I often see bloggers inviting other bloggers to participate in a blog award, or a weekly challenge, or even just asking other bloggers to provide links to blogs that they enjoy reading.
These days probably 75% of the time, it seems that bloggers are not using any of the link up tools that are available out there on the interwebs. I often think the major reason for not using these tools is because people tend to think these tools are a lot more complicated than they actually are, that setting up an account is time consuming, that it is all Too Hard.. but as this how to guide will show you, that is not the case at all.
If I told you that within the space of 10 minutes, you could create your account *and* your first link up, would you give it a try? If I am honest, it is more likely to take around 5 minutes, given it took me 6 minutes and I was taking screenshots and editing them in between.
How To – Create Free Link Ups Via SimplyLinked
Now I’m going to show you how to use one of the completely free, easiest and simplest link up tools which can save you a lot of time and energy PLUS make it easier for people to link up to whatever it is you have going on at your blog. The tool is called Simply Linked.
First up, we have to create your account. Click on Sign up for a free account.
You only need to provide 6 details as seen above – your name, email address, name of your website, website url, username and password. When you’ve filled in the boxes, hit submit.
And you have created your account. Easy, no? So click on the link to go back to the home page and log in.
Type in the username and password you just created, and hit submit. You’ll then find yourself logged in.
There is not a lot to see here, because you have not created any link ups. So let us create one. Click on Create New List.
Put in your link up name, and choose standard as the option. Click on create list.
It really is that simple. In fact, even with me taking screenshots, I had created my account and my first link up within 6 minutes. To create a new link up while logged in is only as long as it takes you to type in the title.
Once you have created a link up, you can view it via the current lists screen, just click on current lists. To view the links which have been added, click on the link up name.
Once people start adding links, you can choose to edit or delete them.
Added links will appear at the top, above the place where people can add their links.
The best thing about this tool is – everything remains within your blog. Nobody is being sent elsewhere – they add their link within the post you’ve written. Here is a test link up, so you can give it a try right here if you like, I also want to see how it goes through on my feed..
This link up tool does not give you the option to use thumbnail images at all. There are link tools available which will allow people to add thumbnail images but *all* of those tools cost money. The tool I use here – Inlinkz – is a little more complicated to create a basic link up, and Inlinkz costs me $20 a year to allow thumbnails and have some extra options, eg I can allow my link ups to remain open forever.
Simply Linked is a good, basic, free option. You do have to keep an eye on your links to make sure nobody adds any spam – this is one reason why I would suggest that you close off link ups after a certain amount of time has passed. I am assuming they will add other options which people will have to pay for, eventually. Simply Linked is an excellent option for people wanting fast and easy to create link ups.
I will show you around – and how to use – Inlinkz in a future how to guide. I probably should also mention, in case anyone was wondering.. none of these companies are paying me to write about their link up tools, by the way. :)
Will You Use This Tool?
Over to you – let me know, do you think this is a tool you could use on your blog?