How To Make A Link Bait That Goes Viral

There have been lot of debates on link baiting being ethical or otherwise , let me be frank, this post is not intended to go that path . Its a personal choice and i think that is how internet is supposed to behave – By linking to each other and keeping it alive and relevant . We will discuss that later . For now, let us see how to create a good link bait for your Business Blog so that people are compelled to link to your post .

Let us not ruminate the same all over in the article and discuss how to go about and achieve this feat!

Successful Linkbait and Viral Marketing

Successful Linkbait and Viral Marketing

Be Linkable

You will find this piece of advice resonating in all my posts and there is a solid reason to it, – It works ! If you thought creating a link bait was the ‘cool’ thing to get traffic and backlinks the easy way , think again ! because

It is not as cool as you think , you need to have the knowledge , authority and fluid language skills to pull off a link bait.

Its not easy in any way , as if being difficult was not good enough , you will also face terrible damage to your reputation and SERPs for a linkbait gone wrong ! will explain that later in the post . For now , you need to be linkable in a way :

  • Have good connections.
  • Having published valuable content in the past .
  • Good relations with other bloggers. This is where Help Marketing comes into play
  • People tend to link to you if you are already familiar .

Create useful content

A good link bait that goes viral

How A Good Link Bait Looks

You can’t beat this , yes you can beat me for saying this chewed up and spit out a thousand times cliche statement but still “Content Is King” . Do whatever your mind pleases, build a thousand links , or write thousands of SEO optimized posts, the truth is what the Venn diagram from SEOmoz aptly explaing ,

  • You will never be able to get natural one way links voluntarily, from other blogs if you have no content ! you will have to go the old way of content marketing and profile link building which is not too easy mind you .

Magnetic Title

This is what makes the bait, well ….the BAIT !

  • An attractive worm will always pull the fish to itself .
  • Make the title as intriguing as you can .
  • The title is what will create the initial attraction and get people to read the post .
  • Imagine a situation where people click on your category page and miss your link bait and click on a different link just because of a title of your ‘bait’ that is not attractive enough ! Opss !

Package content properly

This is the second most important thing after having a good title. JUST having a good title and good information is not good enough. You need to package it in an attractive manner for people to find your bait delicious. As you may already have guessed ,

  • Linkbait posts are lengthy and you dont want your readers to snore while they finish reading it
  • It is necessary that you make the post interesting to read, build up curiosity and keep them glued
  • Sprinkle in some jokes however don’t dont over do it unless you want people to tell their friends next day that you are a good joker.

Make ‘Easy To Forget’ Info

Yes, that is right. You must be wondering why the ironical statement of making it all the more difficult for people when i already imposed that the content should be friendly and easy to navigate. The thing about link baits which no manual will reveal is that

  • It is purely based on that impulsive decision a blogger makes to link to it as soon as he finishes reading it.
  • The fact that the content is useful and that it would aid him in some way in the future will force him to make a reminder of the post somewhere like a social bookmark and mention in his own posts so he can refer it in future .

But how do you make a user forget something he read ? No , you don’t have to bang his head .

The trick is to make a post that the readers can’t feed in their mind in the first place. Take for example my post on pagerank. It shows relation of PR and backlinks in tabular form, and people would want to refer it over and over again because it helps them, and as you guessed it – it is impossible to remember it ! so people do the next best thing – bookmark it !

Study Other Baits

This is the most under rated trick of the trade as far as link baiting is considered . You can’t just expect to wake up one fine day , brush your teeth and publish your link bait and then expect it to go viral before you finish your coffee !

Make long 101 Grocery Style Lists

Making big lists has been the all time favorites of link bait content creators and mostly goes with the above trick 5 but with a textual twist to it. Instead of including magnetic info graphics, it employs the use of a list of things which is supposedly of use to the reader. This kind of bait requires absolute command on where you collect the 101 recources from and that requires a lot of research and prior knowledge of where to look for the information. Not to mention such posts keep receiving lifelong backlinks and traffic, so it is absolutely imperative to make it the best masterpiece you have ever created !

Create a Controversy

Controversial and Attractive Titles

Controversial and Attractive Titles

There are some topics in every niche which always create a debate and which will never have an answer . Pick up those, to create a controversial statement . However, please remember, do only as i said – ‘Create’ a controversy , in simple terms:

  • Bring up both sides of the issue with equal weight without taking sides .
  • People will do the rest by arguing in the comments section and bookmarking it to call their friends to help them in the debate .
  • Your bait is taken.
  • However don’t pick up politically controversial topics or it may get ugly .

Remember , you want to stand out from the crowd but not stand against it !

Use Info graphics

Can stress more ! Don,t irritate your readers with thousands of words , they have quit college years back and the last thing they want is a boring sermon . Try to include case studies Spruce up your post with some images and keep them entertained for a bit longer , (at least till they make a positive move in the direction of taking the bait)

  • Use related infographics however ,
  • Don’t make it look like the post is reading out what is depicted already within the infographic . Your readers are not dumb.

Forget SEO

Thats right , If you are making a link bait means, you are, infact :

Optimizing the post for humans and that means catchy headers and titles that may not necessarily have your primary keyword and you may have to give up on some keyword analysis and embark on the longtail SEO strategy instead.

But that is not something to be sad about, I will tell you how to cover up for the keyword loss as we near the conclusion the article .

Catch The Big Fish First

Since we are in the bait mood let me refer to them as the big fish, don’t twist your nose yet, these are just proverbial fish and dont smell like fish in real life (hopefully). Ok, jokes aside, lets come to the point. So how do you get the high PR blogs to notice and

Link Bait

Link Bait

mention you ? Yes! you guessed it right ! By mentioning them ! this has more to do with the human psychology than link building. PR 0 or PR 10 everyone likes some free publicity and this is your chance . You are killing 2 birds with one stone ,

  • Since you are linking out to domains that are highly trusted by the search engines that will inturn increase your domain trust rank
  • You will get some good people to network with .

Having your mom and your cat as the only readers of your blog is not really a sign of great business ! One word of caution, don’t be a trackback spammer, people will respond only if you have some good content, see tip 1 again ! There are some good resources where you can find resources dedicated to  blogging tips and some good bloggers to network with .

Link To Other Link Baits

This is the tried and tested method and has a simple logic ,

These link baits already have large amount of thematic natural back-links that have made them successful link baits .

  • Linking to them will increase your trust factor .
  • Will gain you added link juice from those trackbacks .
  • It will also open up a possibility that the blog owner likes your content and includes your link in the post .

There is no other link juice like being included as a mention in a link bait post .

Make The Post Sticky

This is the reason why I always say – common sense is very uncommon ! People spend sleepless nights aggregating data for the link bait , making infographics and one fine morning they post it only to be covered by their next post and so on ! If you know that the content is worth going viral then make it sticky and depending on the response, decide when you should remove it from the featured status. It will also help you in marketing it with a good greenhat SEO strategy .

Social Intelligence

I was tempted to write ‘social networking’ here but I improvised at the eleventh hour! Why? because I have seen people commit the same social media crimes over and over again and it seems some one has fooled them into believing that logging into twitter, tweeting their post and logging out is supposed to be called twitter marketing! If you are one of those, please correct your act.

You need to be active on social sites, the right sites for the right amount of time.

On the contrary being on twitter for 17 hours a day and retweeting everyones links is not going to make you hit any jackpot either.

  • Use the platform intelligently
  • Spend moderate amount of time .
  • Use yahoo answers and help forums , where people are looking for information .
  • Promote moderately and don’t let it take up most of your time and efforts ,the idea is to increase brand visibility.

That is why ‘social intelligence’ and not ‘social networking sites’ .

Comment

Comment on other blogs. However don’t use it as a major link building strategy, at least, as far as the bait post is considered. In most probability feedburner may be stealing your links anyway. We will discuss how to manipulate that in my future posts .

Use it in a productive way to interact with other bloggers and their followers from their social media community. Comment backlinks don’t fetch much link juice but your comment is a permanent mark you leave on someones blog and since they are already taking the pain to draw traffic to their site , you are getting quick benefits from it. However make sensible comments that stick, if you don’t have some to say genuinely then please don’t force yourself to comment. Don’t waste your and the blog owners time spent in marking the comment as spam !

Notice them and get them to notice you ! In lay mans terms its called symbiosis .

Build Thematic links

This is the reason I told you to forget SEO in the tip mentioned above. Infact this is the solution to the SEO crime we commit in tip number 10 by not indulging in some keyword research and not optimizing your title and headers in a bid to make it attractive to human readers .

Cover up whatever SEO errors you committed by thematic link building. Build trusted links of high PR and preferably GOV and EDU. Dont waste time with social bookmarking, your fish will do that for you when the bait is taken. Our point in link building is to make it rank on search engines to get a fresh surge of targetted traffic from the search engines so we have more fish to engage and that increases the probability of the bait being taken. Quality links is what will help you achieve that, volume based link building is a myth.

Proliferate your weapons

Prepare in advance for the kind of links you are going to need. A link bait however well written cannot succeed unless you have intervention from other bloggers from your niche. Ask them if they would like to link back, explain them the advantage they have in linking to you (if there really is a reason). Otherwise dont spam people.
Be ready with a good number of social media followers, if you don’t have them then request a friend to help you .

Use Video Marketing

Videos are the ‘in’ thing in marketing and they are here to stay. So make sure you invest in good video marketing practices and leverage it to your benefit. Here is a graphic which will make it clear how important video marketing really is for your business.

Optimize videos

You can refer my articles on how to create high converting sales videos and optimizing videos for more traction to get a better insight.

The Golden Rule

It takes military level precision to execute a perfect link bait. Everything from the number of outgoing and incoming links to the preferred social media should be planned in advance. Link bait if taken means a surge of very high PR incoming links and traffic. Make effecient use of internal linking and the nofollow tag to effeciently pass PR and traffic to your preferred pages. Ideal ones are

Link Bait Gone Wrong

Link Bait Gone Wrong

the deep links which you want to boost on SERP’s. Since a page cant have a PR more than 10 yet you can still have a net influx of PR more than 10 you can’t afford to waste the incoming juice. Make a map of the link juice flow to push all your other keyword researched posts on the SERP’s. A blog if  marketed properly can outsmart even Einstein but if you make thesemarketing mistakes can bear disastrous results!

Conclusion

  • Don’t try to make a link bait if you have nothing valuable to offer .
  • Spamming is not in any way synonymous to promoting .
  • A link bait gone wrong can give you a nice shiny penalty from google for reciprocal links so if you are a newbie to SEO and dont know how to manipulate the PR flow with nofollow tags please dont take a risk .
  • Last but not the least , your friends have helped you in making the bait a success , never forget them when the task is done . Help them out by going out of the way in helping with the projects they are passionately involved in themselves .

Is This A Link Bait ??

Umm.. I dont know, you tell me, do you find it delicious? Would you link to it in your article? Would you like to be mentioned in my future posts? Even I am curious, let me know by dropping comments and sharing the post with your friends.

About Rohan

Rohan Pawale is a professional internet marketer by day and an ace programmer by night and runs the show around here and an array of his client's business sites that he manages. (Damn! writing an introduction of yourself in the third person feels so corny, isn't it?)

Comments

  1. Sujith says:

    Hi Rohan,
    Very nice informative article and well researched too. Thanks.

  2. Rohan thank you for the link and excellent article! very well written. I usually follow #10 by rule these days. And YES it is a linkbait that hooked me .

  3. Suraj says:

    I think link bait is one of the most tricky factors of SEO, may be it’s little hard to get linked from other bloggers of same niche, I liked your tips about creating a controversy because these things works really well (if done really well). It’s really worth the time to read this detailed article.

    As a blogger I think sharing valuable posts from other blogs will not harm your blog, it will only increase your value :)

    Thanks for the valuable post Rohan.

  4. Very long list of SEO tips of great importance, I have not finished reading yet. I’ll have to come back to read the rest. Happy blogging :)

  5. Great article–I had heard the term “link-baiting” before, but I didn’t know what it was; now I do. I have found that “content” is the real link-bait, but your tips are useful in making it go viral. Thanks!

  6. Hi Rohan,

    Fantastic article on link baiting. These tips will definitely help me to make my link bait content go viral.

    Thanks for the kind mention of my post – very much appreciated :)

    All the best,
    Mavis

  7. Techsliver says:

    You use your space bar a lot :P all your , ! . ? look weird… you were in a hurry or something? :D but great info!! thanks!!

    • Oh , that spacebar affinity comes from the constant gear chance on my Call Of Duty MW 6 Game ;) That is why people always say , gaming spoils careers , now i see why ! :)
      Thanks for dropping by !

  8. vijay says:

    link baiting is a golden trick of SEO to get rank faster by the ways which you have mentioned.

    Not all the people do link bait effectively that may be due to non awareness of how to do? and for those who planned to link bait powerfully, This is a evergreen article.

    Thanking you for a wonderful writing…

    • It is not so much of a trick really , its just the way we package it that makes it the trick . The real gem is what is packaged inside it – CONTENT ! and believe it or not, link bait or not , good content always finds its way to the podium called Viral , sooner or later :)
      Thanks for dropping by :)

  9. Definitely agree with #9 & 10. Infographics are awesome because they are so easy to share, read, and understand. And linkbait built for the engines is almost guaranteed to fail because it’s the people that make content go viral.

  10. Mahendra says:

    Hey Rohan thnks for sharing this excellent article it was very very helpful and informative for me thanks

  11. Pritam says:

    Good post! And a lot of comments :)

  12. Sushant says:

    Every post you have written on this blog is an art of excellence. Keep posting this high quality stuff

  13. Business Minds says:

    Hi there, I was always interested in reading an in-depth article providing information about link baiting, and I received your comment also on my blog so I just paid you a visit myself to see what you are on, and I like it, keep up the good work like this one.

    Jo

  14. Elle W says:

    Awesome post! I appreciate the information!

  15. Brankica says:

    I think the answer to your questions is “Probably yes, this could very well be a link bait”.

    You definitely explained it well and I know I will try to implement these tips. I also hope I will succeed.

    Oh, by the way, this is also one of the posts people can’t remember, cause it is long and filled with info, so I guess if I wanna follow the tips I will have to bookmark it on one of the social bookmarking sites I use, lol.

  16. Swarjit says:

    Good post thanks for sharing

  17. pramod says:

    great informative article. superb.
    explained very well.

  18. Henry Jakson says:

    I follow your website, you are doing excellent job, keep blogging. Thanks for sharing wonderful new and information with us. I was always interested in reading an in-depth article providing information about link baiting, and I received your comment also on my blog so I just paid you a visit myself to see what you are on, and I like it, keep up the good work like this one.This site is awesome. How could i make main look like this

  19. Shazan Sayani says:

    I totally agreed with your point 8 . “There are some topics in every niche which always create a debate and which will never have an answer . Pick up those, to create a controversial statement . ” you have to create controversy

  20. Sreejesh says:

    Really smart tips. So If anyone follows these tips, they should be really able to rank better.

  21. emmy says:

    wow nice blog i see u are very techy

  22. Lorne Pike says:

    You’ve said it well. VERY well. It’s something we all want to do, but creating effective linkbait is not easy. Truth remains thought that it’s not that much different from the way writing great content has always been. There’s more emphasis now on the outcome rather than the content, and that tends to draw more spammers, but ultimately, creating linkbait is not much removed from writing great literature always was. Say great things in a great way!

    Like you did with this post. :) Thanks again!

    • Rohan says:

      Thank you for the kind words , really appreciate the feedback .

      I second your thoughts about linkbait being an extension of good content with an added advantage of proper packaging . Just saying great things will not make the mark anymore , it has to be said in a great way , just like you quoted .

  23. prashantn says:

    Landed on this site via the Blogadda article.
    As rightly said in the post, a right ‘magnetic title’, attracts viewers to the blogs.

    Over the years, I had an opportunity to visit many blogs and sites. Mostly SEO Blogs are written by folks outside India.
    This is the first SEO Blog, I have come across written by an Indian, that too well researched.

    Can only say, that I will keep coming back for more

  24. Thomas says:

    “yes you can beat me for saying this chewed up and spit out a thousand times cliche statement but still ‘Content Is King’ ”

    I would actually like to take this opportunity to politely disagree and posit an argument.

    How much ‘fluff” (example- gossip trash like TMZ) goes viral just because of the connections, and you did mention this as an essential ingredient – I agree full-heartedly.

    As far as content, it seems that gaudy and naughty is all that is needed, it has to be- the writers of those sites are horrible and the content is at a 2nd grade reading level.

    Thank you for this article, a very relevant precipice for modern bloggers today.

  25. Hamish says:

    Great post – jam packed with information and tips.

    I will be giving this a go – but I rather suspect that it may prove easier said than done.

    Thanks for the tips.

  26. Great post and I appreciate the mention! Keep up the good work.

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