Linking the Right Way — Join the Conversation

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There has been a hugh amount of conversation lately on a couple of list I am on about linking back and forth between blogs. While I agree linking is important. It is only important if it is done right. Additionally, linking between blogs is just one aspect of blogging and posting that will benefit you and give you a good return on your investment (ROI) in blogging. Also important is the linking you do should be relevant to what you are blogging about and what your target or niche market is. And others are trying to compare blogging to the typical static marketing efforts of the past.

Way too much time is consumed by…… talking about linking back and forth from blogs and websites in forced artificial ways.

Kevin O’Keefe stated recently on his blog. I agree. Most who are discussing linking on these list I fear, believe linking is the magic pill to instant success of a blog. It is not and it is not how it should be done.

Linking is only one part of what should be your goal in your blogging. Linking is part of the ongoing conversation that is accomplished by blogging. The conversation is what sets blogging apart from other forms of web based marketing, including a static Web site and/or a Yellow Page ad.

Don’t just put up a blogroll of links to other blogs or a static Web site. You must go out and find others in your target or niche area and see what they are discussing or talking about. Join in that conversation by commenting on the other blogs. Follow what they are saying in your RSS reader. But, don’t stop there. This is where the linking comes in. Comment on the other bloggers blogs. Post about it on your own blog with a link back to them, quoting them in your own post and doing a trackback to them. They will notice you are participating in the conversation and in turn may do the same for you.

Dawud Miracle added to this conversation when he stated on eMoms at Home:

For instance, as a blogger, go out of your way to find great posts to link too. Then, go to the posts you link too and leave a comment. Then, once you’ve published your post, email the owner of the post you linked to and let them know you loved their post and just published something about it on your own blog. Then, go and Stumble the post you linked too – giving the blog owner another reason to pay attention to you.

Recently, Business Week had an article called, Advertising: Now a Conversation. Finally, someone in the mainstream media is getting it right.

It’s no secret the Internet has changed the way consumers get information about products and the companies that provide them. Because so much intelligence about a potential transaction is so readily available from independent sources, the message provided by conventional advertising has declined in value to consumers, who even question its trustworthiness.

And this goes right along with what we are discussing here. No longer can we simple jam our message down the throats of are target or niche market. By taking a point of view and then participating in an ongoing discussion we are inviting collaboration not only from others who are blogging about it, but also our target. We want are target/niche market to get involved in the conversation too. The communication in marketing for the most part has been one way up until now. Blogging allows us as bloggers and our target market to get involved in this conversation. Our target can actually tell us what they want in an instant moment of time.

Once a company has become a part of the conversation, conventional one-way advertising can serve a meaningful purpose. It can draw attention to the conversation and to the company’s participation. It can alert a market to change. It can be a form of information that is valuable again—information about where and when the market is operating and how to engage with it.

O’Keefe goes on to state a key point and what is so great about blogging:

Think of it like a conference or series of conferences. The thought leaders are on the panels. They comment on what each other says. They comment on other panelists answers to questions from the audience.

If you think about blogging as a conversation, “a conference or series of conferences,” you will be miles ahead of others who are wasting their time simple putting up a blogroll of links or a static Web site or a typical Yellow Page ad, hoping to get results.

Find the conversations in your target or niche area by using a RSS reader. Listen to the conversation with your RSS reader. Engage in the conversation by posting comments, posting on your blog and doing a trackback and linking to the other blogger. And empower your readers to do the same.

About The Author
Grant Griffiths is founder of Blog For Profit and co-founder of Headway, the first Drag and Drop WordPress Theme Framework. You can follow Grant on twitter at @grantgriffiths

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