Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
March 29, 200811:52 PM

How To Get On Someone's Blogroll

How many requests a day do you get from other Bloggers requesting you to put their Blog on your Blogroll?

I get it a lot. And, I'm fascinated by them.

First off, what is a Blogroll? (for those currently not curating their own Blog). If you look on the left-hand side of the Six Pixels of Separation Blog, you'll see a permanent section (which appears on every page) that reads, Check Out These Blogs. That is a Blogroll. It's a Bloggers list of what other Blogs they read and follow to get inspired. I'm constantly asked, "how do we know which Blogs are good and should be followed?" My answer is always the same, "find just one or two that interest you, and then look at their Blogroll." My guess is, you'll fall so far down the rabbit hole that your Google Reader will overheat with the barrage of additions.

Getting on someone's Blogroll (mine, or anybody else's) - in my opinion - is the highest praise and compliment. The Blogs (and Podcasts) you can check out on my Blogroll are my "must-reads." They're the Blogs that I can't wait to check out, and the ones that put a smile on my face when I see a new posting. If I am putting my "stamp of approval" on it, you can be sure that it's because I am vested in the content and community as well.

Even from a pure Search Engine Optimization perspective, it's a huge hat-tip. Imagine there being a permanent link on a Blog for every single page that ever gets served. That's some good link love.

I think that's where a lot of these requests come from (though, I can tell that some are very sincere). People are looking for a quick and easy way to build PageRank and links - and, yes, visibility in the search engines (Google Juice is an important thing).

There are many Bloggers who are much more liberal with their Blogroll and linking strategy. To each their own.

There is one simple way to get on my Blogroll: blow my mind.

The only way to do that is to constantly (and consistently) deliver quality and insights (like the people on the left).

I'm not saying "no" to anyone asking to be placed on my Blogroll. And, I'm not saying "yes" either. There's no magical formula, and each Blogger decides how (and why) someone gets that ultimate compliment. I treat my Blogroll much in the say way I treat my closest friends. Those relationships take time and trust to build. And, most importantly, they need to be mutually beneficial where both parties are getting equal value and satisfaction. 

By Mitch Joel


Comments Comments Feed
  • Posted by Joseph Thornley
    Mitch Joel

    "There is one simple way to get on my Blogroll: blow my mind. The only way to do that is to constantly (and consistently) deliver quality and insights"

    Mitch, you are bang on in restricting your blogroll to people you regularly read and find useful.

    But I go even further. The blogs I consider worthy of attention are the ones that have content that is so good that I link to it from my own posts.

    So I asked the folks at 76design to develop a widget that would automatically generate a blogroll of the blogs that I link to most often. It's called TopLinks and is a companion to another widget, FriendsRoll, that let's people who like my blog signal that they want to be part of my community of friends.

    Both widgets can be downloaded at friendsroll.com and you can see them installed at propr.ca.

    Take a look at them. And maybe you might like to try them out on your blog. Regardless of whether you do install them, I'd welcome your comments and suggestions for how they could be made better.

    Reply
  • Posted by Zac Martin
    Mitch Joel

    Heh, I've never even considered asking to be placed on someone's blogroll. I guess I see it more as an honour thing, and you have to earn it, not ask for it.

    I know personally, my blogroll consists of those I read/listen to most. I link to them because they deserve it.

    Reply
  • Posted by Ryan Jones
    Mitch Joel

    Mitch,
    Well said :-). Tks for the honest discussion & your perspective on this blogger backscratching topic.
    --Ryan

    Reply
  • Posted by Lindsea
    Mitch Joel

    I agree. If I put someone on my blogroll, it's because I actually enjoy reading them.

    When I first started blogging/adding people to my blogroll, I left comments saying basically "I love your blog! Your linked."

    If, for example, you got one of those, do you feel pressure to link them back?

    Reply
  • Posted by Kim
    Kim

    Hi Mitch,

    I recently attended a seminar you gave in Toronto - it was great by the way - and as a non-blog writer myself, and fairly new to engaging in the blog world, it is very comforting to know that you (and other bloggers) are so diligent in who you put on your blogroll. I take people’s blogrolls quite seriously in that I put trust in the blogger who is leading me to another site (strange since most of the time I don’t know the person I am trusting). It is truly the way that I can find new things of interest quickly as I know someone else has already done all of the leg work (thanks for that!). I would be very frustrated to link to something and find that it actually had no value. For me, and I am sure others, this would also discredit the blogger who included it on their blogroll in the first place, and I am not sure I would continue to visit that one either.

    Reply
  • Posted by luam
    luam

    You are way too sensitive to ever be successful in this world. Sorry.

    Reply
  • Posted by Pratish
    Mitch Joel

    Hi.. definitely appreciate that it's an honour thing to be on someone's blogroll but how does one get started and get any sort of visibility without those links in the first place?

    Take me for example - I'm an aspiring cartoonist and a blogging newbie - no one in my friends circle blogs - they love the comics I post on my site but they wouldn't even know how to link to my site even if they wanted to! Other than luck and spending a lot on advertising it's hard for even good content to get visibility these days.

    Would be great to get your thoughts on how to gain visibility if all your friends and colleagues can't even help promote you other than emailing a link through to others.. any tips would be much appreciated! Thanks :)

    Reply
  • Pratish, I'll do a Blog posting on it in the coming while.

    Reply
  • Posted by Renee Stewart
    Mitch Joel

    You answered my question about a blogroll. I would like to get our weblog on a blogroll in a kids category. Do you know of any? We would be honored to be on your blogroll if you think it's worthy.

    THANKS

    Reply
  • Posted by Troy Lightfield
    Mitch Joel

    Hey Mitch,
    Appreciate the post and had it not been for this one I am not sure I would have stumbled on your blog. You have another follower now. Bookmarked!

    Reply
  • Posted by Sheed
    Mitch Joel

    Is there anyway to find out whose blogroll your on like to track how many people have your blog on there blogroll?

    Reply
  • Posted by Tree Guardian
    Mitch Joel

    I know it's not easy to get listed on the blogroll. It's definitely a powerful link juice especially when the blog grows steadily. Interlinking of Your blog is also beneficial like having a post archives or a site map.
    Good tips - Thanks

    Reply
  • Posted by Van Arie
    Van Arie

    A few months ago I had no idea what a blogroll is, but after making my own blog I had to figure it out. And this clears a few things up that I didn't understand. Ha.

    Reply
  • Posted by Sherri
    Mitch Joel

    Your article came up because I was specifically searching for this information. I appreciate how you explained this to me and I see now that I have been going about it all wrong. Of course, I would love to be on your blogroll, but do not know that I deserve it yet. LOL. Anyway, thank you very much for the post that has taught me something valuable today!

    Reply
  • Posted by David Wolf
    Mitch Joel

    This is an old post but it still holds true. Taking the long road is a much better way to go here. You are better off focusing on 10 blog targets you would like to associate and learn the types of content they really like to read. Deliver content on that level, and possible content that plays of the posts of their blog and you will be ahead of the game. Skip the mass emails.

    Reply
  • Posted by Mark
    Mitch Joel

    5 years later, and this article still holds its value. :)

    Appreciate the article, as I have recently started doing SEO for my website, and the thing I keep seeing is the really good sites are listed on multiple blog rolls.

    Your thoughts on getting added to the blogroll are appreciate, and they make a lot of sense. Thanks for the quick explaination.

    Reply
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