Link Building With Content Ideas




Today’s edition of Resource Shelf  listed a report from PEW on how Americans were using the Internet to cope with the recession.  This bit caught my eye and got the link brain going:

Some 69% of all Americans have used the internet to cope with the recession as they hunt for bargains, jobs, ways to upgrade their skills, better investment strategies, housing options, and government benefits. That amounts to 88% of internet users.

First off, the numbers the article references are huge, 88% of American users are turning to the Internet to find certain types of information.  If that doesn’t scream “CONTENT and LINKS” to the enterprising webmaster I don’t know what does.

For newbies with no clue what I’m talking about, let me explain.

There are a bunch of Americans using the Internet to find solutions to problems.  If you have content that’s good and will help them, they may link to it and/or pass it along to others they know will benefit.  The excerpt above is pretty specific in what they’re looking for so your job is now a little easier in trying to figure out what to write.  To refresh your memory the specifics the article showcased were:

they hunt for bargains, jobs, ways to upgrade their skills, better investment strategies, housing options, and government benefits

Is there a way you can write content on any of these subjects as it relates to what you offer?  I bet there is.  If people are actively looking for it, why not write about it  instead of another stupid top ten list ?

Here are a handful of  promotion ideas to get the link ball rolling:

1.  Email your mother, brother,  sister and your current and past customers with a link to the article.  Encourage linking and ask they pass it on to others who may benefit.  (these people already like you so they’re prone to respond positively.  This is why it pays to be nice to siblings ;)

2.  Write a press release announcing the new article, be specific in describing what problem/issue your article will discuss and provide solutions for.

3.  Be sure to include a quote/link to the PEW report as a credibility builder in the release.

4.  Be sure to include a quote/link to the PEW report in your article as well.

5.  Take a shorter version of the article and pimp it to a handful of bloggers in your niche. 

6.  Include social media buttons like “share this” under the article on your site.  Encourage your mother, brother, sister and past/current customers to socialize the material.

7.  Tweet the link, encourage RT’s (RT = retweets.  Here’s a how-to RT article)

There’s more you can do but this should get you started.  With 88% of Americans searching for a specific type of information be the one they link to for answers.  :)


Please read the comments with this post, someone brought up an article written on Search Engine Watch yesterday and I’ve responded since I think the article was a piece of crap.   Thanks ~  debra.

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  1. Warner Carter says

    I was struck that the most salient point of your post is writing content geared toward providing solutions to the problems people are having. This type of providing value should always be attractive.

    When I find a resource I bookmark it and if it is really neat I tell friends. I like to add stuff to and flip links on facebook or buzz.

    A friend of mine pointed out how on one blog I was writing too much as a person in the industry using industry terms but people who need this service talk about and therefor search with the actual problem for terms.

  2. Fix PC Freeze says

    Really a great resource on link building. I will try some for my blogs and site. Thanks

  3. | link building services says

    Thanks for sharing. Honestly, the content of your page is far more necessary. Your visitors will have to read on your content, that’s why you have to make it look good.

  4. Partha Bhattacharya says

    Nice article, Debra. Thanks. Being a link builder your ‘antenna’ is constantly searching for any blip that points to possibility of inward links.

    I’m from India, and though I haven’t used any professional service for my website thus far, I feel link building is a strenuous job that needs expert handling, and therefore to be outsourced.

    As for Sage’s article in SEW, I think he’s partially right because like any other profession link building also has its own share of dubious wrong-doers. But yes there are ethical practitioners as well.

  5. Singapore SEO Consultant In Malaysia says

    Link building is the most boring part of SEO. I am glad that your link building ideas does not include using bot to spam forums & digg clones.

  6. Debra Mastaler says

    @Tim I’m glad you feel it’s useful! 99% of what’s written about in the SEO community is regurgitated crap, there is little new info. The point of this post is about sources and how to use them, less about the tactic.

  7. Tim Tavender says

    Despite what others have said about repeating information, I think it is very useful, especially as you bear in mind the people it is targeted at.

    Many website owners either forget, or don’t realise they should be promoting the content they have just created meaning they could have created a little gem of an article but it fails to generate the interest it deserves.

    Keep providing these interesting concise posts pleeeease.

  8. Sean Morrissy says

    You’ve got some good tips there, I just found this blog but I think I’ll keep following it. You can never get too much good info about SEO.

    Thanks for the ideas.


  9. Anonymous says

    This will help to further educate our link builders. Thanks for great article

  10. says


    I think this great article exemplifies why so many people look to you for guidance in our industry. You bring imagination and creativity to a task that demands more than just replicating everyone else’s efforts.

  11. Drabdesign says

    I recently realised that I dropped every time I posted a comment such as this, hopefully I will not get penalised for this one.

    Content is very important, to me content itself is as important as links. It is the links within your own site that will do as much for ranking than going for every conceivable link out on the web. That said I think your article is good and can only enhance peoples chance of getting noticed.

  12. seoz87 says

    I am sorry but..errr…what was new in that :S

    you are like attacking other person’s article and at the same time giving the people same old news :S

    Just search for link building ideas and you can get same stuff on thousands and thousand of articles….

    Bring us something new Sire :)

  13. Debra Mastaler says

    @Noah – the article syndication is also a great idea, thanks for reminding us.

    @FrankMarcel – the world needs more Michael M types!

    @Bob – sig links are great little tools, another good point.

    @PatShaughnessy – glad to hear you’re participting on the SEOBook forum, it’s a great community.

    @FloridaWebDesign – in the past I’ve recommend people shy away from the free press release sites but lately, we’ve used several with decent results.

  14. Florida Web Design says

    Good article. Another thing to keep in mind is the PR companies out there that will publish a FREE press release. Yes, it may not be at the top of the content heap, but getting it out there and building links off and to it could be very beneficial to gaining inbound links and gathering a following of traffic to your site.

  15. Pat Shaughnessy says

    My first time here–great stuff. I look forward to reading your thoughts at AArons seobook Forum.

    I read the “Re-Thinking Link Building” article and it reminds me of people who say “cold calling” in sales is a waste of time.

    Anything is a waste of time if you do it wrong.

    First, no professional link builder (or sales person) should be calling or contacting any high-value prospect “cold”.

    High quality Link acquisition requires that you build a relationship and nurture it.

    Quality relationships take research and relevant communication. To get high quality links you cant email blast or use other low touch techniques including automated $7 a link overseas labor.


  16. Bob says

    Adding a link on your e-mail signature other than to your home page draws a surprising number of visitors. Good Sphinn.

  17. Frank Marcel says

    Very clever! This may be one of those Michael Martinez’ “say the obvious as nobody said it yet!”

    Congratulations, great idea! Thanks for sharing! =)

  18. dancesportsuperbowl says

    You are absolutely right.. I agree with you. Good ( and unique ) articles make our blog will be visited by many people. Indirectly, it provide us the best link and also traffic.

  19. Noah says

    I’d add some article syndication to point number 5 there. Take that same shortened article and submit it to your top 5 or 10 favorite article syndication sites for even more exposure.

  20. Debra Mastaler says

    Jonathan – I agree. Furthermore…

    Point one: I’ve had interns in the past, I don’t bring them into the firm to be thought leaders or run full campaigns. They’re interns. They do intern type things and get a baseline of knowledge about the link building business. I don’t know of a single link building company I associate with that uses interns to run their campaigns, that would be professional suicide.

    Point two: As for the survey he cites, Sage made an assumption the people responding were link builders. How silly. We don’t know who responded and what type of businesses they had or campaigns they were running. Barry’s survey’s aren’t scientific or even close to being professionally crafted, they’re just Barry asking simple questions and getting… simple results. To use them to make a point about an industry is laughable.

    Point three: His staff feels like they’ve been stuck with something when assigned link work… I think that’s pretty sad for someone who writes publicly about link building on one of the biggest SEO/SEM blogs in the industry.

    Point four: We link builders should “start” using public relations in our link work? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? “START” using? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

    I go on and say more but I promised myself I wouldn’t get riled up today over that article. :)

  21. says

    I read the same article yesterday and have to totally disagree with the fact that most link builders simply outsource and despise their job. This isn’t true at all.

    In fact, I had a 17-yr old high school student shadow me this week who thought that building links was “cool.”

    It amazing how quickly one can forget how “cool” their job can be.

  22. Debra Mastaler says

    I saw the article yesterday and think it is one of the worst articles on link builders and link building I’ve read in a long time.

  23. Ryan says

    Nice tips. Thank u.

    However, you also might want to go through this article on Re-Thinking Link Building.

    Here is the link –

  24. Kaila S | Cliquekaila says

    Great tips. Content truly is king, and publicizing your well written content will provide you with the best links and traffic to your site.

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