Links are vital in today’s online world. We use them to navigate the massive web and discover related topics and sources. They are shortcuts to get where you want to go when you had no idea you wanted to go there. Links connect readers to more material.
For an author, they are vital in networking. They connect others to your work. Readers can find you in one place and follow you to another.
What Kind of Links?
When you talk about links, most people think they are just links to their books on Amazon and other places. That’s not the best example of networking links. You want links that direct others to you and what you are about which would include your books but…. You are more than the book you write. Let’s look beyond that.
Use links to your profile pages, your portfolio, and examples of your writing especially if they are found as articles and guest posts on other sites. The links should take the readers to other parts of your life as a writer or to other sites that have inspired you. Let the readers into your world and discover more than just the book you wrote.
Everywhere is the answer. Think of it like this: You are in a group setting. People hear you talking. They want to know more about you. What do they do? Online, they check out your profile and click on links. They explore who you are.
Have links to your Facebook page, Twitter, all social media sites, your website, and anywhere else you have material that would be useful. Even if you have a Flickr account. Put all your links out there for people to use and follow. Let them see that you make your own jewelry or do photography on the side.
Where to Use Them
Use them wherever you can politely put them. I stress ‘politely’. Don’t push links onto people. Use them when only appropriate.
Start with your links on your profile pages. Safest place to begin and others expect to find them there. If they aren’t there, you might not really exist in the minds of others.
Use them once in awhile on social media where you can use them to back up your comments or discussions. Maybe you are talking about something that you expanded on in an article or guest post. Add the link where people can go to read more or see a more thorough explanation.
Also, look to use your links as discussion catalysts. On your own social media accounts, you can link to an article you wrote or to your book and ask a question that will prompt readers to get involved in a discussion. For example, I wrote an article on a historical topic. On social media, I shared my link and then asked if others agreed with my stance. It started a very interesting conversation.
Use shortened links. Too often links are way too long for resharing. Many sites offer ways to shorten URL’s so that they can be used in more places.
Don’t share them everyone at the same time. I’ve learned the hard way that it is considered spamming.
Work the links into a response. Don’t just post a link and run.
Keep a list of links handy for quick reference and use. Also, verify the legitimacy of the links periodically as many can become broken and you aren’t aware of it.
Links are vital in today’s world. If you don’t use them, you will miss out on the chance to get noticed by more people.