Or they will ask questions, about what it is, and how they are supposed to participate. So this is to answer the questions of those who just aren't sure what they are or how to participate.
One thing to keep in mind as you read my tips and suggestions. These are MY opinion, it doesn't mean you have to follow it exactly, and it doesn't mean there aren't other ways.
However, I have found success in what I do, so if you consider them it may set you on the right track especially if you have questions about them and how they work.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A HOP AND A LINK UP
Although there are several kinds of each out there. Mostly you'll find the difference in this:
Link Up's - Usually these are 1 day link ups, or some even have weekly link ups. You'll have a host(s), who may or may not have rules on what types of blogs/posts can link up. You will link up a current post that you created specifically with their link up topic in mind. You should always comment on the host post, and then visit as many other bloggers in the link up that join for that day an comment on their blogs.
Blog Hop's - Generally these are mini events, a group of blogs who join up together to host or do something. And everyone in that group will write posts on that "said" topic, launch them as directed. There are usually links to every one's blog on every one's blog post(s) so that viewers can hop from one blog to the next easily.
Although their are some differences in them, they are the same in one aspect. They are both great chances to network and grow your blog while meeting others.
MY DO's and DON'T's of LINK UP ETIQUETTE
DON'T Link up, just to link up. Make sure you have time to visit at least 3-4 of the other bloggers that day who are in the link up and leave a comment on their blog.
DO Link up a relative topic. If a link up has a theme. Make sure the post you link up falls within the topic or guidelines.
DON'T Link up an old post, unless the host has specified it is okay. Generally link ups are for new posts on specific topics and not posts you linked up in weeks past, or something you wrote a year ago. TIP: If you wrote a great post in the past, and want to link it up. Why not re-write it, freshen it up and improve on it and recreate it as as a brand new?
DON'T Link up posts that have nothing to do with the hop. If you do, expect to have the host roll their eyes as they may or may not delete you from their link up. (You break the rules too many times, you can expect to be banned or asked to not link up with that link up.)
DO visit and comment on the host or host's posts. Not doing so is just rude and shame on you:)
DON'T take a minute to link up, and have no intention of doing anything else.
DO take the time to visit any other new/old blogger who took the time to visit your blog and comment as part of the link up. Also, make sure you are responding to the comments left on your blog post you linked up. DO leave a thoughtful comment that shows you read their posts, DON'T leave 1-2 words or say something like, "nice post".
DON'T be the blogger who joins but is totally in it for themselves and is clueless about the rest.
DO be the blogger who sets a name for themselves by networking in these opportunities. Trust me others notice, especially the hosts. Want to grow your blog, these are one of the best opportunities IF you are playing by the rules.
DON'T join a blog hop and forget you joined and forget to participate. Bloggers who host these take a lot of time out of their schedules to make these things run smoothly. If your not sure what your signing up for, then don't or wait until you do. Or wait to sign up until you know you're schedule will allow it. If you are confused, ask the host or email them, they want others to join so they will gladly try to help you any way they can!
DO join a blog hop and participate fully. Usually these can last 1-2 weeks on average so this gives each blogger plenty of time to visit as many if not all of the other participants in the hop. If its a giveaway hop even if you're not interested in a particular giveaway, it's always a nice thing to stop by and even if anything just leave a nice comment.
DON'T join blog hops or link ups and visit the blogs to share any negativity. We may or may not agree with what a blogger is writing. But when you are linking up, this is supposed to be a fun networking opportunity, this is not the time to ridicule or be rude. You don't have to agree, but you should be polite when you participate in these as they are supposed to be fun:)
DO mention or add a link to the hosts blog. This is not (usually) a requirement, but it's a really kind thing to do. As a way of saying "thank you for taking the time to create this and host this."
DON'T link up a post, and have one post for several link-up's. I've seen this so often, where someone will link up and mention one host at the top, and another at the bottom for the same day and sometimes the post fits only one or neither link up requirements.
This is one of those things where their may be a little gray area as some hosts may not mind (ask them if needed). But when I have talked to other host bloggers, we seem to agree. You should generally pick one link up, for your one post that day. If you want to do more than one, then link up one of your other relative posts, or maybe it's a double blogging day for you:)
DO have fun with them, that is the whole point!
If this doesn't sound like you, then link up's and hop's are probably not for you and that is okay too. Not everyone is interested in growing their blogging friendships, and not everyone is interested in meeting other bloggers.
Hopefully this gives a little clarification. I know I was fairly to the point on my Do's and Don't and I did not write to offend anyone. Or hurt any one's feelings if they link up and didn't realize all they should be doing or not.
This is just one of those subjects that its so much easier to explain by being frank instead of beating around the bush. And like I said above, this is just my opinion:)
Another thing to consider, if you are not sure what is required or what isn't of a link up. Or your not sure about the rules. Just email the host, or ask them on their blog.
Host's generally want their link ups to be as successful as possible for everyone involved, and we don't mind answering your questions especially if it means adding a great new "follows the rules" participant to it!
Do you participate in link ups? Do you host link ups? Do you have any other Do's or Don't comments to add?