Without a doubt, link building has been one of the most important aspects of marketing today. As visitors, we need links to go form one website to another; and as link builders, we need links to raise our websites into prominence. In order to use links to your advantage, you will need a plan.
A Good Link Building Plan Takes Time
I have to say this, but yes, a proper link building plan takes time. Like planting a tree, you can't expect to have a full grown tree on your first day of planting a seed. In link building you need to have a disciplined process, and even when I was starting in my blog; I spent long periods of time in being a nobody, but today, I have a consistent following to which I am contented with.
In order to make your link building campaign work, it will take months to complete it. And in every month, you have a distinct area to focus on. Why don't we proceed and let's get this over with.
Get Your Link Building Campaign Straight In 5 Easy Steps
In getting your campaign right, you need to plan it out. You need a form of framework to see where do you want your campaign to be when you're done. Now in making a good plan, I enumerate the factors that you should consider in making a good link building plan.
Know Where Your Website Stands
This is done so that you can know what content does your site really have and if you are lacking of any, what can you do to fix it. Because the internet landscape is huge, you need to know how different your site is from the others. Once you finally managed to pinpoint what you can offer that others can't, you can now proceed to the next step. This is also the first thing I did for my blog, I identified first the things that I can offer for my visitors. It's a hard task I must say, but it is necessary for anyone who would like to have their pages rise into rankings.
Know Who Your Enemies Are
Sun Tzu said; “Know your enemy and know yourself, you will find nothing to fear in every battle”. This saying still holds true in building links to your blog. You need to know who your competitors are and how they are faring. You can even use them as a reference point to see how far you have gone or how far your site should go. You can use tools like Link Detective, SearchMetrics Essentials, and Link Research Tools for better results.
Release of Your Content
Now that you have an idea of your site and your competitor's strength, now is the time for you to create a time frame on when are you going to release your content. Remember that the content that you release should have a unified theme that revolves around your site's main goals.
2. Create A Following
Now that you have a well-laid plan, you can now start moving on to the next stage: the ego bait. You will need to have people flocking around your website so you do this by releasing content that they will love. The best way to do this is to create a content that will flatter your visitors while maintaining the quality content for them.
Go Crowd Sourcing
The best possible place to get resource for your content is from the crowd. With this technique, you get ideas form your visitors themselves with little effort. Just post in some current relevant topics or issues or controversies and ask for their opinions about it. With your visitors having this feeling of importance, they will be more than enthusiastic to interact more in your site. I usually do this in my blog because the best ideas sometimes come from your followers.
Conduct Interview Sessions
Since you already have a good following at this point, you can now start on picking out the key "influencers" for your site. "Influencers" are those people who have a certain degree of influence upon the people on the field that your website is based in. So if you get on the good side of a key "influencer", then the people who are following that "influencer" will follow you in return―their "influencer" approves to you.
Just conduct a simple interview using Google Voice, then have the copy of the interview posted on your site. The influencer you interviewed will be more than proud to share that you interviewed him to his followers.
3. Hold A Contest
At this point, you are now a key influence in the field that you are in. And of course, you need to spread your message even farther than ever. Now the best way to spread your influence and your authority in the field you are in is to hold a contest. This will not only tell the world of your generosity, raise you up in a more authoritative position in your own field, and will also generate huge traffic for your web site. Now to host a successful blog contest, here are the special steps that you should follow.
Promote Your Contest
If you're going to host a contest, you should let the world know of it. So make it an effort to promote your contest. Send emails to your key influencer followers and have them link your contest announcement and mechanics to their blogs. This is the best time for you to be generous as well, so in reward to linking your contest page, you can give them a token of thanks like a shirt, memorabilia, or a PS3 if you're rich enough.
If You Can, Offer A Cash Prize
At this day and age, everybody loves cash prizes. Anyone who will come across to your contest announcement will stop and give your contest mechanics a look. With a generous cash prize is the bait, you can be sure that you will be having loads of participants in no time. If you don't have the money, just negotiate to a fellow blogger to sponsor your event, and they will be willing to invest in your event. I am very generous when it comes to this one, I always make sure that I have the money to fund my contests so that I can shower my participants with prizes!
Give Your Contest Daily or Weekly Updates
Now that your contest is up and running, your participants would like to know their standing in your contest. What better way to do this than posting an update regarding your contest. This will not only serve as a great way to inform and interact to your participants, it will also show the authenticity of your contest. Because most contests nowadays are just gateways to scams, you better let your participants know that this contest is for real.
Make Influences Out of Winners
In every contests, there will be winners. And the victors will be automatically catapulted into fame. The best way to make the most of it is to make them a key thought leader for the field you are in. Invite them to make a guest post for your site, or interview them, and see how their influence gather more following for your site.
4. Launch An E-book or A Video Presentation
Now that you are a driving force in your field. You can now start thinking about getting your site cemented to fame. And the best way to do this is to gather all your aggregate content and turn it to an e-book or video series, like how-to guides and webinars.
This e-book will represent the data that your site has compiled and it will become the main driving force in your campaign to be a prominent site. Cracked.com did the same thing and they're pretty much the go-to guy site when it comes to quirky information with humor on it. In getting content, you can always rely on your key influencers or the participants of your blog contest. Just gather the best content and with a dab of the best graphic artists you can get, and you can have yourself a good e-book.
How About A Video Presentation Then?
To some people, video presentation has more appeal than books. That's why in order to cater to this demographic, I'm advising you to host a video presentation that explains your guide well that offers additional content not featured in your e-book. Once done, you can post this webinar and have the authors link it to their blogs as well.
5. Hold An Event
Now that you have your guides and videos in place, it is now apparent that you have made a mark to your chosen field. With your influence firmly in place, you can now start an event that will allow you to get to know your followers personally.
Parties, meetups, and conferences are a great way for you to have other people link to your site, and having them get to know you personally, will also give more weight to them in linking your site. Whenever I invite people to an event, I will always make sure that they are having a good time, and sometimes, I personally serve them food and drinks!
Things to Remember in Doing An Event
Always ask the people who know you to link you. Your personal network is the best place to start.
Invite numerous journalists to your event and they may make a good writeup to thank you for your hospitality.
Send handwritten notes to your guests after your event. This will help them remind of your kind hospitality and give them an impression that you personally care for them.
After coming this far, I am confident that your site is already making a name for itself. Just don't forget to maintain your position by doing regular checks on who shared your content by using the Topsy tool. Don't forget to monitor your followers as well from time to time, a good interaction in the comments section or an e-mail may do the trick. So there goes our quick journey to internet fame, just don't forget me when you've reached the top okay?
Justine is a link builder of Agentsofvalue.com, a Philippines based offshore staff leasing company. We outsource SEO and other web-based services to clients worldwide.