In our call today, Samara and I discussed basic link building strategies for her niche site project 3 site.
On one hand, some people feel like link building is so critical to a sites success; on the other, you have people that never do any linkbuilding and do really well with niche sites. I personally tend to be somewhere in the middle.
I don’t believe that link building is the most important activity you can be doing on your site. I think keyword research and creating great content is the most important activity. However, I do see the value in getting links as well…this is clearly a huge ranking factor in Google.
However, I’m a strong believer that your most valuable links are going to come naturally. I have several sites that I’ve never done a single outreach or link building “campaign” for that have thousands of links. So, it’s not that I don’t think links are important (they are)…I just don’t believe that it’s always necessary to personally put in the effort to get every single link. Lots of links will come on their own…if you do things right.
So, in our call, I tried to stress to Samara that aggressive link building is not needed. We are just going to do some things to make her site really easy to link to and get her content out into the web world. By doing some of these initial steps (setting up social media accounts, RSS, etc)…more eyeballs are more likely to see and link to her content.
We also discuss where she can go to study and learn about more advanced link building strategies…which we will discuss more in the future. But the overall message here is that we are just going to sprinkle a few links in every once in a while. Link building is not going to be the majority of our focus, most of the time. Just a few links here and there can go a long way.
Samara’s Summary of the Call
We’re about to embark on a whole new phase of the project: linkbuilding! This is something about which I know absolutely nothing. I’ve never built a link in my life, so learning about the process and hearing some basic strategies was eye-opening, to say the least.
Although it’s true that not all links are created equal, Spencer said to just go out there and get some—dofollow, nofollow—it doesn’t matter. That’s kind of a relief. As it’s my first foray into this new territory, it’s nice to not have to worry about too many details.
I also have to say I like Spencer’s approach: he advocates friendly outreach with a view to building a relationship and with no ulterior motive, as opposed to aggressive linkbuilding. That’s the strategy he has used for nichepursuits.com and longtailpro.com, to much success. That sounds great to me; it seems a lot more natural.
As he says (and points out on Jon Cooper’s exhaustive PointBlankSEO blog post), there are tons and tons of strategies, but you don’t have to be doing all of them all of the time. His “salt shaker approach” is right up my alley: you get a few links every month, and that’s it. It’s not going to be our main focus.
He gave me a handful of strategies to start out and get some quick and easy links. This includes submitting my RSS feed to some quality RSS directories, setting up social media accounts and linking back to my site, reaching out to family and friends with blogs and asking them to link to me, and leaving relevant comments on blogs with the Comment Luv footprint.
This all seems pretty straightforward, although lots of things seem that way until you get dug in and realize that they’re just the opposite (like my friend WordPress, for example!).
Anyway I like the sound of this; I feel like I’m dipping my toe into the linkbuilding waters. It’s a nice way to ease into the whole process, which seems slightly overwhelming—at least to a noob like myself—given the sheer number of strategies and their complexity.
Speaking of complexity, another assignment I have is to research a few advanced strategies. To be honest, I have no idea where to start, so this should be a real adventure. Luckily we have Spencer to show us the way : )
I’m ready to get to work and see how this whole linkbuilding thing works. There are, of course, sites that do lots of serious linkbuilding, and you also hear about sites that do none at all and still do really well, so I am looking forward to taking the plunge and seeing what it’s all about, how it works, and most of all, how it affects my growing niche site!
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Watch the Coaching Call Here
You can watch the full video of the coaching call below. If you would rather just listen to the audio, you can download it here.
Coaching Call 9: Basic Link Building Strategies for Your Niche Site
Assignment Follow Up
- Add affiliate links to your existing content (short term strategy)
- Brainstorm 3 products ideas you could sell to your niche
- Physical Products?
- Sign up for an Email provider
- Get an Opt In form on your site
- Google ranks websites better that have high quality links
Types of Links
- Do Follow, No Follow (passes PageRank or not)
- Both links are valuable, but Do follow is preferred
- I wouldn’t worry too much about this…
- White Hat, Black Hat, Gray Hat
- Let’s try to stay as “white hat” as possible.
- Debatable what is white or gray sometimes
Aggressive Link Building is NOT Critical to a Site’s Success
- I’ve never done a “link building” campaign for NichePursuits.com or LongTailPro.com.
- I’ve just done simple outreach to truly build relationships with no intention to get a link.
- Claire Smith truly only publishes content and has a five figure a month business.
- Let’s use link building like salt for our steak. We’ll just sprinkle a few links in on a monthly basis.
List of Link Building Strategies…
- Social Media / Profile accounts
- RSS Feeds
- Ask people you know
- Look at your competitors links
- Outreach (after you do something worth reaching out for).
- Guest Posting
- Blog Commenting
- Broken Links
- Build Relationships
- Become a contributor
Set Up RSS…
- Using WordPress? Already done!
- Go to yourdomain.com/feed to see your rss feed
- Submit this feed to a few RSS directories!
- Use Google to find RSS Directories J
- Assignment: Submit your RSS feed to at least 5 directories (focus on the higher quality directories).
Set Up Social Media Accounts
- Consider other Profile accounts (LinkedIn, Google+, etc).
- Assignment: Get 4 social media/profile pages set up and link to your site.
- Assignment: Find ways to auto-post all new posts to FB, Twitter, Pinterest
Ask People You Know
- Ask family and friends or online acquaintances if they will mention your website on their website.
- If they want you to write an article for them, go for it.
- Assignment: Find one person you know that will link to you
- Usually lower value, but a good way to get some links and start relationships.
- I would keep the amount of blog commenting low and relevant
- “Comment Luv” is one footprint to look for
- “Leave a comment” is another
- Assignment: Find 5 blogs and comment with link to your site
Research More Advanced Tactics
- We may need to do additional calls to review more advanced strategies.
- However, most of these tactics are well explained in blogs posts that can be found with a simple Google search.
- Assignment: Review Jon Cooper’s list: http://pointblankseo.com/link-building-strategies and decide on 2 or 3 more advanced strategies that you would like to try in the future.
- Bonus Assignment: Read some blog posts on the 2 or 3 tactics that you decide on.
Assignments for Call 9
- Submit your RSS feed to at least 5 directories (focus on the higher quality directories).
- Find ways to auto-post all new posts to FB, Twitter, Pinterest
- Find one person you know that will link to you
- Find 5 blogs and comment with link to your site
- Review Jon Cooper’s list: http://pointblankseo.com/link-building-strategies and decide on 2 or 3 more advanced strategies that you would like to try in the future.
- Bonus Assignment: Read some blog posts on the 2 or 3 tactics that you decide on.