What's a Blog Carnival, How to Enter and Where To Find One?

I remember a few months after I started blogging I started hearing about blog carnivals. The blog that inspired me to start Out of Debt Again was Mr. Debtbeater. He wrote about entering some carnivals and I was so curious. I wrote to him privately and asked how carnivals worked. He was very helpful with information and I started looking around for myself. It felt like entering a whole new area of the Internet. Knowing what I know now, I am not sure why I felt so intimidated, but I do remember feeling lost. I tested the waters in April with my first ever submission to the Festival of Frugality. I was accepted and what a boost of confidence that gave me. Thank you Aaron Stroud for including me back in April.

It’s very simple to to get started. But I remember not knowing where to look for these carnivals, and feeling uncertain of how to enter. In case you are where I was several months ago, I’d like to share what I’ve learned.

Follow The Rules

Here are a few generic rules of which to be aware (note that each carnival has its own set of guidelines):

  • Read the rules for submission carefully
  • Follow the rules
  • Submit an post appropriate to the carnival you are entering
  • Submit early rather than at the last minute (this makes it easier on the host)
  • When the carnival is posted, announce on your blog that you’ve been accepted for submission at XYZ carnival, with a link to the hosting blog
  • I also like to go into the post I’ve submitted (where it’s at on my blog) and make a little welcome note at the top to welcome new readers from the carnival as well as thank the host for including my submission
  • Thank the host via the comments of the carnival post on the host’s site
  • Submit the carnival to social bookmarking sites (Digg, Delicious, Stumbleupon, Facebook, Mixx, Twitter)
  • Most carnivals accept one post per week
  • Some carnivals ask that you post exclusively to their carnival (for example, don’t enter the same post at every carnival you can find)
  • Make a special post for the week listing your posts in the various carnivals, and at the same time, link to two or three other posts in the carnival that you enjoyed reading.  This way we all help each other out to promote our articles at the carnivals.

Personal Finance Carnivals

These are the carnivals that are on my radar. There are others, I just haven’t learned about all of them yet! These I’ve listed are in no specific order.

The Carnival of Debt Reduction – Monday
At the Carnival of Debt Reduction you will check the schedule page to learn all about this carnival. You’ll find on the schedule page a little blurb of what a carnival is, what kind of posts are appropriate for The Carnival of Debt Reduction, when your post needs to be submitted and you can also see the list of blogs that will be hosting this carnival. Next be sure to read the Rules for this carnival. When you’ve read all the instructions and you feel you have an appropriate post, go to the rules page and submit your article. The Carnival of Debt Reduction comes out on Monday mornings.

Carnival of Money Stories II – Monday
The original owner of the Carnival of Money Stories is missing in action and Adam of Money Relationship decided to resurrect it.  UPDATE: Adam passed the carnival to me, Mrs. Accountability and I am now the carnival administrator.  For the  Carnival of Money Stories II you’ll want to first visit the submission page to learn the submission rules. There are five rules, and one is very important. In order to be accepted into this carnival, your submission must be a money STORY or experience . As with most carnivals, the Carnival of Money Stories travels from blog to blog each week. Check the schedule to see where this carnival is headed next. Click on the submission link at top to submit your article. This carnival goes up on Monday mornings.

Carnival of Personal Finance – Monday
From the main page, you’ll want to visit the about page to learn a bit about the Carnival of Personal Finance and what the carnival will accept for submissions. Check the schedule to see where the carnival is being hosted next. Read the Guidelines for Submission carefully and follow the rules. This page also asks you to be sure to link your blog to the carnival where your submission was accepted. This gives the carnival publicity. I also like to go to each blog hosting the carnival where my post was accepted and thank the host for including my post, as well as acknowledging the hard work they’ve done to host the carnival. It’s not manual labor, but it does take time and effort to put the carnival together and post it on time! This carnival goes out on Monday mornings.

Festival of Frugality – Tuesday
Read about the FoF on the about page. From the about page you can also find the submission guidelines, and the schedule. The FoF stresses that your post should be somewhere on the topic of frugality, so bear that in mind as you choose a post to submit. On the submission guidelines page, you’ll find the link to submit your post. Most of the carnivals seem to use Blog Carnival, which also freaked me out the first time I used it. For one thing it reloads after you type in your post’s URL, because it’s looking for it. But the screen goes blank and you have to scroll down to find what you’ve already entered. Then there’s the trackback URL and I still haven’t figured out what that is. Just leave it blank and you’ll be fine. The FoF comes out on Tuesday mornings.

Why  Participate in Carnivals?

You might be asking yourself, “Why would I want to participate in a carnival?” It’s a great way to introduce yourself to the personal finance world. Many personal finance bloggers check out these carnivals, participate in them regularly, and host them.

After you get your feet wet by participating in a few carnivals, you’ll want to try hosting one. The first carnival I ever hosted was the Festival of Frugality #130. It was fun and wow, talk about traffic, hosting a carnival really brings a lot of new visitors! Most carnivals want you to submit a post to the carnival before you can host, so get to submitting if you are anxious to host. There are rules for hosting, too, which I did not cover in this post. Oh, and because you MUST read every submission, you end up meeting a lot of new people, too!

If you found this post to be helpful, please comment and let me know! And let me know when you submit to your first carnival!

Yours Truly,

OUT OF DEBT AGAIN is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. OUT OF DEBT AGAIN is an affiliate for several companies and may be compensated through advertising and marketing channels. This post may contain affiliate links.

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10 comments to What’s a Blog Carnival, How to Enter and Where To Find One?

  • Chicky

    What a great post! I’ve been wondering what carnival is and how to enter. Seriously your post helped me alot.

    [Reply]

  • Funny about Money

    Great overview! Thanks for the link.

    I’ve found that over time regular participation in carnivals really improves your readership. So does hosting the occasional carnival.

    Interestingly, the personal finance segment of the blogosphere seems to have the most and the best carnivals. I haven’t found any good ones for writing, for journalism (there’s one but it’s closed to all but a few participants), or for language and editing.

    I love the Make It from Scratch carnival!!!

    [Reply]

  • Mrs. Accountability

    Hi Chicky!! Thanks for visiting and I am so glad my post was helpful to you. I hope to see you posting to a carnival real soon! Hey, you can post your “story” about how you went to school and only charged up $26K debt and only five years in America are making $60K/year! That would be a great story!

    Funny! Wow, you two are on the ball tonight! I just posted not even an hour ago. I do find that my subscribers go up after I participate in a carnival, so I totally agree with your findings. Tsk-tsk, what good is a “closed” carnival? LOL! Thanks for visiting and commenting!

    [Reply]

  • This is so helpful to a newbie like myself! Thank you for your encouragement Mrs. Accountability. I’m excited to give this “carnival” stuff a try:)

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Stay at Home Mom CFO: You are very welcome! Have a great day!

    [Reply]

  • What an awesome post…. You have inspired me to try and get on some carnival’s and get my name out and about.

    [Reply]

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  • […] Did you enter any carnivals this week?  Want to know what it’s all about?  Check out my blog carnival tutorial: Mrs. Accountability’s What’s a Blog Carnival to learn more! […]

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  • […] at Out of Debt Again, Mrs Accountability has put together a great article on getting started with personal finance carnivals. If you’ve been thinking you want to get involved in some of these but aren’t sure where to […]

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