|Bead Soup sent from Mermaid Glass for a past Party.|
So what goes into a blog hop that involves pairing up people? It's the actual pairing up that takes up the most time and effort, and on the surface you wouldn't think that, would you? But let me walk you through what I do for this particular Party.
For each sign-up:
* I enter the name onto my blog.
* I visit their blog and hotlink their blog onto my own blog.
* I cut and paste their name and email into an email distribution list. This way, when I need to send emails after sign-ups close, I only have to send ONE email.
* I email the person to let them know I received their info, remind them to check their info on my site, and to stay tuned.
|Bead Soup sent from Sharon Palac during a past Party.|
Next comes the fun part. Snort. Fun as in, pass the chocolate, please. I do so love these parties, but this is the part where I give myself a few days so as not to make an eye-crossing mistake.
* I start an Excel spreadsheet. For me, there's just no other way to do this. I need a sortable, changeable way to mess with the data and Excel works for me.
* I enter names, blogs, emails, addresses, and if the person wants to ship internationally. I make note of special requests or mark down who the person has swapped with in the past.
* I highlight in yellow all international swappers.
* I visit all the blogs to see what medium the beader works in. I do this so I can try and avoid putting a polymer clay person with a polymer clay person. That doesn't always work, but I do my best.
|Bead Soup sent by Lisa Harrington for a past Party.|
And then, I start pairing people. Usually, it comes out wrong at least once and I have to figure out who I paired up twice and who got left out. But that's the beauty of Excel -- it's pretty easy to figure it out. And now I have a system where I highlight in purple people I've paired up on another spreadsheet. (Yup, TWO spreadsheets!)
During the Party, I keep in contact with all the partiers, making sure beaders have made contact, that dates are being met, making suggestions for promotion, that sort of thing. I look at this Party as a way for you to promote yourself not only as a jewelry designer, but as a blog writer and part of the beading community.
|More Bead Soup sent my Mary McGraw for a past Party.|
I hope this Party will be a good experience for you, and that you find some awesome new bead artists to buy from, some jewelry artists to bond with, and some bloggers to add to your daily reads. I love doing this, and I'm so glad you're here!
Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and wrtoe the blog An Artist's Year Off. She's also a contributor to Art Bead Scene.