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13 Tips on Asking other Bloggers for Links

Posted By Darren Rowse 21st of November 2005 Blog Promotion 55

Robert writes a blog tip on how to ask him for a link in his post – A PR tip, don’t beg for links:

‘Never beg a blogger for links. Say, instead, “here’s something you might find interesting.”’

Here’s a few other tips when you’re emailing other bloggers with links. I’m speaking here both as someone who occasionally lets others know about posts I’ve written but also as someone who gets my fair share of emails:

  1. Check to see if they’ve already written about it – This is a pretty important one. If you’re letting them know of a breaking story that they have already posted about it’s not a good look – at least scan their front page before shooting them the email.
  2. Don’t be offended if they don’t reply or use your link – some bloggers (like Robert) get heaps of ‘check out this link’ emails every day. They can’t possibly link to every one or acknowledge everyone with a reply.
  3. Make sure your link is relevant and useful – Be selective in which posts you promote in this way. Only send relevant stories out to bloggers who have a specific interest in that particular niche.
  4. Be Selective in which posts you promote – as interesting as YOU might find every post that you write – consider that every post on a blog is not going to have wide appeal. Carefully select the cream of the crop to promote in this way or you might just develop a reputation for being a bit of a spammer. Perhaps there is something in the story of ‘the Boy who cried Wolf’ to be learned…..we could rewrite it as ‘The Blogger who Cried ‘Great Link!’
  5. Personalize it – In an age when you can notify thousands of people of something with the click of a mouse it’s amazing what using a person’s name can achieve. Show the blogger that you’ve taken the effort to send them and them alone an email by mentioning their blog, name etc and you up your chances of it being read and responded to. If you’re sending notifications to more than one person be especially careful that you don’t send an email out with someone else’s name on it!
  6. Remember that you might not be the only person giving them the tip – I quite often get the same story from multiple people (I guess when you get a reputation in a niche you are often the first place people will turn to when a relevant story breaks). While I like to credit sources of information – sometimes it is hard when you could link to 10 people or when you found it yourself first.
  7. Introduce yourself – Consider a brief introduction (and I mean brief – see below). Blogging is about relationship – people like to link to people they know, respect and have relationship with. A quick introduction of who you are and what your blog is can begin to build relationship. Of course if you are sure they know you already – you might want to skip this one – although if they are a big blogger don’t assume they know you because you’ve had contact with them before – it’s easy to forget. You might want to include a signature in your post with your details to help overcome this.
  8. Keep it brief – Most people are busy and don’t have time to wade through long emails with convoluted explanations or introductions. Attempt to keep it short and to the point.
  9. Keep it informative – An email that says ‘check out this link’ doesn’t give me any reason to check it out. But if you tell me the topic you might just peak my interest. Again – be brief – but give the main point in a few words of what the story is.
  10. Give something away – This might not be appropriate to every post you write. But one thing I often do when notifying someone of a post is to offer them free use of the picture that I have on my post. This is particularly relevant for when I’m notifying someone of a post I’ve written on one of my product blogs. Of course the picture has to be yours to give away (or copyright free) but if you help them make their post be as comprehensive as possible without them having to do a whole heap of work you might just get the result you’re after.
  11. Be Generous with your own links – While I don’t generally consider whether the person chasing a link has linked to me – I suppose in the back of one’s mind must be the memory of a past relationship with the person. If you’ve linked up to them previously you might have made an impression.
  12. Original content is best – If you’re asking for a link to your own story you’ll have a better chance of a link up if it is original content. If you’re just linking to someone else you’re less likely to get linked to. If it’s a story that you’re linking to make sure you add your own comments or take on the story – make it your own in a sense.
  13. Learn from your experiences – As you do this more and more you’ll learn a few things. Firstly you’ll learn who responds well to being notified and who doesn’t. Secondly you’ll learn about what types of links people respond to and what types they ignore. Learn from this and let your future practicing of it be impacted by it. If someone never responds or links up – maybe it’s worth not emailing them any more – you might just be annoying them. If they ask you to stop sending them links – respect their request. If you notice that a certain type of link gets lots of links – consider writing more of these and letting people know about them etc.

I’m sure there are other tips that readers here would give. Feel free to add your own tips on how to ask for links from other bloggers in comments below.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  • This might sound strange, but I have done that before . . . Think before you link with someone you wouldn’t sit down to lunch with. It can a problem either in the communication or in what the link says about you.

    Also it never hurts to say a brief “thank you,” when someone chooses to link with you. Everyone likes to be acknowledged for their generosity.

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  • I’m surprised that this works in a lot of cases due to the Slashdot and Digg effects of more users, more bandwith used but less ads/impressions clicked – even if you are creating original content.

  • 1 Don’t:

    Don’t leave a comment on a site pointing to your own site and fail to leave your own contact information. I had a reporter leave a link to one of his articles in a comment on my site, but he didn’t have the common courtesy to leave a name ( I don’t require them, yet). When I looked at the comment on the site, it was fairly quickly obvious that the comment had come from his paper when I looked up the IP address.

    So be courteous and don’t try to hide your identity. Don’t try to pretend to be something your not.

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  • One thing I have found that works relatively well is looking for other blogs or websites that outright ask for participation on their frontpage. This is an open invitation to ask to submit your content. I often write about Linux and there are several sites out there that are looking for content.

  • kim

    Another tip: Don’t approach as if you’re entitled to the link. More often than not, I’m approached with a “I’ve had a link to your site on mine for several months; please reciprocate.” Nope. I owe them nothing, and let them know that I’m selective about the links I provide, and will add links I specifically find important or interesting. Sure, I appreciate the link to me, but I value my own editorial judgment and freedom more.

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  • Great post Darren, you’ve really nailed every aspect of this topic.

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  • Is it enough just to post a comment and gather links to your blog and to your website, I just wonder if thi sis an affective way of linking

  • Is it enough just to post a comment and gather links to your blog and to your website, I just wonder if this is an affective way of linking

  • It is easier to get links when my blogs or websites’s topics are similar to the sites and also when the reciprocal link site’s google page rank is high.
    But for newbies sites, it is very difficult to get quality links.

  • I especially like your tip, Darren, to “keep it brief” (#8) – this not only shows courtesy to the busy person you’re contacting, but also helps you make effective use of your own time.

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  • thanks, i needed those tips

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  • Thank you for the insightful information…

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  • Excellent topic.

    It bugs me when I get emails from people who have been blogging a day and a half and they tell me that they have linked to me and would appreciate a link back. It kind of puts me on the spot.

    I have also gotten emails telling me that they have linked to me and that they would appreciate a link back. Then, a few days later I get a “warning” email telling me that I am in danger of losing my link from them because I haven’t yet linked to them.

    I don’t know if I speak for all bloggers, but I say link to who you want. We check our stats and can figure out when someone new is linking to us. Eventually, we will see your blog. Just be patient.

    I try to do my part by sharing new blogs with a special Blog of the Week feature.

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  • It’s wierd, but I’m so new at this whole thing that I both stumble on the right things to do and make mistakes on the wrong way to do things in the blog world. But, I think what’s helped me in terms of trying to gain traffic (which is hard and I don’t think I’m doing that well yet) is that I just act like a human. I ask for help from people who offer it just like I might in real life. I try to go to their sites frequently and look around and see if there’s anything I might find interesting to click around to. I’ve only outright asked for one link but that was because I came across someone who was newly running a site and I just thought my site might be a nice match. She and I have been communicating regularly since them. I’m working my way through the less human ways of doing things (i.e., being on every one of those sites out there like Digg & De…), but, I try to get to one or two new things a day. I love hearing that it’s about content, because my site, rightly or wrongly, started strictly as content, and then became a bit about trying to use affiliate ads because I stumbled across a great article on that by Steve Pavlina (whose site I linked to, but from whom I did not ask for a link). And, I just post, post, post — I submitted to ezine, and carnivals and we’ll see what happens. And there’s a few people who I link to because somehow they’ve been good sources — like now, I’ll link to this site where it’s appropriate. So, thanks for all your advice everyone here especially Darren.

  • Thanks for all those great infos. I´m setting up a NGO blog and have to keep my precious save from all those voices screaming “PR, marketing, action, page hits!”. In the end, it just needs to be a damn good read for the people. I´ve spent the last three hours here and will come back. By the way: If you offer all this advice for free, how do you make money ;-) ?

  • Thanks for all the great tips. I’m just starting out with my blog. I’m having so much fun just blogging, and that’s where my focus is — continue to have fun! As a rule, I check out other sites that interest me, naturally, and I guess I will eventually talk to them about linking up.

    Thanks again,

    Linda

  • Great topic Darren. Another tip is not to ask for a link from a Page Ranking website, but offer them a non PR link to someone elses link directory in return. If you ask me for a link, I expect one of the same PR value. While Im at it would anyone like to off er me a link? hehehehe :)

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  • Great tips Darren!
    I’m relatively new to the blogging world. It’s not too much different from the “old” way of reciprocal linking. Same common sense rules apply here as well.
    Regards,
    Keith Deveau

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  • My blog is very sector specific, UKbased, and lacking professional support from external sites. It’s difficult to get links when there are no compadres to make such a request to.

    I guess my attempts to get whacked on directories are the best way to get ‘linkbaited’.

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  • Hello All

    I’m new to blogging and was wondering if anyone had a short email script they could provide me with in asking bloggers for links. I won’t use it exactly of course, I will just use it as a source of inspiration.

    Your help is greatly appreciated!
    Azngal

  • As it is noted the key is – the guy you ask a link for should have the same theme as your blog. There are a lot of con artists whose blogs are nothing more than BS. So find the type of guys who are genuine, think like you and are interested in your blog, its therme and content.

    Goodluck and Godbless,

    Regards,
    Vishnu

  • I recently set up by blog (covering UK Football, or soccer to you across the pond), and was about to embark on some blog ‘community work’.

    One thing that I will do is in my emails, introduce myself, and ask for them to pick a fantasy football style team. I’ll set up a fake tournament (with the matches played out by my 360), post results and tournament news on my blog, and hopefully other bloggers will get invloved and post about it on their site.

    I’ll let you know how it goes!

  • Hi! My blog is about one and half month old only, and I am really new in this blogging business. Anyways, my friends like my blog so much and they promised me to share it with others. I think it’s good that I use 1 to 3 sentences only per post to make it simple and not “boring”. I also add some pictures to make it more attractive. However, I just want to ask if it is healthy if my blog sounds too “general” and “too many topics” involved?…thanks and good luck to all of us!

  • Great article. What bothers me most is when people get to the point too quickly and simply ask for a link and say “check my site and link there if you like it. I’ll do the same!!” It isn’t the worst request, except bloggers are typically busy writing and I really don’t want to surf to your site just to decide if it’s relevant to my site. Follow the advice here and at least give a brief description!

    For instance, at my site we try to track down lies, cheats, political correct mumbo jumbo, and defeat the evil fat, lazy mentality that has invaded our society. But a lot people don’t find it funny or helpful. We either make people change, laugh, or … ummm… sometimes cry. It’s a hard job, but someone has to do it. Therefore, I Blog Fat

    http://iblogfat.blogspot.com/

    Let’s see how many of you click thru! Hopefully you won’t drop me too much hate mail if you’re overweight and/or easily offended!

  • Hi, I’m Pearl and I have had problem optimizing my blog which all about the travels and events in the Philippines. I hope this would be useful. I’m really excited.

  • I think that it is fine to request link from others, but to request it because you link their site to yours is simply unethical. Actually, I just made a post about unethical lines of bloggers and requesting exchange link is one of them.

  • Merry Christmas!

    Just couldn’t help doing some light reading while waiting for the kids to wake up and open presents.

    I’m struck by what Guardian Angel said – ” to request it [reciprocal links] because you link their site to yours is simply unethical.” I don’t think anything could be farther from the truth. Nothing unethical at all about two webmasters/bloggers working together to help their readers/viewers.

    If you want to talk about unethical linking, you might want to mention link farms, ‘paid for links’, and 3-way linking (in an effort to fool search engines) well ahead of reciprocal linking. Matt Cutts seems to think reciprocal links are ‘natural.’

  • Hi, Mr. Carrer Video Expert. I think you misunderstood my comment. I can’t blame you, I suppose I lack the root words. Anyway, if you’ll read my post entitled “Common Unethical Lines By Bloggers” on my blog, you will notice that I am not against two bloggers linked with anyone else, or rquesting for exchange links. What I think is “unethical” is when you will only link one’s site to yours if he will only link your site to him. Isn’t it unethical? What if one’s site will worth to link to yours because you used his post as reference to your post, will you require him to link your site to him before you link his site to yours? I don’t think it’s fair, and this is what I meant. Sorry if I mislead you.

  • Thanks a lot for sharing the tips for wannabe bloggers like us. I think, good networking with bloggers from the similar field always work. If they see value in it, they will definitely link out to you, you don’t have to ask for it. Being aggressive surely, will not hep and you will be frown upon

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  • Thanks darren,
    The posts was quite impressive, i am going to use some of the tips you have mention, Also i would like you to visit my posts http://theadsensemoney.blogspot.com/2008/03/how-much-revenue-you-can-generate-from.html
    stating that you are earning 6 figure monthly from blogging.

    Thanks

  • Very good tips, all the bloggers should know that and not beg for links anymore.

  • Good info Darren. I must say though that the most important think is that you are providing value or at most, have something worthwhile for the person you are contacting to link back to.