20 Mar 2014

4 Alternatives To Guest Blogging For Link Builders

Well the news has been out for a while, but it looks like Google is actually starting to take aggressive action against guest blogging as a method to build links. While I completely disagree with Google on this strategy, I can see why they would want to clamp down on it: It works.

However, whether it works or not, isn’t really an issue any longer. Now we are forced to find other methods of building links that don’t fall within Google’s line of sight. But before we talk about the alternatives to guest posts, we should probably talk a bit about why guest blogging was so popular. In my honest opinion guest blogging was so popular because it was easy to scale. There are lots of ways to build links, but many of them aren’t able to be replicated each month to build the required number of links to stay competitive. However with guest blogging, you can scale rather quickly if you can find enough blogs to contribute to.

Therefore, any alternative to guest blogging needs to scale well, or at least work well with other strategies that scale alongside it. Here are four alternatives to guest blogging that will help you build links.


HARO

Help a Reporter Out is a great service that connects members of the media with PR professionals or business owners. It can also be used as a powerful link building tool if used correctly. It comes in the form of an email mailing list, so, the trick to using this service for link building is to filter through all of the requests found within each email. I would advise using multiple email filters based on specific keywords that are relevant to your client’s site. That way you can target only the request that are relevant. Because this is primarily a tool for media/PR people, you will need to pay special attention to how you engage the reporters to secure a link.


Public Relations

This is along the same lines as HARO. But instead of waiting for an opportunity to present itself you need to create proactive PR campaigns that build links naturally. Now I want to make a very important distinction between public relations and press releases. Press releases are a tool that PR professionals use. You shouldn’t use press releases to build links. Instead use them to build buzz that then attracts links. One favorite PR strategy that I have used in the past to build links is called “News Jacking”. The way this works is you take an event happening in current events, and add your own twist on it. Write up a blog post or press release about it, and wait for the press mentions/links to roll in. Here are a handful of examples of this strategy working effectively. Do these types of PR campaigns at least once a month, and you can continue to build links that will see great results.


Social Media Monitoring

This is a strategy that can easily be integrated into most companies’ social media efforts. The basic premise for this strategy is to monitor social media for users talking about your brand or web site. Then filter which of those users have linking ability (own a web site ectra). Then leverage this list of users to pitch content ideas or traditional link building efforts. The idea here is that if a user once shared your content they are more likely to one day link to it as well, if given the right nudge. You can use tool-sets designed for this type of monitoring or you can scour the networks by hand. Either way, make sure you have an outreach strategy laid out before you start contacting these users.


Content Marketing and Outreach

This strategy would work really well with the one above. It might be the oldest link building strategy around. Essentially with this strategy you are going to build the type of content that attracts links. Then do an outreach campaign to web sites that are most likely to link to the content. With this strategy, research is crucial. There are two elements of research that you are going to want to do. First you should do a back link audit of your competitors to see what type of content attracts links for them. If you are able to replicate this content with your own unique POV while creating a better version than your competitor you will have better chances. Next you are going to then try and understand what types of sites are linking to your competitors content. This will help you structure your outreach campaign to web sites that are most likely to link to your content. This strategy can be very time consuming, but it typically produces the best results. If you can develop a work flow that makes implementing this strategy easier, you will find it easier to integrate into your monthly link building efforts.

I hope these strategies help you replace that guest blogging void. Until next time happy linking!