Relationship Linking Part 1 — The Hows and Whys

Great bloggers are always on the lookout for opportunities to link to other blogs. Linking for traffic and incoming links is a good thing. Sometimes an idea offers more than one opportunity. In like manner, often a blogger has a choice of ideas to write about.

The very word linking implies a relationship, but I’m talking about more than a one-link stand. Long-term relationships with other bloggers offer support and visibilty that short-term, high-traffic links will probably never deliver.

Many bloggers begin their blogging day by reading feeds. They link to the article that sparks the idea they will be blogging about that day. If this is your style of blogging, take a moment to review your feeds. Add in blogs at your level that have the same values and quality standards as those you hold for your own blog. Remove all that don’t meet your standards. Have a 70% ratio of blogs at your level or one level higher — don’t read only A List blogs.

Sometimes we blog in the opposite direction. We write the article. Then we look for a links and quotes to support what we have said. Use the same standards to choose the links you’ll share with readers. Find the strongest example from a blog that you hope to have a relationship with as your blog grows.

Here’s how to put this relationship linking strategy in action.

  • Sort your feeds to include only blogs that have the same values and quality standards as those you hold for your own blog.
  • When you choose to use an idea from one of these, leave a comment to show that you were mindful and attending.
  • When you write your post, be mindful of the anchor text and words around the link you set for the trackback. Choose words that pique the interest if you can. Between the previous comment and the well-chosen anchor test, your trackback will be almost magnetic . . . the blogger who wrote the original will want to see what someone who is so interested in his article wrote. Now you have moved from being another blogger to being a person with a blog that bloger knows.
  • If you’ve chosen well, soon you and a new blogger friend will be exchanging post links when appropriate and sharing thoughts and ideas through the comment box, email, and even voice.

    As each of your blogs grows, you’ll both be stronger for the links. You’ll introduce that blogger to your readers, and the same will happen for you. This one long-term relatiosnship will add lasting value to your blog long after a one-shot link to a blog that has interesting content.

    Liz Strauss

    11 thoughts on “Relationship Linking Part 1 — The Hows and Whys

    1. You’re right about trackbacks being an art, FRanky. They can make you look standoffish as easily as they make you look friendly.

    2. Trackbacks are an art, (s)he who does it well will grow. And not only in links. Nice article Liz.

      Raj, move out of Gmail for Google Reader. Use the power of tags/labels in Google Reader.
      I very much like my FeedDemon because of how the search works and the cache of Feeddemon. Surely it can be a memory hog, if you have many feeds and less than 512MB, but with 400+ feeds I read daily, a second/third screen* just to follow feeds has proven its value already. I even have the update for the more valuable feeds set at 30min, to make sure I never have too many feeds to read at once and can easily keep up.

      * Correctly, in my case the feed reader is on the third screen.

    3. Liz: I’ve tried different approaches and basically, when you’re trying to follow as many feeds as I do, it’s hard to keep track no matter what. I like Newsgator’s drag and drop of feeds and folders without entering edit mode, but it’s slow to redraw the screen when I select a feed. Bloglines is fast, but all posts get automatically marked as read. And moving feeds around or even finding them is a pain. My Google Reader is installed right into GMail, and it simply doesn’t function in any way worthwhile to my rapid browsing. Despite loving GMail, Calendar, and other Google tools, I have yet to see what other bloggers love so much about GReader.

      I find that the simplest way sometimes is to mark all posts read and start fresh. But then, there are numerous feeds on blogging platforms where any all the most recent feed items get updated. Blogger is like that, as are any of the platforms that generate static pages. The result is annoying, because there are feeds I MUST follow for my writing, but I have to wade through 20 posts I’ve already read because my feed reader says they’re new items. Ah well.

    4. Raj the other thing I do is sort by topic — you probably do too. I put all of the positivy and personal development blogs together etc. One set is my must reads and one is my Google neighborhood.

    5. I’m now subscribed to over 1100 feeds, mostly through Bloglines, but I also use Newsgator and Google Reader. There’s a bit of overlap, and I don’t read it all, but I do browse regularly. I have to. I have no choice, since I ghostwrite on numerous topics, and it requires me to have a broad knowledge of all. But for my own reading, I could apply your suggestion.

    6. Hi Raj, I decided some time ago that I wasn’t going to keep feeds with blogs that I wouldn’t keep as friends. That sure changed my world of people who influence me and what I write.

    7. Great advice, Liz. I never thought to organize my feeds the way you suggest above. I’ll need to try it.

    8. I was just communicating an idea with B5media, and my next visit was this post. I realized that although I added the Performancing blog to my CultureFeast Blogroll, I’d forgotten to add this blog to my feed reader. I’ll make sure I visit more often. Despite how many blogs I read weekly (20+ sites), I rarely come across consistently useful information like I do when I’m here at Performancing. Keep up the good work!

    9. Hi John,
      Great to see you here! Thanks for the support!
      Building links about people and ideas. They are the living Internet. They are what makes it go.

    10. Speaking of link-worthy content, this one needs to be distributed. Building these kinds of relationships has got to be one of the most educational and inspiring experiences I’ve had in blogging. -j

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