Using Outbound Links to Improve Your Blog

Chain LinkYou probably have read a lot about how linking out to other blogs is an effective way for new bloggers to get noticed. The idea, of course, is that when other bloggers see they are getting a link from you they will visit your blog and hopefully like what they see. If they do, maybe they’ll subscribe or link back to you.

Have you tried linking to other blogs and seen little or no results? Many new bloggers link to articles on the most popular blogs related to their topic, see no results and conclude that linking out isn’t going to work for them.

If you’ve been in this situation, read on. We’ll look at some ways to improve on the results you’re currently getting from your outbound links.

Why is Linking to Other Blogs Important?

1 – It helps your readers to find valuable information and resources (and if you do this consistently they’ll likely remember you as a reliable source).

2 – It helps other bloggers by sending targeted traffic and by giving them a link (which may help with their search engine rankings and Technorati authority).

3 – It can help you to get noticed by other bloggers (as mentioned already).

4 – Your trackback may show up in the comments of the other blogs, which could bring some click-through traffic to your site.

5 – Outbound links can give you some content for a post when you don’t have time to write. Many bloggers, including me, use posts of outbound links on the weekends when posting is less frequent.

If you are looking to grow your blog and increase your exposure, linking out can help if you implement some of these tips:

1 – Always link to quality content. Your link to another website or blog is essentially an endorsement from you. Remember that your reputation is on the line if you link to questionable or poorly-written content.

2 – Link to smaller blogs, not just A-listers. This is the key. Linking to A-list blogs is not a bad practice, but they are unlikely to notice your link since they get so many of them. Smaller blogs are more likely to notice, take the time to visit your blog and leave a comment or link back to you.

3 – Link to those bloggers who are in your network. There is no better way to strengthen your existing networking relationships than by giving a positive endorsement or a link to a fellow blogger. Treat your friends this way and others will be lining up to be a part of your network.

4 – Link to some bloggers who you have never had contact with. If you only link to your existing contacts, linking out will not help you to expand your network. Find other bloggers that you would like to have as a part of your network and link to them.

5 – Link to those who participate on your blog. Providing a link to active commentators is an extra incentive for readers to get involved on your blog, and it rewards them for their efforts.

6 – Be the first to link to a post. If the blog you are linking to displays trackbacks, your link will be the highest one shown. If that post winds up drawing a good deal of traffic you could get significant click-through visitors.

7 – Provide additional information. If you want your visitors to get the most out of your links, tell them a little bit about the posts that you are linking to. They’ll be more likely to click than if they are unsure of the subject of the linked post.

8 – Use outbound links to strengthen your posts. Don’t simply use outbound links in posts that are designated as link posts. Use them whenever appropriate in all of your articles. Effectively-used outbound links will add to the value of your blog posts, as they will give the reader more resources. If you can’t say it better than someone else already has, just provide a link to them. If you’re afraid of the links causing you to loose visitors, set them to open in a new window.

9 – Ask for reciprocal links. When you’ve found a blog post that you would like to link to, why not email the blog owner and ask them if they are interested in exchanging links? If you provide quality content on your blog that is relevant for their audience, many will be willing to reciprocate (again, this will be much more effective with smaller blogs than with the most popular ones). Another version of this process is to first link to the other blog, then email the blogger to introduce yourself, mention the link and ask them to consider linking to you.

I have personally used all of these methods and seen the outbound links bring new visitors, subscribers and contacts with other bloggers. Try some of these yourself and I think you’ll see the same results.

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85 Responses

Comments are now closed on this post.

  • Hassan Raza, June 25, 2011

    THank you for this valuable information. :) I hope it will help me bring some traffic :)

  • Rosaash, August 26, 2010

    Nice tips for someone like me struggling to get traffic to the blog :)

  • templehealth, August 13, 2010

    do i just put the link on my home page or do i have to promote every page?

    • Vandelay Website Design, August 13, 2010

      templehealth, the information here is mostly relevant to using links in your blog posts.

  • Download Photoshop, March 3, 2010

    Very useful tips, which I will try to do on his blog. Many thanks for the article!

  • free advertising blog, January 24, 2010

    I always thinking that linking from other website to mine is the key to improve visibility in search engine, your post indeed enrich my knowledge about outbond linking. I will try it out.

  • Cristian, December 19, 2009

    Thanks for the heads up!

    Sure, many would not have any problem with linking out to related blogs, but from an SEO perspective many bloggers are holded back by two main outbound linking concerns, namely:

    1. fear of not loosing PageRank; some see outbound links as PR self bankruptcy. Of, course there is some PageRank passed to the referenced blog, but an SEO open policy that gratifies all quality informational source in your niche is beneficial for your credibity with the search engine.

    On the other hand an iron courtain where you don’t assign any editorial trust to blogs that serve your readers isn’t quite endorsed by SEs.

    The reason is simple: ranking factors such as PR are established for good content to be promoted to make the SERPs more relevant; they are not intended be sculpted upon for personal benefits only.

    2. having to deal with a flood of reciprocal links (as a returned favor); many consider this as being a bad thing. First of all, reciprocal linking is bad when conducted with partner sites involved in shady activities like link farming or they just simply not related with your niche (this counts only when practiced in large numbers). Yes, the ranking power of an reciprocoal link is diminished as compared with one way links but they still count. There are also other benefits that can be extracted from the above post.

    Hope this helps inprove your SEO perspective!


  • Barefoot Solutions, October 27, 2009

    Another excellent post from Vandelay Design! We’ve taken the liberty of linking to your article just wanted to give you a heads up!

  • marcelino, July 29, 2009

    Very seldom see direct results from outbound links. However, I keep doing it with the hope that eventually the words I link from will direct some traffic back. However, it is extremely effective in keeping loyalty from those in your blog networks.

  • 4design, May 26, 2009

    And why on the contrary, every effort not to give up on getting incoming links to your blog? What better to authoritative blogs, so as to increase the trust of his blog.

  • CrazzyCool Hacks, May 4, 2009

    Hi Karen,

    Always you can put your blog address under the name just like a normal signature. Always try to leave useful comment on other blogs websites with a link but do not try to spam. If you have a related post you can always refer it to others in forums and blogs. It is always better than saying check this out and leave the link.

    Hope this will be a good commenting and linking start.


  • Vandelay Design, May 4, 2009

    Hi Karen,
    If you are using WordPress, when you are writing a post you’ll see an icon that looks like a chain link. Highlight the text that you want to be a link, click on that icon, and type or paste the URL that you want to link to.

  • karen, May 4, 2009

    Okay… Now I have a really stupid question. I understand the importance of linking… I agree 100%. So for the stupid question… exactly how do I go about doing the linking? Do I type in the other blog address, do I put it on the side of sites to look at, do I say check out this article at ….. ?

    Thanks in advance for helping this computer novice with her blog!


  • Free Advertising, January 1, 2009

    Great post very useful for me, it seem you already did all strategy with this blog, you got so many visitors. Thanks!

  • CrazzyCool Hacks Tricks & Tweaks, September 18, 2008

    I have learnt lot from this article …. thanks you very much for the info

  • thanks sir this realy nice article

  • Link out to other blogs

    […] Link out to other blogs […]

  • Mohammed Salman, August 20, 2008

    This was very useful…..!

  • nike dunks high, August 3, 2008

    I agree, BL from blogs do help. Thank you :D

  • swinker, July 10, 2008

    This is very useful for me thanks…

  • coolbuddy, July 3, 2008

    I got a very good point from your article

    thank you yaar

    my first blog is can you give me some suggestions to improve …… blog

  • coolbuddy, July 3, 2008

    I got a very good point from your article

    thank you yaar

    my first blog is can you give me some suggestions to improve …… blog

  • Herlina, June 21, 2008

    Thanks for sharing this. It is very useful for me since i am new as a blogger. My brand new blog is
    Once again, thank you so much….

  • Nancy, June 15, 2008

    Great information and helpful tips for new or experienced bloggers. Thanks for sharing!

  • Rapid Ripz, May 15, 2008

    I agree with everything this dude is saying, it’s helped me alot.

    check it….

    free software, music, movies.

  • This was great information for me. Now I’ve got to quit reading your blog post and start implementing! Thanks for writing this piece!


  • pravin, April 9, 2008

    Your ideas and views fantastic. I often vist your blog and find useful information
    thank you,
    with regards,

  • Bloomtools, April 9, 2008

    Yes, I had experienced with outbound links, its really help your website.

  • Duane, March 27, 2008

    How about if i use reciprocal of blog that has PR5-PR7 when i submit my blog to these directories and put their link to my blog. Is this effective?

  • Yuniarto Rahardjo, December 26, 2007

    Good Tips…

  • ayahshiva, December 23, 2007

    nice tips there

  • Vandelay Design, is teaching the right methods to use and they are effective===> *highly appreciated!* <===
    I like always coming back reading your blog – wish mine was half as good… great writing!

  • Vandelay Design, November 17, 2007

    An outbound link is when you link to another website and an inbound link is when you link to another page on your own website (or blog). Hope that helps.

  • Eshwar, November 14, 2007

    yours is a wonderful site with valuable information the only humble comment i want to make is i am a new bee to the entire world of online market and money making i find your page very useful for some one like us, if you could go some step deep in explaining some of the technical terms used,with a small brief taking into account person like me it will much much helpful for us to learn things for example i could not understand what is out bound and in bound links first of all, will you ?

  • it’s funny to me really when folks don’t use outbound links in their blogs and on-line generally, considering the core, the very nature of html and the internet. one of the big innovations of this gigantic copying machine is the rapid spread and sharing of information. that it benefits users mutually is a good thing. of course, that doesn’t mean that an overload of random links is the way to go either. but it does mean – as your blog totally suggests – that considered, meaningful linkage is socially beneficial and also healthy internet behavior, and as such is bound to pay off in a number of ways.

  • Clement, November 12, 2007

    Great tips!Well presented! Keep it up!

  • david deangelo, November 7, 2007

    Good article. Normally alot of articles teaches us how to get more and more links. This article makes a nice change and the concepts are viable.

  • Vandelay Design, September 19, 2007

    Online Money,
    Thanks for reading and for your comment. It definitely works.

  • Online Money, September 19, 2007

    Good idea of linking up with smaller blogs. It will improve your outbound links.

  • genny, September 9, 2007

    hi i like your site and you have lots of information. Can we exchange links?

  • Vandelay Design, September 3, 2007

    Thanks for reading. Good luck with your blog.

  • mark, September 3, 2007

    Great tips, especially about linking to the smaller blogs. I’m still trying to build up traffic as you can see so good time for me to try this. thanks.

  • Vandelay Design, September 2, 2007

    Thanks for your additional points. You’re right, anchor text is important for SEO purposes.

    I’ve also been a little bit surprised at the popularity of link posts. I think it shows your readers that you place priority on getting them the best information, rather than just trying to keep them on your own site.

    I think using variety is a good approach.

  • Kristie, September 2, 2007

    Good pointers. I try to provide a variety of outbound links to both big and little blogs. I particularly like to share blogs with good tips that I think my readers will find interesting.

  • Michael from Pro Blog Design, September 2, 2007

    Great article. I love linking out to other great articles because it gives your readers a way of reading deeper into a topic than just your post.

    The links can be really popular with readers. I’ve found that some of my link posts have been really popular. It’s a strange thing as a blogger.

  • Dharmesh Shah, September 2, 2007

    Great article (found you through

    A couple of additional points:

    1. When linking out, it is immensely helpful to the recipient (from an SEO perspective) to use good anchor text. So, instead the classic “click here” as anchor text (or even using their blog’s name as anchor text), but keywords in the anchor text that is related to their content.

    2. Although asking for a reciprocal link is good if you can get it, I have found that it is better to have this happen organically. I link to think of it as doing my readers a favor, not doing the link-recipient a favor.

  • Tay - Make Money Blogging, August 31, 2007

    I agree, linking out to other bloggers is very important. When I write up my round-ups, I usually link to all the good content I like and would want to recommend to my own readers. This usually includes linking to a couple of A-listers, but for the most parts I’m often linking to other blogs that are about the same size as mine, give or take.

    I liked reading all of your tips, especially numbers 5 and 8. Keep up the great work, I enjoy reading your blog and have also subscribed! :)