Yesterday I wrote about how to create the perfect inbound link. Some of you are probably thinking that how to get an inbound link might be a better topic. So let’s take some time to discuss that today.
There are a lot of great suggestions out there for link building. Some incorporate multiple steps, but in reality, there are only three types of inbound links. This article will describe them and explain how you can start getting inbound links today.
1. The links you ask for – This one of the oldest and best ways to get inbound links, but it can be very slow and other sites may turn you down. The idea behind it is to find sites that are in your general topic area that will link back to you. When I was writing my real estate blog, I would get these requests all the time. Making a reciprocal link exchange is a good idea, so long as the site you’re trading with has good content and is in a “good neighborhood.” I used to turn down many sites that didn’t fit this description.
Asking for links is certainly something worth doing, but it involves a lot of work to only get one link. The key to being successful with it is being able to offer something of value to the target site. No, I’m not talking about money. When you’re first starting out, the only thing you have to offer is good content. You’re not going to pay for a link and you’re not going to have a good Page rank…yet. So, offering to provide an article to help the other site is a good idea. Offering the other site to make a post on yours is also a good idea. It’s good for SEO and it’s good for building a sense of community.
2. The links you make – This is where I like to focus my efforts when link building. It’s faster and you’ll see results immediately. Be careful how you do it, because you don’t want to come across as a spammer.
Trackbacks – I think it’s very important to create links in every blog post. When you’re writing you don’t want to just tell, you want to show. By linking to a specific post in someone else’s blog, you’ll get a link back to your own site. Here’s an example of what it looks like. It appears on the top of the comments. Not all of them do like this one:
Most trackbacks have a “nofollow” tag in them so spiders won’t follow them. However, people will follow. Plus every time to link to someone’s site, the webmaster knows and they take note and you may very well get a link exchange on their blog roll.
News links – Use Sphere or Blog Burst to get links to your site just by linking to a news story. My research tells me those links also have a “nofollow” tag in them, but you’ll get people. You will also create the impression your site is important because it shows up on a major news site like CNN or the Wall Street Journal.
Blog carnivals and article submission sites are both great places to donate a little of your content to get a link back. Blog carnivals are particularly useful in learning about your community and establishing relationships. When you host a carnival, you’ll get dozens of inbound links at a time. Article submission sites syndicate your content and you’ll also receive dozens if not hundreds of inbound links.
Press releases are another way to get inbound links from multiple sites. Beware that submitting a release to PRWeb will cost you several hundred dollars to get those links. You also need to submit something that is newsworthy.
Message boards and forums related to your topic are one of my favorite ways to get inbound links. For instance, I found a board yesterday about blogging. That’s a perfect place for me to sign up and review the threads. No matter what your topic, there is a community out there talking about it. Find that community and get involved. The links will come both from you and from other members that review your site.
Directories, blogs and a million other sites are places you can get quality inbound links. My point here is there are a lot more practical and efficient ways to get inbound links than asking. Make your own.
3. The links you earn – These are the very best inbound links you can get. These are the links other people give you for seemingly no reason at all. When you start getting these kinds of links it means you’re producing high quality content and putting yourself out in the community.
I’ll never forget the times my real estate blog received these kinds of links…because it meant traffic! Sometimes it was a members only board I couldn’t access, sometimes it was a really popular blog, but those are the surprise links you earn by publishing great content. Here’s an example of one from my old real estate blog.
I hear the question asked frequently, “how can I get traffic to my site?” I think the better question to ask is “why should I get traffic to my site?” Create that “why” and you’ll get the traffic.
There you have the three ways to get inbound links; ask for them, make them or earn them. I promise that if you create quality content first, make plenty of outbound links and reach out to your community, you’ll never have to ask for them and you will earn plenty on your own.