Beginners Guide to Link Building: How to Start Link Building The Right Way


Link building is hard.

*yawn*

I have been there.

As the owner of an SEO Company in Nigeria and has been in the industry for a while, you will find out that 3 major factors seem to be undeniable the most essential requirements for ranking any web page on Google.

These three core factors are backlinks, content and a well….

“A properly optimized site”

So backlinks are important but what’s more important is how to acquire it.

When I was a newbie, I struggled hard with getting links to my site and now as a link building agency, we discover newbies to link building have the same challenges.

Top questions are:

  • “How do they build Backlinks to a website?
  • “Which strategies can a newbie like me execute that will help me acquire links to my site”

That is the purpose of this guide.

To teach the most elementary link building techniques that work and show you the best strategies to using these techniques to get links.

There are a lot of link building techniques. I once came across a blog post a list that shows 202 ways to build links.

Yelling!

These kinds of documents can overwhelming.

So today, we are going to make what seems like a difficult task and simplify it.

How to use these guide.

This guide is supposed to be a living document. I (intend) to update it with the most recent and important ways to get your links the easy way.But you can benefit from these guide by simply do the following:

  1. Look at the technique listed
  2. Follow my step by step procedure to implementing it
  3. Check out the additional resources under each technique to learn more.

Why is step 3 important?

Sweat plus creativity is the secret source to successful link campaigns. The additional resources shows you different articles that explain the techniques in action.

Before You Start Your Link Building process

Heard the content is king mantra?

Okay, I bet you do.

Even though I do not believe in the content is king mantra, most of the recommended link building techniques you will find in this guide actually requires that you create some content.

The more effort you put into your content, the more likely you are going to be more successful in your link campaigns.

Okay. Enough rambling.

Let’s roll

  1. Build Relationships

Do you know that one guy that everyone seems to get everyone to do what he wants?

Yeah! But that could you be if you learn how to give first, without really expecting anything in return.

You may not need to connect with lots of people but you definitely may not go far if you don’t cultivate the habits of learning how to connect with people.

Because we live in an Internet age, most people forget that webmasters are people.

Computers do not link to computers. Humans do.

Therefore put on your friendship cap and go build Relationship with people.

Luckily for you, it is easy to do so. Here is what you should start doing.

  • Get a list of top bloggers in your industry downloaded into an excel sheet.
  • Grade them on high, medium and low. The high will be top bloggers, the medium will be well, your average bloggers. The low will be bloggers just coming up but who shows “great” promising signs”. Not those who might be wasting their time.
  • Now start connecting with them. Follow them on their prefer social platform. Tweet them, Google plus them. Comment on their blog. Attend meetup or start one
  • Simply put be their friend.

Why is this important?

Heard, the saying, it’s more blessed to give than the receive.

This saying is 100% true but what you might not know is that no good work goes without been rewarded.

As you do all these, you begin to draw attention to yourself and before you know it, you have built a crowd of people who have the potential to help your site grow by rewarding you with shares, link or even a mention.

Julie JoyceMatthew BarbyCollin Cory.

Do the names sound familiar?

Yes, they are great SEO and they have been instrumental to my career growth in the industry.

Have I met anyone of them physically?

No, but without a doubt, I could say they are my friends.

How did I meet them?

Simple!

A tweet here, a mention there, a tap on the back there and suddenly I have amazing friends I can talk to and even cry on their shoulder.

So your first step to a successful link building campaign is to build a good relationship.

Additional Resources: 

  1. How to Succeed at Influencer Marketing
  2. Social Media Influencer- Find and Build Relationship
  3. Seven Influencer Marketing Strategies That Works
  4. Influencer Marketing- The Latest Strategies, Templates and Tools
  5. Blogger Outreach:9 Hacks I Use With influencer To Blast My Audience

Onward soldiers!

  1. Guest posting

Guest posting is another interesting link building technique I love.

Why?

Because it solves your major core challenges you might be having in the beginning life of a blog.

  • It brings links
  • It brings traffic
  • It brings connection (I have not heard of David Frank’s until we both wrote for the same blog)

So guest posting naturally comes recommended if you are a beginner and needs to start attracting links to your site.

So what is guest posting?

Simply put, guest posting is the method of creating content and placing it on another site instead of your own website.

The Best Way Guest post:

  1. Step 1: Go to Google
  2. Step 2: Enter these search query string
  3. “Keyword” + write for us. So as an example, I’m in the SEO industry, so my query will look like these  “Seo blogs” + write for us
  4. Ignore the guys on page 1-4. Start at 4 except if you are in an industry where they are few good bloggers.
  5. Write out the next 20 sites you see.
  6. Another thing you can do is go to settings. Change the date range to past 6 months. And write out the websites you can see. If you starting with step 4, you do not need to start your potential list from page 4 of Google again.
  7. Now visit each site and really, and I mean, really read about the site. Check out the guidelines. Take note of the site itself. You may want to check if:
  • It’s updated regularly
  • It has a team of writers or just one writer ( I prefer the latter)
  • It’s relevant to your industry domain wise and not just page wise
  • It’s just a good site.

When you have found a potential site, reach out and pitch your content even if you already have it written.

Why Should You Pitch Your Content First?

I have written for sites without having to pitch my content first but it’s usually a good because

  1. You get to know the person behind the site
  2. You know if you should put your content forward or simply save it for another site.

Once you get your content approved, make sure to promote it like you would do to content on your own site.

Hat Tip: even if you never write for the site again, always go back to be helpful to the community. Share or tweet and everyone will be happy.

Additional Resources: 

  1. The Definitive Guide to Guest Posting
  2. The Ultimate Guide to Guest Posting
  3. Ultimate Guest Posting Guide
  4. The Beginner’s Guide to Guest Posting
  5. The Definitive Guide to Guest Blogging
  1. Press Release:

Outdated?

Less effective?

Not useful?

Hello no.

While not as the useful link building technique, press release still works as a means of acquiring backlink.

The efficacy of press release was tested recently when a site I was working with got picked up by a blog who may never have known existed if not for the simple fact that he mentions the news on his blog.

And guess what?

He did so with a link to the site.

So press release may be something you want to consider in your link building campaign.

How to Make Press Release Work for You.

Step 1: Search Google for any press release site in your location. Make sure it is peculiar to your location or region

Step 2: Find something press worthy to write about. It could be the launch of your venture, the release of a tool or something people should hear about.

Step 3: Write for humans. Don’t try to inject links.

Step 4. Hit publish

Press release works when it is not done with the intent to build links. Press release works best when you are implementing it to get words out about your business or work. Make sure you pick a localized outlet if you are not networking one on one

Additional Resources:

  1. Why PR is the New Link Building
  2. A Few Simple Rules for Building Links With Press Releases
  3. Link Building- How to Build Links to Your Website in 2017
  4. Press Release and Their Role in SEO
  1. Surveys:

Surveys are an effective means of getting links. This is because the people love data. They want to have information that can help them look at trends and possibly predict the future.

I think this is one reason why survey works very well. But making a kill out of it as a link bait is a different ball game.

Here are some examples of surveys that has done exceeding well.

So how do you make survey work for you?

How to use Survey as Links Magnet

  1. Decide to conduct your survey annually. It gives you time to plan and execute very well. Apart from that it had more credibility to the survey
  2. Chose a topic related to your industry but stay away from over flogged issues. You can conduct state of “” 2016.
  3. Use survey monkey or a simple Google doc to create your survey.
  4. Make sure that at least 500 participant takes part in your survey. The more the better. This means you may have to promote your survey across all your platform and even by using paid channels to drive people to the survey.
  5. And this last point is very important. Make sure you do not influence the result of the result or neither are you biased.

Once the survey is done, share it by publishing it as an article on your blog, turn it into an Infographic or a slide share presentation. You can also do a press release if your data set is large or unique but if you have a small data-set, there is no need to do that.

The more you distribute it, the better.

Additional Resources: 

  1. How to use Survey Infographics to safely build links
  2. The Link Building Survey 2014
  1. Top list of…

This is a killer evergreen content you should create for your industry.

It could be a list of tools of the trade in the industry or a list of people in the industry. Top lists is a very good bait because the people mentioned already are your first convert who will likely share the content.

This is a no-brainer and the steps are simplified here.

  1. Pick whatever you think. You want to write about eg top tools, top bloggers etc
  2. Pick the winners. The bigger the list, the better.
  3. Write it and make it as useful as possible.
  4. Inform them they made your list.

Additional Resources: 

  1. 10 Tricks to Create top 10 List
  2. The top 10 Qualities of High Quality List Post
  3. 6 Steps to Writing the Ultimate Top List

6. Directory Listing:

Okay, this broke my heart as DMOZ who I considered the last sanity directory decided to shut down its operation on 14th March 2017.

Despite this, directories still hold huge potentials for links and traffic. If you consider the fact that the best links are designed to get generate traffic and ranking., then directories in that sense is not dead.

If you feel directories are still worth it, you may continue to read this section, otherwise just jump over to the next section.

How to use Directories as a link building technique:

  1. Localize your search for a good directory to your location or industry.

You may want to try search queries like the following

“Business directory” + location

“Keyword directory” + industry eg SEO directories.

Now, take a human look at the directory. Does it look like it’s has been updated in a while?

Here is a simple test to check.

If after looking, you still find it relevant and useful, then go ahead and submit.

Additional Resources: 

  1. 5 benefits of Directory Link Building
  2. Free Link Building Directory to Jumpstart your Search Engine Ranking
  3. 30 Link Building Directory
  1. Interviews:

Fresh kid on the block?

Attract influencers to your website by offering them a space to feature them in an interview segment on your site.

The advantages are numerous:

  1. You are building relationship that can help you down the lane
  2. You have the potential to get links as this influence will definitely share the interview with their tribe

How to use Interview as a Link Bait

  1. Get a list of 40 people in the industry and create a spreadsheet for them
  2. Enter URL, name, contact and social clout information in the sheet
  3. Prepare your list of questions. Make sure it is
  • Keyword driven
  • Not more than 6 questions (5 just perfect)
  • Let the first 3 be about them and the last two be questions your audience can benefit from.
  • Publish the interview on your site and promote it

Additional Resources: 

  1. SEO Expert Interview 
  2. Expert Interview with Venchito
  3. The Road to SEO Success
  1. Infographics:

Infographics are my best link building techniques even though it is hard to pull off.

This is because a successful Infographic will depend on two core factors:

  • Good unique story or a great angle to an old story
  • A good design

I think most of the crux with a successful Infographic has to do with the design.Even when you have “great content”, nobody will put a crappy design on their site.

So how effective your site will be, will depend on the two factors above.

Now, that we know that, let’s simply the Infographic link building method

How to get Links with infographic:

  1. Get your story or angle well research: If you have something unique like a survey, great but if not, you may want to spend time looking at surveys that have done well and asking why they have.

Some infographics may do well because they are hosted on a big site, so an average infographic hosted on a big brand’s website should not be your comparison

  1. Source for data or supporting information for your infographics. Usually, the idea here is to crowdsource your infographics. You want to add about 10 sources to the list
  2. Tell your story. Map out the structure of your infographics.
  3. Ship the content to the designer
  4. Publish the infographics on your site as an article. Make sure you ha e about 300 words written out for your infographics
  5. Submit to Infographic submission sites.

Additional Resources: 

  1. The Ultimate Guide to Link Building With Infographics
  2. How to Build Links with Infographics
  3. How to get backlinks with Guestographics
  1. Expired domains

Want links fast but don’t want to the heavy lifting?

Buy other businesses blog or grab their domains when they expire.Domains expire for different reasons and most times the owner might just not care enough and the Hawks might not yet have laid their hands on it.

There are different ways to get expired domains but the best way is to have a link builder’s mindset.

A link builder’s mindset is one at never closes his eyes to any opportunity at any turns.

Best way to get Expired Domains

  1. Look for old resources listing eg best “” of 2012
  2. Scrape forums listing.
  3. Once you find any domain you are interested in, put it into any link building tool to check the Backlinks the site have.
  4. Analyze where the links are coming from. You want to make sure that the site has a clean link profile
  5. Sometimes the site might have huge content and it might be totally difficult to recreate all the content because of a small amount of backlink you stand to gain. In that case, you just want to do a simple 301 redirect through the htaccess file.

Additional Resources:

  1. 17 Untapped Backlink Sources
  2. This Inverted Broken Link Strategy Will Make You FacePalm
  3. 5 ways to Find Expired Domains for Link Building

There you have it. My top 9 favorite link building techniques for beginners.

If you can successfully implement all these techniques month over month, at the end of 6months, you should begin to see your site acquire links gradually.

Remember the best types of links are the ones that drives traffic and ranking and that is what these techniques will do for you if well executed.

Apart from the sites listed above, here are additinal resources designed to make you a better link builder.


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