The world wide web. Defined as a system where documents and other resources can be accessed through a Unique Resource Locator, more commonly known as URL (or link.)
And your blog is a part of this vast network of content, meaning that it can also mention and link to other resources.
But what about other bloggers linking to your articles? Or mentioning them, quoting from them, and so on?
While the age-old rule of “build it and they will come” has its merits, and they might get you a bit of attention from those who genuinely love your articles, you can go beyond this, and proactively look for bloggers that might be inclined to link to your articles.
That’s why today I’m sharing with you a simple set of rules to follow if you want to gain more exposure.
This is a no brainer but a lot of bloggers try to get others to link and mention content that’s mediocre at best.
If you want folks to link to your article, then you’ve got to write with the goal of sharing the best resource on the web.
Focus on the Relationship
Cold emailing a blogger that you’ve never interacted with before and asking that they link to your article is one of the worst ways to start off a relationship that might benefit both people.
No matter how good your article is, they are far less inclined to link to it if they have no idea who you are.
That’s why I suggest something that’s called, “The Trojan Horse Strategy.” Work on building relationships with other bloggers within your niche.
Focus on the Benefit
Another important aspect is this: you’re effectively asking for a favor from someone else, and thus you must also mention what’s in it for them.
Not to suggest for one moment that the blogosphere is a harsh environment, but you can certainly get far more favorable replies if you also mention that you’d be more than glad to return the favor, help the other blogger with editing/proofreading their content, or some other benefit that you might offer them.
Friendly, Free, and Competent
The following three words should be your mantra as you network and engage other bloggers:
Friendly – don’t come off as desperate, don’t beg others for favors.
Free – make it as clear as possible that no is a possibility, that the blogger in question can certainly decline your request, and nothing bad will come of it.
You could say something like, “If you don’t consider my article to be a fit for your own blog, no worries.”
Let them decide if your article is worth linking to or not.
Competent – This means that you must show the other blogger that you know what their blog is about, you know what article the could edit to mention your own article, and how that could benefit both of you.
If, for instance, they wrote a listicle about “10 Best Books about X Topic,” and you have published a book that might be part of that list, let them know that you’ve read the article, what you think of it, and why you think your book could be added to their list.
A great way of appearing competent is to be polite, direct, and limit the number of compliments you make (this also helps you come of as friendly and free.)
When pitching other bloggers to mention and link to your article, you need to be as specific as possible.
Don’t just ask them to someday, somehow link to your blog. Vague requests receive negative replies.
Instead, tell them what article of theirs they could edit to mention a specific article of yours.
Want others to link to you? Link to them first.
It might seem like an obvious (and flawed) strategy, but because it’s so obvious, a lot of bloggers don’t even go through the trouble of mentioning and linking to other articles they’ve found on the web.
Be Part of the Conversation
At any given time, there are multiple conversations taking part within a certain niche. Some might be related to current events, some might revolve around a particularly popular piece of content.
If you want others to link to your article, make sure your blog post is part of that conversation. Not only that, but do a bit of research and make sure you actually add to the conversation, either by promoting a less popular perspective or writing about first-hand experience with that specific topic.
I didn’t add this to the previous point on mentioning a benefit, because it shouldn’t be one.
“Link to me and I’ll link to you,” is a mostly meaningless endeavor.
Instead, you should think of it as a way to further nurture your relationships with a blogger who has been generous enough to mention and link to your article.
However, keep in mind that you should always link to quality content. Always.
Persuading other bloggers to link to your article is ultimately about two aspects:
- Building relationships
- Providing quality content that is expertly tune to the conversation that takes part within your niche.
That’s about it.
And don’t forget to keep in mind the following three words: “Friendly, Free, and Competent.”
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