Every day I get emails from people asking I go look at their blog, or swap links. Some work and some do not. This post is about why.
Actually let’s take a step back. The first type of request says “please look at my blog” but actually means “please link to me”. I can tell the difference because when people really want me to look at their blog they are actually interested in my thoughts rather than firing out a million identical emails hoping someone will be suckered into linking to them.
So OK, how do I tell which are real and which are spam? I am not perfect but I have a system; if in doubt, delete. That’s the bar I have set. I recommend you do the same.
Real emails read like real emails. They are not pro-forma-fill-the-blanks. For example:
I write about the same industry as you write on ur site. Your site is cool and excellent. I have been reading ur site or forum for many years.
Please take a look at my site http://pills.casino.enlargement.biz/
I have already added a link to your site that you can see here http://pills.casino.enlargement.biz/links/page14.html
I hope you will link to my site here http://free-macbook-dancing-teens.info
with best wishes
Splunto Filthmonger Honesty Paradigm
See what I mean? Red-flags …
- Faking and flattery – if it is obvious you have not ever read my stuff don’t even bother.
- Vague Generics – “Site”, “Industry”, “A While”, “Topics”, “Very Nice” … if your email could apply as easily to Spluntos blog above as mine then you are on the wrong track.
- Neediness – “gimme-gimme-I-want-I-need”. No.
- Link Me – asking for links is like asking me for cash. I’m not just going to dish out £10 notes, therefore I am not just going to give you a link.
How to get me to link to you
- Be human – Talk to me as a human being because I am a human being and deserve that much
- Be truthful – Don’t lie and say you have loved my site/forum long time. If you do actually like it tell me why. Even better tell me how you would improve it (without being insulting).
- Be specific – The more vague you are the more likely I am to not believe you.
- Be polite – Demands do not wash.
- Be interesting – You have to sell your proposition.
- Be deserving – Harsh but true. Would you write about something nobody will find interesting or useful?
The key point is number 5. What about this proposition ought I find interesting? “Because I asked” doesn’t work. I can’t write a post that says “Splunto asked me to link to him. End of post”. I do not have a links page or blogroll. You need to have an interesting story to write about.
Would you approach a potential date by saying “your features are pleasant. it is enjoyable having this chat. let’s go back for coffee”?
Would you pitch your story to a newspaper or magazine editor with “please write about me, I already wrote about you!”?
Keep it real, be specific, keep it brief without being rude and state the hook, idea, angle or benefit. I guarantee you will get much better reaction.