3 Reasons You’re Scared To Link To Fellow Bloggers

Did the headline hook you? In case it did, you’re probably one of those guys this post is about. I really hope that by the end of it you’ll change your opinion.


photo by Makbet666

So here’s the pattern that I’ve noticed and it was bothering me for quite a while – bloggers seem to be greedy for links. And the reason it’s bothering me, is that I cannot understand “WHY!?”

If you’ve been reading BloggerJET before, you might have noticed that each of my posts has lots of outbound links. I shamelessly link out to pro bloggers and to newbie bloggers as well. Seems like these days it’s such an awkward strategy, that even a respected member of ProBlogger Forum pointed this out:

Now, that I’ve proved you that I’m not scared to link out to anyone, let’s see why you are:

#1 Reason: Link Juice.


photo by Mr. Flibble

Every blogger these days is familiar with SEO. We all know the value of a link and how it helps our websites to rank better and get more traffic from Google. We also know that there’s such thing as “link juice” that is being passed from page to page via links, and the more “link juice” your page is able to accumulate – the better it ranks!

So does this mean that with every outbound link your link juice is floating away from you? The answer is YES and NO. And I’ll explain why, but before I do, you may want to read this: Google (Maybe) Changes How the PageRank Algorithm Handles Nofollow.

Let’s look at the situation this way: you’re not linking outbound, because you want to keep your “link juice” to yourself and make it flow internally within your website. But at the same time you allow links in comments, right? You say they’re “nofollowed”? Well the post that I’ve referenced above says that nofollow links do not pass any “link juice” to the target site, but they reduce the amount of “link juice” every other link passes.

That said, if you want to preserve all the “link juice” your website gets – you have to disable links in comments and reduce the number of links on each page to the lowest possible level no matter if they’re nofollowed or “dofollowed”. That does not sound very user-friendly right? And besides your site was doing well with all those hundreds of links you get from comments. So don’t be afraid to put an extra link, which is followed – this won’t do you any harm! I promise!

Couple more awesome posts about link valuation:

FEAR #1: BUSTED!

#2 Reason: Losing Readers.

Let me try to guess the scenario that’s in your head: You write a cool post about something and you put a link inside it, referencing an article on some other blog. What happens next is that your readers follow this link and discover a totally new blog that they haven’t seen before and it has lots of outstanding publications. They subscribe to this new blog and eventually stop paying attention to yours, as this new one seems much cooler.

Honestly, this might happen actually. But c’mon! Do you think your blog is the only thing people read? Of course not! They have dozens of blogs in their RSS feed, they discover hundreds of new articles on Twitter and Facebook and they can land pretty much anywhere with services like StumbleUpon, Digg, Reddit.

What I’m trying to say here is that people are discovering new blogs almost daily, and a couple outbound links in your blog post won’t really make a difference. Better focus on the quality of your content if you don’t want your blog to sink into oblivion.

FEAR #2: BUSTED!

#3 Reason: Losing Authority.


You may feel that when giving a link to a related post by someone else you “tell” your readers that your content is “incomplete” or either you’re not being original and your post is just a copycat of someone else. You’re afraid that this way people might eventually tweet and share the post you referenced and completely forget about yours.

Well… if you were among the first subscribers of my Monday Numbers newsletter you should’ve received this cool piece of statistics:

68% of The New York Times study participants said they share content as an advertisement for themselves. They want to give others a better sense of who they are.

Just think of your behavior on Twitter – are you only tweeting your own posts? No! You’re tweeting about all the coolest things you are lucky to spot online. And that’s actually the main reason why people follow you – because they know that you’re sharing some awesome stuff that they are unlikely to find on their own. So why don’t you act exact the same way on your blog?

FEAR #3: BUSTED!

Your Links:

To prove my point I will go even further! Below I am going to put as many links to your blogs as you’ll send me! Dofollow links! From this very blog post!

There’s only one condition – you have to tweet this post before sending me a link to your blog :)

So if you want your blog listed below please tweet this post and send me your blog link with a brief description that you’d like to put right next to it. I promise it will get published!

Here we go:

1. moinzaman.com
UX specialist blogging about productivity coding, UX and web development hacks.

2. avajae.blogspot.com
Writability–tips, tricks and thoughts from one writer to cyberspace updated every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

3. balancedworklife.com
Helping You Take Your Career to the Next Level.

4. webanalyser.de
It’s a german webmaster magazine. Topics are affiliate marketing, to be webmaster and what you have to know, WordPress, Theme sources, Image source and so on.

5. cookinginsens.wordpress.com
Cooking and food photography in the Burgundy region of France.

6. steven-white.com
The blog is primarily about Los Angeles urban issues, including transit and development. I’ll also include occasional writings about live event and concert production.

7. www.demotivatorz.me
Blog gathering all the best motivational posters from the web.

8. www.aprilsdawn.co.uk
For People Aspiring to Live a Creative Life

9. www.thisisinspired.com
ThisIsInspired is a digital magazine dedicated to art, design, blogging and inspiration. We feature interviews and practical advice on social media, blogging, and design.

10. thewebsitedoctor.wordpress.com
Free Website Reviews for everyone!

11. Geek Gone Girly
A blog of random interests where the author freely shares information on the things she loves ranging from life lessons, to technology, to topics affecting society in general.

12. Startup Bros
Two best friends on a quest to never have jobs…

13. Your Blog Name…….
Your Description……
………..

I really hope that this post will change your opinion about linking out to other bloggers! Let’s change blogging to better!

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I used to be a professional DJ when I realised that talent alone won't get me thousands of raving fans. That's how I began studying marketing. So today I'm a marketing consultant, helping people squeeze more money from their online ventures.

69 Comments

Add comment
  1. Collin

    My rule: Link first. Think later. I will never hesitate to link to anyone or anything. Period. I might even find a reason to link to you soon!

    • Tim Soulo

      cool! :) It’s great to know that you’e not the only one not afraid to link out! :)

  2. Tom Ewer

    Hey Tim,

    Collin got there before me ;-)

    The more you worry about anything that you do to help someone else ‘hurting’ you, the further away you get from solid, long term success.

    Cheers!

    Tom

    • Tim Soulo

      let it be the motto of this blog post! :) Amen! :)

  3. Anonymous

    Hey Tim,

    • Tim Soulo

      thanks :) I hope that every person that reads this post will start linking more :)

  4. Stan Faryna

    Tim,

    You should come over to my place for the blog soup. I give links like I give love. Generously!

    Blog Soup 2011.09.22 http://wp.me/pbg0R-pF
    Blog Soup 2011.10.06 http://wp.me/pbg0R-r7

    Beyond blog soup, I encourage my commentors to include links, videos, etc. in their comment. AND a link to their blog, etc. as a signature. 

    Honestly, I wonder about the people who don’t give link love. Or who delete links from comments. Sure, spam is another matter completely. Yomar Lopez and I discuss what is spam on Saul Fleischman’s blog. 

    And what I wonder is… do the Link Adverse get social media? Do they understand netizenship?

    • Tim Soulo

      Hey Stan! checked your Blog Soup and left a comment there :) quite a nice practice :) you’re giving the second life to the content you publish on other blogs :)

  5. Ava Jae

    Hmm, good reminder to put links in your posts. I do use links occasionally, but come to think of it, I really don’t link out nearly enough as I should. It has nothing to do with fear of losing readers or anything I just didn’t do it very often because I didn’t think of it. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Tim Soulo

      Hey Ava, as “StartYourNovel” mentioned in his comment – “you might get noticed” as links quite often result in trackbacks that bloggers monitor from time to time… but that’s actually a topic for another post :) I wasn’t talking about why it’s beneficial to link out.. I just wanted to cover why bloggers are so afraid to do that :)

      • Ava Jae

        I just read StartYourNovel’s comment and that’s a really great point. Also, I know you meant to cover why bloggers are afraid to do so, it just served as a reminder to me to add in more links anyway. :) 

  6. Anonymous

    Hey, Tim, interesting post.

    Bloggers should be fearless about outbound links. Firstly because that gives them a chance to show that they are well read in their field, or that they can find interesting stuff, or at the very least that they don’t think their blog is the be-all-end-all of Blogdom.

    Secondly, because – *waves hands in the air making spooky sounds* wooOOOooo! wooOOOOooo! – they might even get — noticed! And who knows, find a new reader or four.

    Outbound links = good. There’s no reason to fear the occasional “incomplete” post. After all, you’re not trying to rewrite the Encyclopedia Britannica in blog form, are you?

    The best blog article I read yesterday overflowed with Wikipedia links and it made the article so much better – because the writer had a keen sense of what you as a reader might find interesting, and he linked to just that. 

    In these days of tabbed browsing, you needn’t fear the reader will abandon your blog for another.

    For better, for worse, the Internet is polyamorous.

    • Tim Soulo

      Excellent comment, bro! It adds to my post and it’s awesome written! If there was a prize for the best comment of the month – I’d definitely give it to you! If you ever think of guestposting at BloggerJET – just let me know :)

      • Anonymous

        Thanks, Tim. I’ll try to think of something that fits BloggerJET.

  7. The JackB

    One of the reasons that I disabled Livefyre was because I wanted to reactivate CommentLuv. I link to who and where I want without fear of losing readers.

    If someone finds a blog that they like better than mine I am happy to let them go. I hope that they stay, but I don’t write in fear of consequences.

    Not to be redundant, but if you links advance the story/conversation and or enhance the post in any way I would be foolish not to include them.

    • Tim Soulo

      hey Jack.. don’t you think that CommentLuv is kinda “cheating on yourself” in some way? people do start to comment more.. but not because they like you best, but because they have an extra benefit of getting a link from you… what’s your opinion here? please be honest :) 

      • The JackB

        Some might try to take advantage of CommentLuv for the purpose of getting more links but I don’t worry about them. I figure that I’ll convert some of them into readers.
        If I feel like I am being abused or taken advantage of I can remove their link.
        Overall I really like it. I like being able to give back and it has served as a good tool to discover new blogs.

        • Tim Soulo

          thanks for the opinion! :) I gues I’ll agree to it :)

          • enad

            i agree with Jack. there’s a site i  know that  uses not commentLuv but keywordLuv. i  noticed that outbound comment links are dofollow and most pages have high pr. aside from reading the posts, that’s one more reason i keep coming back to that site.

  8. Anonymous

    I was going to tweet it anyway! A lot of people are afraid to link out. I figure that if I point them to good content elsewhere, they will stick around to see what else I can dig up. 
    -Hannah @ A Mother in Israel (amotherinisrael.com)

    • Tim Soulo

      Hey, Hannah.. if you want your link added – please email me a short description :) and btw I haven’t seen your tweet yet :)

      • enad

        Hi Tim,
        I want my link added! I hope that  doesn’t sound like im a commander.

        • Tim Soulo

          no problem :) you know the rules, right? :)

  9. Ericatpellon

    hi i too do not give out as many links as i should, but will do so from now on  thanks a good post  eric roberts

    • Tim Soulo

      Great! I’m really glad I was able to change your opinion! :)

  10. CoCreatr

    I don’t get it. For me it is an honor to acknowledge sources of inspiration, and keep a permanent record of how I got there, to what I post. What’s to lose by linking out? Gotta do it if I wish for any links in, no? Even made up a symbol to acknowledge (i) inspired by.

    • Tim Soulo

      that is very true, but unfortunately many bloggers do not understand that :(

    • enad

      that happens when people are too concerned about SEO

  11. BlaM

    I totally agree and I usually also link to my sources – in the end the people I blog about might see that I link to them and might start to read my blog and/or write about something that I initially posted.

    Just one thing that bothers me: How do you handle dying links? I have lots of old blogposts that initially started perfectly fine – with links to to whatever I was talking about. But almost at the moment when the post is published the links start dying. Websites are taken off the web, articles are deleted or the site is relaunched and they just forget/fail to have correct link forwards. I’ve seen that happening with small blogs and with big news sites.

    What would you suggest to do about that?

    • Tim Soulo

      I prefer to think about it not as a “problem, that needs to be solved”.. but actually an “opportunity, that has to be undertaken”…

      the guys that spot a dead link can pretty much write a fresh post on the topic at their own blog and ask the fellow blogger to link to their work instead :)

  12. Kitty Kilian

    kittykilian.nl
    100 % cynicism free art
    and.. I think you are right!

    • Tim Soulo

      well, mate.. your comment does look spammy… it’s here just because I’ve noticed your tweet :)

      • Kitty Kilian

        Ha, I have never been called mate before ;-)
        My mistake, I thought I had to post my url.
        Sorry for that. I edited it now.

  13. Bryce Christiansen

    To add to your point I use Copyblogger’s Scribe software to help optimize each post for better SEO.  One of the conditions it wants you to meet is having one link for every 120 words of content.  I’ve kept up to that standard and have a very high percentage of visits from Google as a result.

    I’m no SEO expert, but thought it goes along with your point as well.

    Bryce

    • Tim Soulo

      “check what the heck is “Copyblogger’s Scribe software”…” – added to my todo list :) thanks, bro!

  14. Torsten from webanalyser.de

    My tweet is here: http://twitter.com/#!/cybersite/status/123438043792293890

    Please put that link on your site:
    http://www.webanalyser.de
    webanalyser.de is a german webmaster magazine. Topics are affiliate marketing, to be webmaster and what you have to know, WordPress, Theme sources, Image source and so on.

    • Tim Soulo

      did I tell you to email me all this info? :) *sigh* ok-ok.. I’ll add you, but this was the last time! :)

  15. mullally51

    Cooking in Sens:   http://www.cookinginsens.wordpress.com

    Cooking and food photography in the Burgundy region of France

    • Tim Soulo

      what about “please” or smth like that? :)

      • Elhaje Ascofare

        Your Blog is awesome and great post. That Link Juice Picture Is priceless, So Hilarious!

    • Tim Soulo

      Cool! Not sure what you mean by that, though :)

  16. Aaron Biebert

    I also do “thank you” link backs too on this page:  http://8pmwarrior.com/aaron-biebert-in-the-news/

    • Tim Soulo

      very nice concept, bro! however if you ask me, I wouldn’t spend a whole post for it.. I’m a paranoiac and I’m afraid of posting something that my subscribers won’t like.. so I guess if I wanted to do this kinda thing – I’d just added the links to the end of my posts.. like.. “thank you for reading my post & plz check out some cool posts by other bloggers..” =) but again this is my very personal take on it :)

      • Aaron Biebert

        It is actually a page on my site called “Honors”.  My subscribers would definitely be annoyed if I sent that out.  :-)

        • Tim Soulo

          lol! :) now that makes sense! :) sorry, I thought this was a blog post :)

  17. enad

    those are nice images. i from to time make dofollow links. but of course i choose sites that deserve them

  18. Bastien Botella

    Hey Tim, thanks for the great post, as always !
    I’ve just twitted your post, could u share my link please ? :=)
    Here’s the url : http://www.demotivatorz.me and the desciption is the following one : Blog gathering all the best motivational posters from the web.

    Thanks a lot and keep up with the good work!

    Bastien

    • Tim Soulo

      done! :) thanks for the tweet! :)

      • Bastien Botella

        Hey Tim, anyway you could put on an other one of my blog ? I’ve already made the twit, I just don’t wanna be considered as a spammer :p Thx

        • Tim Soulo

          mmm.. I guess I will have to stick with one blog per person :) or otherwise spammers will kill me with their requests :)

    • Tim Soulo

      Thanks! had to use Google translate to read what’s there about me :)

  19. Sai Krishna

    3 points are very nice to hear.very good article

  20. Larry Lourcey

    Wonderful post.  I don’t know where you get those images, but they are brilliant!  Just tweeted the post, by the way.

    If you are still accepting entries for your list, our new blog could use some publicity! :)

    http://www.TheNextGoal.com
    Leapfrogging through life’s obstacles – one goal at a time!

  21. April

    Hello Tim

    Great blog post. I am not an authority or a ‘techy’ but I agree with your points.

    I have played at blogging for a number of years and now find myself blogging for real due to life changes. I have already noticed that people are ‘precious’ about sharing blogs belonging to their followers etc. I knew this was not my imagination!!
    I love sharing and will tweet to support and LKE on FB to share the gems that I find.

    I had a very bad experience where a followerer blocked me on Twitter because his tweet was featured in my Paper-Li edition. He said I should have asked permission and it was a form of self-promotion. The irony is that his tweet came from a third party post!!! He did not allow me to explain how it worked!!!

    I think Adam Troudart is brilliant at sharing both on Twitter and FB. He is an inspiration for me!

    Sharing is caring and there is nothing better than to share the love on-line.

    April

    • Tim Soulo

      wow, April… never heard a “twitter story” like this one… I think the person that blocked you was simply inadequate… internet is full of people with mental problems that act really weird..

  22. Review My Website

    Hey, I tweeted your post. (See here: http://twitter.com/#!/TheWebsiteDr )
    Could you put this website on your list? Thanks :)

    http://thewebsitedoctor.wordpress.com/
    Free Website Reviews for everyone!

    Thanks again :D

  23. YES You Every Second

    Nice! I have indeed all those fears! I’ve just started a blog and i often ask myself if i should link to other bloggers – especially because since its a new blog, i’m not willing to lose the little traffic i’m getting so far. Your post is really convincing me to link to other bloggers of my area! :) Thanks!
    Btw, is it still possible to appear on this post? I’ll tweet this article!:)

  24. Sumair B

    wht u say about my web http://www.beingmother.com visit and coment

  25. Jane Vestil

    I freely give links on my blog if I really like a blog post. I even dofollow all blog comments. Think Golden rule.

    • Tim Soulo

      Hey Jane, I’m glad that I’m not alone doing this :)

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