February 25, 2014 E3

Link Earning Strategies: Grow Your Link Profile Without Penalty

As link building tactics continue to get devalued by Google, search marketers are running out of “foolproof” and scalable ways to build link profiles without getting penalized. In order to adapt, SEOs must rethink their processes. But the first thing marketers must change is mindset. It is no longer about “building” links. Instead, we must focus on link earning strategies.

Are Link Earning Strategies Scalable?

The biggest hurdle in link earning is that it’s difficult to scale.  If you’re making the shift from link building to link earning strategies, you have to change more than your vocabulary. You must change your approach.

Links cannot be earned without first producing great content.  Content is the foundation on which all of your SEO and SEM efforts are built. So how can you scale your content creation and link earning efforts? By targeting a few key areas, you can earn organic links without overextending your resources.

Blog Your Socks Off (For Quality)

If you aren’t blogging, you need to start. Blog today. Blog next week. Then blog some more.  Don’t worry at first about making a big splash. Just start posting about relevant topics in your industry. Aim for two solid posts per week.  As you build up a library, you’ll see which posts are resonating with visitors. That will give you an idea of where to focus your efforts as time goes on.

People often think they should be blogging daily. If you have an army of contributors and copywriters, then that may be a feasible target. But if you don’t have the time or staff to support that schedule, don’t try. Quality is far more important than quantity.

Make Sharing Simple

Make sure you have social sharing buttons on every post, white paper, infographic, and video you produce. You want your audience to share your content, and they can’t do that if you don’t give them easy sharing options. If you use WordPress, consider a plugin like DiggDigg. It’s easy to use, the buttons are clear but not intrusive, and you can plug in your business Twitter handle to ensure all shares are branded.

You also want to make sure that you’re promoting your own content on social networks. But please share responsibly. Don’t shout at your followers, and don’t spam them. Tailor your posts to each network. Don’t push the same post several times a day. Push it out once on each network the day your post goes live, then once again a few days later.  Once your library is strong and you’ve built an archive, use a program like Buffer to automatically push out old posts, exposing new followers to old content.

Conduct Interviews With Influencers

Interviews can be a great way to connect with influencers, bring new perspectives to your blog, and of course, can be a great addition to other link earning strategies. You can create text-based interviews, audio interviews, or video interviews. In fact, interviews can be a good way to dip your toes into new mediums.

When the interview is complete and you’ve typed everything up, edited, and uploaded it, email your interviewee and let her know that the link is live. She’ll share the link with her audience to help promote herself, thus helping you in the process.

Create Round Up Posts

You’ve seen round up articles before.  These articles are made up of a single topic or question, answered by a series of experts. How do roundup articles earn links? When you publish your roundup, email everyone who participated and provided answers. Send them a live link, and voila! They will share that link with their audience, followers, and circles of influence.

Get On the Google Plus Train

We know that Google claims their social network does not influence rank. But we also know that there is plenty of evidence to suggest that Google Plus, in fact, does just that.  Be sure you’re sharing your best content on Google Plus, and be sure to engage with your circles. Just as you do on other networks, be sure to plus and share the content of key influencers to catch their attention and draw reciprocal shares.

Reverse Guest Blogging

Instead of making a push to guest blog on other websites, open your own blog up to expert guest posts. The key to making this work is in the word “expert.” Invite influencers to post on your blog. When their posts go live, they will share the link with their own audience, exposing your site to a whole new crop of readers and potential sharers.

Link Earning Is Marketing

Google is going to continue to put the screws to SEOs.  They want to make it virtually impossible to “cheat” your way to rankings. These link earning strategies are much more than methods for expanding link profiles and increasing rankings. They are solid marketing tactics that will expose your website to new audiences, connect you with influencers in your industry, and bring you targeted customers.

What are some other scalable link earning strategies? Let us know how you’re earning links in the comments.

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