The Exciting World of Link Earning
Please Don’t Make Me Build Links!
If you ask search marketers what gives them the sweats about their job, they’ll tell you it’s earning links for their clients. Here’s the thing: link analysts, link earners, link builders exist in a vacuum. They know what they’re doing, and unless they work within a larger link building “farm”, they don’t pass on their knowledge to their coworkers and industry colleagues. Let’s change that.
In my last post we went over what linkbuilding is and today we’ll go over some tips and tricks to demystify link earning.
Wait, What’s Link Earning?
Let’s get this out of the way first: at Blueprint, we’ve decided to call ourselves link earners. Why? Link builders received a bad rap after Google’s Penguin update in 2012. That update ensured that black-hat link builders (and their clients) suffered. Unfortunately, the perceptual association hit us white-hat linkbuilders’ hard.
And in the end, what we do here is earn. From our video and content teams, to our web design and development squad, to our link earners and search marketers – we out earn the competition every day. So us link analysts refuse to let “the conversation” shape our hard work.
Alright, Mr. Link Earner…What Do You Got?
What I’ve got is a secret. Let me tell you what it is –
- Work Hard
- Be Creative
- Work Smart
- Be Nice
These four tactics are necessary to successfully land links for your clients.
This is the “boring” stuff. You need to work diligently to identify the websites or blog that would accept content your clients care about. You have to not only find the appropriate niche your client will succeed in, but you must also identify the quality of the site you are reaching out to (PR, mR, social followers, no duplicate content) in order to ensure your client’s content is going to places that deserve your time and effort.
What kind of content are you looking to produce? Will you focus on straight article/blog production, or create microsites that indirectly drive traffic to your client’s site and create buzz? How will your listicle on “10 Lightsaber Duels We Wish LucasArts Would Film” manage to promote your client? How will your video on “Traffic In Georgia” be able to be shared on dozens of sites throughout the web, across the nation?
The answer is as simple as it is to execute. You have to get creative!
Any piece of content – for any kind of client – can find a home somewhere on this crazy set of wires and signals that we call the internet. You just need to get creative.
This is one of the moments where you start to say “Oh no! I’m turning into my mother! D:”
We’ve all heard the adage “work smarter, not harder.” But why not do both?
You’ve done all this hard work searching and creating, now it’s time to curate a plan. How will you approach your link earning? You could talk to influencers through social media as your client. You could offer regular content help to blogs in exchange for a link to your client in your author’s bio.
One approach we take at Blueprint is targeting influencers through social accounts that actually matter to your brand. Don’t just go to Facebook because they have the largest audience. Identify what platform is best suited for your business, and instead of dividing time between 4 or 5, focus on one or two and consistently push. If this sounds like social media strategy, you’re right! But if you build relationships with influencers in your category, you can easily get a link onto their site when you have something right up their alley.
This is working smarter.
Because it matters. It matters in our personal relationships, it matters to the person serving you food, and it matters when asking a person to do something that benefits you or your brand.
Bloggers, site owners, etc. are real people who pour themselves into their work – just like you do. Yes, you are creating content that they would otherwise not feature on their site, but the only reason you are doing this is to leverage your site and create buzz around your business.
Exchanging pleasant phone calls, Twitter DMs, emails, or even smudgy, cheap hand-written thank you notes is not only a courteous gesture – it’s a means to an end. These site owners and blog operators will know who to recommend next time a colleague needs help with content for a month or two.
Be nice because it matters.
In the end, what matters is that you land a backlink for your brand or your client’s website. You can do that by content milling and spam, or you can do something creative, inspiring, and fulfilling. Don’t build; earn.