Raluca Anghel

Remember when you could get quality, kickass DoFollow backlinks from Google Plus or YouTube?

Well, needless to say, those days are looong gone.

I’ll show you how to shake things up — no PBNs, no buying expired domains.

A lot of these tips come from the brightest mind of SEO, and, better still, they’re probably not being used by your competitors.

If you like your info short and sweet, let’s get right to it.

This tip comes from Mike Murray at Online Marketing Coach, in a Content Marketing Institute guest post.

Offering a useful resource for free is bound to get you a lot of link juice.

After all, who doesn’t love free stuff?

If you’re not sure what to create, think about industry-specific tools, calculators, or free image resources.

If the asset can be used often or on every new project, it will be shared and linked to even more.

A good example comes from Baianat, a digital agency offering free design resources in the form of icons and illustrations. Their efforts have garnered them over 200 backlinks, and some of those are high-quality do-follow backlinks from reputable sites.

Pet food brand Pedigree created a quirky online calculator to transform dog years into human years. This silly little resource won Pedigree 17 backlinks.

While trying to decide on which deliverable is right for you, start off by examining your competitors’ websites and taking a look at what they’re doing, as well as what they’re not doing.

If you’re thinking there are no resources out there for your niche, try a shoulder niche instead.

Storage locker company Life and Storage provides a useful service for anyone who needs to put away their valuables for an extended period of time.

The candidates they targeted are families in the midst of remodeling and in need of storage options for old furniture and knick-knacks.

They created a simple spreadsheet helping potential customers who are remodeling their homes.

They identified a need for storage in their target audience and provided a simple, but effective tool to help them keep reno steps and budgets on track.

Their simple Excel spreadsheet got 1.9k shares on social media.

It just goes to show you, that however exotic or obscure your niche is, there is always an asset that can be created that will make people’s lives easier.

Real talk.

Link building outreach is a lot like doing sales. It can benefit a lot from stroking egos.

And there’s nothing that flatters you more than receiving an award.

You want to know you’re doing something right, and a badge of excellence on your website can only improve the way visitors see your business.

If you’re thinking you’re in a niche with no awards, just turn to old Google to check on that.

In most cases, you’ll find that there are plenty of awards sites out there, and there’s literally no reason why you can’t create one of your own.

Here’s how you can turn this tip into a useful backlinking tool:

Whatever field your blog is in, there are relevant shops and other companies out there that will feel like their site benefits from a badge of excellence.

Needless to say, these shouldn’t be direct competitors, but other businesses in that sector.

First, create a microsite hosted on your domain, so that badges will link back to you. A microsite is a small version of a website, hosted on just one page. In a pinch, a simple landing page will do.

Here’s how you‘d do it:

Say you’re writing a pet blog. Create a list of the best pet shops in the cities you’re targeting. Then contact the relevant businesses on your list and tell them about being included and earning a badge. Then, it’s as simple as asking them to share their badge on their website.

Most likely, if they agree, they will want to blog about it and link you in their blog, while also displaying the badge on their website.

This technique is scalable and packs the added punch of allowing you backlinks from your own niche (a big SEO win).

MyBlogU is structured as a content collab community for inbound marketers.

It allows you to share digital assets as well as ask questions and crowdsource articles.

You can become a cited source, and you don’t have to dig for questions than need answering, as you would on platforms like Quora, Yahoo Answers or WikiAnswers.

The promise is that of a more targeted, laid back approach to HARO, a one-stop-shop for reporters needing sources for everything from the real estate market to AI.

With MyBlogU, you can choose which threads you contribute to, and go for the ones that hit your sweet spots, where you can actually add value. Like Reddit, but for marketers.

It will not only land you some new relationships, but also some links from content creators that you help out.

This tip comes from content marketer Ahfaz Ahmed.

Image from backlinko.com. (See what I did there?)

Offering good value illustrations could go a long way towards landing you some quality image backlinks.

However, it requires a bit of elbow grease.

First, you have to identify which illustrations to create.

Second, you have to either create high-quality visuals or, better yet, have an experienced illustrator do the job for you.

Third, you need to contact site owners and offer your stock in exchange for attribution on their site.

If the asset fits the bill and you tell them exactly where it would enhance their content, you have a pretty good chance of getting quality do-follow backlinks.

Your strategy for picking image topics is crucial for this tip. You should be looking out for popular topics, as well as posts that could improve with a good visual asset.

You can either go about finding the most linked to pieces of content, or the pieces with the most shares on social media.

By now you probably know who the biggest influencers are in your niche, but SimilarWeb will have invaluable insight.

BuzzSumo will be your bestie if you’re looking for the content that made it to the top of the social media pile.

We all know that link building requires keyword research, prospecting and then outreach.

But is that all there is to it?

The link building equation relies on the fact that you already know your niche and target audience very well.

In link building, your audience is not the potential client base you are trying to reach. You’re targeting other content creators in your niche.

They’re the ones you need to impress.

Your job is to find out who they are and what they link to.

One way to do that is by using the Common Backlinks Tool (CBLT) by Link Research Tools. It’s a nifty little tool that allows you to enter up to 10 competitors and track which sites are linking to most or all of them.

How to use it: In the example above, the CBLT tool has analyzed the top 6 UK newspapers, sorted by trust.

This strategy works on a couple of levels.

First of all, it allows you to pinpoint prolific content creators.

Since these are habitual linkers, they will be more likely to link out to you.

Secondly, it allows you to check which sites you’re leaving off your outreach list, contact them, and get that link.

I bet you’re thinking this tip is not exactly new.

In fact, Brian Dean at Backlinko wrote about testimonial links in one of his first blog posts.

Although this tip is still valuable, it does get misused a lot.

Instead of looking for random services to leave a testimonial for, you need to keep in mind that your game is quality do-follow backlinks, from your niche.

Round up a list of the type of tools that you would normally use in your business, and create a resource page in which you reviews those tools.

The catch is, big-name products probably don’t need another testimonial. You’re trying to reach the companies competing with those big names.

Here’s how to find them:

One way to find competitors of well-known and well-loved tools is getting them off best-of lists or using alternativeto.net.

Another way is using the Product Hunt search and filtering for a keyword and recent results.

Since a lot of startups usually contact Product Hunt to get featured as soon as their beta is done, you should find some fresh-out-the-oven tools this way.

In this example, I started off looking for an infographic tool that has only been out for less than a year.

As it happens, genial.ly actually post testimonials including review links on their front page:

You know how to find fresh tools, now it’s a matter of creating a review and contacting the owner about how much you loved their product, even offering to leave a testimonial.

Just keep in mind: never endorse a product that doesn’t do the job or that you don’t believe in, and remember to check Trust Flow and Domain Authority.

This tip is pretty self-explanatory, entailing the creation of a designated jobs page for all your openings.

When you have an opening, make sure that you post about it on several job platforms and include an apply-on-site.

While job sites will delete listings after about a month, most of them will keep the URL.

Andrew discusses ways of capitalizing on your unlinked online mentions by not only googling your own brand name, but also the name of your employees.

Whoever works for, therefor is associated with your brand can be a backlink brand ambassador.

If they are involved in the local or online community, they will have exposure by means of interviews, event pages, conference speaker pages or awards sites.

Whenever that happens, you can reach out to the author of the page and ask for a link to your website with the name of your key employee.

In order to apply this strategy, all you need is:

  • For your employee to be on board with the strategy and agree on promoting the brand;
  • A personal page for every key employee hosted on your domain;
  • A tool like Google alerts that lets you know every time someone writes about an important member of your team.

These last three tips come from Brian Dean an Backlinko.

Brian Dean has given the world many link building resources, like his skyscraper method.

This is a spinoff of that, in which you choose popular articles in your niche (just like we did in section 4), then create infographics of them.

This strategy is pretty simple and only requires access to a good designer and strategic placement of the keypoints in the source article.

Just like with the skyscraper method, the key to getting quality dofollow backlinks in this case is by using someone else’s.

Use a link exploration tool to find the links to the first piece, then email the authors and ask if they want to take a look at your infographic.

However, the success of the skyscraper method is based on the value that you add to the posts. That’s also a good takeaway for this technique.

Add helpful metrics from separate sources to the original data to have your piece stand out, then pitch away.

Working on the previous strategy, supporting content has a lot of chances of getting links.

A supporting resource works on two levels, as you can use it to pitch the author of the original piece, as well as reach out to all the bloggers linking to the post.

A supporting asset is anything from a spreadsheet to a visual explanation of the author’s point, to a simple tool that does what the post was supposed to do.

Anything that would add value to the original post and make a task easier or more organized will work.

After developing the resource, your first step is hosting in on your domain. After that, you can ask the author for a link, as well as contact anyone linking to the first post for inclusion on their pages.

Influencers are looking to get paid promoting products, and tech or gadget bloggers are looking for new products to talk about.

While most influencer marketing platforms usually only cater to companies trying to hire influencers for promotion, there are some websites out there that allow you to display your products.

That is where bloggers come in.

If you’re a tech blogger and you don’t work at Product Hunt, you’re not getting 200 pitches for new product content every day.

Bloggers searching for material can come across your product on any platform that does not have a hidden section for companies involved in promotions.

If you are trying to market a physical startup, these websites are for you:

  • Influenster.com
  • Tomoson.com
  • GiveAwayService.com
  • Vipon.com

I bet you’re thinking this tip is not exactly new.

In fact, Brian Dean at Backlinko wrote about testimonial links in one of his first blog posts.

Although this tip is still valuable, it does get misused a lot.

Instead of looking for random services to leave a testimonial for, you need to keep in mind that your game is quality do-follow backlinks, from your niche.

Round up a list of the type of tools that you would normally use in your business, and create a resource page in which you reviews those tools.

The catch is, big-name products probably don’t need another testimonial. You’re trying to reach the companies competing with those big names.

Here’s how to find them:

One way to find competitors of well-known and well-loved tools is getting them off best-of lists or using alternativeto.net.

Another way is using the Product Hunt search and filtering for a keyword and recent results.

Since a lot of startups usually contact Product Hunt to get featured as soon as their beta is done, you should find some fresh-out-the-oven tools this way.

In this example, I started off looking for an infographic tool that has only been out for less than a year.

As it happens, genial.ly actually post testimonials including review links on their front page:

You know how to find fresh tools, now it’s a matter of creating a review and contacting the owner about how much you loved their product, even offering to leave a testimonial.

Just keep in mind: never endorse a product that doesn’t do the job or that you don’t believe in, and remember to check Trust Flow and Domain Authority.

This tip is pretty self-explanatory, entailing the creation of a designated jobs page for all your openings.

When you have an opening, make sure that you post about it on several job platforms and include an apply-on-site.

While job sites will delete listings after about a month, most of them will keep the URL.

This tip comes from Andrew Dennis at Page One Power, guest posting on Search Engine Land.

Andrew lays out ways of capitalizing on your unlinked online mentions by not only leveraging your own brand name but also that of your employees.

Whoever is associated with your brand can become a backlink brand ambassador.

If they are involved in the community, they will have exposure by means of interviews, event pages, conference speaker pages or awards sites.

Using an alert system, you can be on the lookout for unlinked mentions of your staff, reach out to the author of the page and ask for a link to your website.

In order to apply this strategy, all you need is:

  • For your employees to be on board with the strategy and agree on promoting the brand;
  • A personal page for every key employee hosted on your domain;
  • A tool like Google Alerts that lets you know every time someone writes about an important member of your team.

This strategy relies on pinpointing popular articles in your niche and creating an infographic based on them.

First popularized by Brian Dean, it underlines how the only thing you need for quality do-follow backlinks is to use someone else’s.

Using a link exploration tool to find links to popular content, you email contnt creators and ask if they want to take a look at your infographic.

However, the success of the infographic skyscraper method is based on the value that you add to the posts.

That’s also a good takeaway for this technique.

Add helpful metrics from separate sources to the original data to have your piece stand out, then pitch away.

Working on the previous strategy, supporting content has good odds of getting links.

A supporting resource works on two levels, as you can use it to pitch the author of the original piece, as well as reach out to all the bloggers linking to the post.

A supporting asset is anything from a spreadsheet to a visual explanation of the author’s point, or a tool that does what the post was supposed to do.

After developing the resource, ask the author for a link, and contact anyone linking to the first post for inclusion on their pages.

Influencer platforms don’t just garner reviews, they’re also an overlooked source of backlinks.

Influencers are looking to get paid promoting products, and tech or gadget bloggers are looking for new products to talk about.

If your product doesn’t meet the criteria for inclusion on traditional influencer sites, worry not.

While most influencer marketing platforms usually only cater to companies trying to hire influencers for promotion, there are some websites out there that allow you to display your products.

That is where bloggers come in.

If you’re a tech blogger and you don’t work at Product Hunt, you’re not getting 200 pitches for new product content every day.

Bloggers searching for material can come across your product on any platform that does not have a hidden section for companies involved in promotions.

If you are trying to market a physical startup, these websites are for you:

  • Influenster.com
  • Tomoson.com
  • GiveAwayService.com
  • Vipon.com

That’s it for my list of underused do-follow backlink strategies, but I’m sure there are more strategies out there that have been proven successful. Check back for an updated list, about every few months or so.



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