How a mediocre blogger can get more links than an amazing blogger

I don’t think you should aim to be a mediocre blogger. Always aim to write top content and do your best. However, it’s not your kick ass writing skills that are going to get you links.

Fact – when I started blogging professionally – and by professionally I mean paid – I was a lot more careful. I wrote and re-wrote posts, gave it my all and really tried to put super killer content out there on the web. AND I pretty much got zero links back to my carefully written, time consuming posts.

Fact – now I’ve been blogging professionally for many years. I’m not so careful anymore and yet I get a lot more links back to my content now then I did in the past.

It’s not that my writing has improved either. I think I’m a better blogger now then I was five years ago. I don’t have to try as hard. I never re-write. I know my pet topics better, my voice is clearer (i.e. I’m me without trying) and I can push good posts out much faster than when I was a newbie blogger. But overall I’m not some amazing writer now as compared as to years ago. So what’s with the links?

My friends and peers link to me.

Most of the time here’s who links to me…

  • My friends who blog.
  • My peers who blog – I consider peers who blog people I meet via Twitter, Facebook, or by some other means, and we keep in touch and chat from time to time but I don’t develop deeper relationships with them. I.e. we don’t chat it up on Skype for an hour or anything.
  • The competition. For example, I’m a green blogger and thus talk to many other green bloggers, most of whom have blogs that directly compete with mine. Some of these blogger have WAY more popular blogs than mine. However, niches do tend to stick together even when competing. We email each other. We send little green updates. I link to them. They link to me.
  • PR folks. Now that I’ve been blogging for a good long while PR people come to me. I don’t have to hunt down green products or news hardly ever. I write about green stuff PR people send me and they’re happy and make sure my post gets some links. Back when I first started blogging I almost never talked with PR folks (I missed a lot of links).

See the above – that’s who I link to as well. I don’t usually seek out the very best content on the web to link to. I’ll seek out the best content from a friend or peer and link to that.

Of course I link to some issues directly like news or studies or if I know for sure the blogger is considered an expert on the topic but when it comes to basic link love I almost always choose someone I’ve had interactions with vs. someone I haven’t. Loyalty among bloggers is strong.

What can you learn from this?

A mediocre blogger with killer social networking skills will absolutely get more links than an amazing writer with zero social networking skills. Your content may rock that mediocre blogger’s content right out of the water but without people to link to your content so what?

Here’s what you do, right from the start…

Lastly, don’t assume some peers or folks in your niche are too good for you. Here’s an example: If 10,000 people read your blog and 200,000 read another blog in your niche it’s easy to assume the following – OMG they’re so much better than me; they don’t need my link love; they’ll never speak to me. Not true.

You know how popular blogs get and stay popular? With a steady diet of links, readers and social networking. Just because a blog is bigger doesn’t mean they still don’t like the same things you do, say a link back. I have link relationships with bloggers in my niche who are more popular than me and also with bloggers who are less popular than me. I’ll be friends with anyone – popularity is lame to focus on. This isn’t freaking high school.

Are you putting yourself out there to get more link love?


9 responses
  1. clara Avatar

    I’m so glad to come across this particular post as it kinda pertains to questions I’ve been asking myself…Because I’m not a great writer, but, my blog have been getting lots of traffic/ viewers/feedback from others deemed ‘great’…Could it be because I’m just writng “me” as opposed to doing “you?” Anyhow, I’m going to take your advice & continue the route I’ve been going these last 2 years and of course, give them great content 🙂

  2. Natalia Avatar

    I loved the tone of this post and I really feel inspired after reading it! Thanks for putting this out 🙂
    .-= Natalia´s last blog ..4 Ways to Raise Start-Up Capital =-.

  3. comptable bruxelles Avatar

    yes, there are also some services that automate the networking effort widely used in the blogosphere
    i saw a young blogger that receive almost the same traffic volume than his university by doing a lot of these automated submissions

    your point is still a very important as having the PR chasing you help a lot ot create an efficient buzz

  4. Annie @ SisterWisdom Avatar

    Thanks for this. Gives me food for thought. I tend to spend way more time on writing vs time spent on social networking, and I need to find the right balance. Blogging is not the same as sitting in an office, writing a book. I know interaction is a big part of it, and you’ve confirmed that. Thanks again.
    .-= Annie @ SisterWisdom´s last blog ..I Keep Trying to Make Them Play With Their Toys =-.

  5. janetlansbury Avatar

    Jennifer, thank you, this is exactly the information (and encouragement) I needed. I’m still digging deep with my content, I began REALLY socially awkward — getting better. Time constrictions, and balancing the whole blog/life thing has been the hardest part — and the isolation. I’ve felt pretty alone out here in the blogging world. There are tons of parenting sites, but the approach I write about is not represented on the web by anyone else. But I’m finding some really cool, smart people out there, and your direction is inspiring me to want to work more on cultivating a community. I’m excited! Thanks again.
    .-= janetlansbury´s last blog ..Accepting Grandparents’ Good Intentions (With Humble Apologies To My Father-in-Law) =-.

  6. panamajama Avatar

    Hi there – great advice thanks! I am pretty good at the social networking side of things, building my blog steadily through posts on facebook, twitter etc. But I could only dream of having 10,000 hits! That would be like being a rock star for me! Maybe one day.

    Thanks again

  7. panamajama Avatar

    Plus, I do find it tremendously funny that the software used to attach the link for my last post is called my ‘last blog’! Exactly the point you are, quite rightly, annoyed about! hee hee

  8. Eric Avatar

    You make a great point here.

    Having great content is good but only good if people know who you are and want more of what you have to offer. Even great content is not good enough if it’s not something other people who you are working hard to attract couldn’t care less about.

    Main focus is to keep pumping out that great content for sure. Then slow down a bit as things get smoother and you get better and really focus on interacting with people and getting out there and being social. From there manage both. Write decent articles that you know people want more of and keep interacting.

    I mean, you want people to come to your blog just as much as others want YOU to come to their blogs so you have have to get out there to make this work anyway.

    Your title had me and I’m glad it did.

    Nice work!

  9. Mama Seed Avatar

    Well I can write both good and bad! Yet still the links are not coming, maybe I need to work on being ‘me’ a bit more and less of what I think people want me to be. Great post!

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