It’s tough to get a backlink these days. Even if you just wrote a 10,000 word step-by-step guide. Even if you send outreach emails sprinkled with all the magic words.
That’s because most people with at least some online social capital these days want to establish themselves as a trustworthy content curator. Thus they are increasingly selective about which links they share with their audience.
In order to get backlinks these days, you have to bake a strong incentive directly into your articles.
Tactic #1 - Interview industry experts and include their best insights in your writing
Before you write about a topic, research the top influencers in that field. For example, if I was writing an article on social media, I would type “social media consultant” into Google. The goal is to find authoritative individuals in a field, not companies.
Here were some top results:
Email each influencer asking them one specific question related to the topic you’re writing about. Set up your question to elicit an interesting insight.
Really enjoyed your article about how to use giveaways to quickly grow an email list. Very effective method - people love free stuff!
I’m writing a resource guide that rounds up all the most effective email list building strategies.
Quick question: how would you recommend someone calculate what cost of acquisition per subscriber makes sense for the type and stage of their business?”
From my experience, 90% of people will answer your question because influencers stay influencers by demonstrating their expertise on a topic. Also many of them appreciate the fact they reached this level with the support and help of others so most are happy to pay it forward and spread their knowledge. Especially if it only takes them a few minutes.
Once you get your answer, write your article and dedicate 1-2 paragraphs to expanding on their insight. After you publish the article, share it with the influencer you interviewed. At the end of your message, say something like “I’d love it if you could share this with your audience”. Many influencers will share your article because being featured in one boosts their own authority on the topic.
Tactic #2 - Expand upon an influencer’s position or an influencer’s advice
Find content an influencer created on a specific topic and create a very informative article about the broader subject that encompasses their topic. For example, if they created an article about the paleo diet, create a topic that explores the science behind every single diet trending now. Afterwards, share your article with the influencer.
Some influencers will share your article with their network because again, it boosts their own credibility. This works especially well if the influencer is in the process of launching a new product. At that time, they are eager to promote articles that spread the word about themselves and their product to make their launch successful.
I also recommend actively browsing the top forums and communities for your niche. For example, Inbound.org for marketing professionals. Many field leaders are active on these platforms and sometimes, they share amazing insights you would never have thought to ask. If you come across a meaningful comment, simply ask the person to elaborate on it and include that in your article.
And Sean Ellis from GrowthHackers:
Tactic #3 - Write about or use a product an influencer created
Many influencers share content that either cover or use products they created. A great place to discover new products is Product Hunt. Another good one is /r/startups on Reddit. They have a monthly thread where members post their new businesses and products. From my experience, it is even easier to contact company founders on Reddit through private messages because you don’t have to fight for attention in an overflowing email inbox.
Check out the social media histories of the product founders to see what type of articles they typically share. If the founders have shared articles that mention themselves or their product in the past, chances are they will continue to do so.
For example, Noah Kagan often tweets websites that mention or use his tool SumoMe:
Note: Your article must still contain high quality information on a topic related to the niche the product is in. Don’t just mention or use products for the sole purpose of getting backlinks. Only mention or use products you actually like. Getting 40 hits from one backlink is not worth it if you have to compromise your credibility and produce a spammy article in the process.
Tactic #1: Interview experts in the topic you’re writing about and include their best insights in your article
Tactic #2: Create an article that expands upon an influencer’s position or write about your results from using an influencer’s advice
Tactic #3: Mention or use a product an influencer created
What other backlink strategies have you had success with? I'd love to hear in the comments below!