Backlinking – THE INTRODUCTORY BASICS

Disclaimer: SEO, Backlinking and DA are all extremely convoluted subjects. Different people have different opinions as to what works best and what doesn’t. Because of this, different platforms will offer different advice. This is the main reason why I’ve put off writing about this topic for such a long time. There are a lot of layers to the subject matter so please, take everything said in this post with a grain of salt. If you’ve found results using different tactics, then keep using the tactics that have given you results.

Also, there will be posts coming in the future on these topics. Because there are so many layers to Backlinking, SEO and DA, it’s not something that could ever be covered in one single post. So if you like this, I’ll try to make sure it isn’t a year before I write a part two.

Okay, onto the meat and potatoes…


If you’ve ever googled ‘SEO’ before (googling SEO… now that’s funny to me) one of the most common terms you’ll come across is ‘Backlink’.

What is a backlink?

A backlink is a link created when one url links to another. Backlinks are also called “inbound links” or “incoming links.” Backlinks are important to SEO.

Why is a backlink important?

A backlink to your site is the web’s equivalent to someone saying ‘Yeah you can trust them’. It’s vouching for a website, letting search engines know that cataloging said content will be of value to the search engine. A backlink is a reference that is comparable to a citation in printed work.

It is worth noting that not all backlinks are treated the same. Some are more valuable than others. A backlink from a more trusted site is going to be seen as a more valuable than say, one from a site that has only been up and running for a month, for example.

A SIMPLE how to for bloggers:

BACKLINK TO YOUR OWN SITE

In 2017 while in the process of rebuilding the the website for the company I was working for, the hosting company I was working with to build the site informed me that you can, in fact, backlink to your own site. While these backlinks aren’t quite as valuable as those from other sites, they do still count.

When you make a new post to your blog, each individual post is given its own link. So, if you’re writing a post on February 3, 2020 and you link a post from the past (referencing a story, for example) inserting a link to a previous post that you’ve made counts as a backlink.

INTERNAL LINKING

A good internal linking structure plays a key role in the success of a blog because, with a good internal linking structure, you can help your audience and potential audience easily navigate through your website and increase the user experience. What does this mean? This means you should make sure that your menus are in order, that your links go to where you say they’re going to go, that there’s no ‘dead pages’ on your blog with zero content on them. Dead pages decrease the value of your site in search engine algorithms .

For WordPress users, it’s quite easy to create a navigable menu at the top or the bottom of your page. Ensuring that you’re choosing proper titles and linking people to the right places boost your link legitimacy in SEO.

  • Personally, I always tell people to keep menu links to a smaller amount so that your linking is more manageable. This is a personal preference so you need not listen to me when I say this, but you’re going to have a lot easier of a time managing 8 categories for your posts than you are managing 30. However many categories you choose, though, please make sure they’re all being properly linked in whatever menu structure you’re using.

WRITE GUEST POSTS

Guest blogging is an effective way for bloggers to reach new audiences and, in the process, earn backlinks. When you write a guest post for someone else’s blog or website, not only will your own content be exposed to new readers, but said readers can then use the backlink to find their way to your website.

It’s a simple way of increasing your audience, building your reputation and earning backlinks in the process.

REBLOGGING

When you reblog someone’s content, so long as they do not delete the link to your blog (the source), that counts in their favour as a backlink. Likewise, when someone reblogs your content, that counts in your favour as a backlink.

LEAVE COMMENTS

If you’ve ever noticed someone leaving a comment on your blog who shares a link to their own blog at the end of their comment this is, in itself, a backlink. You can do this when you’re leaving a comment on someone’s blog, though I’d be careful to do it in a tasteful way because it can, at times, piss some people off. This can also be done to write reviews and testimonials… of a blog, or a book, or a product of some sort. Basically, wherever you can slide your link in, there’s a means of backlinking your site and making it look more legitimate.

To conclude:

It is important to note that after reading this you SHOULD NOT start spamming your link out to every corner of the internet. Backlinking should be done in a strategic manner, associating your blog and your brand with sites that you feel will benefit your growth and legitimacy.

DO NOT SPAM PEOPLE.

DO NOT START TWEETING OUT YOUR BLOG LINK TO EVERYONE ON YOUR TWITTER OR INSTAGRAM FOLLOWERS LIST.

I apologize for the caps lock there, but I just wanted to drill those two points home.

Be strategic about where you backlinking appears. If you’re going to use this means as a measure to grow your place on the world wide web, you want your url to be associated with the right places. EX: If you’re a family friendly blog talking about how to build the perfect school lunches for kids, it might not be the best idea to use an Adult Content Only website to banklink your content.

If you have questions about backlinking, share them in the comments section. If you have anything to add, please feel free to share that in the comments as well. I tried to keep this as simple as possible because, as mentioned at the head of this post, it’s a very convoluted subject with many layers to it. So, some of the layers may not yet have been touched on in this post.


Thanks to https://myhomefarm.co.uk/ (yes, this is a backlink) for giving me motivation to write this post and share some of my thoughts on the subject.

Blogging Tip: Stay True to You

Blogging isn’t about picking the right topic; it’s about finding the right voice. Your voice. What matters, what people really resonate with, isn’t so much what you say, but how.

People are going to tell if you’re being inauthentic. People are going to be able to tell if you’re writing for attention. People can always tell. Believe me when I say this, if you’re blogging well, people will know the motives behind your words.

My advice? Write from the heart. Speak your truth. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Not everything has to be polished, but everything should showcase who you are and what you stand for. The world, and the blogging community does not need more mindless drones pumping out the same thing over and over. People need creativity, words that speak from our innermost desires and pictures so beautiful that they make us stop in our tracks.

When you sit down to create your next post remember the fact that there is only one you. What piece of your personality are you going to bring to your brand, your blog and your readers? What piece of your story will bring people to your blog? I’m not talking about having the perfect logo, a beautiful title, the perfect formatting or any of that, I’m talking about creating content that speaks to who you are and why someone wants to read what you write. For example: anyone can share a product review so how are you going to make your review of that product different from everyone else on the web?

While I’m here, let’s also talk about the fact that too many people believe finding success comes from a high follower count. Finding success isn’t really about finding a lot of followers. Finding success is about finding interaction, about finding people who resonate with what you’re sharing. Whether that’s five people, five hundred people or five million people, be grateful for every person who takes time out of their day to view your content.

If you saw a YouTube channel that had one million followers and averaged ten thousand views per video and you saw a YouTube channel that had one hundred followers and was averaging 90 views per video, which would you deem more successful? Stop looking at follower counts and start thinking about your message and your reach. I encourage you, when you look at your blog posts, to look at something in the most positive light. It’s easy to say ‘Nobody liked my most recent post’. It sounds lackluster and can make you feel defeated. It’s also really easy to say ‘250 people read my most recent post’. 250 people stopped, took five or more minutes out of their day to check in with you and see more of your story. That’s HUGE!

Lastly, while I have you here, I just want to remind you that not everything you post is going to be a hit. Sometimes you’ll make killer content and sometimes it’s going to flop. That’s the trials and tribulations that happen when you’re building a brand… your brand. If something doesn’t work, take note, improve upon that the next time. If you’re smart though, you won’t let those flops speak for you. Improve upon them. Focus on making your blog, your brand and your content better each and every time you hit publish.

Be You. Find your voice. Fall in love with your creativity. And then, just do it.

“Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.” I actually don’t know where this quote is from. But, it’s pretty relevant.

Thinking out loud.

I applied for a job that I’m perfectly qualified for, suited for, could rock better than any other candidate on the planet, and I know that. This job wouldn’t just be a job to bide time, this would be a career move. A career move that could open up some serious opportunities for me moving forward.

This job is in Calgary. I am in British Columbia. I am more than willing to move, and wanting to move.

The HR Manager responded to my resume submission with an email that contained her name and email address in it and a note that says “In the meantime, please feel free to contact me with any questions you might have”.

It wasn’t a LinkedIn Automated response, or message. It was taking the time to send me an email response stating they received my resume.

Would it be bothering her if replied to her email (resubmitting my resume in the email so she knows what candidate I am based in the email alone) letting her know my desire and willingness to move? Would that come across as needy? Is there any way that makes me look bad? I can see the benefits to doing so, but I am not allowing myself to do it because I’m worried it will make my application look bad and that I should just let go and let be what be…

Should I email her? Should I leave it alone?

Anyone has the power and possibility to do anything that they set their mind to.

Yes, read that again. Because it’s true.

At 12 years old I was listening to a presentation from (now former) NBA player Steve Nash. Nash said ‘Raise your hands if you want to be Prime Minister of Canada one day’. Only a couple of kids in the room raised their hands. Nash then said ‘Raise your hand if you think you’re going to be Prime Minister of Canada one day’. Only one girl, a girl named Rachel, kept her hand up. Nash then said ‘Rachel is the only person in this room who will be Prime Minister one day’. A few of the boys in this room took aim at this statement and responded with ‘No she can’t because she’s a girl’.

The two things Steve Nash said next have stayed with me ever since.

Firstly, he looked at those boys who took aim with the idea of a female Prime Minister and said ‘My hope for you is that as you move into your teenage and adult years you adopt a way of thinking that measures a person’s value on who they are, not what they are. A person’s gender matters not to whether or not they are capable of a job, any job, and your discounting Rachel based off the fact that she’s a girl is a disservice to all women and girls around the world. You are not superior simply because you were born male. Please remember that’.

Secondly, he said ‘The only person in this room who can be Prime Minister one day is Rachel. I say this because she’s the only person who wants to be and she’s the only person who thinks she can be.’ He went on to say ‘The only limitations you have in this world are the ones you put on yourself’. If these boys over here don’t think she can do it, are they going to stop her? No. If Rachel wants it bad enough, she’s going to make it happen regardless of who says what to her. If Rachel doesn’t put a limitation on becoming Prime Minister, I see no reason why she cannot grow up to be just that’.

‘The only limitations you have in this world are the ones you put on yourself.’

Anyone has the power and possibility to do anything that they set their mind to, so long as they’re willing to work for it. So I guess the question is, if you’re not willing to work for it, do you really want it?

Also, it’s important to stop passing on the notion that people are less valuable to our society because of their gender, age, ability/disability, skills, intelligence or anything else that people use as a means to discredit or undervalue someone. Even at twelve years old the boys in my class had already had it ingrained in their minds that women couldn’t do what men could do. We need to remind ourselves, our friends, our family, that a person’s worth to this world is not measured by statistics. It’s not measured by the things we cannot control.

If Rick Hansen can wheel over 40,000 kms through 34 countries on his own, in a wheelchair and Terry Fox can run 5,300 kms on one leg, if Susan Wojcicki can be the CEO of Youtube, if Ruth Bader Ginsburg can still be sitting on the Supreme Court at 86 after beating cancer several times, and people all over the world can defy the odds (the odds we put on ourselves no less) then the future really has limitless possibility.

Remember that next time you judge someone based on their appearance, their gender, their age, or any other reason you think is an excuse to devalue the potential someone brings to this world.

Please be kind.

This photo has nothing to do with my post, it’s just a beautiful day around here today so I thought I’d share.

Please be kind. It’s a general rule for life, yes. But I find this time of year everyone seems to be stressed out and some people really don’t handle it well while in public. This is just a reminder that, instead of losing your cool on the poor cashier who didn’t cause the issue and can’t solve the issue, just be kind. Don’t yell at the Post Office Attendant because everyone in the world wants to mail something at the same time as you. Don’t walk out of the restaurant without tipping your waiter/waitress just because the kitchen was slow. That’s not your servers fault, everyone eats out this time of year. Also, please, please, please don’t harass, belittle or mistreat the gate attendants if you’re travelling. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, are all trying to get somewhere for the holidays and they’re only trying to help. They cannot control plane maintenance, weather, where you’re sitting or where your bags end up. So please remember that when you embark on your travels.

Please be kind.

Practice patience. Be kind. Leave yourself a little extra time to get things done and the busy stores, restaurants and post offices won’t seem like as much of a hassle.

And, as a general rule of thumb, whenever you get the urge to be an asshole, stop yourself.

Getting pregnant to ‘trap a man’ is THE WORST IDEA ever.

So, my least favourite cousin called today. I haven’t spoken to her in several years, so it made a lot of sense that she called solely to ask me for something.

After she asked me for a favour, she asked the token ‘so how’ve you been doing?’ I gave her enough to make her say ‘that’s great’ but not enough to let her actually know what’s been happening in my life, since I know she doesn’t care anyway.

Then she went on to say ‘Well me, I’m going to get pregnant soon!’

‘That’s great?!’ I said half questioning it, half trying to understand what her motivation was in saying ‘I’m going to get pregnant’.

‘Well, I think it’s time’. She said. ‘Let’s face it, I’m never going to get a boyfriend hotter than Braeden,’

Umm…. what?

I’ll admit. I stumbled on the phone. I wasn’t exactly sure how to respond to the statement when she said it, because this was just so stupid I couldn’t believe it came out of her mouth.

‘That’s nice that you and Braeden are planning for your future!?’ I said, questioning but also trying to sound happy for her.

‘Oh, Braeden doesn’t know!’ She exclaimed. ‘I stopped taking my birth control a few weeks back. He’s going to be so surprised!’

At this point in time I was like ‘Uhhh, can you give me his number so I can tell Braeden?’ Though I was being dead serious, she clearly thought I was kidding because her response was ‘So you don’t feel pressured to have a baby? I mean it’s about time. You’re getting so old.’

The rest of the conversation was me trying to lecture her out of this stupid idea and telling her that getting pregnant was not going to make her boyfriend stay with her forever. Inevitably, the remainder of the conversation was short because she got pissed off at my logic and decided to end the conversation.

I think she was hoping for me to respond with ‘Oh my god, I’m so happy for you!’ Or something of the sort. So when I told her it was a bad idea, she likely wasn’t very impressed with me.

Right now I don’t know what to do. All I really want to do is reach out to people to see if I can find Braeden’s phone number. I know it’s not cool to insert yourself into other people’s relationships, but damn, shouldn’t someone give him the heads up?

Trying to ‘trap a man’ by getting pregnant is literally the STUPIDEST IDEA EVER. Firstly, it’s 2019, not 1950. Gone are the days when people feel obligated to stay with someone solely because they share a child with them. Secondly, if you’re going to to tell him of your intentions to get pregnant, there’s clearly something else lacking in your relationship that needs fixing… that bringing a child into this world is not going to fix.

I love babies. And all babies deserve to be loved. And I’m guessing if she did get pregnant then her boyfriend would love this kid unconditionally, because from what I’ve heard of this guy, he’s a pretty good dude. But imagine that kid, fifteen years from now, learning that his/her mom got pregnant because ‘she wasn’t going to find a hotter boyfriend’. Like… I cannot wrap my head around the sheer idiocy of this.

I’ll go ahead and say this, without qualms or hesitation: it is never a good idea to intentionally get pregnant as a means to try to trap your boyfriend/spouse/partner.

And let me be abundantly clear here, there’s a difference between an unplanned pregnancy and a pregnancy which someone plans and does not tell the other partner.

A baby is not going to fix your relationship issues. And, could quite possibly put more of a rift between them if/when he learns what you’re doing. A baby is not going to make a relationship last forever. A baby is not going to be the solution to whatever it is you’re missing in your life. I’ve heard that from enough parents to know. Also, imagine the pressure you’re putting on that poor, innocent little baby in this scenario. There is a small percentage chance that a partner could learn all of this information and a relationship still work afterwards and they be together long term, but I really don’t see there being a large change of that happening, at all.

Getting pregnant to trap a man is a horrible, horrible, horrible idea. And also, your partner’s hotness should not be motivation for reproduction. And also, it’s lying, it’s manipulative and it’s unfair to both the boyfriend and the future potential child.

If this is a plan, then there are other options. Go see a relationship therapist. Or, go see a therapist on your own. Get some help. I’ve tried to talk to my cousin since our phone conversation but since she didn’t like my words this afternoon, she’s been ignoring me.

* Note – I know the scenario goes both ways and there are times when men try to do this to. I’m speaking of it from the female perspective solely because of what my cousin told me today.

What would you do if someone told you they were intentionally planning to get pregnant without their partner’s knowledge?

Edit: After writing this and then reading it through, I have since decided to email and text my aunt (cousin’s mom) to ask her if she could provide me with Braeden’s phone number.

Blogging 105: How do you get more comments on your blog posts?

Photo credit: lyfemarketing.com

Without knowing it, many of you have taken part in an experiment over the past couple of weeks. What? An experiment? How sneaky of me, I know! The experiment was a test to see just how many comments could be collected on one post, if I asked the right questions. And let me tell you, your responses did not disappoint!

One of the most common things I see asked with respect to blogging is how do you get more people to comment on your blog. People ask here on WordPress, they ask on Twitter, my former bosses used to ask me all the time. How do you get more people to comment on your blog, your content and your message? It’s actually a question asked in the corporate world quite a lot. Even companies like Nike and Starbucks can struggle with getting people to provide feedback.

So how do you encourage engagement? How do you get more comments? How do you cause people to stop by your blog and think ‘I need to comment on this post!’

Suggestion 1: Ask them!

It seems simple, right? But many corporations and individual bloggers forget. We get so wrapped up in sending the message that we want to send that we forget to quite simply ask people what they think, how they feel, what their opinions are.

The two posts on my blog that garnered the most comments over the past few weeks were posts in which I purposefully went out of my way to ask you for your opinions.

And your perspectives, I got! If you read the comments section of these two posts: Absolutely (un)important questions and I would like to hear your opinion you will see oodles of different opinions. Each post has more than 100 comments on it. People went out of their way to not just share line or two, but to send me meaningful, thoughtful opinions of their perspectives.

If you want people to leave comments on your blog, ASK THEM QUESTIONS. Talk with them… instead of at them. Let them know that you want to hear their opinions. Let them know that their opinions, no matter if they align or disagree with your own, are welcome on your blog and then encourage them to share. People like to share their own opinions and will feel a lot safer to do so if you let them know their opinions are welcome on your blog.

Suggestion 2: Thank people who do share.

All too often I stop by someone’s blog to leave a comment and they don’t bother to respond to my comment.

This is totally fine. You don’t have to respond to your comments. But I truly believe that if you don’t respond to the comments people leave on your blog, they aren’t likely to leave another. It’s true for me, and as you’re reading this, it’s probably true for you. If you take the time to leave someone a heartfelt comment and they don’t bother to write back, why would you do that ever again?

This is why it’s really important that, if you do get comments on your blog, you respond. Responding to your comments lets people know that, whether they agree with your not, their thoughts are welcome on your blog. Responding to your comments encourages people to come back to your blog. Responding to your comments shows the people reading your blog that you’re thankful for their reading your blog. When your readers find you, let them know you’re thankful for every comment they leave.

Also – please remember, not everyone communicates in the same way. Some people have a way with words where they can leave you a really eloquent comment whereas others might just say ‘Thank you for writing this’. Please don’t devalue ‘thank you for writing this’. A reader is still valuable to your blog, no matter how long of a comment they leave.

Suggestion 3: Encourage feedback.

While not every post on your blog is going to be you specifically going out of your way to ask people for their answers to important questions, you can ask for feedback on your own content.

When you make a blog post, encourage people to respond. If you’re sharing your opinion, ask people for theirs. If you’re sharing a short story, ask people what they think of your short story. If you’re sharing your art, ask people to rate it on a scale from 1-10. However you see fit, whatever you see most aligning with your post, encourage readers to give you feedback.

Please note – When you’re encouraging feedback, don’t end your posts with a question that can be answered with a single word. End your post with a question that asks people for their opinions.

Example: You write a post about a truly orgasmic pizza eating experience. On the end of the post you leave a question.

Bad Questions: Do you like pizza? Do you like cheese? Do you like pineapple on pizza?

Good Questions: Can you tell me about a time in your life when you just couldn’t believe the pizza you were eating? What made that pizza so incredible? What about that memory sticks out so well in your mind?

The reason why the bad questions are bad questions is because someone can say “Yes. No. Yes”. It’s so simple that it doesn’t really encourage any informative feedback, it only asks yes or no questions. Yes or no questions that can be answered so quickly people might just skip over answering them at all. On the other hand, with the good questions listed, if people read that, they’re going to want to share their stories with you. They’re going to take the time to think about the best pizza they’ve ever had and they’re going to type up the whole story in your comments button.

Suggestion 4: Leave a comment on another blog.

Simply put, people are more likely to view and leave comments on the blogs of people who’ve left comments on their blog.

Now it’s important to note that with this suggestion, I DO NOT mean to spam people. Don’t just go to someone’s blog and write “Hey Check out my blog!” in their comments. I mean that you should go to someone’s blog, leave them a thoughtful comment and then mention “Hey, I also just recently touched on this subject on my blog. Would you consider reading it?”

It’s worth noting that this happens ALL THE TIME in the corporate world. The Oreo brand is notorious for leaving comments on other brands from KitKat to Boeing to American Eagle. They do this because they know that in doing so, they’re supporting other companies, but also supporting themselves. When people see a comment from Oreo on an American Eagle release, Oreo knows that’s going to put their brand at top of mind for a lot of American Eagle customers. It’s a small piece to marketing, but if you do it properly, an effective one.


Encouraging engagement can be difficult when you’re just starting out. But, it’s worth noting that things are always difficult when you’re just starting out. The important thing is that you try. That you put your efforts towards not just building a blog but building a community. Because people want to know they’re a part of a community and they’re being talked with, not at.

Take it slow and steady, one step at a time. Even Everest is conquerable so long as you go at your own pace.

Good luck!