15, 2011 at 6:46 AM , Anonymous Gizmo said...

Cokie Thanks so much for this post...I've had wish me lucka hard time figuring out how to get into the blog hops & your guuide is great...Now I'm trying to figure out how to add the buttons...

 
At October 15, 2011 at 3:10 PM , OpenID rumpydog said...

Oh Dog! Have I not been doing it right? A thousand pardons!

 
At October 15, 2011 at 7:44 PM , Blogger Cathy Keisha said...

Oops, I didn't know you had to comment on the hostos of the Blog Hops blogs. Whoa! I'm so ashamed.

 
At October 15, 2011 at 8:58 PM , Blogger Doodling Dogs said...

We were mentioned in a picture...Yay!! :)

 
At November 30, 2011 at 3:55 AM , Anonymous Alfie | Alfie's Blog said...

Thank you so much for explaining all this Cokie! Someone just asked me how to enter our new Monday Mischief Bloghop and I googled to see if anyone had already written some instructions - and I found you! Should have gone here in the first place! :o)

 
At December 7, 2011 at 12:02 PM , Blogger The Wag Tales said...

I cannot thank you enough for this detailed and wonderful explanation! I needed it so badly!!! Thank you, thank you!!!

 
At December 14, 2011 at 5:38 PM , Blogger Eric said...

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At December 15, 2011 at 11:22 PM , Blogger Sanyo Seiki Stainless Steel said...

Your post really helps a lot! I enjoyed reading it!

Sanyo Seiki in Twitter

 

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