Linking to Others in Your Blog Post
A common way to improve SEO and ultimately blog traffic, as well as interest, is to link to others in your blog posts. However, in the last 5 years there's been a lot of nonsense shared about linking out. As this isn't a controversial post (see below, tip #5) I won't be linking to them.
One piece of nonsense is that you need someone's permission to link to them. Getting a link to a piece of your content is the holy grail of content marketing - to write content that everyone wants to send their audience to - to ask permission to link to someone seems to be a poor way of saying "I've linked to you".
Another piece of linking nonsense is that linking out to someone will damage your site. I can just imagine linking to a site and a little man with a pick-axe following the link back to my site and attempting to smash it up. The internet doesn't work that way!
In this blogging FAQ, we're looking out outbound links.
By linking to others you will provide your audience with more useful information, gain the attention of movers and shakers, provide content when you are out of ideas, and even give your loyal readers a valuable resource they might not have otherwise known about.
Here are 5 Outbound Link Tips
Linking tip #1
Add Value. Remember when you link to another blog or website you're sending your audience elsewhere which can be a problem if you're not adding value to your own blog post. Link to people who post about information that adds value to your own information.
Linking Tip #2
2. Be a Friend. Linking to those who are bloggers, and are commenting on your posts is a good way to reward active participating readers which will encourage even more participation. If someone says something useful or interesting never hesitate to give them a shout out within your blog posts.
Linking Tip #3
3. Reach Out. Don't be afraid to find new and interesting blogs that are complementary to yours and create a blog post about them. Especially if they are very popular. If you create an entire blog post discussing what is so awesome about a great blogger that says things you believe in, linking to that blog, you might get visitors from that blogger’s readers. They might even stick around.
Linking Tip #4
4. Try something new. Linking to new blogs that seem to be informative and interesting can also garner new visitors. Make sure the new blogs are relevant to your topic in some way but especially ensure that their audience can be your audience either directly or in a complementary way.
Linking Tip #5
5. Cause Controversy. It doesn't hurt to disagree with someone. If a blogger, the more famous the better, writes about something you disagree with, say so! Write a meaningful blog post, link to the offending post for reference, and don't hold back. Nothing gets more traffic than some good old fashioned controversy. Remember, causing controversy doesn't mean starting a fight and burning the internet down.
Another outbound link FAQ that comes up is around whether you should have links do-follow, no-follow, Sponsored, or something else. I've made my links do-follow. I'm happy to "share" the link-love with the people I link out to. The exception to this rule is if I have sponsored content on here, then I'll mark the link accordingly with "Sponsored" tag.
Linking to others can increase your readership and clout in many ways. Just ensure that whomever you link to offers quality content, even if you disagree with them, and lives up to your own Content Standards!