Link Building Tips For Beginners

10 Link Building Tips For Beginners

So, you’ve already created your website. You’re confident that you have the best content in your industry. Yet, as months and years pass, you find that not many people visit your site.

There are too many reasons to list down why your site isn’t receiving enough traffic. But it all falls down to search engines not having enough trust in your site. If they don’t trust your site, you won’t end up in the SERPs (search engine results pages).

One of the ways to end up in the SERPs is to have a reliable website and this is where link building comes in.

To make it short, link building is an SEO tactic of getting backlinks from other sites to your site. If many sites link back to your website, this sends a signal to search engines to trust your website. In the end, you’ll have greater chances to get a higher ranking in the SERPs.

If you’re not practicing link building for your site, you should start now. Learning everything would take a lot of time. That’s why I’ve come up with a list of the basic tips to building links that you can use as a beginner.

Warning: Not all of these methods will not work immediately. It’s best to study the approaches you choose to apply carefully before acting on them. I’ve noted the learning curve, scalability, and success rate for each method.

1. Finding replaceable links

  • Learning curve: 2 hours including tool learning
  • Scalability: Low
  • Success Rate: 50%

This method is time-consuming and the success rate is not that high. But if you feel that your content is better than others, then you should give it a shot.

For example, let’s say you’ve found a website that has linked to an article that features 10 useful SEO tools. Then, you have an article with a list of 20 tools. Yours is obviously a better article given that your writing skills are also up to par.

The next step is to contact the site and pitch in your offer. Your email may include something like this:

I noticed that you referenced (insert the link you want to replace) in your article. I’ve written a similar article that I believe has better content and would be a better reference to your article.

If the site sees that your article is really much better than the current link they referenced, they’ll most likely replace that link with yours. But again, the success rate isn’t that high especially if you try to hijack a link in a sponsored post.

2. Link building in community sites

  • Learning curve: 30 minutes
  • Scalability: High
  • Success Rate: High

Going to different sites hoping that they’ll backlink to you is not the only link building method you can use. Going directly to your target audience is another way.

Community sites like Quora, Reddit, and other forums are great places to build links. If you see any topics or inquiries in these sites, comment on them and include a link to an article that will be useful for the readers.

Link Building in Community Sites Link Building Tips

There’s also a chance that the people you reach will produce other backlinks for you in other ways such as sharing in social media or in their sites as well.

Note: You must not overdo or spam community sites.

3. Create ego bait content

  • Learning curve: 2 hours
  • Scalability: Low
  • Success Rate: 50%

Ego bait content involves mentioning a site or a specific person positively. Again, the chance of this method working is around 50%, so try not to rely on this too much. Still, it’s a great method for beginners in building links. You can do this in three ways.

  1. Create your content first and mention the person/s or site/s.
  2. Create your content first without mentioning anyone yet.
  3. Think about topic ideas that will feature the person/s or site/s you want to mention.

Use a method that you think will fit you best. If you already have a published article, you can change it into ego bait content and pursue with methods 1 and 2. Method 3 will be similar to guest blogging, but you’ll be publishing the content on your site.

Once you’ve determined which method to use, it’s time to contact the person/s or site/s you mention. Your email to them would include a message like this:

I mentioned you in one of my posts, (insert article link), because I admire your work and services. I’m not looking for something in return. But if you’d like to promote the article or mention my site in one of your posts, it would be such a great help. I’ll truly appreciate it.

High authority sites may ignore this since they would get a lot of emails like this. That’s why you need to gauge the site you’d want to bait.

4. Check for unlinked mentions

  • Learning curve: 1 hour
  • Scalability: Very Low
  • Success Rate: 80%

There are instances where a site will mention you in their content, but it won’t be linking to your site or published post. You can grab this as an opportunity to get a backlink.

The first thing you should do is find those unlinked mentions. You can either go through the dreadful act of manually searching for them or use tools to do this.

Once you’ve found unlinked mentions, your instincts may tell you to contact the site immediately. But it’ll be best to assess the site and the relevance of the unlinked mention. If the site has already mentioned your site or posts with links, then leaving one or two unlinked won’t hurt. If you find the unlinked mention in a published post that’s against your site, it’s best to leave it unlinked.

5. Write up-to-date resources for events

  • Learning curve: 2 hours
  • Scalability: Low
  • Success Rate: 10%

Writing content about events is another way to get a lot of links back to your site. As long as it includes important information about the event that people will want to know, then you will have better chances of getting referred.

You have to be quick in knowing about the different events in your industry. For example, music-related sites can feature concerts of local gigs and technology-related sites can publish content about conferences.

You can then promote this on your social media or contact the event coordinator to inform them that you’ve published content about the event. You can ask the coordinator to reference you as a reliable source about the event.

6. Submit your website and content to directories

  • Learning curve: 2 hours
  • Scalability: Low
  • Success Rate: 50%

Online directories are online catalogs or lists of websites or content. For website directories, they don’t really do much for link building. However, being in a directory will make you more credible and trustworthy.

This could be considered as a long-term investment. You should also consider submitting your website to niche-specific and local directories. There are also some directories looking for specific blog posts.

Best of the Web Website Directory Link Building Tips

Remember to not spam directories especially free ones. You must also remember to submit accurate information on your name, physical address, and site statistics. It’s also a good idea to be ready with a description of your website.

But the most important thing to remember is to avoid directories that will require you to add banners or linkbacks to your site. Having these can have negative effects on the SEO score of your website.

Note: This is an old strategy that websites have been using for many years. Still, it’s a relevant method that still works today. Just make sure not to spam these directories especially the free ones since it can lead to an unsuccessful submission.

7. Write tangential content

  • Learning curve: 4 hours
  • Scalability: Medium
  • Success Rate: 15%

Tangential content may be one of the best underdog ideas for link building. As a webmaster, you might think that you only need to create content that’s all about your site. But you shouldn’t be close-minded when it comes to writing content that’s out of the box.

This also doesn’t mean that you need to write about how to train dogs on your mobile technology website. Tangential content is something that’s not completely about your niche, but it’s still somehow related.

Here are some ideas on how to start creating tangential content:

  1. Go with a trend. For now, news about the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the most searched topics on the web. You can create content around this trend which is still related to your niche. For example, a pet-oriented blog site may write about the effects of COVID-19 to house pets.
  2. Write for readers outside your target audience. You can write content that would not only be interesting to your target audience. Here’s an example title, “A Guide to Using Smartphones for Senior Citizens”. Just from this title, you can tell that the content targets senior citizens as well as readers interested in technology who may have elderly family members they want to teach.

What would be the result of creating tangential content? You’ll be able to reach a wider audience. People who can’t relate to your specific niche may be able to understand and connect to the tangential content you produce. Also, there’s a big chance that other sites outside your industry will link back to your content if it’s related to their niche.

8. Repurpose content

  • Learning curve: 8 hours
  • Scalability: High
  • Success Rate: Medium/Low (depends on the niche)

If you have content that you think is great that’s not reaching enough people, you can repurpose it. The process involves creating new content from your existing content.

Here are different ways to repurpose content:

  1. Create videos, presentations, infographics, instructographics, and ebooks.
  2. Host webinars or create podcasts.
  3. Write new content from your published videos or listicle articles.

For example, you’ve published a post on troubleshooting a computer-related problem, you can create a video of it. Another example is repurposing an in-depth article about technology. You can create slideshows from this article and repurpose it for a webinar.

The learning process may take a bit longer than the other methods on this list since you may need to learn new skills. These may include basic graphic arts and video editing.

Investing your time to repurpose content is beneficial since you’ll be able to reach more people and you’ll be learning new skills for your personal development.

Now, where does repurposing content fit in the process of link building? Once you’ve created your repurposed content, publish it on websites like Pinterest, YouTube, and Slideshare. Add your links to the descriptions or wherever they will be visible.

9. Broken link building

  • Learning curve: 3 hours
  • Scalability: Low
  • Success Rate: 60%

In broken link building, you’ll be replacing dead links or links that redirect to 404 error pages in your target sites with working links. This method works well because it actually helps other sites.

Having broken links will hurt a site’s ranking because search engines hate them. You’ll be doing other webmasters favors by pointing out that they have a broken link and replacing it with a live link.

You can use tools such as the Chrome extension, Broken Link Checker. You can find broken links on a webpage much easier using tools like this. This is also helpful especially when a page has too many links. Another good tip would be going for sites and pages that have a lot of links. More links will have a greater chance of finding broken links. You should also look at broken links to your site.

Broken Link Checker Browser Extension Link Building Tips

Once you’ve found those links, you can now contact the right person from the site. The best approach would be as someone who wants to help them more than a person who’s only after a backlink. Your email may include something like this:

I found a broken link in your blog, (insert link to the page with the broken link). Luckily, I have a published post that could be a replacement for that: (insert your link)

Hope I was able to help you out.

10. Guest blogging

  • Learning curve: 4 hours
  • Scalability: Medium
  • Success Rate: 40%

The process of guest blogging would start with outreach. There are two easy ways to do this.

  1. Use an email outreach tool to contact other sites saying that you want to guest post for them. This is often used as some sites don’t have guest blog opportunities posted on their site.
  2. Look for sites that are already accepting guests posts through their website. Most of them would already have complete details on their guidelines. They’ll also have details on their site on how you can submit guest blogs.

Once your target site has accepted your proposal to write a guest blog for them, you’ll need to determine how you can get a backlink to your site. Can you include it in the article? Will they feature your author biography with the link to your site? These are questions that you need to know before they publish your article.

In many cases, sites will have a dedicated page that informs people that they’re accepting guest blogs/posts. Check their guidelines carefully to know what they can offer you.

Is link building worth it?

Though link building takes a lot of time to fully understand and carry out, it’s worth it. Once you’ve established your site’s authority score, you’ll be surprised to see that other sites will be linking out to your site without you needing to reach out to them.

If you’re too busy to pursue link building for your site or don’t have a team for it yet, you can always hire link builders to do it for you.

More info on different link building services and link building techniques can always help you. Of course, this path would cost money. Unless you already have enough budget for this option, you’d probably want to go through link building by yourself first.

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