There’s a bit of trend in some circles where bloggers add way too links to blog posts that in my opinion, dilutes the honesty and integrity of the writing.
Go ahead and Google “how to write a blog post” and you’ll get results which includes some of the most popular and trusted sites online promoting systems to improve your blogging.
Many of the results arguably include too many outbound links to be helpful. Some marketers are adding way too many external, internal and affiliate links to blog posts and frankly I find it annoying and distracting and I don’t think I’m the only one.
Google Says It’s Ok
Outgoing contextual links are important for search engine ranking but there’s a point where it goes overboard. Everyone does it, I do it myself a small bit, but I realise how distracting it can be so I try to keep it relevant.
When I read an article I want to read it, I don’t need distracting links to other posts pulling on my attention. I really don’t think it does the writer any good either because their focus is not necessarily on the reader, it’s more on getting ranking in Google.
I realise that internal links are important, both to give readers relevant content and SEO, but surely this can be done with a bit less enthusiasm throughout the post. Some sites just add too many links to be helpful.
Instead of the article being a trusted resource for a particular subject, it ends up being just another post. When the focus goes off the reader and the supply of useful information and more towards turning numbers, the game is soon up.
Copyblogger is a site that love internal links, and no I’m not bagging Copyblogger because I read and trust their material, but they do over do it on links sometimes in my opinion.
Ironically, in this post on Copyblogger, the author mentions exactly what I’m referring to here in point #5 of her article.
Resource pages are another thing altogether. Resource pages are important and allow you to gather lots of links to relevant content under a single page on your blog. You can do this for particular blog categories too.
Very simply, these are pages with a brief intro and a list of links with a description along side the link. You can dress the page up a bit by adding images and fancy links but the effect is the same. Google likes these also.
These pages serve a specific purpose and give the reader opportunity to find what they want all in one place. For example; you might have a subject that you specialise in and promote on your blog via referral products or your own course material.
Create a page on your site dedicated to this category and add, say a short code, that brings in all blog posts for that particular category. Some WordPress themes allow you to do this easily.
Salesy Kills It
Being too salesy kills it, in a bad way! People know when they are being sold to and most people don’t like it. I know I don’t! The key I think is to keep links relevant and to a minimum.
Writing honestly with the sole intention to give your reader valuable information is the only way to go for me. By all means add links at the bottom of the page or post to your products and paid material, but don’t let that be the driver.
Let your intention to deliver quality information fairly and honestly be the driver, and people will build trust with you. Forget salesy stuff, let your knowledge of the subject be your selling point.
You’re entitled to make money from what you know and you can make lots of it too, I simply believe money can be made by simply being upfront about product affiliation etc. There’s no need to be behind the door on it.
I’m not out to bag other peoples systems, especially when they are very successful at what they do, it’s just I think they need to ease up a bit and make it relevant. Less is more y’know.
What To Do Instead
Try not to go overboard with links, keep it relevant. If you’ve got a bunch of links to share, include them in a “helpful resources” box at the bottom of your post.
Include links contextually. That is to say, add your links to the body of text in a regular sentence and not as a url on a separate line.
If you want to find out more check out this landing pages article I wrote a little while back.
The link above is contextual, in other words it relates directly to the words I used to link to the landing page resources.
Here’s a few other tips
- Link to high ranking domains
- Link to popular articles
- Keep links relevant
- Link to a resource once in your article
- Make your article for users, not for Search Engines.
- Watch this guide from Google