Every week, we share one of our favorite ‘how-to’ posts about blogging, social media, and the community we LOVE to love. Our desire is you consider HLB a resource in your efforts to blog BETTER – we want to be stronger bloggers ourselves, and we see the desire for stronger posts and cleaner designs. We understand wanting to know the BEST plug-ins, aps, programs, and resources to keep your site in tip top shape. And nothing makes us nerd-out more than getting super meta about all things blog-world. We’re not experts, we’re simply bloggers ourselves – sharing our own experiences, tips and tricks of the trade each Thursday with a BTT post. We welcome your questions, your suggestions for future topics, and your ‘how-to’ post recommendations at firstname.lastname@example.org!
HLB Admin Julie will be dropping bits of knowledge our way every so often with a bonus Blog Tip Thursday reoccurring series, Savvy Blog Talk! With all the design and social media knowledge she’s learned in her time spent sprucing up blogs and working on site designs with Savvy Blog Services, Julie has tons of great information to share. When you see the Savvy Julie logo on a Blog Tip Thursday post, you know it’s coming from our Savvy Admin 😉
Let’s talk blogrolls, shall we?
What is a blogroll?
In short, it is a list of links to your favorite sites. What comprises this list is completely up to you: the sites you read every day, the sites you turn to for inspiration, the sites you visit when you need a question answered, the sites your friends write. It is your blogroll, so the links are up to you!
What does a blogroll look like?
Traditionally, a blogroll was simply a list of links in a website’s sidebar, and some people still display their blogrolls that way. However, I’ve seen more and more people creating a separate “Links” page that they connect to in their navigational menu.
If you create a links or blogroll page, you will have a lot more flexibility in the display and organization of your blogroll. You may choose to do a single list of solely links, but you have room to get more creative with it as well. Perhaps you want to group your links by type, telling people why you visit each group of sites: “Sites that Inspire,” “Drool-worthy Sites,” “Sites by my Friends,” “Resources,” etc. Think of the groups like individual boards on Pinterest. Here’s my blogrollfor an example:
Or maybe you want to highlight your all-time favorite posts, rather than sites. It is a little more work to put together and maintain, but rather than recommending an entire blog that readers may not be familiar with, you can send them to the best posts on the best sites for a quick and easy introduction. Heather’s blogroll is a great example:
Can I ask someone to add me to their blogroll?
NO! Blogrolls should be authentic and a list of links that readers can trust. You need to earn your spot on a blogroll: write a quality blog, get involved in the community and get to know your favorite bloggers. If someone loves your blog, you’ll end up on their blogroll.
Along these same lines, do not “trade links” with someone : i.e.: agree to put their link on your blogroll in exchange for them putting you on their blogroll. It is considered poor form in the blogging world.
How often should I update my blogroll?
Keep your blogroll current, updating it at least once a month. You don’t want your readers to miss out on your newest favorite blog, do you?
Isn’t there some way to automatically update my blogroll?
There is indeed, via Google Reader folders. Here’s how it works:
Subscribe to your favorite blogs in Google Reader.
Put them all in a folder named something like “Favorites” or “Blogroll.”
Click the gear in the top right corner –> Settings –> Folders and Tags.
Click the little RSS symbol next to the word “private” for your blogroll folder.
Now your blogroll is public. Select “add a blogroll to your site.”
You can change the title and color scheme, then copy the HTML snippet and paste it into a text widget in your sidebar (or use the “Add to Blogger” button). Done!