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How to Get Blogs to Link to Your Posts

Getting other blogs to link to your blog posts is not easy to do – particularly when you are starting out.

Taking a ‘write quality content and they will link up’ approach can work once you have a readership (although even then it’s not that easy) but what if your readership is small and other bloggers are not likely to see your posts?

One of the simplest things to do to get your contact in front of other bloggers in these circumstances is to email them to let them know of your post and/or to suggest it as a potential story for their own blog.

Sounds simple doesn’t it?

Of course there’s a little more to it than just banging out an email with your link to another blogger. In fact if you do this you could actually do more damage than good.

Here are a few ideas for suggesting links to other bloggers:

Let me start by saying the most obvious thing – your content needs to be of high quality – the type of thing that people will want to link to. You can beg for links from other bloggers until you’re blue in the face but if your content isn’t linkable – you’re wasting your time (and theirs).

1. Reserve it for Your Best Content

Let me repeat what I’ve already said – it is all about ‘great content’. This is not a technique to use with every single post that you write. Use it selectively on your very very best content.

2. Check if the Blogger Links Out

Different blogs have very different approaches to what they write about and where they get their story ideas. For example a blog like Engadget links to other blogs in most posts that it writes – it’s almost like a news aggregator blog and is constantly pointing people to interesting stories on the web. Other blogs rarely link out – not because they’re selfish, but because they are blogs more about original ideas. You are likely to be wasting your time by pitching blogs that never link out.

Also look at HOW the blog links. Do they link to news stories? Do they link to other blogs as ‘examples’ in their posts. Do they link to controversial posts? Do they only link to blogs on certain topics or written in certain styles? The more you learn about HOW another blog links the better position you put yourself in to create your pitch to them.

Special Note: Some blogs even present you with methods to pitch them stories with contact forms dedicated to story submissions. This is a signal that you have permission to send them ideas.

3. Don’t Ask for a General Link to Your Blog

In most cases it is not appropriate to ask another blogger to simply ‘link to my blog’ (as in the front page). You’ll have much more chance of a link if you pitch them a story (a post you’ve written) than just to link to your blog’s front page. I find that generally people link to blogs in their blog rolls after they’ve been following you and relating to you for a while and see you as a helpful resource for their readers.

4. Relevancy Relevancy Relevancy

Only suggest posts on your blog that are highly relevant for the blog you’re pitching the story idea to. You drastically decrease your chances of being linked to if your story isn’t relevant.

5. Present a Posting Angle

When emailing a blogger with a post idea show them some potential angles that they could take with their post. For example – I used to pitch my links to gadget blogs when new cameras came out. I found that when I wrote a short summary of the story in my email with some potential points of interest that the stories got picked up more regularly than if I simply sent an email saying – ‘here’s a link that you might find interesting’. So I’d include a few features, why the camera was better than previous models etc. Often this extra information appeared in the post that these blogs published – in essence I was helping the blogger write their story for them.

6. Present Helpful Resources

Another thing that increased the chances of my camera posts being linked to was when I sent in pictures of the cameras with my email. Gadget blogs love pictures so if you save them time by providing them along with the story idea you’re cutting down work and again increasing your chances of having the story picked up.

7. Have They Already Covered the Story?

There’s nothing worse than being pitched with a story idea that you posted about yesterday. Scan the blog that you’re pitching to for their recent posts – it could save you embarrassment.

8. Be Personal

Where possible pitch a blogger rather than just pitching in impersonal ways. Use their name, show that you know their blog etc. However be careful when doing this to multiple blogs – you don’t want to personalize an email and then send it to the wrong blogger – major embarrassment!

9. Be Brief, Polite and Helpful

What ever you do be polite with your pitch – keep it brief (there’s nothing more of a turn off than a long pitch), introduce yourself and keep your email as helpful as possible. Only include details that will help the blogger write their post and in no way pressure them to write the story.

10. Don’t Ignore the ‘B, C and D-list’

Don’t just promote your content to Top-Tier blogs. Big blogs are being hit with story ideas all day everyday (often the same ones over and over again). Smaller blogs can be just as fruitful to pitch to because they often have more focused groups of readers. Sometimes multiple smaller blogs all picking up a story can get the attention of bigger bloggers too – making the story viral.

11. Build Relationships Before AND After Promoting Your Blog

I’m much more likely to link to someone (either on my blog or on Twitter) if I have had some kind of interaction with them before they pitch their story idea. Spend time building your network and don’t make your relationships with people just about what they can do for you. Also – when people do link to you after you’ve promoted something to them thank them for the link, offer to reciprocate and keep in touch. Don’t take their first link up as a signal to spam them with everything you write – but see it as a deepening of that relationship.

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. You raise some great points there Darren, and a few of them I’ve followed myself in the past (and have also been on the receiving end of).

    Critically, you need to pitch to the relevant niche, and making sure they haven’t posted something similar, at least recently, shows you are not just scouring the web for likely candidates and firing off emails.

    On the back of the above, pitching content to be published by a third party blog or website also gets you a link back, and so long as there are guarantees about duplicate content (or lack of), this can also help build relationships and add links back to your site.

  2. Great advice, particularly about building relationships with those you want to link with. I cannot tell you how many times I have had people I’ve never talked to before asking for linkage. VERY rude!

  3. Andrew says:

    I think relationships are one of the most important resources as that way gets you more attention over a sustained period.

    P.s. In #3 you missed the K off of Ask

  4. Eric Hamm says:

    “5. Present a Posting Angle ”

    This one is crucial! Regardless of how you follow the other tips (which are also very important), you absolutely need to ‘fill in the blanks’ for the blogger you are sending the post to. You don’t want them to have to ‘strain their brain’ to try and figure out WHY they should link to the post. Do it for then with a convincing ‘argument’.

    Another excellent/relevant post, Darren! Eric.

  5. Surender says:

    Quality content is the Gold.
    So if you have quality content then anyone can link on your post OR blog.

  6. Hussein says:

    Give helpful resources I think is the best way to get links from blogs. If they find a post very helpful, then most likely they will give credit into it by giving it a link love. Nice post Darren Rowse!

  7. Potato Chef says:

    OMG!!! Getting a link on a blog is almost as difficult as walking across water. Very difficult for most people, but not impossible.

    I think becoming a steady, relevant commentor on the blog that you want the link from is a good way to get yourself in front of the right people. If you are lucky (very lucky) they will start to notice you, and then maybe (maybe!!) you will get a link. But only if it makes sense.

    I don’t think that there is an easy solution. But maybe that is why a link is worth so much.

  8. Tressa says:

    THanks again Darren.

    I actually just wrote an article about how to get traffic to your site. It was based off a post that I read on your blog. I’ve included a link to your blog, as I want to share my resources with people.

    Thanks for helping me to bridge the gap on how to get links from important blogs.

  9. FFB says:

    Great ideas! I’ve been a bit shy in promoting articles to other bloggers. I have to get over it and network more. Thanks for the suggestions!

  10. Dee yan says:

    11 ideas aren’t few Darren, but anyway thanks again for your thought, it’s help me.

  11. CoolProducts says:

    Some great tips, but my question is:

    Is it better to start a blog on a site such as blogger.com, or to go find your own domain and start from scratch??

  12. Stanley Tang says:

    Yup. #11 is priceless.

  13. Darren, you’ve raises some really interesting points here. BTW, #3′s title has a typo in it.

  14. Joel Drapper says:

    You said “One of the simplest things to do to get your contact in front of other bloggers”

    Did you mean “One of the simplest things to do to get your content in front of other bloggers”

    Also you said “Don’t As for a General Link to Your Blog” when I am sure you meant “Don’t Ask for a General Link to Your Blog”

    Other then that, this is a very useful article! Thanks.

  15. Debo Hobo says:

    I think all of the tips are great, but I also think that it boils down to common courtesy and reciprocation.

  16. Pat with SPI says:

    Darren,

    The tips on this post couldn’t of come at a better time for me, as I am just starting out. I hope I can provide good quality posts so others will freely link to it without myself begging for links.

    There’s probably a little luck involved too.

  17. Michele says:

    I have Google Alerts that tell me when someone has linked to my blog(s) and they’ve been very helpful. I’ve discovered that the majority of the time someone has linked to a post of mine, it’s been because it really spoke to their heart. My writing blog, for instance, is an inspirational, encouraging one. I share my journey of freelance writing, how I feel about rejections, sales, and all the “stuff” that comes with the freelance life. Sounds like one of a gazillion freelance blogs, eh? I’m told that what makes it stand out is because I put so much of my heart into it.

    I strive to be an encouragement and love reading the e-mails I receive about how someone was up at 2 a.m. reading my blog and may have been ready to give up on writing (or even life), but was inspired to keep going because the words I wrote in my posts (words shared from the depths of my soul) inspired them to keep trying.

    I’ve also found the blogs that link to my domain do so because they feel I’m genuine, like the girl next door. And because they relate to what I write about and find my tips can apply to their own lives.

    I cherish the readers I have and the warm community that’s growing. I think that makes a huge difference. :-)

    *smiles*
    Michele

  18. Dimitri says:

    I wonder if my blog is such a narrow field, if anyone will ever link to me. Should I give up idea all together or what should I do?

  19. Ed @ AAFR says:

    EXCELLENT post, Darren! The question you deal with here is arguably the most important question in all of blogging!

    I’d like to see more of your thoughts on this topic, esp. on exactly how to build relationships w/ other bloggers and influencers.

  20. great blog man, I already do most of those things so when people are ready to link to me, I will be ready.

  21. Adam Singer says:

    OK – you inspired me!! =)

    I sent this link to Smashing Magazine:
    http://thefuturebuzz.com/2008/10/13/stunning-images-flickr-creative-commons/

    I read their blog they link out once in awhile, I think it’s a fit. I’ll let you know if it worked.

    PS – I found Smashing Magazine via this post on your site, so it comes full circle:
    http://www.problogger.net/archives/2008/05/21/smashing-magazines-tipping-points/

    Too transparent today? Maybe that was my strategy ;)

  22. thanks, darren — a very helpful post. i’ve never asked another blogger for a link (too shy? thought it would be inappropriate?) but now i am thinking of some ways that might make sense, based on your suggestions here.

    i really enjoy reading problogger. though i usually do it via an RSS reader on my iphone, which makes it impossible to comment. i’d actually love to see an article about that some time, given the importance of commenting on others’ blogs.

  23. A hearty AMEN ON #10.

    Remember, some blogs are just waiting to be “discovered”. You may find a blog with GREAT content but it’s definitely not “A” list – yet!!! Remember, the A-list blogs spent their time on the “Z” list as well!

    You know the saying, “A Rising Tide Raises All Ships”. The same is true of blogging!

  24. I think this is something wich you can learn with your experience.

    From your tips i liked most #11.

  25. Shafar says:

    This is exactly the post I needed last few days! I searched in google, but didn’t get the expected results. Thanks for the article.

  26. Thomas says:

    Great article. Trackbacks and pingbacks work well, as do comments, but there’s no greater promotional leverage than a good relationship with another blogger! Nice work!

  27. A great way to get noticed is to post a weekly link roundup linking to sites you want links from.

    Webmasters are obsessed about their stats… if they see traffic coming from your site, they’ll check out what you have to offer and will eventually link back as a way to say thank you.

    I’ve been doing this for years, and it works great.

  28. Sarah H. says:

    Wonderful tips…my blog is brand new and has only a small number of readers right now. I appreciate these tips because getting links from other blogs seems a bit daunting sometimes!

  29. Shane says:

    Idea 12. Believe in plain luck. Sometimes, that’s the only factor.

  30. grechen says:

    I definitely do this – most primarily with posts that I devote a lot of time to and do a lot of research on; I send it to other bloggers in my niche to save them the time and to provide valuable information to their visitors. I agree, though, it’s not easy, especially in the fashion blogger niche – it is a tight-knit clique and incredibly difficult to penetrate! But when they do respond and they do post your link, you’re building a very valuable relationship…

  31. Kimota says:

    Excellent advice. I agree that attracting backlinks from other blogs is always an uphill battle. I spend hours crafting a piece that I think is pure viral gold only for it to languish with only a cpouple of backlinks if I’m lucky. Plenty of traffic – StumbleUpon is great for good content – but no one linking back.

    I think it takes more than good content. The most successful content I find is that which invites a response. Just as we hope for plenty of comments on posts, sometimes leaving a question slightly open can motivate others to continue the thread on their blogs.

    One common technique used to atrtract links is providing a useful resource. But sometimes this can backfire. If a blog post does too much in covering all aspects of a particular issue, providing too comprehensive an answer, it leaves commenters and other bloggers nowhere to go. Leave them a little gap and then other bloggers will fill that gap of opinion or information with their own comments and posts, offering their own insight or perspective.

  32. Syed Balkhi says:

    Nice set of links Darren. I think it is better to pitch to C-D list because they respond so don’t waste a lot of time with top bloggers because half don’t even reply to emails.

  33. soares says:

    Really nice tips but its hard when we are starting…mainelly in oour home language..

  34. Lindsay says:

    Good list.

    Also…

    There’s a lot to be said for writing about topics with sheer coolness factor. :)

    I think this is easier with shopping/gadget blogs, but if you find something really cool to write about in your niche, the bigger blogs in your niche (the ones updating their sites multiple times a day and who are always looking for new things to write about) tend to find you.

  35. Kok Choon says:

    I think getting into B, C, D list is easier, as long as all the contents is good and related, I think chances of them linking to us is high.

    I think this is same as doing guest posting, only good content will be accepted.

  36. I have a hard time asking other bloggers for a link as well because I don’t want to violate the relationship I’ve developed. I’ve been asked for links from people I don’t know, but usually they offer something in exchange.

    I guess I’m just holding on to the hope that if I link to them often enough, they might return the favor.

  37. Steven Smith says:

    But I’m shu. And my best work hasn’t been written yet. My writing gets better, but when do I begin asking folks to link to my article(s)?

  38. When it comes down to it….it is all about networking and leting people know that you are willing to help them. Be friendly to everyone b/c you never know who knows who, or better yet who will make it big and remember that you helped them before they helped you.

  39. Another great way is to expand on another bloggers post and link back to them.

    Chances are, they will Tweet it, and if they again expand on yours, they will link back.

    I’ve done this with a post from Problogger myself. The one about Home Bases, Outposts, and Frontiers.

  40. Great tips, especially #2 so you don’t waste time. Thanks.

  41. Great article Darren. Very timely information for me.

  42. Isn’t leaving a comment also a way of getting a link back to your site?

    It may not be as good as solid link on the front page ie, people won’t be encouraged to visit…. BUT Google will treat it as a link won’t it?

  43. Thank you Darren very much for your advise on how to get others to be interested in our blogs, I have what I think is a great help page for those who had recent trouble with getting new credit, It’s not a scam, and it’s all legal and very helpfull to others like myself that had some bad times in the past years, I admit i’m not a very good writer, but I have some great points to help people get back their credit privilages. thank you Darren.
    Ed Clements. [email protected]

  44. Quoizel says:

    Does posting comments on blogs give you a link back to your site if you are using the uri and name feature. Or is this a complete waste of time.

  45. fantastic post, many thanks for the info – I dont really ever reply to blog posts but found the post as a mistake. Keep up the good work!