Monday, September 04, 2006

Linkbaiting. How hard is it?

Linkbaiting is a big topic for discussion lately. Everyone wants and needs links. We can ask for links, buy links or create articles and submit them for one way links. Linkbaiting is about getting links without doing any of these. Linkbaiting is essentially baiting people in by creating something they want to link to. So, what could we use to bait people into linking to you?

Podcasting: Creating a podcast that discusses news, tips or information on your industry is great baiting tool. Making your podcast unique and consistent is the key to steady stream of new links.

Interviews: These are great. If you could interview someone well known in your industry, that would certainly be worth linking to. For an added boost, do the interview on your podcast and then transcribe it.

Awards: Awards are another way to bring in traffic, though you can't (or at least shouldn't) simply make up an award. It has to have criteria, high standards and most importantly, meaning. If you give awards to everyone who applies, your award will seem insignificant and unimportant. The upside is you can gain a lot of traffic and one way links from award winners.

Tools and games: These will always be popular. Create a new tool for your industry that is legitimately helpful or develop a game related to your industry that is either informative or amusing. Firefox or wordpress plugins will bring steady traffic for a long time.

Content: Content is the easiest of all to create. Articles and blog posts are a great way to go about linkbaiting. You need to use your imagination to make your post compelling. Keeping on top of news and current affairs will help you pick a topic that people are already interested in. There is nothing wrong with piggy backing on some top stories if it relates to what you do.

Video: The is becoming one of the fastest forms of link baiting, in my opinion. Creating a funny or informative video can create quiet a buzz.

Giveaways and contests: These are great for a quick boost in traffic. However, these are also short lived. Giveaways need to have an associated monetary value. Contests, unless they are monthly, will die along with the links after the contest is over.

Blogs and forums: These are usually overlooked as a form of linking baiting, but they are one of the earliest forms of link baiting. Nothing says "link to me" more than a forum or a blog. Proving they have something of interest for the readers.

Guest appearances: This is one I like to use. I like to exchange writings, interviews or ideas with other bloggers and podcasters. Let me post a post on your blog and you can post on mine for a cross promotion. It's a great way to get a link as well. If you have a podcast, exchange advertisements with other casts along with a link on your podcast page.

Lists: List are very popular. Why? Well, because they are a list of something of value that people want, all in one place. I have a list of over 200 article submission sites to submit articles to, directories that you can submit your podcast to for free and free directories to get your site listed on. These are always my most often viewed posts.

Where to set your bait: Press releases and social networks are the best places to cast your line. Make an enticing headline and real in some hefty traffic.

If you try once a week to do some form of linkbaiting, by at least writing a topical post or putting together a lengthy list that readers will find useful, you will see a steady increase of traffic and hopefully links.

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