Do you know Google is now giving less weight to run-of-site links (the ones you put in the sidebar or footer, available on all the pages)? It is much better to link to your favorite sites from the content – the blog post itself.
The reason is simple – we won’t think much before putting a link to a golf-training guide on a dog-related site’s sidebar. However the relationship has to be much closer if we were to link to it from the content. Thus it is fair to assume that a link from the content is a closer-in-context link as well as lesser likely to be a spam link (mass link exchange or paid-for link). And search engines tend to treat this as a more valuable link.