Being generous in linking to other blogs is key – this was more common in the past, as people tend to do sharing on Facebook, Twitter, etc. but there’s still a place for it as demonstrated by what tends to happen:
- ideas spread across the blogosphere quickly
- relationships between bloggers grew with each link
- everyone’s blogs grew.
In many ways this is something that I’ve always loved doing – pointing out interesting, quality content elsewhere, so today’s task re: outbound linking is an encouragement, but also a reminder to re-focus on this element. The #BigBible section of the site has always been designed to link to quality Bible content elsewhere on the web, rather than necessarily trying to create new content … so why would we want to send people to other blogs:
- Giving value to readers – offering them links to quality content
- Building credibility – it demonstrates to readers that you are in touch with the latest developments in the field (as someone who’s spent many hours on literature reviews, this is superbly familiar)
- Can help build connections with other bloggers – they are likely to be grateful for any traffic you send, and you’ll have that blog post in common to start a conversation… and hopefully continue conversations.
- Builds SEO. Too many outbound links look poor, but linking to other quality sites gives algorithms a sense that you are an authority in a particular area.
Ensure that the links that you make are of value and relevant.
To help find content
- subscribe to other blogs and sites in your niche
- watch social bookmarking sites that cover topics in your industry
- subscribe to news alerts with tools like Google Alerts.
How to build upon links, rather than ‘just go read it’
- Build on the points of others… refer people to the original article, but add further thoughts, reflections, draw material out, etc. Darren gives the example of 21 Ways to Write Posts – and write something like ‘3 more ways to write posts’.
- Take the opposite point of view – but if you want to build a relationship with that person (and remembering that there’s a human being behind that post) – do so respectfully and thoughtfully.
- Build a resource on a topic – building a set of links on a topic relevant to your blog. “You could present them simply as a list of links, or you could state the main points from each post, or even use quotes from each one.” See example: 21 Tips & Tricks for Bloggers. We had a great example of this with Rev Joanne Cox’s post on Advent Resources last year – got lots of extra hits.
- Speed linking to things that have caught your eye (example) – although Darren, as have I, tend to do more of this on Twitter (you’ll see me feeding through links from Google Alerts, RSS feeds, etc tp Big Bible – steady content has definitely led to an increase in followers).
- Conduct one question interviews – ask several bloggers the same question – takes a bit of time.
- I find this type of post most effective when you email the same question to a handful of bloggers in your niche, then compile all the answers into one post, side-by-side, so your readers can see different perspectives. Of course, don’t forget to link to the blogs of each of the people you interviewed!
- Suggest further reading, give examples, of give your own perspective on a topic in your niche – suggest further reading at the end of your posts…
- More ideas on ‘How to add to conversations’
- Collect your links, etc. in a useful place – e.g. Twitter, a text file, or Delicious …
- Space out the links far enough (example) that your readers attribute value to what you provide.