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You’ve spent hours researching and crafting the perfect piece of content. Now, you’re worried. What if your content fails to generate those much needed links?
So, you tweak the content. You tweak it some more. Then, you change a few things and add in a few more tidbits of information. Next thing you know, hours have gone by and you still haven’t hit publish.
Sometimes Successful Link Bait Is Scary
Being afraid to press ‘publish’ is normally a good sign. It usually means you’ve been more honest and open with your readers than you normally are, and this is a good thing. People like honesty and authenticity.
Secondly, if you care this much about the results your post will get, it often means you’re passionate about the topic. And whether you want to admit it or not, this instantly shows up in your writing. Maybe you said something not everyone will agree with. Or, maybe you’ve said something we’re all thinking, but would never say out loud. Either way, you’ve done your best, and this is never a bad thing. So, bite the bullet and do it!
Can You Link to It?
No matter why you lack confidence in your work, there’s an easy solution. Ask yourself one important question:
Do you find it interesting and would you link to it if you had the opportunity?
After all, if you won’t (or can’t) link back to it, and you’re not proud of it, how could you expect others to? So, spend some time generating possible future topics. If you can come up with some, chances are, others will be able to come up with some, too. If you can’t, you may want to consider reworking your link bait and coming at it from another angle.
On the bright side, you’ll have a full list of content ideas you can use later on. In fact, I suggest you actually PLAN to use these topics and link back to the original piece. And here’s why:
Humans want to do what other humans do. If they see someone likes something, they’ll try the same thing and they’ll enjoy it, too. In the commercial above, for example, you can tell the cake tastes good because the man in the ad is showing us how good it is. The advertising company simply needs to hope it has enough staying power to last until you get the opportunity to purchase. (From a copywriting perspective, the script is pretty darn good, too.)
This phenomenon is called confirmation bias. With link bait, you want to use this to your advantage by writing guest posts and creating content that links back to it on the idea that it will inspire others to link back to you, as well.
The other benefit to this tactic is, of course, more content. Hopefully, it will readers the opportunity to come up with more ideas and even more chances to make use of the content you’ve created.
How to Plan Your Industry Takeover
Your first step is to figure out who your “ideal linker” is. This is an individual, business, or website that:
- Already writes about and covers topics related to your link bait.
- Is already pulling in your target audience (your ideal customers) and others who could potentially link to you.
- Publishes content.
- Has been maintained or is at least up-to-date.
You’ll find that, even if a site doesn’t advertise that it will accept outside content, you’ll find most sites will accept well-written content. It’s simply a matter of how you approach it.
Once you’ve compiled list of sites, spend time researching each one. You’ll want to know:
- What language they use.
- What topics do well on the site.
- What information they’re missing onsite.
- What and where they’re currently linking to.
- What their audience demographics is like.
Next, you’ll want to carefully craft a piece of content for each of your chosen targets. This will not only get you a link, and improve your response, but also increase the amount of traffic flowing to both sites.
Having trouble getting your target sites to accept your content? Make connections with the owners of these sites well in advance. Then, when you’re ready to push your content, you’ll already have your foot in the door.
Otherwise, you’ll need to email them, explain that you’d like to guest post on their site, and show them a bit of the content so they can see it’s not just an ad for your product, service, or content (which it shouldn’t be). Hint: Focus on how they’ll benefit from hosting your content, not on what you’ll gain by having them publish it.
Quick Tip: Always link back to other pages, products, services, and content on the host site, as well as to the piece of link bait you’ve published.
Publishing Your Guest Posts
Ideally, you want your site to benefit from the original rush of traffic, as much as you can, before you start to dilute the content. The second day or third day after publishing your link bait, however, you’ll notice the traffic and attention will start to die down. And this is when you can start publishing your guest posts.
Start by performing a content audit on your original piece of link bait, so you can see what worked and what didn’t. Then, you can make any necessary updates or changes to the piece, before giving it another push.
Quick Tip: If your content generates comments or interactions from an “ideal linker”, try to incorporate their wisdom into your existing piece of link bait. This will encourage interaction, and hopefully generate a bit more traffic and attention for both of you.
If you feel your link bait is in top form and doing what it should, start to publish your guest posts. Ideally, you should leave 1-7 days between each guest post you have published. Why? You want to leave enough time between posts, so you can accurately measure the results and devote time to answering comments, questions, etc. At the same time, you don’t want to leave too much time between posts. If you do, you’ll find whatever interest and buzz you’ve generated will go to waste.
The only time this really changes is if you’re pushing a news item or a time sensitive topic. In this instance, you’d want to publish on as many sites as you can, as quickly as you can, to make your news item appear ‘hot’.
In both situations, anyone who regularly cruises these sites will see that you’re generating a fair amount of interest, and hopefully, they’ll jump on the bandwagon.
You should find that you’re able to greatly extend the life of your content, but at the same time, you have to be willing to recognize the end of the road. Eventually, you’ll find your time could be better spent creating fresh content and sharing new ideas.
Quick Tip: Don’t forget to use your social media connections to help push all of your content.
How do you improve the effectiveness of your link bait and reduce the risk of suffering with another flop?