This blog post is part of a series of blog posts focused on how to blog more effectively.
In an earlier post titled “How to be a better blogger“, Kenyatykoon asked:
“how should i ask for back links from blogs that are more popular than mine but in the same niche?? there are a few that i have been reading and commenting for some time and am wondering how to ask them to include my blog on their blog rolls without angering them… help a green blogger”
For a start, it is important to reiterate the importance of links. Links from credible websites are a sign of authority. It shows that owners of authoritative websites have gone through your content and have found it credible enough for them to recommend it to their readers. In essence, search engines place a lot of value on quality links to your blog and interpret this to mean your blog is credible. Over time, your blog would rank higher for search queries on content related to your blog, as compared to blogs that do not have other websites linking to them.
Also, links drive traffic. A link from a popular blogger to your own blog guarantees you a lot of traffic if the link is well-placed. The readers of the popular blogger would follow the link to see what content is being shared, and they too might share it with others from their own websites if they are website owners.
Take note of the words I have boldfaced. They hold the key to your success with getting links for your blog.
Having made a case for links, I would proceed to suggesting some ways by which you could get links to your blog. I would classify these into two: passive and active methods. They should be combined for best results.
Passive method of getting links to your blog
The method is the most credible, in my opinion. It basically involves you maintaining very high standards for your blogg in every way possible:
- Aesthetics: looks do not automatically translate into authority but do tell your blog visitors that you care about orderliness and professionalism. A blog looking professional is more likely to be taken seriously compared to a blog that has all the good content but looks unkept. It is psychological. So, be sure your content is logically arranged, your blog heading is attractive and your most important posts are well placed.
- Content: I cannot over-emphasize the importance of credible content. It is the most critical part of blogging. Content is what drives traffic and therefore, it is necessary that you post useful content in a timely manner. When other website users get to discover your blog, they tend to judge you based on your content than anything else. Content is king.
- Others: there are many other factors that determine the credibility of your blog. These include: the accuracy of your blog posts, your blogging frequency, grammar, timeliness etc.
The passive side of things involve you making sure your blog itself is very effective. I would cite an example based on my personal experience with blogging.
I have hardly ever had to solicit for links to my blog. The existing links to my blogs are based on other website users deriving value from my blog and voluntarily deciding that the blog deserves to be shared, and thus they link to it in their blog roll or quote me from within their blog content and then link to the relevant blog post, or – in recent times – share my blog posts using social media tools like Facebook, Twitter, Gatorpeeps etc.
Active methods of getting links to your blog
In addition of taking care of the “home front” by making sure your own blog is as effective as possible, it is important for you to participate actively on other websites.
You would note that I have mentioned getting links from other websites instead of getting links from other blogs. It is deliberate. This is because “other blogs” are not the only types of websites that can link to your blog. This brings us to my first suggestion on how you can actively generate links to your blog:
- Discussion forums: participating sensibly on internet forums is a credible way of getting links to your blog. If you can make time for it, you should participate actively on a forum relevant to your content, and share your ideas and opinion. Other forum users would eventually get to recognise the quality you offer and are more likely to take any web links from you seriously. At this point, you can share links to your blog posts especially where they are very relevant to the topic of discussion on the forum thread. Be careful to follow the rules specified by the forum owners and do not link to your own blog too frequently as this could be considered spamming. Eventually, other forum users would link to your blog posts voluntarily where it is necessary for them to quote an authority. This method can take a lot of time but pays-off if the forum is a popular one and commands a lot of traffic. Choose the forum wisely.
- Blog comments: As a blogger, you should be visiting other blogs relevant to you, regularly. Whilst there, feel free to comment where you have a valuable idea or important opinion to share. Whilst commenting, include your own blog address in the website URL column. Where it is very useful, you can link to your own relevant blog post from within your comments. If the blog moderator(s) finds your link useful enough, they would maintain it. Else, they would edit your comment or delete it. Note that some blog platforms include a nofollow attribute in links from within comments due to spamming abuse. This means search engines are forced to disregard links within those comments but you can still gain the traffic value from readers who click on your link.
- Social media tools: social networking services are becoming an increasingly popular means of promoting your blog. Sharing your own blog posts via social media gets your content to relevant readers in a timely manner. If those readers are website owners, they might eventually decide to link to your blog post. It is also important that you make your blog posts easy to share, my installing sharing buttons on your blog. Examples of such sharing button services are: sharethis.com, addthis.com and addtoany.com
Recommended social media services are: Twitter.com, Digg.com, Delicious.com and Facebook.com
- Submit your blog to relevant blog directories like Afrigator.com, Technorati.com etc
- Include your blog address on your social media profiles
- Link to other blogs/websites. Some would link back to you voluntarily. Some won’t.
Eventually, you might no longer need to promote your blog on other websites. When your blog reaches a critical point of authority/recognition, your blog readers would happily & voluntarily promote it by linking to it. Therefore, it is very important that you place a high premium on the quality of your own blog, and do your best to get noticed.
Did you find this blog post valuable? Do you have other ideas to share? Share your thoughts by commenting and/or share this blog post with others by linking to it from other websites!