Here’s the brutal truth about link building:
There are WAY too many people in internet marketing today that think “great content” is enough.
They say, “if I publish great stuff, people will naturally link to me”.
If only it were that easy…
If you’re serious about generating high quality links, you need to be verysystematic with how you create and promote your content.
Otherwise you’re taking the “cooked spaghetti approach”: throwing a bunch of stuff against a wall and hoping something sticks.
Well today I’m going to show you a technique that almost guaranteesthat you get high quality links from every piece of content that you publish.
Get More Traffic This Month: Get access to a free downloadable PDF checklist that will show you how to get higher rankings with The Skyscraper Technique.
Keep reading to learn how…
The Skyscraper Technique: (Content Marketing for Link Builders)
On April 18th I published Google’s 200 Ranking Factors: The Complete List.
After executing “The Skyscraper Technique“, the number ofbacklinks to that page shot up like a rocket:
More importantly, organic search traffic to my entire site — not just that post — doubled in just 14 days:
As a nice bonus, that single post has driven more than 300,000referral visitors to my site so far.
The best part?
You can do the same thing for your site…even if you don’t have a Fortune 500 marketing budget or connections with influential bloggers.
The 3-Steps to Using “The Skyscraper Technique” To Get Quality Links and Targeted Traffic
There are 3 steps to The Skyscraper Technique.
And I go over all of them in this short-and-sweet video:
Like I mentioned in the video above, here are the 3-steps that make up The Skyscraper Technique:
Step 1: Find link-worthy content
Step 2: Make something even better
Step 3: Reach out to the right people
Here’s why this technique works so well (and what it has to do with a skyscraper):
Have you ever walked by a really tall building and said to yourself:
“Wow, that’s amazing! I wonder how big the 8th tallest building in the world is.”
Of course not.
It’s human nature to be attracted to the best.
And what you’re doing here is finding the tallest “skyscraper” in your space…and slapping 20 stories to the top of it.
All of a sudden YOU have the content that everyone wants to talk about (and link to).
Now: The Skyscraper Technique is just one of many strategies that I use to land first page Google rankings. I reveal the others in my premium business training course, SEO That Works.
Step #1: Find Proven Linkable Assets
A linkable asset is the foundation of any successful link-focused content marketing campaign (including this one).
I’m not sure who coined the phrase “Linkable Asset”, but it’s the perfectdescription of what you want to create: a high-value page that you can leverage for links over and over again.
Keep in mind that linkable asset is not “12 Things Spider Man Taught Me About Social Media Marketing” link bait nonsense.
It’s content so awesome, so incredible, and so useful that people can’t help but login to their WordPress dashboard and add a link to your site.
But how do you know if your linkable asset is going to be a huge success…or a total flop?
That’s easy: find content that’s already generated a ton of links.
Ahrefs Top Pages
One of the fastest ways to find content with a track record of attracting quality links is to use Ahrefs.
1. First, find a site that tends to generate tons of links from their content. Put their site into Ahrefs:
2. Click on the “Top Pages” button:
3. And look for content with at least 25 root domains:
BuzzSumo is an awesome site that can help you find heavily shared content in your niche.
1. First, enter a keyword related to your niche:
2. Choose “Past Year”:
3. And you’ll have a solid list of proven, highly-shared pieces content:
Another strategy is to look for articles that already rank for competitive keywords.
If they’re ranking for tough terms then they probably have a lot of links pointing at them:
Just pop each of these into your link analysis tool of choice and see which ones have links from at least 25 referring domains.
In my case, I stumbled upon a few people that had tried (and failed) to compile all of Google’s 200 ranking factors.
These articles earned hundreds of high quality links…even though they fell short of the 200 mark.
For example, here’s the link profile for the page that was ranking #1 for “Google Ranking Factors”:
When I saw that articles that didn’t even list all 200 ranking factors generated links like this, I realized I that had a golden opportunity sitting in my lap.
Which brings us to step 2…
Step #2: Make Something Even Better
Your next step is to take what’s out there and blow it out of the water.
Here’s how you can take existing content to the next level:
Make It Longer
In some cases, publishing an article that’s simply longer or includes more items
will do the trick.
If you find a link magnet with a title like “50 Healthy Snack Ideas”, publish a list of 150 (or even 500).
In my case, I decided to list all 200 ranking factors…or die trying.
The first 50 were a breeze. 50-100 were really hard. 100-150 were really,really hard. And 150-200 were damn near impossible.
It took 10 gallons of coffee and 20-hours of sitting in front of my laptop (don’t worry, I took bathroom breaks)…
…but in the end, I had something that was clearly better than anything else out there.
If you can take an out of date piece of content and spruce it up, you’ve got yourself a winner.
For example, most of the other ranking factor lists were sorely outdated and lacked important ranking factors, like social signals:
If you find something with old information, create something that covers many of the same points…but update it with cutting-edge content.
Sometimes, a visually stunning piece of content can generate a lot more links and social shares than something similar on an ugly page.
Just check out Help Scout’s Customer Acquisition Strategies for Entrepreneurs:
This guide is a curated list of links to other internet marketing sites.
And the page has generated a lot of buzz because it’s beautifully designed.
For my guide, I added a nice banner at the top:
Most lists posts are just a bland list of bullet points without any meaty content that people can actually use.
But if you add a bit of depth for each item on your list, you have yourself a list post that’s MUCH more valuable.
In my case I noticed that the other ranking factor lists lacked references and detail:
So I made sure each and every point on my list had a brief description (with a reference):
Important Note: I recommend that you beat the existing content on every level: length, design, current information etc.
This will make it objectively clear that YOU have the better piece of content.
Which is really important when you start getting the word out…
Step #3: Reach Out to The Right People
Email outreach is the linchpin of the Skyscraper Technique.
It’s similar to straight up link begging, but with a VERY important twist.
Instead of emailing random people, you’re reaching out to site owners that have already linked out to similar content.
When you qualify prospects like this, you know that:
1. They run a site in your niche.
2. They’re interested in your topic.
3. They’ve already linked to an article on that topic.
Now it’s just a matter of giving them a friendly heads up about your clearly superior content.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Use ahrefs.com to export all of the links pointing to your competitor’s content into a spreadsheet. Tools like Majestic SEO and Open Site Explorer will also work.
2. Weed out referring pages that don’t make sense to contact (forums, article directories etc.). In my case, after cleaning up the list, I had 160very solid prospects to reach out to.
3. I emailed all 160 of them using this template:
Even I was shocked at the overwhelmingly positive response:
Out of 160 emails I landed 17 links: an 11% success rate.
Considering that these were cold emails that asked for a link in the first email, an 11% success rate is pretty amazing.
You may be thinking, “17 links, that’s it?”.
But remember it’s about quality, not quantity.
There were a lot of gems in that group of 17 links, including a link from a DMOZ listed site on a PR5 page.
Besides, just look at the meteoric rise in organic traffic that those 17 links got me (in a very short time period, no less).
Obviously there were a few links to that page that came organically, but some of the best were from The Skyscraper Technique.
Now You Try It
I hope you can see the potential of The Skyscraper Technique for your site and your business.
Yes, it takes hard work to create something great.
But with this strategy you already know ahead of time that your hard work is going to pay off (unlike pumping out reams of content hoping that something goes viral).
Ready to get started?
Click the link below and enter your email to get access to the PDF Skyscraper Technique checklist.
2. Prepare your Post
3. Share on Social Media
4. Email your Subscribers
6. Submit to Social Bookmarking Sites & Directories
8. Use JustReTweet
9. Post on Related Forums and Groups
10. Comment on related Blog Posts
11. Post on Q&A Sites
13. Reverse Engineer your Competition
14. Pay for Promotion
15. Deep-Link to the Content from Older Posts
16. Submit to Link Roundups
17. Repurpose Your Content
Repurposing your content can be one of the most powerful ways to increasing the number of views your content is getting. This is something I am working on myself and working hard to systemize and make as streamlined as possible. I might do a guide on it in the future, but basically I want to be able to turn a blog post quickly into a video, then have my team edit it and distribute it across all the below sources.
Turn into Slide Deck
The first step is to break down your post into a slide deck. This is generally pretty easy, have a different slide for each subheading or list point, however your post is structured. Add in your images and related links. A good ideas is to create a branded template that you can just plugin all of your posts to make this process smoother.
Once you have made your slide presentation, submit it to the below sites:
Turn into Video
You can then take your slide deck, and use it to record a video. Draft up a script, then voice over it while reading your slides. You will want to make sure you have a good microphone before doing this as quality audio can make all the difference. Here is a link to the one I use.
If you don’t want to record the video yourself, you can write up a script and have someone from Elance read it for you.
If you want some more inspiration on making videos, check out this post: How to Make a Startup Explainer Video on a Budget.
Once your video is made, upload it to the following video sites:
Click here for a full list of video sites
Turn into Podcast
Strip the audio out of the video, and upload the .mp3 to the following podcast directories:
Turn into PDF
Once your post is turned into a PDF you can distribute it to the below sites for a bunch of extra views:
Scribd – PR8
Slideshare – PR8
Issuu – PR8
Mediafire – PR7
DocStoc – PR6
4shared – PR6
Author Stream – PR6
Esnips – PR6
Slideboom – PR6
Rapidshare – PR6
Calameo – PR5
Edocr – PR5
Slidesix – PR5
WePapers – PR5
MyPlick – PR5
HotFile – PR5
Easy Share – PR4
PDF Cast – PR4
Turn into Infographic
There are a few sites out there that you can use to turn your posts into infographics, then submit to infographic directories. This can be a little more work but well worth it if you have already spent lots of time researching and writing the content.
Many blogs do a daily or weekly link round up where they post their favorite links from around the web.
Getting featured on a link round up is great, it will bring you traffic and backlinks.
The best way to manufacture a link on a link roundup is to manually submit your content directly to the blogger. To find bloggers who are posting in your niche, try some of these searches:
Link roundup + “fitness” / “niche world”
Daily link roundup
Weekly link roundup
“Monday link roundup” (Replace Monday with any day of the week)
If you’ve been blogging for a while you probably have a few older posts that get consistent traffic. Go back and try to find the most relevant/high traffic posts and work in a link to your new piece of content. Google likes this and it generates more traffic.
You can also find related post plugins on WordPress and most other blogging platforms. These are great for interlinking between posts on your site and driving traffic from your old content to your new stuff.
If you are aggressively working to build a blog and audience, you can consider paying to promote your content.
Before promoting on any of the above channels you should do significant research as to which ones are the best fit for your audience and how the mechanics of each network work.
The links above do not take you directly to the advertising pages; they take you to guides to learn how to advertise on these platforms. Start with one, start slow, track your results, watch your spend! But most importantly, learn (or pay someone who has already learned).
Do a search on Topsy or Google and find where your competition is getting their backlinks for their most popular posts. Their top backlinks are also likely generating the most amount of traffic to their page.
To find the backlinks, use a tool such as Open Site Explorer or SEO Spy Glass. Look for backlinks from other blogs and social bookmarking sites. Then submit your content to the same sources, either via a submission link or by reaching out to the blogger/author as we talk about in the blogger outreach section above.
You can also reverse engineer who shared your competitor’s blog posts. Use a tool like Topsy to do a search on popular posts by your competitors and see who shared them, chances are they will share similar content. Contact them using the outreach strategies below to have them share your content
Scoop.it is a service that allows people to curate their own private lists of content from around the web. Other people can then follow these lists and read the suggestions of their owners. Scoop.it has many big lists in every niche.
To promote your content on Scoop.it, you will want to submit it to the top 25-50 lists in your niche. If the owner approves the article it will be published for all the followers to see and can generate a flood of traffic. Remember, your content needs to be epic and relevant to be approved for sites like this.
Search the major Q&A sites below for posts related to your content and post responses in the answers when appropriate.
Read this for more info on Quora marketing:
The Nearly Ultimate Quora Guide to Driving Traffic to Your Blog
Posting on relevant high-traffic blogs can bring in a bit of traffic. While it won’t be anything monstrous, it can bring a steady stream of a few thousand visits a month if done well. If you want to really generate traffic from blog commenting, you will need to be the first commenter. To do that you can use a tool like Mention to watch for new posts in your on high traffic blogs, then quickly jump on to reply.
I don’t do this at the moment. Generally, what I do is after I publish a post, I search 2-5 variations of my post title. For example, on my post “Why I Moved from Dropbox to Google Drive” I did a search for “Dropbox vs Google Drive”, “Google Drive Review” and “Dropbox Review”.
I then searched just the first and second page of Google for articles that allowed comments, posted a quick response to the article and included my link. Don’t bother going past could of pages as 90% of people don’t visit the second page of Google. Sometimes your comment won’t get approved, but if your content is EPIC and RELEVANT you should get approved, no problems.
If you don’t feel comfortable posting the URL to your post in the comment, most comment systems allow you to include a link to your website that will be attached to your user name. Here you can include a link to your content, although it will probably get a lower click through rate.
Finding forums in your niche and contributing to them can be a great way to drive traffic – just be careful not to spam!
Respond to threads that ask questions about the topic of your post with a short summary and a link back, you can also post new threads in relevant sections of the forum. Posting your content in forums is generally fine as long as it’s relevant and useful. If they think you are spamming you will probably be banned, so tread with caution. There are plenty of people who generate thousands of visits a month from forum marketing, so it’s definitely worth testing.
Some forums also allow you to link to your website in your signature. These forums are great as every one of your responses will have a short pitch and a link to your site.
How to find forums:
Below is a video explaining forum marketing in more detail.
There are groups on all topics on many platforms. Find groups related to your content and post a link back to your content.
JustReTweet is a kind of Twitter exchange, where you can earn credit re-tweeting other peoples posts and use that credit for others to retweet your posts. This is a great way to get some early re-tweets and social proof for your post.
This is a very easy task to outsource to a VA as part of their daily tasks to earn you credit.
Check out the below video to see how JustRetweet works: