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31DBBB Day 7: Write a Link Post

Written by Paul Steinbrueck

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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.

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    About the author

    Paul Steinbrueck

    Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck.

    92 Comments

    • 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

    • 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

    • 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!

    • 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

      • Very interesting article. Thanks for sharing it. I wanted to pass it along to a friend who makes movies as well and is always looking for help with funding. I sent him the link to the page, but I didn't see an option on your page to 'email this article' to someone. You have a lot of great options for sharing each post, but I didn't see one for email.

    • 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

        • 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.

    • 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!

    • 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.