This post is written mainly to blogging beginners or to those who may get a little lazy in their blogging. One thing I consistently enjoy is checking links from blogs I read to other blogs. It’s a way that I often discover new writers that I enjoy and find new things to think and write about.
However, as much as I enjoy finding these hidden nuggets, it’s equally frustrating to be reading a blog and see someone mentioned in the blog who is not linked for the reader’s convenience. Here are some reasons for taking the extra 10 seconds to create a link to someone’s blog when you mention their name or allude to an entry of theirs:
- It drives traffic from your site to theirs. They can see where incoming links are coming from (most bloggers have some sort of counter/stat plugin installed for this).
- It builds blogging rapport. Many times, a blogger will come visit your site when they see you’ve linked their site. Often, if they like what they see, they will also link you.
- It builds new friendships, relationships and influence. You never know when the extra time you take to link will bring someone to your site who ends up being a regular reader and eventually a friend. I’ve had several blogging friendships started with a simple link.
- It promotes integrity. It’s waaaay to easy to copy and paste on the net. Linking to your sources helps you stay honest and also communicates to your readers that you care about attributing information to proper sources. In the long run, it makes you a credible blogger and source of information.
- Encouragement. When a new blogger begins blogging within your circle of friends or influence, it’s amazing how a simple mention in your blog of them (with a link, of course) will encourage them. They’ll immediately see traffic from your site, and they’ll be encouraged to continue blogging and blogging well.
- Quality. When you link regularly, it has a way of holding the bloggers you link to accountable to a higher standard of writing. If your blog is one of great, consistent quality, they will also be challenged to “live up to” your willingness to link them.
- Trust. By linking to another’s site, you are in essence saying that you are willing for your carefully cultivated readership to associate you with them. With that said, be careful about linking to sites with questionable content. When your readers find links of consistent interest, amusement, encouragement or direction, they will frequent your blog and oftentimes link your blog to their own because you become a “fount of information.”
- Waste someone else’s time. One negative of effective linking is that folks can wind up chasing rabbits on the net forever. They read something great on your blog and then follow your link somewhere else… then a link there leads them somewhere else. Before they realize it, an hour has passed… and you are the initial culprit… But aren’t you glad you have the self-discipline to limit your own internet reading? 😉
- Build your readership. I think that’s been implied in several of the above points, but the way the internet functions these days is obviously like a spider web. A small movement at one spot on the web can cause a tremor somewhere else. By linking consistently in your blog entries, you’ll eventually see more traffic on your own blog. For instance, if someone is searching for “Joel Osteen,” and you’ve written about him and linked to his church, any search for his church or for him will also turn up your own site and its mention of him. Some folks are shameless about doing this. They use linking for the simple purpose of getting linked or noticed in search engines.