By the end of this post you will be able to use this as a step by step guide on how to successfully build high quality backlinks to your website. As we know, backlinks are the lifeblood of most search engines and serve as a vote of endorsement for a website for specific keywords a site will rank for.
As most SEO type people know, all links/votes are not created equally. More work is usually required for getting better backlinks pointing towards your site.
Below is an exchange of email along with an attached guest post from probably the best guest post link builder I have ever seen. Instead of simply posting his guest post, I figured it would better serve my audience by highlighting the best points for those who are looking to use guest posts to build backlinks in the best way imaginable.
This is by no means a rip on Matthew, just simply too good to pass up. Look for my interjections beginning with Josh Here: Blah Blah
Step 1: Find your target
I have no doubt that Matthew took the time to find my site based on a set list of criteria. Is the site active? Does it fit my niche? Does it allow guest posting? What type of blog is it? What can I learn about this person via his about/contact/content and so on?
A little homework goes a long way. It would even help to go as far as making a few comments prior to proposing a guest post (didn’t happen in this case). But from what I have seen, Matthew looks like a well-educated, professional person who specializes in research. Only fitting, given the amount of detail he goes through to ensure the best possible links.
Step 2: Make contact
Below is the first email Matthew sent to me in order to make contact. You’ll notice a few things right off the bat where he uses my name and website in the subject line. This of course tips my interest because us humans love to hear our own name. Then this also serves a duel purpose of keeping track of responses from people after he has hit the send button. Now when I or someone else replies, he knows exactly where, who and what is being talked about.
First Email Sent
Subject: Josh, I Enjoyed Visiting Your Site At JoshWhitford.com – I Have A Question!
From: Matthew Papaconstantinou <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, Dec 14, 2009 at 7:30 PM
I enjoyed visiting your blog at JoshWhitford.com and enjoyed reading some of your articles. Your tips and techniques provide solid and valuable information to people like me who want to promote their blog.
I am writing to you because I would like to offer you an article that I wrote for your site. The article talks about my niche (weight loss ) and explains how my blog has already started enjoying good rankings as a result of me following your marketing strategies.
The article is informative, unique (never published in another site) and I believe your visitors will enjoy reading.
I would love that the article (see attachment) could find a home at JoshWhitford.com!
Let me know if you accept the article (or need me to modify it) and where it can be located on your site.
Matthew Papaconstantinou, PhD
Washington University Medical School
Department of Biochem. & Molec. Bioph.
660S. Euclid Ave. 63110, St Louis, MO
Josh Here: In the beginning, look at the pumps being primed. A little flattery goes a long way. He quickly and clearly states what he wants and what he is after, plus a little more flattery. He also knows that people will not put up with content that can be found with a simple google.com search and will not post it. As far as I know, all his articles are in fact technically unique with much of the same content idea or same topic, just different wording. He wraps up the email by letting me know that if I don’t like anything, he is willing to correct it along with keeping the dialogue open for the details of where/when things will happen.
Step 3: Take time to produce good, original content
Below is the article that came attached in the first email Matthew sent. I left it completely original so you can see the links he was going for, along with giving him a little do credit for being so damn good at what he does.
By Matt Papa
Internet marketing has become a massive trend for many reasonsâ€”not just because of the hard economic times and widespread layoffs, but also because people want to work at home and spend more time with their families, and maybe most of all because individuals with an independent entrepreneurial spirit seek the freedom and innovation they can achieve through this kind of business.
But it seems like many people start at a disadvantage because they are going about it the wrong wayâ€”they want to make money without having an idea, a project or a product that they truly, passionately believe in and understand. You donâ€™t have to be the worldâ€™s expert or have something that no one else has – thatâ€™s actually unlikely or at least quite difficult at this point in the growth of the home-based online business world. But to attract and keep an audience, you have to bring something special to your idea or your project – some added value that you and only you offer.
Perhaps you do have a unique product. If so, thatâ€™s a big advantage. Even so, you are still going to need to find effective ways to reach your potential customers and build up their interest in your product. Selling is selling, whether itâ€™s online or door-to-door.
Style without substance and substance without style are both incomplete packages. Neither one will get you far for long.
What you have to sell is yourself and your unique voice and perspective on the value of your product and the needs of your potential market. Thatâ€™s one reason blogging has become an almost essential part of any online business.
My niche: the weight loss market
Personally, I didnâ€™t have to go out looking for a niche or product to market, because I already had a dedicated interest–the problem of obesity and helping people overcome their weight problems and achieve better health. My research had already given me many ideas and a lot of practical and scientific information, and I really felt a call to share that with other people. Blogging and creating my own website were just natural outgrowths of my desire to inform and share my knowledge.
Because I already had a good background in my topic, I had a head start on many people trying to build businesses online. Not just because I knew things, but because my interest was strong enough and real enough that I was willing to put in a lot of time and energy to build my site, whether I was making money or not. It was a labor of love, which gave me the motivation to stick with it while I learned what worked and how I could make it financially profitable as well as personally satisfying.
A major advantage I had was the magnitude of my nicheâ€™s potential market (no pun intended). It is a niche, but a big one. The reality is that two out of three people in the US are overweight, and many of them would like to find a way to help themselves lose weight. So I had no doubt that there was a potential audience and a potential market for the information I wanted to share. I just needed to find the way to put it all together.
My product: The Medifast diet
I had learned about Medifast through my extensive research into successful weight loss programs. Itâ€™s a great product that has been around for 25 years and has been tested and recommended by more than 20,000 doctors.
I was aware that Medifast has a great reputation – Forbes business magazine recently named them one of Americaâ€™s Best 200 Small Companies. When I learned that they also have an affiliate program for marketing their plan, I realized that this could be a great opportunity for me to draw more people to my website, provide them with information and products that would benefit them, and also start earning some return on my investment of time and energy in weightlosstriumph.com.
An affiliate program like Medifastâ€™s works like this. Once you become an affiliate (at no cost to you), you build into your website a link or links that will guide interested readers to the sponsorâ€™s own siteâ€”in this case the Medifast site. Each time one of your readers goes on to purchase one of their products, you receive a commission (for Medifast, 20 percent) on that sale. Medifast helps make their links particularly attractive by providing their affiliates with coupons to save your readers moneyâ€”and make using your link even more inviting.
I could see that this was a perfect opportunity for me, and that I had a perfect website for Medifast. But I also knew that building a true internet marketing strategy would take a little more know-how than just plunking down a link onto my website.
If I could master the internet marketing skills I needed to transform my interest and my blog into a really valuable place that could help people make their weight loss dreams come true, I could also start to make good money online.
Niche + Product + Marketing — Putting it all together
Before people can start clicking on my Medifast links and thereby help my website earn money, first they have to find my website. So how did I go about increasing my visibility and building traffic for my blog? To make the most of my Meidfast affiliation, my website had to find its way to the top of Googleâ€™s search list for crucial keywords like “Medifast coupon code” and “Does Medifast work“. But thereâ€™s a lot of competition for these keywords.
I knew that just as I wanted to be a go-to site for anyone who is looking for information about Medifast and other important weight-loss facts and opportunities, there are go-to sites expertsâ€¦like Joshâ€¦for people like me who are looking to learn about creating a successful blog and website.
One thing Josh Whitford helped me grasp is the importance of building a community and creating effective backlinks for achieving these search engine rankings. As Josh explains in his helpful 5 easy ways to build backlinks for your blog ,â€œEverything about search ranking and page rank is based on the foundation of good backlinks and anchor text links. The more links you have pointing towards your blog on certain keywords, the higher you will rate for relevancy of those keywords.â€
Josh also has some really great advice on creating and maintaining a blog that will be a magnet for your niche community. He has three great tips for making your blog successful, but in a way they all boil down to one common factor – commitment. You have to believe in your subject and be committed to it – to making sure that your content is sound and fresh and that you keep it that way by sticking with it. Itâ€™s all part of building a community of readers who can trust that will find something new and valuable each time they come to your site.
My site is growing and has a promising future – not only because itâ€™s a great topic that I love, but also because marketing know-how like Joshâ€™s has helped me raise my search engine rankings significantly.
I was lucky that I already had the passion and the enthusiasm for my own subject – best weight loss programs. But being part of Joshâ€™s community has helped me key in on some of the practical things I need to know about and do to keep my blog alive and lively.
Josh Here: Now I don’t really believe that Matthew learned anything from my blog about marketing ideas or how to build backlinks. This guy knows his stuff. But like I mentioned above, a little flattery goes a long way. His article is original, one of a kind and serves as a well-written piece, but tying in weight loss to marketing doesn’t seem to be natural as I have no incoming links about weight loss or anything like that. Almost all my links are related around marketing, unconventional, ideas, josh, techniques and just about every combo of those.
But notice how he took the time to read through a few of my posts and to draw that content into the topic at hand. By doing so he is making his post about weight loss into a marketing post, along with adding link juice to some of my own pages. This makes you think this guy isn’t beingÂ selfish, he is just trying to add content to the community andÂ enhanceÂ the reader and userÂ experience (probably both, a little bit).
Step 4: The follow through
For the sake of keeping this a little shorter I won’t publish the emails my girlfriend Lindsay has exchanged with Matthew via her Dog Blog. But rest assured that he will go to whatever length possible to make sure that his posts meet your standards and gets published.
He makes sure to keep the dialogue going by following up with relevant emailsÂ regardingÂ a new or interesting topic. He will go to length to lay on the flattery thick through the process, like telling my girlfriend how good she looks in her about page picture. Ha, silly Greeks. Be careful with that one, don’t want to accidently piss someone off. I just think it’s funny.
Step 5: When there is gold, dig
Now, I haven’t been this far with Matthew yet and might guess it doesn’t happen. But in any case, I would presume that following up with a blogger after he or she publishes your successful blog post would only be natural. This opens up the opportunity for future guest posts. I would give a good 2-3 months depending on how often the blog posts to follow up again and see how things are going and whether or not the blogger would be interested in another guest post about xyz.
As you can imagine, taking this approach could be a full-time job, and I have no idea when this guy finds time to sleep, but in the end it must be worth the effort via clients or affiliate programs to justify the time spent.
Instead of taking the cold calling approach to guest posting and building backlinks, you could develop relationships with people. Building a community would make this whole wine and dineÂ experienceÂ much easier. I could simply pull up Skype and ask, hey can I write a post about blah blah blah to get a couple links? … Just another approach to the same end.
If you made it this far you have way too much time on your hands. Or, you are probably in the business of building backlinks for the purpose of ranking a website over another. The formula is as follows:
- Find appropriateÂ active niche blog
- Research and produce good content
- Make contact and use flattery
- Follow up and correct anything needed
- Rinse and repeat