12 Most Unfortunate Reasons Your Blog Doesn’t Get Link Love
Every blogger needs link love, even the A-listers. Your relevance in search results depends on it. So does your relevance in your blogging circles. How else are people going to notice you?
Beyond Triberr and paid advertising, the best way to get your blog noticed is to be curated or mentioned by others. People pay attention when someone (not you) is tooting your horn with a direct link couched in their text.
The truth, however, is that it’s almost impossible to get link love. The only proven formula is to be an A-lister because people will fawn over you for your celebrity. That’s not evil, it just is.
The typical suggestion is to write great content, rub elbows with bloggers, and give them some link love. It doesn’t work. You can put a gazillion hours into it and get little or nothing in return.
But if you are doing those three things because you are a beautiful soul AND you are not getting link love, it’s not your fault.
Here are 12 of the concerns, fears and superstitions that keep people from giving you your much-deserved link love:
1. Writing a blog is hard enough
Blogging can be as much hard work as it’s fun. Blogging on schedule is even harder. Blogging furiously like Gini Dietrich (@ginidietrich) or Jack Steiner (@TheJackB) is madness. Unfortunately, link love isn’t automagical. Not yet.
BTW, Gini and Jack do give link love.
2. There aren’t 36 hours in a day
Pulling together a list of links means reading blog posts related to your blog post — or, at least, posts where you find a sentence that relates to your own. It takes way too much time (hours and hours) to search for links that you can love on unabashedly.
3. Curating links is a deliberate process
Curation begins with gathering and sorting through the collection. It means remembering things or noting them when you read blogs: A turn of phrase, an idea, maybe an image. Post-Its would be so helpful! Until we have digital Post-Its, this is going to be a labor of love.
4. Liabilities and responsibility
All too many bloggers believe that a link makes you responsible or liable for everything that blogger or author has ever written, blogged, tweeted, etc. This is a mistaken belief. If it makes you feel better, you can have a disclaimer that any and all links to third parties do not represent your opinion. Links, however, may reflect your commitment to dialogue and critical thinking.
5. You have to know the content
While a link does not make you responsible for everything that other bloggers do or represent, the content to which you link will generally reflect on your taste, intelligence and sense of humor. Surprisingly, too many bloggers do not seem to trust their own judgment about the merit and/or defect of content — even after immersing themselves in it.
6. Merit doesn’t make you popular
Most people will express their opinion (or a link) after the poll results are in. God forbid they should take an unpopular stance! I say, fearlessly link to the things you believe in! Link also to the things you don’t believe in, but with appropriate comment.
Blogging is more about shared opinion than pure reason. Otherwise, there would only be about 10,000 blogs and not 150 million or more.
Most importantly, you have a blog post to publish — so stop waiting on the sidelines. Go ahead and give that link love. Liberally.
7. Trying too hard to be cooler than you are
It’s a common mistake to confuse yourself, your knowledge, or your reputation with that of the people you are linking to. I do it myself. But just because I link to John Magnet Bell (@startyournovel), that doesn’t mean I’m half the fiction writer he is. Just because I link to Brené Brown (@BreneBrown), Rachel Thompson (@RachelintheOC), or Angela Maiers (@AngelaMaiers) doesn’t mean the fine minds at TED will invite me to join their club.
Link to make a point. Link to complete an idea. Link to lift others up. Link to share someone special with others. Link to help others dream bigger. Link to share a cause. Link! Because others matter.
8. The link won’t make an impression
It’s not the link that has to make an impression on your reader. Focus on the writing! Job number one for a blogger is to communicate a clear, interesting, and forceful message in a consistent, passionate style. Your voice makes an impression on your reader — not who you linked in. Links, however, should be used as Nisha Varghese (@Nisha360)? She is an inspiration to me because Nisha is bigger than her daily challenges and disability: cerebral palsy. She blogged tirelessly to raise funds for a clean water project. I mention and link to her often — almost every time I reflect upon inspiration.
9. A reciprocated link from a nobody won’t help my SEO
In fact, a reciprocated link from 1000 so-called nobodies will do more for your SEO than the handful of links you may get from the A-listers after months or years of fawning at their cloven hoof. It is my assumption that A-listers have awesome SEO in part because they have innumerable links from so-called nobodies like me.
10. They didn’t know that cross linking to each other’s posts gives more rank juice
The more mutual cross-links to blog posts, the better rank juice you get. A dozen won’t do much; shoot for 1000 cross-linked posts with 100 bloggers. If you had three mutual cross-links in each post, you should be there in a year. Or five. Enjoy the journey!
What do I mean by “Where”? Perhaps page one for several targeted search results.
11. They didn’t know that a little link love would make your day
We blog for all sorts of reasons but connecting to others is at the heart of blogging. Blog traffic, subscriptions, and comments are all signs of connection, but nothing beats the ping that vibrates with link love. Let your favorite bloggers know how much a little link love would mean to you. Or send them to this 12 Most post! Share the good news in your next blog post.
It happens to the best of us. Today’s despair does not have to be tomorrow’s forlorn conclusion.
Supposedly, we like change in social, we like to love on each other, and we like to feel good. Therefore, overcoming link-love-reluctance should be easy as pie. It starts with us giving out link love. It also starts with us collaborating with others to lift each other up. It’s up to you and me.
Oh — the next great blogging app will allow blogger communities to search for blog posts by keyword, subject, and author for quick reference and link love. Word to the entrepreneurs and developers.
What are you waiting for?
Featured image courtesy of Pink Sherbet Photography licensed via Creative Commons.