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Why A Link Post Should Be Like Mingling at a Party

By Jan of Circular Communication

When Lorelle invited me to guest blog here at Lorelle on WordPress she asked “if I would like an invitation to the party”. She suggested that I should write about something that she believes I do particularly well namely writing link posts. When I first started Circular Communication link posts was one of the first things I wanted to write. Given the blogs title and purpose am I sure you can appreciate why. However, I did find that link posts was somewhat looked down upon as not being real content, but rather a shortcut used to fill up pages and get attention.

I enjoyed link posts and without them I am sure my feed reader wouldn’t be as full of interesting reads as it is. The quality of the link posts was however not particularly good. For the most part it still isn’t. You often had to click through all the links to find one or two interesting reads. They lacked a number of aspects, which I value and try to provide in mine. Instead of speed linking do I subscribe to slow linking if you will. Lorelle’s phrasing of her invitation and her suggestion of what to write about is the reason for the following analogy. I hope you are of the forgiving kind that allow discrepancies. Nonetheless do I think it illustrates the point quite well:

Imagine you are at a party. You mingle and meet someone you know. You do not know her well, but well enough to appreciate her. You also have an idea what interests her, but not in detail. Across the room you spot someone else. You go talk to them. They seem like interesting people. You may even know some of them from previous parties. Since they are open and welcoming you quickly get to know them. Since you like them you want your acquaintance to meet them. Taking them by the hand you cross the room and introduce them. Simply saying their names, where they are from and suggesting they should talk to each other you leave them to themselves.

What do think happens next? I think she is likely to chat with a couple of them, but having nothing to go on and no common denominator is it unlikely that she by herself are able to pick the one(s) she would appreciate talking to the most. As a consequence the meeting may not only be short lived, but also somewhat unsatisfying. Imagine that you instead had taken the time to introduce each of them properly. Not only mentioning their name and where they are from, but also what makes them interesting and not least why they could be someone who she would want to get to know better.

I am sure you can see what I am getting at. She represents your readers and the other people are the articles you link to in your link post. How to connect the two is the key to the strength and length of the connection. To how much they enjoy the encounter. Perhaps even making it a lasting relation. I am not suggesting you should aim at coupling readers and blogs with life long relationships in mind, but why not try for more than simply placing them in front of each other? I am not against speed linking as such. I just think you can do so much more if you take the time trying to do it better and ask your readers to do the same.

When you write a link post let people know what you are linking to, why you link to it and what’s in it for them. Make clear that it is relevant and why. Qualify what you link to and you will find that people appreciate that they are better able to pick what interests them. That they are not clicking away unprepared. That they enjoy exploring what you present and don’t find themselves wasting their time. The right introduction may just be the difference between a good experience and erratic clicking to find the suggested great reads. They may be great in their own right, but if they aren’t what I like or seek I probably won’t even care.

What do you think? Do speed linking work as well as my proposed and practiced slow linking? Perhaps even better? How do you like being introduced to new reads?

PS: Speaking of parties. Did you submit your article to the Carnival of Circular Communication yet? I would love to see you there. Just read the guidelines carefully before entering to make sure it will be the kind of Carnival everyone enjoys.


This guest blogger post is by Jan of Circular Communication, author of the first “virtual interview” featuring Lorelle VanFossen and Liz Strauss and another virtual interview with Lorelle on the subject of guest blogging – as a guest blogger on her blog.

7 Comments

  1. Posted August 8, 2007 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Hey Lorelle,

    This is an amazing article and helped me to learn many things. Thanks a lot and please keep on your good work.

    Best regards,
    Vahid

  2. Posted August 9, 2007 at 4:45 am | Permalink

    Hi Jan,
    What a great treatment of a timely topic! You’ve put a perspective on a link post that is important for us to see.

  3. Stephan Becker
    Posted August 9, 2007 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    Hi Jan,

    Good to see how you transposes life lessons into writing your blogs – link posts that is. Very often, people forget that writing a blog is not different from the way we would/should communicate outside of the “digital writing space”. There is so much to learn and I have so much to improve myself the way I and my team blog to educate people about the beauty and the importance of coral reefs that I will go back to my team with a little brainstorm session and buy Lorelle’s ‘Blogging Tips” while I am at it…:-) Our blog is a little too ‘scientific’ I would say, although we know that people read us, we have no comments on our blogs – and I am looking to change this one-way communication somehow… see, this is learning in action…:-) Thank you for your valuable article.

    Stephan

  4. Posted August 10, 2007 at 1:52 am | Permalink

    What’s a link post?

    • Posted August 12, 2007 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

      A link post is a post with links in it to external sites on the web.

  5. Posted August 10, 2007 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    A link post is a post whose purpose is simply to introduce something on another site and then link to it. For example, a link post about Dinner in the Sky, which, after describing the experience and pointing out the most interesting details, then links to the official site.

  6. Posted August 11, 2007 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the kind comments and the good question. I am sorry that reply in this untimely manner, but I actually managed to forget that I am not alerted about comments on this blog automatically – DOH!

    To Michaels explanation would I just add that I view link posts as posts containing more links and that its main (or only) purpose is to highlight information found elsewhere. This “elsewhere” can be on the same site (like in a weekly round up) or on other sites. Mine are all meant at highlighting articles other people have written with the purpose of letting more people know about them or to let people seeking information on a specific topic find good information more easily.

    As I write in the introduction do I consider link posts a vital part of blogging. Blindly churning out new articles on topics already covered well does not make sense to me. Since I always try to add my own angle on what I link (as well as the overall subject) do I believe that I do a service as well as contribute something new. Sometimes you do have an entirely new angle on something or you need something off your chest and then is writing an article without references naturally fine.

    If everyone wrote link posts there would be nothing to substantial to link to, but if no one wrote link posts the best articles already written would soon drown in the sea of new information added every day. I see it as one of my purposes to help as many as I can find the best answers to their questions etc and hence does link posts play an important role in my blogging ventures.

    Coincidently is it my intention to add to this subject next week so do stay tuned :-)


16 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] 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 [...]

  2. [...] may access Jan’s original article here – it sure makes for a good read for those inviting a lot of ‘new friends’ to their blog [...]

  3. [...] my first post about link posts – Why A Link Post Should Be Like Mingling at a Party – I played the guest introducing other guests to each other. However, you are in fact the host of [...]

  4. [...] away about the circularity of it all. Seeing how my first guest post on Lorelle on WordPress Why A Link Post Should Be Like Mingling at a Party was picked up by Joanna Young in her post How to write a links post and then turned into a writing [...]

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

  6. [...] Why A Link Post Should Be Like Mingling at a Party [...]

  7. [...] may access Jan’s original article here – it sure makes for a good read for those inviting a lot of ‘new friends’ to their blog [...]

  8. [...] posting should be like mingling at a party – suggests Jan from Circular Communication, guest writing this week at Lorelle on WordPress [...]

  9. [...] Why A Link Post Should Be Like Mingling at a Party [...]

  10. [...] him in the articles on their blogs, helping him get new exposure. Think of these types of links as mingling at a party, where you meet and greet and exchange business cards with people, hoping one or more will turn [...]

  11. [...] Why A Link Post Should Be Like Mingling at a Party [...]

  12. […] Why A Link Post Should Be Like Mingling at a Party: In part one of his series, Jan of Circular Communication introduces us to his popular link posts and how he creates these uniquely written blog posts. […]

  13. […] Why A Link Post Should Be Like Mingling at a Party […]

  14. […] Why A Link Post Should Be Like Mingling at a Party […]

  15. […] Why A Link Post Should Be Like Mingling at a Party […]

  16. […] “Why a Link Post Should Be Like Mingling at a Party,” my friend Jan of Circular Communication described it this […]

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