Asking for the Link: The Foundation of a Solid Link Building Campaign

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    Key Points

    • A popular way to build backlinks is by simply asking a blogger for a link.
    • There are 3 kinds of sites to build backlinks on: low, medium and high quality sites.
    • The quality of a site can be determined by Google Page Rank, number of backlinks, overall visitors and users, RSS subscribers, look and feel of the site, and other things.

    Summary

    The most basic component of optimizing your website is your link building campaign. Typically with a link building campaign, you should start with friends and associates that are bloggers. Reach out to them and offer link exchanges. These should be some of the easiest links you can obtain when just starting out.

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by Rob Stretch

The most basic component of optimizing your website is your link building campaign. Typically with a link building campaign, you should start with friends and associates that are bloggers. Reach out to them and offer link exchanges. These should be some of the easiest links you can obtain when just starting out.

In this article, Rob Stretch will share with you methods he uses to successfully reach out to other bloggers for backlinks, and help improve the traffic flow to his blog.

Eventually, however, you will have to branch out and start reaching out to publishers who you do not know to further your linking endeavors. This is the practice I will guide you through in this article.

How do you reach them?

A lot of bloggers are shy. Even though there are two different computers separating you from the other blogger, it’s still common to be a little shy. This is especially true if you are dealing with an authority in your niche.

Some common ways to reach out to other bloggers are:

  • Email (usually through a contact form on their site).
  • Twitter, and other social networking sites.
  • Their own blog, via the comments section.
  • A forum community.

I would generally categorize the sites who link back to you in 3 different categories: low, medium, or high quality. The quality of a site can be determined based on Google Page Rank, number of backlinks, overall visitors and users, RSS subscribers, look and feel of the site, and other guidelines. I use different link building methods when dealing with different classifications of sites.

1. Low Quality Sites

I target low quality sites on a large-scale approach. This does not mean sending automated emails or thousands of spam emails. What this means is maybe working from a pre-written email template, and customizing a few lines to fit the target site or blog.

Usually when targeting lower end sites, I spend a few days collecting email addresses, and the next few days sending out semi-personalized emails to the webmasters. These sites do not pass much link juice but satisfy your volume needs.

Warning: Don’t stoop too low
When categorizing sites as low quality, never stoop too low. If a site is under construction, spammy-looking, has horrible content, or is overall a horrible site, by all means don’t link to it. Linking to sites black-listed by Google can have a negative impact on your search engine results.

2. Medium Quality Sites

When targeting medium quality websites, I spend a little more time reading content on the site and getting a feel for their audience before emailing the webmaster. Each email at this stage is customized for the site owner.

I usually link previous samples of posts I have done to medium quality site webmasters. These sites pass a little more link juice and can be very useful in ranking your site for specific search terms.

3. High Quality Sites

For high quality sites, you really need to spend some time on your link proposal. This could mean writing free content and not even asking for an attribution link on the first post (or however their guest post guidelines are setup). This could even mean making phone calls instead of emails. However you choose to do it, you should know the targeted site like the back of your hand and know their reader base.

When it comes to emails – personalize them accordingly. Links from a high quality site are the ones that really get your site to start ranking high on the SERPs.

Keep in mind, quantity is not everything when it comes to link building. In every link-builder’s arsenal there lies a secret weapon: deep linking. Deep links are links to pages besides your homepage.

For example, VaMortgageCenter.com Reviews would be considered a deep link, because it is linking to the glossary. These allow for you to target more keywords, and allow for more pages of your site to be crawled more often by the search engines.

Here you can read more about my overview of a balanced link building campaign.

Crafting Your Email

Writing a persuasive email is an art these days. When contacting webmasters who you don’t know personally, use these guidelines:

  1. Use an appropriate subject line (and address them by their name in the opening. Spell it right too).
  2. Keep your message short
  3. Keep your message simple
  4. Articulate your cause
  5. Provide accurate contact information

Experiment with different variations of content as well as different subject lines. Be active – measure your response rates based on different variables. When you notice a subject line starts returning a high percentage of responses, keep using that subject line!

Bottom line: try to get as many high quality sites as you can while avoiding sites with a negative influence.

What’s a Link Building Campaign to you?

There are many ways to build links to your blog, and asking for links is just at the tip of the iceberg. How do you build backlinks to your blog? Think carefully, because most of the time you are doing it, you aren’t even aware of it!

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