Bob Baker's Book Promotion Blog

No More Codependent Link Love!

You have a great author web site. Now you want lots of readers and book buyers to visit. "What do I do?" you ask. "I know: Start a link swap campaign!"

Not so fast!

It seems every other day I get an email that states something like, "Dear webmaster, I just visited your web site and feel we would both benefit from cross-promoting each other. Please add a link to my site at and I'll return the favor."

Not only is this type of marketing impersonal (these form letters are all too obvious), but it's massively ineffective. Link swapping is history. It's so 2002.

There's a better way.

I stopped publishing a links page several years ago. But that doesn't mean I ever stopped linking to outside web sites. I do it all the time through this blog, my music marketing ezine and Artist Empowerment Radio podcast pages.

I never send senseless emails asking people to link to my site. What I do is write about topics of interest to my audience. In the course of doing so, I frequently reference news stories and blog posts I come across, new services that look promising, and other online resources of note.

Then I shoot an email to the site owner or person I wrote about letting them know that I mentioned them. I ask for nothing in return. But a funny thing happens ...

More often than not, the person who runs the site I plugged will post something about the exposure they got from me -- with a link to my web site!

Notice what happened here. A link swap did indeed take place. But there were no mindless emails begging for link love. No "I'll link to yours if you link to mine" groveling. Instead, what took place was a natural conversation, an organic cross-reference to useful information.

And that's the best way to swap links in 2007. Write about and link to online destinations that interest you and your readers. Send a short, friendly note to the blogger, podcaster or site owner you mentioned. Then let it go.

Keep doing that over and over. Give out links without asking for anything in return ... and it will come back to you. Or, to paraphrase The Beatles ...

"... in the end, the link love you take is equal to the link love you make."


P.S. As I was finishing up this post, the classic rock radio station I had on (which I rarely listen to) played this exact Beatles track from Abbey Road -- after I had written the line above. Weird, huh?

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