Guess what bloggers? Self-promotion is just fine, as long as it is relevant

by Mack Collier

Amy Africa is one of my favorite people.  One of the things I like about Amy is that she has a very different perspective toward blogging and social media than most of my friends that are immersed in using these tools.  In fact, she often does things the exact opposite of many social media ‘experts’, and her favorite hashtag is #yousocialmediapeoplekillme.

I was thinking of this when I read Amy’s fantabulous post today on how bloggers can create an email newsletter (Seriously the post is must-read.  Please go, we’ll be here when you get back).  But as I was reading the post, I quickly noticed something: She had a TON of links in her post.  So I counted, and she had EIGHT links!  And what’s worse, SIX of them were to HER CONTENT!  And then she was bold enough to add a call-to-action at the end asking readers to email her!

And you know what?  It all works out perfectly.  Every link, even the 6 to her own content, are enhancing the post.  They are offering reference points that make us smarter.  Sure, they are links to Amy’s content, but she’s not positioning the links as being self-promotional, she’s adding the links cause they expand upon points she is making in the post.

And then she closes with a perfect call to action: “Any more questions?  Jot them in the comments below or send me an e-mail to info@amyafrica.com.  Thanks for writing!”

Sheer smartitude.  But how many of us would cringe at linking to our own content even twice in one post, much less 6 freakin’ times!

I don’t think most of us would, so to test my theory, I visited the latest post from a few of my favorite bloggers.  These are all people and blogs that are very well-known and popular.  But I wanted to see how often they link to their own content.  Here’s what I found:

1 – Convince and Convert – Post: Can Courtney Love Be Sued For Tweeting.

# of links to bloggers’ content in the post: 0 (but 2 in the bio before post)

2 – Chris Brogan – Post: Bartering in the Digital Age.

# of links to bloggers’ content in the post: 1 (company)

3 – The Harte of Marketing – Post: Saturday Morning Reads: Personas…Do You Really Know Your Customers?

# of links to bloggers’ content in the post: 2 (Both to past posts)

4 – Conversation Agent – Post: Michael Port Wants You to Think Big.

# of links to bloggers’ content in the post: 0

5 – Social Media Explorer – Post: The Cowbell of Communications.

# of links to bloggers’ content in the post: 0

And to be fair, I only added one link to my content in my last post, to The Viral Garden.  So in ONE post, Amy added as many links to her content as all SIX of us did in our last post.  I think this is another example of how some bloggers, especially in the social media space, need to get over our hangups about self-promotion.  If you told most bloggers that someone added 6 links to their own content in each post they wrote, many people would call them ‘shameless self-promoters’.  But every one of Amy’s links makes perfect sense, and improves the overall quality of the post.

Remember when I recently blogged about the Popular Posts plugin for WordPress and how smart it is to give your readers a way to find your older content?  How is what Amy did in her post any different?

How often do YOU link to your older posts in your newer ones?  If you do this often, what benefits have you seen on your blog?

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