Linking for the Best Results
Places to Link
- About Me pages.
- Message Boards.
- Other Blogs.
- Blog Posts.
Linking is important to do for gaining traffic to your blog, site, or even to your articles. However, knowing when, where, and how to link isn't always easy to know. It is easy to cross the line into spamming and make a negative view of yourself all over the web. Following some guidelines for each type of link that you leave will make it a lot easier for you to get positive, high quality, frequently used links.
E-mails are a great place to leave your links. They offer free advertising, help keep your contacts informed of what you are up to, and are rarely seen as offensive. You have two options and with each one comes a few guidelines to keep your e-mails friendly.
- The first method is to add a signature to your e-mails. Here you can add links to your blog, website, or articles. You then send out your e-mails as normal and your links are automatically included. This is easy to do and rarely offensive to the receiver. However, it is a bad idea to get carried away. Ten or fifteen links is likely to be annoying to the one getting the e-mail. Keep it limited. Aim for three links. These can be to your blog, your website, and your profile on your favorite writing site. If you have too many sites to choose from then make a hub site for linking everything together.
- The second e-mail method is to put together an e-mail specifically aimed at highlighting some of your work. This can then be sent to your friends, family, and any appropriate contacts that you have. However, this can easily feel like spam and if done too often will annoy those getting your e-mails. It is highly likely that they will quit reading your e-mails if you aren't careful. To keep it simple, make sure you write an e-mail. Talk about what you have been up to and highlight five links. These can be links to your blog(s), website(s), profile(s), or specific articles, but don't get more then five links in the e-mail. Mail out these types of e-mails no more then once a month. In fact, once every two months is a better option so that it doesn't feel like you are always trying to round up readers!
- Creating a Hub Site
A hub site lets you link all of your websites, blogs, and profiles together in one easy place. You can then promote a single link for better traffic to all.
About Me Pages and Profiles
Any about me or profile page will work. Most of us have some of these all over the Internet. Some suggestions include your writing sites, your website, your blog, MySpace, Facebook, MyLot, message boards, and forums where you have an about me page. They can make for great places to include links and there are even a lot of different links you can add. However, if your profile is too full of links then you will probably not get many readers. Follow these rules for good links in your about me and profile pages.
- Keep the number of links to a few. In fact, unless there are lots of easy spaces provided, only add two links to each profile. If you have lots consider a hub site.
- Make sure your links are in appropriate places. It is best if they have a space for them and you just add them. You can also add them to the bottom of your page.
- Make sure you fill in the profile as much as possible. This gives people some time to get to know you and actually gives them a bit of information. Don't just use your profile for links.
Message boards, forums, and other blogs.
Message boards, forums, and blogs are great places to leave links. However, they are frequently misused and spammed as well. You can avoid these things by following a few simple rules.
- Follow the rules and terms of service of each site that you use. Many will tell you how, if, and when you can use links. This is important because if you break the rules other users will be mad about it and your post will most likely get deleted.
- Be active on the site. If you have an active presence then the link will mean more then if you just pop in to share your links.
- Leave only relevant links. This means that any where you link, you will have to read what you are linking to.
- Leave relevant comments with your links. You should leave a comment that is fifty words or more and adds to the conversation or post. Explain what you know or your opinion and how the link included benefits the reader and the discussion at hand.
- If leaving a link on the blog then stick to just the one provided with your name. Always connect the link to something that goes with the blog that you are commenting on. Don't leave a link to your craft article on a parenting site (unless the link is crafts with kids).
- If you are going to leave a link make sure that it is really worth it. Don't just thank the blogger and leave your link. Instead comment on the post, add something to it, and explain why the link is relevant (have I said that enough yet?).
Articles and blog posts.
Articles and blog posts that you write can be used in similar fashions. You can add a link or two within the blog or article to make a better piece and to use both resources for gaining traffic in other locations as well as the one that you are gaining. However, as with all things there need to be a few rules.
- Stick with links that are relevant. Adding links that have nothing to do with what you are writing about don't do you much good. Sure you may gain one or two readers here and there, but adding links that are more likely to be of interest to your readers will help out a lot.
- Stick with one or two links. Getting carried away will only make your piece hard to read and annoying. Instead add a couple of links and if it works well a few. But remember the length of the piece and how relevant the articles are to those reading the piece.
- There are two ways to link to articles. One is directly in the text. That would be where I would add the title of the work into the paragraph. These are often easiest to be very relavent. The second is seperated from the text. These can be for additional reading or other articles of interest sections and can also work well. Just remember not to get carried away.
Social bookmarking has become a great way to link to your articles. However, there are still some things that should be kept in mind.
- Read the terms of service. Each bookmarking site has different rules of what is allowed and how they want you to do things.
- Keep it varied. Don't bookmark just your writing. Pick different sites, different articles, and other things of quality. Bookmark at least one page for every one of your own. This will keep it varied.
- Be active on the site. Many bookmarking sites will let you fill out a profile, find others with similar interests, and make contacts. Use their resources to build up your presence as well as to get viewers to the pages you have bookmarked.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, don't worry, you aren't alone. It isn't easy learning how to promote yourself and link in ways that are actually good for your writing. The best option is to bookmark this page and probably How to Promote Your Online Writing. Take it one day at a time. Come back often and work on adding appropriate links in appropriate locations. I wish you the best of success.