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A Strategy for Relationship Linking

The following post has been contributed by Liz Strauss from Successful Blog.

Blogging is more than writing and sharing information with the masses. Publishing a post only starts the heartbeat of growing blog. Yaro Starak says Don’t Be An Insular Blogger, never linking to or talking about other bloggers. Mike Sansone can be heard repeating “Link out at least once in every post.” It’s number 4 on his Blog Posting Mantra.

Linking out is a great strategy for attracting incoming links and traffic. Even more it’s a great way to establish quality relationships that grow as your blog does. Use this strategy to find bloggers that you will have long-lasting linking relationships with.

  • Define your brand values. Know what your blog is about and have values. Every established brand has values. That’s what draws us and keeps coming to a brands that we love. Figure out the key values of your blog and identify blogs that share the same values as yours. You’ll have a lot in common. as people.
  • Have a standard of quality. Write down the traits you hold as a standard and look for them before you link. If you’re want a long-term relationship, go for quality and relevance before traffic. A quality blog that’s a friend for months or years has lasting value after a spike in traffic is long forgotten.
  • Look for bloggers who have differentiated their blogs. High-quality, one-of-kind blogs have huge growth potential and the bloggers who run them usually have plenty of marketing savvy to share.
  • Keep current with relationships you already have. Visit and link to the blogs that have been your friends all along.

Relationships make for stronger, more relevant links. It’s relationships that will see you through when other links break or fall off. Linking for traffic or for incoming links is a short-term strategy. “It’s called link love,” Phil Gerbyshak just said to me. “Link because you love the blog, the information, the post, the ideas that are being shared.”

I couldn’t agree more.

I want relationship not a one-link stand.

Read more of Liz’s work at Successful Blog.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. I thought this topic will deal with strategies like “If you put a permanent link to my blog, I’ll put a permanent link to yours”.

  2. James says:

    Some great points Liz.
    I think some of the social blogging networks help with starting those relationships. Everyone wants links with the top blogs, but beccomeing friends with other small blogs and working together has a potential to eventually be very powerful.

  3. vijay says:

    Yes i really love blog!!!
    Though I want more link bulding techniques :)

  4. Mark McManus says:

    Thanks for this Liz. I don’t link out nearly enough. Will try this 1 link-out per post, it’s 1 better than I’m presently doing!

  5. David says:

    Great information!

    I have another blog out-there (not intended to generate money), where I got into the habit of linking to a few other sites, when dealing with certain topics. It did indeed increase traffic to my own site… The same strategy will be applied to my income generating blogs. ;)

    I’ll also be sure to keep the points, mentioned in this post, in mind.

    Regards,

  6. Joost says:

    Good post Liz.
    Question: how about “look for similarity of content”? Opposites don’t really seem to attract when it comes to traffic generation.

  7. Dhruv Kumar says:

    Hey Darren
    I’ve been a reader of problogger for quite a while now and I’ve really enjoyed it.
    You have touched on the subject of Guest blogging a few times, and in recent times your own blog has presented a very strong case against Guest blogging.
    Brand dilution.
    This is a problem with guest blogging. If the frequency of guest blog posts increases, the blog tends to lose its USP and the brand identity weakens.

    Problogger is about you and your thoughts on blogging, thats what makes it special. There are many blogs on blogging, but yours is different because of your views. People (at least me) dont really care what other “guest” bloggers have to say (with all due respect to them; I admit that most of them have written awesome and useful stuff, and its just not their fault).
    You have a brand and the brand USP is you. Guest blogging weakens that very USP.
    I know this is not related to this post in any way but i thought I might as well point out. And btw, no offence is intended to any of the guest bloggers. I read your blogs too! And you are the USPs of your respective blogs.
    What are your views on this, Darren?

  8. Liz Strauss says:

    Hi Sugar Mouse, Sorry to disappoint. I think Darren has covered that indepth throughout his archives.

    Hi James! I started linking out that way 75 weeks ago. Most of the blog authors I made friends with have grown as I have. I met Brian Clark when I was just a short time with Successful-Blog and he was just a short time with Copyblogger. That’s a great example — we kind of grew up together. :)

    Hi Mark, Sometimes I write the post FIRST. Then I look for bloggers who have written on something similar. Yeah that means that I sometimes end up reworking what I wrote, but it always gets better. By starting with my own ideas, I don’t get stuck in a pre-set paradigm that someone else’s post established. AND I choose my relationship still.

    Hi David! I find if I link for the people and the relationship, the traffic just follows. In fact the person I form the relationship with often brings his or her friends along and I introduce them to mine. :)

    Good point, Joost. Similarity in content — I guess that just flew right by me. Thanks for catching it. It needs to be here. :)

  9. Sugar Mouse? ……I am a new blogger and I am so glad I happened upon the Problogger site before I wasted more time doing everything wrong. I will add to this discussion because I have had some questions in mind. I compare the current circumstances at Problogger with my experience as a church member or as a patron of restaurants. Someone bought/sold the shop? The familiar face/voice is not up front anymore? Guest speakers every other Sunday? No more plate lunch special? The values, vision, and product will, however gradually, change. Does anyone remember Celestial Seasonings Tea when it really was, (before being bought out) ? Ok, youngsters, you think of a more recent example. The point is, there is often a loss of value in the process of broadening the marketing scope.

  10. Yeah, I do aggree, and I really need to get this good habit of linking to to others.

  11. Liz Strauss says:

    Hey Vijay!
    How did that happen? When I was here before your comment was not. :) What an interesting blogging occurence! I love blogging too! Make friends and share the link love with every post — link inside your blog and out. Always use strong descriptive anchor text so search engines can see the relevancy of why you are linking. Then link some more. :)

    Hi Dhruv! I hear what you are saying. But what does a blogger do when he’s taken away on a month-long trip as Darren has been? I think does what Darren did and hand pick bloggers to help support his blog. I know that he and I worked together on the topics I would blog about, purposefully choosing ideas that he felt would bring a new point view and “added value” to his readers while he was gone.
    I think your comment, brings up a great discussion point. Thanks for making it. I bet Darren speaks to it on his return. :)

    Hi Franck! The strength and beauty of the web is our interconnectedness. It’s amazing what happens when you realize that your community is the world. :)

  12. Alex Shalman says:

    @ Dhruv – I disagree with your comment above. It’s true that Darren is the heart and soul of problogger, but I take Liz’s stand on this in that I feel the guest bloggers were Darren’s choice. For me, I keep coming back for the great content and to see what Darren is going to come up with next. I got value from every single guest blogger that was here for Darren. I even found some new bloggers and got some great ideas.

    @ Liz – One-link stand…. hilarious. Good points too.

  13. Phil Butler says:

    Superb advice! I am always astounded at the depth and diversity of the people I network with. I am always pleasantly surprised by the quality and degree some of these contacts are helpful.

    It is difficult sometimes to evaluate the value, at least in short order, of potential relationships. All in all, the advice above renders really quality links with fantastic people behind them.

    Always,
    Phil

  14. Casey says:

    Hey, I whole heartedly agree that blogging about other bloggers shows you aren’t some isolated want to be guru and that your are open to other options. If a blogger posts about another blog and I become an avid reader I find that I am thankful for that referall and read the first blogger even more.

  15. Liz Strauss says:

    Hi Alex! Great to see you! I appreciate your thoughts. You always add something new to the conversations we have. :)

    Hi Phil! I’ve had the same experience. . . . I’m always encouraged and intrigued by the insights and intelligence I find in new blogger relationships that I get the pleasure to enjoy. Bloggers are a self-selecting group of people who are fascinating and offer so much more than a link. I learn from bloggers every day — that’s so cool.

    Hi Casey! I feel the same way. A blogger with confidence doesn’t worry about introducing readers to the smart folks down the street. :)

  16. Brad says:

    Wow, good post! I think linking to other blogs is the one thing I’m probably neglecting most. Although I do link to different articles/blogs for a lot of my posts. I wonder if that counts??? Anyway, I’m going to make more of an effort to be more active in the “blogosphere”.

    Thanks for the info.!!!

  17. The post “Don’t be an insular blogger” you linked to sends me to a 404 error. Was it an error on your part (I.e, wrong address?) or is it on their end?

    Either way linking to a dead end is never fun.

    (Interesting post mind you, I just really dislike 404 errors)

  18. Great article. This can also fall under the category of link baiting. Nothing like a good (as in thorough and informative, not necessarily positive) review of blogs in your category to get a “conversation” going. The more productive the conversation between the blogs, the more credibility each gains. The problem arises when it becomes a bashfest or entries that are mere drama magnets.

  19. Jonathan-C. says:

    Hey Liz! Nice to see (read) you on here! Great post! (as always!)

    William, i tried accessing that post you’re talking about (on Yaros’ blog) and got the 404 too, and it seems to be an error on the other end. If you try going to the root domain/blog you’ll find that the insular blogger post is the first one on the page. Hope it helps :)

  20. Liz Strauss says:

    Hi Brad, Actually linking to other posts is the best way. So it sounds like you’re on the money there. Be sure to use strong descriptive anchor text in your links and to link to bloggers who might become extended relationships when you can.

    Hi William! The link was working when I sent it over to Darren to post for me. I’m wondering whether it has something to do with the fact that Yaro is going live with his traffic school soon. I know When I came out with my 31-day Calendar of Ideas for January and included his traffic school, he said it would be a push to have it ready. It seems Johathan in comment# 20 has the workaround for you. I understand your frustration. I don’t 404s and broken links either. :)

    Hi Webmaster Labor! I’m fairly unsophisticated. I linkbait by accident. :)
    I try to get to know bloggers as I link to them. It’s slower, but as I always say, “I don’t want a one-link stand.”

    Hi JohnathanC!! Thank you for the kind words and for your help/ :)

  21. Alessandro says:

    Hi,

    I agree with you. Specially, when you say: “Figure out the key values of your blog and identify blogs that share the same values as yours. You’ll have a lot in common. as people.”

    I made a lot of friends. Friends who share the same ideas and goals. This is amazing.

    Tks for this piece of advice.

  22. Liz Strauss says:

    Hi Alesandro! How nice to meet you! Your comment makes me think that you and I might have some of the same values in common. :)

  23. Jen says:

    Liz, I really liked your response to Mark, way up the thread —
    Sometimes I write the post FIRST. Then I look for bloggers who have written on something similar. Yeah that means that I sometimes end up reworking what I wrote, but it always gets better…
    – More than once I’ve found my starting concept getting sidetracked or swayed by reading other bloggers on the same topic (and my writing speed suffers, too, as I struggle to find my way back), but this tip of yours should help to get around that nicely. I’m going to try it, starting tomorrow — thanks!

  24. Blog Bloke says:

    Many talk the talk, but only a few walk the walk. Share the love.

  25. Ashish Mohta says:

    @Dhruv: You have a point there dhruv but I wont agree with you completely.If you really look at blogging to an inner depth “Its Life”. You dont stand alone in your house and greet everybody.You need friends and relatives to help you out when you have lot of work and you cant do alone.

    You might get lot of variation in type of posts when you get to guest blogging but then you get a different environment when you jave lot of relatives and friends when you call them for party.

    Not only darren but many bloggers write getting inspiration from life and motivated by other bloggers.We all need to understand them, simlar way when you get new people to your house.We can try grabbing what they have rather than just thinking “Oh its not darren”

    No offenses but thats what I have learnt from Darren, life and blogging

  26. Pedro says:

    i just totally agree. We have to make our relationship web to grow together

  27. esvl says:

    Good example is a guest blog.

  28. Barbara says:

    I agree we all need to do more linking. I recently wrote a post, “Google Page Rank – Chasing That Elusive Dream”. I write candidly about people who may be thinking of linking only to sites that have a high Google Page Rank, in an attempt to “protect” their own ranking.

    I believe in “link love”. On my site, I’ve set up a page, which I call my “Blogging Buddies”, where I provide links to all sites that have taken the time to leave me a comment, or have linked to either one of my two blogs. (no spam, adult content,etc…). It’s my way of showing my appreciation to others for taking time to read what I’ve written. I also take the time to visit my “blogging buddies” blogs, and leave comments on posts I can relate to.

  29. I like short articles (or should I say blog posts?) but this one is the best of its category – I simply love it because it revealed to me that everything starts with “defining your brand values”.

    This is something I NEVER heard about before and will try to implement it on my blog asap.

    If you have any other suggestions
    or comments, let me know :)

    Cheers,
    Codrut Turcanu.
    “How To Succeed Against All Odds!” Break The Ice!

  30. Derek says:

    Haha! Great information here, but the real reason I’m commenting is because I couldn’t help but laugh at the very final sentence.

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