Sign ups for this year’s New Bloggers Blog Hop are open! The hop is just what the name suggests: a virtual tour of new quilt bloggers. It’s a chance for us to connect with new bloggers and for those new bloggers to grow their following.
I made several, now very good, friends in the blog hop last year, and I still find helpful tips and tricks in the posts that Beth at Plum and June catalogued in her Advice and for New Bloggers Series. This year, Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl is collecting alumni advice on her blog.
I’d like to talk about putting links in your blog posts. The “how” of linking text to other websites is not a difficult task to execute, but I want to talk about the “why.”
People read blog posts for different reasons. Some people want to see nice pictures. Some people want tutorials. Some people don’t want wordy posts. Some people like personal stories. No matter your style as a blogger, and no matter the preference of your reader, there is value in building bridges from your site to the rest of the internet. Take the time to create links in your blog posts.
First and foremost, links are a chance for your reader to satisfy his or her curiosity. Maybe she wants to see how you made your design choices for the project you’re just finishing. Maybe he’d like to buy that special pair of scissors. Or that bundle of fabric in your picture. Or the hot pink Hello Kitty cutting mat (I have no idea if that’s even a thing). Maybe there’s a tutorial that you used that your reader is eager to try.
Links also help search engines understand what your blog is about and improves your ability to appear when readers search for information you have. Links to your own relevant blog posts, links to products, links to other blogs: all of these things help integrate your blog into this community.
As an example, check out the picture above. I’m loving the meditation that comes with English paper piecing and hexies right now. In the future, I’ll probably purchase papers from Paperpieces.com, but for now, I like that I can make as many 1″ hexie papers as I want with this Fiskars punch tool. Plus, these Clover Wonder Clips are helpful if you decide you don’t want to use a glue stick to baste your hexagons.
Maybe you’re thinking, “Why would I link to OTHER people’s websites when I want people to explore MY website?” That’s a very good question. People will come back to your site if they have a pleasant experience; satisfying your reader’s curiosity makes them happy!
But your reader did come to your site first, so be sure you help them stay where they originally wanted to be. When you create a link, make that link open in a new window so your reader can simply close the window when done and return to her original destination, your blog.
I am not an Amazon or Craftsy or any other company’s affiliate, and that discussion for another blog post. If you go the affiliate route, be sure you provide the appropriate disclaimers if you receive revenue or products in return for linking to someone else.
This year, the New Bloggers Blog Hop is being hosted by four of last year’s alumni: Quilting Jetgirl, Late Nite Quilter, Meadow Mist Designs, and Childlike Fascination. Check out all of their pages for more information on the hop ad the advice from hop alumni!