Behold the King of Linkbait.
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.
Mark Cook, over at Further.co.uk has written a thought provoking article on why buying links is a dumb idea
As someone who offers clients a linkbuilding service using web content it would be a “of course he would say that”, kinda thing if I said don’t buy links. I’m not an expert on buying and selling links so my opinion is coloured by that fact. But what Mark presents is a logical case for the case against links. Of course it is one of the weapons in the arsenal and does a specific job and you have to know how to handle the weapon to be able to maximise its efficiency. Anyone who has been banned selling links know this.
An interesting quote in the article is from Shaun Anderson,
“If buying links was ineffective, it wouldnt be against Google TOS. Think about that.”
Another interesting passage from the article:
I love it when our competitors do this, I really do. By outlaying £6k a month, they are taking money away that they could be investing in enhancing their existing content, improving the conversion rate of their website, or investing the money in campaigns to create hooks, interest and engagement.
I’m always shocked when I hear the budget some websites pay for paid links. £6,000 a month can build you some very juicy linkbait. What I would add to this is that the links that are generated through linkbait are natural, organic and extremely hard for competitors to replicate. And as pointed SEO Chicks pointed out this week, there are ways to nobble paid links. Although how many people actually do this I am not sure, I don’t know of any.
You could pay to produce beautiful content such as this which I assume has resulted in buckets of links and rightly so. Most scratch their heads and let the dandruff fall on their keyboard whilst they explain why their insurance – credit card – kitchen worktop website can’t make use of such content. But, that’s where content agencies like mine come in, we look at what content fits your niche and create something that will in all probability get links.
The fact will always remain that fantastic content will go links, so all you have to do to build links is create fantastic content.
I’m speaking at an affiliate conference, a4uexpo London in October, so I took a closer look at the main sectors that affiliates like to play in. I have it down to seven hot sectors.
Hot affiliate sectors
- Mobile comms
Lets look at the most abstract and probably the most difficult sector to get links to. The Forex market. [Read more…]
It’s all about the conversation.
Not the product, not the service, and certainly not how wonderful you are.
What do you think a good conversation is? One person talking all about themselves, or trying to sell you something or being obnoxious and wafting offensive odours at you?
Good conversation flows, it’s owned by the two or more parties involved in it.
It is not where you announce something. That is not what a conversation is and that is why a lot of PR professionals have difficulty in making it work for them.
What I have learned over the years is that to be a successful social media marketing practitioner, you have go visit the tribe, sit down with them, talk their language, follow their customs and after a period of time become one of them. Then you can tell them about the cave over the next hill which is selling all kinds of goodies.
Empathy, understanding, experience, knowledge, all prerequisites if you are to converse with the tribe. And let me tell you, conversing is not a right, it is an honour. Bestowed upon you after dues have been paid.
Sitting down and breaking bread with a Chili Dorito munching, coke guzzling, Warcraft playing, Linux using inhabitant of certain social bookmarking sites is really beyond the reach of the expensively manicured fingers of the PR hustler, and that’s just the men.
Unless they become one of the them, at least for a short period.
Of course the interesting thing is the real players in the social media marketing industry have come from the SEO world.
Who else is going to empathise with a 2 hour discussion of light sabre techniques.