How to participate in blog carnivals

Last Wednesday I wrote a post called How to increase your blog readership: participate in carnivals. Participating in blog carnivals has been very effective for me in reaching new readers and developing a blogging community around my niche. I recommend this process to anyone as a very effective way of also getting new links.

Several people have visited this site and have left questions and comments as a result of Darren Rowse’s project called 31 days to building a better blog. In my original post I didn’t answer the obvious question: “How do you participate in a blog carnival?”

How to participate in a Blog Carnival:

  1. Search for a carnival appropriate to your blog’s niche. For example, on my blog about bird watching (Trevor’s Birding) I have found several carnivals specifically dealing with birds and birding. A good place to start looking for carnivals in your niche is on the Blog Carnival index.
  2. Read several issues of the carnival to which you wish to contribute.This is to get a feel for the types of posts people contribute to the carnival.
  3. Write a post to contribute to the carnival. You can also use an old post from your archives but it should be fairly recent. I prefer posts that are not more than a few days old – or a week or two old at most.
  4. Send the link to your post to the organizer or host. This can usually be done either by email or via the organizer’s blog home page. Take special note of any deadline date and any special conditions.
  5. Wait for the Carnival to be published. This can be anything from a day or two up to several weeks, depending on the frequency of the carnival and how close to the deadline you submitted your contribution.
  6. Read the contributions to the carnival. The carnival hosts can arrange the contributions in any way they wish. It can just be a list of links with no comments. It can be in the form of a story with the links embedded in the text. I have seen some very creative approaches and this is limited only by the host’s imagination.
  7. Comment. Be sure to comment on the blogs of other participants. This will encourage reciprocal comments on your blog.
  8. Link. Make links to those blogs you found interesting. In many cases they will link back. Some even list all the links, just like Darren does on ProBlogger.
  9. Get ready for the next carnival. Most carnivals are held at least monthly, some fortnightly and even weekly. I never prepare posts especially written for the carnival but you could do that. I prefer to just pick my best post from the last week or so. Remember to submit your link in plenty of time (I’ve sometimes forgotten!).
  10. Offer to be the host. I haven’t done this yet but I will some time later this year. It is quite a bit of work but very worthwhile I believe. This would be an excellent way of reaching many more new readers and a bonus is many new links. Note, however, that not all carnivals allow hosting.

An example of a carnival

One really good example of a carnival is the one I contribute to every fortnight (when I remember!) It is called I and the Bird. This link takes you to a page which has links to all previous carnival hosts (an archive). The organizer also includes plenty of information about what a carnival is, how one is run, hints on submitting and hosting.

Start your own carnival

What if you can’t find a carnival that your blog fits nicely into? Your only recourse then is to start your own carnival. Be prepared for plenty of hard work, especially in the initial stages, but the rewards could be wonderful. Promoting your carnival in your niche is just one of the enormous tasks I would see facing anyone contemplating this move. My advice would be to start small with perhaps only three or four contributors who are prepared to support you in the establishment phase. This sounds like the start of a completely new post.

Related articles and links:


24 Responses to “How to participate in blog carnivals”

  1. […] How to participate in blog carnivals – I hope this answers a few questions. Wednesday August 1st, 2007 | Categories: Blogging; Writing Hints » 7 Comments   […]

  2. Trevor, thanks for sending me an email about this article. I wish I had read this 2 weeks ago. That is when I started doing Carnivals. I was hoping that I was doing everything the right way. I did ask a friend about the ones that she does and got a little advice. My visitors to my site in the past week have gone from 130 to over 300. I have been blogging since June 1, 2007.

  3. Trevor says:

    Well done, Patricia. It must be encouraging to have such a quick growth to the number of visitors to your blog. Keep up the good work.

  4. Simon says:

    Trevor, the link to the carnival index website is wrong, I think you put a slash instead of a full stop. I’ve also used you as a good example in one of my posts on blogging, 5 ways to find content for your blog. Hope that’s ok. Thanks for the email by the way.

  5. […] How to participate in blog carnivals by Trevor Hampel […]

  6. […] How to participate in blog carnivals by Trevor Hampel […]

  7. […] How to participate in blog carnivals by Trevor Hampel […]

  8. […] How to participate in blog carnivals by Trevor Hampel […]

  9. […] How to participate in blog carnivals by Trevor Hampel […]

  10. Trevor says:

    Thanks for pointing out the broken link Simon. Blogging tip #1: check that all links actually work. Should work now that I’ve fixed it.

  11. […] How to participate in blog carnivals by Trevor Hampel […]

  12. Very intereseting article. I’ll try to join a carnival about ebusiness. Thanks!

  13. Trevor says:

    Thanks for visiting Martin. I hope you find a carnival that suits your blog’s niche. They can be good fun and a great way of making links with others in your niche.

  14. Dee says:

    Very nice post. Carnivals are new to me.

  15. Trevor says:

    Thanks for visiting Dee. I would strongly encourage you to find a carnival that suits your blog and participate. They a good fun and can bring in new visitors and links.

  16. […] How to participate in blog carnivals by Trevor Hampel […]

  17. […] How to participate in blog carnivals by Trevor Hampel […]

  18. […] Participate in Blog Carnivals Trevor at Trevor’s Writings offers a how-to on participating in blog carnivals. I relentlessly submit articles to carnivals and had my Zumba article printed at FitBuff, my review of Last House on the Left accepted at Carnival of Cinema, and Carnival of Family Life published my story of scattering my dad’s ashes. […]

  19. […] on other blogs, post actively in various forums, submit your writings to article directories, take part in blog carnivals and group writing projects, write as a guest blogger etc. But you won’t make the most of such […]

  20. Brian Oates says:

    What keeps a Blog Carnival running?…

    Starting a Blog Carnival is easy. As proof, I did. But I wondered what keeps them going? The short answer is the passion of the person who starts it. Blog Carnivals are heralded as a way to gain traffic for the host and the submitters. I queried the ca…

  21. 31 Days to Building a Better Blog « blogging how to says:

    […] How to participate in blog carnivals by Trevor Hampel […]

  22. […] How to participate in blog carnivals by Trevor Hampel […]

  23. 31 Days to Building a Better Blog « Email Server says:

    […] How to participate in blog carnivals  by Trevor Hampel […]

  24. […] questions relating to the actual participation in carnivals themselves. He has now put up a new post answering the questions he received. Readers get the answers (i.e. content) they were looking for, and the blog […]