As I’ve mentioned before, one of the best ways to build relationships online is using a combination of three strategies: 1) Comments 2) Links and 3) Contact. I’ve promised my readers I’d get more into this Personal PR strategy, and what better time than Brian’s recent Copyblogger headline remix challenge? So without further ado, we’ll dig right in.

Here are 27 secrets to linking that will help you build lasting relationships, increase your Personal PR, expand your network, and increase your presence online.

1. Link out in every post.

2. Always read before you link to make sure you’re putting the blogger’s ideas in context. It’s easier to build relationships when you’re demonstrating that you’ve actually read someone’s ideas and aren’t just linking for the heck of it.

3. Link to those you like.

4. Send trackbacks to posts of blogs that require them so they will show up on the blogger’s post.

5. Encourage other people to link to your posts by tagging them in bookmarking sites such as, StumbleUpon and Digg. And encourage other people to tag your posts by making it easy on your own blog.

6. Add other bloggers to best-of lists or nominate them for awards. In blogging, everyone likes recognition, especially in the form of links, but many dislike tooting their own horn. Get links for other people, tell them about it, and you’ll likely gain a new member of your network.

7. Hat tip bloggers you’ve borrowed links or ideas from. If you don’t play nice by giving credit online, it can really mess up your Personal PR. Especially if someone writes a nasty post about it. (Hat Tip: Penelope)

8. Link to yourself in every post. It will lead readers to your related content, demonstrate your breadth of ideas on the topic, and help you form relationships through those ideas.

9. When you’ve written a really great comment on a popular post, link to it. Even quote your comment, or expand on it in your post itself. You’ll promote the other blog while at the same time showcasing your ideas.

10. Try linkbait. It might work. It might not.

11. Consider linking to specific, related posts in the website section of a comment form so that readers will be taken directly to relevant content.

12. Realize that every post is an opportunity to build a new relationship by linking out to someone new.

13. Have a special section for of your blog to link to bloggers you have a relationship with – could be your bloggroll, a page, or an ongoing series. Whatever works for you.

14. Link (kindly) to people you openly dislike. Adding uncritical links to those you don’t like will show that you’re professional and personable. You never know, you might just turn a foe into a friend. If not, at least you’re taking the high road.

15. Use the less-is-more approach to your post. Drop in a few really powerful links and consider your job done. You don’t want to give readers too many reasons to leave your blog.

16. Link to as many relevant sources and ideas as possible. Show your broad understanding and extensive research on a subject by littering posts with links. People aren’t going to stay on your blog forever anyway. And they might not even be reading it from your site, so don’t worry about it.

17. In a really good post, link to an aspirational contact – someone you’d like to add to your network. You never know, they might just pay attention and link back to you.

18. Link to research, studies, statistics. Credibility is an important way to build trust, a critical component in establishing relationships.

19. Every once in a while, highlight your favorite blogs in a special post or series.

20. Link to top commentators. It will encourage conversation in the comment sections of your posts and reward those who are frequently chiming in. (I need to get that plugin installed myself so I can follow my own advice here! Update: Done!)

21. Link to people you disagree with (even openly). It will show you’re well-read, well-rounded, and don’t take things personally.

22. Be the first to link to a brand-new blog. If they’re worth their salt, they’ll see you as a valued personal advocate, and you’ll have a lifelong contact.

23. Link to other bloggers when you guest post at a high-profile blog. It’s a better strategy than linking only to yourself. When you link to your favorite bloggers in a guest post, they’ll get trickle-down traffic and appreciate the boost.

24. Be the first to link to a top blogger’s post so you’ll rank high in the comments section and get trickle-down traffic.

25. Link to old posts on your favorite blogs. Top bloggers get a lot of links and trackbacks, and many don’t have time to check all backlinks on hot posts. But link to a six-month old piece and they just might notice.

26. Join the link love bandwagon and share your favorite links, bloggers and sources each day, week, or month.

27. Remember that links are a form of currency in blogging. They can increase authority, promote content, and most importantly, help build relationships. Share the links first, and people will start linking back to you.

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