So, the premise is, you’re new to the blogging scene and you want to be one of the popular people. You want to say, “Yeah, I write this blog” and have people say, “Oh, yeah, I really liked your article on…” So how do you get to that point?
By building a community of links, old school style.
Create quality, well thought out, original blogs. “No new things under the sun” is true, but you’re a unique individual. Nobody thinks exactly the way you do about any given subject; capitalize on that and write things from your perspective and experience.
Give links when links are appropriate to give. If you read an article and it helps make your point, link to it. Don’t be shy, don’t just link in the bottom of the blog with “related articles”. Link to it naturally in the content. For example: “[XYZ] wrote a blog about [topic], making a good point about [point]”.
Reference well-established people in your articles (when appropriate and interesting – not just whenever). To be able to do this, you have to actually keep up with the people established in your niche. Follow them, friend them, subscribe to their blogs.
While paying attention to those well-established bloggers and reading their articles, don’t forget to add a comment when the article inspires you to do so (i.e. when you can add something to the conversation). If you have a related article (and it’s part of your best content), drop the link in there. For example: “You might like [link with article title], where I wrote about a similar topic.”
Use the handy, dandy “signature” capabilities available in most email programs. Make sure all your correspondence is personalized, has a link to your site/blog and, if possible, to your latest post. Not only is this a way to make it stand out from spam, but it’s also a way to bring notice to your content.
Partner with vertical markets. For example, if you write about home repair and an article about plumbing comes up, link out to plumbing contractors. A hotel might link with a local spa or hairdresser.
Sponsor industry-related, local events like Meetups. Local events mean local links and a show of community support – which is always a good thing for local business.
Share your experiences of local businesses with your online community. The more positive the experience, the more likely the business will link to the article. As your online community grows and more local people find your blog, the company may even get extra business – even more worth a link.
A whole, whopping 10 – 20 years ago, life was easy. Bloggers grabbed their personal online journals; they started kicking out content and anybody could find them. Good luck being a blogging wallflower in “the good old days” – Big Daddy Google wanted to make sure you didn’t miss out.
These days, Google’s too busy to make sure you aren’t left out of the online party. Why? A couple of reasons:
Links used to be something that just happened, because you had good content and people wanted to share it with other interested people. Now, we think in terms of links giving “juice” – like a bad orange on a hot day.
Now? You have to do it all yourself. You have to get out there and be seen. You have to put your best foot forward… and hope you don’t fall flat on your face. In short, you have to build a community of people, sites and links around your blog - like they did way back when site ring communities were going strong. Only now, it’s a lot harder.
Good bloggers of today and yesteryear do have one thing in common: the willingness to share the link love and promote content written by others. Building a community of respect, knowledge and quality links doesn’t happen overnight, as you’ll see once you start following people you respect in your industry. However, by going old school, you be able to gain exposure and a fantastic community of links.
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