Curating content is part of my job. For years, I have regularly searched for excellent content — preferably not the most popular search results — for all kinds of topics. I need links for blog posts I write for clients, great content to post for clients’ social media, and great stuff to reference for emails and white papers. Fortunately, the web contains lots of great content.
But I particularly like to link to high quality blog posts. Often the content I’m writing needs authoritative sources like scholarly papers or major news outlets, but when I can, I like to direct readers to cool new sites they may not find on their own with a quick Google search.
As a blogger, I also like being able to share the love in the form of high-quality links from the high PageRank sites I manage. I know that links like that are a reward for bloggers, and I want to reward people who have interesting things to say.
So it’s frustrating when I find something intriguing… and can’t link to it because of quality issues.
Bloggers, if you clean up these issues, you’ll find that you get more high quality links:
- Aggressive ads. If your website is covered with ads and bristling with pop-ups, I’m not going to link to you, no matter how much I like your blog post. I want my clients to have happy, satisfied visitors. I don’t want their readers to decide not to come back because their reading experience was diminished by ads that detract from their pleasure. (By the way, Google feels the same way I do about this.)
- Offensive language. I don’t link from client sites to posts containing obscenities. Ditto for racist or sexist language, insulting epithets, or anything else that might make readers angry with my client. Bold ideas? Sure. Even if they may push buttons for some readers, they can be an important part of the story. Schoolyard taunts? Nope.
- Inaccurate facts. If the CDC says there have been 12 deaths from a disease and your posts says 112, I’m not going to link. Check your facts — because people like me do, before we link.
- Misleading headlines. Rosie Perez recently said that Puerto Rico’s desire for statehood should be recognized. She didn’t mention Hillary Clinton (or Donald Trump, for that matter), but at least one website headlined their report on her comments with “Rosie Perez Slams Hillary Clinton’s Silence On Puerto Rico’s Crisis.” Great clickbait, but certainly misleading.
- Really bad design. I’ll link to good content at a website that’s less than gorgeous, but very unpolished design or a completely outdated website is another story. Once again, it’s all about the reader’s experience. I don’t want a visitor to click through to an off-putting website and think that my client is endorsing that website. That could lower the visitor’s opinion of my client, and I never want that to happen.
- Bad grammar, spelling, or punctuation. Everybody has an occasional typo, but I can’t link to posts with malapropisms or multiple errors without lowering the quality of the reader experience. Here at Haden Interactive, we make sure that at least two people touch every blog post: one to write and one to proofread, at minimum. You may not have the luxury of having multiple writers, but you can take the extra time to proofread.
If you’re just blogging for yourself or your friends and family, you don’t have to think about those things. Your readers will love you anyway.
If you’re interested in getting more links and more readers, pay attention to these points and you’ll be more likely to get them. And of course, if you want the benefits of high quality blogging for your company and you don’t want to deal with these kinds of issues, consider professional blogging.
Rebecca Haden Creative Director Haden Interactive