How to use Trackbacks to Promote Your Blog

by Susan

What is a trackback?
A Trackback is like a remote comment.

It simply allows you to comment about another blog on your own blog and then the software lets the other blog know you’ve referenced it.

Why should you use trackbacks?

A trackback is good for both blogs. You want to use them and you want other people to use them.

The trackback allows you to continue a discussion from another blog on your own blog.

For instance, your friend might blog about her daughter’s favorite toy. You read her post and you decide to write a post on your own site about that same toy and how your daughter also likes it. You want to link to her post in your entry and then send a trackback to her post.

How do you use a trackback?

Using a trackback is actually pretty simple. After you’ve done it once, you’ll wonder why you waited so long.

See my video How To Use Trackbacks Tutorial on Google Video!

How to trackback can vary slightly depending on which blogging software you are using, but the main steps are the same.

Unfortunately, some free blogging software, such as Blogger, does not support trackbacks. If your blog doesn’t offer trackback functionality, you may be able to use the free commenting service HaloScan to add trackback support to your blog. You can read what Emily Robbins has to say about HaloScan on her blog.

I’m going to step you through this. Don’t worry if it sounds a bit complicated as I try to explain the process. It’s a bit like tying your shoelaces – it can be hard to explain the steps, but once you know how to do it, it’ll be second nature.

Step 1
Write your new post as you normally would and mention the blog entry you’re going to send a trackback to.

It is good etiquette to include a link to the other blog in your post. To do that, you want to link to the permalink url.

To get the permalink url, click on the permalink hyperlink at the bottom of the post you want to reference.
Permalink example

Then copy the url from the address field of your browser and paste it into your new blog entry. Include that url in a link as you normally would.

For example, you might say something like…
Using a Permalink

Step 2
Get the trackback url from the blog you want to reference.

Look at the bottom of this post, and you’ll see a hyperlink called “Trackback url”.
Trackback link example

Right-click on that hyperlink and select “Copy Shortcut”.
(If you’re using FireFox, right-click and select “Copy Link Location”.)

The link url should be something like
http://www.5minutesformom.com/47/using-trackback/trackback/

On other blog platforms the url may be written out under a heading called “Trackback URL for this post” as shown below. In that situation, just select the url and copy it to your clipboard.
Trackback link example

Step 3
Paste the trackback url into the field where you are writing your new entry.

The field should be labeled something like “Send trackbacks to” as shown in the two examples below.

Trackback example

In WordPress, it looks like…
Trackback example

Step 4
Publish your post as you normally would.

Voila! You’re done. You have just used a trackback.

You can now go to the site to which you sent the trackback, and look to see if your trackback is showing. Different sites may show this differently. On WordPress blogs like this one, it will show in the comments section as a trackback. See the sample below.

Trackback Comment

Make sure your blog can accept trackbacks.

Most blogging platforms allow trackbacks and I think most should have the default set to allow trackback pings. (Ping is just the term used when one blog notifies the other blog about the trackback.)

The images below show two examples of trackback settings. The checkbox on the right that says “Allow Pings” shows how WordPress controls trackbacks. Other blogging software may say something like “Allow Trackbacks” as in the image on the left.

See my video How To Use Trackbacks Tutorial on Google Video!

Let’s Summarize
Trackbacks are great and you definitely want to start using them to help promote your blog.

To use a trackback, write a post on your blog and use a permalink to link to someone else’s blog entry. Then copy that other entry’s trackback url into your post’s trackback field and publish your post.

Now you can write a post on your blog about how you love to trackback and encourage your readers to start using trackbacks.



Email Author    |    Website About Susan

Susan Carraretto and her identical twin, Janice Croze, created 5 Minutes for Mom in 2006. Susan loves all social media, but her top addiction these days is Pinterest. She recently published a children's book titled "The Pest Detectives" which you can download now in digital format for free.

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