Some people have set up networks where you can trade or even buy content links. These sites rarely work as well as they claim. This is primarily because sites with high traffic and loyal readers do not need to trade or sell their links. They can make their money with advertisers.
Great sites link to content because it will be of use to their readers and offers something relevant. In this piece we are going to look at some of the ways that you can create that type of highly linkable content, and hopefully put your site on the road to success.
The content is the most important thing on your site. This is not to say that design does not have a place on your priorities list, but, aside from web developers, very few people will want to visit a site with only design going for it. Designing content that is just asking to be linked to is not as hard as it seems. Just keep some of those handy tips in mind when you are writing your content.
1. Be first with the story. If you can not be the one to break the news, then be ready with some fresh insight on the topic. If you have the skills to do an in-depth, conscientious analysis of a situation, then you may also find favor with one of these posts. If all else fails, then find a new angle on a topic. How to prevent the flu may not be a new topic. The top 10 places where you might contract the flu may not be so well covered.
2. Get to the point. Content that is good for linking gets to its point in the first two paragraphs. That way, if your reader wants to flip back and forth, they can do so easily. Feel free to expand on or support your point in the rest of the posting. Just do not make readers wait too long.
3. Make content clearly formatted. That may seem basic, but if your content is not readable, people will click off of it after only a few seconds of viewing. While you are worrying about readability, you may also want to worry about your post’s visual appeal. When possible, you should add a photo or a video element to your site in order to draw the reader’s attention. Humans are very visually-oriented beings.
4. Give your readers more places to go with it. If your piece is not the be-all and end-all of the topic, then you will also want to add your own relevant links to the posting. If you can do this by linking to other items within your site, then all the better for you. Even if your content can not be in-linked (as this practice is called), you will still want to provide links. Not only is this a good idea for readers who want to learn more on the topic, but it shows a certain give and take. This attribute is something that many professional bloggers take as a matter of ethics. You can’t expect people to link to you if you will not link to other sites.
5. Keep postings to one concept. By having only one concept per post, you make it easier for your works to be cited by other bloggers. Your post may not be featured in and of itself, but your posting could be used as informative background for readers from other sites. These links may not make you the main attraction, but they will drive traffic.
6. Allow your content to flow naturally from your site’s content in general. Many sites try too hard to make content that is link bait. The problem is that often these link bait topics do not fit into the site in general. Even if your link generating content does get the attention of popular sites, sustained readership will not follow. The goal is not to create posts specifically for garnering links, but to apply the above principles to all of your organic, site content. Then, no matter what post ends up garnering your links, it will be consistent with the rest of your site. This will ensure that you get readers interested in the bulk of your content.
Of course, be sure to keep your own unique style. You do not want to end up with a generic, trend choosing site in the name of popularity. If you do that, you will run the risk of alienating your current readership. Now let’s move on to a look at how to create titles that are attractive for linking.
Creating titles that will stand out from the crowd is a skill that every blogger covets. If you want to make titles that both draw reader attention and are conducive to linking by other blogs, then these tips will be able to help you.
1. Keep it concise. Like the first few paragraphs of content, your title needs to get down to business. This is a signal to potential readers and linkers of what to expect.
2. Give it a hook. If you have ever looked at the contents of a magazine, then you may have noticed that they have a way of drawing the reader in. If you want your titles to catch the eye, you would do well to emulate that style in your titles, at least a little.
3. Make sure that it could possibly fit into a sentence. The days of linking to something that you will find –here- are over. If you want someone to link to your posts, making the title fit into a sentence will make your posts more attractive to a potential linking partner.
Examples of good sentence titles
How to cut your own hair
(This could be fit into a sentence like, “If you are trying to save a few bucks you might want to learn how to cut your own hair”)
Keeping your computer secure: step by step
(This could be used partially in a sentence like, “If you need help keeping your computer secure you can…”)
Now that you have your killer content and a title that will make both readers and other bloggers take note, we will take a quick look at how to get a site to link to you.
First, choose your target site. You can work on one at a time or multiple targets, just be sure that you know from whom you are looking to get links.
Second, be ready to give before you get. This is most creatively done as a three-pronged attack. That means you should be:
- Commenting on the target blog regularly with useful and insightful observations.
- Linking to your targets posts, when possible, on your own site.
- Leaving track backs so that your target blogger becomes aware of your links.
Third, make your blog known. Depending on the sites you target, this may be simple. If the blog has comments left enabled, it will automatically show your comment posts each time you comment. If not, you may have to make direct contact with the blogger via email. Do not be aggressive. Just send a nice note with your blog’s URL in the signature.
Fourth, be patient, but set a deadline. Do not expect results overnight, but give it a set amount of time. If after a month (or whatever you choose) there are no results, then move on to a new site. There is no point in wasting your time. Do not feel discouraged; your target may simply have been too busy. It can feel like you are being rebuked, or that your work is being judged harshly. To be honest, that is most likely not the case.
Now that you know how to create great linkable content for your site and how to get it noticed, all you have to do is begin. There is no time like the present to get your work noticed by a wider group of readers. Enjoy your promotions, and who knows, your site may become the next Boing Boing.