They say the best things in life are free.
But when working in online marketing, you find new costs every week.
You are paying subscription fees for high-end data services.
Has advertising investment in PPC networks.
And on top of that, you may have even considered paying for backlinks.
Paying for backlinks gets very expensive, very fast.
You can easily pay $ 100- $ 500 per backlink if you work with SEO agencies.
That can be a good approach if you have a solid budget to leverage, but what if you have more time than money?
You’re lucky! Free backlinks are right around the corner.
You just need creativity, the right tools, and the drive to apply yourself.
Bookmark this post and you can come back here week after week to apply these strategies.
Why Free Backlinks Are Worth Your Time and Effort. Monitor Backlinks
In marketing, you have to decide whether to invest time or money. Investing your time is the way to earn free backlinks.
Even better, you get long-term benefits for the effort you put into getting backlinks. Take note of these four benefits:
Better understanding of your market. Through the process of market research and obtaining backlinks, you will better understand the needs and wants of your target market. That knowledge will come in handy if you decide to run paid traffic or focus exclusively on SEO.
Improved professional network. In some cases, getting free backlinks will grow your network. In business, the best opportunities come from your network (including high-paying jobs and unannounced joint venture opportunities). When you build relationships with respect, you can maintain those connections and develop them for other opportunities.
Improved SEO expertise. For online marketers, you can never stand still in improving your skills. Doing the fieldwork to earn free backlinks will keep you up to date.
High probability of long-lasting backlinks. Put $ 1,000 into Facebook Ads today, and that traffic will come and go. It’s an effective way to drive traffic fast – a great way to test a new offer! Getting backlinks, on the other hand, will persist for months and years afterward.
Now let’s get down to business and get some free backlinks for you!
12 ways to get free backlinks for your business this month
1. Analyze your current backlink profile (the “second serve” technique)
Is your website new? If so, you will need to move on to the next technique.
After a few months (or faster if you are actively marketing it), your website will start to attract free backlinks. To build your confidence, let’s start by getting you more of the same.
In the following screenshot, I analyzed the backlinks from cospot.com using Monitor Backlinks.
(Get a 30-day trial here to analyze your own backlink profile for free!)
Right away, I realized that the website has already gotten several backlinks from authorized websites.
Look at the Date column to see when the backlink went out. If it was a couple of months or more ago, you could reasonably ask for another backlink, another slice of SEO juice, if you want.
There are two ways to request this free backlink.
If you have a relationship with someone on the website, send them an email thanking them for the link above and suggesting a new one.
Outreach consultant Kai Davis recommends that initial messages like this be kept short; aim for a maximum of 150 words. The outreach message should focus primarily on the recipient and not on you.
If you don’t have a relationship with a specific person, you can still go through the rapprochement process, but it will take more effort and probably have a lower chance of success.
I recommend taking about 10 minutes to reach a specific person who has posted to the website (i.e. the website owner, publisher, or a regular contributor).
2. Ask your friends for backlinks (the correct way)
On the same topic, let’s go back to your network to request more free backlinks. However, this method only works if you do it the right way.
The Wrong Way: Ask for backlinks from irrelevant websites or from former acquaintances who barely remember you. Once a former colleague, who hadn’t spoken to me in three years, suddenly appeared and asked for my advice on applying for a job. I helped him, but hesitated for a few minutes. Another wrong way? Request backlinks to your home page instead of a specific product or resource. Specific requests tend to be more compelling.
The right way: add value by requesting a backlink. For example, if your friend loves “Game of Thrones” and your new infographic references House Lannister, then you have a winning combination. Alternatively, connect your request to a goal your friend has.
As with the first technique, you will send an outreach message (i.e. email, Facebook message, LinkedIn message, etc.) to request the backlink.
If you send multiple of these requests, take your time to respond to each message well. There is nothing worse than messing up the details.
Tip: Also use your organizational connections! Did you graduate from college? If so, you can sometimes request free backlinks from the organization’s alumni page.
3. Contact industry publications and websites
Everybody wants the New York Times, CNN or Fox to write about them and give them a free backlink. But for 98% of us, we are not prepared for that opportunity.
Even if you’re up for it, these great general interest posts aren’t focused on your niche. Instead of spending weeks making presentations to the Times, you can get better results by researching 3-6 publications more specifically relevant to your industry.
You may not be able to access Forbes or Fortune, but there is a full level of niche industry posts where you can get backlinks. Below is an example of how to implement this strategy in the project management industry.
When I was building my project management website, I got free backlinks from more than two dozen websites. I used a three step method:
Step 1. Use Google Search to Find Blogs and Posts
Use searches like this:
“Project management blogs”
“Blogs of project managers”
“Project Management Guest Post”
“Project management magazines”
Some of the websites that I came across a few years ago included ProjectManagement.com, ProjectManage.com, PMTips.net, and Arras People.
Step 2. Visit the websites found in Step 1
Take a look at the site and if they seem right for you, add them to your list of websites to contact. A simple spreadsheet is a good way to keep track of these potential free backlink opportunities.
Step 3. Start the disclosure process to request free backlinks
You can request a backlink to a relevant URL on your website or offer to contribute a guest post. I got the best results by contributing high-quality guest blog posts.
4. Reuse your content
Creating content is hard work!
What if you could create content and get three different backlinks? It’s easy when you use content reuse.
Here is an example of how to put this into practice:
1. You write a popular blog post that attracts backlinks and lots of traffic. Once you find a winner, it’s time to put some gas on the flames!
2. Create related content on a different platform that covers the same information as the original blog post.
For example, you can create a 2-3 minute YouTube video covering the main ideas; just highlight three of the most interesting points and have your speech notes ready. Or maybe you are a master of presentations? Create a presentation and post it to SlideShare.
3. Create social media updates that point to the YouTube video or SlideShare presentation, and the original article.
Depending on your skills, you can keep using this strategy over and over again to spread the same message.
The first time you put content reuse into action, it can seem difficult. But keep it up!
5. Appear as a guest on podcasts
Speaking for myself, I love to write; however, I recognize that some people prefer to talk.
Here’s the good news: you can talk about your website and or