Spread the Link Love: Link to Other Blogs to Promote Your Own
One of the best ways you can promote your website is to link to other sites.
Doesn’t make sense on the face of it, does it? How can sending people away from your site build traffic to your site?
Well, there are several ways linking to other sites can help build up traffic for your own.
- Outbound links add value: If you post a link and explain why the site or page you’re linking to will be important to your readers, you’ve just done them a favor. They’ll remember how useful your site is.
- Links let them know you’re there: When someone clicks a link on your site, your web address shows up in the referral log (a list of every site that’s sent traffic to a site) of the site you’ve linked to. If they start noticing a lot of traffic from your site, they’ll eventually come check it out, and hopefully become readers.
- They’ll link back: The urge to return favors is strong in every human society. When someone notices you’ve linked to them, they may very well link back to you. If they have a lot of traffic, that’s a lot of people finding out about your site.
There are some ground rules, here. 1) Link to sites or articles that are really useful for your readers. 2) Link to sites or articles that you’ve read. 3) Don’t let your site become only links to other sites — this is common in sites that have run out of new things to say. 4) If you notice someone’s linked to you, link back to them — if they’re useful to your readers. 5) Don’t trawl for links — it’s unseemly.
Now’s as good a time as any to cover how to link to another site. If you’re using the visual editor in WordPress (it works like a word processor, with buttons for formatting text and other operations), click the button that looks like a chain link; if you’re in the code editor (where you write HTML code directly), click the “link” button. In both cases a window will pop up asking you to insert the URL of the link and the text you want your readers to click on.
If you’re writing HTML code directly, you use the anchor tag, <a>, to link out. The anchor tag looks like this: <a href=”http://www.dwax.org”>Dustin’s website</a>. “<a>” tells the browser it’s an anchor tag, “href” tells it what site to link to. You’ll insert the URL, with the “http://” at the beginning, where I have the URL for my site. Don’t forget the quotes. Replace “Dustin’s website” with whatever text you want your readers to see. The “</a>” closes the tag.
- The link doesn’t do anything: Check to make sure the URL is in quotes and has the “http://” part at the beginning.
- The link goes to an error page: Make sure the URL is correct and the page you’re linking to is still there.
- The whole paragraph is a link, now: Make sure you added the closing tag, </a>.