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!
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
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 .
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 !
- Link baiting requires seasoned data and analytics skills .
- You need to map the link profiles and marketing strategies of link baits that went viral .
- This will let you estimate how much effort you will need to make to push yours to the podium called Viral !
- There is a good resource on how to find inspiration for link baits .
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
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.
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
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 .
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 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.
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
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!
- 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.