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Write a Link Post [Day 7 – 31DBBB]

Posted By Darren Rowse 12th of April 2009 Featured Posts, Writing Content 307

Write a Link PostIt is day 7 in the 31 Day challenge and today’s task is to write a ‘link post‘ – a post that links up to at least one other blog.

Someone asked me recently to name a few ways that I built a readership on my first blog. One of the answers that I gave to their question was that I was generous with linking to other blogs.

I wasn’t alone – back then (we’re talking 7 years ago) blogging revolved around the link. One blogger would write something and it wasn’t unusual to have hundreds of others link to it with posts that built upon the ideas of the first post in some way.

The result was that

  • ideas spread across the blogosphere quickly
  • relationships between bloggers grew with each link
  • and as a result everyone’s blog grew

While this still happens today on blogs to some degree much of the sharing of links has moved to other mediums (like Twitter and Social Bookmarking sites) and it’s commonplace for a blogger to rarely link to other blogs on their blog because they’re either doing it in other places or they feel they’d be building up a competitor.

Your Task Today is to Link Link Link

Today your task is to reclaim some of this practice of linking to other blogs and to write a post that highlights what another blogger (or bloggers) in your niche has written.

Reasons to link out on your blog

  1. Giving something of value to your readers – while your readers come to your blog to read what you have to say – I find that in almost every case that I link up to quality content that readers are appreciative.
  2. Builds Your Credibility – regularly highlighting what others are writing in your niche shows your readers that you’re abreast of developments in your field and that you’re ‘connected’ to the network.
  3. Builds Relationships with Other Bloggers – there’s nothing like sending another blogger traffic to make an impression and build connections. Not only that, when you link to others in a constructive way that actually builds upon their ideas and adds value to a conversation that they’ve started it can often lead to ongoing interactions.
  4. SEO – some SEOs argue that linking out to other relevant content in your niche with relevant keywords as anchor text can have an impact upon how the search engines see your own site. You don’t want to go over the top and link out too much – but a few links to quality content on your topic may well show a search engine that you’re worthy of authority. It’s certainly not the main factor in Google’s algorithm but many argue that it helps.

The key with this task is to link to something of value – something that your readers will find relevant and helpful to them.

Of course building this practice into your blogging means you need to be aware of what’s happening in your particular part of the web. To do this you’ll probably want to:

  • 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 Googles News alerts etc

6 Types of Link Posts to Consider

There are many ways to link up to another blog in a way that is valuable. Let me give you a few suggestions on ways to do it that go beyond just giving your readers and link and saying ‘go read it’:

1. Build Upon the Points of Others – take an article that someone has written and then add some points and perspectives that they might have missed or not considered. A classic way to do this is to take a list post that someone has written and add an extra couple of points. For example if someone writes a post ‘21 Ways to Write Posts that Are Guaranteed to Grow Your Blog‘ – write a post ‘3 more Ways to Write Posts that Are Guaranteed to Grow Your Blog’ that links to the first post – that might pick up a few of the points and then extends the article by suggesting 3 of your own points.

2. Take the Opposite Point of View – another way to bounce off someone else’s post is to explore the opposing point of view to their post. You might do this as ‘devils advocate’ or because you actually believe the opposite of what they’re saying is true. Keep in mind that this might not build a relationship with the other blogger if you do it in a way that offends!

3. Build a Resource on a Topic – pick a topic in your niche and then spend some time what other bloggers in your niche have written on that topic previously. What you’ll probably end up with is a list of posts from other blogs all on the one topic. You could present them simply as a list of links or could state the main points from each post or even use quotes from each one. These types of posts often do well in social media sites – particularly if you gather a large list of helpful resources on the topic.

Example: DIY Lighting Hacks for Digital Photographers – this post was simply a collection of tutorials that others had written on a similar topic. I included a picture and short description of each one as a list. The post was passed around the web in many social media sites. Yesterdays post here at Problogger 27 Must Read Tips and Tutorials for Bloggers would be another example of this.

4. Speed Linking – I used to do this regularly on ProBlogger (example) (note: I’ve moved most of it over to my Twitter account). The idea was that on a given day I’d link to 5-6 posts that I came across in my daily reading for that day. The links generally didn’t relate strongly to one another but covered a broad range of topics that I felt were relevant to my readers.

Example: a while ago I wrote a post 25 Great Photography Tutorials and Links from Around the Web. It was simply a collection of a few great tutorials that others had written from the month or two before when I published the post (plus a few of my own links from our archives). This post made it to the front page of Digg and other social media sites simply because it contained some great tutorials.

5. One Question Interviews – this one takes a little co-ordination and advanced planning but is when you shoot a question out to another blogger (or bloggers) to get their perspective on a topic relevant to your readers. I find these most effective when you email the same question to 5 or so other bloggers in your niche and then compile all the answers into one post side by side so your readers can see different perspectives.

6. Suggest Further Reading and Give Examples – another common way to linking to others as well as creating value for readers and extra depth in your posts is to to add links to what others are saying on your topic in the day to day writing of posts. Your post might not be a ‘link post’ in and of itself as you cover a topic comprehensively from your own perspective – but this doesn’t stop you giving your readers some suggested reading at the end of your post on the topic at hand.

There are 6 suggestions for you but there are so many others that you could try. For more ideas check out a post I wrote called How to Add to Blogging Conversations… and Eliminate the Echo Chamber.

What others have said on this topic:

Your Task – Write a Link Post

OK – we’ve talked about why and how to do it – now it is time to go and write a link post. Once you’ve done it come back and tell us how you did it, what you learned, where the post is and what impact it has with readers and other bloggers.

PS: if you can find something relevant on another 31 Days participants blog it’d be great to share some link love to other bloggers in the community. I’ve seen quite a few 31DBBB participants starting to team up and support one another – why not reach out to someone today and see where it leads! There are loads of people over at the forum talking about this now: Day 7 – Write a Link Post

Want More?

This task is a sample of one of the tasks in the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Workbook – a downloadable resource designed to reinvigorate and revitalize blogs.

Join over 14,000 other bloggers and Get your Copy Today.

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.
Comments
  1. This is what blog community is all about. Helping others. Not only in this. In real life the best way to be successful in something is helping others. By linking to another post with same niche and same “hobby” you are helping others.

    I always link to another content.

    http://traffic-payout.blogspot.com
    “Traffic To Your Website”

    My latest post: “The 7 Lies Of Network Marketing” book from Ann Sieg (famous writer/blogger/marketer)

    After you read it, tell me what you think!

    Why 95% people fail online?

  2. LINK TO OTHER BLOGS…GOT IT.

    his to me was the first distinction on blogging that I got from Hugh Hewitt. The idea of a post vs and article.

    A post being a quick paragraph or two opinion or referral related to someone’s blog or news item.

    I have a tendency to focus on news items since I started blogging around the radio it was just easier for me to do.

    Last night I definitely wrote more of an article that took several hours versus the 15-30 for a post or even a length 60 min. post.

    http://yotamak.blogs.com/davidkamatoy/2009/04/congratulations-to-rebecca-gardner-jennifer-begley-great-review-of-ballet-ariels-10th-anniversary-co.html

  3. Okay, I finished my assignment. Took longer than I wanted but glad to have taken the challenge.

    Darren, again thank you for helping us build better blogs. I’m really learning a lot and applying every nugget you’ve shared.

    Here’s my link blog assignment: “Blogging to Serve – Part I” — which builds on a previous assignment and previous tips.

    http://writingtoserve.net/?p=529

  4. It’s a little complicated about manga and anime in Spain but you give me some ideas. Thanks

  5. This is something that I’ve been doing all along, nice to see that eventually it’s going to pay off.

    Today’s piece on transplanting seedlings from the safety of my grow spot to the garden and how it’s like dating has two external links and two internal links.

    http://veriance.blogspot.com/2009/04/preparing-seedlings-for-great-outdoors.html

  6. This is just a simple post I did on places to find free software application. http://www.simpletechtoday.com/5-articles-to-find-top-free-software-applications/

  7. I find writing takes me a lot of time but this exercise was a lot faster than sual. It’s like commenting but you have a lot more say.

    I basically went to google and typed in “ways to *keyword*”then looked for the top blog post on that topic. I thought of 3 more ways to *keyword* from my previous posts. It was great the way I could work in my existing content with links as well, and a great time to further contemplate my brand

    Here is my completed homework:
    http://www.excitedbylife.com/happiness/3-more-easy-ways-to-be-happy-right-now/

  8. I’m a little behind in my assignments, but was able to write a post with both links to other blogs and link to some of my older posts.

    http://thisartistsjourney.blogspot.com/2009/04/squidoo-and-altered-books.html

  9. bettina says: 04/16/2009 at 1:55 am

    I have to catch up…I have never linked back to another blog..not it is time for me to learn

  10. bettina says: 04/16/2009 at 2:06 am

    I have to catch up…I have never linked back to another blog..now it is time for me to learn

  11. I am getting late in catching up with the updates there Darren, but, better late than never, so goes the saying.

    Today I have written what you have specified and I have tried to educate my readers and let the new readers also know that I have covered vast topics other than the current post is related to and have pointed them to the relevant posts.

    All in all, my today’s post, How to increase the torrent downloading speeds in Windows Operating System? does illustrate the procedure with examples cited from the previous posts.

    I wish my readers would follow the lead and share what their views are.

  12. I write a restaurant review blog. Since it’s new,and there are over 110 rstaurants in our small village, I do link to other reviews that have been written. I’ll supplement MY reviews with them later, and fo rnow, when I haven’t had a chance to try each place yet, I can still have info on them .

  13. My goal was to share a resource with my readers that would help them grow their businesses as well as help their clients. So I shared Smallbiztrends.com in this post: http://www.provabydesign.com/is-your-finger-on-the-pulse/. I also linked to Yaro Starak’s podcast where I first heard about Anita Campbell and Small Business Trends.

    Thanks Darren – I’m really filling in a lot of the missing pieces!

  14. I had previously linked to a travel book store, and they put me on their newsletter list. Today their newsletter included a list of books for Earth Day. I wrote a post with three books I suggested for Earth Day and a link to their more comprehensive list on their web site.

    Since not a lot of bloggers blog on my subject, I am happy to find someone to link to, but am inclined to ask someone who writes about books and travel to do a guest blog instead.

  15. I trying to use this challenge to focus my blog. I’ve linked like this in the past, but the challenge made it clear that I need to get a little more creative and start to do some different kinds of link posts other than my usual ‘shout outs’. That said, the ideas weren’t flowing so I posted links to funny stuff I found that my readers would like too.

    http://afterthebubbly.blogspot.com/2009/04/easter-therapy-and-deadly-legumes.html

  16. I also trying to remember to look over my work before I hit the button!

  17. I do this every week with a post that summarizes some of the interesting travel news and articles I have seen:

    Travel News – Planes Without Pilots, Plane Hotel, Uruguay Forgives, Zimbabwe Dumps Currency – http://digg.com/u1181h

  18. I’ve done this, but your tips will make the post more effective next time. This one was done spontaneously before I read your article: http://shaylapn.blogspot.com/2009/04/discovering-color-with-master-artists.html

    Any artists out there that want to team up?

  19. You have to make sure you give something of quality that people want to link back to. Keep it fresh and unique!

  20. I had been avoiding to link others but now onwards, I will try to be a good guy! :P

  21. I linked to a great architectural post on the Mediterranean Revival style, as well as pointing to one of my listings that has that style.

    http://florida.ssimms.com/2009/04/16/mediterranean-revival-architecture-in-florida/

  22. I tried this here: http://eloranicole.wordpress.com/2009/04/16/you-are-here/

    We’ll see what it does to traffic. So far, it hasn’t really done a lot. I can see where it would be beneficial, though.

  23. I forgot to come back and post my blog for this assignment:
    http://teen-entrepreneurs.com/2009/04/your-desk/

  24. Thanks for the insight on this topic. From talking with other bloggers, they are always very cautious about mentioning another blog, or another blogger.

    I’d have to agree with you though and I plan to reference the few blogs and bloggers that I actually follow, including you. Thanks again!

  25. I also forgot to come back and share my link post with you all. Enjoy!

    http://simplyblog.net/online-friend-or-real-world-sales-person/

  26. The main objective of my post is to link to post that give the best data, so I do a lot of linking. But I have not linked by building on the points in another blog…this sounds like fun!

    Sheila

  27. i like this tip especially that i use it some times
    here is my post for this task
    http://www.speechstarter.com/how-can-you-transform-your-new-business-into-a-revenue-stream/

  28. I just finished posting an entry to complete this task.

    It’s http://www.firmfamilytree.com/home-schooling-failures-Sunderland.html

    Absolutely love this challenge and plan on repeating it many times in the future.

  29. Although I do insert links in most articles–I don’t always do it on a regular basis.

    I like the resource idea and have collected some topics in my editorial list for future blog posts that are contrary to previous ones, have a more inclusive view of the topic, and other ideas.

  30. I actually did this just yesterday without knowing what today’s task would be. Good thing because I have a sick husband and not much time to blog this weekend. Great stuff, by the way.

  31. My blog is about creativity and design using fabric: http://artquiltmaker.com/blog

    I have spent the past two days in a class and it really lent itself to linking out. I linked to other artists and to older posts in my own blog. I do link out to a lot of other sites, blogs etc as a general rule. I like creating a web of information and I use it to save things for myself in the future.
    Hope you check it out:
    http://artquiltmaker.com/blog/2009/04/the-aha-momentthe-aha-moment/

  32. I am probably the latest one to leave a comment here, the Easter holidays left me without an internet access, now I still have a backlog to cope with. I did write a link post. http://info.ulrich-schrader.de/node/636 and even got some comments. I think what really did help was the trackback functionality on the original block.
    Thank you so much for all your effort.
    Ulrich

  33. As per today’s task I have created a link post on ” 6 Blogs And Their Value that Every Blogger Should Know”

    http://www.bloggertalkz.com/2009/04/20/6-blogs-and-their-value-that-every-blogger-should-know/

    Please let me know your comments.

    Thanks,
    Krish

  34. Great experience! Here’s my attempt at a link blog – I’d love any feedback or constructive criticism.

    Raising Charitable Children
    http://twurl.nl/aguete

  35. I’ve linked to web pages here to support my argument about health care:http://theplumduff.blogspot.com/2009/04/one-giant-aspirin-wont-solve-problem.html. Although I haven’t linked to a blog, I’m thinking of following up with a short posting listing blogs with similar concerns.

  36. Great post! I’m a bit behind schedule (ok, a LOT behind schedule), but I’m working to catch up.

    I wrote an article titled “10+ Slick Smooth Scrolling Portfolios” that features 10+ sites that use javascript to create smooth scrolling effects. Here’s the link:

    http://www.tutwow.com/roundups/10-slick-smooth-scrolling-portfolios/

  37. Another great idea! I’ve actually started doing this with a new series I call, “In the News…”

    I’ve found interesting blog and website articles on health & fitness topics and linked to them. You can see an example at:

    http://fitforfaith.blogspot.com/2009/04/in-news_21.html

    Kimberley

  38. Hey everybody, thought I would post mine for critique and review…

    http://localvictor.com/2009/04/23/free-local-internet-marketing-book/

    Really enjoying the process! Good luck to all!

    Kirk

  39. Yes, I’m a little (okay, a lot) behind the mainstream, but hanging in there! My post is about canine weight loss, specifically about one of my own dogs that needs to lose weight:

    http://brilliant-disguise.net/looktwice/2009/04/23/counting-canine-calories-23-of-3089-of-274/

    I linked to a current post on the Dolittler veterinary blog about canine calorie counting:

    http://www.dolittler.com/2009/04/23/Counting-calories-in-fat-dog-weight-loss-and-the-role-of-intelligence.html

    and related the information to my Day 7 link post as well as a prior post I’d made about my dog needing to lose weight:

    http://brilliant-disguise.net/looktwice/2009/03/14/giving-up-calories-14-of-3149-of-274/

    My main blog topics are dogs and technology, and there are a lot of blogs out there with those topics, but it did take a little looking to find a good informative post to link to that was related to something I wanted to write about.

  40. I liked the idea of the 1 question interview, this is something I haven’t tried before. The bloggers I contacted were more than happy to provide quotes and it was interesting to read their advice. I will definitely try this tactic again! Here is my article (yes, I’m way behind with the challenges!):

    Blog Yourself a Green Job
    http://greengigs.blogspot.com/2009/04/blog-yourself-green-job.html

  41. thanks! a different way of prooting your blog. instaed of really focusing on creating backlinks for your site why not give first! it’s better to give than to receive.

  42. I did this a while back and am feeling really validated that I was on the right track (a little).

    Check it out.
    http://yournontoxiclife.blogspot.com/2009/02/10-things-i-am-seriously-annoyed-about.html

    I would also love a “link partner” if anyone is interested.

  43. Marian den Boer says: 04/28/2009 at 3:54 am

    Linking is fun. Blogging is fun. This 31 Day Challenge is the best free seminair I’ve ever attended. I am learning so much that I would have never figured out on my own. I set up my blog as a prepetual epilogue and appendixes to my recently published book. I’ve set up a little contents box in my gadgets and linked to the introduction and a sample chapter and endorsements for the book. I’ve also linked a picture of my book cover to Amazon. Without this 31 Day Challenge I would not even have thought these things were possible to do.

    Thank-you so much.
    Marian den Boer
    http://mariandenboer.blogspot.com/

  44. Here is my link post http://www.unlocktheonlineworld.com/five-places-to-get-website-design-inspiration/

    I’ve been doing things out of order it seems because I wrote it as my list post

  45. I actually wrote this post when I read this, but I just got around to publishing it:

    http://www.veribatim.com/blog/2009/04/27/what-makes-a-website-beautiful/

    I’ve been planning a design post for a long time and I thought, what better way to show some link love than to some of the most beautiful design blogs I read? So here it is!

  46. I am a bit behind…got wrapped up in trying to read all of the links on day 6 (I am a newbie and thought I needed every hint I could get) but decided to move on today and go back to 6 later… My post for today’s assignment is:
    http://thesimplelifekdl.blogspot.com/2009/05/sovereignty.html
    My blog is about Christianity and Special Needs Parenting. I started it to fill a void I’ve seen in the Christian community. I was pretty surprised when I searched autism on Technorati and this article popped up #3 of some 13,000.
    http://www.desiringgod.org/Blog/1769_god_is_purposeful_in_creating_all_people/
    It related to some other posts I’ve written so I typed up a quick post and published it with just a few of my own comments (linked back to my relevant posts).
    Very cool.

  47. I am behind too, however I am slowly working through my assignments.

    Here is my post for today’s task.

    http://sindyrichardson.wordpress.com/2009/05/03/6-favourite-posts-from-31dbbb/

  48. This has probably been the most difficult task to date. I am unable to find any worthwhile blogs in my particular field. Those I have found appear to have been abandoned.
    I wonder how many blogs start then die within a few months?

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