Let’s boil this down to ridiculusly simple concepts, then I’ll outline an effective process that both generates amazing, usable content for your site while also giving you allies who will be incentivized & motivated to link to your website.
- Make a list of parralel/related/”sibling” businesses w contact info
- Make up 1-3 Questions
- Curate all responses into a blog post
- Curate individual responses into graphics
- Send post and graphic back to respondents suggesting a “citation”
- Get links
How do you get a link?
In the simplest terms, to get a link a person with access to the website decides to edit their page and add hyperlink to their page. It really is a human, editorial decision.
Who Do You Need To Reach?
Who then do you need to convince of your site’s value? Well, obviously the person with access to the site?
So that could be the marketing person in-house, or with an agency or the owner of the business.
Why would they take the time to do that?!
Well, they would need to feel either obligated in some way or enticed to add the link to your website. They would need to feel that your content is sufficiently relevant and useful in the context of a page on their site that it would benefit them and their visitors.
However, this is KEY, they can NOT be in direct competition with you. Why would they link to an enemy! However, also need to have a relevant on page reason to link to you.
That’s why PARRALLEL businesses need to be your target market for links. You need to find businesses who are selling to the same audience, that are NOT direct competitors
E.G. A Realtor’s parrallel businesses would be loan officers, title agents, movers, designers, painters, landscapers, etc.
How do you make a proposition they can’t refuse?
You need to GIVE THEM VALUE FIRST. You must offer the link TO them first.
The best way to do this is to find questions that impact your customers/visitors and their visitors and then you get the answers to these questions from your target website owner.
You’re A Genius
People like to be acknowledged. So asking them for their expert opinion on a topic they know, in exchange for a link from you is a winning proposition.
Just be sure to NOT ASK TOO MUCH. 1-3 short questions AT MOST.
Shop Around For Experts
Build a spreadsheet of parrallel business types. Then get the ACTUAL businesses and their contact information. Send them outreach emails. Get a decent amount of replies.
Never Win Once When You Can Win Twice: Killer Content
Here’s the best part. If you do your job in selecting the question you’re asking, then you’re helping your customer and your potential customer by having these answers.
What happens when you have relevant questions and answers for issues solved by your product or service? You capture search traffic from online searchers looking for solutions to their problems(AKA Quality Content).
What About The Links You Promised?!
Here’s where you get savvy. Use something like Pablo by Buffer or Photoshop to turn each respondant’s answers into a neat graphic. Then you send THAT back to them with your published URL.
Thanks so much for your super helpful replies to my questions! Here’s the article, (I linked to your site here!). I thought you’d like to share your answers on your own site on your relevant page (URL) or on socials ;). A citation is not required but appreciated.
You don’t even have to say “LINK TO MEEEEEE”. They’ll feel obligated this way. They’ll feel enticed! Afterall what could be more relevant to their page than their own answers?
This only works if…
You do it. The hardest part of link building is DOING IT. You gotta stop stragegizing. You have to start sending emails. Curate responses. Publish the post and do the follow up. If you do, I swear you can build links for boring industries like toilet partitions or steel door manufacturers.
Some Good Advice From Twitter
Posting this to the Twittersphere netted some good input from @darth_na, who is a worthwhile follow!
This process of “ego bait” based link building can work well with round-ups like how I’ve approach this tactic but it’s not the only way. You could alsoapproach outreach by literally asking the businesses what are their most frequest questions and generate a professional/industry FAQs or approach them as and ask for their “insider tips on their industry”.
You also don’t HAVE to ask them for a link right away, you can wait a few weeks. Just send the graphic, and if they put it up make a calendar note to followup and ask for a link.
Last, but not least, there are ways to connect into totally different markets. You could make your post specific to a region! This would allow you to hit all kinds of different businesses.
Example Of A Link Building Campaign For A Roofer
Let’s say that you’re building links for a local roofing client. First examine what services and products your client is putting onto the market and who are their ideal customers.
Find a “Nexus of Interest”
In this example, the ideal customer is a home owner. Ergo, the “nexus of interest” for you to explore is “the home”. Who else provides related and sibling services for home owners?
Let’s brainstorm! Houses can get moldy, so there’s mold abatement. Houses need to be painted eventually, so there’s house painting. Houses can get bugs, so there’ bug treatment companies. There’s dozens and dozens of services and products for the home!
Make a spreadsheet.
Generate Your Questions For The “Interviews”
Next you need 1-3 questions on a topic that is at home on your roofing related site, but isn’t hardcore related just to roofs. Remember you want to spread a wide net, but don’t be ridiculous.
- What’s the home maintenance task that most homeowners regret overlooking?
- Is there a cost-saving tip that you should know when you’re buying your first home?
- What’s the most surprising or unusual home improvement you’ve seen?
Making A List, Checking it Twice
Now I recommend that you add to your related, sibling business spreadsheet all of the contact information you can derive from their sites. Grab multiple email addresses and even phone numbers. you’d be surprised how easy it is to build links with phone calls.
Curate Those Responses Into A Blog post
Yea. Do that.
Turn Individual Reponses Into Graphics
Build a relationship
Don’t treat this as a single, transactional situation. Interact with the editor, seo or marketer on the other end of the process and you can gain some additional opportunities for referrals or even guest author a full article on their site in the future; Here’s a good resource to help on that score if it happens.