Link building is the process of having other sites point to your site. Google sees these links as a sort of ‘vote’ saying that your site content is good enough to be linked to. Link building involves manually building links to your site either by submission, which is at your discretion or by requesting other sites to link to you.
Link earning, on the other hand, involves naturally gaining links i.e. having sites link to you without asking for them. You get these links naturally over time when your business makes a name for itself and people want to talk about you on their site and link to your site. You can check your backlinks using backlink checker tools such as Ahrefs or SEMrush. These are both paid tools but very accurate and useful. You can also check your competitor’s backlinks by inserting their site into the tool. This is very powerful information because it gives you an entire list of all of the sites linking to your competitors and you can try to get links for yourself from those sites too. It shows you who’s talking about your competitors, what they’re saying, where your competitors have been interviewed, where they have been guest posting etc.
Guest Posting: Guest posting involves writing articles for other blogs in your industry with a link back to your site. This allows those other sites to get good content, and you for you to get a link to your site and incoming traffic from the site. So a win-win situation for both. Guest posting is a very common link building technique. Some say it’s dead, spammy and not safe. But if done right, it can add a lot of value. What you need to keep in mind while guest posting is to post on the highest quality possible sites that are not spammy and are relevant. Relevancy is the key factor here. You don’t want to guest post just for the sake of getting a link. Make value your top priority.
Guest post on sites that are relevant to your industry i.e. sites that can send relevant traffic to your site that can possibly lead to sales. The most common approach to guest posting is simply reaching out to influential blog owners in your niche. It’s a great idea but getting a guest post to go live on influential blogs is not always easy. These blogs are popular and so receive hundreds of outreach emails a day requesting to guest blog for them. Some of these blogs don’t even accept guest posts and clearly, state that. However, to get a higher response rate, it is a better idea to reach out to sites that are actually accepting guest posts.
Question and Answer site Answering: These links aren’t the highest quality for backlink purposes but they can be huge for increasing incoming traffic. Q and A sites like Yahoo Answers, Quora etc. get a large number of hits a month so build a presence there. Find questions related to your industry that has been asked and answer them. You answer the question and so help someone, end up being perceived as the expert and get a link back to your site. If you provide value to others through helpful answers, they will make their way to your site and your traffic (and hopefully leads) will increase. A sneaky little trick is to post a question yourself and answer it yourself as well. But use different accounts for that so it looks natural of course. This Q and A thread may be made up but it will still be valuable to the others reading it as they’re searching for an answer to that question.
Get your own Wikipedia page: If you’ve built enough authority, get yourself a Wikipedia page. Just have someone else write it for you so it looks natural and is unbiased.
Forum Link Building: Forum link building is similar to Q and A sites. Forums are like online groups. They’re created for a specific industry where people post threads to ask questions, ask for opinions, or simply just discuss a particular topic. You can become a member of a few of the main forums from your industry and join in on the conversations taking place. Getting links from the forum threads is not always possible in the beginning since the admins are strict about it. But once you gain a reputation by becoming a frequent poster, you can start dropping links. Comment on popular threads or ones you think will gain popularity soon and try linking your answer back to your business in some or the other way. Offer the thread poster help or a valuable opinion and let them know they can visit your site for more information. The thread poster and also the hundreds, if not thousands of people viewing the thread will read your answer.
Create Great Content and Ask for Links: One of the simplest ways of link building is to just create linkable content. Create assets that are link worthy. This could be in the form of eBooks, whitepapers, infographics, guides, market research studies/ surveys or just blog articles. It doesn’t have to be super fancy and lengthy. Just provide value and make it better than your competitors so people see why they should link to you.
Interview Journalists Who Cover Your Niche: Similar to reverse guest posting, interview influential bloggers on your site instead of you being interviewed on theirs. They will appreciate it and in most cases, share a link to it on their site.
Blog Commenting: This is something a lot of people do naturally. We all read many blog posts a day to do our share of industry reading. Why not leave a comment after reading while you’re on the page? Try not to leave spammy links in every comment, though. Most commenting systems such as Disqus let users profiles link to their sites, so you end up getting a link that way. You can provide a valuable point not discussed in the article or give your opinion so it stands out and gets noticed by people reading the comments. We often underestimate the number of people who read comments on an article and because of that blog commenting is often overlooked, but give it a try.
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