Every so often, the form on the contact page will generate an email that goes along the lines of this: “Hi! I read your blog and enjoyed it. I have a blog too. Add me to your blogroll!” Not even a please. Now I knw that being on somebody’s list of recommended websites is a good think, and I appreciate the traffic generated for this blog by the people who have been kind enough to add me to their blogrolls. But I’m pretty sure that I didn’t send them terse emails asking to be included.
For the most part, blogrolls and link lists will have been selected to reflect the range of sites a blog author reads or visits on a regular basis. They can also include blogs or websites in the same field or (as I hope to, eventually) blogs on different topics by the same authors. They may list all the websites the authors regularly read, or they may just list their top ten, but all of the entries on a blogroll are there because the blog authors believe they should be.
I changed the blogroll here, because it wasn’t an accurate overview of the websites I read. I did read some, but they weren’t necessarily my favourite ones. Today, the blogroll bears a better resemblance to the feeds in my Google Reader, and it’s the better for it. At least I can feel that I’m being honest, rather than simply sticking up links for the sake of it. Were I simply to add every site I have suggested to me, at some stage somebody would click on the wrong link and wonder what this blog has to do with pushing dodgy generic drugs.
In some instances, insisting on being on a blogroll can actually backfire. There are some out there would not be averse to listing sites they hate or enjoying poking fun at under headings such as “Eejits” or “Hall of Shame.” Not the kind of thing that sets mice clicking, is it? If I were so minded, I’d put unwarranted link requests under a “Rude Folk” heading, but it’s actually far less effort to simply ignore the emails.
I do take the trouble to visit each of the blogs that suggest I link to them, and I look through their recent posts, read their About pages and generally try to find out as much about them as I can before making a decision. If you’ve only been blogging for a week, and your only post is an introductory note, do you really think you’ve done enough to start receiving links from anywhere? I don’t know how often the search engines send out their spiders, but they would be hard pushed to pick up on a one-post blog.
In the land of the internet, content is king; provide people with something that they will keep coming back for, and you’ll be linked to. Good content brings traffic and links, sometimes reciprocal. If you do want your blog to be on a blogroll, it may be better to concentrate on what you’re saying rather than who might link to you. Give the people what they want and you are bound to benefit.
[Image by Annie Mole]