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.

When?

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.

Discussion

  1. Do you have any other tips for making link posts more effective?
  2. Can you cite an example of an effective link post you’ve written in the past?
  3. 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.

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, elder of CypressMeadows.org, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck and add him to your circles at Google+ as +Paul Steinbrueck.

91 Responses to “31DBBB Day 7: Write a Link Post”

  1. More tips….yeah got nothing. This is actually the first link post I've ever written, and I didn't really do any of the things I'm supposed with tweeting ppl and such. But here it is anyways!
    "Dear Father – oooo! Shiny! aka ADD people like me have trouble praying." http://bit.ly/aw9Cv6

  2. I have written a post for today, but due to my mom-in-law and grandma being in the hosptial and spending my day there yesterday, it is just a post. I am going to work on a link post today. Maybe even post it later. Thanks for the prayers. My mother-in-law has already been discharged this morning, less than 18 hours after surgery. My grandma's heart issues may be resolved with meds and she may be discharged today as well. Thank you all for praying.
    http://ronniespoon.blogspot.com/2010/05/feeble-pl

  3. I don't have any additional tips either.

    I wrote a link post on Friday about the 31DBBB project we're doing. I got a lot of visits from bloggers participating in the project, a lot of whom had never visited my blog before.

    My link post today is athttp://jenniferjanes.wordpress.com/2010/05/11/pas

  4. The last couple of years I started writing reviews for various Christian publishers, authors and marketing professionals. I was introduced to this by two authors who provided me with a couple of reviewing opportunities. I jumped at the chance. I have a house full of bookshelves and this was a great way to get free books!

    I discovered I had some skills in this area and quickly found I had more books to review than what I had time to read. Last year I reviewed over 60 books. Now I even have a paying gig on TheFish.com, writing a couple of reviews a month on popular fiction and literature.

    When I saw the assignment for day 7 I thought I’d do a follow up to last week’s article that I wrote for the List assignment (How to Write a Book Review Worth Readinghttp://bit.ly/bOIuwU ) Today’s Link Post includes links and instructions on “How to Start Reviewing Christian Books.” Hopefully it will give some others the head start that I needed not that long ago. http://captainestes.blogspot.com/2010/05/how-to-s

    • Thanks for sharing. In the past I have written reviews for BookSneeze and I am currently reading through Bringing Up Girls for Tyndale, but I didn't know about the other programs.

      • It's nice to have some additional programs to make sure you are really finding a book that you are interested in. That sure helps both the reader and the publisher when you are excited about reading the book!

    • That sounds pretty cool. I might look into this, since I like to read anyway.

  5. Good Morning everyone. I will be publishing my link post tomorrow morning. I still do not have a copy of the book and have just been going on each days assignments. I had already pre-scheduled a post for today. I don't have any wisdom on link posts. It has not been a practice for me.

    My post for today: http://larrywestfall.com/ten-things-jim-collins-s

  6. My opinion is that Links are incredibly important.
    1st it is the best way for an external party to share information (apart from copying and pasting in an email or IM). 2nd – the more links mentioned the more people get to hear about the post/information. But just posting the links about with no input is almost like spamming.

    So, referring (by means of a link in your post) and continuing the conversation intelligently give credit to the original article and the referer.
    Besides if you get links posted on very popular and trusted blogs then you improve your google ranking and hence get more visits. :)

    The same goes for twitter (micro blogging) when sending a link it is best to add a little 'take home' or 'insight' regarding the link, maybe a question.

    I wrote a post a while back about IndiGoGo because I saw that it was a great way to fund creative projects – in particular I wanted to link out to a local filmmaking friend and twitter user to help promote his fund raising project. The response on twitter was great, by my standards. here we gohttp://synapticlight.com/indiegogo-fund-the-inves

  7. Good morning! WordPress has a cool plug-in that auto-links 31DBBB whenever I mention it in a post. That's the extent of my link post today. I think expanding on someone else's post is a great way to share links. I'll try that next.
    http://j.mp/c2n6Ve

    • Is that only for wordpress.org or the free hosting version (.com)?

      • I looked it up for you, and it looks like plug-ins work only on self-hosted WP blogs. If you ever make the switch, the plug-in is called SEO Smart Links. My blog depends on it because I hate manually hyperlinking.

      • My comments keep disappearing! Anyway, I looked it up, and plug-ins are only for self-hosted wp blogs. If you ever make the switch, the plug-in is called SEO Smart Links.

        • I hope to make the switch to self-hosted someday so I can pimp my site some more. WP.com doesn't give me tons of control. When I do, I'll definitely want to install some of those plugins.

  8. Hi everyone. I missed yesterday due to life demands but I am pressing through. ;)

    I find that linking posts are a great way to bring traffic. In fact on Tuesdays I participate in a project with Chatting at the Sky for what she calls "Tuesdays Unwrapped." She has a very large readership and I find that the post I link there gets a number of clicks back to my blog.

    It seems that doing more link posts would prove beneficial.

    Check out my post herehttp://unrehearsedadventure.blogspot.com/2010/05/

    I love hearing from you all!

  9. I combined today's post with a earlier tip for creating a list post. This time each of the items on the list was a link to a different source for Core Workouts. You can read it here:http://trainingcrucible.blogspot.com/2010/05/10-e

    Creating link post link this help readers see you as valuable. By knowing you niche and sharing with others you create value. I think for first time bloggers it is hard to think about linking out to others because you are afraid of losing readers. The fear may be that if you link to someone who is a greater authority than you, better writer than you, etc that readers may not come back to you. Chances are your blog is not the only one they are reading, why not make it easier for your readers and link to great content, they may just thank you for it.

  10. I have already seen so far in this 31DBBB how linking to other blogs and posts is a boon to traffic. I believe the key is to make sure that it really adds to the conversation and is not just an extraneous link. We need to ask, "Will the people who are engaged by my post be engaged by the link as well?"
    I promised to do a link for justapen's 'The Ignition Point" blog. It will fit into my blog plans tomorrow (stay tuned). — and yes, I do have a plan!
    Today's post is up: http://junctionforjesus.blogspot.com/2010/05/atti

  11. I haven't written many link posts, mostly just referencing other people, their blog, or giving a link when you quote something they said is how I've done link posts. I don't think I have any that are real effective yet, I've not done many.

    My link post is about what we've covered the last couple days here at 31dbbb. "Email a Reader, Blogging Tips, and Link Postshttp://tijuanabecky.wordpress.com/2010/05/11/emai

  12. I wish I had more great ideas about marketing my posts. I am working on my making my titles more enticing. Let me know what you think about my last two!

    I sent an email to my distribution regarding a leadership issue and a blog I found with great advice about making meetings more effective. I posted it to my blog this morning:
    http://divingdeepintograce.blogspot.com/2010/05/g

    Let me say thanks to those who have commented on my blog posts so far. I pray they have and will continue to be a blessing. Keep them coming!

  13. My latest post (http://bit.ly/9bKcud ) is a link post to Justapen's post (http://bit.ly/cK7kK4 ), which linked to my post. Hopefully, that won't cause a feedback loop that will melt the internet.

    Sometimes I feel a little…awkward? Selfish? …something…posting links on other people's blog comments. It can feel like "enough about you. Let's talk about me." This is why I think this strategy requires discernment and being judicious.

    • Crispone these are great. I like how you said to slow down and let God's Word help you. I need to remember to slow down, thanks for the reminder.

    • Well yes and no. I think the key when linking ur blog on another person's comment is to go along the lines of "hey this is what I think. I wrote about it more here but the two sentence version is…" It isn't selfish if you really are, genuinely contributing to the conversation.

    • I love the loop melting the internet thing. It sounds so Star Trek for some reason. :lol:

      I seldom include links to my posts in comments because then I have to write html to do it, and I don't LIKE it!!! Because I do it so seldom, I don't remember the <a href thing, and I have to always look it up. (whine) Anyway, if I do leave a link to a post on anyone's blog, it's absolutely because I think it's extremely relevant. Otherwise I definitely would NOT bother. ;)

      Blessings, Cindy

    • Chris, I think you're caution is well founded. You do want to be sure you don't want your comments to seem spammy or like you're trying to take the conversation away from the original post. That's why I think it's important to include a good insight in the comment before the link. It may also be a good idea to build up your relationships with the blogger and your reputation as a contributor before you post a comment with a link.

      • Definitely – I think you're right on with building up a relationship and reputation. That means I need to spend lots more time reading and commenting.

  14. OK – so for today I took my inspiration from some of my fellow 31DBBB chums who haven't yet taken a dive into teh world of Twitter.

    So I present to you: 3 Links to Help Get Started on Twitter.
    http://www.churchtechy.com/2010/05/3-links-to-hel

    Any comments / brickbats more than welcome ;)

  15. Here is my post for the day:http://campfirecowboyministries.com/2010/05/the-b

    This is in response to the video by Nolan. I know it was over the weekend but hopefully those that didn't get to read it will go back.
    http://www.nolanbobbitt.com/welcome_to_nolans_wor

  16. Have a/another link post up, since that was today's assignment. I do believe that all of my posts would qualify as a link post, but "it don't matter none". I linked back to a worship set list site. It helps to keep track of what you're playing (to report to CCLI) and see what others are playing as well. http://blog.beachdaze.com/?p=66
    Peace,
    B

  17. I posted my link post last night, but the linked articles aren't new. I had already planned to link to these other posts, and I wanted to do it because they were all talking about the same thing within the past months and I thought them prophetic and relevant. I linked to them because I figured they'd be a blessing to my readers. My desire to increase readership is primarily so that more people will join the conversation. I'm not marketing or anything–just getting to know brothers and sisters. If you click on my name, you'll find your way to my latest post–until I post a new one. ;)

    Blessings, Cindy

  18. Today's post doesn't reflect this lesson, but most of blog posts includes links either to other blog post, or simply to other blog, or websites.

    For example, if I talk about something I bought at Walmart, Walmast would be highlighted as a link. Same if I talk about a book, or other.

    Today I write about Ideas for your school kid's lunch bag : http://lemondedenathalie.ca/2010/05/11/idees-pour

  19. I think when you link to someone else's work it shows readers at your own blog that you are not just living on your own cocoon and that you do read the works of others. Sometimes it even brings in more readers.

    Here is my post for today:http://williamdicks.blogspot.com/2010/05/biblical

    BTW, I do already link to others a lot.!

  20. Paul, just a note to let you know that I've linked to your post about the 31 Days to Building a Better Blog in my blog post for today. My blog attempts to minister to Christian husbands in crisis. The post for today is The Best Safety Device is a Careful Man and starts like this:

    "A safe man is careful with: His eyes. Your natural (fleshly) question might be 'How does it make me unsafe to my spouse if I look at other women (real, magazine covers at the supermarketcheckout line, billboards, Internet per, etc.)? Isn't that her problem?'"
    http://preparation4eternity.blogspot.com/2010/05/

    • My fingers wouldn't type the words Internet porn correctly…

    • Kim, the link you included in your comment is to an article you posted yesterday. I don't see any articles posted today on your blog and there are no links in the article you posted yesterday.

  21. Paul, that is really weird. I began writing this yesterday, but saved it and posted it today. You are right, the date at the top shows yesterday's date. Don't know how that works. It took two tries and the link is at the bottom in a PS. Please try it again.!

    • Oh, OK, I see the link now.

      To clarify, the idea of the link post is to expand the conversation started in a post on another blog. In other words, it's a post where you write about the same subject matter as someone else's blog post, you reference some of what they said in their post, and then you link to that post. It doesn't appear as though you did that with your post today.

      • Paul, I know I was being a little cheeky with this post. To be honest, it's hard to find any other guys (or women) who are blogging about marriage in the same vein as I am. I did not want to reference some other blog and disparage it. I get the idea though and I think I have done something like it in the past.

  22. Here is my link post "Operation Broken Silence and Sam Childers"–
    http://www.nolanbobbitt.com/welcome_to_nolans_wor

  23. Since I'm the Social Media dude for HighCallingBlogs.com (a partner with Paul and OurChurch.com on this project), I figured that my link post should highlight some of the "best of" from the featured work in our network. So here's my link post (which is also a list post)…

    10 must-read posts [from @thehighcalling blogs network] http://bibledude.net/2010/05/10-must-read-posts-f

    Let me know what you think! Thanks!

  24. …and I am the example of the late poster. : ) http://ragamuffinray.blogspot.com/2010/05/under-t
    I don't guess anyone will read this anyways, right?

  25. Hi Fellow Bloggers,
    I wrote a post for a feature called, Photo Play, that High Calling Blogs is holding. In the post, I linked to High Calling Blogs.

    I must admit that I still like I'm using someone's blog site to promote my own when I comment and then insert a link to my blog. Anyone else feel the same? It was hard for me to even ask my friends either through FB or email to comment on my post. And the response was low.

    However, here in the workshop, connecting is one of the aspects that we are all about. So here's a link to my post:http://openmyearslord.blogspot.com/2010/05/photo-

    And, yes, Stuart. You got to me. I will sign up for Twitter.

    • woot! woot!
      That was for the link to HighCallingBlogs.com!

      I can also relate to promoting your own links on someone else's blog (in the comments). I personally try to shy away from that myself, UNLESS I feel like it really adds value to the discussion.

    • Eeexcellent…our plan is coming along nicely. Soon everyone will be on Twitter…then we will send the tweet which will activate the subconscious instructions we have planted in everyone's minds through YouTube videos, and the world will be ours to command!!

      Yes, Twitter can be used badly, or it can be used well. It took me a while to buy into the idea that it could be used in productive or informative ways, but now I'm hooked.

  26. A number of people, including Chris and Janis have expressed reluctance at the idea of including a link to a related blog post of your own in the comments of another blog. I can understand that. You should be really careful because you don't want to be perceived as being self-promoting or spammy.

    I think it's a topic worth discussing in more depth, so that's what I wrote my link post about on LiveIntentionally.org

    How to Post Links in Blog Comments Without Being Spammy http://www.liveintentionally.org/2010/05/11/how-t

    I'm curious to hear what you all think.

    • Excellent! I've seen your tweets about this but have been to slammed to read it yet :( Thanks for sharing this – I'll read it very soon (tomorrow, I hope).

  27. WOW have I been overwhelmed this past week! And I don't mean just with this 31 DBBB. While I have done link posts before (without knowing it), today's lesson was really great for me. I used the new knowledge to turn my weekly post into a link post. I really love the site I discovered that talked about my topic. My comment can be found athttp://traciemiles.blogspot.com/2010/05/letting-g… . My post that links to Letting Go Of The Steering Wheel of Life is athttp://guidedreflections.blogspot.com/2010/05/is-… .

    • Wayne, I think the comment you left on Tracie's post was really good. You took her idea and began to add to it with your own ideas. I think in your own post, you could have expanded on that further. For example, in your comment you referenced the example of Israel entering Canaan. You could have expanded on that example in your post but it wasn't mentioned. In your comment you also suggested that perhaps in some situations timing may not be key to obedience. Why no mention of that or examples in your post?

  28. My link post references a series of posts about how churches can build and maintain a Facebook page. http://jerryfultz.wordpress.com/2010/05/11/creati

    The original series was published in Church Crunch: http://churchcrunch.com/

    • Hey Jerry, I've been meaning to do a post here about that Facebook series on ChurchCrunch myself. So, when I saw your comment, I was excited to click over to your post. If I can be honest with you, I was disappointed because I don't think your post really adds to the conversation. I would love for you to have shared your thoughts about Facebook pages and the 4 blog posts. What is it about the series that stood out to you? What were the best parts? Your biggest learning points?

      • Paul – completely agree with you. This is a lame post. The main purpose for posting it was for reference, but I absolutely need to breathe some life into it. Will edit and repost. Thanks for calling me on this.

      • Paul: here's the updated version. Thanks again for taking the time to throw me under the bus on my original post. http://jerryfultz.wordpress.com/2010/05/11/creati

        Let me know what you think of this version.

        • "Thanks again for taking the time to throw me under the bus…" LOL! I'm gonna have to tweet that.

          I like the new version. You did a good job of telling readers why they should click the links & read the articles and adding your own observations.

  29. I didn't know what kind of list I'd make, until I read Chad Estes' second post on the "Sunday's Coming" video. I pulled together a list of different reactions to the video, including Chad's. North Point Church video goes viral, touches a nerve

    I also decided to use the post to ask the media team some questions about the video. We'll see if they respond… (I will tweet this to them)

    • Jon, excellent example of a link post. You added value by bringing together the divergent opinions of several different bloggers and extending the conversation.

    • That's a great video, by the way. It's so true – we do many (but not all) of those things at my church…

    • Wow, it worked! I took the extra step of contacting each person to let them know I linked to them. Some of them have commented, some have tweeted, and some have linked to me. Consequently, I'm getting a spike in traffic!

  30. Nice approach – this is something I'm becoming aware of is to be aware of what I'm reading, etc and see if I can use it to create a post from.

  31. The quality of post and links from discussants in this blog has improved. Thanks to the good work being done by ourchurch.com. This is the link to my blog of the day http://www.christchosenambassadorsministry.com/ap

  32. Here is my link post:
    http://inspirationalgifts.blogspot.com/2010/05/ab

    I couldn't Twitter it because Twitter doesn't seem to be working right now. I did comment on the original post with a link to my link post.

  33. Ok
    I really learned this time b/c I THOUGHT my post from Wed was similar and I didn't think to let the author know about the repost…I tweeted them. Thanks
    http://parentingtwinsandmore.com/2010/05/12/wfw-n

  34. Last week I wrote an article discussing discounts on the new release of Photoshop that are available for folks that wish to join NAPP. I posted the link to that article in a comment that I wrote on a complimentary article on the NY Times. I've been getting tons of hits from it.

    Today's Post:http://www.sensoryescapeimages.com/blog/2010/5/12

  35. This series is great! As an editor for a Christian lifestyle blog, your site has inspired me to try new and different things on our site. It has given me a new outlook on how to run our site.

    For this lesson we used an article from Christian Personal Finance (http://christianpf.com ) that inspired our article on Walking Away From Your Mortgage.

    Here is a link to the original inspiration: http://www.christianpf.com/walk-away-from-mortgag

    And here is the link to our content based on that article: http://saysomagazine.com/component/content/articl

    I would really appreciate some feedback from you blog experts out there if we are doing it right at Say So! Thanks.

    This website is the GREATEST RESOURCE!

    • Hi James, thanks for stopping by. Based on the number of RSS subscribers and comments on each article, it looks like you're doing a very good job with christianpf.com

      Even though we're already on Day 9, you're welcome to sign-up, buy the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog e-book, and join us in this project. There's a link at the top of each day's article. I think you'll learn a lot more, plus other participants will be more likely to give you feedback throughout the project as they see you participating and providing insight and feedback to others.

  36. Finished this assignment last night and am now caught up on lessons. I linked our posthttp://ronniespoon.blogspot.com/2010/05/feeble-pl… to R. Sipes posthttp://junctionforjesus.blogspot.com/2010/05/glad… and commented. ____

  37. WHEW…FINALLY GOT THIS ONE DONE A WEEK LATER=) i WAS SO INSPIRED BY eLLE THAT i DID AND THEN REALIZED …I DID THE LINK POST!
    http://parentingtwinsandmore.com/2010/05/20/recom

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