Thursday, December 29, 2011
The holy grail of inbound links is an in-content text link where the link text contains one of your strong keywords. This can be a bit challenging to get set up, because that usually means that someone else has to set it up on their site. That means that someone else has to like something on your site so much that they take up valuable space on their site or blog talking about you, and linking to you.
This happens, and it’s great when it does. Really, the only thing you can do to make it happen, however, is by having something really incredible at your website, and then hoping people find it, like it, and link to it. It’s not practical to say, “Today I’m gonna go get someone to link to me!”
There is, however, a great way to establish these kinds of links and increase website traffic. To do it, you have to approach other sites, particularly blogs, with the idea that you’re going to give them something they need: Good content. You’re going to offer them a “Guest Post.” In other words, you’ll write a blog post for them to post on their blog. In the process of doing that, you can establish a link to your website.
This isn’t anything sneaky. This is an accepted part of the exchange. If I’m a blogger, and you provide good content for me, I’m going to allow you to establish a link and increase website traffic to your site as a return of the favor.
Here are some examples of some of my guest posts, designed to promote my Dutch oven cooking blog, marksblackpot.com. This one, about Dutch oven cooking in the cold, actually contains many internal links.
This one isn’t really about Dutch ovens, but it is about food, so it fit. I also used it to promote my Utah religious pop culture blog.
Guesting on Other People’s Blogs
How do you do it?
First of all, read a lot of blogs in your niche. Find out who are the best, most respected, most trafficed, and most famous bloggers. Any other relevant blog will do, but the best ones will get you the most traffic.
As you find these blogs, read a lot of their posts, with the comments, so you get an idea of their point of view and how their audience responds. Think of a topic that would be good for their blog and good for their audience. Then, write up a short 3-4 sentence teaser or outline of your topic idea.
Then you’ll want to contact the blogger and propose your article. Usually, there will be some kind of email link on the blog, but you might just have to use the comment space of one of their postings. If you do that, try to pick one that’s about a similar topic. Tell the hosting blogger that you have an article about such and such a topic, and give them the teaser. Would they like it as a guest post? Make sure to leave an email address for them to contact you back, and make sure the comment link (if you’re doing it that way) points back to your blog or site.
Sometimes, the bloggers themselves will put out calls for guest posts. If you see those, make a note of it, and submit an article or an idea more directly.
If they respond favorably, then write the article, proof it, making sure that it contains good keywords and links. DO NOT put any affiliate links in the article. Let the hosting blogger do that if he or she wants to.
Finally, email it to the hosting blogger. If they like it, they’ll post it, and you’ll both get the benefit. You’ve helped them with good content, they’ve helped you with a quality link that will be in front of lots of their viewers.
Getting Guests on Your Own Blog
A great way to get started with this of increasing website trafficis to seek out some guest posts for your own blog. If you’re nervous about contacting established bloggers and feeling like a beggar at their doorstep asking for handouts, then ask them to write a guest post for your blog first.
The contact will still be the same. The only difference is that you’ll be asking for content instead of pitching it. If you have an idea for a topic, suggest it, but allow them to come up with their own posts as well.
The Illogical Extreme
As I got to thinking about this, it occurred to me that you could create a blog, write a few posts of pillar content, and then recruit other writers to guest post. The entire blog could be nothing but guest posts about a relevant topic!
Mark is currently in the curriculum Department of an internet and SEO training company.
Mark also has other sites and blogs, including Mark's Black Pot - Dutch Oven Recipes, MarkHansenMusic.com and his MoBoy blog.