My Greatest Link Building Triumph of 2013
I got asked by an online buddy of mine what my biggest link building success of 2013 was – at first I thought, I’m not that successful at link building these days – but then it dawned on me: 2013 was awesome in retrospective. I have built links on autopilot like never before. How? With group posts. Let me explain.
It’s not what you think. I haven’t reached out to 50 SEO experts with some question on how SEO will evolve.
It was the other way around. I was one of those experts. It didn’t happen just once or twice. It didn’t happen a few times. I have been asked to contribute to a group interview every single week in late 2013. Shortly before Christmas I had to give up and say no or simply not reply at all. There were just too many people wanting to include me in their expert round up.
This post is not about bragging
Some posts dealt with SEO, other with content marketing or similar disciplines. I guess I can call myself an expert now for real after being part of so many “expert” round-ups. OK, now enough of that mindless bragging.
How does this affect you? You may want to get on such posts too.
You probably would like to build links on autopilot like that as well. Just get bloggers to contact you and you only have to send a short mail with a paragraph or two on a given topic. This is such a sweet link building technique. Why?
Benefits for both sides of the equation
The group posts benefits everybody. Bloggers get content and significant attention from social media, after all the experts are flattered enough to share their latest achievement. The experts included get the link, the endorsement and the group association with other people who rock.
For example I may be long in business but others, younger people are more prominent nowadays. So they get the trust transfer for on the same list as someone who has done SEO successfully for a decade while I get the trust transfer of being still relevant even among youngsters with the advanced SEO techniques.
Ultimate social proof
So the triumph is actually at least twofold. Not only such an expert gets a lot of relevant links without having to do a lot about them. Additionally you get the overall recognition as an industry icon whose advice is sought after by plenty of industry bloggers. That’ s the ultimate social proof. Ironically one of the most recent group interviews the question arose what the next link building tactic will be that Google will dump. Usually it’s something that works too well too easily.
The next tactic to get axed?
So while I met Brian Dean of Backlinko for breakfast recently we came up with the idea that group posts themselves might be the next target. After a closer look I’m not convinced anymore. Why would Google want to tackle group interviews? They are genuine endorsements where people organically seek out experts and link to them. It’s a classic win to win situation for all parties involved, even Google. After all a post by 50 experts is a compilation of a lot of true authority on any subject. Now the question still remains:
How can you become such a sought after expert to get included on group posts frequently?
Please consider the fact that Brian who is on even more post like that doesn’t blog for several years like I do. He does for several months now I think. That’s not that long. Yet he managed to appear on numerous expert round-ups. So let’s take a look at what we both and other people who frequently show up on such lists have in common:
A prominent blog
You don’t have to blog for 6 years or more like I do. You just need recent prominence. I’m not sure about this but it seems Brian does not even blog for a year but he’s already much more visible than me. Also you don’t need to blog every day or even weekly like I attempt to.
It’s not about how often or how much you blog.
When you look at how Brian blogs you will notice the same pattern we have seen successfully used by Jason Acidre and others. They post irregularly but when they do they come up with flagship content each time. They only provide actionable advice pieces with real life techniques everybody can use themselves.
Proven expertise (by association and publication)
You can have the best content but nobody will care. So when you publicize it you have to make sure for it to get noticed by the right people. Who are the right people? Of course your peers. The people who cover the same niches and topics need to view it and approve of it. Brian told me that he is suing half of the time for outreach to tell the actual people who matter that he has come up with a very valuable piece of content.
Once bloggers take a look and see the quality of it they usually share and recommend that article, infographic or whatever he provides.
Often he serves the actual webmasters and blogger who are meant to link to that content, after all he doesn’t call himself Backlinko for no reason. So he will conduct research on who linked to similar content in the past and then approach exactly these linkerati not just random bloggers from the same industry. It works and thus his expertise is proven every time by third party experts approval and popular demand.
Audience on social media
I don’t want to talk solely about Brian here. I have also some successful ways of spreading the word among the perfect audience. How do I do it? I do it effortlessly. I simply share my content to my audiences on Twitter (5k+) and Google+ (9k+) and they automatically share it. Unless of course everybody is asleep, they don’t care for the topic or the content sucks.
Luckily not only the audience knows me but I also know my audience.
I know what they want by simply testing it every day. I curate and share third party content almost daily so that I know how my followers will react to certain topics. I often share stuff they should know even in case they don’t care but I also sometimes give them exactly what they want. I try to a nice guy from time to time. So the ongoing engagement and conversation benefits both of us, me and my audience.
Online community visibility
Many people underestimate the power of tight online communities. They may not bring you “massive traffic” but they can result in highly relevant visibility among he people who matter. I am still among the top 20 Inbound.org users, despite not submitting a lot anymore. I vote up stories by other people and comment whenever I can.
On Inbound.org people encounter me and remember me often for the first time.
I get often approached by new followers who are like “hey, I knew you from Inbound but you blog as well or you are here as well”. Some even didn’t notice that it’s the same person in both cases. As a regular people start to recognize you sooner or later. It’s funny BTW: how it works in real life too. I always train outside in the morning almost each day so the a lot of people from my area recognize me by now. Not only the people, the dogs too.
All the things above will not suffice though in case you are an aloof influencer who gets dozens of outreach messages a day and doesn’t care at all or simply is not able to cope. Neither me nor Brain are some superstars who have millions of followers on Twitter. That’s also an advantage. This way we can actually take part in all those group posts or at least most of them. Rand Fishkin and other high profile industry leaders won’t be able to do that.
Small time influencers who are too cool to reply won’t be able to build links seamlessly either.
Even myself a few years back I wouldn’t be able to take part because I worked all day without having time for anything left. So it’s apparently the golden middle-ground that counts here. Being a celebrity doesn’t make you a good autopilot link builders because all the noise by your fans subdues the voices of the few peers of you who matter. Thus make sure to be approachable. When someone says hello and asks you a question on social media or via mail do not ignore that person just because you don’t know her or him yet.