(You can read part one here and part two here.)
In this installment of the Successful Blogging series, we’re going to talk about one small – yet vital – aspect of blogging.
This is the Internet we’re on, and this is the Information Age. So many things are available at the click of a mouse, and naturally we’re accustomed to having them readily so. We Google things we want to know and can find the answers pretty quickly.
However, if a reader has come to YOUR blog because you purport to have some sort of information they want, you’d better have it right there, ready to go at the click of a mouse.
What the hell am I talking about, you ask?
I’m talking about LIVE LINKS, folks! It amazes me how often this is overlooked. If you have an interview with a new author on your blog, you should have a live link to a marketplace (such as Amazon) where it can be purchased or a site like Goodreads where people can read reviews. A link to the author’s website and/or blog is important, too. If you’re discussing an issue you heard about from some other online sources, it’s a good idea to link to those resources so your readers can read the same thing you did. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to link.
Wrong: No link at all. Don’t make your reader leave your blog and go to Google! You brought up the article/product/website/whatever, so you should provide the link!
Wrong: www.fromthewriteangle.com <---- You can’t click that link! Don’t make the reader open a new tab and copy/paste the address.
Wrong: www.fromthewriteangle.com Yes, you can click that link. But don’t link to a general homepage if what you really want to direct people to is a specific page or entry. You need to insert the permanent hyperlink (permalink) to the specific page. If it's a specific blog post, you can right click on the post title, then select Copy link location. Or just click on the post and copy from your browser. DON'T FORGET to use the permalink when you tweet about your post, too! Don't direct people to your homepage and expect them to know which post you meant.
Wrong: http://www.fromthewriteangle.com/2011/08/digital-publishings-plr-plight.html You’re probably beating your head against the computer screen, saying But that’s the direct link to the page you want people to see, which you just said we should use! Yes, yes it is. But it looks ugly, doesn’t it? Just sitting there in all its full-length glory. It can get especially ugly if you have a really long link, like the ones for a product on Amazon. Keep everything clean-looking. Instead of saying “Here’s a recent post on Private Label Rights” and then slapping the link on the end in parentheses or something, link the relevant word(s) in a sentence.
Right: “I read a post on Private Label Rights that really made me think.” See, doesn’t that look better? And you don’t even need to know the fancy code for that (although I could teach you if you really want.)
In your Blogger editor (and most other blogging platforms), you’ll see an icon that looks like a chain link – that’s your hyperlink button. Just highlight the word or phrase that you want to be a clickable link, click the hyperlink button, and type or paste the URL that you want it to point to. Voila! That’s all there is to it. That one tiny step will help your blog look clean and professional, and will ensure your readers have a hassle-free link-viewing experience.