If you’re even remotely bothered about building a successful website, then getting backlinks to your website is an absolute must. But, it’s important to differentiate between the high quality do-follow backlinks, and not-so-high quality no-follow backlinks.
When it comes to link building, there’s really no ‘quick-fix’ strategy that will build you a backlink empire immediately.
Well, technically there is. Like most things, money can buy you anything these days.
But the whole point of building up backlinks is to improve your SEO and domain authority, and in turn the chances of making you a successful blogger. Buying backlinks is a black hat SEO strategy that will give your website a bad reputation almost immediately.
So how can we build do-follow backlinks without using dodgy tactics?
There’s loads of ways to grow backlinks organically! Most of them are pretty easy too.
As long as you realise that it won’t happen overnight and you’re willing to put in the work, anyone can do it.
It just takes time.
1. Search for Related-Content
The internet is FULL of information, so there is always going to be related-content for you to bite into.
Here’s some useful search terms to help you find the best resources.
- keywords + links
- keyword + resources
- keyword inurl:links
The content which performs the best and ranks the most highly, is content full of resources, references, and in general, lots of incoming and outgoing links.
This means that if you’ve written a fantastic article full of reliable information, then people will jump at the opportunity of referencing your post.
They get a useful link, you get a backlink in return.
But obviously it’s not as simple as this.
The fact that you’re reading this article probably means you’re struggling to get your content seen in the first place. So, I doubt you’ll have link requests as long as your arm just yet.
This is where email outreach comes in!
I won’t lie to you, not everyone will reply to your emails, but this strategy has got a pretty good track record with website owners.
- How do I reach out to people?
It’s important to be polite, but don’t drag on. Get straight to the point to avoid people just deleting your email straight away.
Tell them about your content, or attach an infographic or free download that you’ve created and make them believe how much it would add to their content.
It’s important not to just spam a generic message to hundreds of people though. This probably won’t work.
Try and tailor the message to the individual to assure them you’re not just a spammer.
Here’s some email outreach templates that you can download and tailor to different people!
Make sure to check the domain authority of the people you’re messaging though. The higher the DA of the chosen website, the better quality your backlink will be.
Top Tip: You want to try and get your do-follow backlinks placed in articles that will always do well. Topics that will always be ‘hot-topics’ and never really go out of date. This kind of content is called Evergreen content. The more links you can get to these topics, the better. For example, weight loss articles will always be popular, therefore people will always search for this kind of content.
2. The broken link technique
This is another fantastic technique used by SEO guru’s all over the world.
This method basically involves finding popular websites within your niche, that happen to have links going from their website which are broken.
You find these broken links and let the website owner know they’re broken, whilst offering them a fully functioning link which provides even better content (a.k.a., your own content).
You provide them with a problem, and offer them a solution all within one email. All whilst bagging yourself a link.
Obviously like all the strategies in this list, it isn’t as simple as this. Some people will completely ignore your messages, but some will jump at the idea and thank you for it.
Click the download above for a free, tailored email outreach template.
- How to find broken links
There’s a few ways you can do this, and luckily for us, they’re completely free.
A popular way to find broken links is to download the ‘Check my Links’ Google Chrome Extension.
You can also check for broken links in Moz’s link explorer.
3. Steal Competitor Backlinks
An old but classic method.
Just type a keyword into google that relates to your website content, then copy the top-ranking post URL’s and paste them into a backlink analyser.
The best one to use is Moz’s link explorer. You need to create an account but you can still use this tool in the free subscription option.
Simply type in the top competitor URL’s you’ve found, and analyse their inbound links. Now make a list of all the site’s linking to this page, and find out how these competitors got those links in the first place.
Did they get the backlink by commenting on the post, or maybe posting in a forum? If this is the case just get involved with the commenting.
Perhaps they guest posted on that site? Just try and work your way through and replicate what you can. The backlinks will soon start adding up!
4. Guest Posting
There’s been a lot in the news lately saying that guest posting just to get backlinks is old news.
I agree to some extent.
It’s definitely not as effective as it used to be. There was a time where you could guest post on any website that allowed you to, and any and every link that you received was a good link.
This just isn’t the case anymore.
As I said in the intro, in order to do any good, you need high quality links from RELATED websites. Not just any link from anywhere.
Guest posting will absolutely still work though as long as you bear a few things in mind.
Here’s some useful search terms to help you find related blogs to guest post on.
- How to Guest Post for Maximum Benefit
Firstly, the link needs to come from a website that at least has a higher DA than you but ideally aim for a mid-high DA.
Secondly, the positioning of the link within the article now matters more than ever before.
In the past, a simple link to your website in the bio at the bottom of the page would have been fine. But now, these types of backlink barely carry any weight at all.
Before you agree to write a guest post, ask the owner if they allow in-text links to your own content rather than just an author link. Also ask them if they provide do-follow backlinks or no-follow.
This makes a big difference.
A no-follow backlink basically tells google not to count your website, so there’s really no point at all in you writing the post in the first place.
Writing lots of guest posts that get you no-follow backlinks will negatively impact your DA if anything.
5. Submit your Content
Much like guest posting, there are plenty of directory type websites that allow you to submit your content in return for a link.
To avoid the issue of posting duplicate content, don’t just copy and paste your whole article onto a different site.
You need to re-build your content, put a different spin on it, or maybe even do a mirror image article.
For example, if you have an article on your blog about how to lose weight, re-write it and state all the weight-loss methods that don’t work or might even cause harm, then offer the alternative ways in your original article.
You could also re-create your article as an infographic, or as a photo or video.
Just make it attractive, informative, and accurate.
Directories and photo/video sharing websites will be more than happy to accept your content if it’s high-quality.
6. Re-claim lost links
Perhaps this isn’t the best method of gaining backlinks if your website is new or if your DA is low in general.
But, if you’ve been working on your backlink strategy for a while now and have managed to start building them up, have you considered that you may be losing them too?
There are people all over the world using the strategies in this list, therefore it’s more than possible that you could have had broken links or had your backlinks stolen from you like the competitors you’re searching for, for this very reason.
Don’t worry though. The good news is that it’s a lot easier to re-claim a lost backlink than to find a new one.
All you have to do is type your domain name into websites such as Ahref’s Site Explorer and go to the backlinks section. Here you will be able to see current and lost backlinks.
You can even sort these links into no-follow or do-follow backlinks. I’d only recommend trying to re-claim lost do-follow backlinks though.
For full details on how to re-claim lost backlinks, take at look Ahref’s link reclamation article!
7. Join Communities
There are communities all over the internet suited to different niches.
Join them and you’ll often find that people share their articles all the time. Some communities are even created especially for boosting engagement, getting your articles seen, or guest post requests.
Facebook is the perfect place to find these groups, and the good thing is if you can’t find a group you’re suited to, you can just make your own and recruit for it.
There’s also websites created specially to connect publishers, bloggers etc., with reporters.
I came across a website like this called HARO. Reporters seek out content and information about a particular topic they’re working on, and if they like your content, it gets accepted and they use your post and give you a backlink in return.
8. No-follow backlinks
Now, I know I said that no-follow links are bad and it’s pointless seeking out a backlink if it’s going to be a no-follow.
But, in all fairness, some no-follow links aren’t too bad.
I DON’T recommend writing a guest post or doing any hard work if you’re only going to get a no-follow backlink in return. But in fairness, it’s a lot easier to get no-follow backlinks and it’s good to have a natural link structure to your website.
You should definitely always aim to get more do-follow backlinks, but an organic structure of backlinks will always have a few no-follow links as well.
- How to get No-Follow Backlinks
The best way to get no-follow backlinks is to be active online.
By this, I mean answering questions on forums like Quora and Reddit and linking your articles for reference.
Or, posting and replying to comments on other blogs and websites. Just make yourself known.
If you’re build up a positive reputation online with other bloggers then they may even reciprocate the comments, or reference your work in their own articles.
Sometimes you have to give before you take.
Like with all the other methods on this list though, make sure that you only post and respond to content that is relevant to your own.
Top Tip: The Evergreen Content tip applies here too. If you’re engaging with hot topics or topics that will never go out of date, you’re more likely to reap the rewards of the backlinks.
Some Final Advice
As I said at the start of the article, backlink building strategies aren’t difficult at all. They just require time and patience.
This won’t happen overnight, so just try and designate some time every week, or even every other week. It will gradually improve over time.
Don’t be disheartened if you don’t get replies to your emails or comments, you just need to be persistent.
It’s also good to note that the age of your website massively influences your DA.
If your site is only a couple of months old, or even 6 months old, your DA will be low regardless.
Don’t worry about it though, you should still test out these techniques as it’ll make it a lot easier for you to get do-follow backlinks further down the line especially if people are familiar with you and your blog.
Google will also massively take this into consideration when ranking your site as it starts to age.Good luck and let us know if you found this article useful by commenting below! Think of the backlinks 😉