Recently a client contacted me to request some blog posts. It was an urgent request, they didn’t have much time and needed a post for an hour’s time. They signed off their request with “Don’t research something just put together one of those link posts, they’re quick and easy”.
Okay, I’m always honest with you when I share my thoughts and I’ll tell you exactly what I told my client:
An effective link post is never quick and easy.
It is not lazy blogging, for when you are pushed for time. It’s a resource article that when done well, will become one of the main traffic drivers to your blog or website. It’s a post that helps forge relationships with others in your niche or industry and it’s the type of post that should be done on a regular basis. It can be a selection of links from your own site, or links surrounding a particular topic but wherever you chose your links from, you’ll need to curate your content carefully to see that the post flows together.
Planning your link post
Start at the beginning.
Like I’ve done with this post, an effective link post starts with an introduction and perhaps some back story and what you can expect to learn from this link post. An introduction doesn’t have to be long, perhaps just a sentence or two explaining how and why the links were chosen.
Subheadings make your post easier to skim-read. The subheadings also are hooks to pull the reader back into reading the post. Subheadings are also an indication to the search engines what the post is about as generally they are H2 and H3 tags. You can easily add subheadings by using the Kitchen Sink Button. Just highlight the subheading on a line of it’s own and then chose the size. If you can’t see the paragraph option as seen in label three on the image below, then you need to locate the Kitchen sink button on the post dashboard – see step one.
The title and the link
Add the title of the link, then the link and then 2 or 3 sentences about the link. What you write should make the reader want to click through and read the original post. Sometimes you can take a quote from the post you are linking too and that will be okay for your reader to get the gist of what the link is about.
An opinion about the link content is acceptable and so is a quick summary of the content presented in the post. Indicate if the links are ranked in a particular order -
- Most popular
- Most effective
- Most comments
- Most shares
- Or whatever ranking indicator you are using
If I’m writing a post with a lot of links then I tend to mix it up a little, and have the links in varying places. As you write more link posts, you will start to see what your readers like and respond to. This means that you can adapt your introduction to the link in the manner that your audience prefers.
Then move to link two.
Add similar information about link 2, as you did with link 1. If you are creating a link post that ranks the links, you might need to expand a bit more in this information section and indicate why this link is in second place. You can vary the description if you think your readers will like that or you can keep to the same format for each link.
And continue your link post
Adding the additional links and the information describing them until you have included all your links.
Finish with your conclusion or post summary
A popular way to end your links post is by asking your readers to add any additional links on the same topic and to say why they love that link. It’s a great conversation starter on your blog. You could end the post with a brief summary and a call to action to share the post. By doing one of these style posts on a weekly basis you’ll start to see what works with your audience.
PS Your work may not be over when you’ve wrote the post, yes, some bloggers get alerted when someone links to them via their dashboard or Google Alerts, some may not have a clue. So drop them an email and let them know you’ve mentioned them. Again, this is a great way to start a conversation with another blogger and get to know them better.
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