Where are all my links?
If that’s the question on your mind today then I have some good news for you.
I have a solution.
Most people jump into the content marketing boat for instant gratification. They want recognition, hundreds of links and boatload of traffic the minute they hit the publish button.
It doesn’t always work that way.
In this post I will be covering the different ways in which you can get all what you want with your content.
Let’s get started.
- Begin by identifying your target audience
Before getting on the content boat, you need to identify the people whom you are going to write content for.
Otherwise all of your efforts will be an exercise in frustration yielding nothing.
What do I mean by a target audience? Your target audience consists of people who are truly interested in your business, in your product.
Starting with the right audience in mind takes a lot of unnecessary effort out of the equation.
Here’s how to take your content marketing strategy to the next level by doing just that.
You might have a heard of a buyer persona. If not, it’s a hypothetical construction of your target buyer.
In much the same way, a reader persona is a profile of who your ideal reader is, what excites him or her and what he or she is interested in.
For his photography site, Darren Rowse would create different personas— Grace would be a mom photographer who loves to take pictures of her kids.
On the other hand, Keith is a recently retired amateur photographer who wants to get the best out of his time and make the most of his camera.
He wants to fine tune his skills and take better photos.
Such personification helps Darren empathize with his readers and write about things that matter to them.
Other than characterizing his reader personas Darren also lists different things to look for when creating a reader persona.
- Financial Situation
- How they use the Web
- Motivations for Reading DPS
- Experience with the topic – Level
Demographics and financial situations matter a lot. Just consider an example. Say, you decide to make a lot of videos and post them on your blog. Your site is visited by a lot of stay at home moms living in the suburbs. Research reveals that they are less likely to have a good internet connection. They may not be able to watch your videos. As such, the traffic to your site may decrease.
That’s the reason why it’s essential to understand your reader.
Another good example where the company got the reader persona right is that of Zagg. Zagg is an online retailer in the electronics space. On Zagg, some readers liked to stay in touch with the latest news, others liked to read how to posts and so on.
So Zagg wrote articles for each kind of reader.
News – News post shared the latest happenings from the top tech companies around the world. This also helped them gain natural links from authority sites like NBC.
How To – These were tutorials posts that showed how to do a particular task with a gadget.
Entertainment posts– These posts were a bit quirky in nature for the reader who loved fun.
The Result? 172% growth through content marketing.
The reason why I ask you to pay so much attention to crafting content for a targeted audience is that this audience is more likely to share your content and send it to their friends.
Your content is solving their problems and it’s highly likely that their circle of friends too have similar problems or persuasions.
By knowing your reader persona you personalize the blogging experience and develop more informed posts that really stand out.
- Find outreach targets
One of the best things you can do to find outreach targets is by finding the people who shared an article similar to what you have written.
BuzzSumo is one tool that lets you see who the sharers are. But the free version has limits. You could go to Twitter and search for the url there to see who shared the post and manually copy and paste each of the twitter ids into a spreadsheet.
You could also use a free Chrome extension like Data Miner to scrape the twitter profiles for you.
But again, Twitter search has its limitations.
You may not always find the results that you are looking for. A Twitter search for the url highlighted in red ( from MatthewWoodward.co.uk) below gives me only five results. The truth is there around 600 people who tweeted that link.
How to find the sharers for free?
Topsy not only shows a number that’s quite close to the entire list of people who tweeted the link but you can also automate the process of finding the ones who tweeted the link with DataMiner.
Just right click on the profile ids and select DataMiner-Get Similar and you are set.
Here’s how the results look like.
You can now reach out to these targets with your post.
Here’s a little something to inspire you.
Good Green Bars, a company in the nutrition bar niche grew revenues to $50k/month with blogger outreach alone.
That’s the power of reaching out to the right people.
- Neil Patel’s strategy to get more links
If you have ever been to Neil Patel’s new site NeilPatel.com then it’s likely that you noticed the sheer number of external links in each of Neil’s posts.
Sometimes the number of external links exceeds 120.
There’s a method behind this madness.
By giving out a do-follow link to different sites from his posts he makes all of those sites his outreach targets.
He can now easily approach the owners of these sites and tell them about the link to their site.
Not all would respond with a backlink but a good majority may share the post and some may link to it.
I don’t say that this technique was pioneered by Neil. Neil is just using it at a scale that I haven’t seen prior to this.
Peep Laja used the same technique to grow his site ConversionXL.
Peep had a penchant for writing articles that quoted several other articles or research posts and he linked out to all of them.
He then reached out to the authors of the articles mentioned in the post. Some of the people whom he contacted shared Peep’s post and others linked back to him in other articles.
- Repurpose your content
When it comes to repurposing content the platform that comes to most minds is Slideshare.
Slideshare is a good platform but there are many more things you could do with content.
For example on the Ahrefs blog, Tim runs a video series called the Over Simplified SEO. This can be seen as a form of repurposing the content into another form that’s easily digestible to the readership here.
Instead of just hosting the video on a single platform, spread it out on several platforms like YouTube, DailyMotion and others.
With YouTube you can also rank the video easily on search engines and get more out of your content.
Making an Infographic out of the information from one post or several posts is another way you can repurpose the content.
You can then reach out to bloggers in the same niche with your Infographic and ask them to link to you.
Here’s a list of high DA sites where you can post your Infographics.
http://graphs.net – DA 47
http://vi.sualize.us – DA 58
http://visualizing.org – DA 65
http://visual.ly – DA 87
- Curate Different pieces of content to create a resource list
A resource list is often a collection of links to articles or sites that your readers will find extremely useful.
For example, my collection of 120+ sites that pay guest bloggers is a resource list that freelance writers find to be extremely helpful.
As a result of the value it provides the post has been linked to from several authority sites.
I never went asking for a link. But if I had some kind of outreach then I would have had more links to the post.
Most of the links shown above came naturally.
While getting links naturally isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do— it can be done. It takes much more effort than bidding on a couple of expired domains, setting up a PBN. That’s akin to sitting on a time bomb.
Instead if you rather focus on creating valuable content combined with the right outreach strategy there’s no reason why you wouldn’t be able to mimic the success that others are enjoying.