If you are wondering what this new technique could be, it's actually
quite simple... in theory. It is known as linkbaiting. This is a strategy
that brings links to a website simply because of the unique and popular
content on a website.
With the rise of the blogosphere and social bookmarking sites, all it
takes is one person to notice an interesting page and link to a site. Once a
link is passed around once, it becomes easier for it to spread further.
Bloggers around the net constantly use linkbait to encourage other
bloggers to mention them or to get their content passed around the
blogosphere. However, many traditional web masters have not quite latched on
to this powerful technique.
The benefits of creating quality, unique, or even controversial content
go way beyond what one might first imagine. When a web site offers true
value to the visitor, they can create hundreds and even thousands of
backlinks without even asking.
Unfortunately, simply having good, quality content on your site doesn't
always work. To gain the full potential of linkbaiting, you need a good
hook. Some of the most popular ones include:
News Hook: Everyone loves to read about industry news. However, the key
to attracting some real traffic is to add a twist to the latest news. Find
out exactly how it affects your web site visitors. If you just give a
rehashing of what everyone else has already said, no one will care.
However, if you inject your own twist or personality into your news
story, then you are prepared to catch someone's eye.
Look at CNN.com as an example. What do they offer? They provide the
latest news every day of the week. In the world of information that we live
in, news is a commodity. Because CNN offers such appealing content,
thousands of sites are linking to them. Do you think CNN sent these sites a
little email asking if they would be interested in a reciprocal link? Of
Instead, they employ linkbaiting. Their fresh and interesting content
automatically encourages other people to link to it. Luckily for us, we can
use this same technique on our own web sites.
News is one of the best ways to attract incoming links, especially if the
news is controversial.
Controversy Hook: Before we move on, I must warn you that this hook can
be very powerful and also very dangerous. It involves contradicting what
someone says, preferably someone very prominent in the industry.
When used correctly, controversy can be very effective in bringing
traffic to your site, but always be careful.
To begin, look for articles and stories in your industry. Some of the
best places to find this type of content is on blogs, news sites, and social
bookmarking sites. Once you have found a good story, take an opposing
viewpoint or give it some sort of twist. This will make your content stand
out from the hum drum of what everyone else is publishing.
The next hook is actually one of my favorites. It is known as the
Resource Hook: Information is powerful online. If you have information
that is not available anywhere else, you become an authoritative resource.
Many of these resources come in the form of a list.
You would be surprised at the power of a list. You can organize:
- a list of helpful tools that would be beneficial to your readers
- a list of the best blogs in your niche
- a list of popular news stories within your industry (When you are
doing this kind of list, be sure to sprinkle in some of your own
One of my favorite lists is located at http://www.seocompany.ca/tool/seo-tools.html,
where they offer over 150 SEO tools. Simply by linking out to their favorite
SEO tools they get tons of traffic each and every day.
Robin Good of MasterNewMedia is a webmaster who uses lists especially
well. One of his most popular resource pages is a list of RSS and blog
directories that webmasters can submit to. You can see it at: http://www.masternewmedia.org/rss/top55/
However, not only does he show you over a hundred places where you can
submit your blog and RSS feed, he also gives you an overview of each
service, some commentary on which of these directories are the most
influential, and exactly how to submit to each one.
This one page alone has thousands of incoming links to it because it is
an invaluable resource.
Another popular resource hook is to create a useful online tool that your
visitors can download for free. Once they have downloaded your free tool,
let them rebrand it and give it away on their own sites.
Humor Hook: Have you ever received a joke or some other sort of humor in
your inbox? If you are like most people, then you probably have. Jokes,
funny stories, and weird pictures are some of the most viral hooks on the
Within your own web site, you can add your own touch of humor. However,
you must make sure that it fits with your personality. People on the
internet want to see your true self.
Many companies have made their web sites an impersonal void. This is not
the way the web works. The Web is an engaging and interactive community of
people. When you start giving your web site some personality, people will
start taking notice. The ordinary is simply too easy to pass over.
Another key to remember when employing linkbaiting is that your article
or news story should almost always link out to leading industry web sites or
influential bloggers. There are so many web sites who are afraid to link out
to other sites. However, by mentioning other web sites and bloggers, you
would be surprised at the number of people who start linking to you.
Bloggers are a group of web masters who realize the power of linking to
others. Within the blogoshpere, links are spread willingly to those who
provide great content. As a result, they all receive more traffic than they