June 19, 2010

Blog Tips: Find Out Who is Linking to You

earthnetwork1.jpgOne of the effective ways of increasing traffic to your blog and being a good citizen of the blogging community is to promote posts on other blogs that link to you. When you find a post on another blog that has linked to one of your posts, voting it up on StumbleUpon, Reddit, and the like benefits you directly in the form of additional traffic and indirectly in that the blogger who linked to you may be even more likely to do so in the future. This is a good example of the sort of reciprocity I have advocated here. But can you possibly be expected to keep up with who is linked to your content? That is what you will learn in this tip.

I am going to assume that you use an RSS aggregator to keep up with your favorite blogs (see Blog Tips: Using a Feed Reader Effectively). Here is what you need to do:
  1. Go to Google Blog Search.
  2. In the search field at the top of the page, enter the following (without the quotes): "link:your domain" (e.g., mine would be link:atheistrev.com). The search that results isn't going to be particularly helpful because it will include blogroll links and other static links that won't change. This is what makes the next step important.
  3. Find the "subscribe" section on the left side of the page and click Atom or RSS. Then subscribe to this feed in your feed reader of choice. alternatively, you can subscribe via email using Google Alerts by clicking Blogs Alerts instead.

Whichever method you select, you will now be notified in your RSS reader (or email box) when a blogger publishes a new post linking to your blog. For this information to be worth anything, you need to act on it. Here are some things you should consider doing:
  • Visit the blog that linked to you and leave some comments.
  • Vote up the post in StumbleUpon, Reddit, and other social directories. By promoting a post that links to you, you are driving more traffic back to your own blog.
  • Submit the post linking to you on Twitter.
  • If appropriate, you might even write a response post on your blog linking back to the post on the blog that linked to you.

These actions pay dividends, boosting your reputation in your blogging niche and driving traffic to your blog. They also make it far more likely that other bloggers will link to you in the future.