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17 Brilliant Bloggers Talk About Blogrolls and Link Love

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Brilliant Bloggers is a weekly series here at BlogWorld where we look at the best posts from around the web all surrounding a specific topic. I usually post on Thursdays, but given all the exciting announcements yesterday with BlogWorld East in NYC and opening speaker proposal submissions I decided to post a day later this week so Brilliant Bloggers wouldn’t get lost in the shuffle! Every week, we’ll feature three of the most brilliant bloggers out there, along with a huge link of more resources where you can learn about the topic. You can see more Brilliant Blogger posts here.

Want to be a BlogWorld Brilliant Blogger? Scroll to the end to find out how to submit your post for an upcoming edition!

This Week’s Topic: Blogrolls and Link Love

Are blogrolls a thing of the past? Maybe, but I think they can work for some people, and in any case, showing your favorite bloggers some link love is important. How you go about doing that depends on the style of your blog and your niche. I thought this was an appropriate topic, since Valentine’s Day was just a few days ago and that holiday is all about showing some love to people you care about! Let’s take a look at what some brilliant bloggers have to say about this topic.

Advice from Brilliant Bloggers:

Blogroll or Links Page? by timetheif

This post is a great comprehensive look at the “to blogroll or not to blogroll” question. Another thing I love about it – there are tons of links throughout the entire piece where you can go to learn a lot more. Talk about link love! Remember to follow the author on Twitter after reading @timethief.

Using Linkbait to Gain Dozens of Targeted Links to Your Site by Ryan Schmitz

This guest post on Daily Blog Tips from Ryan Schmitz of Planting Dollars is great because it gives you an example of how you can compile an awesome link love post and turn that into free links back to your blog – even if you have no mailing list. Check out the post and follow Ryan on Twitter @plantingdollars.

The Benefits of Linking for the Linker by Deb Ng

Y’all probably already know that out very own Deb Ng is a brilliant blogger, but just in case you needed a reminder, check out this post on linking from her social media blog, Kommein. We often think of linking in terms of “how can I get others to link to me?” but in this post, Deb shares some of the benefits to being the one doing the linking. Don’t forget to follow Deb on Twitter @debng.

Even More Brilliant Advice:

Next Week’s Topic: Klout

Want your post included? Simple email me at allison@abcontentonline.com with “Brilliant Blogger Link” in the subject line. Remember, only posts about this topic will be accepted. If you have another brilliant post, save it for a topic that better fits the post! Submissions will be accepted until February 23, 2011 at noon. Deadline pass already? Head the most recent Brilliant Bloggers post to see this week’s topic.

To Blogroll or Not to Blogroll…

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In West Philadelphia, born and raised, makin' blogrolls is how I spent most of my days...

When I first started blogging, everyone had a blogroll. I mean everyone. It was only natural to show some link love on your sidebar to people you enjoyed reading and people writing about similar topics.

Slowly, blogrolls began to disappear, to the point where they’re now pretty old skool. At first, it was just the lists of “random sites I love just ‘cuz” that were deleted to make space for other things on a sidebar. Then, we saw bloggers start to delete the “related blogs” lists from their sidebar, too. Some bloggers moved them to separate “links” pages. Other bloggers just deleted them completely.

Today, bloggers who use blogrolls are a dying breed. Why are people deleting them?

  1. They take up valuable space on a homepage. You could use that space for advertising, site navigation, links to your social media outposts, etc.
  2. You’re never going to have a list that includes everyone in your niche, so you run the risk of hurting feelings when you are choosing who to include.
  3. When you have a blogroll, it encourages people to email you and ask to trade links, even though their blog may not fit your site well (or at all).
  4. Blogrolls typically don’t get tons of clicks anyway. It depends on the niche, but people are more likely to click if you link with an explanation within your post.
  5. It takes time to maintain a blogroll, since you have to constantly check for broken links and update it when bloggers move or stop blogging.

That’s a lot of negativity about blogrolls! I’m pretty traditional, though – I still like to see them on sites, even if they aren’t the traditional long list of links. On After Graduation, I have my links in the footer so they’re still there, but out of the way. I support the use of a links page, too. Since I gave you a bunch of reasons why blogrolls suck, I’ll also give you some reasons why you should consider keeping yours:

  1. They give your readers more resources, and more is always better!
  2. It’s a way to show someone that you appreciate their site and the work they do there.
  3. People will email you to offer link exchanges, and when they do, you can offer them advertising rates instead. I’ve actually picked up a few advertisers this way in the past on other blogs.
  4. It makes your site seem more user-friendly and less commercial. Readers see it as a look into who you are and what you read on a daily basis.
  5. If you use a feed plugin to display their last post, you’re adding content to your blog, making it more valuable to readers.

I support some bloggers’ decisions to remove their list of links. I think it looks especially bad when you have a huge list of 100+ links on your sidebar. Even if they are all related to your niche in someway, do you really think they’re all high-quality? Do all the links still work? Do readers click through all of them? Probably not on all accounts.

Your turn – do you have a blogroll on your site? Why or why not?

Allison Boyer is a writer for BWE’s blog and the owner/manager of After Graduation. Using the term “old skool” in this post made immediately turn on her I Love the 90s iTunes playlist. Word to your mother.

Blog World Expo: The Best of Both Worlds!

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Blog World Expo excites me.  It thrills me.  Blog World Expo is like the culmination of bloggerhood fantasies: the coming together of people who know each other quite well, often so well that we could order for each other in a restaurant, or pick out shoes for each other.  We know all about their jobs.  We know their children’s names.  We know about their pets, and their gardens, and their opinions about big government, world peace, and whether they prefer brown or white eggs.

We know almost everything about them, in fact.  Everything, perhaps, except what they really look like.  Much of the time, we couldn’t pick each other out of a lineup.

But that’s okay, because online, assuming we’re all telling the truth – and we must make that assumption -bloggers have turned this huge planet into a neighborhood of relationships – friendship, business, and everything else, deep and lasting, and proof positive that we don’t have to know what people LOOK like, to know what people ARE like.  Most bloggers have found and made wonderful, genuine friends via blogging.

Our blogrolls and readers are full of people we wish lived next door to us, or even WITH us, because we’ve come to love them as dearly as though we met for lunch daily.

You know, we’re all just so BUSY.  Most of us work and raise children and try to nurture them and a marriage and our friendships and our talents all at the same time.  Many days, something’s gotta give.  With blogging, the conversations can wait till we can get there.  Bloggers are friends who don’t put any kind of time limitation on us.  We are here, and we’ll be here tomorrow if you can’t stop by tonight.

Blog World Expo excites me.  Bloggers will be there.  BLOGGERS!  People who, well, KNOW!  They KNOW.  Blogosphere neighbors who sit on each other’s virtual sofas several nights a week will get to sit at each others’ tables for real.

For real!!!  Then again, the Blogosphere is real, too.  Blog World Expo excites me, because it is the best of both worlds.

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