Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Ins and outs of Linking

Making connections is the key to any relationship.  Our online community of readers use these connections to receive information, build trust in our value and keep coming back to enjoy our content.

Think of your site as a web of information, not a linear journal. 

Spiral Ceiling of Thanks-Giving Chapel Dallas
Photo courtesy of Alicia Lee

So how can we enhance that basic value?  LINKS

Linking happens in two basic ways- internal and external.

Relevance in your own site:

1. for a link within situation to needed recipes or stories that would be nested inside other recipes or stories

2. for links to similar or complementary content to complete an idea or meal.

3. for travel posts that bring with them the story of why and how a recipe or story was created.

4. to answer a technical question - how to videos or posts

For me, the easiest way to demonstrate what this internal linking looks like is to glance at any baking recipe on my site.

Likely, there are 3 links within to each recipe  whole grain, and white flour mixtures and my pixie dust .

Each recipe gives the building blocks needed to successfully complete the recipe.

Gluten Free White flour mix from

Benefit for the reader: not having to figure out what gluten free whole grain flour mix entails, a simple click and it opens in another page.

Benefit for me: each recipe creates a minimum of 4 page views and reduces my bounce rate.

The same benefits happen with recipe links to frost the cake, find the perfect wine pairing or complete the meal with complementary dishes.  Make sure that they all open in new pages and your page views increase.

How-to posts can have an even greater life, especially if it is visually vibrant. Videos of techniques are perfect for linking.

FAQ pages can be a perfect way to structure this web of information. One of the folks I consider my support team explains why and how. 

Which brings me to external links. 

Notice, I continued to educate above but the link is to David's external blog.

For me to link out means:

1. I'm confident enough that my readers will be happy with this information to come back, and remember I was the source.

2. That I trust  and respect David's information enough that I don't have to do a post of my own to clarify.

3. I want to support David and his work.

4. That I think that the work will exist on the web for a long time.  I've stopped linking out to posts on current event topics since they seem to go away.

I still have it open in another window. Sometimes that means my reader closes the first. More likely,  they open the second, scan and bookmark it and return.

Other reasons to link out:
Having fun with the tattoos at Pie Party

You are participating in a roundup or bloghop with fellow bloggers. Linking out helps to build a network of connections with one topic in mind.

On this site, one of the frequent roundups is the Gluten-Free Ratio Rally. These are based on a single topic, with a list of links on the bottom of the post to other participants.

Having a group of fellow bloggers linking to you and you reciprocating, creates that web of connections that benefit all, especially your readers.  They get introduced to bloggers you respect, and read, gathering even more answers to their questions.

If any of the bloggers are thought readers in your niche, the link to your blog is especially beneficial. Google assesses these links as conveying a bit more credibility for your work, giving you a higher ranking on searches.



You got paid to say something about a company, product or service.

Affiliate links and sponsored posts are two way many bloggers make enough money to continue to write.

The FTC has many, many rules about how and what a blogger who accepts payment needs to do.

This topic is large enough to need a post all its own so click on over to see what you have to declare and how you have to setup Sponsored Posts and Affiliate Links.

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