Write for Readers not Link Listers if You Want to Have an Audience

Back in the olden days when I first started blogging. The words “Content is king,” were said so frequently that you couldn’t read ten blog posts without coming across them. You still see that sentence, though not quite as often.

Yet another word was said alongside that sentence that I don’t hear much at all these days. The word is relevant. Relevant was what made content quality. Anchor text showed how one link was relevant to another. How relevant a blog is was measured by things like Google pank rank.

We seem to be losing track of relevancy.

I haven’t said much about link lists. But I’m starting to see blogs of young friends that are build around contests or link lists every week. There is no ongoing content. The blogs are made solely to attract link after link.

This situation troubles me in a deeply serious way.

No content means that there are no readers in the audience only folks there for links. Inherent problems come with this.

  • The audience is bought by links. They will disappear when the “payment” does.
  • The blog is not for readers and therefore provides no service but to falsely inflate blog rankings that are link based.
  • There is no conversation, nothing to discuss.
  • Easy links like easy money bring out the lottery mentality.

When you see a meme or link list that offers nothing but a reason to pass on links so that others can collect link love, do the blogosphere a favor. Let it sit there. It won’t add value to your blog. Your readers aren’t getting anything from a list of blogs you haven’t checked out personally.

Write solid content, rich in key words, high in quality with insights and a clever take on the idea. That will bring you natural links. Content will last and be worth something and be worthy.

To say it another way . . . when was the last time you stayed up until 3 in the morning to finish reading a compelling list of links? I thought not.

Write for readers — not for link listers — if you want to be a problogger. Writer for readers, if you want an audience who reads your blog.

Liz Strauss

4 thoughts on “Write for Readers not Link Listers if You Want to Have an Audience

  1. I’m tired of silly memes that are bloggers talking to each other as if readers don’t exist, or as if all readers are bloggers. The “should you carry the feedreader count chicklet?” meme was a great example of that one. The sides of the argument Disadvantagss of showing a low count are obvious and hardly worth a discussion in the form of a blog post. What reader has time to read several paragraphs about two sides to THAT question? That’s like worse than what the media makes up to fill time on a slow news day.

    Next at 11:00 Liz writers on the controversy of whether she should sign her name as Elizabeth.

  2. The problem with the John Chow method is that, when newbies follow the example, going a slight bit further in a “get links quick scheme,” they leave out the content. The audience and the blogger begin to develop a self-perpetuating circle in which everything depends on a new “reward” of a link almost like an addiction. Not only are they trained like Pavlov famous canines to expect that reward, but also links have compiled at rate that to maintain the Technorati rank, the blogger has to keep doing the lists and memes at the 6 months’ marks again or the blog will shed links as quick as it acquired them. Ouch.

  3. I know what you’re expecting me to say, but I’m not going to say it. Not. Going. To. Say. It. Marvel at my self-control. 8)

    Anyway, OMG stop the meme madness! The link-list thing does seem to be getting out of hand, doesn’t it. It’s getting to the point where I pass most of that stuff by and hope they have something more interesting to say next time.

    Of course, if you inspire me, you can make any kind of link list you like. Sadly, much of the stuff you’re describing isn’t even useful or interesting, much less inspiring. I’ll have to examine my linking habits to see how I measure up here…

    I’m probably an anchor text and keyword offender, at any rate. I don’t think about either much, so I probably suck in both areas. Such boring topics – I slack. 🙁

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