How To Get Linked

There’s been a bit of activity around the gun blogosphere about linky love not being shared as freely as some would like.  This is the eternal problem of the blogger, namely, how to get linked and build an audience.  There are some things I’ve found which work.

You have to think of your blog as an enterprise, so in order to get linked, you have to market yourself.  Now, there are smart ways to market yourself, and annoying ways to market yourself.  A smart way to market yourself is to pimp your best material around to other bloggers.  Note that I’m saying your best material.  Not all your material is great, because I know at least half (probably more) of the stuff I post is crap.  There’s a fine line between occasionally e-mailing a post you think is good, and putting a blogger on your mailing list to receive every single post or mailing you send out.  The former is acceptable, and even welcome.  The latter is annoying.

A second way is to link to bloggers as a way of getting their attention.  Now, when I say link, I don’t just mean point out something the other blogger said.  If you’re linking up the food chain, this is especially important: the blogger up the food chain will know what he said.  He will also likely know what other bloggers at his level in the food chain have said.  The trick in marketing your blog through strategic linking is to offer something that advances the conversation.  The essence of blogging really, is a rolling conversation (or rhetorical food fight, depending on the subject).

Understand that bloggers have editorial priorities.  Even if what you have is very good, it might not fit in with what the blogger wants to blog about that day, or the blogger just might have better things to do at the moment, and by the time he gets around to your post, his editorial priorities are different.  Also understand that bloggers who cover a lot of blogs, like I do, have to resort to a lot of skimming to get to it all.  We miss a lot that way.  Your fine literary work may have actually just gone unoticed by someone who does generally follow your blog.  It happens.  Also understand some bloggers are more generous with links that others.  SayUncle links more than me, and I link more than, say, Jeff Soyer.  If you target a blog who never links around, you’re a lot less likely to get something in return.

If you follow these guidelines, you should get links every now and then, and people will start noticing you.  That assuming, of course, you’re following the first rule of blogging, which is to have something to say.  A lot of bloggers post a lot, but don’t really say much.  Having something to say can be a lot of work, but if you do, and you’re marketing well, things should be happening for you.  If they aren’t, it’s likely a deficiency in one of those two key things.

13 thoughts on “How To Get Linked”

  1. When I’m feeling that I’m not getting enough link love I start posting comments on high traffic blogs that I think are particularly insightful. If I have a post that contributes to the topic at hand I link to that as well.

  2. Thanks! I don’t often link back to more popular blogs because I figure if they’ve already covered a story there’s probably not much point in me doing it. If I do cover the same story I usually will.

    Good stuff. Thanks!

  3. Linking back with something to say in addition is the key. If you add to the conversation, you at least can get an update. If it’s a really good addition, it can be worthy of another post. Even if you disagree, you’re more sure to get a link that way, actually, since the blogger will likely feel the need to defend his position. If it gets heated, even better. There’s nothing that drives traffic like drama and controversy.

  4. Man, my blogroll is a travesty. I really should just delete it, and then just link to blogs that I read every day anyway.

  5. Ahab, I think I went 3 years without updating the blogroll. Believe me, no one noticed. It’s not worth the time it takes to clean it up. :)

  6. I must confess, I’ve got a list of blogs that I need to add. I think I’m just going to manually add them as a html widget. *lol*

    That said, I often wonder whether I should be linking to other blogs or not? I figure most of the blogs are more popular, and probably already read by my readers.

    So most of my content has been original content. Not sure on what the best etiquette is.

    I do try to give props to some of my favorite blogs (such as this one and MArooned, and many others).

    Heck, I even read Snowflakesinhell specially in my reader. (I read all the blogs with a post or two, then Snowflakes is the first of the big bloggers I read, because he was the first gun blog I started reading.) *lol*

  7. Not all your material is great, because I know at least half (probably more) of the stuff I post is crap.

    That’s not too bad. 85% of my stuff is crap.

  8. So what you are saying is that in life some people will like somebody else better than me, and life is not fair? Whose idea was that?!!

  9. A lot of bloggers post a lot, but don’t really say much.

    *raises his hand*

    In all honesty, I have given up on questing for links. Things I write that I think are complete crap get the most traffic, and things I personally liked writing and seeing posted get nothing. I started writing for me, so exposure is neither important nor unimportant to me.

    From the other direction, I link flagrantly and wildly all over the place, to whatever catches my eye, so at least I guess I am helping other people out :).

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