In the business world, we love receiving referrals. In the blogosphere, it’s no different.

With blogging you’ll often hear the words, “link love”, but the technical term is “referral”.

In fact, if you look at your statistics, you see a category under the same name. Click on the links and you’ll see who and how someone is linking to your blog. (These are also known as “inbound links”.)

Today’s Lesson

With traffic coming to our blogs from a variety of sources, referrals could have the biggest impact. After all, these are fellow bloggers announcing our blog, product or services are worth checking out.

These inbound links can bring us more traffic and increased sales.

Being listed in the blogroll of a fellow blogger is another way we get referrals.

Being tweeted or Facedbooked about, helps too.

Personally, I like linking to others in my posts, but let’s look at what a few other bloggers are doing.

Here’s a small sampling of bloggers who use a blogroll:

  1. Chase March of Silent Cacophony shows “Blogs to Check” in his sidebar.
  2. The Farmer’s Wife lists “People I Read”
  3. On Tammy’s Studio, you’ll find a category named “links”.
  4. Susan Deborah, over at Meanderings and Reflections, titled her blogroll: “Let us go then you and I…”

You’ll also see bloggers doing extensive (and time-consuming) list posts:

  1. Praveen of Geeks4Share wrote a post titled, “List of 60 High PR [page rank] Do Follow Blogs That Use CommentLuv

Other examples include:

  1. Gail at Grow Map, who uses Twitter to “tweet” or “retweet” the blog posts of others.
  2. Betsy at Passing Thru, includes the names of “Online All Stars” (bloggers) on her “Services” page and provides short write ups, as well.
  3. Wendi and Deb of Blue Sun Studio include links to fellow bloggers in their ezine (newsletter).

Although some bloggers feel if they link to others they’ll lose readership, I’ve found the reverse is true.

It’s all about karma and good things will come back to us tenfold.

How sweet is that?

Today’s Assignment

Do you fear linking to others will negatively affect your readership?

If not, what is your favorite way of promoting the work of fellow bloggers?

Care to share?

signature for blog post

P.S. This is the perfect opportunity for me to thank all of you who include me in your blogrolls, link to my posts and help to promote my blogs. I am truly humbled and honored to not only be mentioned, but to be your online friend. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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Look Who's Talking
  1. RickNo Gravatar says:

    Here is how I promote the work of fellow bloggers:

    In WordPress I added the Tabbed Widget plugin. I created 5 tabs for the blogs of family members, neighbors, my religion, interesting blogs, and financial blogs.

    Each tab has seven links (though there could be more).

    I locate the widget in the sidebar just above the footer of my home page.

    If I was to link to your blog, it would go under “Interesting.”

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Rick,

      I like your idea. That way your readers can pick and choose which sites to visit as you’ve already got them sorted out.

  2. Jo WakeNo Gravatar says:

    The blogs I follow are listed at the side of my blog page. Some of them follow me, I am not sure how many.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jo,

      One good thing about listing the blogs you follow in your sidebar is that it makes it easy to just click on a link and you’re there. That seems like it would be less time consuming than using a reader.

  3. Hi Barbara – Thanks for the mention! Pete and I felt like we could easily provide knowledgeable testimonials for everyone and everything we recommend. We’ve had a lot of folks who are saying they wish they could design online businesses to fit their lifestyle like ours. Providing resource links and sharing what we’ve learned about who is trustworthy is a way we can help. I wouldn’t be able to do a blog roll as it would go on and on and on. Time to clean out the ole Reader. πŸ™‚

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Betsy,

      That is a great way to spread your knowledge. As you know when we start out it’s hard to know who to turn to for specific items. Your list of resources is truly beneficial to the new kid on the blogk. πŸ™‚

  4. Kelvin KaoNo Gravatar says:

    I found it amusing that when I think about “what other way is there to link to people”, I think “write a post like this one”. πŸ™‚

  5. If you’re a nice blogger you will have bloggers friends, and they will help and support you and your blog, they will link-back as you said and so on. It’s all about karma, indeed.

    Good job, Barbara!

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Tractor Games,

      Yes. It is about karma. Bloggers are the kind of people who like to help each other. One good deed deserves another.

  6. Deb DorchakNo Gravatar says:

    You’re very welcome, Barb! And thank you for including us in your post here.

    Linking out for us varies. A lot of times, we do it through our newsletter where we highlight testimonials from clients or shine that light on folks we know who have something in common with that week’s theme.

    In posts on the blogs? Not so much. If I’ve read something I’d like to share, then I’ll link out. Or if someone is doing a special promotion. But it’s nowhere near the “old days” where posts composed mainly of links (what was that called? Link Love?) were put up on a weekly basis.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Deb,

      It’s interesting how things change, isn’t it? I think as new bloggers we’re more apt to do link love posts to not only get our name out there, but to fill up our blog pages. As time passes it’s like we say, “been there, done that” and concentrate more on that which we’re passionate about.

  7. “May the circle be unbroken…”

    I enjoy linking a sentence, comment or post that relates to a topic in my post. I also enjoy referencing someone on a topic that fits with my post’s purpose.

    I will say…I am intent upon getting around my blogroll which means I may check out one link, but not necessarily a number of them in one post.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Amy,

      I like that, “May the circle be unbroken”.

      That’s a good way to link; to find someone who is well versed in a topic and include a link to them in our blog.

  8. I guess I like referrals because if you are reading a valuable blog then it can be that the referred blogs are also as valuable as the ones you are reading.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Tina,

      You’re right. If the blog which is linking to sites is reputable, chances are so are the sites they link to.

  9. JoyNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,
    I link to other bloggers by referring to an article or a site in a post and also by including an article or site in my newsletter or online class. If the insights provided are valuable and life enriching to me, I pass it on to my readers..not competition at all, definitely love:)

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Joy,

      I’m with you. I don’t see others as being “competition”, so linking to them is a way of adding value to our content, plus it gives our readers more resources.

  10. >>Gail at Grow Map, who uses Twitter to β€œtweet” or β€œretweet” the blog posts of others.

    Nice nod to Grow Map! I often read that site.

    I think the notion that linking to other blogs will negatively effect your readership is pretty silly! The internet is about everyone linked together; the idea of a solitary island site seems counter-intuitive.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Freddy,

      That’s true. When we’re online we are all linked together. In fact, we quickly find out the internet is actually a small world.

  11. susanNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barb! Love linking and do it whenever the subject/topic allows! I DO believe in Karma – and also that we need to give more of ourselves and promote others more. Wish the whole world was as friendly as most of the bloggers I’ve “met”!
    hugs
    suZen

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hugs to you SuZen,

      Good point. If link love carried over to the real world, things might be a lot different. 8)

  12. when I still had comments on my blog I enjoyed picking “loved this comment”and linking to the author’s blog. Now I try to link inside my blog posts whenever possible. I do think it’s important to link to blogs with a similar page rank as yours or higher.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Vered,

      I’ve read that, too – how we should link to blogs with similar or higher page ranks because it supposedly helps our page rank. Makes sense, however that’s not a practice I follow.

  13. HilaryNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara .. great post – and thanks for telling me a little more about it .. I’ve taken off blogs from my side bar – as they were out of date.

    But I want to revamp my blog a little and in the process will get listings appropriately set up ..

    I’ve just noted Vered’s business aspect – link to blogs with similar blog page rank as yours or higher .. good point to note.

    Cheers Barbara .. and thanks for the links to fellow bloggers – have a good week .. Hilary

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Hilary,

      You’ve raised a good point. When we do have blogrolls, we also have to maintain them. If we’re not careful, we could be linking to sites which no longer exist. That wouldn’t be good.

      ((Hugs)) to you and your Mum.

  14. John CanaleNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    The thing I love about referrals in this sense is that they may be quite authentic. I always feel like in the business world people just make connections for the sake of getting ahead, without cherishing the value of the person they are receiving a referral from. In blogging, however, you are acknowledging that this blogger’s site is meaningful and worthwhile to check out. I think blogging has the potential to give referrals a better reputation.

    Take Care,
    John

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi John,

      I hear you. Referrals in the real world are often misused for one’s own benefit. Online we see it in writing and can easily check out the referred site, plus learn more about the referee (is that a word?). And if a blog author is consistently referring others to great sites, they can soon become a “go to” person for that type of information.

  15. SylviaNo Gravatar says:

    I received a wonderful email from someone letting me know she was adding me to her blogroll. It was such a huge compliment! I immediately knew I should not only reciprocate but I should start my own blogroll. Two weeks ago I started it by writing a post with a link to their site and my connection/relationship to the blogger. This was more meaningful to me than just adding their site to my list. I want my readers to know the meaning and the reason why I’m their follower.

    http://sylviahall.posterous.com/launching-my-blogroll

    Thank you for another great topic!

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Sylvia,

      Thank you for sharing your heartwarming experience. I know what you’re saying. Being added to the blogroll on another site is a HUGE compliment, and whenever we can, we should try to find a way to reciprocate.

      Thank you for also sharing the link to the post. Lots of good karma there. πŸ™‚

  16. Dear Barbara:

    First off, thanks for the kind mention, dear Barbara. You have linked my blog in this page and I am smiling from ear to ear. Sometimes when we list the blogs we visit, bloggers who like my blog will sure like the ones I visit too. Referrals are also a way of honouring one’s followers and readers. When I see my blog on someone’s blogroll, I am elated. It instantly lights me up. So, referrals work in many ways and as you have rightly said it: “It’s all about karma.”

    Cheerio!

    Have a love remainder of the week.

    Joy and peace,
    Susan

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Susan,

      Yes. Referrals do have a way of serving more than just one purpose. It’s not just a way of sharing sites we like, but spreading love and karma, too.

      Have a great week, too. πŸ™‚

  17. Barbara,

    Call it link love or referrals as you may, as always your posts inspire me and make me think. Thank you for that. I think you have hit the nail on the head that in the blogoshere there is nothing like a nice link or comment to help another blogger friend out.

    One of my all time favorite comments is ‘I’m adding you to my blog roll.”

    I call my blog roll “Pips from my Peeps.” for the time being.

    Hope you are well.

    Julie

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Julie and thank you for your kind words.

      I know what you’re saying. Bloggers have the opportunity to help out fellow bloggers, and adding others to a blogroll is a great way of doing that.

      I like that, “Pips from my Peeps”, and thank you for including my name in your blogroll, as well. πŸ™‚

      P.S. I love the new look of your blog. Great job, Julie.

  18. RobinNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – I thought I picked up somewhere that sidebar links were no-follow (for the google robot and so on), whereas links in the content area were followed, so these links boosted rankings for the recipient.

    I found having a sidebar blogroll stressful eventually on my old blog, so I took it off, and i’m not putting one on my new blog. It is too hard playing favourites.

  19. Barbara – nice post on linking. I believe it’s important to link out and I don’t usually expect anything in return. I prefer not to do a blogroll but to provide more valuable how-to or list posts but link directly to the key sites for the benefit of the reader. Nothing worse than reading a great post but having to type in URLs or search for the sites in question!

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Tom,

      I agree with you. Linking out is very important, and like you said, if we provide (working) links to the respective articles, we make it easier for our readers, as well.

  20. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Robin,

    You know, I remember reading something to that effect too, however, I get pingbacks from blogrolls which are in sidebars, so who knows?

    I hear you. It’s tough having a blogroll when you read a lot of blogs. It can look like we’re playing favorites, even though we’re not, thus not having one is sometimes better.

  21. AlisonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi, Barbara! I definitely agree with the karma idea. Even if refferals make us lose some traffic short term, long term we win much more. The readers notice you refer them to the best possible place to find helpful info and they will reward this approach πŸ˜‰
    Alison
    Check out Alison’s awesome post.Grapefruit Diet MenuMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Alison,

      You’re right. We may lose a reader or two when we post links to other sites, but like you said, in the end we’ll be rewarded.

  22. Amenda WinterNo Gravatar says:

    I always believe in karma…The best thing to do is never ever do bad things…

  23. I also put in my related reading quite often a link to someone else’s post which relates to what I am writing.

    I do not know where to find my page ranking…I just enjoy reading…I do want to do better with Wise Ears…as I will need lots of referrals to make a living at my best skill

    Also, I have a matching grant for the post I have just put up…for every reader ( someone stays for a minute) between now and Sunday midnight PDT I will get $1 for this inspiring gals fundraiser
    I am hoping for about 500 readers for this worthy cause.
    Check out Patricias Wisdom’s awesome post.Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation FundraiserMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Patricia,

      That’s a good idea – to link to similar posts, or sites which discuss an idea even further.

      I saw your “fundraiser” post. I visited and hope you met your goal. Great job, Patricia.

  24. donna youngNo Gravatar says:

    You made a good point in discussing about the referral factor to get your blog noticed and increase your rankings and readership. And on this note, I wonder, since it is of mutual benefits for both parties, I have encountered certain blogs that are kind of snooty and limit the number of comments posted on their site, are their sites so high in ranking that they can afford to post or accept one or 2 links? I guess most of these people should not even be in the business of blogging because limiting your opportunities to link with others show that you haven’t grasped the concept of backlinks which is so beneficial when it comes to ranking in Google. The blogsphere should impose a blogtiquette (blog etiquette) to at least have the courtesy of follow the blogs of people who follow your blogs.
    Check out donna young’s awesome post.Do Fewer Bills Mean More Plastic?My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Donna,

      I haven’t seen blogs like the ones you mention, however I do know some blogs do not want to link to lower ranked blogs as it “supposedly” leaches out page ranking. So in one sense, they want you to link to them, however reciprocal linking is out of the question.

  25. RichardNo Gravatar says:

    Referrals really plays an important role in business and in blogging world. Its one way of sharing your nice and unforgettable experience from a certain blog post. As to business it help them get more client. So to be able to have a good referral from anyone, one should really have to take good care of there product or blog. Make people interested and reaching there needs can be a good start. Am I right?
    Check out Richard’s awesome post.I want to win the lotteryMy Profile

  26. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Richard,

    Yes, you are right. In fact, referrals can be what helps a business or blog succeed/survive. That’s why it’s SO important, as you mentioned, to take care of our blog/service/product and to give our audience/client our best.

    • ShaunNo Gravatar says:

      I totally Agree with the fact that referrals help you a lot in getting new clients and improving your business…The person who referred you knows your work and trusts your ability to finish up work on time..As per my personal experience i have seen a particular client referred our services to 5-6 persons and spread the “good” word about our services..I am so glad there is goodwill in the business. πŸ™‚

      • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

        Hi Shaun,

        That’s true. When we work for a client, they know first hand how we did and if we took care of all of their needs. When we make our clients happy not only are we building a good reputation, but like you said, we can pick up more business from referrals, as well.

  27. I think that it’s essential that you put your links to other people’s blogs so that they present a relevant information. Link with blogs that are on a same topic and that can truly give your reader the right info. In that way you are building trust and high quality readership so that people will actually “listen” to your recommendations.

    Yup, all about Karma!
    Check out Ana @ Como Se Hace Un Ensayo’s awesome post.CΓ³mo Hacer Un Ensayo De Causa-EfectoMy Profile