Linkbait on Twitter

I’m messing around with the new Twitter widget that allows you to embed Twitter feeds, I realise there are other ways of doing thing, but this is the official Twitter version which should make it more stable.


Donut addicts, learn killer content techniques in a 5 day frenzy of linkbait knowledge

It has come to my attention that some people cannot afford the £200 a month fee for linkbait coaching because of the affliction donut addiction. Being a recovering addict myself I am well aware how this evil affliction can soak up any spare cash.

Especially when you have to walk past a Krispy Kreme shop every day to get to work.

And so to help out any donut addicts, today only I am offering bitesize membership offerings to everyone.

For only £50 you can get a 5 day access pass to Linkbait Coaching.

Instead of dropping a £50 note on a bag of donuts, learn about how you can create linkalicious content.

A word of warning though. The content contained within the Linkbait Coaching forum is extremely rich and full of killer content ideas. As I write this there are 2,999 posts on the forum. It is physically possible to read all 2,999 posts within 5 days but I cannot be liable for any mental problems which may ensue if you attempt to do this.

If creating content for links is your thing, then I strongly suggest you check this out.

This offer is only available for 24 hours.

Sign up here

Image credit: Krispy Kreme Corporation


How to Get Creative

My job is mostly about being creative, coming up with web content ideas, creating headlines, writing copy etc. It’s usually quite easy for me to do this and I have always thought that this could be taught, which is what I do at Linkbait Coaching.

Because I feel that it’s simply about having the right mindset, being in the correct mode and not having to be some mad creative genius.

Today I came across a video that reinforced everything that I believe about being creative. The video is by John Cleese, and it is well worth watching. But if you are in a hurry I had jotted down some notes below.

<- Notes begin "Creativity is not a talent, it is a way of operating", John Cleese Creativity is not an ability that you either have or do not have, it is absolutely unrelated to IQ as long as you are above a minimum. Creativity is not about IQ What is different about highly creative people. They have a facility to get themselves into a certain mood, a way of operating. In other words, "an ability to play", to be childlike, to be able to explore ideas and play for playing sake. Two modes, open and closed. Creativity is impossible in closed mode. Open mode is essential for the idea, for creativity. Closed mode is essential to actually implement the idea. When implementing the idea, we do not need distraction, humour, doubt. Being able to switch Conditions of getting into the open mode Space Time Time Confidence Humour Play begins, exists for a specific time and then is over. Putting the big project off It's easier to do little things we know we can accomplish than to start big things we are not so sure about completing. Creating an oasis of quiet. Take an hour and a half to calm down your brain, and an hour to create. Highly creative people tend to play with the problem longer before they try to resolve it. They are prepared to tolerate the discomfort of not having solved the problem for longer. (clients tend not to give you the time to solve the creative problems because they do not trust creative people) Taking a decision removes the discomfort. Take the time for your mind to come up with something original. You have to play, be silly, make mistakes. Drivel may lead to a breakthrough. Notes end->

I strongly suggest you watch the video if in any way you are connected to creativity. I provide the open mind, the playful creative space. If you find creativity difficult when it comes to content creation get in touch.

We are always playing and always have a free-roaming mind generating threads and threads of creative goodness on the forums.

Sometimes it simply makes sense to hire a specialist than to try and muddle through.


Linkbait headline ideas for London based events website

Parts of this blog post were previously posted on Linkbait Coaching

Creating a list of potential headlines for a specific niche is a worthwhile start to any linkbaiting work. I would suggest:

  • Turn off email, twitter etc
  • Turn off computer (if you can) and use paper and pen
  • Allow at least two hours, the first hour is mostly about getting the brain into gear for the second hour
  • Consider the wildest of headlines, let your mind roam
  • It helps if the content somewhat reflects the headline, although this does not always have to be the case.
  • Walk and record ideas on your iPhone, if you are worried if people think you are mad, pretend you are talking to a client.
  • Test ideas of other people, but make sure they are being honest and not saying they don’t like the idea because they think you smell funny.

OK, here are a bunch of ideas I came up with for an events based website that is somewhat focussed on London. It’s an important part ofwhat we do on Linkbait Coaching all the time.

10 Concerts that rocked the captial. (Stones in the park, Live Aid etc)
10 Tips on buying scaled tickets
10 Tips on sel;ling scalped tickets
10 Reasons why you shouldn’t buy scalped tickets
Google Maps mash up to busking
10 Worst stage divers
How to get past security at a rock concert
10 Best riots at football matches
10 buy executive boxes at London Football stadia
Why it sounds weird referring to the plural of a stadium as stadia
10 Similarities of gladiators and footballers
10 Rock stars who electrocuted themselves in concerts
10 Best London concert halls/stadia for toilets
Essential tips for going to the toilet at a concert
10 reasons you are an idiot taking pictures of your Rock here on your mobile phone
10 Reasons Lady Gaga wont be attending Glynbourne
Top London football clubs owned by foreigners
Why Maddona will not be playing Lady MacBeth at the RSC
Power politics at the Covent Garden Opera house
Most haunted Theatres in London
London theatres to arm actors to make Americans more comfortable
Shakespearien actors who translate to the silver screen (Berkoff, McEwan etc.)
How to tackle noisy people at the theatre
10 Reasons why beer should be served whilst you watch the opera
10 reasons scaffolders don’t go to the opera. (if brave you could interview scaffolders about this and offer audio)
How to pick up chicks at rock concerts
10 Outrageous divas who have played Wembly
Obviously many of these headlines can be interchanged or mashed up with others to hit the sweet spot. I have used “rock” as an interchangable term for any kind of style. There is a lot of juice to be had out of the physical aspect of the concert venue, offering tips of the best and worst place to sit, toilet, food, exit etc.

London has a lot of history but linkalicious content tends to have a contemporary feel, comparisons with the past and the present work very well.
Would Shakespeare write different plays for the Globe if he used an iPad?


Linkbaiting with Game of Thrones

This article was previously posted on

Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones

Link credit

I always say, target those who link, if you wish to get links with linkbait

Few link voraciously than fans of movies and popular TV shows.

If you create a piece of content that is based on their obsession and resonates with their fan mindset (and remember fan = fanatic) it will make them more suggestible to a link.

It’s wrong to think of this as a trick as you will only tend to get links if the content:

  • Provides a solution
  • Adds to the canon of content regarding the subject in a meaningful way
  • Creates or continues a particular discourse.
  • It respects the fan

It helps if the content creator has an understanding of the particular fan base and is not coming to the tribe cold. Interlopers are outsiders and not to be respected. A fan base should be seen as a tribe and approached accordingly.

It may be that one of the fans could be paid to create content that is linkalicious. Most fans do it for the love and would be grateful to be able to pursue their love and make a little wonga.

Also, if you commission work from a fan who has a large and vibrant fan base you have an instant traffic base, which may add any social media signals and result in helping you get more links.

This type of content may seem a bit silly if you are for example a Bristol plumber and specialise in blocked toilets. But the linkalicious content does not have to be within the normal flow of website and so people who are ankle deep in water trying to search for an available plumber don’t get confused with an article on Dragon Eggs and the most efficient hatching temperatures.

Although, well crafted content that is a little tongue in cheek can do wonders for your brand. Especially if you are in a dry sector like Bristol plumbing problems, having content that emotionally resonates with your customers will increase brand recognition.

Don’t believe me, one word.


In fact, make that two words, Russian Meerkats, can you imagine how that initial idea went down at corporate HQ?

Insurance is a serious business, it’s about death, pain, loss etc.

Very few businesses are more serious than providing such a service and so back to our Bristol plumber, of course you can use content that is a little bit cheeky and a little bit silly and there is not going to be harm done to the brand.

Although I am reminded of a lot of blank, client faces that look back at me when I mention this particular way of getting links.

One of these days someone is going to say to me, “we want links, but we want them in a very boring way”.

Anyway, new series of Game of Thrones starts tonight. And if you think I wrote this to take advantage of that.

Well, duh!


p.s. also works well with the Hunger Games


Gremlins in the Machine 24 hour delay to launch Linkbait Coaching

As always with a product launch the Gremlins attack.

The launch of Linkbait Coaching 3.0 is going to have to be put back 24 hours. Membership will be available on Friday 23rd of March.

Apologies if you were itching to get cracking, but some things I can’t control.

I was asked about the price and I’m going to keep the price the same as it was two years ago. £200 a month.

But I am offering a Linkbait Coaching Plus account which will have a bunch of extras and get you a month free, more on this later.

I will be posting a full list of all the new stuff that is going to be in the latest incarnation.


King of Linkbait

Charlie Sheen
Charlie Sheen

Behold the King of Linkbait.


Before you create Linkbait content you have to Ingest your Niche

Linkbait by it’s nature has to be exceptional. It has to be remarkable to attract the links. This of course is relative, it’s relative to the other content which is being produced in the niche you are targeting.

As this is the World Wide Web we are talking about, most content is utter garbage. Sure, some niches are more rich and competitive but most of the time the majority of content is excreble. You just don’t see it, most of us see mediated content that comes through a recommendation or crowd sourcing.

Your content will have to be in the top one or two percentile of quality to have any chance and when I day quality I don’t mean it’s all shiny and polished. Usually you have only a short window of time to push your content and this is why it must be better than anything else in that niche at that time.

To be able to do this you must know your niche. If your blog or website is a passion then you are already on the way, but if you have identified the niche as an opportunity to be plundered then you have to roll your sleeves up and get stuck in.

You have probably already researched the niche well enough to get a toe hold, but now you have to identify those topics that trigger links from authority websites in the niche. What I do is create a Linkbaiting Road Map, this is a process where the niche is mapped out to identify linkers as targets, topics, and styles which work etc.

It’s quite a process developing a Linkbaiting Road Map and it’s something I am going to go into detail about in Linkbait Coaching


iPhone 4 Problems can be made into Linkbaiting Opportunities

Right now there is a problem with the iPhone 4. Engadget has a nice piece on it.

Lets leave aside the iPhone must-buy-on-first-day addiction, which is actually an exceptional marketing mind job although try to find someone who bought an iPhone to say, “dude, I just couldn’t help myself”, what I hear from people are the words, “well I had an iPhone 3 and…..”

The point I am making here is not to poke fun at the first buyers but to underline the fact that Apple is a highly profitable brand to linkbait. It’s a passionate brand and whether you think they are just a corporation like Microsoft or BP and their duty is to the shareholder – you would be right, but you are missing the point.

When content about Apple is published, it has the potential to get noticed by vast amounts of people who have the power to link to your site. These are the people you must stimulate to link.

Happening right now is a problem with the iPhone 4, it’s a huge embarrasement to a company like Apple and is already being taken advantage of by Nokia.

Nokia get the linkbaiters award of the day. They saw the opportunity and understood the social space, they probably don’t need the links but they will steal some of Apple’s thunder. Not quite ambush marketing but very clever.

Now, you have your site, or you may have a clients site. There is probably no niche where you can’t fit in a story like this, you simply have to be creative.

If I didn’t have to go get ready for a product launch tomorrow we could expand more on this and I could give you examples of niches that are hard to get links for could take advantage of such stuff.

This is exactly the kind of thing we will talking about at Linkbait Coaching


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

“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.



To be honest I have not used the personal attack hook that much. Not because I didn’t feel like it, but because I think it’s a slippery style of linkbait and one which can backfire easily, as we can see here with Marty and his shenanigans.

But hey, it got me to link. And if that was the point, then success. Of course there is a cost and that cost may not be instantly quantifiable. The cost must always be considered when indulging in controversial linkbait. Obviously for me it affects how I view the seomoz brand, calling what I do “outright fraud” is a little rich from a blog advocating sock puppet marketing.

I have learned, people do not need to like you or even agree with you to link to you. If you have an opinion there is always going to be someone with a different opinion. But, when you get personal as Marty as done here and I have done in the past, it transcends to a new level.

I am not moralising on the issue, people make their own decisions according to their own moral code and what they think Google will let them get away with.

Before you crank up the slagbait machine, do remember there are real people out there and that nuance and irony are sometimes difficult to communicate over a blog.