Blogger Hangups #1 – Hoarding Readers

Are you afraid of sending readers away from your website?

As a blog consultant, I’ve come across many fellow bloggers and site owners who refuse to link out to other blogs / websites because they believe that ‘you should not send readers away from your website’.

Now I’m not saying that you should drive people off your blog by plastering links all over it. If your blog is a quality resource, people will read it, like it and come back to it.

But not linking out under the pretext of not wanting to send readers away is stupid, and ranks just below that crazy lady who threatened to sue people for linking to her website.

And under the right conditions, it’s good value for your readers if you link out to other blogs and blog posts from time to time.

My view on this is that on blog or website cannot possibly contain ALL information that a person wishes to share with his readers. It’s not a scalable option and frankly, after a certain point the amount of information you have to deal with makes this approach impossible.

So there are two things you can do:

  • You can either limit what information you provide to your readers or
  • You can link out to other blogs and resources that offer additional information

At the end of the day, if you are hoarding readers you’re operating under a negative mindset and you’ll be limiting yourself in terms of how much value you can provide through your blog to your readers.

Let’s face it, your readers are not blindly loyal – they are going to go to other sources regardless of whether you link to them or not.

The challenge is not to prevent readers from leaving your blog. They will do so, no matter what you do.

The challenge is to make your blog so good that even after leaving it, readers will come back for more. Part of the process in making your blog kick ass is to offer as much value through it as you possibly can.

The only way it’s possible to do that is to link to other quality articles and websites.

6 thoughts on “Blogger Hangups #1 – Hoarding Readers

  1. If you are sending your readers away to good quality links that they would not have likely found through other means you’ve provided a valuable resource and your readers will return.

  2. Agreed, though one place you do want to minimize outbound links is on an affiliate marketing site. Or do you think that’s wrong? (This isn’t my own theory; I’ve merely adopted it and think it makes sense.)

  3. For me it’s not about a “sending them away” – it’s about laziness. You probably know by now that I’m a lazy blogger. But my new commitment is to start linking out at least once per blog entry. Hold me to that!

  4. An excellent point, Ahmed. Readers also like bloggers who know the best places to ‘send them away’.

    I particularly enjoyed this post because our online writing (experimental) class professor once gave us the advice of “send your readers away, and send them good, so they’ll come back to you for more” 😉

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