10 Link Bait Tips

If someone asked me what are the 10 best linkbait tips around, this is what I would tell them.

1. Define why you want to get links. This will provide information about how to go about it, the more information you have the better.

2. Define who you want to get your links from? If your answer to this is, “I just need more links”, try to understand that it is easier to get links from a specific target than a general one. If you want a link off authority news media, such as the BBC, Telegraph etc. it becomes easier to target those sites and the people that run them.

3. Define the people you want to get links from. People give links, not websites.

4. Define the type of content that people you want links from link to.

5. Define the type of headlines that the people you want links from link to.

6. Create your content slowly, make many drafts and many false starts. The first thoughts you create tend to be the same as everybody else. Create exceptional content.

7. Stand out, don’t be like everybody else, even if it means getting a slagging. Powerful linkbait will disrupt and break out of your intended target base and go uncontrollably viral. Strap in and enjoy the ride.

8. Linkbait for scanners not readers. People will try to impress you by telling you they read on the web, even if they are telling the truth they are in a small minority. People who use the web mainly scan, this has been proved by countless testing. Make your content easily and quickly digestible, segments of text, bolded subheading, imagery, video etc.

9. Shake things up. Don’t be afraid to annoy people, subjects usually have a number of interested groups. One group may hate what you did with a wild rage. Focus on the silent majority. Good linkbait always attracts haters who are bitter about other peoples success. Concentrate on the objective, if a whack job links and says what an idiot the creator of the content is, consider job done.

10. Download the voice recorder for your iPhone. Whaddya mean you don’t have an iPhone? When you are walking, at dinner, watching a movie, taking part in a triathalon, record your linkbait ideas. Imagination seems to work best when allowed to roam and ramble.

11. Link bait is about getting links, that is the objective. Not adulation on twitter, not people saying nice things about you, not having an seo rockstar invite you over for tiffin, not avoiding the whack jobs on social sites. Focus on the links, stay on target.

12. Understand the psychology of people. For example when making a list of 10 you will always find someone will point out the fact you have gone over. This is indicative of predictive behaviour, people tend to be creatures of habit and repeat the same thing over and over. Even though I have pointed this out the temptation for someone to highlight the mistake is just too tempting.

Target your Linkbait Audience

Rather than produce your content first and then go look for an audience for it, why not find what the audience wants and produce content for that audience?

It’s amazingly obvious and so simple that it shocks me to see that the majority of people blogging, producing web content and even linkbait do not seem to do it.

I understand why this is. I have done it myself, I still do it. It’s because we think we know what people want us to write. It comes down to the ego. And there is nothing more egotistical than a blogger.

Here’s the thing. It’s not what you think you know that is important. It’s what you know. Most times your knowledge will not live up to your desired results.

You have to go out into the woods and sniff the trees.

It may be that you have spent so much time in your space you have built enough instinct and experience into your mind set you can just crack one off whenever you want. An article that is.

When faced with writing for a subject I know little of I spend hours and hours researching, you have to burn bytes to be able know what you are talking about, or at least convince people you know what you are talking about.

Most people do not invest the time in their subject or their target market to produce a piece of content which will get links. Which is great, because all we have to do to rise to the top is to simply read, read and read some more.

Soak in that information like a sponge. Suck it in and digest.

Your target market for a piece of linkbait should by studied, observed, examined, scrutinised, watched – to enable you to kno their desires, prejudices, proclivities, ambitions etc.

What are they fond of, what fascinates and excites them? What is it that motivates them to click through to a story, to link to a web page, to even take out their credit card from their leather wallet to buy your home made Gooseberry Jam you have started to sell online.

It’s simple, but I constantly see content where the target audience has been given the attention of a gnat on sugar coated crack.

Know your target audience.

Lloyds Bank is Pants

Great piece of linkbait from the BBC. Why?

It’s great because it got me to link, it got me to link because it both amused and made me angry. At first I thought such silly thinking by a bank should be publicised and I should post about it. But then I realised I had been motivated to link to the story. It’s distracting to call it baiting as in linkbaiting, but the story made my link finger itch.

I realise I could chose a better headline than this, but I wonder how many people search for “Lloyds bank is pants”? I guess I will find out.

The point is, invoking an emotional response is a powerful way to get a link. The story is helped by being on the BBC rather than a rag like the Daily Mail.

Actually I can’t really call it linkbait, it’s merely a great story.

What reason does this linkbait give for people to link to it

An interesting nugget from the forums of Linkbaitcoaching.com

“What reason does this linkbait give for people to link to it.”

Too often I see visitor bait being created. So you got on the front page of digg, give yourself a gold medal and stick it on your ass.

Who are you targeting your linkbait to? If it’s the knuckle draggers on digg it’s not linkbait, it’s a wet fart in a hurricane.

C’mon on guys, it’s real simple. Linkbait is for getting links.

Who are you targetting? If you say “anyone”, get to the back of the queue and stay there. You need to know exactly who you are targetting, you need to know what they read, what gets their juices flowing, even the size of their underpants if it helps you craft content to appeal to their link finger.

Try linkbaiting one person, go on, try it. Chose an authority figure in the niche you operate and go after their link. That one authority link is worth more than ten thousand diggs (yes I know diggs lead to links, but only if the content is good enough)

Targetting one person makes it a lot easier to craft linkbait as it can tickle their fancy a lot easier. Once they link to you, others will follow.

Concentrate on getting the link, not the visit.

Even the Guardian Gets Linkbait

The Guardian has run a piece talking about linkbait as if it were an everyday thing. Has linkbait gone mainstream?

Jack Schofield knows his linkbait, the piece he has referenced is a cracking piece, although as I speak it has not been submitted to digg or reddit or Stumble, what’s with that? Are they awake in celebrity scandal blog world.

Still, they got a link from the Guardian. Jack, what do I have to do to get a link from you?

Good find Jack.

ps. I took the bait and dugg it.