Nearing the end of 2012 we are entering a new era for link building where the old link building techniques don’t work any longer - the only problem is that link building is still crucially important for good results with SEO.
We are moving forwards (back?) toward the true earning of links and only having links that will generate real click throughs and traffic without any SEO benefit. In short, links you would be happy showing to your mother.
The only problem is that whilst it would be great if we knocked out a couple of Blog posts and the links came tumbling in, it really does not work that way and you need some real game and hustle to
build earn the kind of links that will help you move up the rankings.
How to Earn Links
When it comes to earning links, there are two major components: work & talk.
Firstly, you need something that is worthy of links on your site. Some content that people can’t help but talk about, share and will want to reference in their own Blog posts. Something that people will link to and be glad to do it. This is the work aspect of hustling for links.
Then, you need to get this discussion started. You need to do everything you can to let people know about your work. You need to be commenting on other blogs, doing outreach to people who can benefit from the work that you have done. You may even hit up the top 50 people / blogs / sites that you would like a link from with a personal email detailing what it is and why it would be good for them to link to. Have you got blogger friends? Social media contacts? Send it out, ask people to share it if needs be, don’t be spammy, but hey, everyone needs a little help from their friends now and again so if what you are sharing is of a high value (think big content) then they will likely be happy to share it and help you make some noise. This is the talk aspect.
Charlatans, Martyrs and Hustlers
The initial inspiration for this post came from a diagram I stumbled across yesterday that shows a balance (and unbalance) between work and talk and the character types that come out of the various work / talk distributions.
Got a big mouth but nothing to back it up? Well, you are a charlatan. Talk is cheap and it only matters when you have something to back it up with. If you are talking the talk but not walking the walk (working the work?) then all the outreach in the world will not win you any links if you are asking people to put their name against something crappy (or nothing at all).
The martyr is all work and if you have found yourself bemoaning the fact that despite all your great content development efforts you are still not earning any links then you are a martyr. Your content may be great, but unless you help people find out about it then your links will come slowly – if at all.
Got some great, super dope, awesome content? Something that was well researched, was needed in your niche and that is a better version of the kind of thing that people in your niche link to? Great start. Now, are you dropping science and pimping that content? Are you working the social channels? Hitting up your blogger friends? Finding link prospects and contacting them with a personal email? Are you asking friends and social followers to share the content – yeah, that’s the stuff, you my friend are a link hustler.
Do Something Worth Talking About
On the surface, it is kind of simple and if you want to earn links then do something worth talking about and then start talking about it. Don’t waste your time spending 10 hours a week on ineffective low grade SEO, instead spend 10 hours a week on doing something epic and that is better than anything out there and be damn sure to let people know when it is done. You can even let people know before it is finished, build some buzz and then when you launch, be sure to stoke those fires.
Get that sweet combination of great content and sweet hustle just right and you will have people talking about, sharing and linking to your content in no time with the kind of links that will move you up the rankings and are safe and sanitised in this era of penguin penalties and toxic links.
Sometimes we just need to focus so make your mantra: “do something amazing and tell people about it” – and the rest is just details.
Note: Coming up with ideas for big content and the prospecting for link targets are both huge subjects that likely need a post of their own so keep your eyes out and I will provide some more detailed plans for them in the next week or so.