“How do you give credit to other bloggers” is a question many ask.

After all, even though we may say our blog is “all about us”, in actuality, without other bloggers visiting, commenting and giving us moral support, we could end up feeling pretty lonely in blogosphere.

All the more reason to show them some link love.

how to give credit to other bloggers

Today’s Lesson

Some bloggers feel if they link to other sites, especially in their niche, their readers will abandon them and not come back. From experience, I’ve found this is not the case. In fact, I’ve read comments on the sites I’ve referred others to which state, “Thanks to Barbara, at Blogging Without A Blog, I’ve found you.”

I see that as a win-win.

Giving credit to other bloggers can be done in numerous ways.

  • If we are inspired by an article written by another blogger, we can link to that blogger in our post, stating how what they published was the basis for our post.
  • We can provide a short quote from a fellow blogger and include a link to their site.*
  • Writing a short thank you at the bottom of our post with a link to a fellow blogger is a great way to give credit where credit is due.
  • We could create a list at the bottom of our post giving credit (including links) to all resources from which we have benefited.
  • We can use our blogrolls as a way to link to fellow bloggers and title the list as: “Blogs I follow”, “What I’m Reading”, Or….
  • The CommentLuv plugin is a great way to show our appreciation for a comment plus gives the blog author a chance to include a link to one of their posts.
  • A “Top Commenters” plugin or widget can be used to reward those who frequently comment. Show the results in the sidebar.
  • I use the Get Recent Comments with avatars plugin for my “Who’s Talking” section. (see sidebar)
  • We could create a special award, link to the blogger and share with our readers why the blogger deserves the award.**
  • Twitter is a great way to show link love. Send out a tweet and link to the blogger’s home page or to a post of theirs.
  • We can share some love on Facebook by posting on their wall or sharing a link to them on ours.
  • Other. ________[Fill in the blank]__________.

Keep in mind, linking to other bloggers doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily come by and say “thank you”.

If for some reason their pingbacks or trackbacks aren’t working properly, they may not know you linked to them.

And finally, when linking to big name sites or A-List bloggers, it’s rare they’ll show up even if they see the inbound link.

Today’s Assignment

Do you feel comfortable linking to fellow bloggers?

Or do you feel a link out will send your readers packing?

If you give credit to other bloggers, what method(s) do you use?

Care to share?

signature for blog post

*Keep quotes from other sites short. Long quotes could be construed as plagiarism.
**Although you have put time into creating the award, don’t be discouraged if the blogger does not post it on their site. It may not “fit” the blogger’s online persona.

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Look Who's Talking
  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Gail Gardner and Barbara Swafford, Blogging Master. Blogging Master said: Blog Post Link Love http://bit.ly/drTTIs [...]

  2. Linking to reputable sites is actually good for your own blog in terms of SEO, so it truly is a win-win.

    I sometimes discover that a blog had linked to me even though I didn’t get the ping. I do try to visit linking blogs and say thank you, but sometimes I don’t even know I had received a link!
    Check out vered | blogger for hire’s awesome post.Talking About Anorexia With Pre-Teens- Too EarlyMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Vered,

      That’s true, about improving our SEO with links.

      Like you, I’ve been linked to and didn’t know it. I’ve also added a Google alert in hopes of catching links I may not get pings for.

  3. MikeNo Gravatar says:

    My linking to others is primarily via the comments I get — I use the “Comment Luv” and “Nofollow Case by Case” plug-ins.

    The “Nofollow Case by Case” plug-in strips the “nofollow” attribute out of the links of commenters allowing all comment links to be followed by the searchbots. I can make a link “nofollow” by adding ‘/dontfollow’ to the link in the comment editor of WordPress.

    I have only done this a couple of times. In each case it was a legitimate comment, but the link was clearly to a commercial site.
    Check out Mike’s awesome post.Bull Trout–Part DeuxMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Mike,

      I also use the NoFollow Case by Case plugin in hopes of helping those who comment to get as much link love as possible.

    • thinsmekNo Gravatar says:

      I just delete the link, and publish the comment if it is legitimate.

      Also when I post a comment which is not of great value on someones blog, I leave out the link to my website.

  4. oOo what a timely post!!

    See, I firmly believe that if you’re unique and personable enough, you can points folks in the direction of a thousand others…and they’ll still come back to YOU.

    So…yesterday I had created a cute little peelio thingee on my site that tells everyone the wonders they’ll get from me. And it occured to me that suggesting OTHER people they might want to read…would be a Good Thing indeed!

    Still figuring out the best way to incorporate that…
    Check out Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach’s awesome post.Darth Vader Approved – 10 Critical FREE Facebook Marketing and Personal How-Tos You MUST Read TodayMy Profile

  5. Hi Barbara,

    I LOVE linking to others and try to do this often. I also choose to link to bloggers I frequent organically as opposed to hosting a blogroll.

    A lot of my post ideas come from books or other bloggers, so I always do my best to link back to the author of the book, or it the author does not have a blog (or is no longer living :( ) I always link back to his or her book on Amazon.

    One thing I’d to share here: similar to Vered’s comment, I’m often really embarrassed if I find someone linked to me and I missed the post or didn’t receive a pinkback. I like to visit and say thanks and offer my support. So, I find it very kind when I receive an email or a Tweet from a blogger to give me a heads up that I’ve been linked at his or her site.

    I hope all is well in your world, Barbara. Keep up the great work!
    ~xo
    Check out Lori (JaneBeNimble)’s awesome post.Climb Into Your Rocket ShipMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Lori,

      That’s true. We do get lots of ideas from other bloggers, all the more reason to link back to them as a way to say thank you.

      Like you, I like when someone gives me a heads up that they linked to me, especially if I haven’t received a ping or trackback.

  6. ElizaNo Gravatar says:

    Since I have gone to an online magazine format, but cannot afford to pay money to my wonderful writers, I ‘pay’ in the form of cross promotions to their sites. They can include 1 link in their post, then multiple links in their bio. I also have pics of a week’s writers in the sidebar with links to their site which I run for the whole week. And, each month in my the newsletter I feature 3 writers with links to their sites.

    I have no fear that people will head off to one of my writers’ sites and not come back. My site is not their site. I am confident that people reading Silver & Grace read it because it gives them something. Discovering a new blog will give them something else.

    I love promoting my fellow bloggers. It helps them out and I am offering my readers valuable resources.
    Check out Eliza’s awesome post.Successfully learn social media with an open mindsetMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Eliza,

      That’s a great idea to link to your guest writers and to allow them multiple links in their bios. Not only does that show link love but can encourage guest writers to contribute to your site.

      I hear you. Each of our sites is unique and our readers continue to return for what WE provide; something they won’t find on another blog.

  7. I do the Link Love quite often especially if a blog post inspires me to write my own post on the same topic. I have been honored with several awards over the 3 years that I have been blogging but you won’t find any of them on my blog because my technical skills don’t allow me to put them there. There are still so many technical things that I need to learn one of these days when I grow up.
    Check out Patricia – Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker’s awesome post.The Laundry List of Adult Children Of AlcoholicsMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Patricia,

      It’s nice to receive those awards, isn’t it? Although you’re not displaying them, I’m sure those who gave them to you know you’re grateful.

  8. PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

    I have stopped getting most ping backs and the last three links I have just discovered by being a regular reader….but I so love linked posts…and I always try to say thank you

    PS Barbara, I think you will really like my post and biking architect post for today….especially for your environmental blog…

    I often try to send an email to the person I might be quoting or linking to…

    The blog world seems a bit quite this week?
    Check out Patricia’s awesome post.Do You Know Your WALK SCOREMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Patricia,

      That’s a good idea – to email someone we’re going to link to.

      As I mentioned earlier, it helps to set up a Google alert in addition to waiting for pings or trackbacks. They may not catch all of the links, but helps.

      Yes. The blogosphere does seem a little quiet this week.

  9. DominiqueNo Gravatar says:

    I do a Midwest-themed “link love” post each month, linking to 8-12 posts on other blogs talking about Midwest people/places/things.

    I started doing a little over a year ago and find it does several things for me:

    It keeps me reading a lot of blogs within my niche (Midwest US/Midwest US travel).
    It helps me build stronger connections with bloggers in my niche (I usually get a couple of them who follow the link back to my post to thanks me for featuring them, I’ve had some of them thank me for directing their attention to blogs they haven’t read before, and I’ve picked up some new readers that way).
    It allows me to keep my blog roll under control. Instead of a massive blog roll, I can rotate the links each month among some of the favorite blogs I always read and new blogs I discover in any given month.
    It gives me one post a month where I don’t have to worry about what topic to cover.

    If there is a downside, it is a pretty labor-intensive process and takes a lot of time (I’m sitting here tonight catching up with my feeds–the most time-consuming part of it all, which is how I came to read this post tonight!). I select links, write a short description of each post, pick a couple of photos from my collection to illustrate the post, put it all together.

    Beyond that, I do a good bit of tweeting/re-tweeting other bloggers’ posts, and occasionally share a link over on Facebook.

    I keep meaning to install CommentLuv one of these days, too :)
    Check out Dominique’s awesome post.The mystery of Benzie Countys Putney RoadMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Dominique,

      The link love posts do work real well, but like you said, can be very time consuming. That said, I’ll bet those who you link to appreciate the recognition.

      It’s good to hear you have CommentLuv on your list. It’s my favorite plugin.

  10. I always link to my fellow bloggers as and when the occasion arises. When I blog about issues that have already been discussed by some of my blogger-friends, I cite their name and provide a link to their page. Many times I find that my fellow bloggers offer excellent value-addition to my posts and so I automatically link to their pages.

    Linking serves a double-fold purpose: One, you can show your appreciation and two, their ideas are linked to yours through the link.

    Joy always,
    Susan

  11. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Susan,

    I hear you. Our fellow bloggers are one of the best sources we have to add value to our posts. All the more reason to link to others and say “thank you”.

  12. This is such a great post, Barbara. I believe that we add real value for our visitors by linking out to trustworthy resources. And, yes, Google also seems to appreciate it if we share good content. If what you have to offer is of a high quality, there is no reason to think that your visitors won’t return to your own site! Don’t be afraid to practice your own brand of link love…
    Check out Rika Susan Home Remodeling’s awesome post.Porcelain Tile VS Ceramic Tile Video – The Kaska Ceramic Tile DifferenceMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Rika Susan,

      That’s very true. By linking out to trustworthy resources, not only does it help our readers become smarter consumers (or products or information), but chances are they’ll keep coming back to find out what else we’ve found (that can be beneficial to them).

  13. Kelvin KaoNo Gravatar says:

    Yeah, I have no problems linking to others. If they do follow the link, they just might have a better understanding of where you are coming from. Sometimes having read the same blog post is like having watched the same game or movie. You now have even more to talk about!

    And I am not monetizing my blog at the moment, so I really can care less about this SEO stuff.
    Check out Kelvin Kao’s awesome post.Walking with DinosaursMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Kelvin,

      That’s a good point. Instead of giving a long explanation on our blog about “whatever”, by linking to a site which explains it, the readers who want more information about the subject can click the link.

      Re: SEO (search engine optimization), even if we don’t monetize our blogs, SEO can help by sending search engine traffic our way.

    • thinsmekNo Gravatar says:

      Linking to others is definitely going to be great for your blog search engine wise.

  14. suzenNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barb! Well this post reminds me that some time ago I tried to hook up the Luv thing and got technologically snafued/confused and aborted. I MEANT to get back to it! :( I tended to mention or link other bloggers when I was writing my initially themed blogs on motivation and change but now that I’m pretty much health oriented I’m linking to other sites for more info. Kind of out of the norm? Well it feels like it sometimes. I sure do love my followers though and never miss replying to comments.
    hugs
    suZen
    Check out suzen’s awesome post.Soda and Bottled Water TaxMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Suzan,

      I know. The CommentLuv plugin can be a little confusing, but if you want to add it, just let me know and I’ll try to help.

      Now that you’ve changed the direction of your blog, I’m sure you’re finding different types of sites to link to rather than fellow bloggers. Being new to a niche, I think it’s beneficial to link to your sources so your readers understand where you’re coming from. Later on I’m sure you’ll find fellow bloggers to link to, as well.

  15. HilaryNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara .. I think CommentLuv plugin .. doesn’t work with Blogger? I’d love to have it on .. (I know I’ll move the blog one day!)

    You seem to have covered it all .. though what do I know?! Not a lot – but I know where to come to .. when I need the info.

    One request for a possible post .. as I don’t do it & don’t know how to because I haven’t started .. I have Twitter and Facebook a/cs .. and after this weekend .. I must start using them .. I was wondering if you could give us (those of us who are a bit slow!) a blow by blow account of Tweeting & Facebook wall posting .. per your two comments here .. ? Link love effects etc …

    I feel very comfortable linking to others .. I put the link within the post almost always.

    Thanks – really interesting .. link love to you .. have a great weekend .. Hilary
    Check out Hilary’s awesome post.The Grand Tour My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Hilary,

      I read CommentLuv works with Blogger, too. With Blogger not being the platform I use, I’m not sure how you would add it, however it may tell you on the CommentLuv site.

      Thank you for the suggestion on writing a post about Twitter and Facebook. Let me see what I can put together without it being a full blown tutorial. (I’m betting I can find some links to include or possibly even a video or two).

      I hope you had a great weekend too. :)

      • HilaryNo Gravatar says:

        Hi Barbara .. many thanks .. I think it does work on Blogger too .. I’ll keep an eye open for the note I made.

        Thanks for the thought re FB & Twitter .. yea – I don’t want you to go to mega details .. just the guidelines of getting going etc .. but I’m sure you’ll know where to go for video tutorials ..

        I had a good weekend .. lots of learning .. now to catch up .. that is the running time! Hope Halloween was fun .. cheers Hilary
        Check out Hilary’s awesome post.The Grand Tour My Profile

      • thinsmekNo Gravatar says:

        WordPress.com (Automattic) say they have their sights on Blogger, now that Windows Live Journals have all migrated to WordPress. Blogger is not such a great blogging platform. Even TypePad can be better.

        It’s actually really easy to switch from blogger to wordpress.com; you can import all your posts and stuff into your wrodpress blog. Just google it!

  16. I love being inspired by what others write or I read and give them the credit for the inspiration every time… Adding a link to them is recognition of their thought and creativity. I am not, however, always great at letting them know so perhaps I could start doing that.
    I also have changed things up a bit on my blog and have added a section that will include my favorite posts that I have written but also the favorite posts I have read. There are some talented writers and thoughtful posts out there… and they deserve to be in the spotlight.
    I would love to add Comment Love but have yet to figure out how to do this on Blogspot?
    Check out The Exception’s awesome post.The Courage toMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi The Exception,

      That’s true; it is important we let others know they inspired us.

      Re: Letting others know we’ve linked to them. Like you, I don’t go out of my way to tell them, and it looks like we can’t assume they’ll get pinged and see the link.

      I agree. There are a lot of talented writers out there who deserve being in the spotlight. :)

  17. By the end of each week, I always publish a link love article that storage all of my favourites links, useful to me and people.
    Check out Tony @ Hello Android’s awesome post.Best Buy Offering Droid Incredible Today As Best Buy’s Free Phone Friday PromoMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Tony,

      That’s a great idea; to publish a “link love” post each week. Not only does it give your readers an opportunity to meet fellow bloggers, but it keeps you accountable knowing your readers are looking forward to the weekly post.

  18. In my case, I usually quote stuff from other authors or bloggers from the web and thanking them by linking back. But I am usually using the same method used by Wikipedia.org which is using the “external nofollow” for the links. It will not hurt my blog but still cite the source which will generate traffic for them and exposure.
    Check out Pacquiao Margarito’s awesome post.Watch Pacquiao vs Margarito Online Live or Replay – Here’s How!My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Pacquiao,

      That’s true. When we quote fellow bloggers, providing a link back to them can help to create more traffic and exposure for them.

  19. J.D. MeierNo Gravatar says:

    I think we all need to lift each other up, and what goes around comes around.

    Every time I need a reminder that folks need a lift up, I simply remind myself how many bloggers fall off the merry go round, as blogs come and go.
    Check out J.D. Meier’s awesome post.Top 7 Lessons Learned on Dealing with Bad EmotionsMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Amen J.D,

      We do need to lift each other up, and linking is a great way of doing that.

      Like you, I see bloggers fall of the [blogging] merry go round and it truly saddens me.

  20. JoyNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,
    Link love is *fun* and one of my favorite things to do for my readers by offering them the same opportunity for enrichment from the piece/person that inspired me..It is also a great way to encourage my fellow bloggers..
    I also regularly open my space to share with other bloggers..that provides a variety that I think is immeasurable in terms of promoting love and healing..which is my “mission”..
    As in life, what I share is multiplied..my goal in blogging is to touch hearts..and I find it works much better if we stand together:) Plus, I greatly enjoy sharing the energy with others..inspires me in all areas of my life…
    Check out Joy’s awesome post.Barefoot In NY…My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Joy,

      That’s true. Linking out can be a lot of fun, especially if others aren’t expecting it. When they show up, surprised, it’s truly joyful.

      I agree. What we share is multiplied. And I also think we teach others to pay it forward, as well.

  21. LeoNo Gravatar says:

    I guess the “level” of thank you depends on the “impact” the blogger had on you. The higher the impact, the bigger the thank you / reward.

    One of the biggest thank you – SEO wise – you can give is linking from the top of one of your article using relevant keywords to the thought-provoking article of theirs (it’s easy to guess which keyword they usually try to rank for).

    If they do it continuously – write good articles – the blogroll link is the next logical step, I think.

    I found that openly sharing link love with people who know the value of editorial links is usually the best way to get a “relationship” started.
    Check out Leo’s awesome post.What is the impact of the new Google Places – Local for accountantsMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Leo,

      That’s true. There can be different levels of thank yous from one link to a full blown blog post.

      Yes, when linking to others it’s better for them if we use what we believe are their keywords instead of their name or blog name.

  22. thinsmekNo Gravatar says:

    Here is another great post from the WordPress people about how important linking is to the web.

    http://editor.wordpress.com/2010/05/25/want-more-readers-first-get-link-happy/

    Your post is great too, Barbara!

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you for your kind words Thinsmek, plus the links and tips you’ve shared. It’s all very helpful.

  23. DominiqueNo Gravatar says:

    I posted my monthly link love post at Midwest Guest yesterday (the link to it is in CommentLuv below).

    A couple of the folks featured RT’d me on Twitter and two of them friended me on Facebook this morning. I got an email from one of them who said she was truly flattered to be included and asked about interviewing me about a hobby we have in common for a future blog post of hers.
    I’ve had similar reactions when I’ve done past link love posts (I started it as a monthly feature in September 2009), and folks I’ve featured in the past often read and RT my most current link love posts.
    It really has proven useful for me in community building and helping me keep up to date with my reading in my niche! I try to remember that each time I get to the end of the month and have a ton of posts to sift through as I do these link love posts :lol:
    Check out Dominique’s awesome post.Midwest travel links for October 2010My Profile

  24. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Dominique,

    I love your idea of a monthly link love post. Although it can be extremely time consuming for you, it appears the benefits far outweigh the time you spend.

    What you said is so true. By linking to others we do build community. And with blogging, I find community is much more important than “the numbers”.

  25. techiespiderNo Gravatar says:

    ITs a Good Idea of Saying thank you to the commentators and also getting more comments

  26. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Techie Spider,

    Yes. Saying thank you to our commenters is important. It shows others we care and like you said, may translate into more comments.

  27. ValerieNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara this is interesting. I believe it is common courtesy to credit the work of others that we might use or draw upon in our blog posts (whether it is an article they have written or photo images). What I’m not sure about is the etiquette of blogrolls. I have only about 5 or 6 blogs listed and all of those I have sought agreement from that they are happy for me to add them to my blogroll. So, if I am correct in my interpretation here, it is ok to just add blogs that I love, without getting agreement from the bloggers?
    Thanks. Val

  28. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Valerie,

    With regard to blogrolls, from what I’ve seen and understand, a blogroll can be anything you’d like it to be, AND it’s not necessary to ask permission from those whom you’re including.

    That said, inbound links from blogrolls are often missed, so if you’d like to let a fellow blogger know you’ve included them, I’m sure they’d be thrilled with the news.

  29. Kimberly D.No Gravatar says:

    Sending the warmest Christmas wishes to you and your family. May God shower his choicest blessings on you and your family this Christmas!