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31DBBB Day 8: Interlink Your Old Blog Posts

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This is Day 8 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.

Yesterday we explored the value of writing a link post.  A focus of this type of post is to send your readers out to valuable resources on other blogs.   In today’s tip you are going to turn around and essentially do the same for your own blog.

Today’s assignment is to interlink your old blog post.  This task may be harder for those you who have been blogging for years now.  It can also be difficult for us newbies who don’t have many posts to connect together.  Whichever case you find yourself in its an essential task.  As Darren points out:

1. It will help your readers. Providing your readers with links about where to go next will make their job of navigating your site much easier.

2. It increases your pageviews. While must of us aren’t running ads on our blogs, pageviews can increase your advertising income if you are during cost per impression ads.  For those who aren’t running ads the increased pageviews simply mean that readers are becoming more engaged with your blog. Chances are that if they read enough and like it that will become a subscriber and pass your information on to others.

3. The power of Search Engine Optimization. You may not have known what this was before starting this project, but you won’t forget it by the time this is over.  Search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing have the power to send readers to your site.  But they only reward the sites that they believe provide the best information for the terms entered in the search box by that potential reader.  Search engines use algorithms to figure out who gets ranked where and bloggers endlessly debate what goes into the algorithm, but most agree that linking plays a role.

So how do you interlink your blog?

1. You could add a link in the middle of your post. If you reference something that you talked about previously on the blog go ahead and provide the reader with a link to it so that they don’t have to search your archives.

2. Updates. Take and old posts and breathe new life into it.

3. At the end of your post share some “Further Reading.” This can take a couple of approaches.  Obviously you could do it manually.  This allows you to hand pick certain posts.  You can also use I plugin to automatically pick posts for you. I currently use Link Within.  In automatically picks 3 related posts and features a thumbnail of each one at the bottom of every post I write.

While the automatic feature is nice, there are certainly times when you would want to handpick certain posts for further reading.  One way to make this easier on yourself is to think ahead of time about how you categorize/tag your posts.  Carefully making this decision will help when you looking for related posts in the future.

Discussion

  1. What are your thoughts on interlinking your content?
  2. If you are already interlinking, do you interlink with every post or just your most popular ones? How might taking a different approach improve your blog?
  3. Do you think interlinking can be overdone?

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.
[image by teban32]

J.D. Eddins is husband and father of 3 girls and avid runner. He works for a Christ-centered drug treatment center in Arkansas. You can find his blog at The Training Crucible and on Twitter at jdeddins.

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