[This post is based on my idea of a perfect blog]
Blogs cannot be defined or generalized. They run the gamut from emotional diaries of teenagers to corporate mouthpieces. However, there are some key aspects of blogging that should be understood by anyone interested in developing a successful blog or integrating blog-style content on their existing site.
Outbound links are key to a good blog. Here are a few reasons why.
They add value to your readers by giving them more information.
By doing a bit of research to find good links, you are providing your readers with valuable insights. If you point them to good information, they will be better at consuming yours and they will appreciate you more as a result.
In order to keep track of potentially useful links, I use
del.icio.us. This free program lets me "tag" links under certain
topics and generally I just leave my account window open for quick
access. I'm sure you've got your own tricks, but the bottom line is to
link well and link often.
They increase your strength in search engines.
Google and other engines tend to give more weight in search results to sites with a good number of outbound links. I don't know the algorithm or anything, just trust me on this one.
The are important for networking with other blogs/sites.
When you link to another blog or site, that person will notice your site in their visitor statistics. If they're curious (as they should be) they will clicked over to see what you're all about...and voila! you've just got another reader.
Watch how good bloggers link and learn to link intuitively. For instance if I wanted to point out a new frame from from Specialized I wouldn't just put the link on "Specialized" I would link the entire fragment, "a new frame from Specialized." This is more descriptive for your reader and also gives the link more weight for the target site (but that's another topic).
Thanks for reading, stay tuned for more good blogging tips (and bike industry stuff).