How to Choose Between Link Building and Content Marketing

Linkbuilding or Content Marketing?

Torn between two strategies? I know how it feels to be so confused and frustrated about two things – you don’t know what’s right for you, you don’t know what’s worth spending your time, effort and money on, you don’t know what will work best.

I may not know what your business is all about, I don’t know what your short and long term goals, but I know what you need. You need guidance, comparison, and a better explanation of your options. Just like when buying a mobile phone, you need someone who will explain to you about its specs, features, and how it differs from other brands.

In this article, I will help you understand link building and content marketing. What are the basic things you need to consider when choosing?

Link building and Content Marketing

Link building is simply the process of getting links to your websites (or what we call inbound links or backlinks) from other websites. You could do this through blog commenting, guest posting, forum posting, and link exchange. There are so many ways! And what’s so good about this strategy when done properly is that it will surely bring you to the top of search results for certain keywords.

Content marketing on the other hand is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action. You’re doing content marketing when you’re focused on producing great content such as blog articles, videos, infographics, podcasts, slide decks, white papers – and your aim is for people to see relevance, usefulness and importance with your content.

The 3 basic things you need to consider before planning out strategies

1. Goals

If you have short term goals in mind, I’d say link building is the right one for you. This is the kind of strategy that will work just like how it works today, will work but not exactly the same as today, or may not work at all in the future.

But if you have long term goals, then content marketing is the way to go. You will never see all the results of your efforts in a blink of an eye, nor will you be able to do everything in one day, but it is the strategy that will work even many years from now.

2. Time and resources

If you’re anxious about results, and you don’t have time to do a lot of conceptualizing, writing, shooting videos, recording podcasts and all kinds of content, then go build links.

On the other hand, if you feel like you have all the time and resources in the world, then invest in content marketing.

I’m not saying that you’ll have instant result when you link-build, and wait for years if you’re doing content marketing. They will both result to something; it’s just that the actual process of content marketing is way longer than link building.

3. Team

Ask yourself, “If I do content marketing, will I be able to sustain it? Will I have enough team members to do all these?”

These are the kind of questions that challenge and at the same time motivate me. I can’t fully transition to content marketing because I know that it will only drain all my creative juices – because I don’t have a team. But those also motivate me to create plans, and start with the little things that I have right now. Like the fact that I can do roundups, and all I need are questions, email addresses of industry experts and the courage to shoot them an email.

Tips: Start with the resources you have right now. That’s also a good way to transition from one strategy to another. You don’t have to change drastically.

But if you’re seriously planning to do content marketing, then it’s necessary to invest in people. If you think link building is way better for you, then go for it and try to invest more in tools.


Our secret for the success of SEO-Hacker is we do both link building and content marketing. We believe in the power of building links – that’s the reason why we are PR 4 right now – and we also believe in the power of content marketing. We’re publishing good articles once in a while, we’re uploading new content in SEO Hacker School every now and then, we’re uploading slide decks. We’ve even created an ebook and a lot more that make us more relevant to other people.

Truth is these two strategies can work hand-in-hand, in fact they should. There’ll be times when you’re doing link building, and decided to move to content marketing, and vice versa. And that’s really fine.

Take the time to think what you really want to achieve, and how much time you’re willing to invest. List down your goals, your resources, and your target audience, and when you’re done, you’ll see that it’s easier to choose between two strategies, or maybe you’ll find that you can actually do both.

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Sean Si

About Sean

is a Filipino motivational speaker and a Leadership Speaker in the Philippines. He is the head honcho and editor-in-chief of SEO Hacker. He does SEO Services for companies in the Philippines and Abroad. Connect with him at Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. Check out his new project, Aquascape Philippines.