Create Great Content Ask for a Link Be Nice

Yesterday I wrote a post that got carried on Searchengineland.com, which was very nice of them. Thanks.

It was titled. Have you Tried Asking for a Link and I talked about that fact that sometimes you simply has to ask. However, to be clear and I have had a few emails about this. The post said that you could “Just nicely ask for a link, using your own words in a real way and ask for a link to something good.”

As I find people tend not to ask the right way for a link and others do not ask at all.

The post goes on to say, “I will give you a link for free, from an authority blog, just give me something to link to, ask nice and make me think you will do something nice back in the future.”

Of course, some thought all they needed to do was to ask for a link and they would get one. And that “something”, meant anything. I clearly stated that I wanted to “link to something good”, meaning it has to be good enough to link to.

Perhaps I was not clear as I should have been, and should have outlined what “something good” actually meant as not everyone creates content for links. In my world, “something good” means a specific level of quality. Quality of communication, quality of attractiveness etc.

And so when I got several of the emails asking for link this morning, a few of them didn’t get it. So I wrote an open letter to those people to save time.

Thanks for that [NAME WITHHELD], appreciate it.

Yes I have had a lot of requests.

The point of the “ask for a link”, article is about asking nicely and in a human way. Just asking me after saying hi is missing the point.

Although I do note that you have helped me with pointing out the error on the email link, although I have had plenty of emails this morning, I’m not really that hard to contact.

Would you give a link simply because someone asked?
Of course not, it wouldn’t be good practice.

You need to have something, a piece of linkable content you want to be linked to, I need a reason to link, something specific or something interesting. As I wrote in the article.

It can’t be just the fact that you have a website there has to be a reason for me to link to the website. Something of merit, something to be cited, something different. The whole reason I have links on my blog is to help the reader, either giving them more context or allowing them to explore the subject further. A link has to be of value to the reader within the context of the blog and the blog post.

Obviously people buy links, you cannot buy links on my website, but you can on others and when that happens it is sometimes blatantly obvious, because there is no context to the link being given or that the content being linked to is not worth being linked to. And if a website exhibits a pattern of bought and sold links and Google finds out, Google may ban them.

I don’t want my website to have the hint of bought and sold links because I don’t want my website banned. Not that linking to your website would get my website banned. I just need a reason to link, as I stated in my blog post.

Of course I can give out a non paid link that is not entirely contextual to prove a point, for example the Blue Bar at Porthtowan beach, where I am often found. OK, this is not entirely non-contextual as it’s a place that I love and go to regularly.

But you see the point about simply dropping in links with no context? There has to be a reason to link.

If you want me to further analyse your request further, it didn’t leave me feeling that you were going to do something nice in the future. It simply told me that you saw the request (not sure you read the article) and thought you simply had to ask.

This is not the point of the article, it’s not the correct methodology for effective outreach and it certainly isn’t a nice way for human beings to communicate.

If you are in a pub for example and someone comes up to you and says, “Hi, I’m John, hope you had a great holiday. Your laces are undone. £50 please”.

It’s probably not going to be effective.

And this is the point of the article.

Not that you simply have to ask, using as few words as possible. But that you actually have to connect with another human being and treat them better than a cynical way to get a link.

Don’t get me wrong, my verbose reply is not indicative as anger or even annoyance. It’s more about frustration that opportunities are being lost, simply because people do not connect with others effectively over the Internet.

I don’t say “connect properly“, as that is subjective. I mean “effectively“, as in getting to achieve your goal.

It’s very clear what works in link building and what does not. No one wants to be taken advantage of or thought of as an idiot who will link to anyone.

People tend to link to people who they like, they do not link to websites but to people, as I have said in my blog and at numerous conference talks.

You can clearly see this human effect in action after a conference when people who have met people and like them, link to their blogs afterwards when they would not have linked to them when based just on the website.

Going to conferences and being liked is the best link building technique I have seen. I say “technique” tongue in cheek, because it’s not. It’s a way of being.

And yes, I suppose some people think it tiresome to actually interact with people you have zero interest in, but this is the point. People can easily sense that, even emails have an odour.

The solution is simply to be nice. Take the time, be genuine have something real to share.

This of course takes time, and if you can get away with a quick ask, job done. I totally understand why someone would knock out a crafty email link request between a mocha.

But knocking out a crafty one was not the point of the article.

Being effective by being nice was.

Link building should be looked upon as a tribal act. Look how the tribe of Moz acts, totally tribal. Look how Buzzfeed acts, they feed their tribe daily.

I wont tell you that link building is easy, you have to really work at it. But you have to work harder if you see it as a vending machine, or a cash point machine. Gone are the days of the push linker and I am old enough to remember those days. They were fun times. But it’s better now because great content can now give you a reason to properly ask for links.

My goal is to teach people the effective way of doing things, that was the point of the “Link offer”, blog post and this is the point of this blog post.

Thanks for taking the time to email and reading my blog post. If you do have great piece of content to share with my readers, please do not hesitate to contact and if the content works, and if your website is cool and if you are not a horrible person and if you [Insert here all the obvious stuff that most with a basic understanding of SEO understand] then I will drop you a tasty, contextual link.

Regards
Lyndon Antcliff

Too Zen? I don’t think so, this is about what works and what does not work.

It is the sound of a link being built to an idea that does not yet exist.

Have you tried asking for a link

Just nicely ask for a link, using your own words in a real way and ask for a link to something good. It’s a controversial statement I know judging from my email inbox and what doesn’t get talked about on Twitter.

I think I have a pathological aversion to cut and paste emails and cookie cutter content.

I get emails stating, “we are quaility link builders”, good because I always have people looking for those and I am quite liberal in linking out from my own blogs.

But the emails are obviously not written by the sender, but by some dry, crunchy assed, baked in the sun so long it has bleached their soul, copywriter.

I can’t read those emails without feeling my brain trying to escape through my ear.

But I want to link.

I even want to buy links.

Why not talk to me like a Human Being?

I prefer to get links without asking, by crawling inside your head and working the levers mostly. But when I do ask, it is I who am asking, using my own words and sending each request out individually.

Even if it means bleeding into the keyboard, I send link requests out manually.

I will give you a link for free, from an authority blog, just give me something to link to, ask nice and make me think you will do something nice back in the future.

You don’t even have to do a nice thing for me, you only have to make me think you will do a nice thing.

Where Can I Find a Great Link Builder

Throughout my travels in the world of Internet Marketing and SEO, you meet a lot of liars, bullshitters, schmoozers and arse-lickers, (a nice line inspired by Alan Sugar). There are a bunch of other words too, but I don’t have that long to write this.

Point is, how do you know who is good.


How do you know when you have found a good link builder?

It makes little sense for a good link builder to show work they have done as it is commercially sensitive. I always keep a few in my back pocket that I know I can show, but most of the time there is little visible sign of anything really happening.

Link builders tend not to have showrooms or large shop front windows.

But, one bunch of people do know and that’s long term clients. I say long term as there is no such thing as short term link building. Not if you want a long term business.

Great link builders take a strategic look. Here are a few I have found along my way who I would recommend.

This is not a definitive list by all means, and if you are a great link builder and feel you should be on my list then let me know and I can make another list.

But these link builders stand out and would be who I would hire to manage my link building. They are also who I recommend to other clients when I have no client spaces available.

So, take it from me. These are people who are at the top of their game and have impeccable credentials and can be trusted to get the job done.

Of course the more interesting blog post would be the dark side of link building and the story about the one armed, Ukrainian, transexual midget, who can do amazing things with sub-domains – but lets save the best till later.

You may be interested in these other posts:

Great wordpress plugin

How to get links by gently farting into a leather sofa

In a recent post I mentioned that “some bloggers only have to fart softly into a leather sofa to get links”. This wasn’t an attempt to get links to a leather sofa site, although now I think about it…..

It was to highlight that some people got it and some people ain’t got it.

So the questions that are important are.

  • What is it that they got that others ain’t got?
  • Can what they got be got by others?
  • Can what they got be taught by those that got it?
  • How do I know if I aint got it
  • Will listening to the Bangles, “Manic Monday” help in any way?

The zen part of this post is that even if you have the answers to all these questions you will be no closer to getting what they have got.

Which makes me wonder about the efficacy of all these, “Give me $1,000 a week and I will show you how you can charge $1,000 a week showing people how to make $1,000 a week from showing people how to make $1,000 a week” type sites.

Before you spend the $1,000 a week to find out if you got what they have got , spend £12.99 and £16.99 and book yourself 2 weeks in that Scottish Highland croft.

I know I’m mixing currencies here, but I live in multi currency world. And no I am not trying to rank for “multi currency”.

The £12.99 is for, Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin.
The £16.99 is for the hard cover of Outliers, by Malcom Gladwell.

The 2 weeks in the Scottish croft is to give you time to read and let the information sink in without you being distracted by wanting to tweet that you just ate a corned beef bagel with dijon mustard.

The point is….

What I hope will happen is you come to a realisation that you don’t really have the desire to do what it takes to get what those have got and to spend your cash and time on something more useful like making a model of Hugo Chavez out of the sticks you get from Starbucks to stir your liquid caffeine delivery product.

In conclusion….

Those bloggers who get links are those types of people who get it. Most of the time they don’t even understand why they “get it”, they just get on with it.

And if you are thinking right now that, “I don’t get it.” Then you are probably right.

Getting Links for a Poker site is easier than you think

How do you linkbait for poker or similar uber competitive terms?

In fact how do you go about getting success for mortgage linkbait or hotel linkbait. All apparently difficult topics to get links for, not because few people link to such subjects, but because so many want links for those niches.

It is important to know why it’s hard or why people think it’s hard. I’ve played around in these sectors a bit and the reality is, it’s not as hard as you think, In fact, it’s just has hard to get links to a non sexy niche such as marble flooring, although I have met some people who find the smooth, cold marble floor rather arousing. But I no longer have her number.

Consider this, how many poker websites do you think there are?
Narrow that down to websites that will link to other websites based on the content (rather than being paid)
Then look at the actually number who are worth getting a link from.
After that consider how many people are competing for links within the niche.

Self referential niche linking are not the only links that work.

Consider how much easier it is to get links outside of that burned niche?

Next question:

Why would a non poker website link to a poker website?

The answer is simple, “because they want to”.

If you answered, “because their prize winning Shitzu was being held hostage and would only be returned if a link was placed”, your partly right. The Shitzu provides the motivation and the reason they want to link. But ultimately it’s “because they want to”. The point being it’s the desire you want to create, it’s desire that is our focus.

The point being, you do not “get” the linker to link, but you create a desire in them to link. If you want to think you got them to link your wrong, they linked because they wanted to link. You gave them a reason to create the desire.

масиYou link because you want to, not because someone makes you.

Which leads to the next question:

How do you create the desire within a linker to link?

Lets stick with the poker theme. How do you get someone to link to a poker site?

You create the desire.

What is desirable?

To answer this we must be specific, we must focus on the the linker. I say “the linker” instead of linkers because my method involves picking a single target and developing a strategy for that one linker. You can go wide and gather info on the whole niche and that’s fine initially but to really get under the skin of the whole niche you need one person as a totem for the whole group. We can get into how you would do that in later blog posts.

Sure you do a wide niche study first, as it’s the only way to find that one target, as you want the target to have influence and authority.

Lets take a specific niche which we want to link to our poker website, soap making websites for example.
How do we get a soap making website to link to a poker website?
The answer is to identify what the particular individual web master desires to link to.

Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Maybe something along the lines of a bar of soap which looks like an Ace of Spades, or a poker chip. Doesn’t really matter what as long as it contains two components. One which sates the desire of the soap making web master to find and link to cool hand made soap content and another that retains the contextual integrity of the poker site.

Contextual integrity is important because you need to retain the linguistic semantics of the link.

Or in other words, follow the rules of how information and language interact and it will turn out fine.

We could delve a little further into semiotics and language but I kinda feel I’ve already lost you. But if you are interested, check out the Elements of Semiology, By Roland Barthes and Ways of Seeing by John Berger. They are the kind of books you only read if you have to, and I had to, but in my opinion if you are a link builder or an SEO these are the kind of books that will give you the edge.

May your links be many and aged.