I don’t think you should aim to be a mediocre blogger. Always aim to write top content and do your best. However, it’s not your kick ass writing skills that are going to get you links.
Fact – when I started blogging professionally – and by professionally I mean paid – I was a lot more careful. I wrote and re-wrote posts, gave it my all and really tried to put super killer content out there on the web. AND I pretty much got zero links back to my carefully written, time consuming posts.
Fact – now I’ve been blogging professionally for many years. I’m not so careful anymore and yet I get a lot more links back to my content now then I did in the past.
It’s not that my writing has improved either. I think I’m a better blogger now then I was five years ago. I don’t have to try as hard. I never re-write. I know my pet topics better, my voice is clearer (i.e. I’m me without trying) and I can push good posts out much faster than when I was a newbie blogger. But overall I’m not some amazing writer now as compared as to years ago. So what’s with the links?
My friends and peers link to me.
Most of the time here’s who links to me…
- My friends who blog.
- My peers who blog - I consider peers who blog people I meet via Twitter, Facebook, or by some other means, and we keep in touch and chat from time to time but I don’t develop deeper relationships with them. I.e. we don’t chat it up on Skype for an hour or anything.
- The competition. For example, I’m a green blogger and thus talk to many other green bloggers, most of whom have blogs that directly compete with mine. Some of these blogger have WAY more popular blogs than mine. However, niches do tend to stick together even when competing. We email each other. We send little green updates. I link to them. They link to me.
- PR folks. Now that I’ve been blogging for a good long while PR people come to me. I don’t have to hunt down green products or news hardly ever. I write about green stuff PR people send me and they’re happy and make sure my post gets some links. Back when I first started blogging I almost never talked with PR folks (I missed a lot of links).
See the above – that’s who I link to as well. I don’t usually seek out the very best content on the web to link to. I’ll seek out the best content from a friend or peer and link to that.
Of course I link to some issues directly like news or studies or if I know for sure the blogger is considered an expert on the topic but when it comes to basic link love I almost always choose someone I’ve had interactions with vs. someone I haven’t. Loyalty among bloggers is strong.
What can you learn from this?
A mediocre blogger with killer social networking skills will absolutely get more links than an amazing writer with zero social networking skills. Your content may rock that mediocre blogger’s content right out of the water but without people to link to your content so what?
Here’s what you do, right from the start…
- Make more friends and be insanely popular – plus interact with your peers.
- Read the competition and give them lots of love.
- Learn about the social networking methods that are best for you.
- Learn about how to interact with PR folks.
Lastly, don’t assume some peers or folks in your niche are too good for you. Here’s an example: If 10,000 people read your blog and 200,000 read another blog in your niche it’s easy to assume the following – OMG they’re so much better than me; they don’t need my link love; they’ll never speak to me. Not true.
You know how popular blogs get and stay popular? With a steady diet of links, readers and social networking. Just because a blog is bigger doesn’t mean they still don’t like the same things you do, say a link back. I have link relationships with bloggers in my niche who are more popular than me and also with bloggers who are less popular than me. I’ll be friends with anyone – popularity is lame to focus on. This isn’t freaking high school.
Are you putting yourself out there to get more link love?