Backlinks to your content are like votes for your blog. The more backlinks your blog receives the higher it will rank in search engine search results.
So every blogger is seeking both traffic to their blog and backlinks to their content.
Backlinks or incoming links can come from other sites linking to yours, social media accounts when people “discover” your site and link to it, and other ways people share information online. They can also come from sources you create and are members of, linking to your own site such as from Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, StumbleUpon, guest blogging, Facebook, etc. These are sometimes called organic or natural backlinks as they are created without pressure, payment, or gimmicks.
Affiliate links, promotion or advertising links are SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques to generate backlinks to your site.
They are all sources for backlinks, incoming links, or referrer links.
Her series on backlinks and related articles include:
- Understanding Backlinks
- Article Writing and Commenting Increase Backlinks to Blogs
- Article Writing and Backlinks
- Memes, Friends and Backlinks
- More Traffic and Backlinks for Your Blog: Scoop.it
- More Traffic and Backlinks for Your Blog: Guest Blogging
- More Traffic and Backlinks for Your Blog: Paper.li
- More Traffic and Backlinks for Your Blog: YouTube
- More Traffic and Backlinks for Your Blog: Squidoo
- Blog Directories for Backlinks and Traffic
- Backlinks from blog directories: What is their actual value?
- Incoming Links at WordPress.com
- Natural Links: Google Warns Webmasters
Part one of your Blog Exercise today is to read these articles about backlinks and follow their tips to help you identify the various sources of backlinks.
For WordPress users, if you are on WordPress.com, you will find your incoming links on the Dashboard Panel or through Dashboard > Stats, or the Global Dashboard Stats.
If you are using the self-hosted or managed version of WordPress, check with your analytics tool or WordPress Plugin such as the WordPress.com Stats WordPress Plugin or Google Analytics (and the appropriate Plugin).
Once you know where your incoming links are coming from, then what?
Consider blogging about one source that sends traffic in your direction and telling them publicly thank you. Tell your readers about the site, the referencing article, why you might recommend them, and publicly thank them for sending readers your way.
You may thank them privately by email or social media. After all, they are sharing their audience with you.
If you find several sites generously pointing in your direction, and the sites’ topics are related, consider a virtual group hug, telling them thank you but also letting your readers know about this great sites.
If your incoming links are scattered all over the place from a wide variety of sources, give that some thought. Do these referring sources bring traffic to your site that meets your ideal audience description? If not, consider why they are linking to your content. If yes, then you have friendly competition and a possible ally. Consider getting to know them better.
We’ll spend more time on backlinks, trackbacks, analytics, and stats in future Blog Exercises. For now, learn how to identify the sources of your incoming or backlinks, and show your appreciation.
If you publish a post on this exercise, remember to include a hat tip link back to this post to create a trackback, or leave a properly formed link in the comments so participants can check out your blog exercise task.