Question to the blog community…when is it OK to solicit links?


Today, I saw someone asking other people to link to specific info on their blogs. I deleted the mail but it may have involved some product features or something. To me, it seems a little unusual to *ask” someone to link to your blog, but I may have sent out one or 2 posts to Microsoft marketers pretty much saying “look at me! look at me!”. Not including a specific request to link to my blog…which was a total newbie back then.


My feeling is that if your content is interesting enough, people will link. But asking for the link is kind of forcing the matter. I guess I feel that blogging should be a little more of an organic process (I use the word “organic” too much, I know). Now you won’t see me sending out requests to people to link to me or reference my posts somehow, so this is just a general question: Is it ever OK to directly solicit links? If so, when is it OK?


I find myself pretty darn interesting so I’m not too worried about the links ; )

Comments (19)

  1. John Roller says:

    Kind-of sounds like a sales thing to do. It’s not as bad as spamming or writing viruses though. I think it’s more of trying to get the word out about something. I use an e-mail list of 1000 network administrators where they opted-in for the information which is about the same thing. I have a targeted audience and geographic region of responsibility and it increases my impact in my job.

  2. I don’t mind getting an email that goes something like this: "here’s a blog you might be interested in: http://www.blog.com"

    But, begging for links generally isn’t appreciated. If I don’t link, write some more and try again in a week.

    Also, link to me. I see that stuff in Feedster.com and Pubsub.com and my referer logs.

  3. KC Lemson says:

    Personally, I do not like receiving mails whose intent are obviously to get me to link to something for my personal blog. In my mind, the "Here’s something you might be interested in" variety is the same thing, if it comes from someone I don’t know, recommending their own site or the site of someone to whom they have some ties.

    It comes across as a hard sell, and even if the site *is* interesting, I am less inclined to link to it because I didn’t like the approach taken to notify me of it. Linking to me as per Scoble is a much better tactic.

  4. peter says:

    I’ve asked people for a link, directly, but it is people that I trade favors with. Getting feedback on ideas, etc.

    I also send a lot of "tips" to people with links to my posts, but mostly to others’ posts. I only do it, if that person appreciates it, though.

    There is definitely a fine line.

    As you learn more about individual bloggers and what their goals for blogging are, you’ll get comfy with asking certain people for certain favors. That’s what makes blogging worthwhile for me.

  5. Randy H. says:

    Saw that too,and I think that wile it isn’t "bad", it also isn’t likely to get results. To me, best practice would be to link to high traffic blogs and ask them comment on what you’re writing about, or even better to tie it into the context of a current topic on a higher traffic weblog.

  6. Nicole says:

    If people ask for a link from my personal blog (they do it more or less obvious) I normally refuse – even if they have interessting content.

    But for my business blog, I am thankfull if I receive a good new link with good content. It depends on the written question (is it written to me or is it a link mail, does someone want to share his content or does he just want to show off) and on the content of the page – if it really is interesting, I will write about it.

    But I asume a just "look at me" would probably not have good content or write a really personal adressing email either :o)

  7. Blogging and its arena has a multitude of motives. In the web world, link exchange is still as important as Google makes it to be.

    With blogging, it does sometimes spread across a wider sprectrum as opposed to a focused web site. For example, you recently posted an entry on soliciting links. Your previous / post entry focused on the challeges you face while recruitng for potential Microsoft marketers.

    Your floor at Your pace.

  8. Hi Heather,

    You can get linked to our blog but, in fact, the only way to make it happen is to ask my blog partner, Anthony, who controls its inner workings.

    The link to his email address is in the upper right hand corner of the blog and I’m sure that he would be pleased to hear from you.

    (Since we had to agree on links before we put them up, we just stopped discussing them).

    Regards,

    Michael

  9. Heather says:

    Canadian Headhunter-it was more of a general question than a solicitation ; )

    I’m personally OK with having people link to me if they decide that they want to…with no requesting/begging, etc from me. I figure if people like what i have to say, they’ll link.

  10. Heather,

    Yes, yes, I got the message about organic process from your entry. And I would like to link to you organically (in the blog sense, of course).

    I thought that an email to <anthony_meaney@hotmail.com> would do the trick. Something like: "This is Microsoft. Put me on your blogroll NOW!" But I guess that might be like inviting yourself to a party.

    Regards, MK

  11. Heather says:

    Canadian- I gotcha. I didn’t realize our nice neighbors to the north were so assertive! ; )

  12. You didn’t you read my Canada Day posting (July 1). Canadians spend a lot of time yakking about how you guys are pushy and we’re meek and mild. But that’s a big lie! And, hey, being pushy on someone else’s behalf isn’t being assertive at all. I need to be more pushy. But to get there I’d be better off speaking to a psychiatrist than an immigration officer.

  13. Peter H. says:

    Perhaps if you’re trying to win the SEO Challenge:

    http://www.wired.com/news/infostructure/0,1377,64130,00.html

  14. Jason Haley says:

    I would listen to Scoble. If anyone knows, he knows.

  15. Heather says:

    Jason…jeez…don’t build his ego anymore! ; )

  16. Will Pate says:

    People that solicit links just to be noticed, as a rule of thumb, rarely have anything worth your while. If they did, they’d find a real reason to write you; like asking your opinion on a post of theirs or private commentary on something you wrote.

  17. Gautam Ghosh says:

    I wouldn’t…the subtle way is to add folks to your blogroll and hope that when they do a technorati or TTLB check they’ll notice your link and link back to you…happened a couple of times to mae :-))