Masthead CMC Magazine / May 1, 1996
 Lessons Learned From Becoming a Self-Publisher on the Web, by David Strom

Get Linked In

The best way to get the word out is for others to provide links on their Web sites back to yours. This goes against the grain of most of my initial instincts as a self-publisher: after all, aren't all Web sites just technological vanity presses? (I don't really want you to answer that question.) Yes, on my site as on others I have my page of favorite links going outbound (and try as I might, many of these links are sometimes broken, but that is for another essay). But the real critical notion is cultivating the inbound links.

Of course, you have to have some content on your site to attract those inbound links anyway. Nevertheless, I found that once several places started carrying links to my site, traffic started picking up.

How can I tell? Read your access and referral logs: they generally (although not always) tell you where your audience came from, and in some cases you can take that referring link and load it into your Web browser and see for yourself. Sometimes fellow Webmasters will ask permission to create that link, and sometimes your readers will let you in on the secret. Cultivate those relationships: your reader/viewers are your best source of information. Speaking of access logs, --that brings up my next point.

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