As you write your book through blogging, you’ll want to keep in mind that the blog, while helping you crate your book, is also a way to engage with and build your audience. And just as a blog is a conversation of sorts, you want to ensure that your conversation is lively and maybe surprising.
One way to do this is to include appropriate links to other websites or articles that you have been inspired by or that you refer to.
Here are a few tips for incorporating links into your document (this isn’t a how-to on linking, but suggestions for when and how to use them).
1. Keep the links to three or fewer. If you include too many links, you run the risk of losing your reader who’s clicked away to another site too often to remember to return to yours.
2. Links are a way of enlivening your blog, not replacing it. They should complement what you say in your blog, or provide further background. So, for example, if you’re writing a blog that includes reference to someone who might not be that well known, include a link to this person’s website, or to an entry on Wikipedia. Better to go to the original source – if the person has a website – and fall back on Wikipedia second.
3. Limit your linking to articles on Wikipedia to one. Your blog isn’t a Wikipedia entry. Keep the links going in a few directions.
4. You can quote from an article you’ve read, but make sure to provide a link to the full article. Judicious quoting is great – and it can give you something to bounce off of or use to reinforce your point. But make sure to acknowledge where you got this quote by mentioning its source and linking to it. You don’t want to plagiarize the work of another writer – you want to recognize it.
5. You can link back to earlier posts of yours. This way readers can quickly refer to what you’ve mentioned. Don’t over do it – this can be become a little too much navel-gazing in the blogosphere. But it also gives readers a chance to see the breadth of your writing.
Let me know if you have any questions or comments about this process. I’d love to hear from you.