First Friday Link Party for Writers – Spring Fling Edition

Carol Tice

Party - group with champagneYes, spring has sprung, and it’s that time again — time for writers to share their best post of the month on my new First Friday Link party!

We had a few glitches last time, but this time I think we’re ready to rock here (and if anything’s not working, I know I can count on you to let me know in the comments).

Check out my link party widget: I’ve cooked up a link party graphic you can add to your own post or sidebar, to let your readers know your post is appearing here on Make a Living Writing. Check out my sidebar and grab the code to install on your site.

After voting closes Sunday night, the link posts will reorganize to feature the favorites at the top. Good luck all!

I can’t wait to see all of your tasty posts…so put ’em up and then tell a friend!

Here are the instructions:




  1. Kevin Carlton


    I’m still personally not that sure whether, in the long term, we should always enter our post headline instead of our own name in the Inlinks name field (although I’ll give it a go later).

    Why do I think this?

    Because if you consistently submit good-quality posts for others to read then name recognition will become more important than the headline of the post.

    If I remember correctly, my eye naturally drew to names such as Linda Formichelli, Jon Morrow and Kristi Hines when they submitted their links last time.

    • Carol Tice

      Sure — but unless you’re one of those, my money’s on your great headline being a better draw.

      • Kevin Carlton

        And, of course, post headlines as opposed to names just provide more useful information for everyone all round.

    • Sinea Pies

      I visit blog hops regularly and it is important to put the post title on it. Soon as someone clicks on the image, they can get the name of you and your blog. It works!

    • Carol Tice

      Jean, use the party widget, not the comments — that’ll allow you to add a graphic and attract more readers!

  2. Willi Morris

    Um, I see no champagne. I call shenanigans.

    • Carol Tice

      I am faxing that to you now, Willi!

  3. Carol Tice

    It’s less than 2 hours after the party started, and I have to say I am so excited! Great to see everyone posting their headlines — so much tastier looking than last time.

    I can see I’m going to have a busy day checking out all these intriguing-sounding posts!

    Y’all be sure to come on back this weekend to vote for your favorites. It’s our first time getting the voting widget to work (I hope!) and I can’t wait to see who comes out on top.

    One stealth reason I’m holding these parties: It’s a headline-writing lab! Look through those and I bet right away you can see what makes a strong headline and what doesn’t work.

    • Crystalee Beck (

      Hopefully one with your own name in it works! πŸ™‚ I figured it’s the best place to share my Q & A with you! Thanks again for hosting this – I’m marking it on my calendar so I don’t forget. It’s fun and I got almost 50 hits last time – already 30+ today.

      Thanks for sharing eyeballs, Carol.

      • Carol Tice

        Thrilled to hear it’s getting you some traffic! That is part of the point — and for all my readers to find each other and connect. Some great stuff here!

  4. Lisa Romeo

    I can only get so far, then I get a message that I can’t proceed because I “haven’t created a backlink to this site.” Huh?

    • Ashley Brooks

      Lisa, I’m having the same problem. This didn’t happen at the last link-up. Anyone have any suggestions?

    • Cassie

      I’m getting that, too. Help!

      • Carol Tice

        I’m not sure what’s up with that — but clearly some writers are solving it. Hopefully one of them will weigh in shortly with tips on how to fix that message and proceed.

      • Diana Bisares

        All you need to do is copy the “link party” sidebar code, then paste it on the post you’re going to add here. That’s what I did. πŸ™‚

  5. Ryan Urie

    Be careful entering your title! Apparently if you put part of it in quotation marks, that section vanishes upon posting!

    • Carol Tice

      Ooh, thanks for that little tip — didn’t know!

  6. Miriam Hendeles

    Hi Carol,

    Love this party! A great way to start my Friday and end my week!

    I noticed a small glitch. If the first word of the title is a long word, the last letter or 2 gets cut off from the title on your page. I saw this in a few other writers’ titles. Words that are more than 10 letters long. I tried typing my word left justified in the field, but it didn’t help.

    Thanks for a great way to plug our writing and for a fun idea!


    • Carol Tice

      I’m seeing that too — think that’s a reminder to us not to use too many $10 words in blog headlines! πŸ˜‰

      • Miriam Hendeles

        Okay – I can handle that reminder!

        Point well taken… haha

        • Carol Tice

          I took a look at yours, and I think a headline like Passions + Addictions = Passionadictions would work better. With just your one invented word, I think fewer people are engaged.

          Headline writing is sort of an obsession of mine in case you can’t tell! So I think this link party provides a great learning lab.

          Shabbat shalom —

          • Miriam Hendeles

            Thanks Carol for that tip! I love it – it makes so much sense – going to fix it right now!

          • Miriam Hendeles

            I changed the title it in the actual blog post. (I just saw your post today, even though you posted it on Friday – thanks!) Since I can’t change it anymore on the link party heading…. will learn for next time. Practice makes perfect. See you in May and my new lesson is more understandable headlines (with shorter words!) so that someone wants to click on it…and read it! πŸ™‚

          • Carol Tice

            If you haven’t read Jon Morrow’s Headline Hacks, and Sean D’Souza’s report “Why Do Some Headlines Fail?” on the Psychotactics website, you’ve got to check those out if you’re interested in having Google send you readers.

  7. Carol Tice

    OK folks, I just went through the process to post a link, which went through without a hitch.

    I believe this is the trick — you HAVE to go over to the sidebar, grab the code in that Link Party widget box, and put the widget link onto your blog post that you want to link here…or at least a text link on the bottom of your post.

    I didn’t get the ‘no backlink’ message because I’ve got the widget. Or that’s my theory.

    Would love it if some folks would try that and then report back if they were able to then add their link and don’t get the backlink message?

    • Erica

      Thanks Carol! I was having that problem but I created a text link on my blog and used the link on the sidebar. It seems to have worked.

      Again, thanks. And thanks for the party. You serve the best chocolate pastries on the Web. πŸ™‚

      • Carol Tice

        Right on — I’m seeing people doing the text link as I click through to check out posts, and it seems like that works fine as well.

        If you’ve already got a graphic — say, the Get Great Clients ad πŸ˜‰ (thanks Den affiliates!) — and don’t want to add a graphic at the bottom of your post, I think that’s the way to go.

    • Tom Bentley

      Carol, copying your Link Party widget code to my post worked for me when I got the “no backlink” message. Thank you again for the opportunity (and the fun in checking out other blogs!) and also for your nice comment on mine.

  8. Rebecca Lee Baisch

    From the titles shown, I assume this can only relate to the craft and practice of writing?

    • Carol Tice

      No, it can be on productivity, work from home, blogging, marketing, or freelancing generally, as well, Rebecca.

  9. Carol Tice

    Hey all — I’m actually going to be out of the office most of the rest of the day today — got a hot date to clean out closets with my kids. Spring break fun!

    But I’ll try to stick my head in a bit later. Now that we have the tip in the comments on how to overcome the ‘backlink’ request problem, I think we’re set to roll.

    And everybody, please come back over the weekend for the voting — this is our first time enabling voting, and I’m dying to see who wins! It’s our first time having a vote. You can vote all weekend, so come on down and tell us which of these posts you enjoyed most.

  10. Kimberley Grabas

    Hi Carol!

    Thanks so much for the opportunity to share my article here, as well as enjoying a one-stop-shopping spree of writerly info!

    I love sharing this kind of stuff on Twitter, too!

    It’s appreciated, and good luck on the spring cleaning…

  11. Peter D. Mallett

    Just to let everyone know it works as long as you have a link anywhere on your page, back to this site. I have a list of author links along the side of my page. I added your name and the Make a Living Writing home page in there and this worked as well.

  12. Karen Cioffi

    Okay, I was putting my website URL, instead of the blog post url. Once I corrected it, it worked. Hope this helps.

  13. Joe Warnimont

    This is a great idea Carol. I look forward to reading all the submissions! Have a nice weekend.

    • Carol Tice

      Man, there is a tasty lineup of titles here already! I’m coming back to vote on Sunday.

      I think everyone should take a look through these…it’s like a Google result for writing. And see how important that headline really is? Yeah. I’m hoping the link party really drives that home for everyone. Headlines. Matter.

  14. Efoghor Joseph Ezie

    I have added the widget to my sidebar and it is now active, but your system says the link I provided does not contain a link back to yur site. How else should I add the link back?

    • Carol Tice

      I think you need to add on that post page, at the bottom of the post or in a link in that post.

      • Efoghor Joseph Ezie

        I have now added a link at the bottom of the post

  15. David Gillaspie

    Hi Carol,

    Link code didn’t work, but text link with your url did. Score. Loving the link party. Great idea for better reads. Thanks.

  16. Danielle Olivia Tefft

    Hi Carol,
    I’m one of those shy masses that read your blog faithfully every week but have never signed up for anything yet-sorry!
    But I wanted to let you know three things:
    1) You rock! I have tried to follow much of your advice and built my website around your suggestions.
    2) I promise I did not write the post I put in the link party log just to suck-up. See the date it was published? I wrote it prior to knowing you’d have a link party!
    3) I really appreciate this opportunity to publish on your site! Thank You a million times over!
    Danielle Olivia Tefft

    • Carol Tice

      Hi Danielle —

      I’m finding a sort of boggling number of these posts seem to have a link to one of my posts somewhere in them! Kind of blown away. That’s definitely not a requirement for participation here, folks — just useful info about writing/blogging/productivity/marketing, and you’re good.

      Glad that prospecting technique paid off for you! That letter doesn’t follow the conventions of what I do or advise for pitch letters, so fascinated that paid off for you. Just shows you never know what a particular client will find appealing.

      I would have been happy to retweet that post…except…no social share buttons. It’s not hard to add a bar at least from addtoany or sharebar or sharethis…make it easy for people to spread the word, I say!

      • Danielle Olivia Tefft

        Thank you, Carol!
        I will work on adding social share buttons on my Unforgettable Characters blog which is on my new writer’s website. It is still too new to send anyone there, as I have lots of polishing to do! I will be ready for your next link party-thank you so much for having them! I truly appreciate the opportunity.


  17. Amy Dunn Moscoso

    What an excellent idea Carol, thanks for this opportunity. I was planning to read my book this weekend, but have already been drawn into so many posts. I had to read #2 about Marissa Mayer before I even finished posting.

    * On a techie standpoint, my IT man (husband) has fallen asleep and I can’t help but notice that my post #52 has a red x i front of it. Does anyone know how to fix that?



    • Carol Tice

      I know, it’s kind of addictive!

      This time it seems like the need to post the link slowed people down and we ended up with fewer links…I bet we’ll be back up around 100 links next time now that people have the hang of it.

  18. Tania Fuentez

    Hi, everyone! New to the party and excited to say it’s an impressive group of writers here. Editor’s note: adding backlink code into post worked like a charm. Thanks so much, Carol. What an awesome show of generosity toward fellow bloggers. Looking forward to the next one!

    Tania Fuentez

  19. Karen Cioffi

    How funny, the first link on clicked on goes to a promo page (#18). Interesting use of the party link.

    • Carol Tice

      Hmm…I’m not real happy to see that.

      I think I’m going to be adding a policy about these needing to be informative and not product pitches, for our next edition. Thanks for calling that to my attention.

      I am new to putting on link parties, and definitely still learning as I go!

      • Carol Zombo

        Hi, post #18 was mine. It’s about a tool that I was thrilled to discover, and I thought it might be useful for other writers to know about to help promote their own work. I’m not sure why it’s being called a promo page, but if it violates a policy for the link party, I apologize.

        • Carol Tice

          I’m re-reading it, and it is confusing…seems like you’re recommending people become affiliates of the product, but it’s unclear if you yourself are one and there are aff links on there? Or that mostly you’re just saying “check out this tool”?

          I know the tool you’re referring to and Danny’s video using it, and it is cool stuff. Probably want to be crystal-clear about your role in recommending any product so readers aren’t confused.

          It does have an ad for the product in the middle of it…sounds like that turned off at least some readers.

          I’ll be thinking about whether I want to say something about ads on posts, but it’d be a quagmire since some bloggers have sidebar ads that are always there.

  20. Joe Warnimont

    Hey Carol,

    Can people who did not submit their own article vote. I just asked a friend to vote and they said it just told them what number of votes each article had, without an option to vote. I just wasn’t sure if it was exclusive to people who posted or not. πŸ™‚

    • Carol Tice

      Honestly, I don’t know! I didn’t think you had to be in the party to vote, so that’s weird.

      I’m new to hosting these and learning as I go…sounds like I need to get with the InLinkz people and find out a bit more about the voting.

      • fiona

        hi Carol, I was hoping to vote for my favourite post, but don’t seem to be able to. I haven’t posted anything myself, just wanted to show support to someone. thanks!

        • Carol Tice

          Getting quite a few reports of people who aren’t able to see the voting links at the bottom of each post, so I’m going to have to look into it with InLinkz and learn more about who can vote.

  21. Jevon

    This is a great idea. I can’t believe I missed it though… :(. I hope I get in the next one.

  22. Sandra Pawula

    I love this idea and seeing this rich menu of posts on writing and related topics. However, I must have missed the 24-hour window again as I don’t see the link tool. Darn! I wonder if you would consider making the timeframe just a little bit longer!

    Here’s my post: Promoting Blog Posts on Social Media: Does It Work Anymore?

    Thanks for organizing this, Carol.

    • Carol Tice

      Hi Sandra —

      I believe I ran this for 12 hours — 6 to 6 on Friday, and then voting began. If people think that wasn’t enough time I’ll give it a longer window on Friday next time.

  23. Karin E. Baker

    I love this idea and will check out a bunch of these.

  24. Sinea Pies

    Have the entries been closed? I don’t see the icon to click to add my post.

    Thanks, BTW, for offering this opportunity. It is a great idea.

    • Carol Tice

      Unfortunately yes, Sinea — posting was Friday only. Now we’re voting so feel free to share your thoughts on which of these you liked best!

  25. Mario

    Great Event!

    I really appriciate seeing the headlines. I am doing work on headlines right now and how important a well crafted headline really is. Having them all together so close to each other showed me how a well crafted headline really stands out and MAKES me want to read the article.

    I also liked the icons as well. Which, once again, made an impression on how important posting proper pictures (lighting, composition, quality, size) makes a huge difference on how I feel about clicking to read an article.

    Say, I wanted to vote on three peices, but it seems I could not vote again after voting once. Is there a way to vote for more than one peice?

    Thank you for hosting a fabulous Party!

    • Carol Tice

      Hi Mario — yes, we each just get one vote, sorry to say. Not sure I can set it differently — I will investigate for next time. At this point a couple of clear contenders seem to be emerging, so fascinating to watch!

      I’ve been here on Sunday night clicking, and I see lots of comments from other writers who say they found the post through this party. I’m so happy! The link party is working just like I hoped it would, to help my readers connect with each other. Really excited about what I see happening.

      And I’m with you — it is a real eye-opener to see 50 headlines for posts about writing, all right together — and immediately, you can see which are working and which aren’t compelling. Very interesting exercise!

  26. Tammy Setzer Denton

    Great idea. I hope to participate more fully the next time. I’ve bookmarked several blogs, am now following some new people on Twitter, learned a lot, and I voted. Next time, I’ll be posting my blog as well.

    Thanks for doing this.

    • Carol Tice

      Come on back on May 3, Tammy — would love to see your post!

  27. Dawn Witzke

    This voting thing is hard. There are too many great posts to pick just one.

    • Carol Tice

      I know! But pick we must. πŸ˜‰

  28. Willi Morris

    Fun stuff, Carol! I think I gained a few new subscribers as a result. Thanks!

    • Carol Tice

      I hope so, Willi — I’m gratified to see lots of comments on some of these posts from other party-goers. πŸ˜‰

  29. Sheila Berqguist

    I was wondering if anyone can vote? I did not enter this, but wanted to vote for my favorite. I have been reading tons of them and it’s a great idea! But how do you vote, or do you have to be one of the submitters to vote?

    • Carol Tice

      Voting has now ended, but you should have been able to see a star and ‘vote’ option under each post. Then after you cast your vote you see the results. We’ll experiment more with this next time!

  30. Carol Bryant

    I am a pet blogger and a writer and so happy to have found this party, as I have been reading your blog for a while. Great idea!

  31. Ryan Urie

    Hi Carol,
    I just wanted to say thank so much for putting this on. I’m very new to blogging and putting my link up on your page gave me four times the number of views as my previous record, doubled my number of followers, and tripled my average number of daily visitors. It probably helped that had 32, 6, and 5 respectively, but still it was a great boost for me. Much thanks!

    • Carol Tice

      Glad to hear the link party helped you, Ryan! I’m hoping more of my readers can get to know each other through the parties.


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