Link posts come with a lot of blogs. Some are weekly, some are daily, some are simply once in a while. There are highly branded such posts, that we look forward to each week, such as Liz Strauss’ SOB Business Café, or the Coffee Break of Business and Blogging, written by Laura Spencer and Liz Fuller.
I’m also playing with my own link post and now that I figured which day is better, it is slowly becoming a never missed to-do to have my roundup on Mondays. But from a Marketing and PR specialist’s point of view, what’s behind a link post, why do we write them, what do they bring to us and how do we position ourselves as bloggers through them?
The first thing about a link post is some sort of humility, of admitting we’re only a part of the whole blogosphere and world. Yes, we bloggers are not all-knowing. We might have a niche, we might be writing about the world at large, the bottom line is we can’t cover everything. So by these posts, we give credit to all those writing excellent stories.
Don’t get me wrong, not having such a post does not mean the blogger in question think he or she is everything their readers need. Showing appreciation for others’ work is just a part of link love and it’s definitely not the only way to show it.
Benefits of Affiliation
You do not need to promote a brand to show affiliation. Choosing certain bloggers for your link posts will have the same effect. The choices are based on the blogs we read with a certain frequency, so the stories we pick are just part of our blogging background, not necessarily a complicated scheme to have readers associate our names with certain bloggers.
But if you’re writing for a technology blog, you might choose first class bloggers from that field; if what you’re mostly interested in is business, you’ll promote stories from that segment. Such a link post will have your blog affiliated with a certain niche, a certain quality standard and a certain ethics code that you sometimes adhere to without giving it much thought. It’s what feels right for you and for your readers.
One More Post to Add to Your Publishing Schedule
Anyone whose been blogging for a while knows reading blogs, news, reports and (e)books is an important part of your research. You can’t just go inventing new entries out of thin air. So putting together a list of interesting stories is something you do as you go, with no specific effort. On the other hand, link posts are not that hard to write, therefore make for a great way to add to your publishing routine. If you get 2 or 3 more posts written weekly, you’ll have quite a posting routine. All that’s left now is to make sure the quality is high enough to drive traffic your way.
The Back Scratching Aspect
Linking to others’ stories is a nice and not so selfless thing to do. So expecting to get something in return, more than what I’ve already described, might not be such a great idea. Not because it’s a bad thing, I’m not about judging correctness right now, but simply because it has good chances to fail. Yes, the blogger in question might stop by and comment, but he won’t do that on every post and will definitely not link to your blog just because you’ve promoted his or her story. They’ll keep visiting you for entirely different reasons.
All in All…
Link love posts are easy to write and come with quite a few benefits for the author. But as any other tip, they won’t be all you need to get others to see you as a top blogger and to show you all the love the blogosphere and other social media have known. You still need quality content, you’ll still to have lasting relationships with other bloggers, you’ll still need to be easy to find and have a neat design. So start working on it right now! 🙂