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Linking...The Mighty Little 7-Letter Word

by Marsha Robinett on 2/4/2010 11:24:27 AM

This post is by guest author, Marsha Robinett.  This article has been edited and published with the author's permission. You should submit an article and share your views as a guest author by clicking here.

I know some of you are aware of how links work on the internet. Yet, for others, it's just a complete mystery. If you are in the latter group, don't feel bad because we are going to change that here and now.

For most artists, the word 'links' refers to the Links Category on their navigation bar. Trust me, there is much more to this little word than what appears on the surface. You need to learn how to use links and how to make links work for you.

To keep it simple, think of it like this...'Links', (or hyperlinks) are nothing more than roads or pathways leading from one website to another or from one page to another page with in the same website. The internet is built on a series of pathways between sites. Links or 'roads' are seen on virtually every page on the internet, and when clicked will bring the visitor to a new page.

When a link takes the visitor away from your website, it's considered an Outbound Link. An Outbound link to another artist's website is an endorsement for that artist. It's an advertisement saying their work is inspiring or their articles are relevant to what you are writing about. An outbound link doesn't carry as much weight with Google for you as it does for the other artist. (because, for them it is an Inbound Link to their website)

The Links Category is a good example of Outbound Links.

All this being said...Out bound links can be an important part of improving the ranking of a page when they link to quality sites. My rule of thumb is if a sight contains good information that I think enhances what I have to offer the visitor then I will link to it. This type of linking adds value to your pages.

When another website links to youthese links are considered Inbound Links. Inbound links rank high with Search Engines. This is another artist saying "Hey, great portrait work here, or read this wonderful article on oil painting." This is a sought after heavily weighted link for you. This type of link will come if your art and your writing are high quality...but they come slowly over time.

So how do we get these desirable Inbound Links for ourselves?


One way would be to use the Links Category and ask for reciprocal links from the artists that you list on your links page. This isn't the best way to get Incoming Links (even at times considered annoying), but will work if handled with taste. Making your email interesting and complimentary will help, as does having the link from your website to theirs already in place.

These reciprocal links are not weighted as high as the single Inbound Link from another website...but it is, never the less, still an Inbound Link and can be important especially to the young website. Just remember, you don't need 50, a few good ones will do the job.

How about blog comments?  Did you know that every time you leave a comment on another person's  blog, you have the opportunity to leave an Inbound Link back to your website.  Understand, I said "You leave an Inbound Link"  How much easier can it get? 

Another way to get Inbound Links is to create what is called 'Incoming Deep links'. These are links created by you to relevant related pages within your own website. By linking to yourself you will not only take your visitors deeper into your website or blog but it will also help your pages rank higher with the search engines.

*The hyper links you place in your newsletter taking your readers back to your website to learn more about your latest painting or to your blog post about the new techniques you've discovered...these are Incoming Deep links.

*When you create a new blog post and link to an old blog post on a related subject...this is Incoming Deep Link.

*When you put your latest painting on your main page and link back to your artwork portfolio...this is also an Incoming Deep Link

Deep linking isn't a substitute for the coveted Inbound Links from other websites, but it will most certainly help. And the great thing about deep linking is, it makes your website easier to navigate and increases the page views per visit.

Remember these things

1. Links or (hyperlinks) are your friends. 

2. Use them well, and use them smart. 

3. Don't go wild (1-3) per page are enough (depending on article length) 

4. Link only to related articles or related sites

Get in there and just do it. Learn to run with the big dogs...what works for the popular established websites will work for you. See you at the finish line.

Related Posts:

A Look At Links

6 Rules for Navigation Links on Your Website

Please Let Me Link to Your Artwork, Please?

Web Traffic Driver Idea #2: Cross-Link with Other Artists

Web Traffic Driver Idea #1: Review the Work of Another Artist

How Would You Promote Your Site if Google Didn't Exist?

FASO: Want Your Art Career to Grow?  Set up an Artist Website with FASO.
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InformedCollector: Free daily briefs about today's finest artists in your inbox.

BoldBrush Contest: Monthly Online Painting Contest with over $17,068 in awards. 

Daily Art Show: Daily Show of Art that reaches thousands of potential collectors.

Backstory: About Clint. Email EditorTwitter. Republish. ]

Topics: artist website tips

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Clint Watson
This is a test please ignore.

Fay Terry
I was in the "it's just a complete mystery" category until I read your article, Marsha. I feel as if I have taken a big leap in making my website work for me. Thanks!

Leslie Saeta
Great article! My only comment is don't be intimidated! If you visit other blogs regularly and make comments then you will create traffic (and links) to your site. It works, I promise!

Clint Watson
This article has good information, however, one little wrinkle. Leaving comments on blogs does indeed create inbound links. However, most blogs add a NOFOLLOW tag to those links. So, while commenting on a blog might interest HUMANS reading your comment (and that is the most valuable thing), it likely won't help you a whole bunch with search engine rankings. NOFOLLOW was developed by search engines so that site owners could tell them essentially "I can't vouch for this link, so don't pass any search engine rankings though it." Since most site owners can't vouch for links left in comments....the add NOFOLLOW (me included), after all I don't want to pass any link juice to

Esther J. Williams
Marsha, just when I thought I knew everything, I see the last paragraph of yours about Incoming Deep Links. Now I have to change some things on my website to a great advantage thanks to you.
I have been fully aware of Inbound Links and Google shows how prolific I am commenting on blogs. You can also see the website source on the Data Statistics of your FASO website when people visit your site through those comment links. It does bring in traffic to your site. If we only knew the thoughts of the visitors now...hmmm It might help to comment on the blogs of the rich and famous frequented sites to get some buyers to visit! Where are those blogs, I wonder?

Charlotte Herczfeld
Thank you Marsha, and Clint, for taking the mystery out of this!

I'd love to learn about tags, metatags, too. They're an even bigger mystery. Anyone second that?

Clint Watson
Charlotte - metatags are not of any value anymore for search engine rankings - spammers ruined them.

Charlotte Herczfeld
Thanks Clint, that was good to know, as people still do go on about them. What a relief to not need to learn more "Geek". :-) Thank you for taking such good care of us who'd rather be in the studio!

Oh, I like these alternating colours, makes it easier to separate the comments!

Clint Watson
Charlotte - yeah the alternating colors need work to be better colors - but this is something we're about to roll out on all fav blogs....along with other #evilplans

Clint Watson
We will be prettying this site up but we made a major change today (don't know if anyone noticed) - this blog is now at instead of - since it's a group blog that seemed more appropriate (and better for search engines to have all the links going to one place).

Brad Sears
Great post - thanks! As a once - and perhaps future - IT guy, I can vouch for the Keep It Simple principle, especially regarding Deep Links.

linda wilder
Very informative Marsha. I had 700 percent increase in visiters to my website in one day ( are these called inbound links?)due to Informed collector, thanks Clint.It makes me realize ( without being a nuisance)how important it is leaving links on all your sites and correspondence, as well as clicking on links and leaving comments can help to increase your traffic.

linda wilder
And while I'm here,sorry to divert from topic, I need some advice on creating an exciting FASO newsletter. How do I get and use a template? do I change font sizes and colors? Any Tips from anyone who has used the newsletter? I've only sent one out before and it was pretty bland and I had trouble putting picture where I wanted them to be. Thanks

Lorraine Khachatourians
Thanks for this information on links. I hadn't thought about the deep inbound links idea. I do it occasionally, but now will remember to be more mindful about using that technique. I always think about links at the strands of the web, taking us from one point of contact to another.

Hey Marsha,
Way to go, good article!
I would guess that I've read it all before, but not nearly as clear as that.
Sometimes when one right brained person get their brain wrapped around a concept, and then shares it with all the other right brained people out here, it just becomes so much easier! Thanks!
Later, Cooper
Ps: I got my first art-chain-mail yesterday :) Yay!

Esther J. Williams
Linda, I was online somewhere a few weeks ago and read an article on what to say about writing exciting, readable content for newsletters. I really liked the advice too. Now I don`t remember where it was from. Maybe it was Alyson`s advice? Clint`s advice in the Newsletter System on FASO? Anyone else know? Clint does have a template under Marketing and the Newsletter System.
I wrote some notes down, some of these are my own:

Be personal-tell a personal story on your art, introduce yourself, Hello, this is (name). I will be emailing these newsletters once a month, twice a month, once a quarter. Show your latest works, tell a schedule about upcoming art events. After you get started typing, you can`t stop, so editing will be necessary to keep it one page.
There`s more, but I have to sign off, I am supposed to be finishing a painting, exhibition entry deadline is tomorrow.

linda wilder
Thanks Esther,
Maybe this would be a good topic for a future post. I'm going try a test one right now so I list my questions.

Maria Soto Robbins
Great post, Marsha! I have a question and I'm perplexed because you state "When you create a new blog post and link to an old blog post on a related subject...this is Incoming Deep Link." Ok, I get that however my "blogger" blog doesn't recognize individual posts. Do you know how I can change that in blogger?
Any help would be appreciated!

Stephen Magsig
Thanks for great blog and linking information and deep links info.

Sue Martin
Thank you, Marsha, for clearing up some mysteries for me. I enjoy reading others' blogs and leaving comments. However, sometimes I have difficulty clearing their "spam filter," so that it accepts my comment. Often it calls for an "id," URL, Google ID, etc. I have trouble remembering what I've used in the past to sign in. Anyway, does anyone have a suggestion for the easiest way through that maze?

Marsha Robinett
Wow, just checking in...glad so many of you found this article enlightening. I will try to check back in later to "catch up" on a few of your questions.

But for now, Maria you can get the individual blog post address to use in your link by clicking on the blog scroll down, you will notice that post is the only one on the page and the address for that post is in the address bar. "Grab the Address" and you are on your way.

By the way, this is also how you 'grab' the address of a single blog post on your FASO blog.

Carol Schmauder
Wow. I am always amazed at the things I am learning by reading these posts. I never realized you could do "deep linking". I am going to give this a try. Thanks Marsha!

Sharon Weaver
Glad to see the link mystery labeled and explained so easily. I try to link blog to website to specific paintings and now the idea of linking same subject blogs is also a great idea.

Judy Mudd
Wonderful information here. Shows me I need to get to linking more, especially the deep links. This practical information is priceless and so hard to find. We artists aren't usually "techy" and don't want to spend a lot of time working on the technical aspects of our sites, but this simple, straight-forward information can be so helpful and easy to do. Thank you for sharing!

Teddy Jackson
Hi Marsha:
Thank you so much for the timely and informative article. I shall certainly try these tips.

It is wonderful to benefit so much from these great articles and the shared experiences of others.

I appreciate all of the terrific guest authors and the folks at FASO. What a team!!!!
Thanks again,

Olivia Alexander
Thanks Marsha,
the mud is slowly clearing! There seems to be so much to learn, I appreciate someone taking the time to explain these things to us newbies!

Debra Russell
I always wondered why those "deep links" where on a persons blog and web page. Now that Marsha explained it, I'll have to try it on mine! Thanks for the layman's explanation of this.

Marsha Robinett
Linda Wilder,
You ask, "I had 700 percent increase in visitors to my website in one day (are these called inbound links?)due to Informed collector?"

I'm sorry, but these are 'visits', not links. However, this increase in visitors was due to the outgoing link to your website that appeared in the Informed Collector. This is a perfect example of how an outgoing link on one site becomes an incoming link on another:)

As for your question about newsletters. Our support staff would be more than happy to address those and I have opened a support ticket for you..answers should arrive soon.
Sue Martin,
Your question about commenting on Blogger blogs...clicking on Name/URL will give you the fields for your name and the url address to your own blog or website. Be sure to add both.

This should get your comment posted:)
================= glad you found the article about Links so helpful. The deep linking that I've done has proven to drive visitors further into my site. They look at more pages and view more images. It really does work.

As Brad said..Keep it simple.

Too many links in a short post can dilute their importance.

linda wilder
Marsha, I have recieved the email from the support staff and I am very appreciative. You've been a tremendous help and I thank-you.

Fay Terry
Two things-both off topic.
Esther, I am so happy to know that someone else is still painting the day before an entry exhibition deadline. I find myself in that situation almost every time I enter something.
Also, how do you end up having a photo with your comment? It's nice to see faces or artwork with the comments.
Can anyone tell me how to do this?

Mary Ahern
I sometimes feel shy about posting a comment on someone's blog. This information will spur me on to be a larger part of the interactivity of the web.


Debra Russell
Marsha, maybe you could do a post about the question of the newsletter that Linda posted. Or just have the support staff forward their email on to me !

Kelly Fitzgerald
I just recently signed up to receive the FineArtViews Newsletter, and I have to say ... I am really enjoying them. Very informative. A good read with my morning coffee. Thanks so much! :o)

Teddy Jackson
Hi Fay:
I think the photos that are posted with our comments are pulled from the Artist Bio page of our FASO website.
Just a guess. I did nothing special to have the photo arrear. Hopefully, someone will confirm.

Teddy Jackson
Welcome aboard. This is the greatest web service and information bureau ever. And, we get to meet wonderful artists from all over in the comfort of our own studio.
How could we ask for more.
If you need help it is just email or a call away.

Esther J. Williams
Fay, I seem to push things until the last minute and by some principle, I always manage to meet the deadline. I think it`s the suspense that drives me. Isn`t that the truth? Anyway, I finished it and now have to shoot images to a CD and ship it off today.
On your avatar (small profile image) for the blog comments, here`s what you do:
Save an image that you want in jpeg, go to Control Panel in your FASO logon. Go to the little camera icon at the top menu bar called Images other than artwork. Upload the photo and title it with your name. Go to the Edit Category page. Click on your About the Artist category, in the next page you will see near the top of the page in bold, Edit Focal Point Data, BETA. Click on that and go to the bar Photo of Artist, select your titled image of yourself that you just uploaded and save the changes. This image won`t trump the image you placed in the Artist Bio section, I have another image of myself in that area with my bio story.

It took me awhile to figure this out, someone else gave me the instructions once and I forgot how I did it. I just wrote them down this time.
Onward to more artwork image editing now!

Teddy Jackson
Hi Esther and Fay:
Thanks for the information. I was just lucky to get the right image from my bio page, so this is very helpful.
Thanks again.

Marsha Robinett
Mary Allen,
I understand being shy or intimidated about posting comments but don't be...bloggers love comments and as you've learned your comments leave an incoming link to you. The more you do it, the more fun it will be.

Kelly Fitzgerald,
A hearty welcome...I'm sure you will enjoy this little group of artists and learn much.

Debra Russell,
I do have an article on the editors desk about sending newsletters but not sure when the article will be published. I will open a support ticket and send you a bit of information later today.

Teddy, Esther, and Fay:
Hey three are pretty good a Tech Support. Pretty good answers.

Just going to add a bit here..the picture that appears when you post a comment, this can come from the photo you have uploaded to your Focal Point page or your About the Artist page (if you use the Picture 1 dropdown).

You will see the Edit Focal Point link at the top of your About The Artist edit page in your control panel.

If you have a photo uploaded to both your bio page (using the Picture 1 dropdown) and your Focal Point will default to the Focal Point Page photo.

If you upload a photo of yourself ONLY to your bio page (in the text area) our software will not pick up that photo as your avatar and there will be a blank box. You must use the Picture 1 drop down or upload the image to your Focal Point page.

Hope this helps...if it is still just clear as mud, let me know and I will give it another shot.

Donald Smith

Thank you for sharing the information about "links." I already do some of what you suggested, I just wasn't familiar with the terminology.

I did learn a few tips that I need to employ on my web page.

Thanks again,

Terry Krysak
Great article Marsha, and the linking to posts we have already written on our blogs is a good reminder.

To answer Fay Terry's question, if you sign up at for free, post your photo, then your avatar (photo) will show on blogs that have the avatar feature turned on.

Charlotte Herczfeld
Marsha, one more question -- is checkmarking 'related blogposts' as good as paste-n-copy the url for that blogpost?

Would it be an idea to have a cross-link from a picture of a painting in 'Works' to the blog-post about it? You know, the 'blog this artwork', that works so smoothly, could it link from the picture to the blogpost, for ppl to click on? The comments area doesn't make links out of urls. Would be nice to have: "click to read more about this artwork".

(OK, that was two questions... :-)

Ruth Housley
This information that Marsha wrote on linking is very good information and when she has something on her blog it is very good reading.
Ruth Housley

Marsha Robinett
Actually I would do both. The 'related blogposts' don't appear on the blog main page..only after clicking 'Comment on or Share this Article >>'.

Adding links to the actual text ares may get them deeper into your website when they dont feel they wish to comment. If they don't click on 'Comment on or Share this Article >>', they wont see the additional links.

Glad you enjoyed the article on Links and thanks for the 'plug' about my blog.

Lee McVey

Thanks for a great article, especially the deep links info. I found the questions and your answers in the responses to your article to be just as helpful as your article.

Carole Rodrigue
Brilliant! And yes, I do understand much more now. I'm bookmarking this article. Thanks so much for the valuable information Marsha!

Carol Schmauder
Hi Marsha, I tried to create incoming deep links on my web site and it didn't seem to work. Can you elaborate a little on how to do this? Thank you for any info you can give me. No hurry as I know you are very busy.

Marsha Robinett
Sorry creating deep links has been confusing for you. Trust me, once you learn how, it will become second nature.

Since my instructions would be specific to FASO customers I will send some instructions to you in a support ticket and follow up with a phone call later today.

Esther J. Williams
Marsha, can you send that deep link info to me also? I tried to get my main page image to link to the page on my website where the price and description is. I used the the main page image selection area below the large text entering window and it does not allow you to link that. Only if I place the image in the large window will I be able to deep link it.
Help will be appreciated. Thanks, Esther

Marsha Robinett
You can add a link back to your portfolio page whether you add your image to the text area of your main page or from the drop down main page image selection. You simply need to add some appropriate text to link with to the text area of the page.

I will send some instructions to you later this afternoon.

Carol Schmauder
Thanks Marsha, I am not very computer savvy in some areas. Your help is appreciated.

Diane Tasselmyer

Thanks Marsha for a great article.
I was a bit shocked to find out about the NO FOLLOW stuff. I mean it all makes sense.

Does anyone use the "LinkWithin" service that uses your thumbnails at the end of a post to supply links to previous posts?

Teddy Jackson
Hi Marsha:
Your instructions were very helpful. I was able to add deep links to my website. So sorry I missed your call.
You are terrific.

Marsha Robinett
I'm familiar with 'Link Within' and use it on my Google blog. What it does works well. I'm not sure it can be used on your FASO blog but will check into this for you.

However I don't feel this would trump the standard deep link that you create to articles or back to your website portfolio. It is just one more tool available.

Joanne Bernardini
Thank you for making a difficult concept so easy to understand!

Ruth Housley
Hi Marsha,
Could you send me some information about all that linking that you wrote the article about in the Fine Art Newsletter that Clint puts out. I would appreciate it and I know I need to do more for my website.
Ruth Housley

Marsha Robinett
So glad you found the article easy to understand and useful...linking is an important and easy to implement marketing strategy once you understand the concept.

I would be happy to send you some linking advise specific for your website. I will take a look first chance I get and get that information to you via email.

Joanne Bernardini
Marsha, Please take a look at my site too! I would welcome your input on how to make it better!

Marsha Robinett
I took a look at your website and you are using links quite nicely. I noticed you are linking to your various image collections on your main page and linking back to your collections from your blog. Good job.

Diane Tasselmyer
Marsha, I am keeping this blog post where I can be reminded of it.
My blog has been through trouble the past 8 weeks (blogger blog not FASO) and I am now just beginning to get back to creating the content correctly. PROPER LINKING is big on my list.

thanks again

Spencer Meagher
Good article. I find that most artists are not technical people, they are creative. It always helps to have someone break down difficult subjects so that I can understand them.

Barb Stachow
Do all websites allow links to be used on them? I use because of the nature of it, being free, maybe this is the key to not being able to use links. Thanks for the info.

Marsha Robinett wrote a column in February
about linking. I have kept this and reread
it several times as it was excellent. Some
good ideas in it and the internet is so
important in marketing that one must know
how to use it to build a business in this

Thanks for some good ideas and also I like
your art work. The silver on your home
page is beautifully done.

max hulse
Marsha You wrote an article re: linking
in February and I have kept it and read it
several times as it is excellent. I cannot
absorb all of it as I am not very proficient
on this computer, but I am trying to learn.

Also I recognize your name as sending support
messages to me on several occasions that were
very helpful.

So you are a good writer, good artist, and good
support person. A lady of many talents!!
Max Hulse


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