Links are the well-known and coveted currency of the internet.
They are the bread and butter of everyone from Neil Patel to Forbes. Links will get you to rank on page one of Google, but as you may have guessed, they are hard work.
Gone are the days when black hat strategies work and now it’s all about how much work you are willing to put into growing your blog.
For Google, a link from a reputable website with a high Domain Authority score is like a vote of confidence for your blog. It is every blogger’s dream and the equivalent of getting your previous boss to write you a stellar recommendation letter.
So, other than guest posts, what works? What sort of content can we produce that will generate links?
Guest posting is time-consuming and even expensive at times. Creating content that is linkable all by itself will give you the best returns.
So, what content can you produce that is link-worthy?
Probably illustrated best with an example- Kyle Byers from GrowthBadger created what he calls the double survey strategy and it is genius.
The double survey strategy takes a topic that is lacking original research that people are already talking about and then creates the most in-depth article possible on it using surveys and quotes from industry experts.
This is taking advantage of two of the most rewarding content types- roundup posts and original research.
So, how does it work?
After selecting a topic to conduct your original research on, you create a survey and start getting as many people to take it. This gives you your stats. After this, reach out to industry experts in your field to get quotes and make the post even more thorough.
In Kyle’s experiment, his article on blog statistics got a crazy 109 sites to give him backlinks. Some of these links are from pages that have great DA scores.
So, WHY does it work?
Because it is original. The research is original and statistics are needed constantly.
If you write a super thorough post on a topic that already has 10 super thorough posts available, your backlink worthiness is not high.
Creating original research is creating content that everyone needs and wants. How many times have you linked to a stat within your article?
Thorough research-based content is priceless.
Have you heard of backlinko? Silly question. We have ALL heard of backlinko.
Next question- What does Brian Dean from Backlinko do best? Create ultimate guides that beat every other competitor’s post.
Brian’s guides are the go-to resource for a lot of topics and backlinko is considered a trusted authority to depend on for information.
Opening your laptop and furiously typing out a generic post that has been rehashed a million times will only get you so far.
A big mistake newbie bloggers make is thinking more content is good content.
Taking months to complete a great post that acts as a thorough guide on any topic under the sun will reap you more rewards than 10 posts that are generic.
Brian’s Google Rankbrain post got a crazy 1300 backlinks and is still a go-to resource for SEO nerds.
Much like the survey technique, case studies work well because they are giving readers original research.
In the internet world, anything original is like finding a hidden treasure chest.
A case study that talks about a new way to get blog traffic or a new way to market your content is a new idea.
If you think you do not have any ideas to create a case study, you are probably approaching it with the wrong thought process.
If you have a way of doing things that you invented through trial and error, that is a case study idea right there. The idea does not even have to be 100% original, you can just add a twist to an old way of doing something!
These articles attract backlinks like bees to honey.
So if case studies or surveys seem like way too much work, visual content is an option that is worth considering.
There are a couple of reasons for this:
- 91% of people say they prefer visual content over written content. It is easier to digest and is more entertaining. Visuals also increase the desire to read content by 80%.
- While the content itself may not be original, the visual asset is enough in a lot of cases.
- Every time someone wants to use your visual content within their blog post, whether that is a video, infographic or chart- they have to give you credit with a link. This means if you made a killer piece of media content, people are going to credit you over and over and over again.
If you do not have the best designing skills, you can hire a designer online and get your infographic created. It is pretty cheap in most cases and is a big hit on the internet.
This well-known favorite has been around for years now and has a pretty neat bonus- you also get to build relationships with industry experts.
An interview with an expert in your industry will not only get you interested readers but will also get you backlinks. More often than not, your interview will be shared on the expert’s social media and mentioned on their page.
You are also creating original content and if you get an industry expert to spill the beans on a helpful secret, you will have a line of people waiting to quote your article.