If you’re a content marketer I don’t need to tell you about
Asking people to link to your content can be a delicate procedure. It can very easily come across as trying to improve what they have written, which many people won’t take kindly to.
However, it also will be seen by most as what it is:
However, when a website is pointing to a dead page, that is something that any webmaster will want to fix quickly.
The broken link building strategy requires you simply sending them an email notifying them of the issue and then mentioning a replacement link from your website to help them fix the problem.
If you don’t have a relevant replacement bit of content on your website use the Internet Archive Wayback Machine to check the content on the original link and use or update that information it to create something similar. It is actually a good idea to do this anyway as it will make it more like what they originally linked to.
The best way to find broken links that are going to provide you with the most value is by finding expired domains with a lot of existing links.
Here is a sensational Broken Link Building Guide from Moz for a more extensive look at what you can achieve with this technique. It works because you are helping site owners identify and fix a problem they actually have.
#2. Start accepting Guest Posts on your website
Sounds a bit odd? Trust me it works.
It isn’t a direct way to get links to your content, but as much as Matt Cutts declares that guest posting is dead, the truth is: it is still a very popular avenue for getting links to your website.
Scouring the web for websites that accept guest posts is not the best way to exploit this, though. It takes time and often all you get are blogs that have been guest-posted to death. Cold-emailing blogs that do not explicitly request guest posts will get ignored the majority of the time or you will be sent a rates card for their pricing when it come to sponsored posts.
So why not flip the script?
Put up a ‘Write For Us’ page on your website. Do a bit of promotion for it if you want (trying to get it added to lists of sites that accept blog posts etc) but even if you don’t email pitches will come trickling in.
And that’s where you start getting a return.
First, you will need to filter the content, which can be time-consuming. A good method here is to include a detailed list of criteria on your ‘Write For Us’ page with something close to the end that asks them to include a certain word in the subject title. This way you can be sure that they have read the whole thing.
Then, once you have ensured the content is decent, post up on your blog. From there you may get a link immediately through them promoting the post on their own website. But more importantly, you will have established a relationship and have leverage to request a link in the future.
It is important to be aware of the issues that can be caused by reciprocal linking, but don’t fall for the scare tactic that linking to a website that links to you will get you in trouble. Just request a natural link or guest post and space out your request from when you publish their initial post, and you will be fine.
#3. Offer Genuine Value Beyond Content
A common link-building strategy that you will see in various forms around the web involves creating a list of “Best [fill in niche role] on the Web Today” and listing a bunch of websites that are related to your niche. This strategy works on the idea that they will link to the article so they can show their followers you have featured them.
This should not blind you from the genius of the technique and why it can be so effective.
The reason EgoBait can work so well coming from a website with authority behind it is because you are giving them something they can actually use. They can point towards your list and say: “Look, these guys think we’re great!”
You won’t always be able to add value in this way, but there should always be something of value you can offer potential link prospects. The answer usually lies in tapping into whatever product or service you offer through your website because anything that you are expecting people to pay for can also be exchanged for other things.
Strike up a relationship with a potential linker and work out a strategy that suits (this will depend highly on what you offer and it is worth doing some niche specific research before you begin).
The reason why finding a way to give real value works so well is obvious. It switches up the situation that you find yourself in because you are able to get your potential linker motivated by their own self interest.
And, when you think about, if you can’t find anything of value your business or website could offer to a possible link target, what exactly will you have of interest to offer your future users or customers.
#4, Find avenues of getting onto blogs early
There are many ways to execute this strategy. My favorite is Sourcebottle.
Sourcebottle is a service that connects media organisations with the type of sources they are looking for on any given topic. It covers postings for Australia, New Zealand, UK & Republic of Ireland, Canada and the United States (HARO is a much more US only focused alternative).
Its primary purpose is a genuinely good way to find great links in its own right. Find a call out that 9s seeking an expert in your field and give them a relevant quote while asking for an attribution link.
However, another thing it is great for is getting onto blogs early. Many of the listings you will see will be blogs in their early stages, calling out for content. While you will rarely get a prospect from a genuinely strong domain, this method has a couple key benefits:
- If the blog is actively looking for content it is a good sign they are serious about continued work on the website, which is a sign of potential growth in strength.
- It is likely once they have built their blog up to a more formidable level they will be more selective with allowing contributors. This means getting in early may give you access to posts on a blog that will not otherwise be smashed with guest post links.
- The more content you can point to on legitimate content websites, the stronger case you will have built when it comes to tackling guest posts from the bigger fish in your niche.
Obviously, it requires writing the blogs yourself, which means it isn’t 100% aligned with the ‘quick wins’ philosophy of this article. Getting onto these blogs is still worth it. Instead of slogging away at content that might not get accepted or sharing online space with hundreds of exact match anchor text posts, you will be able to write entry-level content for a website that could one day grow into something much bigger and more influential.
One final note
It is important to remember with all the above techniques that they are quick-wins not big-wins. Their strength lies in the fact that they can be done quickly and in a way that can be replicated and easily scaled.
When considering any of the above tasks ask yourself how much of it could be outsourced. You still want to be working on the big ‘Skyscraper’ content, as that is the stuff that is really going to help you stand out when you get it right. The above techniques are to ensure you’re not just standing still until that time.