I was asked once about why so many links to the Buffer blog end up in my work. It's not just the Buffer blog; I link to all sorts of blogs and websites when I'm writing. And there's a good reason why.
When I write content, it's full of me: my thoughts and opinions, my research, my experiences. Things I've read often end up being referenced in my work. So do things I come across in my research. And blog posts I've written in the past, especially when I write about similar or related topics, as I often do.
At the time I was asked about linking to Buffer, I had just finished a nine-month, full-time stint as a Content Crafter at Buffer. Writing between two and four posts per week that whole time, I had a lot of work to draw from on the Buffer blog. It's only natural, I think, for me to draw on what I've written in the past, regardless of where it's published.
Whether I'm working with a company full-time or writing for them once a week like I do with Crew, I consider them all part of a family. Through my writing I've connected with amazing companies like Buffer and Crew, Zapier and Attendly. I've worked with each of these teams towards a common goal: to create amazing content that helps people. I'm working on the same mission at my own startup, Exist, which is now part of the family too. And the sites that republish my work to help even more people see it, I consider my extended family; sites like Lifehacker, Fast Company, Inc and The Next Web are all part of that group.
It's a privilege to be connected to all of these teams. If a link to a post from someone in the family seems appropriate in a piece I'm writing (and only if it's appropriate—i.e. beneficial to the reader) then I'm more than happy to include it.
The thing about hiring someone for personal, creative work like writing is that each writer comes with a style, a certain individual flair that makes them unique, and personal experiences that come through in their work, whether explicitly or not. Anyone working in a creative field will come with these things, and that's part of why you hire them.
In my case, if you hire me, you get my family too.
The cool thing I learned at Buffer is that if you find other people or companies with matching values, the fit is really obvious. If your mission is to produce content your readers will love and find useful, you'll put your readers first, and you won't bother counting links to other sites—and we'll get along just fine.
After all, your readers only care about how much value they get from your content, including any links that help them better understand or explore a topic. And that's what will determine whether they come back for more or not.
Want to be part of the family? Send me an email if you'd like to hire me to write for you.