If you’re a blogger, you have no doubt heard about link baiting – in other words link baiting is much like a viral campaign.
According to ProBlogger:
The term linkbaiting is a one that seems to have surfaced over the past 12 or so months and that is used by webmasters to describe a variety of practices – all of which seek to generate incoming links to a website or blog from other sites.
It is actually a difficult term to be definative about as it covers a lot of different practices ranging from running awards or competitions, through to writing attacking posts on high profile bloggers in the hope of them biting back and linking to you, through to providing other bloggers or site owners with tools (with embedded links back to your own site) that they can put on their blogs (we’ll run through more linkbaiting techniques in one of my next posts in this series).
According to the definition provided by Wikipedia (for the term viral marketing):
Viral marketing and viral advertising refer to marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networks to produce increases in brand awareness or to achieve other marketing objectives (such as product sales) through self-replicating viral processes, analogous to the spread of pathological and computer viruses.
The end result is that the webmaster/blogger is trying to generate buzz for their site/product/service and use various methods available to them to generate the buzz.
Link baiting could be as simple as running a contest where there is lots of money and prizes available – similar to the contest run over at Winning the Web – Craziest Internet Marketing Contest You’ve Ever Seen – $14,575 in FREE Cash & Prizes (note that this contest is now over).
Giving stuff away is one of the best ways to get those valuable inbound links from authority sites.
Another example – John Cow ran a contest not too long ago where you could win an XBOX360 Elite and a Copy of Grand Theft Auto 4. Another great example of link bait – you can bet that there are numerous searches done daily on XBOX or WIN AN XBOX. Every individual, webmaster and their dog must have been gunning to win the XBOX – not only that, you can bet that webmasters were promoting heavily!
Running a contest is a great way to get those valuable inbound links – done right, it doesn’t need to cost you anything other than the time and effort needed to organize such an event for your website.
What else can get you inbound links? What other forms of link bait are there out there?
- Giveaways – tools, FREE premium wordpress templates and themes, plug-ins and widgets all are great link baits. If you can provide webmasters with useful, fun or cool tools — they can quickly achieve “viral” status and you will get hundreds and even thousands of webmasters downloading the tool.
There are several other methods: lists (top 10 lists, top 100 lists, top reasons why, top reasons why not too – did you read my post on an endless supply of blog posts using lists?), awards, contests (we focused on contests in this post), quizzes/surveys — these always seem to draw visitors in.
ProBlogger has a more detailed list of 20 Linkbaiting Techniques that you can find by visiting ProBlogger, the post is a few years old — but the techniques will work as well today as they did when they were first discussed.
There is an excellent article on SEO Book entitled “Digg is for Dweebs: Free Link Bait Ideas” – well worth the read. What made this post especially beneficial were the comments. An offer was made to those that commented on the post:
Can’t think of a link bait idea for your topic? Tell me your topic in the comments of this post and I (or a hip SeoBook.com reader like Brian Clark) will reply with one or two ideas.
That post generated several pages of comments. The one that I liked was to take a negative topic and put a positive spoin on it to try and generate link bait. Here is the comment, followed by the suggestion:
I have a online rental site where visitors and see and post rental homes.
I am working a link bait tool right now for my site, but I am always looking for ideas. Sometimes when you are too close to something you can’t be as creative.
Dave, go deep and strong:
7 Ways Your Landlord Will Screw You and Steal Your Money
Make it an in-depth tutorial, and offer it up in web and pdf formats. Make a video if you can.
The idea would be to show prospective renters how landlords will try and getaway with their rental deposit and ways that you can protect yourself from the unscrupulous rental manager.
I tried this with my post yesterday – Why I’d Never Blog A Headline “Why Digg Sucks”. I wasn’t that successful with it…
No worries … we’ll just keep trying until we get the formula just right.
Want more? There is an excellent entry over at Cornwall SEO entitled quite simply “Linkbait Articles“. It is a collection of dozens of links from around the web that talk about – linkbaiting.