For 6.5~ years of my life, I hosted a fashion link up party on my blog. I have 335 posts just for Thursday Fashion Files on my blog! That is A LOT! I promised I would share why I decided to give up hosting the fashion link up party and why I’ve decided not to link up to other fashion parties in the future.
But, first… I want to share a little history about Thursday Fashion Files.
On May 8, 2014 I hosted my first ever fashion link up party (see my first post HERE!) with a blogger I barely knew named Sherri from God Life Happy Wife. Sherri found me on a different link up party and asked me if I’d be interested in doing a weekly fashion link up party with her. I was new to doing fashion posts and I was a little nervous to take this endeavor on with her, but I said YES.
Sherri and I continued the fashion link up for awhile. We had fun with it and it was REALLY laid back. I remember doing a giveaway with her, where we each contacted some vendors and we were SO excited to get some new followers through it! Ha ha! If only it was THAT easy to get followers these days!
Sherri was really kind, loyal to her family and a Godly woman. Even though I didn’t know her well, I knew she was struggling in life and she later had to give up blogging altogether. I decided to continue the link up party in her absence. I have tried to email Sherri a few times since we quit the email party, but I haven’t heard from her since. It is sad when bloggers quit and you just never ever hear from them again. We did 40 link up parties together. Her last post is so touching. She talks about how God has kept her going in her life and she has learned so much in the hard times. See her last post HERE.The date of her last blog post was February 11, 2015. She still keeps her blog up, but hasn’t posted since that date.
Little did I know that I’d be continuing this party for many more years without her! Not only has my blog changed and grown in terms of better photos, the birth of Instagram (ahh!) and heck, my KIDS have grown up! 6.5 years is a long, long time. Heck, I was in my thirties still!
Now, here is a flashback to show how much my kids have changed in 6.5 years! I have TEENAGERS now. I miss them being little!
On another note, I wanted to add this in real quick. I was ALSO doing a craft/decor party in addition to my fashion link up. Yep, I did two link up parties a week! There used to be SO many of these craft/decor parties. Some of the REALLY big bloggers like Liz Marie, would host them and if they featured you, it was a BIG, BIG deal! Those were the days!
It seems that most fashion link up parties have just one host these days, but the creative parties would have A LOT of people hosting together! When I did Motivational Monday, we had 8 people and we were constantly losing people and adding people on. At one point, we lost the lady in charge of it and I took the party on. I eventually quit it, mainly when the majority of creative/craft parties quit due to worries of offending Google. If you want to read about how you can offend Google with a link party, I found THIS post which is pretty thorough. However, fashion parties seemed to keep thriving long after the majority of the big creative/craft parties quit. Except, in the last 2-3 years, I’ve noticed that fashion parties have really started to drop off/decline in those that host them and link up to them.
Anyway, back to my little old fashion link up party…
On February 19, 2015, I asked Jill from Doused in Pink to join me and she came up with the name Thursday Fashion Files. Jill has been a great friend and has helped me a lot throughout the blogging years.
In 2017 I was in Chicago to run the Chicago Marathon and I got to meet Jill! I was hoping to meet her again during my son’s 8th grade class trip to Chicago, but Covid ruined that.
Jill and I had fun with Thursday Fashion Files, until she needed to take some extended time away from blogging. Her last day on the party was September 20, 2017. I kept the party going and missed her tons! But, we stayed in touch! She shared her post HERE after her trip to France on how she was going to step away from the blog.
BUT, Jill landed up coming back! In December of 2019 she decided to join me again for Thursday Fashion Files! Yay! I think we’ve probably done the link up party for around 5~ years together minus absences, etc. That is a really long time!
However, on December 15, 2021, I announced that I would be leaving the link up party permanently in THIS post. Jill is continuing Thursday Fashion Files now with Kellyann from This Blonde’s Shopping Bag. Kellyann is so sweet and I am glad she is taking on the party with Jill. Kellyann drove for a couple hours to come see me when we stayed in Disney pre-Covid. Gosh, that feels like another world ago! We had brunch together at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and it was so much fun. I know they’ll do great things with the party together!
Why I Quit Link Up Parties
First, I want to say that I think link up parties are really great! It is a great way to bring people to your blog, connect with new bloggers and share what you are wearing. Here are **my** personal reasons for quitting:
- The link up party was consistently getting smaller and smaller. Less people linking up. A LOT less.
- I used to keep an ongoing live Google spreadsheet where people could sign up sometimes THREE months out to be a guest blogger on our Thursday Fashion Files. Eventually, people just weren’t interested in doing this anymore. I would get contacted maybe 1-2x a year with someone wanting to be a guest blogger for the link up. This, in itself shows that people were less interested in it.
- Sometimes we would only have 25~ people linking up, but it would seem like much more. The reason for this is because some people would link up 2-4 posts. Which was fine! I would always link up my last 2 posts. However, it made it look like more people were linking up to the party overall, when really it wasn’t that many individual people linking up.
- I went from spending HOURS commenting back and visiting people that linked up, to being able to get this task all done in 1-2 hours due to less people stopping by and commenting.
- In the past, I would see a lot of new faces at the link up party from week to week. This made it fun and I was eager to get to know them and to see them return. I would make new blogger friends! It started to get stagnant in that it was just the same people every week. The people linking up weren’t new to me. I already consistently stopped by most of their blogs on a regular basis ‘with or without the link up party’.
- My Google Views for the day I had the link up party and the same day that I had an outfit post without the link up party was pretty much the same. This was the BIGGEST shock for me!!! Canceling the link up party has not hurt my views for that day.
Why are people not linking up to these parties or not commenting on blogs as much these days? I think it is because if someone has an outfit post, we probably see it on Instagram first. Then, we comment on Instagram and perhaps then read about the outfit in more details (with more photos) on the blog post later in the day. We’re commenting twice on the same outfit, once on Instagram and once on the blog. I think a lot of people perhaps see it on Instagram and then never come over to the blog to see it or comment, because that takes more time.
Also, Instagram has DM’s (Direct Messages) where instead of going to a blog to comment and wait for a reply much later, you can sometimes catch a blogger live on Instagram. You can have an actual ‘chat’ conversation with them. I have a ton of bloggers that I DM once or twice daily and that is how we keep in touch (much more than we do on our blogs). It is fun to watch an IG Story and see a blogger in their real element and then direct message on it and start a conversation. I feel I know bloggers much better when I DM them on Instagram Stories versus leaving a comment on a blog.
However, I know everyone says you don’t ‘own’ Instagram and they could pull your account or block you out of it at anytime. That is why I love the blog and still plan to blog, visit other blogs and comment, etc. Plus, I enjoy sitting down to read blogs with a hot or iced drink and getting into all of the details in their post, that I may not get from Instagram. So, there are definitely pluses to blogging still. But, blogging is definitely not what it was in the beginning and I am curious about what the next 5-10 years will bring to blogging (AND Instagram!).
Blogging Guilt is REAL
And, YES, I have decided to stop linking up to fashion parties. I still plan to visit the bloggers, but I’m going to stop by and comment and do a pass on their link up party. Do I feel bad about it? YES!!! I do. I feel guilty, like I should be supporting their link up party, especially when I had one myself for so long. But, I’ve put a lot of thought into what I need to do for myself and I’ve decided that this is ONE thing I am going to have to let go. I only have so many hours in a day and blogging seems to add more and more to your schedule with each passing year (ie: Instagram has reels now, etc.). We keep getting more and more put on our plates and honestly, I feel link parties are one of the items I can let go right now and it really isn’t going to hurt my blog. What do I plan to do with that extra time? Maybe I’ll finally make a reel. I don’t know! And BESIDES, I could never get on early enough to link up to to these parties, so by the time I linked up it was so late in the day I’m sure no-one saw my post!
Do you still Love Hosting/Linking Up at Fashion Parties?
And, if you’re reading this and you have a link up party or you still love linking up to other parties, I am not judging you. I’m sharing my own unique personal view on this entire subject. I think I was actually done with co-hosting the link up party with Jill (and linking up to other parties) for 1-2 years now. It took me THAT long to find the courage to let it go. I’m such a creature of habit. It was comforting for me in a way to keep doing it, because I had done it so long. But, I just wasn’t enjoying it anymore. It wasn’t the ‘good old days’ anymore for me and it is hard to enjoy something that once was so much more and just isn’t anymore. And, it seems to me that it is just getting worse (sadly!).
For those of you that still LOVE hosting and linking up at parties, Rena from It’s All Fine… Whatever did a recent post on it. You can see her post HERE. She shares research she did on Inlinkz and her thoughts about it. I think it is valuable to share her post here, because a lot of you will probably feel the same way she does and still want to participate in hosting/linking up at these parties.
So, that is my explanation. I know it isn’t a good one. This probably all sounds like a huge ramble. But, that is it. I know some people have asked if link up parties are bad due to how Google views them. I tried to search online, but I mainly could only find that they would hurt you if the links are ‘follow’ and not ‘no follow’. Inlinkz makes all links ‘no follow’, so hosting and linking up a party SHOULD be ok. I’m not good with technical stuff, so I am probably the wrong person to ask. I hope this posts helps you to understand my take on it. Perhaps you feel the same way, or perhaps this post appalls you and you completely disagree with me. Either way, this is just my view and I’d love to hear YOUR opinion in the comments. Thanks for listening to me and I’m thankful for all of you that are still in this blogging gig with me! It’s definitely a juggling act with balls in balance or falling at any moment. Blogging is A LOT these days. Blogging is HARD. It’s rewarding. No-one understand what is all entailed with it expect for US who do blogging on a daily basis. I am thankful for everyone that stops by and I love stopping by and reading all of your blogs! Have a great week!