Beyond Guest Blogging: Alternative Strategies for Link-Building
Guest blogging may be the most well known link-building strategy, but it’s not always the most effective. The best approach depends on your site’s Internet presence, and since no two websites are exactly alike, it’s important to create an individualized link-building plan. Read on to learn about my observations from the field.
When is Guest Blogging the Best Option?
Guest blogging can be your go-to strategy if your website fits into an established Internet community with numerous personal blogs. Individual blogs are key here—small time bloggers are more likely to accept guest posts because they’re happy to have additional content at their disposal. Also, the “community” aspect of a blog network means bloggers are amenable to collaboration. The benefits of connecting with your community via link-building extend to social media as well, since a guest blogging partnership can easily lead to a new Facebook “like” or Twitter follower.
You also want to be sure that you know your topic, or that you can at least read up on it. You’re much more likely to land guest blog spots if you can provide well-informed content. Reaching this level of expertise is more realistic if your field isn’t highly technical.
Examples of ideal website themes for guest blogging: running, cats, low-carb recipes. Interests and hobbies reign supreme here.
On the Other Hand…
If your blog pertains to a professional or academic field, guest blogging is a less viable option. This doesn’t mean you should discount it completely; for example, while a website tied to the healthcare industry won’t have a wealth of guest blogging prospects, there are still bloggers in the field worth contacting. The catch is that they tend to prefer the perspectives of industry professionals, so if you have the appropriate background or can recruit someone who does, guest blogging can provide you with high quality links even if your field is short on blogs.
But what to do if you can’t seem to land a guest blog? If your organization is evolving in some way (product updates, new partnerships, etc.) consider submitting press releases. There is no shortage of news websites accepting press releases, particularly in the field of technology, and many of them are free or very low cost. App developers, take note!
Another tactic is to submit your website to online directories. The web has no shortage of general and specialized directories, many of which accept submissions for free. Corporate websites have the advantage of being able to use to vendor and business directories, but there is usually a sizable number of directories tailored to each Internet community.
A new strategy I stumbled upon recently is to contact websites with whom you have regional ties. This includes local business directories and websites devoted to regional branches of your industry (e.g., mobile computing the southeast). Drawing on your geographic community can fill in the gaps if your blogging community is too sparse.
What to Take Away
Link building has a slew of roads less traveled, so don’t feel pressured to make guest blogging your core strategy. Get to know your website’s community first and choose your path accordingly.
Have any lesser-known link building tactics to share? Write us a comment.