Another Easy Way to Get Free Backlinks & Traffic to Your Authority Site
I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving and were able to spend some quality time with family and/or friends.
Now, it’s time to get back to business. As you may remember, I recently wrote about how to get real backlinks for free, and I just wanted to share another strategy with you.
Like the strategy I linked to above, this isn’t some new and fancy link-building method that’s never been used before. It’s a strategy that’s probably been around forever, and it still works.
The reason I’m writing about it today is because I’ve used it effectively for my authority site, and you can too. I’ll show you exactly how.
You Already Know About List Posts
List posts are powerful in the blogging world because of their simplicity. People like to read and share list posts because they’re easy to consume. Which blog post title sounds more compelling to you?
“Top 10 Gifts for Aspiring Internet Entrepreneurs”
“Buying Gifts for Internet Entrepreneurs”
This is just an example off the top of my head, but hopefully you agree that the first one is likely to be read and shared more than the second one.
The purpose of this post isn’t to argue about the power of list posts, but I wanted to first establish the basics because it’s going to be important for the strategy I’m going to share with you.
The RIGHT Way to Attract Backlinks with List Posts
Although list posts are appealing to most people, a regular list post doesn’t necessarily attract backlinks on its own. It may not even be shared much, contrary to what the hundreds of articles about “lists posts” tell you.
So how can we craft a list post that people want to link to and share as much as possible?
It’s pretty easy: Include them on your list. Here are the 4 easy steps I followed to do this for my authority site:
1) Find a topic or theme that covers or relates to other blogs in your niche.
The easiest option (and this is what I did), is to come up with a list of the “Top X Blogs in [your niche]“. In fact, the exact title of my blog post was “9 Amazing Healthy Food Blogs“.
This was a pretty broad topic to choose, and it gave me TONS of blogs to choose from (given how many healthy food blogs are out there). I could’ve done something more specific such as “10 Best Healthy Dessert Recipes”.
No matter what niche you’re in, you should be able to (fairly easily) think of topics like these.
2) Make a list of the blogs/posts you’re going to link to, and take note of their contact information.
This step really helps you get organized. Before you put a blog on your list, you want to make sure you’ll be able to contact them.
Furthermore, you want to be able to contact them in multiple ways, in case one doesn’t work. For example, I might send someone an e-mail that they won’t see or read, but if I tweet @ them, they’ll see it.
So, for all the blogs I selected, I made note of either an e-mail address or link to a contact page, AND their Twitter name.
3) Don’t just link to a blog – write about it, and flatter the author.
Simply putting together a list of links to other blogs won’t get you too far. People want to see that you took the time to visit their site and actually read it. If people feel like they are genuinely appreciated, they will genuinely appreciate YOU.
In the post I wrote for my authority site, I not only wrote a little blurb about the blog/author, but I took the time to link to a few of my favorite recipes from their site. This step took me a little extra time, but it was well worth it.
4) Contact the blog authors and make your post easy to share.
Once you’ve finished your list post and it has been published, it’s time to refer back to the list you created in step #2.
The first thing I did was send an e-mail to the blog author, and I was basically able to use the same e-mail template for each blog (so you only have to write the e-mail once). Here’s what it looked like:
In my e-mail, I tried to accomplish a few things:
- Start by mentioning that I’m a big fan of the person’s blog (in the subject line and opening sentence of the e-mail)
- Compliment something on their site
- Link to the post where they are featured (I believe the word “featured” is key to getting their attention)
- Very briefly explain what my site is about
- Close by asking them to share it and thank them in advance
If you do all of these things, you have a very high chance for success. Of the 9 blogs I featured in my list post, I believe I received responses from 7 of them. That success rate (78%) isn’t bad!
Next, you want to reach out via Twitter (or least, that’s what I did). Here’s what my tweets looked like:
This was effective in notifying all the bloggers who were featured in my post and of course made it easy for them to retweet to their followers.
Because Pinterest is so popular in the cooking/food/recipe niche, I wanted to make sure I had an image that was very “pinnable”. In fact, the post I wrote was pinned more than it was tweeted, so the power of Pinterest is very real.
This step is optional (it really depends on your niche), but I created an attractive image that included the title of my post:
If you visited the actual post, you’ll notice that when you hover over the image, it gives you the option to pin it. To do that, I used this plugin.
I created this within Photoshop, but I don’t consider myself good at image editing, and you certainly don’t need Photoshop to put something like this together. The four images of food were taken from 4 of the blogs I featured.
If you’re truly not good with image creation or simply don’t want to spend the time on it, you can probably have it done for you pretty easily on Fiverr.
What Were the Results?
Overall, I was happy with the results, considering I wrote this post when the blog was very new (back in July). This post is currently the most popular post on my authority site.
Here are the stats:
- 16 Tweets
- 23 Pins
- 16 Facebook “Likes”
- 64 Facebook “Shares”
- 10 Comments
For an established blog, these numbers wouldn’t be too impressive, but considering my blog was only a month old when I wrote the post, I was pleased. In addition to sharing this post, 3-4 of the 9 blogs actually linked to it from their site, so I received some valuable backlinks as well.
I think this process can be replicated over and over again, and I plan on making more of these posts in the future. As the site becomes more popular, these types of posts should become more and more effective.
What do you think of this strategy? If you’ve used it in the past, how has it worked for you?