This is a guest contribution from Alex Ivanovs.
Links remain as one of the most important assets for building a Google search presence. Many know that the Google Panda algorithm update was a tipping point for recognizing authoritative sites.
Having a page of your website at the top of the search result page can have a significant increase in CTR (Click-Trough Rate), and a recent study shows the difference between the first position (CTR: 31.2%) and second (CTR: 14%) is 17.2% — that’s twice as much organic traffic for first position than it is for second, and the only way to keep climbing to the top result is by being persistent with building quality links.
We live in a time where content marketing is being recognized as superior towards organic link building, but new bloggers can quickly become overwhelmed with the idea of having to spend countless hours building high-quality content; without the assurance that it is going to perform well. It can also take a long time to see results from organic traffic resulting from organic search results. In order to get a foothold in what is already a saturated market, it can be beneficial to work harder to rank higher in the early days, rather than relying solely on the “great content” method.
To tell you the truth, I haven’t spent nearly as much time building links as I have optimizing my content and making sure that it gets in front of the right people. The way I see it, all you need is a dozen good posts and the determination to work with these posts consistently to ensure that they’re the most evergreen, most up-to-date posts available at any given time.
Here are my top three tactics for utilizing existing content to build high-quality links.
#1: Repurpose Your Existing Content
Repurposing means recycling your existing content into new formats that can further enhance the the learning experience. The idea that we have to write fresh content 100% of the time is ludicrous – if that was the case then only a handful of writers and bloggers would be able to keep up with such a way of producing content. It’s not efficient, and nor is it totally necessary.
Anyone with a few posts on their blog already has all they need to repurpose their content. The following are some of the most notable ways of repurposing your existing content:
- Slides — Any blog post, presentation or research paper can be repurposed into a unique PowerPoint slideshow that you can upload to SlideShare and expose to its vast audience.
- Podcasts — Jeff Bullas has been repurposing his content into podcasts for years, at the end of each published post, he submits a recorded audio file (podcast) of the content he has written. You may also want to explore the option of starting your own podcast; listen to ProBlogger’s podcast for tips and inspiration!
- Infographics — Infographics are informative, concise, visually appealing, and often more convenient to consume than text content. With a little thought and creativity, you could convert any blog post into an infographic, and you don’t need to be a designer either, tools for creating infographics on the fly are plentiful.
- eBooks — Interviews and series posts are some of the best types of content to repurpose into an eBook, which you can then either sell, give away for free, or use to generate email subscribers.
- Images — Quotes, insightful statements, and data presentation are some of the aspects from a blog post that can be turned into an image. It’s very often that other bloggers and media sites look for specific visual content that reflects useful data.
- Videos — Webinars, podcasts, and even blog posts can be repurposed into video tutorials and guidance videos. Derek Halpern was able to build a huge following to his blog Social Triggers thanks to being dedicated to creating video content on YouTube.
- Q&A Sites — James Altucher has over 3 million views on his Quora answers in the last 30 days. That’s an astonishing number, and huge potential for building new followers to himself, and his blog. Q&A sites are an incredibly potent way to repurpose your content into concise answers and tips, and Quora is known to be very forgiving towards links and self-promotion.
Now that you look at it, that’s seven different ways that we can repurpose a single piece of content into a different format, yet keep its flavor and usefulness. And we can do this for all of or blog posts, articles, guides, research papers, all of them. The more invested we are in repurposing our content, the more likely it is to come across bloggers, journalists and people who will happily give back by sharing, promoting and ultimately; linking back.
#2: Talk About Your Content
Have any of your posts in the recent few months performed above average? Have any of your posts attracted a higher number of organic visitors than usually? What about the number of comments? This is called popular and/or trending content. You have created something that answers peoples questions, and curiosity.
Sadly most bloggers leave their most popular content as it is, the idea of it performing well is satisfactory enough that they don’t consider exposing this content to more eyes in order to attract discussion and eventually links.
Updating old content with fresh ideas and perspectives has long been known as a reliable technique for attracting new readers, but one thing people look forward the most in a piece of content is the ability to be challenged into an action that can spur meaningful results.
As we update our old content, we can use the number of repurposing techniques that we have already discussed, putting emphasis on adding insightful quotes, images, and other visual data; which makes for a more appealing reading experience, and an increased chance of having your content shared on social media.
We can talk about our content by promoting it on our own blog, whether by using ‘Sticky Post’ features, or by linking to it from our sidebar, we are in charge of what we want our readers to know about.
Once you have identified a popular post, updated it with new data and imagery, it’s time to syndicate it with some of the most popular communities on the web:
- Medium — Medium is a blogging platform that syncs with your Twitter followers. Anyone who is on Medium and is also your Twitter follower will be notified by any new posts you publish with Medium. This is a great way to talk about the ideas that you are discussing in your original content and lead new readers towards it.
- Inbound — Inbound is an online marketing community that focuses on sharing links marketing, growth, and research. The leading online marketing experts hang out at this community, so highly valuable and insightful content is bound to be recognized and rewarded.
- Growth Hackers — Growth Hackers is a community of online marketers who focus on using creativity and data to grow their ideas. Sharing a unique technique for generating growth can potentially earn you dozens of high quality links.
- Reddit — Reddit is a well-known link sharing community that’s divided into thousands of unique sub-forums. Everyone must follow etiquette, which makes sharing your own content more difficult, but it shouldn’t be a problem if you’re sharing occasionally and sharing high-quality material.
- BizSugar — BizSugar is for small business bloggers who want to expose themselves to an audience that consists of bloggers, entrepreneurs and small business owners. I have personally had great success with sharing content on BizSugar, and it’s a great way to connect with other dedicated bloggers.
As we continue to see an increase in the number of bloggers who wish to succeed, it’s more and more important to understand that in order to succeed with being recognized on these link submission sites, you have to take great care of your content and aim for providing value that will be hard to match by anyone else.
Personal stories, data driven research, unique ideas, and new approaches are all great post types that will without question generate comments and attraction to your content. If 9 out of 10 submissions didn’t get more than two comments, you’re definitely doing something wrong. It’s that easy to recognize.
#3: Relevant Email Outreach
More than a dozen resources have been mentioned in this insightful post, to think that I would not reach out to everyone mentioned, is to think that there’s no value in email outreach, and of course there is. Email outreach remains as one of the most direct ways of building relationships, attracting social shares, and if you’re lucky — snagging yourself some great links.
Email marketing is also the only marketing method that can outperform social and search. Yet email outreach has been around for decades, and it’s the oldest known outreach method for job applicants, marketers, PR, business people, and the list goes on and on.
Neil Patel had this to say about building links with email marketing:
For every 100 emails you send out, at least five of them should be linking back to you. If you can’t get five of them to link back, it means you are doing one of the following things wrong:
You are emailing non-relevant sites.
You are emailing your competitors.
There is little to no substance to your website.
Your email copy isn’t compelling enough.
The most common mistake I see with email outreach these days is bloggers following a pre-built email template that has been ‘proven’ to be effective, when in fact that very template has been overused at least a thousand times, and there is only so many same emails a person can receive before he chooses to ignore them altogether.
A Good Email Outreach Template
Greetings from this side of the World! A recent guest column of mine — tactics for building links — has just been published on ProBlogger, and as you might imagine I am reaching out to you because I wanted to make sure that you’re credited for helping me to make the post possible.
Your resource on [which resource to credit for] was invaluable in making the post happen. I would appreciate if you could give the post a quick overview and maybe throw in a seal of approval?
Please let me know if there’s anything you would like to add to the story.
Sincerity, honesty, and straightforwardness is essential to capturing both attention and curiosity about what you want to share, and whenever we’re talking about giving someone props for the work they’ve done, the least they can do is see what you’re talking about.
A Bad Email Outreach Template
I noticed your blog today and one of your posts was really informative! I agree that [blah blah] is important. I am also blogging about [the topic he is blogging about], and we have so many similar ideas.
I was writing a blog post today and decided that one of your articles was great enough to link as a resource in my own post. You can see my post [here]. Do you think you could also link to one of my posts, or maybe send a social share?
It would help me to grow my blog, and I would be so grateful!
I know you must be busy and probably get a millions emails per day, but I hope you can help me out.
The tone, the writing style, the implication — it should be clear that this email is lacking professionalism, and is aimed purely at gaining personal value, almost in a ‘begging’ like mindset. The less professional we are with ourselves, the less professional we are going to be with others.
How are you going to use these tactics to build additional links for your blog? How will you repurpose your first piece of content?