With the advent of social media, blogging isn't all that it used to be, in the sense that the blogosphere has been largely taken over by professionals, or bloggers with a deeply entrenched interest in a certain niche. However, this is probably for the better, since it also opens a venue for companies who are interested in expanding brand awareness through blogging. It's safe to assume that if you're either an entrepreneur, a digital marketer for a specific brand, or simply a beginner blogger, with an interest in gaining more visibility, you will want to acquire more links leading back to your publishing channel. Here are a few tips on how to do this successfully, in a completely â€˜white hat' manner.
Start off small
More often than not, beginner blogs stand few to zero chances at being paid any attention by the â€˜big league', namely the game-changers in their niche of interest. That's why, when starting out, it's a good idea to target just about any website - with the important amendment that they need to be relevant to your niche and have the potential to drive traffic back to their website. There are three simple tools you need to use, in order to get going with the selection process:
- Google search: run a query (or several) for sites that link back to blogs or other websites in your niche, through a blog roll or list of recommended resources. Organize the results in a chart and eliminate those search results which are too similar.
- A domain authority tool: you do not want any spammy or poor quality website linking back to your blog. MozCheck.com, for instance, offers this service, which can be extremely useful in determining which sites are out of our scope, either because their domain authority is too low, or too high.
- A tool to determine number of outbound links: this is one of the most important parts of the process and something not a lot of bloggers are aware of. Ideally, you should target sites that don't link out to too many other blogs. This way, having your link featured there is going to matter so much more and, as they say, make the link carry more weight.
Contact your targeted websites
Instead of brushing off this part of the process, it's important to highlight it, as it speaks of the importance of a genuine, well thought out outreach effort. Of course, when you're emailing dozens of webmasters at a time, it's helpful to have an email template available. However, know that webmasters, too, get many such emails each day - if yours doesn't have a personal tone, or any other kind of specific approach, it's likely that it will go ignored and sent straight to trash. That's where carbon copied emails end up.
Research your keywords
This is also an important stage for link building, especially because it allows you to learn a bit about how SEO works, but also because it gives you a glimpse into the strategies employed by your competitors. Use a tool that will reveal what sites are linking back to your competition and what keywords they're linking on. This will also help you find interesting resources for promotion: high authority sites that run guest posts, sites which hold competitions that you, too, might want to enter, article directories and sites with top lists that curate the best of the blogging web.
Begin guest posting
The final and most sophisticated part of driving traffic back to your emerging blog through back links is guest blogging. It's complex, because, once again, you don't want to post on poor quality sites - you can click here for more information on how blog posts with poor content, or on poor sites can actually harm your blog. Now, generally speaking, you should ignore anything that ranks beyond page 2 on your keywords or niche of choice. But then, not all sites accept guest posting. Some only publish paid guest content, while others (even among those that are open, in theory, to guest bloggers) will not make their contact information easy to find.
Once more, aside from domain authority and page rank, you want to find sites that are likely to drive traffic back to you, so look at their social media activity: how many followers do they have? How shared is their content. Then, get to writing outreach emails, keep it personal, and respond in a timely manner. You'll be surprised just how quickly you can actually acquire guest posting opportunities, if you just follow these simple rules.