Monday, May 12, 2008

Making Linking Work Better

In all link exchanges, I recommend that you keep a "link library," so that you can justify requesting that a promised link be shown to you via its URL. Youcan record the date you delivered on a promised link and where, and use this information to ask about links that don't show up as promised.

Keep the library as a desktop text file or on a blank web page or wherever, but do keep it.

My estimate is 90 - 95% of links promised are not delivered, but I am still refining that number. Then you do get some out of the blue, which help. I think mega-linkers, like me, get less follow-up than friends and people who sense they will see each other again soon.

Especially useful are moderately related sites. My strip and blog get good traffic from a site about a rare cat, a site about making masks and a site specializing in horror nostalgia. Keep in mind, my main strip is furry/funny and my blog is strictly web comics. The reason those other sites work is that I am the only web comic they mention, and for some people, seeing their first web comic is worth a click.

I also encountered a question today from a web comic creator who felt dead email links don't matter because readers don't send much email. I take pains to explain to one and all that email is primarily for media and publicity. You may miss out on a contest, award, review, interview, request to display art or other goodie with a bright, shiny email button on your home page.

The number of comics I have skipped for stories, quotes or review because they had no easily found email is roughly between 50 and 80.

With a sense of humor, I created a site to track sites that overlook important details like email, and it gets nothing but fan mail. Not one angry letter. Just this morning we moved someone from the "bad" list to the"good" list when they wrote in to report they had noted our site's comments and made changes to their email, which they decided to put in a very prominent place: top of page, at center, bright red.

For anyone still without the address: Klink, You Idiot.