I'll start by saying that I'm a big believer of blog carnivals. Of course, they're not without their drawbacks, but the benefits entirely outweigh the amount of time and effort that you put into them.
That's why it shocks me that blog carnivals aren't more widely used. Yes, the first several times that you participate in them, it will take you a little extra time to get used to how they work. And new carnival networks can sometimes be less reliable than you would like. But get hooked up with a reliable group of bloggers in your field, and carnivals are great ways to:
- Improve your credibility
- Quickly get profitable, regular readers of your partner blogs
- Get a quick boost of traffic to blog entries
- Get a longer term improvement in search engine rankings
What is a Blog Carnival?
A blog carnival is an online event consisting of a loose partnership of bloggers writing about a specific topic. The articles created (or linked to) during a carnival frequently end up looking like a magazine. The carnival has a title, theme, writers, editors, and consumers. Most carnivals are held regularly with rotating hosts.
A carnival usually has an owner, who is the organizer of the overall carnival, collaborating or deciding on converns like frequency, rules, editorial guidelines, how to blog in the carnival, and such. The owner also acts as the coordinator, determining the hosting schedule for the carnival.
Every carnival has one host, and the host's blog is where all the blog articles for that particular carnival are located. In response to the call for submissions, each blogger participating in the carnival sends their post to the host, where it is reviewed, edited, and published in the host blog as one giant linkbait post or a series of posts. Obviously, you'll need to know how to create blog posts that are effective and compelling to get the most benefit.
Carnivals usually draw a lot of relevant traffic, so bloggers participating in the carnival receive a powerful one-way link from the host and the immediate traffic surge associated with the original readers. The carnival host receives links from each of the contributing bloggers who have teamed together to advertise the carnival, knowing that the better the carnival is, the more powerful the links will be when it comes time for them to host.
Now that you know what a carnival is, we'll discuss how you can get the most out of your carnival participation . . . in our next post!