Creating a Useful Link List Blog Post
Every day at least a couple of blog posts hit my RSS reader that consist of nothing but a bunch of links to various blog posts that were published within the past 24 hours. And chances are pretty good that the duplicates between them are pretty high. But some link lists I find far more useful than others, and I actually look forward to reading them because they not only introduce me to blog posts on blogs I don’t subscribe to, but they also alert me to what’s hot and newsworthy in the industry.
However, I most look forward to the useful ones because they present the information differently when compared to most of the other link lists. So if you are tempted to create your own link lists, here’s how to make yours not only more useful, but to also stand out from the crowd of all the other link list posts.
Whatever you do,
don’t just copy someone else’s link list. To make it useful, you need to create a brand new set of links, not just regurgitate what another blogger already published… and what many of your readers have probably already seen. Because if they are identical, at least some of your readers will recognize it as a copycat.
Don’t just give me a list of blog posts in all shapes and sizes. Split the Google ones into one category, the Blogging ones into another, and the Social Media into a third. Use as many as you need – within reason, of course – so I can easily scan to the sections that interest me most.
Who said what
Don’t just give me a link to the title. Tell me who wrote it too. With Twitter being all the rage, it seems as though everyone has something to say about it. But if I can’t tell who wrote “The Beginner’s Guide to Twitter”, I won’t know if it is one of the ones I have already read, or something new someone else has just published. With the author listed, your link list just became that much more useful to me.
Create your own snippet about the article, even including a short bit about why you liked it or why you think others should add it to their must-read list. Don’t just give me the first paragraph of the blog entry, instead give me your unique perspective on it. And as an added bonus, this will help with the duplicate filter content in Google, so your link lists will get indexed and show up in the search results.
Introduce new blogs
Don’t fall into the habit of always linking to the same set of blogs. Make a point of finding new blogs or new perspectives so that you can also introduce your subscribers to those new blogs too. You will likely find that your readers already have many of the blogs you previously included on link lists in the RSS readers already. So try and include new bloggers in your lists whenever you can, even if it means hitting the Google Blog Search to see who else commented on the same topic in the past day or two.
Instead of doing daily link lists, why not go with a daily or weekly theme list of some sort? If it is a search industry blog, you might focus on Twitter related articles one time and the next showcase all blog posts written by women. There are many themes you can find in your market area to chose from. Not only will your readers find it useful, but it also gives a nice concise look at a variety of blog posts that might not have otherwise made a daily link list blog post. Struggling for themes? You can also take reader suggestions for upcoming themed link lists, and if you are lucky, readers will suggest links for the theme too.
If you are overcome with the temptation to make your own links list, follow these tips so you aren’t just publishing the same kind of thing that all the other bloggers are publishing too. You can create a useful and unique link list that just might end up getting link to too!