How important are blogrolls?
By: Jennine Jacob

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They can be a lot of work, and at times quite political…

Some blogs have extensive lists of all kinds of blogs all over the globe. Some blogs have just a few neatly tucked away. Some blogs don’t have them at all and it seems that blogrolls loosing their popularity amongst more prominent bloggers…

However, time and time again, I’ve heard people tell me that they found me through someone’s blogroll. And I can’t help but to think of all the blogs I found through other people’s blogrolls. In fact, when I am looking for quality blogs, the first thing I do (after reading their content) is click through their blogroll.

There are blogs that are immensely popular, and don’t have blog rolls… there are ones that do, like Style Bubble and the old Style Bytes that took the time to add blogs. Their great content was enough to keep you coming back, but in a way, I think the fact that they were so open to adding new blogs is ONE of the things that made a more loyal community, I mean just look at the out pour of concern when StyleBytes went MIA.

I’m not saying that you should expect everyone you link to to return the favor, but on the other hand, if a blog includes you on their list, does that affect how you feel about them? If someone pays you a compliment, are you more apt to like them? If you reach out to someone, and they ignore you, are you still willing to be loyal to them?

This morning I asked this question on Twitter:

If a blogger won’t add you to their blogroll, would you still read their blog/link/comment/subscribe? How important is it to you?

blogroll

I also got some interesting comments on Facebook:

Would these thoughts change the way you build your community?

So, instead of asking how you keep your own blog roll… I’d like to turn this around and ask… how you feel when you are included on other people’s blogs? And when you’re not? Are you as likely to read, comment, link  to them?

Resources:

To Blogroll or Not To Blogroll

The Importance of a Blogroll

Should I have a blogroll on my blog?

Blogroll and Google

WTF Blog Clutter: Out of Control Blogrolls

Comments

  1. Fenke says:

    i try to not let that be an issue.

    by saying “I try” i mean of course: it does bother me. most of the time, when i find out about someone linking to me, i link back. i hate getting e-mails though… like “hey will you add my blog to your blogroll?” it has to be more natural.

  2. I think it is a lot about updating the list. I’m totally open to linking anyone with a style blog who links me, and sometimes I do notice someone has linked me and I should link them–but at that point I’m usually occupied with my google reader or bloglovin list, then forget. :/ When I do update it, I always throw out a call on twitter to see if anyone wants on, since I reciprocate any follow from a fellow style-blogger. Maybe I should make a post the way Susie Bubble does…

  3. Trace says:

    Very interesting topic. I’m a newbie blogger and have been wondering about blogrolls, as I just got added to one for the first time yesterday! I told the other blogger that I don’t have a blogroll quite yet since I’m so new, but that I’d like to add her when I do develop one. I’m trying to figure out exactly how I’ll handle linking as I continue to grow. Looking forward to reading the responses.

  4. It’s very important to me as a newbie…I’m trying to get my blog out there and recognized. It’s hard when there’s so many popular blogs out there already. How can you compete? People can’t spend all day looking at blogs. All I know is that you’re on mine, so hopefully you can put me on yours.

  5. lisa says:

    Interesting topic. I’ve seen some instances of bloggers using “form comments” and copying and pasting the same flattering words on tens of blogs asking for link exchanges. That’s really not my thing. If I link up to someone, it’s someone whom I’ve taken the time to read and still follow on an ongoing basis. Sometimes, though, I do have a slip-up and subscribe and comment but forget to update my blogroll.

  6. to address what “the fashion guru” said about how one gets noticed when there are so many fashion blogs out there: good, original, innovative content that gets people talking. something different than what others are doing. what “good” is is something up for debate, of course…but i think the key word is “different”. you have to find a way to differentiate, to have your own origial voice, and do it better than anyone else out there.

    blogrolls are ok, they may get someone to your blog, but they won’t make them stay. what keeps someone coming back, and telling their friends (in their own blogs) is the aforementioned good content. i think links to other blogs in posts are, in general, more valuable than links in blogrolls. when someone links to you in the context of a post, they are vouching for you, drawing attention to you, intriguing others to follow and find out what the fuss (positive or negative) is about.

    i rarely click on the blogs in others blogrolls…but i *do* click on links to others blogs in the context of a post that someone has written. i think it’s nice to be mentioned in someone’s blog roll, of course, but i am not offended if i am not. it really doesn’t matter to me. i’d rather focus on content, on making that content great. if people read, great. if they don’t, it’s ok too.

    i am terrible at keeping up with the blogroll on my site. i have a limited amount of typing time at the computer (one handed typing with baby, whee!) and i’m spread thin as it is, so maintaining a blogroll is of lowest priority for me.

    when people ask me to be added to my blogroll, i usually don’t add them, unless they seem interesting and have content i want to read on a regular basis. they have to be someone i would recommend to others wholeheartedly. i don’t want to list anyone i wouldn’t read myself…i want to recommend whom i really love. perhaps that seems somehow mean, but it keeps it handle-able and honest for me.

  7. catherine says:

    (Former) StyleBytes is how I found all you lovely fashion bloggers. I didn’t really know the fashion blogging world existed until I saw her blogroll. So when Lauren and I began AsianCajuns, I was not against have looong blogrolls – especially the fashion blog lists. There are just too many great blogs out there to pick and choose from.

    I usually try not to take it personally if our blog isn’t listed on someone else’s blog. I know I’m guilty of thinking I have someone linked and then realize months later that they’re not listed on my blog. I feel horrible that someone might have taken my slip-up personally. And if blogs are anything, they’re personal.

    I think you said it best. We bloggers should all support each other!

  8. WendyB says:

    I think it’s rather arrogant not to have a blog roll.

  9. Songy says:

    I’m easy with my roll. I add those who request. I read those which are not in my roll. If blog is interesting, I keep going back and read I don’t ask to be added etc…. it’s quite awesome when these famous bloggers add mine to their roll when not asked. :)

  10. Jennine says:

    wow, thanks for all the great comments!

    @fenke yeah, i hate that too… generally, if i’ve never heard from that person, they’ve never commented, if they don’t address me by name ( I ignore all, ‘hey blogger’ or ‘dear webmaster’ emails) or if their site has no relevance to my blog, otherwise, i too try, it’s hard to keep up sometimes.

    @annie, i saw stylebubble’s post too, and i thougth for a moment that she might be crazy, but then it seemed like a good idea. i think i’ll try it too.

    @thefashionguru…. maybe instead of trying for all the ‘big bloggers’ try networking with some of the bloggers who are in the same boat as you. i know some of the big players when i started are no longer around, and some of the other newbies i started with have become well established besides it helps to build stronger connections since you’re going through the same thing.

    @tricia… i’m just happy you’re making your way back from your break! but yeah, i’ve gone through periods where i neglected my blogroll… and I dont’ go looking for new blogs as much as I used to (i’m reading too many already) but everyone has a different strategy… like you get lots of exposure to new bloggers because you run wardrobe remix, and basically everyone with a style blog posts there (i think it’s the best WAYW group) and while blogrolls aren’t the only way to find new blogs… it’s certainly one of them.

    @catherine…oh yeah, i’m glad i’m not the only one taking blog cues from stylebytes! i found so many blogs from her site, it was really a great resource. and i know i’ve been guilty of not adding someone who’s linked to me, but i think i’m going to try harder with this…

    @wendy… yeah, i think so too. some bloggers can get away with it, but they have to have extraordinary content that is helpful to me in a concrete way, otherwise….

    @songy… there is nothing wrong with asking. in fact, it’s good to reach out to other bloggers, as you do… i think most of the time we all get busy putting together posts, that blogrolls just slip through the cracks. a little reminder is never a bad thing.

  11. Mary says:

    I only add blogs I do read and do favorite in my blogroll, so it’s rather short – but I favor a well edited blogroll with lesser entries from a extensive one.. I’d never expect someone to link back to me, just because I link them – but if they do, I take it as a compliment

    I don’t like to be asked, despite with stilinberlin’s streetstyle list where I include everyone who asks, because it aims to be a complete list – and I HATE things like: I’ll link you if you link back…

    I think of blogrolls as a quality tool, not quantity

  12. I haven’t had a blog roll since I started, but I’ve always wanted one ( Tumblr is so non-standard, has weird RSS feeds, no blog roll and no commenting! I should’ve never used it for the Market Publique blog, it’s just not for that. )

    That being said, I am going to have a blog roll when we move to our new platform, and I plan to add the blogs I read and love and anyone who also links me, plus any bloggers who request it and whose blog I like and think is relevant to my readership. I think it’s important to build a solid, friendly community, and blog rolls are an easy way to do it.

    Yesterday I reached out to see who wanted to be on it. Not a ton of people at all, but I did get 2 bloggers who I know read me, and whom I read, and that is very satisfying.

  13. Jennine says:

    @mary.. hmm… interesting… thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    @market… i didn’t see that… but i just replied! i know tumblr is good for somethings, but i can totally see MP growing out of it. I cant wait to see what you guys are planning!

  14. Leah says:

    If someone adds me to their blogroll, I am usually extremely flattered because it means they liked what I rambled about enough to read it! If I in turn like their blog, I’ll usually add it to my “roll”. I have to admit to being easily swayed by a well-designed blog, but content is always the big one. Interesting, thoughtful, unique content is difficult to make, but that’s what brings people back at the end of the day.

    In blogging, people relate to people and unique content comes from a person. Like Tricia, I do think a link in a post is usually much more valuable in more ways than links elsewhere on a blog. It’s difficult to get links on blogrolls, especially on the more well-established blogs who are really much more free to pick & choose who they link to, but it’s doubly difficult to get links in a post from a bigger blog. And really, that’s where content comes in because if you write a post worth linking to, people will be more likely link to it. The blogroll is important certainly and I occasionally like to just blog surf from one to another using the blogroll, but in terms of getting offended if someone doesn’t link back to me from a blogroll, I usually don’t. A great blog takes time and effort to build and wasting time getting offended by small things like that is pointless. At least, that is my way of thinking!

  15. I just add blogs I like and follow to my blogroll, and don’t care whether the bloggers add my blog(s) back, because a) most of them are way bigger than me so I wouldn’t expect them to and b) I don’t have time to check up on it really!

    I don’t add blogs to my blogroll just because they added mine, because if I did I’d be linking to a load of spam blogs and free content re-posters.

  16. Nicole says:

    It’s super interesting to see what other people think. I add blogs that I like to read and hope and pray that someone will eventual put me on their blog roll. One has–some notes on napkins! Yea!

  17. Mia says:

    I´ve seen my blogroll as a collection of blogs I like to read. I´m not very crazy about Google reader and so I keep looking on my own blog to check up with the others.
    On the other hand my policy in my blogroll is “I keep you, you keep me!”. I´ll drop other bloggers if they don´t return the linking. Of course I made an exception with The Sartorialist ^^ (and other very famous bloggers)

What do you think?