Blogging Basics for Aspiring Authors: Lesson 8
Once upon a time, bloggers stressed using links to help provide SEO for their sites. These days, linking is less talked about. Yet, inbound and outbound links still provide great value. Thus, including a link in each of your blog posts, or writing a link post, or a post that links to another post or includes a variety of links, can increase your search engine ranking, your traffic or create other interesting results. Maybe more important, link posts increase the value you provide to readers and help you connect with other bloggers and experts in your field.
At its basic level, a link post is one that revolves around information garnered from another article or blog post, to which you link. While search engines do value internal links within your own website (when you link to content on your blog), external, or outbound, links to other sites are highly valued as well.
Why Write a Link Post
There are several reasons to write a link post:
- Providing links to great information available elsewhere on the web and from other experts shows you are keeping abreast of what is happening in your industry or niche. This builds reader trust in you.
- Providing links adds value to what you do. Readers will benefit from you generously sharing great content and resources from others, and this will make them value you more as well.
- You can take current conversations on the internet to a new level or your own blog topics deeper by basing them on information others are providing.
- You can form relationships with other bloggers.
- You improve the SEO of your site.
How to Write a Link Post
To write a link post, simply find content elsewhere on the web that is valuable and interesting to your blog readers. It also will need to be relevant to the book you are blogging. Then write a post that discusses the concepts in that blogger’s post or that journalist’s article.
What might you say in your link article? Here are a few ideas:
- Elaborate on the blogger’s discussion; take the conversation a step farther.
- Take a different side of their argument.
- Act as a devil’s advocate.
- Provide case studies or data to support their point.
- Use yourself as an example of how what they say is true.
- Refute their point or evidence.
Whatever angle you choose for your post, of course, provide an outbound link to their content. Be sure to mention them or attribute any particular data or quotes to them.
More Link Post Ideas
Consider other ways to include links in your blog posts. For example, book and product reviews make good link posts because you can provide an outbound link to item you are discussing.
Some bloggers like to aggregate content into what is called a “blog carnival.” This is often a simple list of content submitted to them on a particular topic. For example, Joel Friedlander offers Carnival of the Indies and Penny Sansevieri provides AME Blog Carnival: Tips and Tricks for Writers and Authors. You could, however, aggregate what you feel is the best content from your favorite bloggers. Many people do this in their newsletters, but you can do it in a post.
Linking Provides Connections
More often than not, your link to someone else’s blog gets noticed by the other person—even if you don’t know it. Usually bloggers get a trackback notification, which let’s them know their post has been linked to somewhere else. They may also subscribe to Google Alerts, which lets them know when their name, blog or product is mentioned. If they are savvy, they pay attention and follow up on some of these links or mentions by leaving comments or sending an email.
This is what happened to Dan Blank of We Grow Media when he reviewed marketing expert and bestselling author Seth Godin’s Kickstarter campaign in a blog post. The post contained a link to the campaign. Low and behold, someone shared the link to Dan’s blog post with Seth. And he received an email from Seth, which resulted in an interview. You can watch and listen to it here. (I highly recommend it if you want to learn from an expert about Kickstarter.com programs and the value of author platform.) For Dan, an expert on platform building, I’m sure this was a big deal.
Linking to the work of other bloggers who are experts in your field also makes you a good community member. The link you place in your post sends them traffic. It supports them, and it may eventually help you develop professional relationships with those other bloggers.
As you can see, I made a special effort in this post to include many links—nine in all.
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