11 Nov 2013

Building Links Through Relationships – My #PubCon Presentation

Over the years, the process of link building has become increasingly controversial. The conventional methods of link building are now extinct. Paid links are now so risky that it isn’t worth trying them. Directory links now have no application. Press releases are nofollow… These are no longer viable options for those who would have once used them to build links.

Does that mean link building is officially dead? Surprisingly, no… It’s just growing up! What has changed is not the profitability of a good link, but how you acquire one. It is now all about establishing relationships that lead to strong links in content and elsewhere. It’s about earning you way to getting a link!

Here’s the pdf version slightly explained below:


The Golden Rules

A couple of guidelines have to be followed when it comes to link building through relationships.

Rule #1 – Don’t ask for links

Don't ask for links
Would you walk into a business meeting and immediately ask someone for a favor? No, of course you wouldn’t. You would spend some time to get to know them, enjoy some small talk and conversation. The aim is to create a foundation for a continued working relationship.

This is the same idea. No one wants to talk about building links, because we are now in a generation of marketers who see it as a dirty word. Besides, asking for something right out of the gate is a quick way to lose someone’s interest.


Rule #2 – “Create happy accidents” #beeverywhere

"Create happy accidents" #beeverywhere
While link building was once a content game, it is now just as much – if not more so – about social media. These websites, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, give you a platform for networking with your peers.

#beeverywhere is not a simple habit to build but with some training you’ll find your way around doing that!


Rule #3 – “Grow together with newbies like you”

"Grow together with newbies like you"
My own rule of thumb: Spend at least 20% of your time daily to genuinely connect to people and help (encourage, support, answer a question, share their staff etc) them. You never know who of these people will turn out to be your hugest support!

You can do all on your own. Build genuine connections that will rely on mutual benefits and support.

You would be surprised by the number of people who will start returning the favor.


Tools and links:

  • Commun.it to keep in touch with people who interact with you
  • LinkedIn to find common connections within a company or group
  • Topsy to find influencers who interact with your content
  • Author links crawler (beta): Find people behind backlinks
  • Twiangulate: Discover influential (“media”) contacts in your niche / location
  • Tweetdeck: #BEEVERYWHERE while still “working

Conclusion

Link building is still viable. But it is now a social action that requires the cultivation of relationships over a longer period of time. The good news about the extra work is that the results are longer term and much more valuable than they were before. A good word from a social influencer is worth much more than a directory link ever was.

Have a tip on building relationships? Looking to create some connections of your own? Let us know all about it in the comments.