How to Influence Your Readers for Links Read On »
By Safiyyah Lanier February 17, 2010

It’s true that it takes great link building and linkbait to increase website traffic and rankings from search engines, but how you go about doing it will determine how successful you will be. A lot of folks aren’t sure if they should reciprocate links, buy links or simply earn them. Then there are some who use software to do all of the management for the link building process instead of doing it manually. What everyone should be doing is figuring out a way to win readers over and influence them in a way that will make them want to link back to your content.

Get People Interested

People aren’t just going to link to your website because you want them to — you’re going to have offer them something in return…valuable content. When creating your content, you will need to focus on writing about something that is interesting and/or of great use to your readers. Your readers must gain something from linking back to your site — this could be that you bought or traded something in exchange for a link. Or it could be that you offered content that was valuable enough for them to want to share it with their own readers. If you will be contacting site owners about a link, you will need to have in mind what it is that you have to offer them in return. If the only benefit you have in mind is for your own site, then you’re better off not making that request at all.

Make Your Readers Feel Important

This doesn’t mean you have to kiss the butts of your readers, but you should offer compliments and make them feel worth-while. You can do this by offering positive comments on a certain article or resource from someone’s site — afterward you can politely request for a link from the individual and have a higher chance of being rewarded. When a site owner sees a post about their website and/or content, it shows that you’ve spent enough time on their website to know that they area good match and it will make them feel important.

Use Names When Relevant

Once you have a specific site owner in mind, get to know the individual before addressing them. If you can get their name or pseudonym, you can use that within your post. This is like pointing a spotlight at the intended target, which they may enjoy. Everyone likes exposure. To find the names of the site owners, you can just search around their website for contact information of the editor. Most of the time, you will find their name within the email (julia.burns@website.com), if not, you may have to email them to obtain that information.

Approach Your Posts with Your Readers’ Perspective

Since you are asking your readers to go out of their way to link to your site, you will need to try to see things in their perspective. Before creating or sending out a link request, you will need to keep in mind the perspective of the reader, so put yourself in their shoes. If someone came to you asking for a link, would you jump right to it and accept the request? On the other end, if the requester took the time to look over your site and politely and personally contacted you about an article post that you could really share with your readers, you’d probably be more willing. With that in mind, you can begin crafting your request for a link from a site owner and probably be successful.

Building Relationships

While you’re steady link building, the real process at hand involves building relationships. This is sometimes automatically done when linking up with other sites in your category. Other times you’ll need to work at building these relationships. Linking is a whole lot like endorsing. By linking a site on your web page, it’s like telling a friend about a shop, service or product that you’ve recently used and liked. Now, this doesn’t mean that you should make requests by sending out dozens of emails to random folks about your site. This is like going to a party and giving flyers to any old body and asking them to tell all of their friends to buy your product or service. Sure, you might get one or two sales, but this isn’t the best route to go.

Your quest is to build good quality links that will eventually lead to great relationships. You can create these relationships through the use of email, blogs and discussion forums. When it’s relevant, you can make requests for links, but make sure to respect their opinions and their time once you’ve made the request. With this method, you may not see an overload of inbound links overnight, but you’ll soon see a steady flow of quality links, without all the work and hassle of just sending out emails to any and everyone.

Using Blogs to Engage with Readers

If you don’t already have one on your site, consider building a blog and using it to communicate with your readers. Posting up topics that are worth discussing will make people want to visit your site often. If any of them happen to be site owners they are more likely to link back to your content. To ensure that the right people are finding your content, make sure to implement keywords that relate to the blog post. Sometimes, it is better to create post titles that have keywords that are more likely to be punched into search engines, rather than choosing a heading that is solely based on relevance. Do your research to ensure that the keywords you have chosen are relevant and rich as well.

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