"Link love" (linking back to someone else's blog or website) is truly a win-win-win proposition. It's also the heart of connective content – the content you don't have to create from scratch.
Your readers win because they read and learn about something they may not have discovered otherwise. Hopefully you've chosen resources and information that relate to your topic, and hopefully that topic is highly relevant to your readers.
The other bloggers win from having new readers. If they've done their own work in producing great content, the right people will be led to follow them. By the way, if that means your reader hires another person instead of you, he or she wasn't the right client for you in the first place.
You win by having richer content for your blog, introducing different perspectives that you and your readers can learn from, and making connections with other experts in your field.
But how do you get the attention of those experts, especially if you've never met or connected online before?
Email, Twitter, trackbacks and tracking
Contact them directly
You can send them a brief email with a link to your post, and let them know you wrote about them. If you are connected via a social network, you can send a direct or private message there as well.
Show up on their screen
There are several ways to show up someone's screen and get their attention, even if you don't have direct access to their email.
- Tweet – I'll usually post an update to Twitter and include the person's Twitter ID (example). If you're posting several tweets about your blog post (as I recommended in a blog post and call about conversation starters), that means two or three more opportunities to connect with that colleague when they see your tweets in their list of "mentions."
- Trackback – If you and the other blogger are both set up to enable trackbacks, you can automatically notify the person and even have YOUR blog post displayed in a special section on their blog! First look on their post for a trackback link (example). Then paste that link into the box in your blog post editor (here are screen shots from Typepad and WordPress).
- Sit back – If the other blogger is monitoring their online mentions, they'll see you. Especially if you type out their full name in your post (versus just linking from some words that describe the topic). For example:
- Google Alerts – When someone has an alert set up for their name, your post will show up in their report. This even works for tweets, though I've noticed it can take a couple of weeks for tweets to show up in my report.
- Postling – I'm still learning about this service (recommended by Jeff Korhan), but it seems to be another great way for bloggers to monitor who is talking about or linking to them online.
- Others? – I know there are many other ways to track who is writing about you and your blog. Please leave me a comment about which one you use and what you like about it.
Everyone wins when you link to high-quality content from your blog. Take the win even further by creating or deepening a relationship with the other expert.