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To Backlink or Not to Backlink


In reviewing my stats the other day, the question of backlinking came to mind. You see, back in mid September, 2010 I registered 5 new domain names.  It took me from September, 2010 to December, 2010 to finally set up the WordPress template and add content to the blogs.  I didn’t add much content to the blogs because I quickly realized I bit off more than I could chew at one time.  To save my sanity I decided to put the blogs on hold until later this year or early next year.

During the time of setting them up and writing content, I wrote a total of about 15 posts distributed unevenly among the 5 blogs (one blog has only 1 post while another only has 2).  None of them have enough content to keep anyone interested for too long.

A Little History

When I first started creating websites, I read what the gurus said.  They told me to learn SEO and to backlink.  So, I learned SEO and tried to backlink.  The only problem with backlinking was that I hated doing it.

I found it to be time consuming and not something that I did not like to do.  I liked to write and I liked creating websites but I found backlinking to be a royal pain. There were so many social websites and ways to backlink that I quickly became overwhelmed.  On top of that, I was spending too much time doing something that I didn’t enjoy instead of doing what I loved to do (started to sound like a job to me).

Over time I decided to stop the social network backlinking. Don’t get me wrong, I do some backlinking from time to time, but as a general WWWpractice I don’t.  I’d rather spend my time writing quality content and let the Internet do the rest.

Back to the 5 New Blogs

Since I decided to put the blogs on hold I did not backlink. I did not submit them to directories. I did not perform any marketing for these blogs

Imagine my surprise when I started to notice a steady stream of traffic to the blogs.  It started with an occasional hit, but now it there is daily traffic and the traffic is growing. Do you know what that means?  Yep, I’ve got to spend a little time adding content to these blogs.  After all, if visitors took the time to use a search engine to find my blogs, the least I could do is provide what they’re looking for, don’t ya think?

Why are These Blogs Gaining Traffic?

The only reason these blogs are gaining traffic is because of content quality and my attempts at SEO  (I say attempts because who really knows everything there is to know about SEO?).  What else can it be?  No tricks, no formulas just plain old writing.

Let me go on the record and say: I’m not telling you not to backlink.  Backlinking has its advantages. There are many bloggers that have Linkssuccessfully used backlinks and wouldn’t think of doing it any other way.

What I’m saying is that as a general rule, I don’t do it.  If I did, my sites would probably gain more traffic and faster.  Unfortunately, I’m not willing to put in the backlinking effort.  I’d rather wait until my articles/blogs are naturally backlinked.

The way I look at it is if you write quality articles and employ simple SEO, the backlinking will take care of itself.  I’m in this online writing thing for the long haul.  If it takes a little longer for my sites to get noticed, so be it.  While they’re waiting to get noticed, I’m spending my time doing what I like to do, writing (and smelling an occasional rose).

{ 15 comments… add one }
  • Ken February 4, 2011, 9:09 am

    I tell you, it seems like we all get the same thought about the same time. Backlinking is time consuming. I do some backlinking, but many don’t. Good writing is first and foremost in creating traffic. Write good articles that readers enjoy and they will bring you traffic through word of mouth which is the best advertising by far.

    Backlinking has its place and some do very well with it. I will say this, if you do the backlinking route do not use those free submission services. They are a waste of time because the places they bookmark have no page rank, no authority and in many cases will actually hurt your overall rankings.

    Felicia, you do fantastic with your writing alone. You just have that unique way of writing that keeps people glued to what you have to say.

    Oh look………… a rose. 🙂

    • Felicia February 4, 2011, 10:49 am

      Thanks, Ken. For some reason your comment went into my spam folder. Not so sure what’s going on with that.

  • Crystal February 4, 2011, 9:49 am

    Thanks for sharing this, Felicia – it gives me hope! I’m slowly working on my new custom memorial quilts site and likely will not spend much time backlinking. Most everything I’ve read says you have to but I know I probably won’t, so it’s nice to know it may not be so necessary after all:)

  • Will February 4, 2011, 11:10 am

    I am seeing more credible bloggers and internet marketers share cases of increasing traffic without backlinking. Google has recently made changes to its algorithm which I believe favor strong content and devalue backlinks in weak directories.

    I don’t mind backlinking, but there’s evidence that it’s not the best use of my time.

  • Deanna February 4, 2011, 2:38 pm

    When I first started my blog, I didn’t know a thing about backlinking and only linked to other blogs, networking sites, etc., to get people to come and visit. Backlinking did bring the people but I do believe it is the content that keeps them coming. The same is true with articles. I backlink articles only to sites that have proven to me that they bring traffic to my articles. I agree with you, though, that good content will eventually bring traffic without any backlinking.

  • Lissie February 4, 2011, 4:55 pm

    Web directories are a waste of time and have been for years. I rather suspect your sites have got backlinks – whether you built them or someone else did – if you are ranking and getting organic traffic there are backlinks somewhere (or your sites have huge authority – which they don’t as they are too new).

    I spent approximately 90% of my time and money on backlinks – but its unique content posted on other sites, no tricks, no social media, no stumbles etc. I have the figures to prove that backlinks work – the figures in my bank account 🙂

    • Felicia February 4, 2011, 5:46 pm

      Hey Lissie,

      It seems that you and I are heading in the same direction, but chose two slightly different paths to get there. Glad to know that backlinks work well for you. Your passive income is very impressive!

  • William Tha Great February 6, 2011, 3:19 pm

    Hey Felicia,

    Thanks for an awesome article!

    Mannn do I love reading your content. I don’t always read everything people say sometimes I scan through, because I’m a fast reader. When I come to your blog I promise I read every single last word I don’t even read them fast! I think it’s because you don’t hold anything back, you just tell it how you see it! That’s also what I try to do and I think that’s why I love reading your blog! Besides the fact that your also an awesome writer. ( :

    I think you should just find what you like doing. If that is writing quality content then stick too it and work on making the most out of it. I love writing & back linking. I write way more than I back link though, because writing always comes first and I can write all day long! Just because it’s what I love most. I could never back link all day lol. I wouldn’t even dare try.

    Always do what makes you happiest and what you enjoy most, because it will only increase your motivation to continue persisting.

    Thanks again!

    God bless,
    William Veasley

    P.s your captcha code doesn’t always work correctly. You might find that using a different plugin might increase commentary. Many times I know I entered it in right cause I mean it’s only 4 characters, but it still tells me I did, so I know other people face the same problem. Hope that helps! ( :

    • Felicia February 7, 2011, 7:02 am

      Thanks for the comment and the heads up on the CAPTCHA. I guess the latest upgrade for the CAPTCHA isn’t working so well. I’ll look into it.

      • Alexander Mark May 18, 2011, 3:14 pm

        I think there’s a time-out from the time the reader loads the page – just a theory. It happens to me every time. Thankfully, when I forget to copy the text, it is still there when I go back.

  • Ira February 9, 2011, 7:54 pm

    Backlinking has a place for some, and no place for others. Personally, I don’t mind doing it, as long as the content I am creating is adding some value to the internet (don’t want to add more trash out there.. there’s enough of that already).

    Backlinking has been proven to work to increase traffic, but it’s become totally dependant upon where you place those links, now. And, to me, that’s a good thing. If I can find one high authority site to post on, or 100 no-authority sites, I’ll do the high authority every time 😉

    Beyond that, your own interlinking on the website has been proven to have a major effect on the link juice you’re getting from Google nowadays, and I think that’s more the way to go in the future.

  • Anna February 10, 2011, 8:47 pm

    I created a blog last June about earning money from home. For a few months, no one visited, but I kept steadily creating posts anyway. And guess what? People eventually found their way to my site. I rank on the first page of many search engines for keywords that I wasn’t trying to rank for. On my blog, I just write naturally and don’t worry about keywords. I started off with no visitors in June, and now I have between 150 to 200 hits per day. Maybe not very impressive numbers, but considering that I have built maybe two or three backlinks max to this blog, that’s not too bad! I feel like my content is helpful to people, and for this reason I have a lot of repeat visitors.

    I do think that backlinking helps if you put the time in, but I also agree with everyone else that if you write good, quality content that would be useful to people, the search engines will find you no matter what! It just might take a little longer that way.

  • Kay Koonce February 19, 2011, 1:35 pm

    First, let me thank you for this site. I am a real newbie to all of this and have found your site a great resource for how to work the business.

    2nd: What is backlinking? I have not heard this term before.

    3rd: I’ve been writing for textbroker for about 6 months now and have just started to write for suite 101. I’m reading from all these writers that they are making .50cents per article per month or a couple a thousand dollars a year and I am a bit shocked. I’m a single woman and MUST have a liveable income, Now, not 5 years from now. Is that possible? How?

    • Felicia February 20, 2011, 7:31 am

      Here’s an article that describes backlinking: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-backlink.htm

      As far as earning an income now with freelance writing, you’ll have to use the up front pay model. Residuals take a long time to mature. I don’t know if you downloaded my free ebook, but it gives a few of the online writing basics.

      Traditionally, online writing pays less than off line writing so if you need to make a decent income immediately, I would suggest that you learn about query letters and pitching ideas to print publications. In the meanwhile look for online sites that pay up front. Demand Media is one of the most popular.

      Since you’re new, I suggest that you spend some time reading writer blogs, searching writing job websites and learning more about the writing industry. The more you learn, the better you’ll be able to direct your writing career.

      • Kay Koonce February 20, 2011, 9:38 am

        Thank you Felicia, this is very helpful.

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