I receive requests every day for link exchanges. Many newer bloggers especially feel a link exchange from a more established blog or blogger is a good way to get traffic and create buzz. Backlinks are always good, but people, can we put a little more thought into this?
Yesterday I received a link exchange request from someone who felt my blog would be perfect for his readers, and vice versa and we should have a link exchange. “Your blog is about watches? It’s a sales tool filled with affiliate links,” I told him. “I have a blog network geared towards freelance writers. How is that perfect?”
“Easy,” he responded. “Everyone needs to tell time.”
Know your audience
You know what annoys me so much about Viagra and a lot of other spam? I mean besides that it’s so spammy? It’s because I’m a woman. I don’t use Viagra. I don’t have male bodyparts to enlarge. I’m not into cheerleaders. I’m sure there’s a market for all of this, however, it doesn’t include me. What happened to knowing one’s audience?
This same logic applies to the folks seeking out link exchanges. Sure, everyone wants to be linked to by a major blog, but there has to be a relevance. Take some time, do a little research, and maybe you’ll find the right target for your requests.
Stop asking for links and write link-worthy content instead
I’m not huge into link exchanges, to be honest. Instead, I prefer to link to interesting content. Others must feel the same way because my blog has received link love from Mashable, ProBlogger and many others. Not because I asked, but because I wrote blog posts that made them take notice.
If you want backlinks, write backlink worthy content. Put some thought into what you’re writing instead of Googling someone else’s work. Don’t write linkbait, instead, write timeless, information-filled blog posts that folks will find useful in years to come.
Link exchange requests bug me no end too. Especially since anyone who spends 5 minutes on my site can tell that the only links I post are specific content links, a very few carefully selected links to other business-to-business sites (and the link requests I always get are consumer sites), and my advertising.
And like you, I am female and the spam I get is just eye-rollingly bad in its targeting. Even worse is the comment spam I get on my website. Of course, it’s almost all that same viagra and sex site stuff. I write a scrapbooking site targeted to businesses in the industry and the overwhelming majority of my readers are females (and conservative ones at that). It’s so obvious the spammers are stupid or choosing their targets randomly.