As someone who builds links and has done for the best part of this decade, it makes me sad to see the majority of people who go about their link building do it in a lazy way.
All you have to do is look at Facebook groups and forums to see that a person would rather write a guest post than take their time to create a really great link profile.
1. Don’t over-rely on guest posts
This isn’t a dig at link building.
Although I’m not its greatest fan, it is something that works and is needed to an extent in order to get yourself out there. I’m not against guest posting (as you’re probably aware from this post – a guest post), but I am against guest posting as the one and only part of a link strategy.
Firstly, your best content should be on your own website. With the right promotion and outreach, a great piece of content can pick up a tonne of great links, meaning the juice is going to your website.
If you put your heart and soul into writing something for someone else’s blog and it ends up going viral, they are the main benefactors of it.
2. Content isn’t just text
A simple and common mistake many link builders make is thinking content just means articles – it doesn’t.
There are endless opportunities to differentiate your content from the generic stuff going around. With infographics, videos, imagery, graphs, slideshows and plenty more, you’re wasting opportunities just by using 500 words of text on every piece of content you produce.
3. Don’t follow the crowd
Following the crowd has been endemic in link building since the beginning.
Hands up who used to post on article directories before they got canned by Google.
It’s the same now with guest posting. You post about your link building services somewhere and the first thing someone asks is “what sites have you got?”
It’s frustrating to someone who dedicates all their time towards creating good content and using outreach to build links to it.
4. Don’t pay for links
I’m fully aware that people do this, and I’m also fully aware that it does work. I’m thinking of Google becoming more and more aware, and your rankings being damaged in the future because of this.
If a website is selling links to you, the chances are they’re selling to others.
All it takes is Google to send someone undercover (or even for Gmail to look at emails sent using their system) and you could be open to a penalty.
5. Helpful/ Interesting/ Complimentary
When I start a link building campaign for a client, every piece of content I write falls within the above categories.
Something helpful like an extensive how-to guide is a great way to bring links in.
Same for interesting. If you have a survey or case study that tells people something new about your industry, it’s a good way of telling people “I’m an authority on this subject.”
There are blogs and sites out there whose income model is based on traffic. If you have something newsworthy that they can put their own spin on it, the revenue they can make long-term will far outweigh the price of a link.
By complimenting people (‘30 Best Entrepreneurs Under 30‘), you are creating news about someone. People love good news about themselves and are usually happy to link to it.
Whether or not you manage local, national or international clients, there are always interesting ways to build links or create newsworthy stuff within the industry. Make sure you make the most of the opportunities out there.