I used to hand out links like I was handing out candy.
Now I link to established pros.
People as committed to honing their craft as I have been for the past decade. OK; for the past 3-5 years. The first 5 were a hazy mystery at times.
After writing and publishing this post on The Huffington Post I thought of an analogy.
Getting an external link on Blogging From Paradise used to be like rolling up to the park, making a layup, then, by hitting a shot 2 feet from the basket, I would reward you with a link. But doing so diluted my brand some because the people I linked to had not committed themselves to my craft as much as I had. Nothing personal. Just the truth.
Now, I see my blog as the NBA; to get mentioned, even via a quick mention and link, you gotta pay your dues by working on your craft for years and by being an authority in your niche.
Doing this gave me greater clarity and improved my credibility dramatically.
What If People Who Want Links on Your Blog Get Offended if they Don’t Get a Link?
Their being offended has everything to do with their lack of clarity and confidence in self and nothing to do with you.
I am rejected all the time. Just yesterday someone returned a guest post to me. One of my premium products was viewed 8,000 times before somebody bought it. Since I am confident and clear on my brilliance, the rejected guest posts hold no power over me, nor do the critical comments, or any seeming form of rejection, because it is not rejection at all, but a clarifying agent, helping you see the fears you need to release, to reach the next stage in your development.
It’s not that you are not good enough to get featured on a top blog. It is that deep down you believe that you are not good enough and the sense of offence or anger that arises is you taking that belief to heart, taking it personally, and the action of another (which have nothing to do with you) triggers these feelings in you, which you need to own and release, to grow and to move up in blogging circles.
I had to deal with this meme/crap for years before I became the blogger I am today. I see many bloggers who are struggling with this lack of confidence and clarity (the old me knows the feeling well) manifest as false bravado, offence, anger, agitation, and other various forms of fear.
Guess what? Send flowers to someone who has appeared to offend you. These bloggers triggered your own lack of self worth (which is your creation) so you can feel the feeling (however unpleasant), release the feeling and reach the next stage of your blogging development.
If I got upset or offended or angry that I was not able to get featured on, say, Forbes (although I have been), it’d be as silly as me being upset, offended or angry that the NY Knicks did not sign me to a contract when I walked into their practice facility demanding a spot on their team.
This is the major leagues, guys. Top blogs in your niches are the major leagues. Gaining a natural link to these blogs is like making an NBA team, and this only happens after years of daily practice, years of creating value and years of patiently networking to build your friend network and your tribe.
On the other side of the fence, whether you are a newbie or established blogger, treat any external link on your blog like a blogger making it to the NBA. This means linking only to star or superstar bloggers. This establishes credibility and aligns you with these superstars.
This means linking to superstar bloggers like my friend Enstine Muki, a guy who has paid his dues by working tirelessly for years, to become the authority that he is. Link to him and you are linking to a resource.
Practice your writing and blogging and networking skills for years and you too will be linked to or featured or interview on top blogs in your niche, naturally, because when you pay your dues for years, you too will make it to the NBA.
I explained this concept via a YouTube Live broadcast: