The Definitive Guide to Creating Blog Traffic – Link Baiting
Link-baiting can start a FIRE you won’t want to put out. It is, in most basic sense, a tool, article or video that is usually of extremely high quality, controversial in nature, is critical of a particular person or organization or simply a new and fascinating tool that everyone will want to link to in a particular niche. It can be an extremely powerful tool if done right. Several companies now specialize in this niche. Some of the top SEO firms won’t even take you on as a client unless there is high link-baiting capability.
The main types of link-baiting are as follows:
1. Hooks – Rare tips and tricks which readers can benefit from.
2. Humor hooks – Such as a cartoon that will become very controversial or extremely funny.
3. Evil hooks – Saying something unpopular to get a lot of attention. Writing something that is not likable about a product or a popular Blogger, writer or government official. Strongly agree or strongly disagree with other Bloggers and write about it with a link to their post. You need to provide strong reasons for it.
4. Tool hooks – Create a tool that is very useful and will make people link to it. SEOMOZ.org did this with their Page-Strength tool. SEOChat.com has several good tools.
5. Widgets hooks – A badge or tool that can be placed or embedded on someone else’s websites, with a link such as MacAfee’s security and privacy badges or anything that a lot of people want and use that has a link in the tool so anyone can get it.
6. Software hooks – Creating software that is free but brands your company and Blog/Website everywhere.
7. Special reports or white papers that are sure to catch the attention of scores of surfers and be referred to by many.
8. Contest hooks – For example, offering readers the chance to be featured on your Blog, either by being a guest Blogger themselves, or just by linking to their site. Many people flock to websites that offer a chance for them to become known.
8. Case Studies – A very good case study can draw thousands of people, be linked to over and over and refer massive traffic. We will discuss case studies in more detail in the monetizing book.
Link-baiting can also create a big buzz with search engines. I have seen some articles attract so much attention that the article itself ranks number one on Google for it’s title or part of it. When everyone is searching for it and linking to it, SE’s see this and rank the relevance of it accordingly.
The value of great link-bait is its longevity. It must not create traffic for only a short time and then lose it’s value. It must be able to stay strong for a long time. I’ve said this before, but the Page Strength tool at SEOmoz is one that stands the test of time. DigitalPoint has a keyword tracker tool that has gained thousands of links over time and is quite good also. Another one that comes to mind are the YouTube video converter tools.
Apple recently creating a screensaver for their new IPhone that simply said “I Am Rich.” It’s was rather meaningless but cost a whopping $ 1000.00 (the bait)! They have now removed it from the market for unknown reasons (more bait). If you type in “I Am Rich” Apple (with quotations ) into Google, there are about 115,000 pages bearing those words. Included in the results are nearly all of the biggest names in news and electronics. Talk about free inbound link strength!
If you are not Apple, then maybe consider an eBay auction everyone will talk about. There have been several of those in the past couple of years.
I will mention here (at the risk of sounding un-American, which I am certainly not), that if you have an idea and you cannot afford to create a tool, you may want to try a freelance site I once had an online calculator built in ASP by someone in India, which had over 40 different formulas for electronic billboards. It was like a mortgage calculator on steroids. The U.S. quotes for this calculator were around $ 3500. The programmer from India did it for $ 300!
Whatever you do, make sure that the tools, software or articles solves some sort of problem and aren’t just “something cool.” Once done, promote the heck out of it and start the snowball rolling. If it is great link-bait, it will pick up steam over time, and if you are lucky, it will start a fire!