how to build backlinks for your blog
Building high quality backlinks is so important. There are many ways to build those backlinks for your blog. Here are a couple of the easiest ways to gain those backlinks:
1. Guest Posting
Guest posting is one of the ways most commonly associated with gaining backlinks. This isn't the easiest method, but it comes with a host of other great things:
- Increased relationship with people in your industry
- Great access to other people's audiences
- Increased page views and email list sign-ups
When deciding who you would like to guest post for I would take a couple of things into consideration:
The paramount concern that you should have when deciding where to guest post is the site's niche. If the niche doesn't mesh with your niche, why would you even bother guest posting? There are many easier ways to build backlinks than writing for a site that's not in your niche. Sharing your favorite cheese dip recipe on a food blog won't help your social media posts on your social media advice blog. Be clear about who you would like to write for and make sure that they post about similar topics so you can take advantage of all the added benefits of guest posting. If you are building a freelance portfolio, guest posting out of your niche may be acceptable, but that is the only time that I could see it as beneficial.
This may seem like something that you have to fight to get, but SEO is pretty open. Moz has a great Google Chrome extension that you can add which allows you to find some great information about any site that you happen to be on while using it. Click here to get the MozBar (and thanks to Eden Fried who introduced me to this tool when I attended one of her webinars. Check out her blog she provides tons of great information!)
Their engagement and social following
You should also consider their engagement and social following. Some people say that you should just base this off their social following but I feel you need a mixture. This does not mean that you pass over the small blogger, in fact guest posting for someone who has a similar or even smaller following can be beneficial if they have great engagement. That is why I think you should look at both metrics before you decide to work with them.
Their writing style
You want someone who has a similar writing style to you. If they have a more flower-y and poetic writing style and your writing style is like a slap in the face--you won't work well with their audience. Even if you write about similar topics that style won't mesh. If you toned down your writing for their site you can't fake it all the time so when they happen to check out your site they will be dazed and confused. Instead, focus on guest posting for sites that have a similar writing style so you don't have to tame yourself or make yourself a different writer in any way, shape, or form.
Guest posting can be really beneficial to you as a writer. Yes, guest posting is giving away some of your best content, and it is also a slow build for your link building strategy. On the other hand, this creates a closer bond for you. It's about more than just getting a link--it's building a relationship with new people which can prove so much more valuable than a link on someone's blog post.
That being said, you may want some of those links that are easier to obtain so here comes #2...
2. Emailing Influencers
Another great idea for building backlinks is to email influencers with your new post. Find influencers who have published about similar things on their blog. You can use the same things we talked about a few paragraphs back like using the MozBar to understand their SEO influence and observing their social media following and engagement. Once you have chosen the influencers:
You need to act like you give a damn.
I am going to be frank here, because this situation is dire. I get requests to look at people's content all the time on The Happy Arkansan but I hardly ever add their links because it seems like they don't truly care. If you want influencers to listen to your case you have to at least act like this is more than just a scheme to build your backlinks. If having your link on my blog is seen as influential--I want you to care about getting that link.
I am not asking you to kiss the ground I walk on, but you know, act like you actually want to form a relationship instead of just treating me as one more backlink on your mountain of links. Here is how you do that:
Address the influencer by their name | This is already an easy way to build links--you should not be sending the same pitch email to each influencer your email. Bloggers usually have their name prominently displayed on their blog so use that. Double check before you send any email just in case you pulled the wrong name.
Show that you have at least read the blog post | If you have read more than that, that's amazing, but at least act like you have read the post at hand. Comment on something specific about the post, it doesn't have to be long-winded (influencers have places to be) but a comment or two about why you like the post is always appreciated.
Be specific | I shouldn't have to dig for the post in question. Many influencers have 100s and sometimes 1000s of posts. Share a link (or at the very least a title) to the post you are talking about so I know where to insert your link.
Don't act entitled | One of the biggest turn offs for me, "I see you have linked to XYZ's post and our post would be a great addition too." I am sorry, but just because I found that post helpful doesn't mean I will like yours. Don't mention who else I've linked to, quite frankly in my opinion, it's none of your business.
There are MANY more ways to earn backlinks for your website. This list from Entrepreneur that shares 10 Smart Ways To Earn Or Build Backlinks To Your Website is really great. I am really partial to the writing testimonials and getting interviewed methods they share. Lastly, another great way is by signing up for the Help A Reporter Out newsletter. This newsletter comes to your inbox 3x a day Monday-Friday and has plenty of opportunity to help out reporters and get potential links back to your site.