In some sense, we are all in the business of attracting attention, everyone wants their posts to be read. If you attract attention to your post, and then get people to read it, then you maximize your impact. That is, you satisfy yourself, and you satisfy your readers. A win/win situation.
So here is why I don’t read posts that depend mostly upon links. Here is why I prefer, and push, for the whole post to be in one place, whether it is a review, blog, or whatever.
If you want a lot of LJ’s to read your post, consider the following:
1) READERS ARE CUSTOMERS
Wouldn’t you rather see the whole post in one place? It is simpler to read, allows for quick comparison with other posts, etc. In other words, I am in some sense your customer. Always imagine yourself in the customer’s place. It is an axiom of good service.
2) KNOW YOUR CUSTOMERS.
I am not just reading, I am looking for interaction with fellow LJ’s. I am pretty typical, I think. It is a significant part of my relaxed socializing each day. If your post takes me away from LJ’s, then it interrupts what I came here for. In other words, I don’t just want to read your post. I want to read the comments, because many of them will be my buddies and online friends. Then we strike up a conversation within the comments.
I can only read a limited number of postings each day. I almost never read posts dependent on links, it takes too much of my time and the post has a much reduced chance of being useful in the short and the long term (see below). In other words, in the competition for my time, link dependent posts are relegated to the bottom of my priorities, and are almost never read.
Sometimes I run across reviews and blog items a couple of years old or so that I find useful, and additional comments may even be made by me and others. The older the post, the more likely that any link will be broken. If the link contains the substance of the post, then the post is lost. In other words, there is more mechanical integrity to the post if it does not depend on links.
5) MAXIMIZE IMPACT
What do LJ’s pay attention to? It varies, but when posts are truly informative, well written, lots of pictures, and lots of comments, then they ‘go viral’.
A well written post flows. Links break up the flow. You lose the train of the thought. When I find a link is integral to the post, I usually just move on to something else. There are a zillion posts on LJ’s each day. If yours are going to be read, then they should read well.
6) MAKE INTERACTION EASY AND INTUITIVE
When the post is broken up by links, then where do I make the comments? Are most of the comments going to the linked site? In other words, you are almost guaranteeing that the content is fragmented and the impact is compromised if it depends on links.
7) COMMENTS ENHANCE AND VALIDATE THE POST
Some of the best information is contained in the interplay between the commenters. A comment may bring to mind something in another commenter’s experience. And the comments are subject to critical scrutiny by others reading, and making comments. Some of the most important information on this site is in the threads that are generated by a post, which in and of itself, may not be as important.
Marketing is something we all do in some way, almost every day of our lives. But it is a large complex discipline.
As a hobbyist, if you write good posts that are enjoyable and informative, I will probably try to read all your posts, because I will learn that I can expect to find my time well spent.
If you are on LJ’s trying to generate business, you are probably competing with a couple of thousand woodworking businessman, I suspect. It takes a lot of work to stand out from the crowd. You have to give us value, make your posts interesting, and you have to get us to trust you. I don’t know if you really can generate business on this site, but there are some LJ’s that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to my friends.
But they have earned that trust the hard way.
(Most of this is blog entry was extracted from a comment to another post. That post was mostly just a link….....
But after I moaned and groaned….......the link was replaced by the complete text….........)
-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska