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What Blog Carnivals and Memes do You Participate In?

A year or two back ‘blog carnivals’ were all the rage as a way to put yourself out there and promote your blog. I know that they still exist and many bloggers still get into them – but I’m wondering how many bloggers use them these days?

For those not familiar with the concept – a blog carnival is an event where a group of bloggers all blog on a certain blog topic and where those posts are all listed in a central place (which is usually promoted by all those participating).

There are many variations on exactly how these ‘carnivals’ are held (sometimes the central page moves from week to week to give everyone a turn, other times they centre around a single blog each time) – but carnivals can be a good way to interact with other bloggers and get your blog noticed by others.

Of course there are other similar types of ‘memes’ or ‘projects’ that are not called blog carnivals. For example here at ProBlogger I’ve held quite a few ‘group writing projects’ which are quite similar to blog carnivals.

You can learn more about blog carnivals at BlogCarnival.com (a site that lists current carnivals to participate in).

  • So – do you participate in blog carnivals (or other similar types of projects on blogs)?
  • Have you hosted them on your own blog?
  • Do they bring you traffic?
  • What other benefits have you had from participating in them?
About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. I participate in several blog carnivals. Some are better than others. Some bring in more traffic than others. Some provide you with more interesting reading than others. It’s best to find carnivals tailored to the niche for which you write.

  2. ashok says:

    The blog carnival I’ve loved the most is the Philosophy Carnival – the entries are usually of very high quality, and I’ve met some awesomely talented individuals there. I have not hosted their or any carnivals, though.

    The philosophy carnival homepage: http://philosophycarnival.blogspot.com/

  3. I participate in three carnivals a month: Bookworms Carnival, Carnival of Children’s Literature, and Book Reviews Carnival, all obviously related to books. I think it’s a great way to find new blogs in your niche and foster a sense of community.

    As for tags and meme’s I really dislike them. I’ve been tagged for about a dozen now and have never responded because they don’t enhance the content of my blog. I have toyed with the idea of doing all the tags together on one page maybe every six months or so because I feel like other bloggers view me as a “party-pooper.”

  4. I’m a book blogger like Natasha and take part in a couple of Blog carnivals with a twist. Sunday Salon and Weekly Geeks are two weekly events where book bloggers talk about what they are reading, or take part in book related challenges. There is a central page with links to all participants and RSS feeds available too. My site traffic increases significantly on the days I take part in either of these events and I have met many great bloggers too.

  5. The blog carnivals haven’t done much at all for my business, perhaps I need to go to the next one and it will turn around.

  6. None really, I can’t find any memes or carnivals related to technology.

  7. I often take part in the Carnival of Cities with my travel blog, http://www.roamingtales.com.

  8. I did start off by submitting posts to a few blog carnivals, but found the process quite time consuming and rarely or never saw traffic from them. I also felt it was all a bit “take take take” on my part as, to be honest, I rarely use blog carnivals to find posts to read.

    The advantage to submitting posts to a wide range of carnivals is that it can help with backlinks, so I do still do the occasional carnival submission — but it’s low on my list of priorities.

    I get much better traffic — and more enjoyment — from writing guest posts and from “regular” links on other blogs.

  9. Rhea says:

    I participate in a carnival that features baby boomer info. I started it with a site called LilfeTwo. We are now on our 93rd carnival. I think that’s a lot of longevity for a carnival. We switch the host each week. There are about 12 blloggers. Members come and go but not much. We lose a member only every few months and there is always a waiting list to get in. Our members say their traffic benefits. I don’t have hard numbers. For the amount of work it takes (very little) I think it’s worth it for the links we get and the traffic.

  10. Rhea says:

    I participate in a carnival that features baby boomer info. I started it with a site called LlfeTwo. We are now on our 93rd BloggingBoomers carnival. I think that’s a lot of longevity for a carnival. We switch the host each week. There are about 12 blloggers. Members come and go but not much. We lose a member only every few months and there is always a waiting list to get in. Our members say their traffic benefits. I don’t have hard numbers. For the amount of work it takes (very little) I think it’s worth it for the links we get and the traffic.

  11. Ian Brodie says:

    I participated in a number of Sales/Business related carnivals. they brought in some good backlinks, but limited traffic.

    Some of them faded gently away, and in truth, I didn’t really read many of the other posts as they weren’t as related to the core topics as I would have liked.

    I’m currently participating in a blog meme on Warming up Cold Calls started by “Bizzie Guye” (http://bizdevblog.wordpress.com/) Knowing that some of the other posters on the meme are really high quality thinkers – and that participants are selected rather than just sending in stuff gives me higher hopes for the quality of the threads.

    Ian

  12. Grace says:

    I have a regular schedule of participation in blogs. Every three weeks or so I gather the permalinks of my best posts and travel to Blog Carnivals. It takes me about 2 hrs to of that period and post to about 15 different carnivals–I tend to go down the whole list, stopping at those that have a close publication date. Because I write on a variety of topics, there’s always one that seems to fit. That’s the upside. Easy to do, not a big time investment. Plus I get continuing links to my blog. They have a long tail, too. I am getting hits from Carnivals that I posted several months ago.
    The downside is that I don’t get a lot of return traffic without additional effort on my part to actually VISIT the posted carnival and respond to other links that I find there. So both pros and cons to the technique. I’ll continue to use it, but nothing like the Stumble hits I get with a juicy post. G.

  13. I just signed up for my first Blog Carnival 2 days ago and now I see this… I don’t expect to see too much traffic from it but anything I get will be cool. Since it only took me about 2 minutes to sign up for it. =)

    If it works, maybe some day I’ll host my own.

  14. I do not use blog carnivals because even after reading this post I still don’t quite understand what they are. Plus I use to be on a blog carnival and it didn’t really give me that much traffic.

  15. I’ve never participated in Blog Carnivals or Memes before, but great information and will definitely check this out. Thanks for your insight, as usual :-)

  16. George says:

    I haven’t ever participated in a blog carnival although I used to participate in your blog writing projects which are similar to a carnival. I almost always participate in memes that I am tagged with, although I don’t see them as often as I used to.

  17. Wine Blog Wednesday has always been a fun one. I like the idea that everyone not only has to blog, but has to drink a wine related to a certain theme. I hope it continues, but I get the feeling that the Twitter tastings might take it over. Far more convenient and instant share satisfaction.

  18. Andrea says:

    If I have something that I consider really good enough to submit, I’ll participate in the Carnival of Personal Finance. I’ve gotten some new readers and found some new blogs that I like that way. It hasn’t been overwhelming traffic but I think it’s nice to “get out there” and meet people.

  19. I started participating in blog carnivals shortly after starting my blog (in September). I post on the Carnival of Homeschooling and while it hasn’t exactly brought in a landslide of traffic, there is still a nice trickle that has come in from it, resulting in new readers.

    I haven’t hosted any yet, but plan on doing so in March. It keeps me on my feet. Like a visitor coming to your home, you want your “place” to look as good as possible.

  20. Having a very young blog (6 months), I try and participate every week in 1 – 3 personal finance blog carnivals. This has help me slowly build traffic to my site. It has helped me establish links on many other sites.

  21. charles says:

    Isn’t it quite boring to read many articles of the same topic from various writers? And if i am a writer, i wouldn’t want to be in a very competitive world. VERY COMPETITIVE.

  22. Five other bloggers and I just launched a carnival/festival this week called Holidays by Hand.

    We’d love to have more folks join in; you can get information at the link below.

    Holidays by Hand

  23. Bayou Bags says:

    I occasionally participate in giveaway carnivals (Bloggy Giveaways is a good example), and they do result in some nice traffic spikes and a small increase in regular traffic. I’ve also picked up links and a few subscribers this way, and usually get some great project ideas from the comments.

  24. Nick says:

    I’ve been trying to get involved with a few food/recipe carnivals. So far I have had very limited success.

    I’m getting much more traffic for my time by being active on Twitter, facebook, and participating on other people’s blogs.

    That’s not to say that they aren’t useful for some, but my experience has been pretty blah.

    Macheesmo

  25. Carla says:

    I used it for the first time about a month ago for this post http://greenandchic.com/blog/blog-lists/green-and-chic-lists-10808/ Because I’m new to blogging, I never heard of it. I do get a lot of submissions that are not related to the subjects at hand, but it is a good way to network

  26. Robin says:

    I’ve just set up a Carnival of Intuition at blogcarnival.com, so this is very timely for me! – it’s great to read the comments above. I’m planning to run it monthly, moving the hosting around – I’ll see how it goes.

    It’s description page is at
    http://blogcarnival.com/bc/cprof_5533.html

  27. Nate says:

    As a food blogger, I participate in various blog carnivals or recipe roundups. These can be weekly events such as Weekend Herb Blogging, bi-weekly events such as Grow Your Own, monthly events such as My Legume Love Affair, or other one-offs such as Mee and My Malaysia. I also participate in monthly food photography competitions such as Does My Blog Look Good in This and Click! the Photo Event.

    All these events bring various amounts of traffic. Most come for the food pics and some stay for the recipes and content. I have not hosted a roundup but plan to do so next year.

    What’s good about these roundups is you get to see what other people are doing and meet bloggers you’ve never heard of before.

  28. I lover carnivals, they bring lots of traffic

  29. Keral Patel says:

    I haven’t tested it yet. So its time to see what it brings. Last time I tested twitter after reading a post here and it was really helpful.

  30. Vinayak says:

    I have participated in one on Indian History here:
    http://blogcarnival.com/bc/cprof_3393.html

  31. The Financial Tales website is only a month old, but since then I have participated in two blog carnivals – The Festival of Frugality and The Money Hacker’s Carnival, but have yet to host one. So far, I have found that participating in carnivals has helped in terms of visitors, and I’m wondering… Does hosting a carnival drive more traffic to your site? Thanks.

  32. Angel Cuala says:

    Well, I am participating at a small time Blog Carnival. Actually, it is for Filipino parents – Pinoy Parenting Blog Carnival (PPBC) in which I hosted 2 editions, and here is one of the entries before
    The Happy Birthday that never was – A PPBC 9th Edition entry
    .

    It is a twice a month activity, where the host decides the topic.

    I think I had a small traffic, but I don’t care. I met fellow Filipino parents and eventually became my virtual friends. I will still join them if my time permits me.

    Thanks!

  33. I have joined a moving carnival called Carnival of the Mobilists a few months ago and became a “host for one week” just a few weeks ago.
    It is interesting and fun – it also opens up an easy path to building relationships with other bloggers in the same domain.
    I even took the time to discuss my experience with writing as a host of a carnival just this week :-)

  34. Lexi Sundell says:

    I have participated in many blog carnivals and hosted a long running one of my own. I discontinued mine when the fellow mentioned above started his submission service.

    I figured I already was spending a lot of time going through too many mediocre or worse submissions that were not particularly on topic. And that my time might be better spent on other projects for my blog. His new service looked like a nightmare to me as a carnival host.

    That said, I did gain traffic from carnivals and made worthwhile relationships with other bloggers by hosting my own. Unfortunately the overall quality of carnivals has gone downhill and I see them as far less useful now.

  35. Dan McCarthy says:

    host a monthly Leadership Development Carnival that brings in decent traffic and exposure. It helps if everyone links back to the host site, but only about half will bother.

    The Blog Carnival submission form makes it easy to administer. I end up screening out about 25% of them, but still end up with 40-50 decent submissions.

  36. I have yet to ever participate in a carnival … no reason why .. just something I have never done .. I suppose I should give it a go

  37. I’ve particupated in several real estate carnivals on Blogcarnivals.com; and just submitted some other blogs today. Fun to do!

  38. Great post. Even better comments. I’m trying out a bunch right now at blogcarnival.com; not sure how good they’re going to be, but I’ll willing to give it a try. Why not, right?

    I’ve done a couple in the past and gotten a few clicks here and there. I don’t know if it’s really great for direct traffic. I think it’s probably more for networking and links.

  39. Ashley says:

    I participate in both carnivals and “memes” occasionally. I’m pretty choosy and don’t necessarily stay with one week after a week. There are a few good ones that I’d definitely recommend though, and I’ve seen a pretty big increase in my blog traffic – like 200-1,500 visitors in one DAY from the main site, where others are linking over to me.

    Of course, the key is to post stuff that other people will be interested in reading, and this is basically another way to spread the word.

  40. hhy says:

    Great post. Even better comments. I’m trying out a bunch right now at blogcarnival.com; not sure how good they’re going to be, but I’ll willing to give it a try. Why not, right?

    I’ve done a couple in the past and gotten a few clicks here and there. I don’t know if it’s really great for direct traffic. I think it’s probably more for networking and links.

  41. I think it’s up to the blogger to choose wisely and participate in carnivals that target the same audience as your blog. Women are more inclined to be interested in my topic and my client base consists of lots of moms. So, recently I participated in The Ultimate Blog Party 2009 (http://fengshuibyfishgirl.com/2009/03/22/the-ultimate-blog-party-2009/) and saw dramatic results in traffic, comments, and I even made the WordPress Growing Blogs list. I’ve also found commenting on other highly popular and related blogs raises my profile and traffic more than anything else I’ve done

  42. I know this post is roughly 9 months old but I wanted to weigh in for the trickle of viewers that still make it this far down the comments section.

    I started my first professional blog about a month and a half ago and have found through reading ProBlogger, among many other blogs, that incoming links are crucial to developing a presence in the search engines. Darren preaches that linking out to other Bloggers often is a great way to develop a sense of community with other bloggers and as a result it will often be rewarded by links in return.

    In my blog I have done this as best as I can so far but I have also looked for other ways to get inbound links. Carnivals seem to be an excellent method. I’ve participated in a number of them now (maybe 10 or so) and have always made it a point to link back to the blog host as well as 1-2 of the other authors represented in the given carnival. The people I link to are usually my favorite posts from the carnival and I make sure they are given more exposure to their blogs due to the carnival.

    I think the problem with many carnivals is the fact that many people submit to them but do not read or respect the other authors. Those that do promote the work of others tend to make carnivals worthwhile.

    In the end I don’t expect a lot of traffic from carnivals but I do expect some targeted traffic from bloggers who tend to link to others and tend to form relationships with others. These links and relationships are what make carnivaling worthwhile in my opinion. The reward is not the small rush of new visitors or the few new subscribers it is the long-term benefits of inbound links, relationships with fellow like-minded bloggers, and the opportunity to showcase the work of others.

    My blog is nearly seven weeks old and each week has received more traffic than the last. I firmly believe that if I were not participating in carnivals (as I have been to this point) my traffic numbers would be significantly lower and I would feel more alone in my work.

    Thanks to everyone else for the opinions on this topic; I was searching for opinions on Carnivals when I stumbled on this post.

    -Brian @ http://www.howtolivealongerlife.com