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Link baiting is more an art than work. There are lots of link building techniques out there and people have asked me over and over again about which is the best one. Personally, I’d say link baiting would be one of your best shots – if you have the knowledge and talent to make it work.
It’s more than just blogging
Creating a link bait is creating a compelling movement that will stir your readers to think and link back to you for reference, sourcing or good-will. It is more than just writing. It is more than just giving out information. It is more than just wit. It is the ability to tap into the emotional source of your readers and use that leverage to draw them to link to you.
Usually, knowledge works great in the field of link baiting. If you know some things that a lot of other people do not, you can write about it and publish it and attract a crowd. But that’s just a part of it. How you lay it out and how you artistically put words to your knowledge needs talent. You need both to make a good linkbait.
Some link baiting techniques that work well:
Or known also as guest blogging – this method has been a good way to get inbound links. Making your website open to guest bloggers means that you get new user-generated content (make sure that it’s relevant and well-written) and on top of that, those bloggers would love to promote the article they wrote for you. Which means that you save up time on writing an article and you save up double the time promoting it.
Of course, during the course of the promotion, chances are, the ones who wrote that guest post for you would most probably link to that article – simply because they wrote it and they are proud of it. Oh, by the way, SEO Hacker is open to guest posting in case you didn’t know.
Having guest posters in your blog means that you somehow reach out to them too. If you want other people to guest post in your blog, you have to guest post in other blogs yourself. Of course, during the course of guest posting for other blogs, you build backlinks in your guest posts and you build authority in your niche.
The most beautiful thing about guest posting is that you build your network. You build your name in all the other blogs in your niche as a good writer and contributor with knowledgeable mastery of the topic and the talents to lay it all out with spunk. Other people will recognize you. Blog owners will recognize you. And you’ll get invited to many more other websites to guest post in. Which, in turn, means that other people would be attracted to guest post in your blog soon – coz you’ve got a lot of link juice!
Nothing beats good statistics – especially surprising ones summarized in an infographic. This link baiting technique goes a long, long way. Especially if you keep on updating your infographic or other people’s infographic of your topic or niche. Search Engine Land did an infographic of SEO Ranking Factors in 2011 using a periodic table. That’s pretty interesting. And they certainly got a lot of backlinks using that infographic. In fact, they got lots from me. :)
Why does infographic attract lots of links? Well, not all people like to read. Which means that most people prefer pictures or perhaps video or whatnot. In any case, a beautifully designed and outlined infographic has much more appeal than a long paragraph of words. Don’t you think so?
Widgets are not so easy to create as it is mostly a small program that users can mingle with. Usually, a good widget has valuable use such as a currency converter widget – which you can embed in any website so that it’s up for grabs. What people don’t usually know is that inside these widgets are pieces of code that will consequently link back to the desired webpage of the creator.
It’s not often anymore that widgets are used for linkbait as there are already so many of them. Even so, if you are someone who has the capacity to create a useful widget of your own, it is pretty much well worth to try out.
If you are someone who has the capacity to sell hosting or perhaps sponsor hosting to bloggers, then this one’s for you. You can trade one of your free hosting space to sponsor someone and ask them for a link back (usually in the footer area or in the sidebar). It’s easy, doable (especially if you’re just a reseller) and it gives out good link juice if the people you’ve sponsored are serious in their online endeavor.
P.S. I personally use this link baiting technique. For example, I sponsored the hosting (and of course services included) of Pastor Dennis Sy’s Act Like a Man blogsite which hauls in a good number of monthly visitors. And the best thing is, my God and You blogsite are directly relevant – so I got a good number of deep links from his blog site to my own blog site too!
Running online contest ain’t cheap. But it doesn’t have to be too expensive either. Online contests are rampant and they are a good source of linkbait. We’ve tried to run a contest giving away some free SEO software for the winners. The only thing they need to do in order to win is to blog about why they want to win this software and how it will help them – of course, they need to link back to the source of the contest (which is SEO Hacker) and the sponsor of the software.
Needless to say that we’ve got some pretty good links and the winners got their hands on a great SEO software that will help them in their SEO campaigns. It didn’t cost me much – just the effort to haul in contestants and to contact the sponsor.
Picking on the brains of the best minds in your field of expertise ain’t easy. You’ll most probably have to email them one by one and wait for their reply. If you know how to deal with people and make them interested in you even when you’re not really offering them anything of value back to them is a great skill to behold. And this skill is needed in order for you to compile crowdsourcing (CS) linkbait.
I have an upcoming article that is primarily a crowdsourced content (hopefully it pushes through – publication depends on how long my sources will reply). Coming soon. Haha!
Interviewing a very prominent person, say, Rand Fishkin, can get you lots of links – especially if you tackle a really good question in that interview. But let’s take myself for example (since I lack a better one. Haha!) I was interviewed by Erik Bratt of EightFoldLogic and one of the questions he asked me is why I chose the name ‘SEO Hacker’ now does that interest you? It also includes my answer to the main difference between a black hat and white hat SEO.
Now what Erik got out of interviewing me is that I did a lot of work trying to promote that interview article – only because I invested quite a handful of hours trying to answer his questions as best as I could. He also got me linking back to him. Well, of course, I also got a lot of links back to my website as I answered his questions with live sources from my blog. Needless to say, I got some good quality links and he got some too.
Using interviews as a linkbait is good. People who follow me linked to Erik Bratt’s interview of me because they valued the information I gave. In essence, my circle of networks and followers bit on that linkbait that Erik Bratt worked for. Genius.
Giving out testimonials for a service or for a blog is giving out some of your authority for that certain product. You’re putting your name at stake when you give out a testimonial for something. So you better believe that product your staking your name on. Otherwise, you’re done.
One good thing that can come out of giving your testimonial is that you most often than not get backlinks for it. I use Scribe SEO for my on-site optimization for every article – just to save me precious time instead of me doing all the legwork. Of course, Copyblogger media asked me if I could give my input as a testimonial for their product. And for the good product that they provide (with great service to boot), I gave them some of my authority and good will.
Lo and behold, Scribe SEO gave me a good backlink together with my testimonial – which even hauls in traffic! And right now, it’s a Page Rank 5 webpage too! When you give, something good is bound to happen.
Ranting about SEO is dead can haul you much, much traffic. Although it could also haul you lots of hate comments and headache. Personally, I don’t really recommend posting controversial content unless it’s something for the greater good. But even so, this link baiting technique hauls in traffic like no other. Especially if it’s fresh news.
Posting about the riot in London and your personal, far-fetched and exaggerated opinion about those happenings might just get a lot of people’s attention. There would be positive responses – and there would most definitely be negative ones. But either way, there is bound to be people who would link to your thoughts. I’ve never really done it (but I just might… Something positive, of course.)