When it comes to convincing another webmaster to link to your site, it won’t take you long to discover that just straight-up asking for a favor is going to yield limited success. Even if you have something to offer in return, the general tit-for-tat approach has been so played out over the years that many webmasters and SEOs have stopped paying attention. But what if you could take a more collaborative approach instead? We’ll get to how that works, but first, we need to cover some basics.
Content is King
Not to bang you over the head with this, but the quality of your content is what’s going to determine your backlinking prospects. Employing the most effective link building strategy ever devised won’t help you if you don’t have anything that anyone wants to link to.
So, your first and most important objective is to devise some soon-to-be-sought-after content. It need not be a giant dissertation, but it does need some meat that people can dig into and come away with more knowledge in your niche. If writing isn’t your thing, you can always give someone the highlights and have them write the piece for you.
Beyond an old-fashioned blog article, you could also create an embedded video or podcast. If your industry is one that changes fairly frequently, a podcast might be a great way to keep people in the loop and, more importantly, ensure that they keep coming back to you to see what’s new.
Determine Where Your Content Can Help
Here’s where the collaborative approach begins to come into play. If you simply reach out to high-traffic websites with content similar to yours and try to pitch it, you’re likely going to strike out. The trick is to determine where you can be most helpful – to find a website that has some content but is lacking in an area where your content excels.
There’s a surprisingly simple way to do that: Google Search.
Just search for content similar to yours that’s lacking certain topics that you discuss in depth. The results you get will be content written by people who lack your experience in certain areas, and that’s your avenue to approach them to offer your expertise, and, incidentally, your link.
Backlinking Outreach: The Collaborative Way
Now, the typical approach people take when they have some content that they really think everyone should link to just because it’s so awesome is to scream it from the rooftops, or in this case, in an email. You straight up tell someone you have this great piece of content they should check out and link to from their website if they like it. That’s a straightforward way of doing it, but unfortunately, it’s not going to get you the response you hoped.
A refreshingly different way to go about it is to look at it as though you’re on the same team. You’re not tooting your own horn; you’re asking if you can help them out in this specific area in which you’re pretty sure that you’re much more knowledgeable than they are.
So, the way to go about it is to talk about their content and how your expertise can add to theirs. First and foremost, you’re acknowledging that what they have is great; next you’re offering to share your expertise in this related area. That’s the gist of the email. The key is that you’re not even offering your link in the initial email; you’re saying something like:
Your mention of x strategy was super helpful. Have you ever tried y? If not, I’d be happy to help you make it work; just let me know when you have time this week, and we’ll set up a call.
Now, you’re offering to help them before you ever ask for a link. The result: They know you know your stuff in this area, and they’re more willing to engage with you.
Note that you’re not trying to sell your services in this call; just give them some pointers and generally engage with them. Let them pick your brain for a bit. After they respond, whether you end up on a call with them or not, then you can ask for link placement as almost an afterthought.
This approach pays huge dividends. Not only does it generally lead to more links than just throwing your content at people; it also helps get your name out there as an expert in this one particular subniche. That can lead to some interesting opportunities down the road.
Here’s a link that will show you how effective this can be Teammate Technique.
There are many effective approaches to link building; the problem is that they all take considerable time and effort. If building your backlink profile is important to you, but you simply don’t have the time to engage in all these methods, let us handle it.
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