What 7 Experts Say About Advanced Link Building Strategies

I’ve been talking a bit more about backlinks and some of the more advanced link building strategies recently, and today I’m proud to publish my first ever “ask the experts” post on the subject. There are just so many different ways to generate excellent quality, safe backlinks out there, I wanted to narrow it down to a few of the best.

 

link-building-strategies

I’m not talking about blackhat stuff here, but ways to generate excellent links to your excellent content.

At the end of the day, if you’re putting out that excellent content and being proactive about promoting it, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it.

Going out and getting a bunch of links from article submission directories isn’t going to get you a lot of benefit, so what can you do that is worth your while, not going to make Google angry, and is something everyone can do?

Well this is where the experts come in.

There is a great guide over at PointBlankSeo which has about a million and one different things to try, but some people just don’t have the time for going through that. What do the pros do? Let’s find out.

Advanced Link Building Strategies – Asking The Experts

To really get to grips with answering this question, I reached out to the experts in backlinking. I contacted everyone I could think of. Some of them had spoken with me before, others had never heard of me. 7 people got back to me, including some really big names in SEO. This is great!

Here was my question:

If you could generate quality backlinks for your site using only 3 methods, what would they be?

Let’s look at today’s panel:

james-schramko  neil-patel  stuart-walker  tung-tran  steve-razinski

James Schramko, Neil Patel, Stuart Walker, Tung Tran, Steve Razinski

Jon-haver  doug-cunnington

Jon Haver, Doug Cunnington

 

James Schramko

james-schramko

First up is James Schramko. I first heard of him at the beginning of this year and really got into his video blogging style. He’s got a massive site and offers great tips and very high quality service for growing your online business at SuperFastBusiness.com. I particularly liked his tip about using Wistia instead of YouTube.

Here’s his answer:

1.) Guest Podcast Interviews because of real customers on tribal sites.

2.) Forum and Group referrals word of mouth (Give to these communities and the members constantly link to you when you are not there).

3.) Publish guides and meaty posts because people will link to them automatically.

It’s pretty clear that James focuses on putting out great content that people will link to and helping them with that content and general community interaction. This is a great example of building relationships, helping others, and getting links the right way.

Neil Patel

Neil Patel

Next is Neil Patel. Does he need an introduction? He is after all, “kind of a big deal”. Neil is one of those SEO guys that helps out the big guys. Amazon, TechCrunch, those sorts of big guys.

What’s great is that he also responded to my email incredibly quickly, which goes to show he is also prepared to help out the little guys (or my email came in just as he finished clearing his inbox!).

You can find Neil at a few places, Neilpatel.com being a good place to start.

Here’s the word from the big deal himself:

1.) The first would be infographics, as it produces links for an affordable amount. http://www.quicksprout.com/2012/10/22/why-content-marketing-is-the-new-seo/

2.) The second would be by creating tools, as it drives consistent traffic and can also generate backlinks. http://www.quicksprout.com/2013/10/14/move-over-content-marketing-why-creating-tools-can-be-a-better-investment-than-creating-content/

3.) My third approach would be by writing high quality guest posts, as you already know people are willing to share and link to great content.

Number 2 is particularly insightful. You might think creating a tool is a lot of work and beyond you, but think of the ROI in terms of links and repeat visitors! This is definitely something I will consider in the future.

Stuart Walker

stuart-walker

Coming in at number 3 is Stuart Walker of Nichehacks.com. I have to say I’ve only known Stuart for a short while, but very much like the way he approaches niches. He’s also a down to earth guy and I found we were bouncing emails back and forth quite quickly after I reached out to him.

If you want to see a great example of how to “hack a niche” you’ve got to view this post.

Stuart’s answer:

1. Top quality content that goes above and beyond any other topic on the subject to naturally pick up links.

2. Then take it one step further and find out who’s linked to similar content on the subject and contact them telling them I’ve made something bigger and better and try and score a link.

3. Expert round ups / ego baits / link round up posts that reference a lot of experts and then obviously let them know I’ve included them.

Number 3 looks kind of familiar! haha…and number 1+2 are fantastic ideas. You can check out Brian Dean’s post about it here.

Tung Tran

tung-tran

Another guy who I’ve had a great time emailing recently (I hope it’s mutual) is Tung Tran of CloudLiving. Tung is a young guy who is wise beyond his years, and very helpful to boot. He’s got some great posts about getting started with niche marketing, this one is a particularly good read.

Tung got back to me with this:

​There are many ways to get backlinks that work but I think it really depends on your willingness to take risks and how much time and money you want to invest. Here are my favorite:

  • PBN Building
  • Guest Posting
  • Blog Comments

That’s all I did even for Cloud Living. I didn’t do any link baiting or round-up posts but I plan to try these methods in the future. One key thing is you have to publish quality content that attracts links naturally or using a social locker to “force” the visitors to share your page.

Well that’s the first mention of PBN’s (Private Blog Networks), a slightly more risky method for building links, although in its defence it DOES still focus around good quality content.

Steve Razinski

steve-razinski

What can I say about the man who got me started making money online? Other than being a great mentor and friend to me over the last couple of years, he also really knows his stuff. His overall strategy summed up would be: “Just do what makes sense”.

Steve reviews online scams over at Ivetriedthat.com and then shows people the correct way to make money online instead. He’s probably saved thousands of people from giving their money over to the would-be “guru” scam artists.

Here are his thoughts on getting links:

​I’d say guest posting, offering value and building a relationship with other, established bloggers would be my top priority.

A lot of people view competition as something that needs to be destroyed, but in my experience, a budding relationship can be more positive than a feud.

Even if it’s a one-time article, you’re now on their radar. They may start following your site and updates and the potential for unasked, relevant backlinks grows. It can’t hurt to show them some love in your own blog posts as well.

I’m noticing a repeating theme here, quality, value, getting noticed.

Jon Haver

Jon-haver

Jon is another person I’ve become a recent fan of. His slogan “I share everything but my passwords” is one that makes his content great for reading. Like many guys in the niche site space (including me), Jon shares his successes, failures, lessons learned, and targets for the future at his site AuthorityWebsiteIncome.

What really stands out is that he can earn $15,000 a month online, while still keeping his day job.
Jon’s answers:

1. The first strategy I would use is to launch a niche dominating round up post that would also include outreach to influencers in your niche. Doing a round up post and promoting the heck out of it can lay the foundation for many future opportunities. Here is a step by step guide on how I go about outsourcing the entire process: http://authoritywebsiteincome.com/guide-outsourcing-creation-roundup-post/

2. The second strategy I would use is to leverage expired domains by either building a niche relevant private blog network, 301 redirecting a couple very clean very relevant expired domains or purchasing some high quality PBN posts on a premium PBN

3. Finally I would build off of the outreach in step 1 and use blog commenting to generate opportunities for value-added Guest Posts..this can be time consuming but there are ways to systematize the guest posting process.

Another vote for the expert roundup post, great stuff! I hope everyone wants to help my own bid out by sharing and linking to this post like crazy. Hint. Hint.

Doug Cunnington

doug-cunnington

Doug is another of the great guys out there blogging about success with niche sites. He also works in the PBN space like Jon Haver above and offers people instructions and services for setting up a PBN at his site nichesiteproject.com.

He probably wins the award for “most thorough answer” too:​

1.) Blog Commenting: This is the first thing that I do for link building on a new site. Blog commenting allows you to get backlinks from diverse referring domains and typically you can find opportunities for blogs that are relevant for your niche.

In addition, it’s FREE, so it is a great way for people just starting out. One thing to note is that I do not attempt to add backlinks in the actual comment. I count on the backlink that is typically included with the “Name” as the anchor text.

2.) Free Web 2.0 Blogs: You can create these blogs for free on high authority platforms like WordPress, Blogspot, or Tumblr. Again this is a free opportunity for link building. The best thing about this method is that you control the content on the site… So, that means you can make the content totally relevant to your niche and topic.

The added benefit is that you control the anchor text as well. When changes to the Google Algorithm happen, and they will, you can make changes as needed to adjust. The downside is that a brand new web 2.0 blog does not have any authority. To address that, I will head over to fiverr and get a few backlink packages to link to the Web 2.0 blogs. (Do not get backlinks from fiverr that point to your money sites.)

3.) Private Blog Network (PBN) Backlinks: These links come from high authority domains that I own and maintain. Building a PBN is no small task. It takes careful planning, a budget, plenty of time, and patience to learn the process. It is definitely worth the effort. (I wrote about the concepts in greater detail here, Private Blog Networks: PBN 101.

In general, a PBN is created from expired domains that are available to the public to buy. The expired domain has a history and many corresponding backlinks that give the domain a high Page Authority, Domain Authority, and sometimes PageRank. New content is published on the PBN domain.

Now, the benefits are similar to the ones mentioned above: You control the content and backlinks. So you can be agile when things change in the world of SEO. Do you need to change up your anchor text? No problem – you own the domain so just log in and make the changes. The awesome thing is that with your OWN PBN the risk of having the network discovered is low. Another huge benefit is that you can get very high authority backlinks that would generally be impossible to get in a natural promotion strategy.

Doug really helped me out here because he explained PBN’s better than I ever could, which saves me risking giving out the wrong information.

The Final Tally

Do we have a winner? I may have limited everyone to just three answers, but I still got quite a few different ones back. Let’s tally them up as best we can, and see how the votes came in.

Guest Posts/Podcasts: 5

Blog Commenting: 3

Building Relationships: 3

Big Guides/Niche Dominating Posts: 3

PBN Building: 3

Expert Roundup Posts: 2

Creating A Tool: 1

Infographics: 1

Forum/Group Referrals: 1

Some people mentioned blog commenting not only for backlinks, but as a way of building relationships and getting guest post gigs, so there is a bit of overlap there, but I think it is clear what the winners were.

I’d also like to point out that some methods, such as creating a tool, producing meaty guides, or roundup posts have the chance to score dozens of links, whereas a guest post might only score the one (though you would assume it to be of high quality).

There’s definitely a recurring theme of working on quality content and reaching out to others.

Moving Forward

This post is already clocking in at over 2,100 words, so I’m going to end things here. I hope it’s given you a few ideas and some inspiration for your own backlink/outreach campaigns. Feel free to ask any questions below.

Also, if you want some additional reading, check this article by Noah Kagan, or this epic post by Matthew Woodward. Both are great reads.

Also a massive thanks to everyone who contributed to this post – couldn’t have done it without you!

 

  • Great post Dom,
    One silly question though- can you please explain what a roundup post is? Thanks

    • This is a roundup post. You ask a question to various experts and roundup their answers.

  • i always follow neil patel blog to stay update with latest SEO

  • Kavi

    Thanks for a very informative post. So many techniques and people to learn from.
    Well done for a good job. I will definitely be coming back.

  • Even seasoned SEOs still don’t seem to get it: there is one over-arching thing Google tries to excel at: the best ONE search result for the user’s search question. If they could ascertain that, then most results (SERPs) would contain one or ten links at the most. So when Cutts says guest posting is dead he means those posts that were done to game the SERPs. So they want to get a higher listing in the SERPs than -based on their content answering Google’s most pressing question above- they deserve. And Google then tries to purge that erroneous result from the list and “restore” order. This leads to algorithm changes that then end in a lot of “stranded investments” in time and money in “obsolete” link building and other SEO activities. But we can all see, where Google is headed: finding that elusive ONE (or few) answer(s) to the searchers’ questions. If we don’t bother at all (!) about SEO in the dated sense but focus only (!) on the content, we might not get quick results but.… if my reasoning is right, like with Shakespeare who prevails where hundreds of his contemporary “competitors” have waned into oblivion, you will see your OLD content rise a little in rankings each time Google closed another SEO “loophole”..

    • Well, you make some valid points about the quality of content, and nobody here is contesting that for a moment. In fact I think you’ll notice that a good percentage of the answers in this post are based on adding value and high quality. Yes, PBN’s are mentioned too, but everyone knows that a website’s success is based on the quality of its content.

      Now that said, this is an article about backlinking. It’s not an article about the best SEO techniques, or about the best long-term strategy.

      Furthermore, all the “great content” in the world isn’t going to do you much good unless you’re either writing so much of it that people will eventually notice it, or you’re actively promoting it. Building links is just one way of doing this.

      Shakespeare has prevailed because of the quality of his work, that’s true, but he also had his own theatre to showcase his plays, and had a close friendship with the Queen. If he hadn’t been able to promote his great plays like that, would he even have succeeded? How do we know that there wasn’t somebody better than Shakespeare whose work went unnoticed, because he didn’t bother to tell people about his work or build connections?

  • Hi Dom, Thanks for the heads up on your post, very interesting. PBN’s have definitely got my attention at the moment, it must be so much better to have an asset that you can use time and time again.

    • Just as long as it doesn’t get taken down!

  • This is absolutely great round up post. I’m starting to learn how to create PBN. So this post helps me a lot to continue my journey. Thank you so much Dom. 🙂

    • You should definitely check out some of the training Doug and Jon have then, it’s easy to get PBNs wrong in my experience, but those guys have it down to a T.

      • Thanks Dom, I already bought Doug’s BPN course. It’s great for the starter and easy to follow.

  • Great round up post here! I worked with Jon Haver for several months on a PBN project together, in terms of getting high quality links it’s one of the fastest ways to get powerful links if you are willing to pay for it. I saw great improvements on many sites using PBN links over time.

    • Hey John, that’s great to hear. I do see a lot of potential with PBNs, although James Schramko made a comment on G+ that they are for the heavy wallet and the seasoned pro – in other words, not something for beginners. That said, someone like Jon Haver would certainly be able to get beginners moving correctly, as long as they listened to his advice.

  • Hi Dom – Awesome post! I see I’m in great company here so thanks for including me.

    I see two things that I will be working on in the near future that James and Neil mentioned…

    Infographics
    Forum Participation

    I haven’t spent time in either space but they obviously know what they are talking about.

    • Cheers Doug, very good company indeed. Two great picks you’ve made there, and very much opposites, one can easily be outsourced and automated, the other is all about giving time to the community.

      I like the balance there!

  • James W D

    Excellent article here with a lot of good food for thought. I just recently had my first foray with a guest blogger on my site and it worked pretty well, glad to see that on the list as I would like to do more of that.

    I was also particularly fond of the comment about not destroying your competition, but rather working with them!

    • Cheers James, Steve has always drummed into people’s heads to work with competition instead of view them as competition. I made a whole post about it here: https://www.humanproofdesigns.com/if-you-cant-beat-them-woo-them-dealing-with-your-competition/

      Also with guest blogging, you can get something out of it both ways; if it’s you doing the blogging, you get the leverage from someone else’s site, and the link, and if you are hosting, you get the benefit of free content and having people promoting their post on your site.

  • Annick Hupperetz

    Really, I love this post and your website. I’m now starting to apply it to mine. Thank you Dom for all your research. Great work.

    • I’m just applying what I’ve learned from other sites and authors before me (most of them in this post!), so this is how we learn I think.

  • Very good post my friend with very insightful tips.. I especially liked the tips from from the experts and feel that quality content is still KING! I also like the tips about guest posting and building a PBN is extremely effective when done right for scoring major gains in your ranking status. But the bottom line at the end of the day is just TAKE MASSIVE ACTION!!! 🙂

    • Hey Derek, thanks for stopping by man. Quality content IS still king for sure, but I think without taking action and promoting that content, it might not get you anywhere. Posting and posting and hoping for the best will result in failure for a lot of sites/niches.

      Jon Haver says that you need 2 things; helpful content, and links to that content so Google knows it’s the best. The tips the experts gave above are a great way of getting both.

      • Indeed Dom!! You are absolutely right I totally agree with you…

  • Stuart Walker

    Hey Dominic. Nice post. Good round up and I’m in good company here.

    Thanks a lot for including me and the link. I like Neil’s advice on infographics and tools.

    I’ve not done much in the way of infographics but it’s on the to do list and I can see the HUGE potential of creating tools people can use for free to generate traffic and links.

    Got a few ideas for tools myself.

    Like you I found Neil easy to contact despite the fact he’s obviously a very busy guy, he kindly kicked off my series of interviews with online entrepreneurs…

    http://nichehacks.com/top-100-entrepreneur-interview/

    Thanks again looking forward to keeping up with your blog.

    • Hey Stuart, some fine company you are in indeed! Infographics are on my list too, the list just seems to keep getting longer and longer! You don’t know how to clone yourself do you?

      I checked out your post, great interview! I see you made the “kind of a big deal” joke too! ha..I bet it never gets old.