I know, my poor link builder n00bs.
It is brutally out there. But I have you!
I am Bibi the Link Builder and have always been building backlinks.
I’ve trained a bunch of curious newbies for my agency and other link building teams, so I know what you’re going through.
Let me share with you my seven nuggets that will make your first link building journey a little smoother.
1. Manage expectations
Link building can be difficult, especially if you don’t buy links or use existing link partnerships. It can take weeks or even months for your campaigns to gain momentum.
That’s why it’s important that you don’t lose hope and keep optimizing and trying.
If you are dealing with other stakeholders, it is very important that they are also aware of this.
You need a lot of space and time to learn what works and what doesn’t, and the stakeholders breathing down your neck aren’t helping.
So before you begin, make sure everyone involved is comfortable with failure and willing to learn and experiment – including you.
2. Focus first
Look, all marketers like shiny new things, and SEO professionals are no exception.
But especially for beginners, it’s better to focus on one link building tactic at a time.
Your results depend not only on the tactics you choose, but also on the quality of execution.
That’s why you need to concentrate:
- If you try too many methods at once, you won’t be able to do any of them well enough to be successful.
- You are more likely to make mistakes when switching between different methods.
- It becomes harder to track your results and see what’s working and what’s not.
Start with the link building tactic that seems easiest to you. Try it and see how it goes.
Once you have a system that works for you, you can delegate it to a team member.
If the tactic doesn’t work or you have it perfectly systematized, start testing other things.
3. Start with flexible goals
It is common practice to define clear goals for your link building campaigns. This helps you measure your success and track your progress.
However, in the beginning it is also okay not to have very clear goals.
Maybe your goal is simply to learn link building and see what it does for your business.
This is a perfectly valid goal and can help you start building links from a more open perspective. You will fail forward and be able to experiment more.
Once you have a better understanding of link building, you can start setting more specific goals.
For example, you might want to increase your website’s organic traffic by 10% or get 100 new backlinks in the next month.
4. Leverage your existing network
I can’t believe I’m adding this tip here because it’s so damn obvious. But even the most experienced link builders sometimes leave these links on the table.
When you start building links, please start with low-hanging fruit like this.
Just because it’s easy doesn’t mean there can’t be sturdy gems in there!
So make a list of all the areas where you (and your colleagues!) have existing connections. Here are some examples:
- Friends and family (duh).
- Your software suppliers.
- Other suppliers and providers.
- Local businesses and organizations.
- Your alumni network.
Once you have a list of connections, send them a quick message about links. Don’t think about it too much.
5. Practice with tailored emails first
A tailored email is an email that is written specifically for one Outlook.
When they read the email, they should understand that it was written only for them and no one else.
You can use any elements to show that it is unique to you.
Writing customized emails may sound like a lot of work, but it’s a great way to practice writing better templates.
Customized emails create templates.
A lot of link building relies on outreach, and a lot of that outreach comes through email templates.
Templates can be very effective, but you need to learn how to create good templates that actually deliver results. Otherwise, you’ll be forced to copy or purchase templates from others, which can be expensive and time-consuming.
Often, a targeted template that uses your link prospect’s jargon and shows an understanding of their pain points, interests, and desires works best.
It converts much better than a generic template that uses typical link builder phrases. Unless you directly offer to purchase links (and there’s no shame in that either!).
So why start with tailored emails?
I always ask my trainees to write 5 to 10 individual emails first because it requires them to do three things:
- This is what it should sound like when you break out of the “corporate” box of a professional email.
- Really think about the value proposition: Why should the prospect add the link? What’s in it for them?
- Dive deep into a prospect and identify commonalities between different prospects.
Working on unique outreach emails will give you a better understanding of what resonates with your prospects.
Once you’ve written a few individual emails, you’ll notice a pattern emerge. You will notice which elements are most effective and which are not.
This will help you create targeted templates for similar prospects.
6. Relevance can be flexible
In addition to gaining links that generate traffic and enable those sales, you can think beyond what your potential customers want.
Think about what your audience is like and what other things they like. Simply put: Where else do they hang out online?
Let me give you an example:
Let’s say you’re a luxury real estate agent. Your obvious target is real estate sites as they rank for relevant keywords and have an audience willing to buy.
But all your competitors are thinking along the same lines, which makes it difficult to get links from these sites. Of course, you should still choose this obvious angle.
But you can also expand your scope so that you get links from prospects who aren’t being spammed to death by your competition. For example, these prospects could also work:
- Luxury car dealer.
- Private jet company.
- Art dealer.
- Interior design companies.
- Panic room installers.
- Security company.
- High-end travel agencies.
This “stretch” can be used to explore viewpoints, e.g. B. about the question of who you would like to contact. But it can also be used for linkable assets for active link building and passive link building.
An example is statistics parts. A statistics piece is a simple compilation of your and others’ statistics on a specific topic, industry and/or niche.
The audience for such a piece is not your customers; They are the people who write for your customers and/or your prospects.
These publishers need to do their homework, and your statistics section will save them time searching for facts online. So you draw on some of the facts you mentioned, write the article and cite you as the source.
You can increase these posts by actively building outreach links to them or running ads for them. But eventually they will start gaining links themselves.
Check out Stacey Macnaughts’ talks and articles on these statistics articles. She is the ultimate queen of stat pieces!
7. Diverse prospecting
When you’re just starting out with prospecting, you typically start with one of two approaches: competitor backlinks or targeted keywords.
In the first approach, you examine the backlinks of your direct or indirect competitors and contact these or similar websites.
When prospecting based on targeted keywords, you find and reach out to websites that rank for the keywords you want to target. You can also check their backlink profiles and target those prospects.
These two approaches are important and should definitely be implemented. But remember: your competitors are doing the same thing.
So if you want to get more creative with your customer acquisition, find out what types of websites and companies your audience likes. Then create a list of prospects from that group.
This way you can discover new opportunities and reach more people.
For example, if you are a coffee roaster, you could list all the companies that have (part of) your target audience:
- Coffee lover.
- Home roaster.
- Gift shops.
- Online retailer.
Tip for smart and lazy people (my favorite!): Ask Bard or Gepetto to help you brainstorm these lists.
You could create separate prospect lists for these types of companies. Then reach out to your target audience with a topic-based email that will resonate with that specific group.
You can also do another relevancy jump and research which companies supply the companies on your first list.
For example, if you think of hotel owners as the target audience for coffee roasters, they are non-competing businesses that target the same audience:
- POS systems.
- Household supplies company.
- Loyalty programs.
- Property management systems.
- Booking engines.
When you add these prospecting aspects to your prospecting toolkit, you will end up with a diverse collection of potential prospects.
It can also open your eyes to other ways of working with companies that share your customer base but don’t compete with you.
These are the final words for my sweet n00by link building babies.
Screw compliance! Be your unapologetic self in link building (and in life).
Forget the “proper and professional” corporate stuff.
Embrace your style, trust your gut and don’t copy others. Experiment, have fun and develop your unique approach.
Featured Image: Lightspring/Shutterstock