People say link building is history.
If you try to build links to your site artificially, you’ll get penalized faster than you can say “why?”
But is that really the case? Let’s find out.
While it is true that some link building strategies have become obsolete as search engines are moving towards natural link building strategies, intelligent ways of creating backlinks still exist.
In this post, I am going to discuss three workable strategies to build long-lasting links to boost your content marketing efforts.
#1 Guest Posting
Guest posting is a powerful tool for increasing brand awareness and introducing your blog/website/platform to a large audience to gain authority.
Remember, link building must never be your main purpose when writing an article.
Articles written for backlinks alone read and sound horrible. Your main goal should always be to bring value to the reader, and it’s great if you can prove your point with studies from your blog or suggest tools that help readers automate their work, but it shouldn’t be your main goal.
In other words, you can link to your blog/service/website if it’s valuable for the reader. This way you will get a link to your site, providing reader with a valuable article and gaining authority as an expert in your niche.
Some blogs accept links to your blog or service in the body text. Here is what Hubspot points in the guidelines:
They’re ok with you adding one link to your website, if it’s relevant and not overly promotional.
Some blogs don’t accept any links to your company website in general. But on request they can add a link to your site in the author bio.
Here is what Mention blog has written in the guidelines:
And here is what such bio may look like:
See, there is always a way to leave a link to your blog or website provided that you’re doing it right (not overly promotional, relevant, valuable) and editors will accept it without any problems.
How to Find Blogs for Guest Posting
Follow these best practices to find relevant guest posting opportunities within your industry.
Find Lists of Relevant Websites
First of all, there are a lot of lists of blogs that accept guest posts put together for you. Here is a great list I found.
Of course, this list isn’t endless, but it’s a great way to start. Type “blogs that accept guest posts” into Google search bar and find more lists.
Another way to find a lot of blogs is to use Google operators. Type in Google search this simple formula ‘your query inurl:write-for-us’ OR ‘“write for us” + [niche]’. This way Google will return websites which are related to your search query and have “write for us” phrase in the URLs.
There are a lot of alternatives of “write for us” like:
- “guest post”
- “become a contributor”
- “editorial guidelines”
- “editorial policies”
- “product review”
Try them all, and you’ll get a huge list of blogs that accept guest posting.
You can steal some backlinks from your competitors. Open any SEO tool you like the most (I’ll go with Serpstat) and download the spreadsheet with your competitors’ backlinks.
Choose one backlink per domain filter and export all this data. After that, you can sort it out. Here is what my spreadsheet looks like:
Now it’s time for the long and routine work: take about 500 backlinks and open them one by one. Then, estimate the quality of the backlinks and choose only high-quality blogs. Thus, you can analyze your competitor’s strategy in general and find great blogs for publication as well.
How to Choose a High-Quality Blog
Since we need only high-quality backlinks, here is what I suggest to check before writing to the blog:
- Social activity (comments, shares, likes) on this blog.
- Traffic by SimilarWeb. It should be from 10K users per month (or higher);
- Geolocation. It should be relevant to your blog/service (you can check it with SimilarWeb too)
- Quality of published articles. Don’t write for blogs with a bunch of promotional publications and product reviews; write blogs that are full of compelling content.
- Regularity. Check if blogger posts new articles regularly. Don’t write for the blogs with zero publication for the last couple of months.
#2 Evergreen and Viral Content on Your Blog
The second way, which is also completely safe and natural, is publishing evergreen viral content on your blog.
How It Works
See, when writing an article, people always refer to other quality articles, studies, and statistics to prove their point. For example, the ‘Moz’s SEO guide for beginners’ led to 212k inbound links.
And it’s only one article on their website. We can say that this article is evergreen, precise, and brilliant, so it will bring natural links to the site for years.
How to Create Such Content
As to viral content, here is the greatest study on viral content I have come across. I won’t repeat the same info, and simply say that statistics, infographics, and studies are the content that I personally share and link to in every article. This one is not an exception, as you can see.
If we talk about evergreen content, I can point three factors that make a simple article evergreen:
- Basic topic. It should be something fundamental as new methods may become obsolete too quickly.
- Actionable advice. Tutorials, guides, checklists, manuals, white papers, case studies, etc. Everything reader can apply to his own business/blog/website.
- Relevance. It shouldn’t depend on season, occasion, news, etc.
Find what you’re an expert at and come up with a few basic topics. Then, check the existing content on the topic to find out if you can actually create value. To do this, go to Buzzsumo and insert your topic into the search box.
This tool has an evergreen score, which is based on the number of shares and backlinks an article gets a month after it is published.
Explore existing content and come up with ideas on this topic, something 10x better than existing article.
With this approach, you can create posts that will bring a bunch of links to your blog.
#3 Collaboration with Influencers
The influencers usually have a large audience, and they’re happy to share content that mentions them with their audience. So the last method I offer is forming collaborations with thought leaders in your niche. Here are a few ways to do it:
- Create expert roundups and podcasts/interviews with experts.
- Mention their sayings/quotes/posts in your own post and share your point of view.
- Create a study together.
Once such post is published on your blog, the expert will probably share it, and you’ll get great exposure. And it, in turn, will bring you a lot of shares and backlinks.
How to Find Experts
The easiest way is to Google other expert roundups and grab some famous names from there.
Mention allows finding niche influencers on Twitter pretty easy.
Finally, develop connections on Linkedin. Get connected with every blogger you’ve worked with, follow best influencers in your niche, and then follow the discussions. The influencers usually comment each other’s posts, endorse skills, etc. Start connecting with people from your niche, and then your network will start to grow itself.
Black hat link building techniques are gone for good. Welcome to the new age of content marketing. With the practices described above, you will seamlessly increase your site’s authority, create awareness, and get a lot of natural links.
Just so you don’t forget, the key takeaways of this post are:
- Search for relevant guest blogging opportunities
- Create evergreen vital content on your blog
- Collaborate with niche-specific influencers
With this approach, you’ll not only keep Google happy but also get a consistent stream of traffic.
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Jamil is an Organic Search Manager at Cloudways - A SEO friendly hosting Platform. He has 14 years experience in SEO, and is passionate about Digital Marketing and Growth Optimization. Jamil is a Minimalist, Observer, Loves Nature, Animals, Food, Cricket & Mimicking :)