The best way to earn is to create something great and share it with as many people as possible. While this is common sense, we often spend too much time gaming the system or obsessing over metrics instead of concentrating on creating great content. If you want an editorial link, you will need:
— A great piece of content
— An influential blogger who cares about the same things you do.
— A quick email asking for a link saying exactly why they should link to your content.
It is a guide to step 1 — creating great content. We have covered how to find bloggers who need your help and what you can offer them in another post, which you can read here. This guide assumes that you have discovered influential bloggers — now you need to give them something great for linking.
Your Content Must Be Better Than What Is Already There
Why would an influential blogger want to link to your content? If it’s just because it’s work that they would otherwise link to anyway, what you’re offering is not that different from a guest post. It would help if you gave bloggers a reason to link to your content over and above that it’s on topic and of high quality. To make sure you’ve stood out:
— Check their posts — has the blogger linked similar posts in previous weeks? If so, what makes your content different?
— See how their site is structured — does it match up with yours? If not, think about why that might be and try to better something that fits that structure.
— If their posts usually have lots of images, can you provide great visuals for them? If they typically post long-form content, can you bring something to the table that’s a little more in-depth?
Your Content Must Be Better Than Your Own
Even if you’re confident that your content is impressive, remember that they’ve seen your site before. It knows what sort of quality to expect from you. If your site is hard to navigate or all your posts are poorly formatted, their readers will see that reflected in the link. If you’ve created the sort of content that has people commenting and tweeting, then your link will be welcomed as an addition to the ‘conversation,’ but remember, not everyone who reads the post will see those comments. Take some time to read through their site and look for areas where yours might stand out better than their usual links.
The Link Must Be Relevant
Just because you can get a link doesn’t mean you should, and it certainly doesn’t permit you to get it. If your content is that good, people will want to share it anyway — your job is to make it as easy for them to do that. If you’re planning on offering a link in return, then the only way that will work is if you’ve made it relevant. To earn a link, people have to feel like they’d be doing their readers a disservice by not posting the link. The title of the post should be directly related to the content. The URL should match the title and be keyword-rich.
A link in your author bio is a bonus if they choose to do so, but it’s not acceptable to ask for one in return for a link or any other form of payment.
Make It Easy For Them To Link To You
When you’re reaching out to bloggers, ask if it’s okay for you to share the post on Twitter and give them a ‘via’ link at the bottom directing readers back to your site. This way, it’s easy for readers to find the best content, and the blogger gets credit for sharing. Don’t let links back to your site be an afterthought — they should be as easy to add as possible so the more generous bloggers will do it without being asked. If there’s a particular page you want to be linked to, tell them and include the URL in your email. A no-follow link will prevent the other site from penalizing in search rankings. To add your links to your content, use your keyword in an appropriate place — usually in the first paragraph where it’s easy for people scanning the page to spot.
Link building is a long, slow process. If you do not see results after doing everything we have suggested above, it’s time to re-think what you’re offering and make sure your site isn’t the reason why people don’t want to link to you.