Avoiding Link Tedium Hell

We’ve posted before that link exchanges are stupid. That doesn’t mean you don’t need links, though. You do need links. The more the merrier.

But why exactly do you need links so badly? And how can you get them without being cast into to a slow, tedious, link building hell?

Links can be the difference between the life and death of a site, but they are especially important for a professional blogger, for three reasons:

  1. Direct, recurring traffic. – without traffic, what is the point? Links give you the most stable form of recurring traffic.
  2. Google juice. – It had to be said (as if you didn’t know it already). Links will help your site get more love from major search engines.
  3. Gaining authority. – If Doc Searls links to you, well then you must know something right? A link is the most basic form of recommendation on the Web. The more recommendations you get (especially those from authoritative people), the more authority you have.
    Authority = readers = bookmarks = more links = google juice = super happy ultra fun show!

My point is that links are critical to blog success, and you do need them. That doesn’t mean you have to waste your time doing crappy link exchanges though. I think the easiest ways for bloggers to get good quality links are:

  1. Create link bait. – Nick’s posted on this one before, and I won’t rehash it. Creating link bait on a regular basis however is probably the quickest route to strong growth.
  2. Send personalized emails to other bloggers pointing out specific posts that you think they may find interesting. – Again, I’m not advocating crappy link exchanges (most bloggers will not respond favorably to these anyway), however sometimes showing someone good content, and asking politely for a (non-reciprocated) link can do wonders.

What are some other (non-tedious) ways to get good quality links for a blog?