One of the best things about being a blogger is getting to collaborate with some fabulous and talented people. Getting to know other bloggers and follow their work can make your efforts as a blogger 10 times better. It’s so true that when you are a part of an amazing group of people, they can raise you up and make you better in turn.
What is a round up post?
A great way to collaborate with other bloggers is to create a round up post. A Round Up is a collection of links that you curate for your audience that is all centered around one main theme. A round up could be as few as 5 links or as many as 100+ links. It’s all up to you and what level of effort you can put into your post. More links equals more time gathering information and creating your posts.
Start with your round up theme
The first thing you need to do when creating a round up post is to decide on a theme. Try to come up with a theme that is specific but not too specific. If your topic is too general, a reader may not care to view to the post (for example, 25 Dinner Ideas), but if it is too specific you might have a hard time finding links to share (for example, 25 Dinner Ideas you can make in 5 minutes with 5 ingredients).
The second thing to consider is whether your topic is interesting or not. Will your readers be compelled to read more when they read the title? Is it a catchy topic or is it something that tons of other bloggers are writing about? You want to stand out!
Gathering links for your post
Now that you know the theme for your post, you can start collecting links. Check with other bloggers you may know if they have a post that would fit your theme. You can also search Pinterest to find posts that would work.
PERMISSION: You don’t need permission to link to someone’s post.
5 Facebook Groups for Round Up Links
A great place to find links for your round up is in Facebook Groups that are specifically set up for this purpose. In these groups, you can ask for other bloggers to leave a link in the comments if they have a post that would fit your theme. Many of these groups have a special format for you to make your request and some only allow you to have a few open requests at any one time, so pay attention to each groups’ rules.
Images and Collages
Images are where round up posts get tricky.
PERMISSION: You DO need permission to use someone’s image in a post or collage.
One of the reasons I like the Facebook groups is that most of the requests include “approval to use one image in a collage.” This makes it very easy for you to know what the blogger is approving.
What is a collage? A collage is a collection of multiple images in one image.
Example of a Collage
If you want to use an image from a post you found somewhere else (for example, Pinterest), it is best to contact that blogger for approval. However, you should be prepared for a long wait or no response at all.
Something else to consider – if the image in question is a stock photo, you may be violating the license to use it on your blog, even in a collage.
Why can’t you use a full image in your post? Image copyright is a very touchy subject for many bloggers. They may not allow just anyone to use their image, even if it is watermarked with their logo or website. Also, a full image may be pinned to Pinterest and the link back would be to YOUR post. So the original blogger is losing out on traffic to their own post.
Bottom line with images: When in doubt, don’t use someone else’s image.
An alternative is to use a single image you have photographed or a stock photo you have approval to use/purchased.
Formatting a round up post
There are a few ways you can format a round up post. You can simply have a list of links. Or you can write full sentences and incorporate the link within the sentence. You can use full paragraphs or create a list style post.
Post word count may be an issue if you are simply creating a list of links. Google prefers longer posts, at least over 300 words, but usually preferring longer more informative posts. However, your readers may prefer a list style post. Usually it’s a give and take on whether you are writing with your reader or Google in mind.
As always, make sure your post provides value to the reader and helps them find an answer to a problem – even if the problem is just “what’s for dinner?”
Here are a few examples of round up posts, so you can get a good idea of formatting:
Promoting your round up posts
Once you have created and published your post, you may want to reach out to the bloggers who you have linked to. They might like to help you promote your post – because in the end, it’s promoting their work as well. It also helps you create relationships with fellow bloggers you admire. Don’t expect every blogger to share or help promote your post, but it could be worth an email or two.
Updating your round up posts
You might find as time goes on that you want to update a round up post. Luckily you have an Edit button for your posts and you can edit whenever you want.
Some things you might want to add or remove:
- If you write a post that would fit in the round up, add that link when it is published.
- Adding a new blogging friend’s post.
- Remove broken links if a post is removed or changed by the original blogger.
One important feature of a round up post is the number. For example – 25 Toddler Girl Hairstyles. But what happens in a year when you have created a few posts of your own and want to edit your post? Are you limited to only 25 posts?
Nope! And that is why I suggest using a number on your images/collages and in the title of the post, but NOT in the URL of the post. So for our example, the post would be titled “25 Toddler Girl Hairstyles” but the URL would be http://yoursite.com/toddler-girl-hairstyles. See, no number in the URL. So later on if you want to add more links, you don’t need to worry about either having an incorrect URL or changing the URL. You can edit the image and the title with no worries.
Getting your posts included in other Round Ups
Another great way to get exposure to your own posts, is to have other bloggers use your posts in their round ups. So once you are accepted in those Facebook Groups, make sure you are following up regularly and leaving your own links that are applicable to what people are looking for. It’s possible to get some good traffic when a larger blog uses your post in one of their round ups.