A couple of days ago, I wrote a beginners guide to ranking in Google. While I did touch on link building, I didn't cover it in depth…like it deserves. The reason for this is that as a beginner, I honestly don't think your focus should be on links.
Your focus should be on writing great content, proper keyword research, and building relationships with bloggers or other business owners in your community.
These actions in turn will lead to natural links. Links can lead to more authority and better rankings in Google.
However, all of that can sound very vague. Go build relationships. How do you do that? Focus on content that is sharable. How do you do that? Find “whitehat” link building opportunities. How do you do that?
How to Focus on Real Links
My primary strength is keyword research and competition analysis. I can find keywords that are easy to rank for without requiring too many links. This has always been my focus. So, in reality there are better experts to building links than I.
So, when a reader messaged me on Twitter a few weeks ago saying they had found someone who really knew his link building stuff, I had to take a look. What I found was Point Blank SEO's Linkbuilding Course, and I was pleasantly surprised! Jon Cooper, the creator of the course, focuses on “white hat” link building techniques that are sure to stand the test of time with Google updates. The links he teaches how to build are REAL links – rather than automated spam (that won't “stick”).
He definitely touches on relationship building, and goes into great detail. But I wanted to share a specific example that has worked for me in the past.
Relationships Are Better Than Links
When I first got started blogging, Pat Flynn was also just starting his Niche Site Duel. I followed along like many others. When Pat built his site and started monetizing with Google Adsense, I noticed some things that he could be doing better with his ad placement. You see at the time, I was doing pretty well with Google Adsense (I was just about to quit my job).
So, I shot an email to Pat and simply suggested some ad placements that were sure to increase he overall earnings. Not only did Pat respond positively, but he made the changes to his Niche site that very day (if I recall correctly)! We actually exchanged a few emails at that time and starting building a relationship. At no point did I ever ask for a link, mention links, or ask for anything in return – I was just happy to start building a relationship with a blogger that I respected.
Well, turns out the suggestions I made resulted in a nice uptick in his earnings (it increased his earnings by 139%)! As a result, Pat wrote about my suggestions here on his next income report and linked to my new blog! Pretty cool, huh?
The link and traffic was cool, but even better is the ongoing relationship I've formed. Pat and I have interacted quite a bit, including the interview I did with him a few months ago. Pat has linked to my site several times since then.
In addition, who knows how many other links I've gathered because of these mentions. I've formed lots of other relationships with bloggers and others that have lead to links as well.
Why I Like the Point Blank SEO Course
Building relationships to get links is just one of the techniques that Jon covers in the Point Blank SEO course. I really like the course because he offers LOTS of tactics to generate actual links with true value. Here's a screenshot of what's inside the course:
You will notice the Table of Contents on the right hand column. He covers in depth each of these topics. The screenshot is from the “Blueprint for New Sites”. I REALLY love the advice he offers for those with newer sites and how to take advantage of a launch strategy.
Some of the points for launching a site that Jon makes are these: guest blog to build excitement, excessive amounts of outbound links in your first few posts, spend alot of time on your first few posts.
He also gives some very specific recommendations on how to build buzz around your new (or even old) blog: Connect with bloggers & influencers with no intention of obtaining links (worked well for me with Pat Flynn as mentioned above, and MANY others), conduct interviews, conduct a contest or giveaway, create a crowdsourced piece (wondering how to do that? Jon gives some examples), and MANY more.
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That's just the suggestions for launching a new blog. If you have an existing site, you can certainly use a lot of those, but he also teaches how to conduct a link building campaign. This includes researching the links that your competitors have, using Google to find specific sites that are willing to link to you, how to contact influencers (including email templates and LOTS of examples).
The course itself has 8 sections. Within each section are several topics, tactics, and real life examples. Its a meaty course, that is worth referencing over and over again.
Who is Point Blank SEO For?
Overall, I HIGHLY recommend the Point Blank SEO Course if you are looking for ways to legitimately get links to your authority sites. To be clear, this is not a course about using black hat techniques to get links; this is all about developing strategies and tactics to get real links from real websites.
So, if you own a blog, have a company website, or even an eCommerce site, I really think this course will provide value to you.
If I were to spend days writing down all the link building tactics that I know about or have used, I still wouldn't have come up with all the quality details that Jon has in his course. Again, my focus has always been on keyword research and competitor analysis – I can hold my own with anyone in that area. But for link building, I think Jon has me beat!
Yes, I am an affiliate for this course, and will make a commission if you purchase it. I only recommend it because its one that I have gone through myself and have found highly valuable. Do you absolutely need a link building course? No, of course not. But if you've struggled to generate buzz around your new site or need new ways to build links to your site, this is the course I recommend.
Overall, this course is a pretty small investment for the value it provides, check out the course here.
In addition to just recommending the Point Blank SEO, I've also included some specific tactics that have worked well for me and others in this post. Hopefully you found some value in learning those methods, even if you don't decide to buy anything today. As always, I look forward to hearing your questions or feedback in the comments below.