Link Building Tip – Generate Hundreds of Links for Your Blog in 5 Minutes a Day
In today’s lesson, you are going to learn a simple technique that has generated 100 new links for my blogs in the last month.
This technique is fairly simple, and it only takes me about 5 to 10 minutes to do it. Yet, this technique is quite powerful.
Incoming links to your blog are important because they drive traffic to your site from other parts of the web, and they also help you to rank higher in search engines like Google.
Higher rankings also lead to more traffic. So, if you want more traffic and a bigger profile in the search engines this episode is for you.
Further Resources on How to Generate Hundreds of Links for Your Blog in 5 Minutes a Day
- The Simple Tip That Gained Us Over 200 Backlinks
- Find Readers for Your Blog Through Commenting and Relationships
- 5 Mistakes Bloggers Make with SEO and What To Do About Them
Welcome to episode 159 of the ProBlogger podcast. I’m your host, Darren Rowse, the founder of problogger.com, a blog, podcast, event, job board, and a series of ebooks all designed to help bloggers to grow their audience and make money from their blogs. If you want to know more about ProBlogger, you can check it out at problogger.com.
In today’s lesson, you’re going to learn a simple technique that has generated 100 new links for my blogs in the last month. It only takes me about five to ten minutes a day to do it so it’s fairly simple and yet it’s quite powerful. Incoming links to your blog are important because they drive traffic to your site from other blogs, other parts of the web. They also help you to rank higher in search engines, Google in particular, which again leads to more traffic. If you want more traffic and a bigger profile in the search engines, this episode is for you.
Let’s get into the tip for the day. Today’s tip is really quite simple. It’s not rocket science at all yet it’s incredibly effective as I mentioned in my introduction today. I first came across this one from our friends over at BuzzSumo. I’ll link to the blogpost because it is a few weeks old now, actually it’s probably a couple of months old now. They in turn got the idea from Syed Balkhi from WPBeginner.
The tip is really simple and in essence it is to look for mentions of your blog or keywords that are relevant to your blog and articles on your blog on other people’s blogs and to reach out to those bloggers to see if there’s an opportunity for them to link to you. As I said, this is not rocket science but it really does work and I want to walk you through the little system that I’ve built, the workflow I guess that I’ve built to do it. This is something that I think many bloggers probably have done once or twice but what I want to suggest to you is that it’s useful to put aside five or ten minutes a day, longer if you’ve got it, to do this because it really is quite effective.
I use a tool called BuzzSumo. I use the paid version but there’s a 14-day trial as well so you can see if it suits you. There are other tools around that do similar types of things. For example over at Mars, they also have a tool as well. I think there is this called Link Opportunities. It doesn’t really matter what tool you use, but I use BuzzSumo so that’s what I will refer to in this episode. I’ve got no affiliation with them whatsoever, it’s just a tool I like and it is a tool that has other features as well.
What I do with BuzzSumo, they have a little monitoring tab and in that monitoring tab I plug in a few things. I’m monitoring a few different words. Firstly, I’m monitoring my brand names, ProBlogger and Digital Photography School. And then I’m also plugging in some keywords that are relevant to my niche. As I’ve said before, BuzzSumo has quite a few features but to find this one, just look for the monitoring tab when you sign in. I think it’s up towards the top, maybe from the right hand side from my memory although they tend to move things around. Again, it lets you monitor those two things, either a brand or a keyword. Then once you’ve got those in there, BuzzSumo goes to work and it starts to monitor thousands and thousands of blogs and websites around the web. It doesn’t monitor every single blog on the internet but it monitors a lot of them. It puts together a daily report for you that shows you any new content that it sees that uses those words. I have it set up to send me an email once a day with this little report. I think there’s different frequencies that you can set up for that email as well.
The thing I would say is that if you’re setting up using a keyword, you want to be a bit careful about making the word too broad. For example, if I put in the word photography because it’s relevant to my photography blog, it would generate thousands of results every day and that’s too much for me to be able to handle. The results might be irrelevant.
But if I put in a term like food photography and with quotes around it to get those specific words in that order, it generates a more manageable amount. I put it in the other day and I think I got 40 or so results for the day. You want to really just experiment with the keywords you put in there so make sure you’re not getting reports that are just overwhelming and to really focus in. I particularly would encourage you to think about what are the key articles on your site that you want to build the search engine profile of and articles that you know are going to be most helpful for people. And then think about keywords relating to those particular articles. Don’t put too many keywords in or else you’ll get so many reports that you won’t be able to handle it. I suggest starting with maybe two or three of those articles you’re trying to build some links to and what are the keywords relevant to those as well as your brand name.
Each day, I get these reports emailed to me from BuzzSumo. I’ll spend five or ten minutes digging into the reports. Sometimes I save up a couple of days at a time. This week I actually did three days at once so I probably spent 15, 20 minutes on it and that maybe something that you want to do. Every day or every time you’ve got the time, dig into those reports and look through all the content listed in it. Basically, it’s a link of content that uses those particular keywords. There’s a couple of things that I’m doing as I’m looking through it. I’m ultimately looking for opportunities that might get me a link.
There’s a couple of obvious things that you should be looking for. Firstly, the brand name monitoring. If I see someone has used the word ProBlogger, there’s two things that might be happening there. One, they may be just using the term ProBlogger to describe themselves or blogging professionally and they may not be actually talking about me or my blog. But on occasion, they are actually talking about ProBlogger the blog or the podcast or the job board. In those cases, I’m looking for opportunities for links. Many times people when they do mention ProBlogger, they link to us and that’s great. That’s kind of interesting to see those articles and to be able to go and comment on them and find out what they’re saying about us, that type of thing. That’s really useful in it of itself. It’s amazing how many people mentioned ProBlogger the blog or the podcast or even a specific article and may even quote us without adding a link. Many times, it’s probably just that I don’t think to do it or they forget to do it, whatever the reason.
BuzzSumo actually in their report tells you whether there’s a link to your site or not. This is really useful. If someone mentions your brand and they don’t link to you, it’s very easy to shoot them a polite email that firstly thanks them for mentioning my brand so I’d say, “Thanks for mentioning ProBlogger. I really found it interesting what you said.” I try and personalize it there and then I politely ask if they’d mind adding a link to ProBlogger. It might be, “Hey, thanks for the article I saw. It was really interesting what you wrote about blah blah blah blah. Would you mind adding a link back to my article that you mentioned there?” And then I usually make some sort of lighthearted little joke that says, “You know, every link helps.” And then wish them well. Maybe even offer to share that post. It depends really what the situation is. If what they’ve written is really useful I might even just share it on Twitter anyway.
I’m trying to personalize the approach there but I’m trying to point out that there’s an opportunity for them to link back to us. That’s particularly relevant if they’ve quoted us or they’ve mentioned a particular article but if they just mentioned us in passing sometimes it’s relevant there as well. I don’t do this with every single mention of the site, we get quite a few everyday but in some cases I guess I see this is more of an opportunity than others particularly if they mentioned a specific article. That’s one thing I’m looking for there.
Not every blogger is going to get mentioned. Your brand may not get mentioned a lot. ProBlogger is fairly well-known and so it does get daily mentions on other blogs. What I think is probably more useful is the keyword monitoring. I also monitor a number of keywords that are relevant to articles on my site. As I dig through the reports that BuzzSumo sends me there, I’m particularly looking for opportunities in content that’s been written where I think we’ve written something that could be useful for either the readers of the blog as per the reading or for the blogger themselves.
Let me give you a couple of examples of what I’ve done over the last few days. For example, I monitor the keyword food photography. I found an article written on a parenting blog that was about recipes that the blogger enjoyed. They shared some recipes, they shared some photos of their food. I thought the photos were okay but the reason I found the article is that they mentioned that they were sorry that the photos weren’t as good as they could be and I mentioned that they wanted to learn how to improve their food photography. When they mentioned that food photography, they came up in my results.
I noticed this mention and I shot them an email and told them that I thought their post was really good, I thought their photos were pretty good as well. I noticed that they wanted to improve their food photography and so I simply shot them some links to a couple of articles that we’ve written on the topic of food photography.
In this particular email I didn’t ask for a link, I simply reached out because I thought the articles we’ve written might be helpful to that blogger. I had no idea who that blogger was. We had no previous contact whatsoever. I’m pretty sure they’ve got no idea who I am and they replied within a few hours just simply saying thanks. And then I went back to the article and noticed that they had actually updated the article with a couple of the links that I’ve sent them. And then interestingly a week later, I noticed that they wrote a whole article about photography and they not only mentioned the links that I’d mentioned on food photography but they also did a section on kid photography, taking photos of kids and they linked to us there.
Simply by me emailing that blogger and saying, “Hey, here’s a couple of articles you might find interesting. You might find them useful. I noticed you wanted to improve in this area.” I had no mention of them linking at all. It wasn’t even my intent to do that. I just wanted to be helpful. It took me two minutes to send them that email. It led to links and it led to an ongoing conversation as well because then I was going to email them back again and say, “Hey, thanks for that. I really appreciate it. I wasn’t expecting it.” And now we’re conversing backwards and forwards and now they’ve actually asked us to write a guest post for their site as well. You can see here the opportunities that sometimes open up when you start to see people mentioning things that are relevant to you and things that you can help them.
The other thing that I’ve done has been a little bit more cheeky and specifically asked for links when I noticed people writing about keywords that we have articles for. For example, I found an article a couple of weeks ago now on a blog about dogs. It was a dog blog. I’ve never seen the blog before but I noticed, and it came up in my BuzzSumo report because they had written this post Three Tips for Beginners Photographing Dogs or something like that. The article is really good but it was short and it was simple. It was light and it was for beginners.
Whilst that post was totally fine for beginners, I saw it and I thought to myself, “Okay, what could I suggest here? There’s an opportunity here.” And so I sent them an email, a very short email and said, “Noticed your article. It’s a great article. I love the images in it. It was a beautifully illustrated article.” And then I politely mentioned a couple of links to articles that we’ve published on the same topic that I thought might be good for their reading. They were I guess more for intermediate photographers. It was kind of like the next step. If your readers like those three tips, they might also like these.
I made it really clear in the article a few times that there was no pressure at all to us them but I just thought they might be useful either to the blogger or to their readers. I try and thread really gently with these emails where I suggest further reading because I know not all bloggers are going to be open to that. I don’t want to seem spammy but in this case that blogger again replied with a thank you and added a couple of those links within a few hours of them getting that email. It again led to a couple of links back to our particular site. You can see there a few different opportunities.
I guess it’s about looking for those keywords and then reading the article and thinking is there an opportunity here. I have to say in some of those reports I probably get maybe 20 or 30 different pieces of content that mention those keywords and I’d probably act on two of them a day. I’m really looking for something that I know I can add value for. I’m not just sending every single piece of content, the owners of that blog, generic swipe file of please link to my site. It’s not like that at all. I’m trying to tailor it in every situation.
A few last thoughts. Firstly, monitoring your brand is not going to work for everyone. Obviously, my site has reasonable profile so we get more mentions than a new blog. That monitoring thought for your brand is something I definitely would encourage you to set up because I think any mention of your brand is good for you to know about. It may not be because of the links but just because of the relationships.
I think any blogger, big or small, can have some benefits from monitoring keywords associated with your particular blog even if you don’t ever email and take the link building approach. Simply by seeing what other people are writing about those particular topics will give you all kinds of ideas for content and potentially build relationships with those bloggers as well. Even if you just use the 14-day free trial on BuzzSumo just to check that out, you’re going to learn a lot about your niche by doing that.
The second thing I’ll say is that, and I want to emphasize this again, I pick and choose who to email and I thread so gently with those emails because I don’t want to come across as spammy. I only send a couple of emails a day, maybe three or four a day. Actually, it’s probably a little bit more than that but I’m really trying to pick and choose very, very carefully.
I get about seven reports from BuzzSumo every day and from those seven reports I’m probably sending less than 10 emails out over a day. I typically, on a good day, get three or four links per day as a result of those emails. I get a lot of people just not reply and that’s totally fine but three, maybe four links a day which doesn’t sound like a lot but over a year that adds up. Over the last month, it’s probably been about 100 incoming links and over a year that’s like 1,200 links coming in.
As I mentioned in my intro, that’s good on two fronts. It drives traffic directly from those other blogs. The content alerts that you get are for fresh content so that content is getting read by those blog’s readers and so you’re getting direct traffic thread but you’re also getting some boost for your search engine optimization.
Last thing I’ll say is this is something I would encourage you to build into your routine to some degree. Set aside five or ten minutes a day or maybe set aside half an hour a week, maybe Friday afternoons or Monday mornings, whatever suits you. It is a sort of administrative task it doesn’t need a whole lot of creative thought and maybe put it in one of those areas where perhaps you’re not as creative but put aside time to do it. I challenge you to do it for a week or two. Maybe for the 14 days that you get for that free trial at BuzzSumo and see how it does for you. If it works for you then it’s going to have some accumulative, positive benefits on your site over time. SEO does take a little time to build but it’s something really useful.
And lastly, try and personalize those emails that you’re sending. Actually, I approach people not only via email but sometime on social media as well. I’m sometimes sending them a message on Facebook or even just shooting them a tweet, beginning that conversation can be a less sort of spammy way of doing it. Certainly, I would encourage you not to use a swipe file for those approaches but to try and personalize those email as much as possible. Refer to the article they’ve written or say why you like it. Point out something that you do like about it and then politely, in a no pressure kind of way, suggest some further reading for them.
I hope you found that useful. You can actually see that BuzzSumo wrote up their tip as well on the blog.
Can I suggest a couple of other podcast that you might find useful that are on the similar topics? Firstly, Episode 94 is Five SEO Mistakes That Bloggers Make And How To Fix Them. That might be useful if you do want to improve your search engine optimization and then also way back in Episode 36 we had a podcast on how to build your blog through relationships with other bloggers. Networking and commenting on other blogs and that relates to this as well. I think this is a really great way to find out which other blogs maybe you should be linking to and building those relationships with.
Lastly, if you know any other blogger that could benefit from this episode, can I ask you to share it? Can I ask you to share even if it’s just sending them an email or tweeting them, DMing them in some way? If you’re on your iPhone right now, you can simply open up the podcast app that you’re listening to and open up the episode. Look for the little three dots at the bottom right of your screen, hit that share episode button and it will open up some options for you to either email it, tweet it, Facebook it.
Thanks for those of you who do share it. I really do appreciate it and I do also appreciate those reviews. I see reviews coming in every couple of days on iTunes and I appreciate all of those. They give me the energy to keep on going. Anyway, thanks for listening today and I’ll be back with you in a couple of days’ time with our next challenge. Episode 160 is going to be another ProBlogger challenge so tune in for that in a few days time and I’ll give you something else to go away and work on and then you can share it in our ProBlogger Challenge Group.
Thanks for listening. I’ll chat with you in a couple of days time.
How did you go with today’s episode?
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