Andrew Garrett has written a very insightful post at on a discovery he’s made about blogging that I think we all need to learn (and many of us relearn) – No-one links to the linkers. He tells a little of his own previous style of blogging – linking to another blog/site, adding a few of his own comments and hitting publish. He then goes on to make a few pertinent (I always wanted to use that word in a post) observations:
‘No-one links to linkers.
By deluding myself that being a human news filter I was adding value, I was avoiding doing ‘real’ writing. Sure, I was writing a bit here and there. but not enough to be a draw card.
A few link-based posts here and there are fine – once you have an audience. Link aggregation on a particular subject – that’s also valuable. Once you have an audience.
First, get an audience.
Audiences are like governments – you get the one you deserve. I haven’t yet deserved an audience.’
Andrew then goes on to share what he’s going to do about it.
I think the realizations that Andrew are having are excellent. While there are some successful blogs out there that are predominantly link blogs they generally add value to the content they link to and/or do it on the back of having built an audience around some other factor (sometimes good original content, sometimes they have a name or previous expertise that draws the audience, sometimes it’s their quirky, snarky and/or intelligent commentary on the links that they link to….)
Setting yourself apart from the millions of other blogs out there means you need some sort of unique selling proposition – linking to the same stuff everyone else does is just not going to do it for you.
I’m not anti link blogs – but I think bloggers (especially new ones) need to have realistic expectations about what they can achieve with them. If you’re going to be a link blogger make sure you either mix in some truly original posts, link in a unique way that is an attraction in itself or be able to find the most wonderful mind-blowing collection of links ever known to humankind!