First, a link is a door people open to your world, be it a world within your blog, social media tools and services, or a recommendation to visit another world, one you hope your fans will enjoy so much, they will return to your world with joy, eager for more and telling the world about what you have to offer.
Second, if you link without anything worth linking to, without anything positive to offer people, without anything worth recommending, without anything worth returning to, you have lost the power in social influence within the modern online world.
If you link to yourself, then these two characteristics are magnified. You are offering people a gateway into your world, one they expect is worth linking to, deserving of attention, exciting, and worth telling others about.
The link is the most powerful social media tool of all.
Have Content Before You Link
I was delighted with the lesson Blog Me Famous learned in the post, “Five Guidelines to Guest Blogging”:
* Do not guest blog until you have content!
The first mistake I made was jumping into guest blogging too fast. Three days after my blog was launched I wrote an article on a high traffic industry leading blog only to loose all benefits that it would of brought to my blog. It’s not something I would like to see repeated especially after you’ve created such great content for the guest post. So please at least wait until your blog has around 20-30 posts and you are going strong with at least one post per day. If you don’t the users will come but are unlikely to return.
…To conclude it’s important for a new blogger to ensure that they have enough quality content to back up their blog for the expected users coming through and to ensure that the quality of the post they are using reflects your blogs ideals.
If you open the door to your blog, to your Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, or any other social media site or service that speaks about you and for you, shouldn’t it say something?
Have content before you link to yourself. It’s that simple.
Then why do so many get it wrong?
A rash of “I’d be a good guest blogger on your blog” and “link to my blog post” comments have been coming into my blogs lately that are poorly formed and poorly dispatched. Below, I write about how to, and not to, contact a blogger to guest blog or get them to link to you, but much needs to happen long before that initial contact.
You must have content worth linking to and recommending.
Looking for a guest blogging opportunity or link recommendation isn’t much different from applying for any blogging job. If you don’t have the resume to back up your experience and expertise, why would anyone care what you have to say?
Too many times when someone asks me to guest blog on my blogs or link to their blog posts, I check them out and want to smack them upside the head for stupidity.
Recently, one such request led me to an article with were many careless misspellings and grammar errors. It also included a reference to me without a link to my blog or blog post, and my name was misspelled. While most forgive the occasional gaff, as the article was on SEO, the lack of a link to my name and the misspelling of keywords and search terms spoke loudly for not understanding the very basics of SEO.
Each paragraph was one giant block of text with multiple ideas, quickly proving to readers that they don’t understand how blog writing works. The content was not well thought out, with ideas started but not completed. While the article claimed 5 points with its title and headings, each point ran amok with multiple, unrelated points within the points. It should have been titled “98 Ways” instead.
Let’s look at the score card. Poor writing, lack of attention to details, lack of structure, discipline, and communication skills…wouldn’t you want them to guest blog or want to link to, or possibly even hire them?
Prove yourself with content on your blog or social media service. Show your experience, perseverance, and passion for your subject matter. Edit everything thoroughly, making your content shine. Make it your best work. It’s your reputation on the line.
Tomorrow in this ongoing series on Exploring Social Media Series, I’ll talk about how to contact a blogger with your link to encourage them to link to you and your blog post.
Exploring Social Media Series
- Define Social Media
- Exploring Social Media Series
- Exploring Social Media: Social Media Tools
- Exploring Social Media: It Starts With One
- Exploring Social Media: Start With the Basics
- Exploring Social Media: One Size Does Not Fit All
- Exploring Social Media: The Motrin Moment Impact of Social Media
- Exploring Social Media: Social Means Personal
- Exploring Social Media: Do You Know How to Use the Social Web?
- Exploring Social Media: Establishing Your Online Credentials
- Exploring Social Media: Learning About Social at the Goodwill Outlet
The author of Lorelle on WordPress and the fast-selling book, Blogging Tips: What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging, as well as several other blogs, Lorelle VanFossen has been blogging for over 15 years, covering blogging, WordPress, travel, nature and travel photography, web design, web theory and development extensively as web technologies developed.