Grow Your Blog Hop

FYI - Fall 2017 Grow Your Blog Hop, Info to be posted around September.

Welcome to the Grow Your Blog October 2016 Sign Up Page



NEW to 2016
20-25 PAST Participants will be selected on a first come basis.
20-25 NEW participants will be selected on a lottery basis. However, the first 10 New Participants who sign up and qualify will get a guaranteed spot in the hop!

2 hops this year and they will run simultaneously - Below are details.

If you want to participate in future Grow Your Blog Hops, you can sign up to be notified via email when they open HERE.

Grow Your Blog Hops 
Want to know the purpose and point of them?
  
FIRST its a great way to meet and get to know other bloggers.  
SECOND, its a great way to teach you proper networking habits.  
THIRD It's a hop strictly for those interested in growing their blogs and those who have the time to grow their blog.
LAST by the time you're done with the hop, you'll have new habits started, new friendships begun. Hopefully you will be able to keep them up and continue to grow your blog on your own after,

This hop will be specific for bloggers who have a Healthy Living/Fitness type blog. Which includes all the different types of "Healthy Living." You do not need to only blog on these subjects, but 50% or more should be on various healthy living subjects. We do this so that hopefully the blogs you'll visit you will find a connection with and a reason to want to visit them since they are similar to your own.

YES THIS CAN BE A BIG TIME COMMITMENT

But it is also a HUGE NETWORKING OPPORTUNITY to GROW YOUR BLOG!



You can't grow your blog by wishing and hoping people will come to visit it.  
Bloggers who have been around a while will tell you the same as I am about to. You need to put the work in to build it, that work takes time. This hop will help you establish a great foundation to build on and will introduce you to other bloggers who are interested in growing their blogs, and possibly becoming long term followers of yours. It will teach you proper blogging habits that if you continue to use them even after the hop is over you will help you to continue to grow your blog at a pace you can control and enjoy.

This should not discourage you, this should excite you!  Interacting with other bloggers and growing a comment community can and is a lot of fun.  It's actually one of the best parts of blogging! If your not ready to put the time in, then this hop isn't for you.


This year there will be 2 different Healthy Living/Fitness hops. 
They will both run at the same time as each other. 
NEW You can ONLY be an official participant in 1 hop. 

* For those who have participated before, I am accepting fewer participants to reduce the daily amount of time it takes to participate. Hopefully you'll like this news!


Because of the high demand of getting into these hops I have changed SOME of the rules.

* Each hop is open up to 25 participants (10 new and 10-15 returning participants)
I am doing this for a couple of reasons, one to bring some new blogs into the mix, but another to keep the participant numbers lower to give us more time to get to know each other and remove a little stress of having so much to do each day. This is about 50%-30% less time that will be spent than in previous hops depending on which year/season you participated.


SIGN UP OPENS: 12:01AM September 29th, 2016
Closes: Noon MST on October 4th
The official full list of participants will be published and notified no later than October 5th.

NEW PARTICIPANTS it will be a lottery drawing to get in. Any blog who meets the minimum guidelines to qualify to participate will be put into a drawing and the first 20-25 who's names are pulled will be on the official list in one of the hops. If anyone drops out before the hop begins I will contact those who opted to be on the last minute waiting list.

RETURNING PARTICIPANTS  will be on a first come basis. However, you must have fully participated 100% in any past hop to be able to be in this hop. I've had third parties collect random details on who was and wasn't participating so yes I have a list. 


WANT TO KNOW IF YOU WILL QUALIFY?
OR WANT MORE DETAILS TO CONSIDER PARTICIPATING?
If you answer YES to each question below, then you should join us!


1 Do you want to grow your blog and meet new blogger friends in the process?

2 Healthy Living Bloggers Wanted To try to keep blogger personalities in common with one another, you must consider yourself a healthy living blogger to participate this that particular hop.  This could be anything from food, fitness, running, exercises, health tips, diet type blogs ETC.  You don't need to have a blog that posts on this 100% of the time, but the majority of your blog and posting should be centered around a healthy lifestyle of some sort. Additionally, Is your blog family friendly, free of nudity or any inappropriate bikini or skimpy clothed images?  Appropriate for any age audience?

3 Do you want to be taught how to and practice good habits to use to build a good following base for your blog that could last long after this hop?

4 You'll need to write a minimum of 3 blog posts each week of the hop (that's 6 posts total - this is NEW for the 2016 hop - you have to do this to give others new content to comment on as they play our comment for a comment otherwise there isn't enough content flowing to get to know one another.) Tip, although this is only a suggestion, write your posts in advance so you can spend the two weeks of the hop networking instead of writing content. Can you agree to the 3 blog posts a week?

5 Spotlight Day, each participant will be given 1 spotlight day in this hop. While we will be commenting back and forth during the full time of the hop. This is the specific day everyone else in the hop will definitely be visiting your blog and leaving a thoughtful comment. You should use this day to showcase your blog, introduce them to your individual blogging craft. However, you must agree that you will not use it as a day to: Sell a product or service, Host a giveaway, Write a product review. Can you agree to all of this? 

6 Do you look forward to commenting on other blogs?

7 We play what I have termed a comment for a comment in my hops. This is the most important part of the hop. 
If someone visits your blog at anytime during the hop and leaves a thoughtful comment. If they leave a way for you to find their blog, you are required to visit their blog and leave a thoughtful comment on their last post. This hop won't work if everyone isn't willing to do this!
On your spotlight day, 19-24 bloggers will be visiting your blog, that is a lot of comments to return. We have a 48 hour or less return a comment policy for each day of the hop, with the exception of a 72 hour return comment policy on your spotlight day. In the past depending on your reading and commenting speed bloggers have said this takes them 5-20 minutes on a regular day and 30-60 minutes on their spotlight day. Knowing this, can you commit to playing fairly with our a comment for a comment system during the entire 2 weeks of this hop?

8 This is not a requirement, but a good blog has a great about me page. Many times if a new visitor comes to your blog and likes what they see they will visit your about page and that page can be the determining factor if someone decides to follow you or not. Does your blog have an About Me Page? If not I highly recommend you create one before the hop starts so you can monetize your blog to your fullest advantage!

9 You must turn all CAPTCHA OFF during the hop, if you use that in your comment system.  The easier you make it for those to comment and find your comments on your blog, the more likely they will come back again and again and do so.  No one will be required to leave a comment on anyone using a captcha that forgets to turn it off, unless they choose to. If you don't know what this is google it or email me. Will you make sure it's off?

10 These hops take me a tremendous amount of time to put together. Not to mention a considerable amount of time during the hop(s). Many events like this you are normally charged to participate. I host these for free, because I enjoy taking what I have learned and helping other bloggers grow their blogs. NEW to this year I would appreciate if you would post a link to my blog (your host) specifically on your spotlight date. Where and how is entirely up to you. This is just proper practice for any link up or hop that you ever join. Are you okay with doing this?


If you answered YES to ALL of the above, you may be a great fit for my 2 week Grow Your Blog, Hop. Scroll down read the additional rules and you'll find the sign up below the rules.

IF you don't have enough time for the actual hop. You can join our Facebook page and participate on your own terms.You will not have a spotlight date and will not be on the official list.  You can do that HERE.






Anyone considering participating, MUST read this section.

DETAILS and THE RULES IN ADDITION TO THE ABOVE


TIP  You don't need to blog every day, but you can if you want! However, I give a word of caution on that from past bloggers who have done it. If you can handle an hour or more of blog networking each day, then 5 posts a week are probably fine for you during the hop.  If you can't handle that much, then scale down your posts to the 3 for the hop weeks. 

* You must have an easy to find comment system on your blog, and it must be user friendly. If it is not, no one is required to leave a comment on your blog, even on your spotlight day, unless its something they can figure out how to do in a minute or less.
If you apply to join and I check your blog and can't figure out how to comment in less than 30 seconds you won't be accepted into the hop.

* A THOUGHTFUL COMMENT MEANS: At least a sentence or more! Ask them questions about their post, share how you relate to it. If you absolutely can't think of anything to say, ask them a question about something you saw on their about me page. DO NOT leave one or two word comments. Saying, great post, or nicely put is NOT a thoughtful comment and pointless. You should actually never do this when trying to grow your blog, those are only comments when you know a blogger very well and know they won't be offended at your short reply.

NOTE: Based on bloggers experiences in the past during the hop. It's possible even on not on your SPOTLIGHT days, that you may have an extra 5-10 comment visitors. We have bloggers who participate on their own outside the hop who can't put in the full time commitment but still want to meet new bloggers.  This may seem overwhelming, but this experience is all about networking and building our blogs, it's the main point of this entire hop!  You wanted to grow your blog, this is why you joined in on this hop!
The good news is, this only lasts 2 weeks and then you can maintain it at a flow you can work with.

* Not everyone will continue to follow your blog after the hop, just like you won't likely follow each of the other 19 bloggers you just met.  How many you or they do, well that's a little up to you.  Make sure your content during the two weeks is interesting and engaging and the YOU that sets your blog apart from the others and participate fully. You do not need to do anything different than you normally post about. Everyone likes different things, you know YOU better than anyone so just be yourself! Other bloggers won't want to meet one person in the hop only to find out after your totally different, that would make all your efforts in the hop pointless.

* Although there is no way to plan for everything that could come up. If you are considering joining you should check your calendar NOW and make sure you will be in town first or that you don't have anything major going on during that time frame. If something comes up during the hop and you need to drop out email me immediately BEFORE your spotlight date.
Everyone will have access to the list of participants they will know if you aren't participating, and I guarantee you'll burn bridges in this if you don't do you part. Not only that, but you won't be able to participate in future hops.

Not all bloggers who fill out the form will be accepted.
This is nothing personal, in fact even if it doesn't seem like it, it's actually a good thing both to those who are accepted and those not.
This can be VERY time consuming, and by week two you might start feeling overwhelmed.  So based on your answers on the form, and as I check your blog. This will help me determine if you do understand the commitment it will require and if you already look like a blogger who has the time it will take to follow through.
Selecting bloggers who are already taking time each week to blog consistently may help us insure higher and hopefully full participation from every blogger. This will also help everyone participating know, they are networking with other bloggers who are serious about growing their blogs.

* We have a Facebook page specifically for this hop and those interested in growing their blogs.  You do not have to participate but if you would like.  Through the hop we will pose topic questions, to help each other learn about growing their blog.
The page is only be for blog growth help or advise from your peers, and will not be for personal gain or promotion or your link ups or services. 

* HIGHLY SUGGESTED, if you want to participate. Start now by planning ahead. Begin working on your 6 posts in advance, NOW. Instead of having to spend your blogging time coming up with content. This way you can spend all your time networking and growing your blog.  If you don't prepare in advance, I will warn you now. You will get very busy and likely in over your head.  But if you do prepare in advance, you are going to find this a highly enjoyable experience, and it will be a stress free as possible!

* NOTE: You will receive your spotlight date in advance so you have plenty of time to create a post and prepare to set extra time aside for that date.

* This only lasts 2 weeks.  It takes a bit longer to build lasting relationships.  So this is a stepping stone to help you on your way!  If you continue to do this after the hop, you will build lasting relationships, your blog will grow and you will have a lot of fun interacting with your new followers as well as following them!

Any other questions? Scroll below for a Q&A and see if I can answer it there.  If not, contact me, I will respond as soon as possible to any comment questions or emails regarding questions to his hop!



Note: Filling out the form is no guarantee to get in. Participants that meet all the guidelines will be chosen on a first come first serve basis or by lottery. All entrants will be notified via email if they are in or not. This form will be open until 11:59PM October 3rd, 2016 - Or for past participants until all slots are filled.

PLEASE ONLY sign up if you can FULLY COMMIT and dedicate the time it will take participate. It's not fair to others if you join and then change your mind half way through the hop. If something comes up and as the hop approaches and you do not feel you can participate. Let me know Immediately. I will likely have a waiting list and other bloggers would be more than happy to have your spot!










  
Q&A

These are questions that came up in past Grow Your Blog Hops, that you may find useful.

Question: I am noticing someone isn't commenting on my blog, do I still need to do it on their spotlight day?
Answer: Yes, you still should.  But feel free to let them know you are looking forward to when they come to visit yours as well.  This may also be an indicator that your comment system isn't user friendly for all devices.  If they can't see your comment system, they can't use it.
NOTE: This is why participating is important, people really do notice.

Question: I can't find a way to comment on another blog.
Answer: Some blogs do make it difficult, if you cannot find a way to comment in 30 seconds or less leave a note on their social media or send them an email letting them know you stopped by but were unable to leave a comment.
NOTE: This is actually great advice, because for those looking to grow their blogs, they need to have blogs that are easy to navigate and bloggers will want to know if someone can't comment so they can make changes.

Question: What if I miss my spotlight date?
Answer: Then your out of luck!  You will receive this information weeks in advance to prepare. Because of the amount of blogs participating you will not be rescheduled.  

Question: What if I can't think of a thoughtful comment to leave on their spotlight post?
Answer: Its very easy to leave a thoughtful comment, even if you can't come up with things from their post itself.  Try asking them questions that you have about their blog or them, ask things you may have wished they would have shared or posted on.

Question- I still don't get how this all works.
Answer- Each person will have 1 spotlight day.  On that day they share a great post they have written.
On that day, every single one of the participants in the hop should be visiting your blog and leaving a comment.  You will also visit the other spotlights that run the same day as you.
This day and the few after will be very busy for you.  Not only will you need to respond to each of the 20-30 comments.  But you will need to visit every one's blog who stopped by and left a comment within 72 hours.
The rest of the hop will be a little more relaxed, as you will visit 2-3 blogs each day and it won't take nearly as much time as the day you are spotlighted.



Question - I will visit the blogs, but what if I don't have much interest in their blog, do I still have to leave a comment?
Answer - Yes, you signed up and committed that you will, it wouldn't be fair if they are visiting your's and you are not visiting theirs. If there blog isn't of interest to you, then don't add them to your visit feeds or follow them after the hop.


Question- Will others know if I don't visit their blog and comment?
Answer- You betcha and you don't want that.  So if you sign up to participate, make sure you can commit.  Bloggers will know everyone who is participating, they will know if you visit and comment on their blog and don't.  If you don't participate and visit the other blogs, I can guarantee after this hop few if any will continue to visit your blog.

Question- How does this work long term?
Answer- A lot of it is up to you.  If you participate fully, you will learn the skills needed to actually build your blog and network on your own.  If you keep it up, and keep visiting blogs, commenting and networking, you will have long lasting relationships.
If you don't keep it up after the hop, then things will probably go back to how they were before you joined very quickly.  Growing your blog takes time and commitment, if you don't have it.  Then possibly you should consider spending time to grow your blog, when you can fully commit.


Question- Do I need to do anything to get ready?
Answer- I highly recommend you blog ahead, create your spotlight post in advance, this will save you time.  If you have time and you blog several times a week.  I would even suggest creating several if not all of your posts you want to run during the hop in advance, before the hop starts.  This way, you won't get as burned out and you can spend your time networking, not worrying about how to catch up.
TIP: Can't think of new content? Recreate one of your past posts that were a hit, spruce them up, revise them and make them shine even more. Super simple way to create a new post again!


Question: Why so many rules?
Answer: Because this takes up a lot of my time, in fact several hours on certain days.  I don't mind doing this because it is beneficial to all of us and a lot of fun.  But I only want to do this for those who can follow the rules and commit to it.  Otherwise its a waste of my time and the time of the other bloggers who are giving it 100%.

Want to be notified of future Hops when they open? 
CLICK HERE and fill out the form and you will be!


27 comments :

  1. Replies
    1. I am excited to have you join again Deborah!

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  2. Thanks for hosting this again, Kristy - look forward to seeing some old friends, and meeting some new bloggers!

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  3. This is awesome! Thanks for coordinating!

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  4. Sounds terrific - I hope there's room :).

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    Replies
    1. I you haven't already sign up, there are still a couple of spots!

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  5. This sounds fantastic!! I just applied!! :) I would love this opportunity to meet and network with other bloggers!!!

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    1. Glad to have you join us! It is a very fun opportunity, you will be very busy, but also find lots of new blogging friends!

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  6. What a great idea!!!!!! I have developed many wonderful friendships through my Facebook page, and am looking forward to another avenue. Thanks for the opportunity ;-)

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    1. I never would have thought I'd have "blogging friends" but I do, and they are amazing! If you join us, I think you'll find the same thing happen!

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  7. I hope I'm in! Thanks for this opportunity!

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    Replies
    1. You are definitely in! Its going to be a great experience for all!

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  8. I'm looking forward to this very much!! I have several ideas for posts I guess this is my cue to start on these in advance. :)

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    Replies
    1. I am glad you are, we had a great time last time around!
      Definitely, start working ahead. It gets crazy busy after the first few days and it is very hard to keep up. If you write your posts ahead you are going to have one less big thing to worry about and you can just enjoy the networking and commenting back and forth portion with others!

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  9. Yay!! I can't wait! Already started on my blog posts!!

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  10. Sorry I missed this. I hope you do another one.

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  11. This is so exciting! I love your blog hops and have met several bloggers through them who I love following. Thanks for hosting another one!

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    Replies
    1. Glad you are excited and you find them fun and useful! I'd love to have you again!

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  12. So excited about this! I did the last round and loved it! Quick question: I want to do the healthy living bloggers group, and can definitely commit to it. If I want to participate in the other groups as well can I do so?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, if you are sure you have the time. You are more than welcome to join in the other hops as well!

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  13. I loved joining in the last blog hop and would love to do it again. Thanks for hosting!

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  14. what a great idea. I hope I get in. I know this will be a great experience.

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  15. super excited to be participating ;)

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