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16 Apr 2008

Why You HAVE to Buy Links – And What to Do About It

contentIf you’ve tried getting links naturally and it just isn’t working, it may be because your content offers nothing unique or different to site visitors. After all, the main reason others link to your site or a feature on your site is because they perceive it as adding value to their website visitors. Hey, they know that we’re all judged by the company we keep!

The popularity of our recent post offering ten easy links in 50 minutes is proof positive that plenty of website owners are having trouble generating good links – people flocked to this post to get an easy link. So why aren’t you getting links naturally? My guess is that your content isn’t unique, interesting or fresh. Don’t feel bad – it’s a common problem – one that forces you to buy links. In fact, this post is going to draw yawns from seasoned link builders and SEO’s. Why? Because they have demonstrated over and over that content is king. And it truly is when it comes to generating incoming links.

Our goal here is to reach those of you who have ecommerce sites or maybe sites in the financial sectors where you think “hey I sell shoes, what could I possibly do that is unique.”

Brainstorming For Content Ideas

A lot of owners think the way to create content is by posting a bunch of articles on their site – have you looked at your articles lately? Give them a really honest evaluation – would you take the time to visit another website to read them? If not, it’s time to do some brainstorming.

Don’t look at five other sites and rework the same tired themes. Get your team together and come up with a new angle, a new topic and a fresh approach – create some content that will really grab readers and make them take notice! Try some new approaches such as humorous stories, cartoons, videos, useful tools, historical or little-known facts or surveys. You could even solicit suggestions from your customers for topics or features they would like to see on your website. It’s going to take some time and effort but it will be well worth it in the long run.

After you’ve come up with some unique new content, put it on your site and optimized it – now what? You need to get it noticed!

Getting Your Content Noticed

If you thought creating the content was hard, getting your content discovered can actually be the hardest part. Once it’s up there, how do you get others to find it and link to it?

Promoting your content is just as important as creating it. Traditional methods such as press releases are always good, but make sure you then take the time to do your PR correctly. Usually it’s a good idea to pay for some serious online distribution. And many people forget to send them to local media, niche media and even bloggers. Traditional methods still work great for websites.

Blogging is a great way to get the word out about your content. Visit industry blogs and comment on current topics, working in a reference to your relevant content when it fits the situation. By suggesting an additional source of information that can help readers out, you’re being helpful and generous with your expertise – and you’ll probably gain some great links. You can do the same thing in industry related forums.

Maybe even start a little viral email campaign. Send an email to your friends, family and business associates with a link to your new content. Ask them to spread the word to anyone who may be interested in seeing your killer content.

And don’t forget your own customers – it may seem like you’ve already “won over” your customers, but you shouldn’t ever discount the value of having your current customers visit your website as often as possible. Put a brief blurb about your content on every e-mail, invoice and newsletter you send out so that they will be aware of what you have to offer. You never know when a repeat customer will read one of your “How To” articles and mention it on his “MySpace” page with a link, where it could pick up tons of traffic and additional links!

But the biggest message we want to get across today is to get a group together and brainstorm some ideas for really valuable content for your site. You will be amazed at what you come up with. Go forth and create! (Did you notice we made it through this entire post without saying linkbait?)  Newest Link Building Techniques.

[tags] content, link building, blogging, forums, brainstorm [/tags]