Here is part 2 of a 7 part series about common myths blog owners cling to as justification for not linking out to other sites. Linking to other sites contributes to a healthy active blog as well as helps establishes you blog as the authority in your niche.
Top Ten Reasons People give For Not Linking Out and Why They are Wrong
#2. I am encouraging my site visitors to leave my blog.
Yes and no. Short term- yes you are actually taking them by the hand and leading them off your site and somewhere else. Long term though you are positioning yourself as a “news resource”. As a news resource you are the center of the hub- Think of links out of your site as spokes on a wheel. If you give them good advice on where to find the information they are looking for time and time again they will come back and see you as “the” place to go. I have several blogs that I visit to get broader information on a topic and rely on them to point me to other related sites.
When I find I am outlinking heavily on a particular subject or one that stirs up a lot of interest or the same types of sites over and over gives me pause- I start to think about branching out and creating another blog on that subject.
An example of this was a home electronics blog I had set up a long time ago. I was writing a lot about HDTV and home theater and outlinking a fair amount. I wrote a few of my own posts so i wouldn’t outlink so much but didn’t spend a great deal of time developing it. I noticed a huge interest in some articles on Blu-Ray and HD stuff that I had written and saw traffic spike. Anything I wrote about Blu-ray and HD anything performed well- so much so that I began another blog just on home theater. My interest in home theater is not that big but I was able to hand over the idea and a blog to my brother-in-law who does well with it.
It is a bit of a tightrope deciding when you should develop your own content vs, sending people to other sites.
When is okay okay to send people to other sites?
-If the site is an “authority site” and back up a statement or theory you are trying to make or prove.
If the link will further benefit your reader. If you are writing an article and you can outlinking to another article that give more detail than you are able to manage i.e a video tutorial. Don’t get trapped into thinking- Gosh- what a great idea- I wil make my own video sometime so i won’t have to link out. link out. You may or may not get to making your own video. In the mean time- you will be helping a reader by pointing him in the right direction and further loyalty an your status as a “news resource” for you niche.
– A well written article in your niche. Sometimes someone else will just come up with a great article that is well written, As a “news source” you owe it to your reader to share with them.
– Link to an idea or statement or idea that is completely the opposite of what you believe and stand for.
Nothing will prove you RIGHT more than some one else’s dumb opinion. You can point out the flaws in their argument and show the world just how right you are by their wrongness. This can be tricky and handle with care. Some topics I am fine to blast away on- For example I will take on make sure your reader agree with for the most part if you are going to go on the attack or may backfire.
You can also do it in a friendly and polite way- but not as much fun 🙂 Controversy is probably one of the oldest forms of link baiting and one of the most successful when done right.
Matt Cutts writes abut its usefulness in good article on the art of link baiting here
Saying something controversial. You can be cheeky, like Threadwatch, or you can be incredibly earnest. I give the creator of Google Watch credit for staking out the “anti-Google” territory way before anyone else. Later, Andrew Orlowski probably realized that taking potshots at Google or blogs was a way to generate lots of discussion. By the time it trickles down to sites like FuckedGoogle or whatever, it gets to be “done”–that niche is starting to be tapped out. So how do you take a new approach?
here is a good recent example of what I am taking about , Andy Beard proves his rightnessBlog Hack: Link to New Blogs and Get More Readers is meaty post that will show you how to pursue this idea and make it work.
I suppose you could call this LINK LOVE ( I DESPISE that term and would choke if I had to say it) . Wish some one would come up with a new name.
– Link to blogs that “follow” . Outlink in your posts to blogs that follow /dofollow or below to the “nonofollow movement” whatever its called… a blog that allows spiders to crawl link in comments because that have turned of the nofollow attribute that is in their blog patform- snippet of your post will end up in their comments section and as a link back to your site. This is sometimes over looked when discussing dofollow blogs. Not only doe you get a link back when you comment- but when you post on your own blog (trackback). Guess this more linky love. Blech.
You will find directory of dofollow blogs and you can also add your dofollow site by clicking here
-Link to other blogs that interest you. If you find it worthy your readers probably will as well.
The main reason for having a blog is to create “conversation” and establish/brand yourself as an expert. By becoming a “news” hub for your niche your blog will be a valuable resource for your readers. Pointing them to great advice or a useful site will only help your readers- and you.
More on Blog Branding:
Blogging Tips Book: Blog Branding and Identity
Your Brand Is Defined By Your Audience Expectations
Marketing Tip: How to Use Blog Comments as a Personal or Blog Branding Strategy