So They Took the Linkbait... Now What?
I'm going to share a link-building strategy (not specific tactics) that has worked exceedingly well for me when it comes to driving traffic to a website. This will not work for everyone because, frankly, few can produce content of high enough quality to make this strategy feasible.
(If you think you're tough enough to hang with this, you need to keep reading.)
Here is a sure thing, though: If people dig your content, it pays to promote other people's stuff.
(Hang tough through the next couple of paragraphs. It's all worth it when it comes to a point.)
If you followed my now defunct quest for PR3 a few months back, you may remember that I was testing a somewhat unorthodox backlinking strategy. Every post linked out to some other site that I thought was cool. The idea was not simply to have quality outbound links, which matter greatly as every SEO pro knows (or should). No, the theory was that other bloggers and webmasters would actively scratch my back if I scratched theirs.
It actually worked to a small extent, even after just a month or so, if you'll recall, but that's not my point here.
Outbound links happen to be a splendid way of attracting inbound links. When people see you showing up in their logs as a referrer, sometimes they help you out. Of course, this is not the point of linking to cool stuff; the point is to make the Web a better place by sharing, which is really what the Internet is all about when you think about it.
Anyway, how does promoting other people's stuff help you?
Here's how it works:
Let's say you posted something to your blog that attracted inbound links from other blogs. Doesn't it make sense to promote those other blogs? Promoting your own blog directly is a waste of time if you have those ready-made inbound links to work with.
(This model would work with other types of sites as well, by the way, not just in the blogging realm.)
Here's a pop quiz:
Which link is better? (Pardon the crummy illustration -- not really my bag.)
That's the easiest quiz ever, right? The link from the bigger site is better. Even if you didn't know that, everybody knows (or should) that "A" is always better than "B."
So when somebody links to you -- and you know this from watching your referrer logs -- Tweet their site, Stumble their site, share it on your Facebook thingamabob. Mention it on your radio show. Whatever. Make their site bigger. Do this out of gratitude and because it helps you get better inbound links, not to mention more traffic.
Building a bunch of itsy-bitsy links yourself or begging authority sites to give you links both waste time. Work with what you have. Make existing inbound links bigger, and help out the people who gave them to you. It's better for everybody.
Of course, none of this will work if you don't provide anything worth linking to.
Good luck, good Netizens!