Che bap (Vietnamese corn pudding with tapioca pearls and coconut milk.
One of my college friends and I often joke about when we first met. We were in the same orientation and felt the other person might make a good friend, but without a class together, there was little opportunity to strike up a friendship. That didn't happen until the next semester, when the casual conversations in class eventually developed into friendship. She later told me she wanted to be friends that first day, but she thought asking, "Will you be my friend?" would have sounded lame.
Similarly, you don't want to ask if someone will link to you on their blog. It's actually considered bad blog etiquette. I always feel like when I say these things, I need to back it up with another blogger so that you won't think I just make this stuff up. So yes, while I've always felt this way, I'll defer this rule of blog etiquette to Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen. In her blog roll, Kalyn explains why she lists certain blogs such as whether they link to other blogs, if the blog is of interest to her, and if it's a blog that she tries to keep up with regularly. I think most bloggers share her philosophy.
Other than that, there's no rule about who or how many to list on your own blog roll.
My list changes from time to time as some blogs get abandoned or I stop reading their blogs or they stop reading mine or whatever other reason.
In the early days of blogging, etiquette required that you ask the blogger first if you can add them to your blog. That's no longer the case, so link away if you like something.
Some blogs have a separate page for the blog roll, some have it listed on the main page. That's a personal choice. I found lots of blogs by the links on the sidebar, and similarly a lot of people found my blog the same way. So I choose to keep my blog roll on my main page as a courtesy.
Blog rolls are certainly important in finding readers but they also reflect whether the blogger is interested in building connections. There are plenty of blogs where people just do their own thing. They post their recipes and reviews but don't have a blog roll or ever link to other blogs. They save their sidebars for links to their recipes and reviews. While I might know some of those bloggers personally, or they might even comment on my blog, I don't list them because they're not interested in being a part of the food blogging community.
Banh Mi Op La (Vietnamese French Bread with Sunnyside-Up Eggs.
I check in with lots of blogs and comment on blogs that aren't listed on my blog roll, but including a list of every blog is just too unwieldy. However, some bloggers do display extensive lists of lots and lots of blogs. Some bloggers kept the extensive list and moved the blog roll to another page. It's really up to you whether to have a blog roll on a separate page or on your main page and whether to link to everyone or just a few.
As for who gets on that list, again it's subjective. I've had requests for link exchanges ie. link to me and I'll link to you. I don't do that. Personally, my list contains blogs that I read regularly or that I have some affiliation -- blog friends (bloggers whom I've met or who regularly comment on my blog or who I know read me regularly), and blogs that I just enjoy and wish to share. I used to list everyone who linked to me, but then my list got longer and longer. Some of the bloggers who linked to me never or rarely commented on my blog. Then I figured, well, I shouldn't feel obligated to link to someone or to read their blog simply because they link to me. So now my list is more manageable, with blogs that I check in with on a regular or semi-regular basis.
If someone reads or comments regularly on my blog, and if they link to other blogs, then they eventually get listed. But I visit and comment on lots of blogs and don't expect them to link to me at all. I simply enjoyed reading the blog and had something to say.
All this discussion of blog rolls makes it sound like a high school popularity contest. Blah! List the blogs you like, don't feel obligated to link to someone just because they linked to you, and don't ask for someone to link to your blog or to engage in a link exchange. Also, don't ask for people to visit your blog either. I try to check out blogs of people who commented as a courtesy, but I don't always have time to do so, and I dislike being asked to do so. Join in the community, link to other blogs.
So who's on your blog roll and why? Do you think having a blog roll matters?
- How to Start a Food Blog
- On Blogging and Food Blogging
- Choosing a Blog Host
- Picking a Name: Be Clever, Original, and Memorable
- Posting: Frequency, Topics, and Accuracy
- Giving Credit: The Right Way to Link, Copyright, and "By," "Inspired," and "Adapted"
- Your Online Identity: Blogging Interactions and Comment Policies
- Photos: Photography Tips, Storage, and Watermarking
- Design: Layout, Navigation, and "Above the Fold"
- Blogrolling: Will You Be My Friend?
- Building Traffic: Participate in the Community and Respond to Your Stats
- Measuring Success: Cheerleader or Nerd?
- Public Relations: Handling the Freebies and the People
- Monetizing Your Hobby: To Ad or Not to Ad
- Bottomline: Have Fun, but Protect Your Work
1 year ago today, pesto pasta.