Hey there, it’s Darren from ProBlogger and welcome to the 7th and final challenge in our Seven Days to Finding Your Blogging Groove Challenge that we’ve been doing over the last seven days since episode 137. Everyday over the last week for those of you who are new to the challenge, I’ve nominated a different style of blog post for you to create on your blog. Those who’ve been taking the challenge this week have been creating those posts within 24 hours and then sharing it with us in our ProBlogger Challenge Group on Facebook. I know for a fact that many of you have decided to take a little bit more time with this challenge as well so if you are finding this particular episode for the first time today and the challenge for the first time today, do feel free to go back to Episode 137 and work through the last seven episodes in your own time. You can take as long as you like to really work through this.
One of the things I will say about this particular challenge is that I think it will continue. We will not continue on a daily basis but the feedback over the last few days in the Facebook group is that people want to continue doing challenges so we’re going to keep the ProBlogger Challenge Group on Facebook running and we will be continuing to issue you some challenges in that group and on this podcast. Now, we do need to work out what the frequency of those challenges will be and I’ll be doing a bit of a poll on the Facebook group around those issues. Join the Facebook group, stay, engage there and continue to take the challenges.
All week, we have had hundreds of bloggers creating some amazing blog posts, some amazing videos, some amazing Instagram, we’ve seen people doing this content creation challenge using Instagram’s new stories. I’ve seen people doing it on Snapchat. It’s been fantastic to see the variety of types of blog posts and content that have been created but also some of the content itself has just been such high quality and I want to congratulate those of you who have been keeping up with it and who’ve been creating content at a high rate than you normally would.
Before I get on to telling you what the final challenge is and it’s one that hopefully will bring it all together in some ways and help us all to get a little bit more traffic to our blogs, I want to quickly tell you about the virtual ticket for the ProBlogger event. I’ve been mentioning this over the last couple of episodes. That virtual ticket is now live. As this podcasts goes live, you can head over to problogger.com/virtualticket and pick up that virtual ticket. It will give you a virtual access to our ProBlogger event which is being held on the 9th and 10th of September here in Australia. There are tickets still available for the live event as well if you are in Australia and you want to come out.
For those of you who are unable to get here, this gives you access to all of the main sessions that we do at this particular event. We’ve got two full days of content that will be running and there’s three strings of content to add on so we’ve got all kinds of content on writing great blog post, on monetizing, on different forms of social media. We’ve got sessions on Instagram, sessions on YouTube. There’s a great deal of content that you will get access to with this virtual ticket so hit over problogger.com/virtualticket to get that. If you want to get today’s transcript of this episode and the show notes, you can head to problogger.com/podcast/144 to get all the details of today’s challenge which is what I want to get on to next.
Today’s challenge is for you to create a piece of content that links to someone else’s content. You’re going to create a link post today on your blog or you can do it in other forms of content creation as well.
One of the reasons that I was first attracted to blogging was that it was very collaborative in its nature. One blogger would link to another blog and talk about why they liked that blog or why they liked that particular piece of content that another blogger had written, and then someone else would link to them. There was this train of links from one blog to another. We link out when we’re inspired by another blogger, we link out when we agree with another blogger, we linked out when we wanted to add to what another blogger was saying. We link to them when we disagreed with them, we link to them when we want to encourage them or reach out to them and begin to build a relationship with them. Sometimes we just link out because we feel that what another blogger had written would be useful to our readers as a way of serving them.
That was back in 2002 when I first started blogging and to some extent that continues today, particularly in some niches. I think it happens a little bit more than others but since that time, a lot of link sharing has gradually disappeared from blogging and it’s gone to other mediums more and more. Today, more and more we see people linking to other blogs and other content on Twitter or on Facebook and less so on blogs themselves. On one hand, this is a good thing. I think those mediums do lend themselves very well to sharing of the content that you’re finding but sometimes I wonder that perhaps in losing the link post on blogs that maybe we’ve lost something as a community and maybe we don’t serve our readers as well as we used to.
Today is about sort of rediscovering the link post and getting back to our roots as bloggers even if you weren’t blogging back then. There’s a lot of good reasons to be linking out in the content that you create. Just briefly before I get into issuing the challenge, I want to talk a little bit about some of the benefits of doing what we are going to do today as this challenge. Firstly, if you link to good stuff, it serves your readers.
A lot of bloggers say to me, “Oh, I don’t want to link out. I want to keep people on my blog. I just want to keep people to myself.” Whilst I understand that feeling, yes, we want as many readers on our blog viewing as many pages as possible. Your readers will thank you if you send them to good stuff. You will probably have noticed if you’re a ProBlogger reader that once a week we do a round up post where we link to ten great articles that we found over the last week that are relevant to our readers. We get a lot of feedback on those posts via email, messages on social media of people telling us thank you for sharing those links. It serves our readers. We know that there’s so much more being written every week on the internet that’s relevant to our readers than what we can produce. Other people have more expertise in other areas that we don’t have. Other people have more time than we have to be able to write that content so it’s one way of serving our readers.
There’s another good reason for it as well. It can help to show your readers that you’re well read, that you know what you’re talking about, you’re connected to the rest of your industry and that can add to your credibility. It also can help you to get on the radar of others that you link to.
One of the things that we’ve noticed since we’ve been doing our round up posts on ProBlogger, I used to do them all the time but over the last six months, we’ve been doing it more and more. We get emails now from the people that we link to as well saying, “Hey, thanks for the link. Haven’t checked out ProBlogger for a while and it was great to see that one. I went surfing as a result.” Good things have come out of those sort of emails and we’re now finding that some of the people we link to every week are linking back to us. They’re sharing our posts on their social media. It becomes of a bit of a win-win. It’s good for your networking, I guess.
It also I guess is potentially good for your search engine rankings. I’m no SEO expert but the SEO experts that I’ve talked to do say that if you’re linking to quality content it can really help your own search engine rankings as well. I don’t understand exactly how that works but that’s what I’m told. There’s some good reasons there for linking out from your blog. That’s why I want to issue today’s challenge. Let’s make today a day where we reclaim the link post.
The other reasons I want to do today is that over the last six days, over the last six challenges, if you’ve been in the Facebook group, you know that there are literally thousands of blog posts that have been written over the last six days by other bloggers who are taking part of this challenge. I really want to encourage you to find some content that’s been written by others taking this challenge and link to those posts if you possibly can. You can link to other posts as well but try to at least get one other blog post that’s been written as part of this challenge. Head over to the Facebook group today. Surf through the last six days of challenges and find some content there that you could link to.
There’s a number of approaches you might want to take with today’s challenge in terms of the types of posts that you might want to write. Number one, you might want to write something that is inspired by another blogger and then link to them as a source of inspiration. Find a piece of content that you’re inspired by, that you agree with, that you would like to add to in some way, that you think your readers will learn from, and then link to that and then add a little bit more to it in some way. If someone’s written five points in their article, you might want to say, “Hey, I love these five points. Here’s a summary of them. Here’s a quotes from that post and here’s what I would add to it or here’s what I disagree with it or here’s where I don’t think it’s quite right.” Add to it. Be constructive with your post in some way.
This type of post I guess us where you’re just linking to one other piece of content that you either agree with, are inspired by, you think is useful, or perhaps that you disagree with in some way. Write something inspired by one other blogger or one other piece of content. You may choose to share a video that someone else has done and even embed that video in your post if that video is on YouTube, or you may even want to link out to someone’s tweet or their Facebook update and embed that content as well. Embeddable content is great way of adding some different styles of content to your blog as well. That’s the first thing you could do.
The second option that you might want to take today is a little bit more involved. It might take a little bit more work but that’s find a collection of things to link to on a common theme. We’ve done this at times on Digital Photography School where we find ten great articles that have been written on portrait photography. There may have been older articles, they may be new articles, a bit of a mixture. They’re probably from different blogs, maybe some videos, maybe a podcast, and then we link out to those. We create a collection around the theme.
The post itself that we create has this list of ten great resources for you to check out on this common theme. That might be another approach that you take. It takes a little bit more work. You need to search around. You need to really find the best quality content that you can. I probably would make it a little bit more than just a list of ten links, you might want to add in a little extra content about why you think those links are worth reading. You might want to use a quote, you might want to use a screenshot, you might want to use the logo of the site that you’re linking to to make it a little bit more visually interesting as well. There’s a variety of approaches that you could take there.
The last thing you might want to do is what we do on ProBlogger and that’s do more of a round up, a reading round up is what we call them. This is where you find a number of pieces of content that are just relevant to your readers. They may not have a common theme but they’re new pieces of content. This is what was published this week around the web that you think your readers would find useful. I’ll link in the show notes today to one of our reading round ups that you might want to check out to see how we do it. You’ll see that Stacey who puts that post together has the link, she has the title of it and then she writes a short paragraph about why she thinks that particular piece of content is well worth reading. Our readers can make a decision about whether it’s one that they want to click on and go and check out.
Again, head over to the Facebook Challenge Group and try and find at least one post there that you could link to in what you do today. But, go beyond that if you need to as well. You might want to do some searching on Google, you might want to use a tool like BuzzSumo, buzzsumo.com is great for finding old things to link to. You can type in any keyword that you like and it will tell you the most shared posts on that keyword over the last week, 24 hours, or year. You can really find some interesting stuff there. That may actually be a useful tool for you today. But again, try and find at least one challenge that you could link today. I’d love to see that link.
Three last things I’d encourage you to keep in mind as you write your link post today. Try to keep it relevant to your audience, to your topic, to your niche. You don’t want this to just be a link post to content from other challenge takers, that’s not going to be really relevant to your readers. You’re not really helping your readers that way. You’re not helping the people you’re linking to really that way either.
Keep it on topic, make sure you link to quality content, do check out the post that you’re linking to, check out whether you do agree with it. It’s amazing how many people will link out to stuff on social media that you go and check it out and then you go, “That really wasn’t that good. I didn’t really agree with that. I don’t think the person would link to it as well.” Don’t just link to it because it has a good title. Actually make sure that you link to quality content and that it is a quality site.
I guess the last thing I’d say is to add a little something of your own to it. If you’re writing a blog post, tell people why they should read it. Add a thought of your own. Make it unique. Show that you’ve actually read what you’re linking to and that you have your own thoughts on the matter as well. It’s very easy to just link out to someone else’s post and say, “Hey, read this.” Tell your readers why. Tell them your opinion on the topic. Show them that you’ve put a little bit of thought into your post and add a little value in that way.
The challenge is to create a link post or a link video or a social media post that links out if you choose to. Create that content. Publish that content. Head over to the ProBlogger Challenge Group on Facebook. You can search ProBlogger challenge group on Facebook and then look for the post there where I call for people to share their link posts. Leave your link posts there, leave the link and then check out some of the other link posts that others have created and surf around through what other people are doing and encourage them in some way. You may want to share what they’re doing, you may want to leave a comment, you may want like what they’re doing. That’s the challenge.
Lastly, I wanted to just say thank you so much for this last week. Some of you have really taken on this challenge and have done some amazing pieces of content. I want to congratulate you whether you’ve published all seven or whether you’ve just done a couple of them. Thanks for participating. I hope that you’ve gotten a little bit back into the groove of blogging. I came across a couple of posts even today in the Facebook group from people saying that they’ve fallen back in love with blogging. That just warmed my heart. It got me really excited to see that that was happening because that was the intent of this whole challenge.
As I said at the start, I’m going to keep the Facebook group open at least for the next few weeks for those of you who are still doing the challenges. But into the future as well, we will continue to issue some challenges in that group.
This podcast will return to normal. We’re going back to our twice a week schedule every Monday night and every Thursday night Australian time I publish a podcast and so we’ll get back to that and there will be more teaching and a couple of interviews that I’ve got lined up as well.
Lastly, don’t forget the virtual ticket which went on sale today at problogger.com/virtualticket. Thank you so much for listening. I’ll chat with you in a couple of day’s time in Episode 145. In the meantime, create that link post, I look forward to reading it.