What is Content Based Link building all about?

What an awful label, “content based link building”. Doesn’t exactly fire you up to run to your keyboard and bash out ass achingly good linkbait does it?

Labels are interesting, within them you can find out lots of stuff.

What I specialise in has many labels, linkbait, content, magnetic content, etc.

None of which really capture the essesnce of what we do.

At the recent SASCON conference people asked what I did and I told them I produced content such as “13 Kittens on Crack go on Holiday to Holland”. How can you put a label on that?

The interesting thing is there is quite a strict process to creating linkbait, highly creative people tend to have patterns of behaviour which allows them to tap into their creative resevoir. Sometimes the headlines seem like they were thought up in minutes, but the reality is a casual headline which works has usually been crafted for hours if not days.

I am still shocked when people are surprised I work on a specific headline for days, I am sure most bloggers take about 30 secs. It is possible to come up with a great headline for 30 secs, but you will probably find that your sub-conscious as been mulling it over for years.

So, back to the question, What is content based link building all about?

Most of it seems to be about mediocrity, most content is medocre. I guess by pure definition that would be the case, if everything was exceptional then it would become average.

The important thing to focus on then, is successful content based link building. This is not that hard to backward engineer.

  • Look at the niche
  • Identify the content with most links
  • Deconstruct content
  • Analyse backlinks to identify patterns

The data you need to end up with is, why did these people link to this content? It’s difficult to be definitive and some of the gaps must be filled in by instinct and guess work. But you will notice certain interesting things:

  • 80% of the links come from 20% of the linkers
  • The links are given by real people, not machines
  • Human contact increases the chance of a link
  • Linkers may not agree with the content

We can divulge a lot more information from the why did these people link to this content question. And this data can help shape your own link building strategy within the specific niche.

But is content based linkbuilding all about relationships? I don’t think it’s “all” about that, there is a whole lot more to it, but it is a very important part of the mix.

Comments

  1. says

    Hi Lyndon! Like you I’ve struggled a great deal (far too long actually) with capturing the essence of linkbait, or linkable content creation, or content-based link building in a phrase.

    Thanks for this piece which certainly helps to advance the essence of the idea, delivers some core steps in the process and provides some great reminders about the humanness of all those “link prospects” :) And, you’re right, it’s not ALL about relationships – I find that a dash of hyperbole helps too ;D

    I enjoy your writing on link building, please make more.

  2. says

    As a fun excercise, I recently started using some “content based link building” techniques to get more eyes on my daily status blog on my company’s intranet.

    Your techniques worked.
    I started this excercise after noticing a slow down in readership on my blog.

    Background, and reason for the slow-down:

    All of the Ektron employees have been using our eintranet product daily for our own internal use, and as part of an “agile” initiative, we began updating a “daily status blog” writing a brief summary of what we set out to do in the morning, and what we accomplished for the day. All of us, company-wide.

    At first this was greeted by some with excitement at having a voice, and by others as big brother monitoring our productivity.
    After the last three years of this, all in all this excercise has enabled Ektron to become much much much more productive in daily activity and effectiveness as a team.

    As of late however, as more and more of us have increased our level of social activity on the intranet, I have seen that less and less people are reading each other’s “status blogs”.

    Instead, the stuff with the most activity has been the whitepapers, news updates, and short profile statuses of our community.

    After reading through your blog, the reasons for this loss of activity on individual blogs became clear.

    The Titles.

    Just about everyone had been using a naming convention on their blog titles.

    Justin Status Blog – April 2
    Jeremy Status – April 2
    EOD TIM G – 4-2

    Somehow everyone out of habbit had adopted this naming practice, and as a result:

    Other’s content became un-enticing.

    To test this theory out I began updating my blogs with more interesting titles on some days:

    Status Blog – Feb 24
    “A day in the life of a …”
    “EOD – Feb
    “Hippos and hijacking a friendly website”
    “End of Day – Feb 18″
    “Engaging Partners”
    “End of Day Blog – Feb 12″
    “Results from my integration with Sage CRM”
    “Bill Roger’s new laptop and special thanks to Colin”
    “End of Day Blog – Feb 9
    “Buffalo, and integration between CMS400 and Sage CRM”

    Using the user analytics features that are in our eintranet product, I found that on the days I posted an interesting title my views went up an average of 700%.

    I just thought I would share my small success,
    I will be reading your blog more often as a result!

  3. Mike says

    I think that spending a day or more on writing a heading / title is commendable, and could really benefit your results. Unfortunately most people don’t have that amount of time to focus on one thing, but I agree with Justin that formulaic titles are not going to encourage people to show interest in a blog, so somehow a happy medium has to be found.

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