October 26, 2005

Think Before You Link

published this at 3:20 pm

Good friends come to town. You want to show them around. There are so many options, but they have limited time. You consider your choices before making them. Only the best sights for your friends.

That’s the approach you should take to linking your posts. Only the best for your readers. Before you add any link, stop to think about it:

Keep in mind that too many links make us lose concentration. We literally stop reading completely.

Think before you link. Readers might not know you’re performing this service. But they’ll know they get more for their time when they read you.

–ME “Liz” Strauss

Related articles:
Checklist for Linking to Quality Blogs
Think Before You Intra-link
Intra-Linking as Promotion

Filed under Audience, Links, SEO, Strategy/Analysis, Successful Blog | 24 Comments »


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24 Comments to “Think Before You Link”

  1. October 26th, 2005 at 6:50 pm
    Mike Sigers said

    Well, I hate to read this as I’m not the world’s best linker.

    I’ll try to put more of them at the end, label them all and see if I can do a better job, but…..

    ” If I wanted a perfect document I’d write a book and hire an editor ! “, is what I’m thinking, although I don’t aim that at you, but at the grammar , punctuation and spelling police who cruise around and critique blogs, instead of writing their own.

    However I see your point and promise to try to do a better job.

    The points you make are ALL worthy of a post of their own and I appreciate the education.

  2. October 26th, 2005 at 7:02 pm
    ME "Liz" Strauss said

    Mike,
    Don’t worry we’re not looking for perfection here, we’re looking for what serves your readers. If your readers don’t care about something than please don’t listen to me.

    Thanks for your encouragment about the post, but remember. It’s called Think before You Link not Change the Way You Do Everything. My job is to help to make this easier and work better not to make you do things the way that I would do.
    smiles,
    Liz

  3. October 26th, 2005 at 8:55 pm
    Mike Sigers said

    I’m certainly not bashing your post, as it hits me very squarely, I’m just looking for a way around you making me act responsibly and do a good job.

    My linking skills are horrendous and I know it, but I have the unique ability to put off forever what I don’t want to do. It’s just harder when people like you tell me the truth and make me accountable. ;-)

    Again, your post is da stuff ! I’m just trying to avoid accountability.

  4. October 26th, 2005 at 9:35 pm
    ME "Liz" Strauss said

    Mike,
    I didn’t think you were post bashing, though that does make a fun image. (Honey, the man’s out here bashing the post again. :) ) How about you easing into it and only doing one little thing.

    What is it about your linking that’s so bad. Do you do too much? too little? too sloppy? too little attention to the links? What do you mean by bad?
    Liz

  5. October 26th, 2005 at 11:03 pm
    Martin (HomeOfficeVoice) said

    That’s where the trust factor comes in from your readers and you knowing your audience – hopefully because your audeince is likeminded the links you place are one’s they’ll like.

    Yep, the 10 times thing is another factor – example: when Google Blog Search and Google Talk came out … I sit down to blog about it, check my rss feeder and see that it has been written to death already. No point re-hasing it all.

    At the end of the day, I only place a link if I think I can’t do justice to a post with only a simple pull-out quote and think the reader would like to expand on my post.

  6. October 27th, 2005 at 1:33 am
    ME "Liz" Strauss said

    Hi again,
    Martin,
    Thanks for reminding me of what I was thinking when I wrote the post. Choosing links is a bit like being a movie critic. If you develop a relationship with your readers, they will come to know the kind of links you choose and will know whether to follow them. Some will like your work and not your links. Some will like you for your links. Some will like both.
    Liz

  7. October 29th, 2005 at 10:00 pm
    Mike Sigers said

    Hey Liz,

    By bad I mean I’m not as good as I should be at how and where I link.

    For example, I sometimes link with the first word on my post. That gives my readers a way out and an opportunity to leave without having gotten all that I’m trying to convey.

    I also have trouble deciding which link to feature when a post is linked from person-to-person-to-person, etc.

    I’m getting better with help from all those in the link-know.

    Thanks !

  8. October 30th, 2005 at 1:14 am
    ME "Liz" Strauss said

    Sounds like you’re thinking about it, which is the key. If you know why you’re linking, then you’re going to make better links. But then you knew that. Darren at Problogger has a post on this today. He added to the list to be sure to read what you link to. That’s one I forgot. So I’m not the linkmaster yet. Darren is. :)
    Liz

  9. October 30th, 2005 at 3:13 pm
    Think Before You (I) Link at ericsetiawan.com said

    [...] “Liz” Strauss from Successful Blog wrote about what you should consider before putting a link onpost. It’s all about doing the best for your (my) readers. So yes, this is especially a good reminderme who can put lots of links in a day (including this one). One particularly intriguing point is “Will this link take my readers away forever?” Right. You read something interesting,and put that link on your blog, readers will most likely visit your blog only to go to that link… forever? (Will you come back later?) Another good point came from Darren Rowse of Probloggeradd one point: “Have I read what I’m linking to?” A good point. And that has been the policy in my blog here. So, think (and read) before youlink.    #     [...]

  10. October 30th, 2005 at 4:20 pm
    ME "Liz" Strauss said

    Thanks Eric,
    I’m coming to see you.
    Liz

  11. October 30th, 2005 at 6:38 pm
    pcunix said

    I disagree with you a little bit – minor “yeah, but” stuff.

    First, I don’t concern myself at all if a link takes you away forever. I cannot be all things to all people, and I don’t even try. If a particular reader didn’t find my take interesting enough to come back.. oh well. Can’t please everyone.

    I’m not sure what you mean by “seen it 10 times already”. If I have something to add, or to disagree with, what difference does it make how many times they’ve seen it? The real question is “do I have anything fresh to say about this?”. If not, I’m not going to say anything at all about it, except maybe as an aside in some related post.

    A blog that just points me to other links isn’t one I’ll read unless the blogger is extraordinarily clever at rooting out content I’d never find by myself. Even then I probably won’t read it often.

  12. October 30th, 2005 at 8:29 pm
    ME "Liz" Strauss said

    Hi,

    You’re the second one who’s brought up the “takes you away forever” thing. Someone did over at problogger for the opposite reasons–that we should care for our readers and send them off freely. I agree with you both.

    I’m just all about thinking things through before you do anything–some folks don’t know they indiscriminately link.

    Sounds like you’ve got that covered. :)

    You make a good point about the “ten times already” thing too. If you’re adding new information to the conversation, what I said sure doesn’t apply. I agree there too.

    A blog that just points me to other links . . . is also something I won’t stop to read.

    Hope to see you again. You add finer insights to the conversation.
    Thanks.
    Liz

  13. October 31st, 2005 at 10:17 am
    Idea Grapes » 連çµ?之å‰?請想想 said

    [...] ME “Liz� Strauss在Successful Blog的Think Before You Link這篇文章,�為有5件事情,是blogger在文章中�連�其他網站的內容時,應該�先想一想的: [...]

  14. October 31st, 2005 at 11:32 am
    ME "Liz" Strauss said

    Hello Idea Grapes,
    Thank you for thinking this post was of value and worth linking to for your readers.
    Liz

  15. November 1st, 2005 at 8:30 am
    正音�學習手冊 :: Reading Digest Nov 1 :: November :: 2005 said

    [...] 延伸閱讀:Think before you link KMar Post @ 8:30 pm [...]

  16. November 1st, 2005 at 12:46 pm
    snapup.net/blog said

    When and how to link from your blog

    Reading Darrens newsfeed from his blog named problogger.net I found some nice tips about when to link from your blog.
    My slightly modified list:

    Link to something that clarifies what you’re saying or gives more information
    Only link if you&…

  17. November 1st, 2005 at 2:19 pm
    ME "Liz" Strauss said

    Thanks to Reading Digest and Snapup for thinking this information worth linking to.
    Liz

  18. November 15th, 2005 at 7:51 pm
    SpiderMonkey said

    This kind of thing should form part of a blogger’s license test, required before you can have and operate a blog. (I’m obviously joking, but kinda serious. If more people took the time to think about signal and noise, things like Technorati and tagging would be a whole lot more useful. Thinking of that, maybe you can write a sequel about thinking before you tag!)

  19. November 15th, 2005 at 9:09 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Hi SpiderMonkey,
    Thanks for coming and for the kind words about my post.
    A think before you tag post. You know what, SpiderMonkey, I think you’re right. I’m going to do that. You look for it.
    Liz :)

  20. November 28th, 2005 at 8:52 am
    Think Before You Intra-link » Successful Blog said

    [...] Example 1: See my earlier post called “Think Before You Link,” which also talks about thinking through your link choices. [...]

  21. February 9th, 2006 at 6:30 pm
    Successful Blog — The Great Neighborhood Link Post said

    [...] Think Before You Link Blog Promotion Basics for Everyone Intra-Linking as Promotion Think Before You Intra-link Checklist for Linking to Quality Blogs [...]

  22. August 3rd, 2008 at 4:13 pm
    Great Find: YUDU Freedom! - Liz Strauss at Successful Blog - Thinking, writing, business ideas . . . You’re only a stranger once. said

    [...] Related articles Sandy’s Great Graphic Find: ImageChef Blog Promotion Basics [for Everyone] Think Before You Link Blog Basics 1: Comments and Comment Policies Tags: Great-FindShare [...]

  23. October 21st, 2008 at 3:57 am
    smallpersonalbiz said

    For #2, how do we know if the readers has seen the links for 10 times?

    I think we could post any useful articles without notice the post is already had by others. As long as it is useful and we have our own opinion,….it is god to post. :)

  24. August 21st, 2009 at 11:35 pm
    25 Lessons You Can Learn From Liz Strauss - Blogging Tips From Jade Craven said

    [...] discussed this further in a post on Successful blog Will this link take my readers away forever? You wrote a post filled with good information. Check [...]

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