We get jaw dropping stuffs on the Internet daily. Record breaking space jumps, smart young entrepreneurs making billion of dollars, stunning robot dancing skills, in-depth views and studies about UX design, extremely long and comprehensive infographic, and some really interesting research about our sex life.
Cool. Awesome. Great. Remarkable. Extraordinary. Ground Breaking.
You know, the usual “extraordinary” stuffs we tend to blog, tweet, pin; in short, link to it from our websites and social network profiles.
But, how about average people and small businesses with low influences? How do we get others to link to our websites when we have very limited resources?
As y’all knew, back link is the lifeline of a website.
No links = no exposures + no search ranking = no traffics = no incomes. Having a clear and effective link building strategy is vital to any web success.
In this post, we are going to talk about winning the link building (and indirectly, web marketing) battle as the average guy.
Smart Link Building Is All About Win-Win
Instead of writing down a long list of suggestions, I am going to boil everything down to one simple idea: Think Win-Win.
That’s right, before you try to get a link from the others, ask what you can give first.
I know, this sound a little weird at first. You probably don’t get this a lot from other link building guides.
To build legitimate links, most will suggest viral videos, beautiful infographics, free ebooks, etc etc.
However, doing all these need great talent, heavy working hours, and probably lots of money (unless you can do everything by yourself, but then again, time is just another type of cost). Bear in mind that in an average guy’s world, talent and money are always in scarcity.
This is why we need alternative way to build link when talent, money, or manpower comes short.
Let me describe the idea with two real life experiences.
Pingdom Uptime Checker Tool
I have been using Pingdom Uptime Checker for quite some time. Basically, what the tool does is that it sends an HTTP request to your site every 5 minute 24/7 (to check on the uptime) and provides an overall report to your registered email by end of the month.
The tool is accurate, extremely user-friendly, and best of all, free of charge.
The objective behind this free tool is clear: Pingdom wants to build its brand and gain more exposures (and sign ups) among webmasters.
Having that in thought, I took the initiative and introduced Pingdom Uptime Checker to our readers in this and this post. I then notified Pingdom staffs about the post via Twitter mentions. The outcome?
Pingdom’s free service is revealed to my readers (counting at 1,200 unique visitors daily at that time); and in return, folks at Pingdom tweeted about the posts to 60,000+ followers. The tweets not only gave us dozens of new followers on Twitter, it also helped us gained a few extra free links from other bloggers/webmasters who saw the tweets – all at the cost of one short posts and one roundup posts.
iPhone Apps For Web Developers
On another example, some time ago, Danielle and I decided to cover a list of useful iPhone Apps for web developers on WHSR.
As you probably knew, app developers are always racing fiercely to win market share at Apple Apps Store. What app developers need most, without doubt, will more exposures on their products.
So, without any incentive from the app developers, we simply gave out free publicity and links to the selected app developers.
The post was then submitted to dozens of different web design sites and social networking sites for marketing purpose. After a few emails and mentions on Twitter and some Stumbles, our work started to payoff.
Some of the featured web developers picked up the post and linked back to us from their high authority blogs, and some tweeted about the post, and some simply emailed and gave us a free trial account (hey, we are web developers too). The link out strategy earned us more than just links; it also helped us to build relationships with other players in the industry, which most probably will help us to thrive in long-term. Sweet!
Your Takeaway In This Guide
If you are reading this, chances are you were looking for ways to improve your site’s link profile.
And, if you are like me – an average guy with limited resources (money, manpower, talents, access to useful data) – you’ll need to get smart and work really hard.
So here’s how you can apply my idea to your next link building campaign.
- First, Instead of looking for what you can gain from others, ask yourself what you can give to others. Can you create a link-worthy asset (see method #2)?
- Compile a list of 50 sites/blogs related to your industry. Briefly review each of them in the list to understand their strengths and weaknesses, jot your thoughts into the list. If you are familiar with your niche, this shouldn’t take too much of time, target spend less than 20 minutes on each.
- Now, look at the list and ask yourself: “How I can I help to fill the gap and help the site/blog owners to improve?”
- Is there any bad English grammar you can help rectify? Is the site owner/blogger missing certain web marketing skill that you are good at? Can you help pin point the broken links on the site/blog? Does the site/blog need any beta tester for certain program or web service? Is the site owner/blogger looking for users to write a testimonial?
I once did a round of 20 article submissions on my EzineArticles Platinum Account for a guy in order to get a link on his blog homepage.
All it took to get that 20 standard articles approved on EzineArticles was some extra labor work and I got that homepage link without spending a dime. The site owner later told me that I’m the first one who did that and he was glad that his other competitors were not following my strategy.
You see, it doesn’t take a genius to create a symbiosis, win-win situation.
Just be generous and be that guy who is not afraid to take the first step.”Give and you shall receive” – there is indeed some wisdom in the old sayings. Yes, the process can be a little tiring sometimes but hey, it works. Do this once per week for the next 12 months and I bet your site will have a totally different link profile (and much higher traffic volume one year later).
After all, this is how I grew WebHostingSecretRevealed.com from 0 visitors to 80,000 unique visits per month with limited budget in two years time.
Now that’s my link building trick as an average guy. What’s yours?