The Art of Linkbaiting

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Ever found it hard to get other bloggers to link to a new blog? Sure you have, it’s not easy sometimes. Even established blogs need to expand their traffic and influence on a regular basis, and linkbaiting is one way to do it. It’s not without potential perils, but the time honored tradition of being contrary, in order to get attention is well proved, and done right, it’s a killer way to break into a new area. There are also safer ways of linkbaitng, they’re just less fun 🙂

In order to bait a link, you need a hook. Hooks come in variety of flavors, some of the more popular would include:

  • News hook
  • Contrary Hook
  • Attack Hook
  • Resource Hook
  • Humour Hook

There are others, but you see the point. There are two main types of hook in there, the nice hook, and the nasty hook. I’d say in most cases you can get away with a contrarian viewpoint, but not an attack. No one likes an arsehole, so there’s no real benefit, as sure you may get a ton of links from outraged blog peers, but they’ll likely ignore anything else you write.

Saying that though, it’s a judgement call. I’ve often slammed someone on a blog, but you need to be able to judge it very well. Go just a little too far, and you’ll do more harm than good.

The easiest, and safest is the nice hook. And when i say easy, i mean it. Have a look at some examples of each type of hook i’ve listed:

Resource Hook

  • A comprehensive list of blogs in your niche – link out, and links will come in, i promise.
  • A practical/useful or even fun tool related to your niche
  • A How To based on your niche
  • A compilation of news stories on a theme. Sprinkle a little analysis in there, and you’re good to go.

News Hook

  • A genuine Scoop. Get to the news first
  • A compilation of news, as above, its a resource aswell as a news hook.
  • Expose a story for a fraud, or to be flawed. You really have to know your subject to do that, but links flow like water if you can debunk a popular meme

Contrary Hook

  • Be the only one in your niche to find something to not like about a story, or like about a story/product.
  • On the same theme, post “Why <insert prominent blogger name here> is WRONG about…”

Attack Hook

This works much the same as the contrary hook, you just get to be much, much ruder. It’s a tough one, because just posting about such a thing could land me in hot water. But then im not here to play nice, i’m here to talk about gaining traffic, and whilst an attack hook is 99/100 NOT the way to go, sometimes it’s absolutely killer, and can gain you credibility and reputation overnight.

Really though, careful with that one. It can just as easily go the wrong way.

Humor Hook

These kinds of hooks are just too easy.

  • Search flickr, or photoshop a bizzare pic of your subject
  • Post “10 thing i hate about…”
  • Post “You know you’re a <insert here> when…”

Funny thing is, those things always get links, it’s like people never seem to tire of them.

Give and thou wilt receive…

All of the above is utterly useless without being seen by your peers though. Link to them in your post, then click those links if you have absolutely no traffic. You need to get their initial attention.

Send emails, post to delicious, myweb2 etc – just make sure that at least one prominent blogger in your niche reads and links to you and the rest will follow.

Now, what i want to hear is this: What other types of link bait do you use?

Author: nickw

112 thoughts on “The Art of Linkbaiting

  1. Amongst other sites and blogs, I have a political blog that is ranked number one for several highly competitive search terms. Obviously, I have found that controversy is very effective. It also helps to have a MUST READ headline and to bookmark it at all of the popular social networking sites (Digg, delicious, facebook, etc.).

  2. Even though you have a valid point I am afraid that I must disagree. you have got to give them something for nothing then they will keep coming back.

    Hose Reels

  3. I think that I shall try to at least impliment two of these techniques, because they are what I am best at. Thanks for the heads up on how to bait linking better than I have been doing. I have no clue how I could have missed doing these things before reading this.

  4. OK. This is officially my Link Bait “Hook” guide and reference when defining all the different link bait hooks that can be used. Great article. Right to the point and really makes sense the way things are worded. Thank.

  5. Everything you do with the intention “Just want more Links” wont realy help you! Try to focus on what you can give to people (how you can serve!). It will all come back to you, and it will not be “work” but you will enjoy it too!

  6. Here is one that has worked well for me in the past.

    On some social networks such as ning, or on other forums you could actually live without post a “Just Wanted To Say Goodbye To All My Friends Here” message.

    Then in the body copy go into the fact that your blog and or websites are just keeping you wayyyy too busy to be able to post here much longer.

    Fact is if you promote any particular business ops you can claim your affiliates/downlines just require your mentoring that you need to focus on.

    Now here’s the thing, you can drag this out as long as you get life out of it.

    And of course continue to link to your site with updates letting others know how busy you are.

    What happens is jealous people start making derogatory remarks to your post. tee hee. They are too stupid to know they are giving you all the more exposure.

    I did this a while ago at a ning forum I really was going to leave. My thread was the busiest thread for an entire month! 50% loved me and the rest hated me. LOL

    But like I said I just kept leading them on and the negative comments kept my thread up at the top.

    Plus I signed up numerous people to my business op just from that one forum post.
    It was hilarious. Eventually the owner banned me for dissing their business op and obviously taking customers from them, but hey people liked me better.

    Well, I just kind of dreamed that one up on the spur of the moment but it did work well for me.

    InterNet Work
    P.S. Goodbye to all my friends! LOL

  7. This is very true for the humor links. Try out mine and you’ll see what I’m talking about ! Well, dude, if you want more traffic, I can send you one or two people if you agree to let me add your awesome blog to my nearly-famous site !

  8. Attacking Google seems to be a good way of linkbaiting. For instance I have questioned Googles banning of a particular ads for gas saving devices when they leave other less savoury ones alone. Big oil money talks maybe?

  9. In a discussion sometime back, it came out that if the link bait page on a site is not relevant to the overall site then Google might penalize you for trying to doctor links to the site. May be worth noting down.

  10. I personally suffered a lot because of the google sand box theory and how to get out of it? Link baiting is the only option especially when your niche is highly competitive. Go for posting controversial articles and backing it with some logic and sure you will get the required attention…

  11. Hi Nick,

    Great post. Well Written. I have been using market updates on a subdivision level instead of a city or county level. So put in LionsGate Market conditions as the title and then include whatever the market stats are for that subdivision at the time.


    Ken Jansen REALTOR Overland Park KS

  12. It is both easy and hard to make some links with other better blogs. But my main problem is my blog is not personal story writing or discussing blog. I collect free stuff offer on the net and put them on my blog. So it is not easy to make people discuss about the free stuffs. I have to find some other way to attract people.

  13. Great article. Nicely written and the comments left are really useful as well. That’s always the sign of a good article.

    I especially like the comment above about putting your face on a business card so that people can remember you. Clever.


  14. Thanks for the info. I’m going to utilize some of this information. I’ve just created my blog and I’m at a loss right now which direction I’m going. Unfortunately, I have a lot to say about so many issues, but I know I need a focus–in order to create material that will eventually find a comfy niche in the blogosphere.

    For now, though, I’m going to bookmark your site and read it up.

    Sofa King Smart blog

  15. Hi Nick,

    I love the repackaging of hypercontent into linkbait and you seem very good at it so I submitted a few of your ideas at LinkBaitWorld, my startup site, and I have added’s feed to Port80 SEO News.


  16. I find an excellent way to linkbait is to write a really good authoritative article on a particular subject within your niche, eg I wrote an article on a particular fish called a tigerfish found in Africa on my website about Safari Holidays in Africa and not only did I find that many websites and blogs started to link to it, but someone also added a link to the article on wikipedia and I was on the front page of Digg for a day – someone wrote an article about a “scary monster fish in Africa!” in their blog and linked it to the photos on my site!

  17. Hello,

    Thanks for this incredible head up. Strong ideas and strategies no doubt. Someone on a popular recommended this resource and I am not disappointed.

    I guess, I will have to go back ‘home’ to implement few ideas to my weight loss, skin care and affiliate marketing stories blogs. Another reason I really like this resource is the fact I was recently thinking if link exchange websites like linkMetro and LinkMarket are advisable.

    I hope someone will say something about this.


  18. Great info. I’ve found the “News Hook” approach probably to be the most effective. I run an autism site and have the majority of my traffic come from people looking for the latest news and stories relating to that particular subject. Thanks.

  19. They are really nice and so dinky people can fit them in the smallest of wallets or purses. Some people have some done with their own face on so people at networking or business meetings remember you more easily. I just have a variety of what I think are striking images. Everyone comments on them and they are pretty cheap if you don’t end up using them. Back on topic, this 10 free offer was *excellent* link bait on the part of the company!

  20. What a great idea! I ordered a 100 to see what it’s like. I did 50 photos, 2 of each. When giving out cards, I’ll spread them out and let the recipient pick which one they like the best. Adds a personal flair to the exchange process.

    I value great finds! It’s a little costly for 100 tiny cards, but the uniqueness of each is what gives it merit.

    I’ll report back on what the overall reception is. Thanks again!

  21. Good point, I use Flickr cards from moo – first 10 are free!

    moo cards

    On the front you choose a design from your flickr pictures and on the back you can have whatever text you want. I have my flickr url plus my blog and email addresses. It’s nice to have a choice of design and they certainly stand out.

  22. I’ve met many bloggers face-to-face and via word of mouth as well. Having promotional cards for your site is helpful when you’re out and about.

    You’d be amazed and what you can accomplish off-line!

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