Well… the title says it all. It’s the end of an era.
After seven and a half years and 500 link up parties, I’m doing something that I never thought I’d do. I’m saying goodbye to the Friday Faves link up.
I started my blog in mid-February of 2015 (see my first post here) and within a few weeks, I had created my very first link up party. My link up parties actually started out with weekly trends on Wednesdays. After a few weeks, I came to the conclusion that trend parties were much more difficult to host so I changed it to what you know now as the Friday Favorites link up. And it stuck!
For years, link parties were great! I found that it was an amazing way to not only gain traffic early on but to connect with other bloggers, get inspired and build many of the relationships that I still have today. The link party landscape has changed dramatically just as blogging has changed due to the rise of social media. I kept the link up going because I loved the supportive community that it created.
Why I Decided to Stop Hosting Link Up Parties
I want you all to know that this is a decision that I did not take lightly. In fact, it’s something that I mulled over for the last two and a half years. I actually began writing this post in January of this year but my little heart couldn’t take it. I wasn’t ready to let go.
As many of you know, I’ve gone through some major life changes in the past few years. I’m not the same person that I was when I started my blog and blogging itself has changed drastically since I started. I’ve been fighting it for as long as I could but I feel that now is the perfect time to evolve my blog, just as I have evolved as a person.
You might be wondering why I decided to stop hosting link up parties after all this time? After all, this is how I’ve met so many of my wonderful blogger friends and readers and I wholeheartedly attribute some of my early blog growth to this little link party. Here are a few reasons why I ultimately decided to stop hosting link up parties.
Lack of Time
Time has been a huge factor. My workload has increased immensely over the last few years, especially after starting my YouTube channel. You may have noticed that I stopped sharing the Blogger Pick of the Week quite a while ago and this was due to time restrictions on my part. The whole point of link ups, in my opinion, is to connect with other bloggers in the community – check out what they posted, engage, etc. But all of that time adds up and it ended up consuming a large part of my day. I don’t have a team… it’s just me. And I felt like it had gotten to the point where I was putting more time into redundant daily tasks rather than putting it toward something that would be more beneficial to me longterm.
Pressure & Restrictions
Surprisingly (or maybe not lol!), hosting a link party can put a lot of pressure on the host. Link parties kept me consistent all these years but they’ve also been limiting in some aspects. I felt a heavy pressure to overwork myself in order to remain on schedule. Early on, I would run myself into the ground – staying up well past midnight to finish writing my post, setting up the link party (along with creating graphics, code, etc) and manually sending reminder emails out once it went live. I kid you not… when I started out, I had a handwritten list of HUNDREDS of emails that had linked up previously and I input them in one by one each week (this was before I discovered Mailchimp haha!).
It was a lot, especially since I was basically working 3-4 full-time jobs during my early blogging years. I also felt anxiety if I forgot to post when traveling or if I fell asleep early. It was always important to be consistent with the timing as I have readers based worldwide. And to be among the first to link up was a big deal as it typically ensured more traffic. I understood that and it was important to me to maintain it for my readers and fellow bloggers.
As the years went on, link party days felt a bit more restrictive. I felt like I had to reserve my “best” posts for Friday and that there were limitations on what I could and couldn’t post. Of course, it’s quite possible that I put these restrictions on myself but this heavily affected my content calendar and even my personal schedule at times.
With that being, I also felt like some people were becoming a bit too dependent on the link up parties. I always send out an annual survey and ask questions like “How did you find my blog?” and “Why do you continue to follow me?” It was interesting to find that SO many of my readers have actually found me through link parties! YAY I love that! It was also interesting to find out that a few also solely visit my blog just for the link parties. And that one was a kick in the gut.
I’m sure many bloggers can attest to this but I have always put so much time, effort, and love into my posts. It’s so much work and as much as I adored hosting link parties, it was a bit unnerving to know that some scroll right past the post that I put my heart and soul (and many hours) into just to link up their own blogs.
I also feel that I was getting too dependent on them as well. As I mentioned, quitting my link party has been in the back of my mind for quite some time now. There were several reasons why I waited but one of them was because I was afraid of losing the community that I worked so hard to build. These relationships mean the world to me and I didn’t want them to disappear as soon as I stopped hosting. I also know that many people looked forward to the link ups and I didn’t want to disappoint anyone.
Decline in Popularity
Link up parties are not the same as they once were, sadly. Back in the day, when you used to link up, it would help immensely with traffic and being introduced to new readers. For whatever reason, it doesn’t quite have that effect any longer. I’ve noticed that many people do not participate anymore and if they do, it’s the same people (which is totally fine by the way!). However, it just doesn’t seem like we are getting as much out of it as we used to (other than the community aspect) and I’m not sure it’s worth the monetary cost for me to run it anymore.
At times, there were well over 100 entries and new bloggers were constantly joining the link up. Over the past few years, I’ve noticed a heavy decline in participation and I can’t even remember the last time I saw someone new link up. The interest in co-hosting the link up with me also declined over the years in conjunction with the disappearance of many other link parties.
I’ve also noticed that along with the declining interest of link parties, there’s been a very noticeable difference in commenting as well. Years ago, it was not unusual for me to get over a hundred comments on a single blog post and now it’s a small fraction of that. I have no idea if this is correlated somehow or if it’s just part of the ever-changing blogging landscape. And then there are the blogger awards and online communities, which have have seemingly vanished right along with these.
I do think that social media (*ahem* Instagram) has a lot to do with this. Everything is SO fast now and people seem to have shorter attention spans. The magic of those old blogging days seems to be long gone, which makes me so sad!
With that being said, I’m a different person than I was when I started in 2015. This is one of the main reasons that I’ve decided to quit hosting my link party. I’m the same at my core with the same values, morals and beliefs but over the last few years, I’ve evolved and grown so much as a person. It’s only natural that my blog and brand would evolve too.
Moving forward, I want every aspect of my blog to identify with who I am now and not who I once was. As a blogger and influencer, you are expected to keep up with where the industry is going and honestly, it’s a lot. There is always some new platform or skill to learn and you are expected to take on everything, even when your plate is already full. There’s no time to do it all so I want to make sure that what I do moving forward is intentional, authentic and manageable.
I have been terrified to do this because I didn’t want to disappoint anyone. And historically, my link party days have been the most engaged and viewed posts of each week. As a full-time blogger, your traffic does matter unfortunately. I was scared that if I stopped hosting the link parties, then my traffic would drop off and the community of blogger friendships I built over the years would vanish.
Although I know that some people only followed along for the link parties, I don’t want that to be the case moving forward. I want people to come to my blog and leave feeling happy, inspired and excited for the next post. I want people to comment because they genuinely want to – because they want to be supportive or because they found an article insightful, relatable, inspiring or interesting. And most of all, I definitely don’t want to lose the community aspect, which is why I held off on doing this.
So where do we go from here?
I hinted earlier this year that I would be making some big changes in 2022 and while many of these weren’t and won’t be implemented right away, I’ve been working diligently behind the scenes. I’ve felt the need to “shake things up” for a while and I am confident that now is the right time to let go of this and embrace the future. I’m finally ready to transform my blog and brand into what I’ve always intended for it to be.
For a while now, I’ve been feeling that I needed to make some changes and really hone in on what I do best. In the past, my content was dictated by so many things and while they were things that I loved to share, it was so all-consuming that the things that I truly wanted to share went overlooked.
As you know, fashion has been my main category since I began and it truly is where my passion lies. What I didn’t realize is the uniqueness of my style and how that has affected the direction I want to take. I don’t solely want to share outfits just to share outfits. I want to have a more meaningful impact than that.
There are some content categories that I will be sharing less of and some that I will be sharing more of or introducing. What makes my style and brand unique is the celebration of femininity so I want to share this in a more well-rounded, refined and simplified way. Of course, I will continue to update you all through my Month in Review series on the first Friday of each month(ish) and share my seasonal bucket lists but I am also planning to introduce another very exciting series this year so stay tuned! For now, I’ll continue my blogging cadence as it’s always been – Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Something that I did not fully expect to fall in love with was video. It’s still something I’m working on but I really love it and I love the way that I can connect with others through this medium. If you didn’t know, I have a page completely dedicated to my YouTube videos – feel free to check that out here.
In regards to video content, I have so many ideas and so many things that I want to share! For now, I’ll continue to upload once a week to YouTube but I have plans to increase this to twice a week in the near future. I have also started to embrace more short form video content, which you can find on Instagram, Pinterest and TikTok.
One thing to note – many of these are entirely new pieces of content that are separate from each other so please feel free to follow along on whichever platforms you like best to stay in touch!
My video hauls have been highly requested so I will continue to share my latest faves in hauls, reviews and try ons. I also have a variety of shopping pages including my LTK shop, Amazon storefront and a page dedicated to all of the products I’m currently trying out in my Unboxing Fridays.
I have some very exciting things going on in this arena that will be specific only to my newsletter subscribers. If any of you have participated in any of my past link ups, then you are on my link party reminder newsletter list. This does not subscribe you to my official newsletter. I will not be moving over any subscribers of the link party reminder list but I will keep the list for any important future announcements.
However, I’d love if you kept in touch via my official newsletter where you can find important announcements, giveaways and customized content. You can opt in here!
White Bl-nk London Lace Top c/o (similar) | Pink Chicwish Skirt c/o | Pink WOLF1834 Handbag (similar) c/o | Cream Kate Spade Bow Sandals (similar) | Lele Sadoughi Pearl Headband (similar) | Sequin Jewelry Pearl Bracelet c/o (use LIZZIEINLACE20 for 20% off!) | Olivia Mar Ring c/o | Charlotte Tilbury Lipstick | Halo Hair Extension (use LIZZIEINLACE for $25 off!)
Last Things to Note
The Friday Favorites Link Up will official end in two weeks. The last link party will go live on Friday, August 5th – I hope you will stop by to celebrate! As far as participating, I do plan to continue to support those that are still hosting by linking up and engaging. The only change is that I will no longer host.
Lastly, even with the changes and lack of the link up, I hope that you all will remain part of the community. Many of you that continue to link up have been doing so from the very beginning and I can’t even begin to explain how much itI appreciate all of the support, kindness and encouragement that you all have shown me throughout the years and I hope that we can continue to show this to one another throughout our blogging journeys for many more years to come!
Love you all so much!! <3