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For the last few years I am doing a whole lot of SEO & backlinking stuff. Frankly speaking I had no idea about any particular link building strategy. When I first started my blog, I was building link here and there randomly. I kept writing articles and that’s all I did. I am still learning and as I make my way up I will be sharing more on what I have learned. In this article I will write about the timeless link building strategy that will work everytime. In a nutshell SEO boils down to just 3 parts:
- Keyword research
- On page website optimization
- Link building
The last part is the biggest and the most exciting of them all, also the most frustrating one. For a long time I suck in all of the 3 above mentioned things, that’s why I couldn’t see any success in my rankings. I didn’t know what I was doing. I would launch a new site; backlinking randomly here and there and hoping to see a magic in life.
But magic doesn’t happen in reality. That’s why it sucked! So back to the reality I then lost interest to my site and move on to another one and still getting the same ending. As a result I had 20s of websites that were a pain in my ass and I have no idea what I should be doing with them.
So in this article I would like to share about a link building strategy that will work. I call it Link Engineering. What ever you call it, it’s all the same, how to get more links pointing to your website. Like me you must have read lots of ebooks on building links. The ones that say do this, do that and bla bla bla. But in reality link building is very diverse. Here are the most basic ways to attain links for your website:
- Directory Submission
- Article Directories
- Social Bookmarking
- Forum Posting
- Paid Links
- Link Exchange
- Guest Blogging
- Edu/Gov Links
- Link Requests
- Blog Commenting
- Press Releases
- Mass/Automated links
And that’s not all; there are countless ways you can start building link for your website. The thing is when most people start link building (doing it yourself or outsourcing it) they focus on the most conventional methods of linking. Sometimes they pump up 1-2 methods of building links. For an example most link builders advertise on forums that you can purchase a link packet for merely 50 bucks and receive 5000 one way links to your website in 3 days. This will boost your website on top for the desired keyword you want. But in reality it doesn’t work. Think about it, if it were so easy then why don’t other people do this to get top rankings and make money? Why people spend thousands of dollars in SEO and link building?
The reality is you get what you pay for.
So if you want a good link building strategy, you have to touch all of the means of backlinking as you can. For an example say you setup a new site on selling sunglasses online. Start your building link by submitting to article directories. Submit your link to 50 directories. Then start writing articles for article directories, post to 50 article directories. So the whole thing may look like this:
- Premium Directories – 1-5 Links – 1Week
- Directory Submission – 50-100 Submission (30-50 Links) – 1Week
- Article Directories – 50 Links – 1Week
- Social Bookmarking – 50 Links – 1Week
- Forum Posting – 20 Forum Registration (20-30 Links) – 1Week
- Paid Links – 1-10 Links – 1Week
- Link Exchange – 10 Links – 1Week
- Guest Blogging – 5 Links – 1Week
- Edu/Gov Links – 10 Links – 1Week
- Link Requests – 1-10 Links – 1Week
- Blog Commenting – 25 Links – 1Week
- Press Releases – 25 Links – 1Week
So with the above rough calculations you can attain roughly 300 domain backlinks in 12 weeks. The total number of backlinks will be higher than this, could be 3000-5000. This is because when you get a backlink from footer or from the sidebar, it counts every page the link is shown. So if I give you a link from BlogKori sidebar, you get 1 domain backlink but you will get total 400+ backlinks because your link will show up in all of the 400 pages this blog has.
Here is a quick overview of the backlink types I have mentioned on top:
Premium Directories: These are paid directories, high editorial standards. 2 of the top directories to name are:
- DMOZ (Open Directory) – Free
- Yahoo Business Directory – $299/yr
Both of them are useless for 97% of webmasters because DMOZ is hard to get into and they have a waiting list of 5 years. So when your number comes you may have retired from the IM, LOL! Yahoo Directory doesn’t guarantees for the inclusion but the 300/year is so high for most people.
There are other premium directories that don’t cost an arm or leg to get included. Such directories usually charge $29-$97. Better if you can get your site listed in few of these sites. Some niche ones (category specified) cost as low as 10 bucks to get listed. So I have proposed 1-5 links for the first round of link building. This will cost you roughly 100-200 dollars, but the investment is worth it! Here are few of the many paid directories with their fees:
- Best Of The Web -$149/yr
- DirBull -$66.98
- GoGuides -$69.95
- Gimpsy -$49
- Alma Public Library -$10
Directory Submission: These are all the mass free directories that exist in the cyberspace. In regular these links don’t do any good to website ranking but when it comes to a large number of these and then you will have a good impact for your site. Submit your site to the general class directories. Submit to the ones that has page rank, higher than 4. Less than that is not worth your time. Avoid reciprocal links. It’s not worth your time.
Search for niche directories. Such as if your site is about flowers, then see how many directories specialize in florists or garden niches. Submitting to those sites will give you better value. Any page rank these sites have doesn’t matters. So if your site is about shoes and you found a directory about shoes, then go for it. Doesn’t matters even if that site has just Page Rank Zero or no page rank at all; when it’s on topic, it’s gold –you get the point! Submit to 50-100 sites and out of them you can expect 30-50 live links. Then move on to the next phase. Here is a website that lists all the directories:
- Directory Critique
Article Directories: These are article sites where you can submit articles and get a link back to your site from the footer or author resource area. One of the top article site is EzineArticles. To speed up the process and make it less time consuming you can write one article and then spin it. Spinning means changing the words and synonyms of the article so it looks fresh to the search engine. Write 5 articles and spin them to get 10 copies of each, you have 50 copies now. You can use an online article spinner to do this for you. Then you can post these to 10 top level article directories and you will have 50 links when they are accepted. Here is a free online content spinning software you can use: Content Professor. And also these are my favorite article directories that accept spinned articles:
- Ezine Articles
- Go Articles
- Article Blast
- Idea Marketers
- Articles Base
- Articles Factory
Social Bookmarking: Social bookmarking sites are user generated content sites such as Digg, Reddit. Delicious etc. Register for 10 top level bookmarking sites and submit 5 posts to these sites. 5×10 = 50 links you will have. Just like other easy link building techniques, these links don’t add any great value to your campaign but in big numbers you have something there! Here are 10 of my favorites:
Forum Posting: Search on google for related forums. Search “your keyword forum” or “your keyword discussion board” –where your keyword means the keyword you are targeting. Find the forums and register for 20 of them you like. Most of these sites will allow you to create a link on your profile. That link is all that you need. Just by registering to 20 different forums and putting your links you can ensure 20 links from different IP addresses or countries. If you want to take one step further then go to the “Introduction” thread of every forum and say HI. That’s all. Most of these forums allow a link to your signature. Create one for a bonus link. We don’t want to spend the whole day on forum posting so let’s move on.
Paid Links: These are links that you have to purchase from other site owners. This can be a good investment. Search for blog directories if you can find related blogs and websites of your topic. See if you can get a good advertisement or paid link opportunity. Links to new blogs may cost $5-10 a month or even $50 a month. We want to save money here so keep looking if you get a good deal. Search on Fiverr, there are lots of webmasters willing to sell links for 5 dollars. Some of them offer a yearly or even a lifetime deal. Great if you can get a yearly deal. Get a few paid links if you have the money but make sure you are not spending a lot just for paid links.
Guest Blogging: Guest blogging will give you more exposure. The thing of guest blogging is that you write a post for another blog. Find these blogs that match your market topic. You can search this on MyBlogGuest forum. You need to produce the best article for these blogs. So make it good so that link will count. Almost every guest post gives out a link back to the author’s site so that’s a WIN WIN situation. Do 5 guest posts and move on.
Edu/Gov Links: These are rumored to be the highest authority links. And yes they are because most of these sites belong to reputable institutes such as harvard.edu or usa.gov. You don’t have to buy links from them. You can build your own. It takes common sense and sharp observation. Most of these sites have a blog where you can comment so that’s how you get a link. Build 10 links of these in any combination and let’s move forward.
Link Requests: AKA link begging. This is a process of emailing other webmasters on giving a link back to your site. This straight approach may be light but “If you don’t ask, the answer will be no“ I have asked many webmasters for links, most of them rejected but some of them were kind enough to link back. All it takes is a few minutes of your time to find the name and email of the webmaster and then send them a personalized email. It works best when you have a relation with that webmaster, your friend or work buddy. So ask links and build 10 of these.
Blog Commenting: This is yet the easiest form of securing a link. You can search a blog and comment or you were reading an interesting post and comment with your link, as simple as that. Some comments allow keywords, some of them don’t. Some are dofollow. Build 25 blog comment links and move on, we don’t have much time for this!
Press Release: These are online press articles you can submit to a number of free sites. I think you have no idea how to write one. Go to fiverr and have one written for you for $5. Then submit your article to the free press release sites. Most of these sites allow a link back to your site so use that on your favor. Build 25 links like this. Here is a list of Free PR sites you can use: (if you see some of them are paid or unreachable, please notify me so I can remove them)
- 24-7 Press Release
- 1888 Press Release
- Click Press
- Ecomm Wire
- Newswire Today
- PR Buzz
- PR Urgent
- Press About
- Press Method
- PR Log
- The Open Press
- Press Box
End of Round One
Now that the round one is complete for your link building strategy, you will find that your site has a good standing in the search engine rankings. We did this over the course of 12 weeks (3 months) you can however do all in one week but this is not recommended. Steady growth in backlining is better than fast linking. If you rush for backlinking you will be stressed and lose momentum. In the mean time you have to keep writing new articles and learn new ways of building links and tweaking your site. Once the round one is complete, check your stats that you are progressing and then do the same as round two. Keep doing it until you hit the #1 position for your keyword.
In the next articles I will write details on each of the link building methods I have mentioned above. Do let me know your thoughts and did I miss anything important?