12 Most Unfortunate Reasons Your Blog Doesn’t Get Link Love

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.

12. Indigestion

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.

Stan Faryna


An American living in Bucharest, Romania, Stan Faryna searches for better questions about who we are, how to love, and what we can hope for. He longs for answers that fill the heart, lift it up, and substantiate the dignity of the human person. Stan's Podcasts

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This is a great list of pointers.  I don't even try to get noticed by the big guys.  They are too busy for us anyway.  I would rather deal with people that are on my level of blogging.  We have a lot more in common


Stan, my favorite is number 6. It's a great reminder that you can blog for any number of reasons  -


1) to become popular

2) to make money

3) to establish yourself as an authority

4) to share and comment on the things you love

5) to advocate/advance a social cause

6) to express yourself in any way you like


- yet if you try to do all of these at once, what you've got at the end of the day is more of a salad than a blog.


I'm all for blogging with a purpose, or a mission. If you can state your "blogging mission" in three sentences or less, you're on the right track. 


Keep blogging and leading with the heart, it's what you do best.


 @Faryna So it's playing the "links" that gets you on par with increased visibility. Hence, SoMe love.  Thanks for your tips; I'll be re-assessing my blog posts from now on. 


What?!? There aren't 36 hours in the day?? Hrumph. This blogging thing is hard. There is so much to know and something new to add every day. But, if you have a clear vision for why you're doing it, and you learn as you go, it's pretty effective. More posts like this need to be written about the nitty gritty part of the behind-the-scenes work. Thanks Stan!

Latest blog post: Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?


I'm feeling quite similar to @Bill Dorman right now. Having just returned from my self-entitled "Ernest Hemingway writing retreat", re-entry has caused another pause, as I contemplate the where-to-from-here. I love to "give credit where credit is due", acknowledge, link, note, tip my hat to those people and their works that compel me, confuse me, challenge and delight me. There's no doubt that it's hard work some days, and the whole world of "social" is like a roller coaster: up, down and in between.Great post @Stan Faryna : feelin' the love. Cheers! Kaarina


I'm new to social media dating by linking. I guess that's what it is? But Stan you have raised my awareness about a topic that I know little about. 

I'd like to learn more about the whole linking thing. It is time. 

As far as your post here today. This is what I look for when I go online. Not just content, or even intent but well thought out and reasonable substance like this.



I'm a firm believer in "the content to which you link will generally reflect on your taste, intelligence and sense of humor." Also got a kick out of "fawning at their cloven hoof". I've seen Gini wear heels and carry flip flops while at SoSlam - no cloven hooves there ;)


I do really need to setup a blog roll on my own blog and get back to linking to more of my favorite blogs on my Pinterest board dedicated to giving them a shoutout.


Great post, Stan ~ As I read through this list, I thought of the Eagle.  He sees Topangah as no other can.  And it's natural for him to do so.  But he also sees her much the same way as any other might see her.  He sees her as a good friend, a true friend.  And it's not because he has too.  He understands her needs.  And he believes in her.  I'm left wondering if this is not why we should blog in the first place.  Seems to me the secret is in the giving.  And there's much to give.  Link love shows us the way by answering some of the why's.  Through our link love, we can show we believe in others.  We can help others see the good in them.  We can encourage them.  We can value them.  And we can care for them (even those we do not yet know because somehow, deep down inside, we do know them, just as we know our self).  And, in time, through our link love, we can come to love them.  Your love shines through, beautiful friend.  So does your link love!  Thank you for seeing us for what we can become, for believing in us and in our potential, and for lifting us to new heights.  You are appreciated far more than you may know.  And you are loved.  Hugs!


Hi Stan, great post! Though I'm not sure about you being a 'nobody'! This subject has been on my mind too lately, I just wrote this post about getting some link love through social blog directories http://socialmediaillumination.co.uk/get-some-real-link-love/ But it's a big subject so there's more to be written on it! Anyway I'll be sharing this on twitter in 2 ticks so there's a little link love for you!


Thank you for noticing my voice Stan :)


Timely post as I'm battling some demons right now. I know how the game is played, I've just chosen to do only the 'easy' parts but it is starting to take a tole.


About the only thing I have done well is write and engage; not really much more than that and now I'm paying a price for how shallow my depth is.


This is certainly a week of contemplation for me and on top of it, I have been away from the office and computer quite a bit.


Things change quickly in here, I know. One week you can be on top of the world and the next, you wonder if it's even worth it. The people and engagement I love.....a lot.....that's the hardest part of give up for me. I just don't know if I have the energy to go beyond what I'm doing now.....




Excellent post, Stan... as one who is still struggling to learn the language of social networking (what's the difference between a tweet and a toot? How do you keep the droids from swamping your readers with duplicate announcements after you have given them permission to use your name? And many more...) your 12 MOST UNFORTUNATE REASONS are some of the most valuable explanations of what blogging is all about that I have come across. Adding a why to the how is so much more enlightening. Thank you for this. And may all the good you do for others come back to you in multiples!


Great advice Stan! You are awesome with link love and it's wonderful that you're sharing your wisdom with others here. All of these 12 ideas are fantastic and will help other rise to your level of awesomeness with link love.




There will be those that game links, tweets, retweets, etcetera. For all the right and wrong reasons. But there is only one reason that can, should, will and must prevail.




I would love 36 hours in a day!  What's your secret, Gini! You're magical. Confess!


Interesting too... your thoughts on your blog post, Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?


You write:


"In one sense, I think Facebook feeds our need to be social and in the other, I wonder if all this technology and accessibility really is making us more lonely."




And I wonder, Gini, what is it about technology that can make us lonely? And the answer may be that we find our technologies to be lonely when we fail to be real, to be true, and to love. Online or offline.




Talk about a genius move for curation. Pins to promote others! To give voice to others!


Reading a post on your blog, I came across these fine words:


"When you commit to giving a well-timed assist to an online friend and supporter, you both win! That is the power of Return on Relationship!"




Totally agree with you. And it totally applies to link love.


You are as every bit awesome as Bill Dorman says you are. And Gini - oh she's dreamy!




"Through our link love, we can show we believe in others.  We can help others see the good in them.  We can encourage them.  We can value them.  And we can care for them... And, in time, through our link love, we can come to love them."


You've said it better than I have. You always do, Jack! Because you walk in beauty, my friend.


Your book is going to set hearts aflame. I believe in you, Jack!


Please follow Dr. jack King on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!//drjackking


Examples of his tweets:



Peace comes to those who see the sacred colors of man blended into a single hue of humanity that shines like a hundred suns.



It's not enough to be courageous or kind; we must be courageous and kind. Love. One. Another.



Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly. ~ Robert F. Kennedy 





Thanks for the link love, Gemma!


I checked out your blog post about blog directories. Did you love or like the results you got?


And I really liked your blog post on twitter bot spotting.




Delete those bots from your Twitter account. Myself, I have made three major purges in the last three-ish years. A thousand or many thousands at a purge. [smile]


I'm a fan of organic and mutual linked hypertext for many reasons. Among them, I believe good hypertext (text with links) is more likely to prevail against the growing "cynicism" of evolving search technologies.




You are an inspiration to me, Nisha. And I'm not embarrassed to say so.


Another quote that you can print out and tape to the bedroom door. For your mom and dad to see every day!





I remember when Bill Dorman would show up at 100 blog posts every week (or some insane number), leave a comment, and I would wonder to myself - how does Dorman do that?!


Bill Dorman went from the invisible blogger to Mr. Somebody in 0-60 in 5 seconds flat. Talk about wow!


There's nothing wrong with showing up, Bill. Actually, showing up is one of the five truths of social. The next mile (that long green mile as Bill suggests in his blog post today) is locking down the bolt on what counts most. Having fun, moving forward, or whatever is meaningful to you.




I know you're concerned that if you give link love to some people and not others in a single blog post, you'll feel badly. But if you think about it in the long run, you can give link love to everyone (maybe a dozen separate occasions each) across the next 201 blog posts - without any heavy lifting. 


 @lillymaytree Thanks Lilly! Your encouragement means a lot to me. 


Social can be confusing. There's a gazillion do's that we could do, but - as you noticed - not much discussion of the why's. The why's really do clear up much confusion.




My plate is a little full now, but I'm looking forward to getting my hands on your book, Gold Trap. I love the secondary title: A Tale of High Adventure and Divine Appointment.


 @wonderoftech You are the very bestest, Carolyn - not just the warmest, kindest tech blogger in my world.




Your blog post about MEDL Mobile reminded me that I have several mobile app ideas. And one or two great ones. Maybe, you and I can collaborate.


Because everything done with friends is worthwhile.


 @Faryna That is so beautiful, and it opens with a lily of the valley: my favourite flower. Thanks for the hug and welcome back. I will keep you posted on the next chapter of the "Ernest Hemingway writing retreat":) Cheers! Kaarina


 @Faryna Stan, thanks for putting that link love into action by reading my blog and finding something applicable to this specific discussion. That definitely shows an attention to detail and "pay it forward" mentality.