Early on in your learning of search engine optimization you come to realize links are important to how well your pages rank. Some sources of links such as forum signatures are easy to discover, but before too long you learn that all links are not created equal and the links you want most are the hardest to get. Inevitably the question arises how and where to get these high quality links. Good news. Link opportunities are all around you and by paying attention you can gain links from authority sources.
Recent Link Building Opportunities
A few weeks ago I came across a contest at Blogging Experiment. One of the prizes Ben is offering is a free blog critique by Chris Garrett that likely comes with one or more links from Chris’s 4,000+ subscriber blog. To enter all you have to do is link to the home page of Blogging Experiments with the anchor text make money blogging or some variant and then send an email with the URL of your post.
Will you win? Maybe, maybe not, but look how easy it just was for me to enter. And as it happens that Ben writes a pretty good and informative blog it’s easy to feel good about recommending it.
Do you read ProBlogger? If you blog at all you should. Recently Darren’s been running a 31 Days to Building a Better Blog series. As part of the series Darren is asking for readers to write their own tips and advice and submit the URLs so he can link back to the post. Would you like a link from a blog that has over 30,000 subscribers?
Over the last few weeks I’ve submitted a few posts and each has been accepted and each has driven traffic to the submitted post. Along the way a couple of posts have been stumbled and I’ve picked up a few new subscribers. All for being a little more focused on writing about blogging for a few weeks and filling out a very simple form to submit the URL.
Shoemoney is at SES San Jose this week so last week he called for guest posts. It’s not the first time he’s asked for guest posts and it won’t be the last. A post on the home page of a 10,000+ subscriber blog that includes a link back to your site. Is that something you thought impossible to get?
Will Jeremy go with your post? If it’s a good one he probably will. Are there any guarantees? Nope, but the worst case is you’ve created some unique content for your site and the best case is a pretty good link. Sounds like a win-win.
Today Chris Garrett announced he was taking submissions for another roundup of reader’s posts. Submit your post on social media marketing and if Chris selects it you’ll get a few words why he liked your post along with a link to it.
Again will Chris automatically link to your post? Of course not. He’ll read what’s been submitted and choose the ones he likes best. But again the worst case is you’ve written some more unique content. You can even submit an older post if you have one.
Be Aware Of The Link Opportunities In Front Of You
Are these the best sites to give you a link? Depends on the topic of your site. All would be a link from a general authority and if the subject happens to be related to any of the sites the link would pass topical authority as well. Any of the above links would be a good one to have. They will be better for some sites than others, but they will all contain many signs of a quality link.
The point isn’t that these four specific link opportunities are the only ones out there. The point is that there are many more opportunities like these right now, including some within your topic.
By paying attention you can find opportunities everywhere. This post mentions specific linking opportunities I’ve come across recently simply by observing, but there are likely other opportunities in front of you right now. Opportunities to to make new contacts, opportunities to get people talking about you, and opportunities to get people to link to you. Opportunity is everywhere. The trick is in noticing and finding the most appropriate opportunities for you.
Is there no contest going on in your industry right now like the one Blogging Experiments is running? In that case start one. How many links do you think Ben will end up getting by the end of the contest. Is no one asking for tip posts on your topic? Be the one who collects those posts. Darren has already linked to about 400 posts. How many of those posts are also linking back to ProBlogger? When there doesn’t seem to be an opportunity in front of you the opportunity is to create one for others.
Building links into your pages and site isn’t always the easiest thing to do as I’m sure you’ve discovered. You don’t always know where or how to get them. Your requests may be ignored and your linkbaiting hook may not be as effective as you’d hope. But there are always ways to get links if you’re paying attention.
The more aware you are of what’s happening in your industry the more opportunities you’ll come across and the more you’ll be able to capitalize on the link building opportunities that are right in front of you.
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I’ve been thinking about this question myself lately. I found a blog to write as an occasional guest, a photo site that allows articles and reviews, and so on. You’ve brought up some ideas that are new to me, but probably obvious to most of your readers.
In my particular case, do you think there would be any hope in snail-mailing the local papers with some 8x10s and a bio about me and my adventures in Seattle, to get links from their online versions? You’re right, that I need to think outside the box and chase the more difficult links to acquire.
I agree entirely. If you follow blogs in your niche closely enough, there are always chances cropping up. Well worth taking advantage of them.
Forrest I’m not really sure of the best way to approach local papers, but I would guess it would help if you had a connection with someone inside. There might be a chance to get links from sending photos and a bio, but the chance would probably be greater if they found you (or thought they found you) on their own.
What I’m really saying in this post is that there are opportunities out there right now that are asking if they can link to you or are telling you they’ll link to you if you want. You just have to pay attention and notice them. I think we all spend so much time searching for places to get links that we miss the ones that are happy and willing to give them to us.
Thanks Michael. I’ve been noticing for the last few months that a few bloggers are almost always asking for something to link to. People like Darren and Chris do things from time to time where you can get a link for letting them know about a post.
I think bloggers are generous by nature and want to help each other out. Maybe not all, but enough.
There is plenty out there, you just need the time to build the backlinks. It is a timely strategy, but it works. I have been doing this for a real long time.
Absolutely. There’s definitely plenty out there and the key is keeping your eyes open.
And dare I say it, I was looking after reading your post – and I took advantage of the knowledge gained from reading this blog post – thanks again!
Thanks Nova. I guess I provided an opportunity for you in a sense.
Thank you for such a nice article. I should definitely look closely and broaden my outlook on link building opportunities.
Just keep your eye out for the opportunity. You don’t have to read long before someone offers you a chance for a link.