Link Building Strategies – The Content Marketing Angle

If you have been online for some time, I am sure you will agree that creating great content is no longer enough.

Almost everyone seems to be able to churn out high quality content these days, so the battle has clearly shifted from writing great content, to finding high influencers and placing your content before them – and getting them in turn to place your content before their audiences.

Some of the benefits I have recorded as a result of content marketing include brand recognition and followership, increased social media reach, and relationships with top influencers across interfacing niches.

But for you to profit in the long run from your content efforts, you need effective link building strategies to ensure your content ranks for choose keywords and refer natural traffic in the long run. You need content that will rank in the search engines and supply you with a stream of traffic over time.

If you can get ten opinion leaders to link to your content, what effect do you think that would have on the link potential of that content?

If your answer is ecstatic, then you are close to the correct figure. ;)

It is sad that a lot of bloggers create great content and rely on chance for it to get seen by influencers.

link building strategies

No More! That is soooo old school.

This post will give you some tips on fun activities you can engage in to tilt your great post towards link magnetism.

Identifying Linkers in Your Niche

People link to great content, but before they can decide whether to link or share your post, they have to first know it exists.

That is where you come in again.

I have discovered a fun way to locate linkers (bloggers who freely link out to others) in your niche who owns a Google+ account.

Start with searching for a post in your niche that has received a high volume of shares on Google plus. (Using the search query “Post URL” + “site:”) excluding the quotation marks.

Google Plus Share

Extract the profile links of all the results you get, ranking them in the order of their ranking and contact the linkers.

Once you have completed extracting potential linkers from the search results, track their contact details from their websites. Alternatively, if the prospective linker has encircled you on Google plus, his email will be visible on his Google plus profile and you can send a mail just by clicking a send email button just below the list of people who have him in circles.

Join the Discussion

People talk about issues that are important to them.

When you inject yourself into online discussions, you are well positioned to promote your content to people who are already seeking for the answers.

Q&A sites like Quora as well as blogs and forums are a good starting point in implementing this idea.

The trick is to make a valuable addition to the discussion and reference your post that provides detailed solution to the problem. Your link should be seen as a resource and not as an intrusion. That way, you will garner a high CTR and earn a natural flow of new readership.

Also, those who read and are inspired by both your comment and full post may be influenced by your thoughts into voicing an opinion.

Do you think they would want to give you a link?

Most likely!

Ride on Your Social Sharing Successes

Google, and in fact most major search engines now use social signals to validate the ranking their algorithm suggests for your content.

Their logic is impeccable: If your content is good, then people would want to share it with their friends. If people are not sharing your content, there must be a good reason why!

Dedicate specific time periods to ensure that you position your blog/site for social sharing.

To begin with, how visible are the social sharing buttons on your blog?

Consider placing social buttons in clear view just below your headline and also at the close of your post.

That way, people who connect with your headline share your post even before reading the post, while the more careful readers would not have to scroll all the way back to the top of the post in search of sharing buttons after reading the post.

As I pointed out earlier, high social shares can greatly increase the chances of ranking your content in the search engines.

Having communicated the importance of social proof to the search engines, I must say that humans are even more wowed.  Have you noticed how posts with high social shares tend to easily get backlinks?

The more shares your post receives, the easier it will be to convince someone to link to you.

Self Awarded Links through Content Marketing

Of all my building strategies, this happens to be my favorite.

It is easy to see why: I get to choose exactly where and with which anchor text my link is placed.

I am generous in describing places I link to from my content, and that generosity has been to my benefit when I write contents like guest posts, newsletters, slide presentations, ebooks and press releases.

Links placed within the first three paragraphs have a higher click through rate so it is better to place links early in your content to encourage readers to click before they get overwhelmed in the details.

It also helps if you use anchor text that describes the content you are linking to, instead of just hyper linking just the keyword you want to rank for.

Contact People Who Have Linked to You in the Past

This is a very efficient way to gain traction and links to your great content.  If someone has considered your post link-worthy in the past, chances are the person will still hold your views in high regard.

How do you discover those who are linking to you? I use to uncover top domains linking to me and list them in a spreadsheet document by their level of authority. Write emails for each authority level with the highly personalized emails  for top ranking domains and the more generic emails for lower segments.

Once your list has been properly segmented and your emails done, start contacting your link prospects to let them know of the great resource they can share with their audience.

If you liked this post, you can subscribe to my feed and follow me on Twitter @yeremiakpan.

I also offer content marketing services, so feel free to hire me here.

About Yeremi Akpan

Yeremi Akpan is the founder of Pro Blogger Tips. Connect with him on Twitter, Google Plus and Facebook. You can also hire him to provide content marketing services for your business.


  1. Shamelle says:

    With the Panda and Penguin update the link building playing field has changed significantly. What worked about 1 year ago is not effective anymore. In fact, some methods might even get the site de-indexed in google!
    These are good tips. What’s important is to not have sudden spikes of link building, and vary the anchor text when getting these links.
    Shamelle recently posted..How To Promote Your Blog With Word Of Mouth MarketingMy Profile

    • Yeremi Akpan says:

      Quite true, Shammelle,
      The link building landscape has changed drastically as it would continue to change.

      What would however remain in the final analysis is that value editorial links (READ in content anchor text laden links) has, until the currency of value online shifts from backlinks to something else, a prospect I don’t see coming anytime soon.

      Thanks for the insight!

  2. I will join u community to increase my knowledge .

  3. Julia Reed says:

    Hi dear all,
    I totally agree with you that Content Is King only when influential people can find it. Bloggers cannot create brilliant content and bury it in their blogs, waiting for miracles.
    Thank you very much indeed for sharing your ideas on link building strategies. The idea on how to identify top linkers in your niche is awesome. I am going to try it out.
    Kindest regards,
    Julia Reed recently posted..Preposition Sentence Examples, Tips and ExplanationsMy Profile

  4. Hmmmm, well said Akpan.
    Link building is truely a big way to rank a blog and also build more traffic, although i have not been serious about it but i think its the next thing i should focus on right now.

    Another great post i will recommend on link building is Pat Flynn’s Backlinking Strategy.


    BTW: Happy Independent.
    Theodore Nwangene recently posted..Dot com or dot net, which is the best domain name to choose?My Profile

  5. Wayne Melton says:

    Nice post. I happen to love your email optin form on the sidebar. Is this custom built or something aweber has as a stock form. New to this and have not tried emailing influencers as you suggest. Will give it a try.

    Wayne Melton
    Wayne Melton recently posted..5 HR Audit Tips For Women EntrepreneursMy Profile

  6. Adrienne says:

    Well I just learned something new today Yeremi! Love hearing how you search out content and get yourself out in front of more people.

    I just might have to give this one a go myself. I’ve been to forums and different groups only to be very disappointed in their content. Oh yeah, what are these people thinking?

    You know me, the relationship marketing girl over here. I think it’s about sharing your views but not overly exerting yourself on anyone. Always make them look good first and they will definitely want to pay more attention to you after that.

    Great suggestion Yeremi and I’m writing this one down.

    Adrienne recently posted..Give Me 5 Minutes And I Will Make You A Better BloggerMy Profile

  7. Awesome post packed with some great tips, the SEO game is just becoming more and more competitive and it’s figuring how to get the edge on your competition thats the tough bit! link diversity is also becoming more important as well!
    Alex @ How To Start A Blog 101 recently posted..How To Make Money From Your BlogMy Profile

  8. SI says:

    Hi Yeremi, great post, link building can be very confusing and I am one who can get confused like the rest of the people. I cannot help but think the easiest way to get links that will eventually take the work from our hands it so become a brand or a celebrity.

    Like Pat Flynn who now gets people all over the web talking about him and linking to him because of his recent TV and magazine interviews. It doesn’t happen over night but its ethical, it is out of your hands and completely natural.

    Maybe people should concentrate on creating a quality book like ‘The 4 Hour Work Week’ the authorship and notoriety of being the writer if kept in the public mind will always get links back to the author and his/her site.

    I know it sounds a bit way out but as one of the other comments said, Google updates are forever changing the playing field and a lot of effort is wasted, maybe it is time we all started to think out of the box and work on becoming the ‘go to guy’ and not the link builder slogging our guts out.

    Just an idea :-)
    SI recently posted..The Reviewing and Unboxing business models.My Profile

    • Yeremi Akpan says:

      Hi SI,
      I can’t help but agree with you. That is the point behind PR, by the way. Press releases are designed to make your business news. If you can find reasons to make your business news-worthy, then go for it!

      Following Google has turned out to be an exercise in futility. Their operations are obviously experimental, and the whole web is their lab.(By extension, we and our businesses are guinea pigs).

      Great idea, by the way. It does pay to think out of the box…
      Yeremi Akpan recently posted..Link Building Strategies – The Content Marketing AngleMy Profile

  9. Shalu Sharma says:

    I am not sure if its a good idea to do anything at the moment. I think some guest posting along with some social sharing would be the best thing to do. Some online SEO would then be the best thing to do. But to be honest, I am a little lost as to what to do as far as link and content marketing is concerned.
    I like the idea of using the search query, I will try that.
    Shalu Sharma recently posted..State of Bihar – Places of interest and tourist attractionsMy Profile

  10. Chris says:

    Hi Yeremi, thanks for your tip about ‘linkers’. I didn’t think about it. And as you wrote – today we must not only create great content, but also promote it and engage with others.
    Once more thanks for sharing,
    Chris recently posted..7 Things You Should Avoid in Your Posts and ArticlesMy Profile

    • Yeremi Akpan says:

      The pleasure is all mine, Chris!

      Content marketing is not so much about creating content, as it is about positioning it.
      Yeremi Akpan recently posted..Link Building Strategies – The Content Marketing AngleMy Profile

      • I like the point you’ve made: “Content marketing is not so much about creating content, as it is about positioning it.”

        Marketing your content shouldn’t be seen as a Google thing. Google should always be a by product of a great marketing strategy. Any strategy that focuses on Google is only a tactic (and a bad one at that). The important thing is getting influencers to acknowledge your great content and get you the audience you need. Treat Google as just one of those influencers.

        So while Google is too big an entity to be totally ignored, it is poor marketing to focus on just one entity (especially one that you do NOT control and one that seems to be intent on turning hardworking webmasters to their guinea pigs).

        Treat top bloggers in your niche as other influencers. What would be the effect of having someone like Seth Godin or Brian Clarke fall in love with your content?

        But what if you can’t reach out to people that high up the ladder? How about reaching out to influencers with smaller circles (and fewer requests). How about building relationships with 50 of such people? Which do you think would give you a more solid business in 3 years’ time — Being one of Brian Clarke’s many proteges and being a close friend to 50 bloggers who have an average list size of 5,000 subscribers each?

        Brian Clarke might have over 170k subscribers but he also gets too many emails per day (All trying to get his attention and most of them with top quality content). But while the whole world runs after him, I’d rather spend the same time cultivating a DEEP relationship with 50 bloggers who aren’t so high up now but show promise. Think about this…

        Where would Yeremi be in 3 years (Considering the rate at which he’s growing his blog now and the value he delivers)? I won’t be surprised if he has 50K subscribers within that period. Wouldn’t it be easier to get his attention now and nurture a relationship that isn’t just about what I can get from him? Would he easily forget those who built a relationship with him in the early days?

        Every popular person (blogger or NOT) knows that most people who come over to them in the spotlight are really NOT interested in them but what they can grab — This “knowing” makes them less open to committing to your success at a deeper level. Check most of these people: They don’t joke with those who had a deep relationship with them before they hit it big. Let’s understand that the internet has NOT changed the basics of human behavior and response.

        My point is that we can (and should) reach out to anyone who has a sizeable audience and is facing the right direction. Apart from the fact that you stand a better chance of building a solid relationship with such a person (with the immediate benefits), you are also building for the future and also helping them get to that future a little faster.

  11. Lorie says:

    Nice post. My favorite tool to use is joining in on discussions. Especially since you can really position yourself as an expert in your niche while building relationships.
    Lorie recently posted..Zap! Shows Made Famous by the Technologies They UsedMy Profile

  12. Felicia says:

    Hi Yeremi,
    These days, if we write great content, the best and possible way of it gaining an audience is through social media. This is why it is very important that you grow your social media network so that you can at least get a good amount of traffic, and potentially get more traffic from them if they share it. Content is basically nothing if there’s no one to read it. Nevertheless, the link building strategies you’ve shared can be a blessing for those who are deprived of good traffic these days thanks to them Google updates.
    Felicia recently posted..Ilari Sahamies Won $2.2 Million Last WeekMy Profile

    • Yeremi Akpan says:

      Hi Felicia,
      I could not agree more! Having an audience that listens to you validates the time you spend in writing. I have repeatedly stated that there is just no point spending time writing blog posts no one reads.

      Any time spent growing your audience cannot be time wasted.

      Write great content, but blogging does not stop there. Positioning your content for higher visibility is as important a task as the time spent writing it.
      Yeremi Akpan recently posted..If You Had to Start Over Online, What Would You Do Differently?My Profile

  13. Incredible strategies. I seriously have most of your posts bookmarked and this is my favorite SEO blog now!

  14. Sarvesh says:

    Well i believe the link building strategy is most important part for every blog as its considers as main thing which can improve our ranking and quality among the search engines. However the quality of the content matter a lot but i will after the best ranking in serps.


    • Yeremi Akpan says:

      Hi Sarvesh,
      Thanks for stopping by.

      Quite true, content any day over SEO! To do content marketing, you need content in the first place. Giving attention to link building when you do not have a good content to link to, you would be building on a faulty foundation.

  15. Vivek says:

    Great link building strategy. Joining the discussion is very nice. And if you can present something unique or different, then you will surely get lots of attention.
    Vivek recently posted..Guest Blogging : Should You Create Free Content For Others ?My Profile

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