When it comes to link building, SEOs tend to be hyper focused on efficiency and speed.
- How many prospects do we need to reach out to?
- How much does this link cost?
- How can we speed up prospecting and outreach?
Today I will show you how relying on creativity can get you quality relevant links…free of charge.
This is a case study about the link building work that we did for 10Beasts. 😎
The 1st of March 2018 came to be an exciting day – I was back in Berlin, putting quite some effort growing my link building agency.
I was already having an email exchange with someone interested in our services trying to get them on the phone (because that’s what you do to really help out).
After an email exchange and them cancelling on my invitation (apparently not so rare in online scene with all yas introverts (!)) they finally revealed the website.
Yeap, it was 10Beasts.
And yeap…they were under pressure.
They new owner was under pressure after everything that had happened to them previously:
- Spending ~$500,000 to get the property
- Getting a massive manual action on the Christmas day (induced by scholarship link building)
- And the actual recovery 5 days after…
What a week!
But let’s get back to link building, aye. 😉
The Initial Plan
Here is my question to you…
How does moneyless (i.e. not buying links) outreach-based white hat link building work?
There are two steps…
- Create amazing (and that means non-salesy) content
- Tell those who might love it about it
So an honest white hat link building agency would then send quite a few emails promoting your content and eventually getting some links.
This is what we do at Linkshero.
So if there is no great content (but your “best” articles), you can’t really get links free of charge (unless you are a little creative as I show below).
Did 10Beasts have any content we could promote?
Were they planning to build any?
I know some link builders who’d then cancel on the client if they weren’t providing quality content that actually deserves a link but…
…Artem was young and he needed money.
On top of that, I like challenges…or so I think. 🙂
So, what was the strategy after all?
As much as I hated it…guest posts.
Good Ol’ Blogger Moms
Blogging mommies were a substantial target audience of our outreach campaign since connecting the dots between them and hoverboards (one of the money pages on 10Beasts) actually made sense.
As you know, relevance is important in link building so yeah…blogger moms.
After starting the campaign we quickly realized that:
- They want money for links
- Some of them are quite evil (sorry, but not sorry)
To be honest, if I was Google, I would simply devalue pretty much any links coming from these blogs because they are almost universally paid for and poor quality.
So after seeing virtually zero success with them we decided to move on and actually be creative…a lot more creative.
Hoverboards Are on Fire…And So Are We
I love PR-based link building…riding the waves of what’s currently hot in the news.
Indeed, newsjacking is a fun activity (well, for me).
Quick google of “hoverboards” in the News and I see the main theme…
Hoverboards tend to go on fire every once in a while…
And media loves that! (no surprise really)
After having a good few brainstorming sessions (those tend to happen in Artem’s “cHaMbEr oF cOmMeRcE”), I figured that a visual that involves showing people how to buy a safe(r) hoverboard should actually work out.
It ticked all the boxes in my head:
- Ecommerce stores that sell hoverboards would be interested in this – Yeah!
- We’d get relevant links and shares – Yeah!!
- We won’t need to deal with GPs – F*ck YEAH!
Let’s get gooooing!
So I had the idea in place – hoverboard safety.
Now I needed some content.
After studying some of the successful infographics I figured that:
- It shouldn’t be too long (7-10 points is top)
- It should be simplifying the data (and not making it harder to absorb)
- It should have figures, stats and numbers (kinda follows from the point above)
- It should look nice (well, yeah…ugly infographics don’t usually take off)
An without further ado…here’s what we ended up coming up with.
- The graphic is suuuuuper simple and easy to “consume” (both, from the graphic and from the info point of view)
- It has quite a few figures (safety standards) which are genuinely helpful for the target audience (people that are going for the purchase)
Right, it all looks good on paper but did it actually work out?
The response was faaaar more positive and people were OK with linking directly to the money page (I’m blurring things out but a simple Ahrefs lookup will show you that things are legit).
- Don’t try to hide the fact that you are linking to your money page; just make it relevant to the anchor text you are using (in other words, don’t be sneaky)
- Test whether your infographic will actually get published (try pre-outreach and see whether people would actually like your idea)
- Rely on positive emotion and try to be useful – these will help you get published 😉
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