Tips & Tricks: Create a great link post in 4 easy steps

Before writing any blog post, ask yourself: “Would I read this? Why (or why not)?”

Think about the subject (it should be relevant to your blog niche), illustrations (do they add to the story and do you have permission to use them), and page layout (check for scannability).

1. Great headlines matter

Some people write the headline first, then the post. Some do that in reverse. Regardless of the process, the headline is extremely important.

Things to consider when writing your headlines:

  • Balance “catchy” with search engine literalness.
  • Is it short enough to be easily retweeted?
  • Is it linkbait (if yes, rewrite!)?
  • If it’s appropriate, add a number — but make it manageable. Headlines that promise the “30 best xyz” are rarely more than a list of links. And that’s far too many of anything to rank in a meaningful manner.

2. Post length matters

I’ve read articles claiming that short posts are shared more frequently than long ones. And vice versa.

In an infographic released this week, Contently claims that articles of 3,000-10,000 words are shared socially more often than those of less than 1,000 words, relying on this work from OkDork:

Average Shares by Content Length

Image via OkDork.com

That said: research your niche for norms. Test, measure, evaluate. There are few universal truths (aka a silver bullet) when it comes to web content.

3. What makes a link post great?

Although a link post contains at least one link to an external source, often but not necessarily another blog, that alone is not sufficient to characterize a post as a “link” post. Good blog posts almost always link out. But link posts link out in a specific way.

A link post lets you share good content that is related to the topic of your site. In the process, it serves as a way to position yourself as a subject matter expert. You will also build relationships with other bloggers.

Link posts can can provide resources on a topic, offer a counter-opinion on an article, or add perspective on an article or issue.

Link post tips:

 

4. How to find good content?

Here are a few ways to get started in your content search:

  • Subscribe to other blogs, sites
  • Find aggregators that cover your industry
  • Check out AllTop for your topic
  • Set up Google alerts, especially if you want to cover breaking news

Resources

Dig deeper into writing great blog posts with these resources.

P.S. This is a short-ish post: 535 words.

Written by Kathy E. Gill

Digital evangelist, speaker, writer, educator. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill

This article has 3 comments

  1. Mistified | proofbreaker Reply

    […] we learned about the etiquette of creating a linked blog post. Along the way, @kegill showed us a few useful resources for aggregating news and content, such as […]

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