31DBBB Day 7: Write a Link Post
This is Day 7 of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, a group project 60+ of us bloggers are doing together in an effort to help each other become better bloggers. You can read an overview here.
Today’s assignment is to write a link post. The great thing about this assignment is that most of you already have experience doing this. And you’ve seen it pay dividends.
Right here. If you’ve written a blog article about that day’s 31DBBB lesson and linked to the post here about that lesson, you’ve written a link post. And if you’ve posted a comment on that day’s post with a link to your blog article and gotten a bunch of visitors and comments as a result, you’ve seen the value of writing a link post first hand.
Today’s lesson includes some great advice for writing effective link posts, here are some tips – some from the lesson, some my own additions and examples.
1) Read other blogs. If you want to write about other posts, you have to read other posts. The 3 best ways to do that are
- Use an RSS feed reader and subscribe to the blogs in your niche
- Follow bloggers in your niche on Twitter
- Sign up to receive Google Alerts for keywords related to your niche
2) Post a comment on the original article with a link to your article. This will draw readers from the original article to your article. Be sure write a couple sentences in your comment to show how your post is related, something to get people curious enough to click.
3) Stop what you’re doing and write fast. The goal of a link post is to extend the conversation from the original post to your link post. The longer you wait, the more people will have already read the original post, and the fewer people will click to your post. Also the longer you wait, the further down the page your comment will be displayed. You’ve probably already noticed in this series that the people who post their comment & link early in the day get a lot more replies to their comment & visitors/comments on their post.
4) Tweet a link to your post and @mention the author of the original article. This will ensure the author of the original article is aware of your article. If your article is insightful and well-written, they may retweet you, which could bring lots of people to your blog.
About 6 weeks ago, Michael Hyatt wrote and tweeted a link to a post called The Leadership Strategy of Jesus. I saw his tweet and commented. Then I realized I had more to say on the topic, so I wrote a post called Leading Small and posted another comment to Michael Hyatt’s post with a link to mine. Then I tweeted “New blog post: Leading Small (inspired by @MichaelHyatt) http://bit.ly/bHSe62” Mike retweeted me, which brought my post a bunch of readers. Several people retweeted Mike’s tweet, which brought even more visitors (though unfortunately not many comments).
One mistake I made was to post the comment on Michael Hyatt’s post as a reply to a reply. Because the IntenseDebate commenting system collapses replies to comments, most readers probably didn’t see the link. Ideally, I would have thought of writing a link post right from the start and included a link to my post in my first comment.
Another example was published here about 3 weeks ago… John Saddington of Church Church posted 10 SEO Myths Ministries Need to Avoid Like the Plague. Several of the points in that post are inaccurate, so I grabbed my bro, Kurt, who is our director of search marketing, and we collaborated on a post we called Putting the Truth-O-Meter to 10 SEO Myths. I posted a link on John’s post. John and several Church Crunch readers commented on our post. It was good for both of our blogs, but even more importantly it was good for our readers who got a more complete and accurate understanding of the issue.
- Do you have any other tips for making link posts more effective?
- Can you cite an example of an effective link post you’ve written in the past?
- Post a link to the link post you’ve written today.
The Extra Mile
A few other things you can do to take your blog, other bloggers, and this project even further today…
- Reply & give other bloggers feedback on the little things they do.
- When other bloggers include a link to a new article they’ve posted today, click, read, and comment on it.
- Check previous posts in the series for new comments.
- Tweet, share, & bookmark this post.