Link Love: How Bloggers Rub Noses on the Social Web

link loveOn Valentine’s Day, It’s nice to recognize all the relationships that foster love and positive energy in our lives.

For many, those relationships exist online through the content we write, read, and share, which is why I’m excited to talk about link love!

I often use a link to share content from blogs that I admire. This simple action is guaranteed to make another blogger’s day, and can sometimes lead to a nice exchange of ideas. Some of the nicest online relationships I have built, started this way.

So what better day of the year than Valentines Day, to celebrate and encourage “link love”?.

Since there is a certain etiquette involved, here’s a short review of what you need to know:

    • Linking provides a quick and easy way for you to reference someone else’s thoughts on a given subject, and build on them — making for interesting online conversations.
    • Occasionally, you may decide to copy and paste an excerpt as well as a link. In this case, keep the excerpt short, and make sure you have permission to post it. While most bloggers will be flattered by your appreciation of their brilliance, and will accept your request with grace and delight, someone else’s original content iscopyrighted so you’ll want to check first.
    • When you provide a link to someone else’s blog, make sure it opens in a new window. That way your reader remains on your page while being given the opportunity to read another perspective at the same time.
    • When you share someone else’s content with a link on your site, let them know you’re doing so. Sure, they’ll get a pingback and a trackback, but the personal contact usually generates good will, so why leave it to a less personal form of notification?
    • Regularly practicing link love is like giving someone an SEO hug — and as we all know, when you do a very nice thing for someone on the social web, without expecting anything in return, it generates the best kind of social karma.
    • Don’t limit yourself to linking to A-list bloggers … It’s nice to share the ideas of up and coming bloggers and give their SEO a boost, too!

This February 14th, set aside time to show a little link love by sharing someone else’s content with attribution. You never know where it will lead!

PS – Have you ever broken the online ice by sharing a link to someone’s blog? How did it work out, where did it lead? Leave a note in the comments, or … If the spirit moves you … Link to or share this post!

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About Rhonda Hurwitz

Rhonda Hurwitz is a content strategist and marketing consultant who helps mid-sized businesses develop more effective online strategies. @rhondahurwitz on Twitter, and on Forbes.com: http://blogs.forbes.com/people/rhondahurwitz/
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