Today is day 24 of our 31 Days to a More Reader-Friendly blog. Check out all of the posts here!
When your readers get your email in their inbox, they decide to take the time to read your post. They head to the blog and they are giving you their time.
Are you giving them everything you can? Probably not. My guest is you are not exhausting your resources every time you give them some information.
And you don’t need to “exhaust” them every time, but you really should give the reader some option to explore more. More details. more examples. The chance for more community. Do you see where I am going with this?
The blogosphere is vast. The reader trusts you. Wanna help them get around the big ol’ dub-ya-dub-ya-dub-ya?
Here are some reasons to link to other posts within your post:
1. It gets people further into your site. If I write a post about “why you should make it easy to comment on your blog” then within that, I include a link or two to the post “How to Optimize Your Blog for Comments.“
Why? Because I told them why they needed to so I decided to tell them how. I just happened to have written about it in the past. So I…pointed to the archives. By getting people further into your site, you are providing them with more information and you are dusting off cobwebs on those beautiful archives! –>Tweet that!
2. It introduces the reader to a new blog(ger) that you respect. I have a handful of blogs that I keep in my back pocket. When I am deep in the technical aspect of blogging, I don’t have all of the answers. When I need an answer, I head to these trusted blogs and find it! I then share the answer with you if I decide to write about it. Thus, pointing you to this blog for resources too! An example of this would be Amy. You know, Blogging with Amy? She is a gem. She covers so much about the technical side of blogging. I shared a few days ago about putting fancy fonts on your site. Because the reader would probably appreciate learning how to put them on her site, I decided to include a link to the tutorial. Since I didn’t have one, I didn’t have the option of getting people further into my site. The result? I pointed the reader to a tutorial on fancy fonts from Blogging with Amy.
3. Networking! Baby, networking! This is the result of number 2. But it is a fabulous reason to link to other posts within your post. Many times, when you link to another post, they will see that (trackback) and say thank you!. They may comment on your blog (if it is easy enough!), they may email you, give you a twitter shout out, or perhaps they will be quiet and then point their readers to you at some point.
Or maybe nothing. But hey, as Christians, it isn’t about Karma! You don’t just point in hopes you will get a point back. No! While we would like that, we point because we are helping others in their eMinistry by sending traffic their way and doing something nice for them. It’ll make them feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
It’s nice to be nice, isn’t it?
When Leigh Ann and I were first in a mastermind group (that is how we met!), we all shared our posts. We pointed to each other on our sidebars, within posts, highlighted their posts, they highlighted ours, etc. It was a really great way to grow our blogs and encourage others!
4. It increases pageviews. If you are trying to start advertising (or if you are somewhat obsessed with your stats) you may be trying to increase pageviews. This is done by keeping people on your site. Moving around. Pulling them in. Keeping your site sticky. Add layers to your site. Keep them flipping those pages! You may only get your posts into the hands of 50 people. But if they are each clicking to another post within your site, at least once, you will have double the pageviews. The more your archives grow, you will continue to increase the number of pageviews per reader because of all your beautiful links!!
Heed this warning. Don’t focus so much on trying to link to other posts within your post that you forget about your current content. –>> Tweet that!
Your content. The one right there. That you wrote. Today. That should come first.
If you focus so much on making sure you are pointing to archives and pointing to others, you may lose site of why you actually sat down to write this post. You might lose site of your mission!
Also, remember, you will want to decide (when embedding a link in your post) whether the link should open in a new window or not!