August 13, 2007

Writing Challenge: Joanna’s Thematic Link Post!

published this at 10:07 am

Jan and Joanna Inspired Me!


It’s such fun to be inspired!

Jan of Circular Communication wrote a wonderful guest post for Lorelle called Why A Link Post Should Be Like Mingling at a Party. Joanna of Confident Writing used it as a springboard into a post of her own, How to write a links post.

Joanna’s Definition of a Great Link Post

Joanna said that as a writer she prefers to write link posts that have these characteristics. This is one fabulous definition. [I’ve edited her words slightly.]

A great links post

Can you write a thematic link post that meets Joanna’s definition? It’s like telling a story. . . . Vern does it every Sunday linking three or four blogs. It’s not as hard as it seems and it’s quite satisfying.

Are you up for the challenge? If you come through, I’ll build a story link post linking all of your thematic link posts together.

Go on, make my life miserable . . . the more who participate, the more work I’ll have to do. Rally a crowd. I’m up for it now. Nothing can be as hard as the 10 Chapter saga of A List Becomes 301 Links in Story.

Here’s What to Do

C’mon try it. Pick five links that go together. Then write a post to connect them. Or pick 10 or 20!!

You just might find that you had a great time! Think of the link love we’ll spread. Yeah, it’s time to get jazzed about linking and writing.

Are you going to give it a shot?

–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz!!

A List Becomes 301 Links in Story — Chapter 1.
Link Anchor Text: SEO and Relationships
How to Code Links for Sidebars and Posts
How to Code Accessible Links–Part 1
How to Code Accessible Links–Part 2
How to Code Accessible Links–Part 3

Filed under Links, Successful Blog, Writing | 34 Comments »

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34 Comments to “Writing Challenge: Joanna’s Thematic Link Post!”

  1. August 13th, 2007 at 12:49 pm
    Jan said


    I am loving this :-)

    This is exactly what Circular Communication is about!

    If I wasn’t in the middle of wrapping up a major change of my blog design would I help spread the word immediately – now it has to wait a few hours if all goes well.

    I am hoping this spreads even more because it is a message well worth getting out.

    Talk about pressure building up for my next guest post at Lorelles blog :-)

    PS: I would never be able to write guest posts like Joanna, Vern or Dawud to name a few that write them this way so sadly I cannot participate. I will be rooting from the stands though 😉

  2. August 13th, 2007 at 1:51 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Oh Jan!
    What are you saying? Your guest post at Lorelle’s was simply wonderful. STOP devaluing my opinion. :)

    I’m hoping folks pickup this one too. It could be such fun to read them Joanna has make the definition of a link post into an artform. :)

  3. August 13th, 2007 at 2:18 pm
    Jan said

    Oops, I did actually mean “would never be able to write LINK posts like”…

    Talk about a Freudian slip of the fingers…

    You know I wouldn’t question your opinion Liz. Especially not in this case 😀

    Actually this was not about devaluing anything, but merely to say that not everyone can write that kind of posts. I am perfectly happy with my way of doing it so it is just a matter of different people doing it differently, which just adds to the experience and enjoyment.

  4. August 13th, 2007 at 2:34 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Heck, Jan,
    I think the way that you connect links would totally qualify. :)

  5. August 13th, 2007 at 4:04 pm
    Lorelle said

    I ADORE the way Jan creates posts that are really link posts but are full content, so this is going to be exciting to watch.

  6. August 13th, 2007 at 4:11 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Hi Lorelle!
    That’s exactly what I was telling Jan. He’s sooo good at this he’s a pro. :)

  7. August 13th, 2007 at 4:12 pm
    Jan said

    Ladies please :-)

    Just got done with the redesign upload and is getting around to tweaking the last details. Since it is nearing midnight am I not sure I will be able to post anything tonight, but perhaps tomorrow if I am not too exhausted from all this designing.

    Actually is it not my design, but a mash up of two themes I equally liked. With all the tweaking could I perhaps equally well have designed one from ground up. Oh, well…

    Hmmm, just realized that this was supposed to about something else entirely… Sorry…

    I will see if I can find the time to get something done for this, but I cannot promise anything…

    I do volunteer to read the entries though :-)

  8. August 13th, 2007 at 4:14 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Jan, the design is looking lovely . . . can’t wait until it goes to the home page so that I can see it complete!! :)

  9. August 13th, 2007 at 6:56 pm
    Michael from Pro Blog Design said

    As much as I’m sure I’ll regret attempting this, I think I’ll give it a shot. (How’s that for “Confident” writing Joanna??? 😆 )

    It would be well worthwhile if I could find a good way of linking out to the great articles I’ve read online. :)

    (And of course, Sunday is 6 days away. Plenty of time. 😀 )

  10. August 13th, 2007 at 7:15 pm
    Dawn Cardon said

    At BlogHer this year, Penelope Trunk said that a blog is a conversation, and you shouldn’t have one if you don’t want to correspond with your readers. I thought this was a great point. As a new blogger, I’ve really struggled with finding interesting content to write about. But, as Liz points out, the blogosphere isn’t a big mass of people’s introspections but a complex creation with lots of mutually dependent blogs. Blogging is about reading, digesting, responding, and coming up with new stuff that builds on what’s out there. It reminds me of college (which I’ve unfortunately just recently left) and is fabulous. Thanks for the tips, Liz!

  11. August 13th, 2007 at 7:34 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Hi Michael!
    Didn’t I say the 23rd? That gives you TEN whole days . . . go for it!! YEA!!

    PS I have faith in you!

  12. August 13th, 2007 at 7:37 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Hi Dawn!
    How wonderful to see you!
    The conversation can go on in so many ways. It’s all up to you. Just blog your experience and trust people to find the places where they see themselves in what you do. We’re all enough alike that it happens naturally. :)

    Take a look at how Vernon links four unrelated blogs every Sunday. :)

    You never were a stranger here. :)

  13. August 13th, 2007 at 9:22 pm
    GP said

    Okay, i’ll bite … sorry innkeeper parlance :)

    can it be on any topic – spirit, business even equines if it brings something to the proverbial table?

    gp in montana

  14. August 13th, 2007 at 9:45 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Of course it can,
    I like the idea of having a harder mix to deal with in the end!

    Go for it!

  15. August 14th, 2007 at 1:17 am
    Shane said

    Hey Liz,

    Link posts with a theme are always the best.

    I wrote one quite a while ago that was just a free-association rambling that connected all the links and their topics together.

    It’s good SEO. It’s good user experience. And it’s good creative writing practice!

  16. August 14th, 2007 at 2:58 am
    Mihaela Lica said

    :) I think I’m in to. It sounds like fun. I am sure I’ve been writing link posts without really calling them link posts… but hey, one more cannot hurt.

  17. August 14th, 2007 at 5:19 am
    Alina Popescu said

    Sounds like an interesting challenge. I’ll give it a try :)

  18. August 14th, 2007 at 5:27 am
    Joanna Young said

    Hi Liz

    There’s always so much to be learned from your comment box! I’ve got some new ideas about what confident writing means…

    “I am perfectly happy with my way of doing it so it is just a matter of different people doing it differently, which just adds to the experience and enjoyment” (Jan) and “I think I’ll give it a shot” (Michael). Dead right both of you!

    And some great thoughts on what this process of reading and writing and blogging means from Dawn:

    “the blogosphere isn’t a big mass of people’s introspections but a complex creation with lots of mutually dependent blogs. Blogging is about reading, digesting, responding, and coming up with new stuff that builds on what’s out there”.

    That last point captures what I try and do with my link posts – reading, digesting, responding and coming up with new stuff that builds on what’s there.

    I’m glad my tuppenceworth inspired you Liz and you’re right, it is fun to be inspired :-)

    But I’m not claiming this is how it “should” be done (I don’t like shoulds, they get in the way of being confident in your own style) and certainly not that my way is an artform! (I’ll take the compliment though, thanks :-))

    The other point I was making in the post is that there are many different ways of writing link posts – and I had a bit of fun experimenting with some of them. The one Liz has highlighted here is one that seems to work for me and that I enjoy writing – because it’s more of a stand-alone piece, has more of a theme, tells more of a story.

    I’m looking forward to the story that emerges out of this project Liz, I’m sure it will be creative and intriguing and full of new possibilities…


  19. August 14th, 2007 at 6:55 am
    ME Strauss said

    Hi Shane,
    I agree thematic link posts have all of the values that you name AND they’re fun. I always feel sort of clever when I finish writing one. :)

  20. August 14th, 2007 at 7:00 am
    ME Strauss said

    Hi Alina!
    It sounds so fun. I think I’m going to sneak one in this morning just because I want to. :)

  21. August 14th, 2007 at 7:03 am
    ME Strauss said

    Hi Joanna!
    I don’t like “shoulds” either. I’m sorry I implied that . . . I do so like your definition, though, because it adds such value to the connections and the content. You bring links together and give them context. That’s what makes this exercise in writing worth trying out. :)

    I hope everyone finds their own way of doing it in a way that serves the writer and the readers. Done well it’s got such possibilities for raising the bar on what a link post could be. :)

  22. August 14th, 2007 at 7:28 am
    ME Strauss said

    Hi Mihaela!
    I didn’t mean to jump over you! I’m delighted you’re going to try it. I agree these are more than link posts — maybe we should call them “Think and Link” posts. :)

  23. August 14th, 2007 at 1:22 pm
    GP said

    Here’s my first one… an equine one is being trotted out as we speak :) What fun.

    See u later this eve chardonnay in hand :)

    gp in montana

  24. August 14th, 2007 at 1:33 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Hey thanks!
    I had to go down to the bank, so you beat me to it! Thanks for playing along.

    Can’t wait for the party with Becky tonight!

  25. August 17th, 2007 at 7:16 am
    Alina Popescu said

    Hi Liz,

    My task is completed :) You can see it here:
    Hope you like it, I certainly enjoyed writing it :)

  26. August 17th, 2007 at 9:03 am
    ME Strauss said

    That is so brilliant! Wow!

  27. August 19th, 2007 at 9:01 am
    Michael from Pro Blog Design said

    I think I’ve managed it. 😀 (Though I didn’t tag the post. I don’t use tags.)

    It was a lot of fun to write, and much more fulfilling than a simple list!

  28. August 19th, 2007 at 9:07 am
    ME Strauss said

    Hi Michael,
    Just got back from reading it. Wow! It shows that you had fun writing it . . . it’s a great read too. :)

  29. August 20th, 2007 at 7:40 am
    Yvonne Russell said

    Thanks to Joanna for reminding us about the “tell a story” link post approach. I’m still perfecting it, but it was fun!

    Thanks for drawing our attention to Joanna’s post, Liz, and for co-ordinating this. I’m looking forward to reading your super sized roundup.

  30. August 20th, 2007 at 8:16 am
    ME Strauss said

    Hi, Yvonne!!
    Welcome. Isn’t it wonderful and fun?!!

    I’m sure hoping to find all of the links when I put the super-sized post together. Thanks for helping out by leaving your link here. :)

  31. August 23rd, 2007 at 12:48 am
    Jan said

    Hi Liz,

    Since my contribution didn’t seem to be alerting you automatically here it is:

    How to Best Pitch Bloggers – a Virtual Group Interview

    Thanks again for the challenge and for adding to the circularity of it all :-)

  32. August 23rd, 2007 at 5:09 am
    ME Strauss said

    Hi Jan!
    I stopped by to read it last night. ( I couldn’t get my comment to take.) It’s brilliant. You’ve recreated the genre you invented. Bravo!!

  33. August 23rd, 2007 at 10:56 pm
    Andrea Yager said


    I am not so good with the world clock but I think I made your deadline 😉

    PS – HERE it is almost 7 AM, (hence my post may read the 24th) but there, wherever CDT is, it is not quite 11 PM (I think)..


  34. August 24th, 2007 at 6:15 am
    ME Strauss said

    Hi Andrea,
    you made it here with an hour to spare — and your piece is so well done, that after I went to read it, I forgot come back leave a comment about it here. :)

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