Earning Your Backlinks

A lot of the times it’s actually the large companies that really struggle when it comes to competing in a small niche.

That’s such a huge competitive advantage for small business owners to take notice of.

However, this advantage can’t be realized without finding ways to leverage your best assets so a small business can stand toe-to-toe with the big players.  
One strategy I’ve found success with is what I call “the content library.”

This means you take your best content and get the most out of it instead of constantly having to produce new content over and over again.

When it comes to search marketing, Google ranking is so important.  
Google is really just a high tech popularity contest when it comes down to it, and they have their own formula to decide who’s stacks where.

We do know that keyword relevancy, frequency, and the number of backlinks a page has does count for something in the algorithms.

When enough people write about your content that begins to build up your authority and credibility with the search engine.  
There’s a downside to this system that’s perpetuated a dark side of the industry that will employ shady tactics to increase backlinks, hoping to push themselves up in the algorithm with the least amount of work possible.

I get emails every day for my sites asking to mention other people in my articles. I turn them down because these sites don’t have quality content.

Instead, I want to reverse the equation.

What if we put out high-quality relevant content. A search professional, Tom Brodbeck, came up with a name for this strategy – “Link Earning.”

When your content is so good others decide to backlink you on their own.

We like to do really deep content that actually requires a fair amount of research behind it. This means both primary and secondary data.  
Primary data is data you’ve gathered yourself from your own tests and secondary data is from other sources around the web.

We’ll then compile that data into a great article and add in an infographic. After that, it’s time to pitch our content to the major news sites that cover our niche.

We tell them that we’ve covered our subject in depth and that it would be great for their audience too if they’d consider publishing our work.

I love when others pitch me in similar ways.

Everyone has a huge need for great content these days. However you can’t just pitch anything, it needs to be relevant to your target audience.

I don’t beg for my backlinks, if we get them it’s great!

If we get shares on social media that’s great too. Typically we do receive a backlink, but even if we don’t, we’re going to keep putting out great content.

We will sometimes use paid ads to help get our content seen by more people and then let it grow organically from there.

Link earning is what has always provided us with the richest backlink sources and it’s been a far better use of our time than any other strategy out there.

Action Steps

  1. Develop a strategy for 12 to 24 articles on your site that will be popular (search requests and social shares) and that you will constantly update and enhance moving forward. This is your “Content Library”.
  2. Create the content using primary sources from your in-house tests.
  3. Add in data from secondary sources (other places on the web.)
  4. Add in an infographic to your content to illustrate what your data is showing you.
  5. Pitch your content to the relevant sites in your niche, show how your content will be of benefit to the publisher’s audience.
  6. Sponsor content with paid ads to get the ball rolling on growth.


Result You Will Achieve

Earn better backlinks and move you upwards in your search rankings.

Mentor: Douglas Karr

CEO of DK New Media. Douglas assists companies like Dell, GoDaddy, and Chase to build authority online. He works with very large properties that are too large to utilize out of the box platforms for analysis and tracking.

This article is based on an EHQ interview with the mentor.