The Art of Linkbaiting

linkbait authority buildingEver 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?

Comments

  1. Emily Robbins says:

    This is a brilliant article and I’d be willing to wager far more people would be willing to link to it from their blogs if you had Trackbacks enabled..

  2. Nick Wilson says:

    Drupals trackback implementation leaves a lot to be desired unfortunately. The spam is just too much to handle Emily….

  3. Emily Robbins says:

    Ah, and therein lies one of the beauties of WordPress — with all the plugins that are out there, you practically never have to deal with spam at all

  4. Mel Altwarg says:

    good to come across a site that is full of good information. Especially as i have just waded through a lot of other sites full of ……… Thanks.

  5. I find that how-to articles are the most effective, people are ALWAYS searching for these, just check any keyword suggestion tool.

    Shawn G

  6. hoboken411 says:

    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!

  7. Chris Garrett says:

    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.

  8. hoboken411 says:

    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!

  9. Chris Garrett says:

    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!

  10. newline100 says:

    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.

  11. It was a pleasure reading your article. From my experience tools aimed at webmasters or bloggers work really well. Here is another excellent article on link baiting.

  12. 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.

    Thanks.

  13. WordPress Guru says:

    Photos are great. they are even better if you can search those right from the admin area of your blog. Use Flickrize Image Search to search images in your blog or at Flickr.

  14. I posted a free font, named Rockwell. Well, it gave me lots of traffic, and lots of haters!
    Oh well, now hellyeahdude.com is big! Real big!

  15. 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!

  16. excellent informations about th etopic linkbaiting, not only in the article, the same in the comments. thank you for this great “tut” for better linkbaits.

  17. 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 performancing.com’s feed to Port80 SEO News.

    Thanks,
    Bompa

  18. Thanks for a great post!

    I have noticed that resource lists often get a lot of traffic. For instance I have a post on my blog on 90 places to find WordPress themes and it gets a lot of traffic to this day.

  19. This is great. As a relative newbie all knowledge is especially useful. I will try to implement these ideas.

    Thanks Nick

  20. I found this information very informative, while still creating ability to brainstorm while reading. My blog is just starting to generate links, and this will help to expand the purpose. Keep up the good work………..

  21. Thanks for these tips, I will try them in my tight niche. IMO it’s very hard to find a lot of blogs for my niche at all…. not to talk about high page ranks. So, hopefully it will work.

  22. 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

  23. 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.

    Cheers
    Mike

  24. Pretty nice article!
    I’m a noob in this, and I’ll try to implement this to my blog.
    Thanx again!

  25. Thanks a lot for a fine read and a bunch of good tips. I look forward to reading more on the topic in the future.

    Keep up the good work!

  26. Great Link building tips. I’ll be sure to use this as a future resource.

  27. ooo Great lets try it

    Thanks for your tips

  28. This article is just awesome.
    i am sure it becomes a link baith :D

  29. Thanks for the tips dear. I am surely gonna use them n my link making strategy
    My site shugle.com needs links badly to improve its ranking in search results

    regards
    Shugle
    Life is not a joke

  30. This must be very good SEO today. At least for google I think.

  31. I think that building WordPress Theme must be a great way to get links fast today.

  32. 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.

  33. It sounds do easy to do, but is incredibly time consuming and damn hard. But I am going to take your tips to heart and see what happens.

    5 worst hotels in Southern Africa coming up on my blog http://www.honeymoon-africa.com ….!!

  34. 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.

    Thanks!

    Ken Jansen REALTOR Overland Park KS

  35. A very informative article, but there is always that problem of applying the information to a particular niche.

    It would be great to know what kind of linkbaiting could be used for promoting beauty salon equipment.

    Overall – very good article

  36. 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…

  37. Me and my company friends found this information very informative.
    Thanks a lot for a fine read
    yours jammer

  38. finally i’ve got relevant article about link baiting.its little confusing for me but thank you for sharing.

  39. Great article on link baiting. I will try to implement this ideas. Thank you.

  40. 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.

  41. Hi Nick,

    Very nice post! It was written in 2005 and is still very current. Building web tools and scripts are also great ways to get links.

  42. Nice article, but will it really work??? It seems to christmas

  43. Love the things u show us here

  44. Hi all,

    Yes physics works again as you can see on my website: http://www.physicsworks.ca

    If you’re looking for high quality links about physics related subjects.

    bye now

  45. it seems easy though we know its not at all

  46. nice tips traffic generating for the website

    but can you give me more detail about how to increase more traffic

    sumit
    http://www.cash4onlinejob.net

  47. usefull for beginers like me in blogging to generate traffic

    my blog is
    http://300allpctips.blogspot.com

  48. every word is like a rock to me

  49. Great, they always say there’s no such thing as bad publicity, but I don’t know about attacking another person’s blog. The internet is a vengeful place after all.

  50. Nice article mate…thanks a lot

  51. Oh.. plenty useful things.. hope they’ll help me

  52. I have just started my first blog and of cousre like most people starting i am finding it hard to get bloggers to link to me. However this article has given me some great ideas to try out.

    Many thanks

  53. Domain names are unique; when they are up for auction you can sometimes buy domain names very cheap.

  54. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article.

  55. 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?

  56. Usefull tips for generating traffic, Thanks a lot.

  57. very intersting . thanks for ideas.

  58. As a one man new blogger, how do I increase my page rankings for my site and blogs?

  59. already read your article and i think your information can improve my blog. very helpful. thanks.

  60. this realy nice article for beginers.
    thank’s

  61. Fliejoido says:

    Hi
    Webmaster I would like to exchange links with you
    email: abuse@softlayer.com

  62. Hello,

    I recently started a new blog about electronics Blu ray reviews, how would one apply this technique to a website like that?

  63. 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 !

  64. Hello,

    Thanks for sharing and I admit that get link to others site is the most hard things to do.

  65. Thanks a lot for this information

    Regards

  66. 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.

    Cheers,
    Zac
    InterNet Work Marketing.com
    P.S. Goodbye to all my friends! LOL

  67. 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!

  68. This is very informative. As a relative beginner all information is useful. I will try to implement these ideas.

    Thanks
    Oz

  69. 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. Thanks.

  70. A lot of people have been throwing around this term…this is a great flat out explanation of what it actually means.

  71. 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.

  72. 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.

  73. Thanks for the tips…heres our link baiting:

    To Make Money On Internet

  74. ?????? ?????? ????????? ????????? ? ??? ???????????!

  75. Great Link building tips. I’ll be sure to use this as a future resource.

  76. finally i’ve got relevant article about link baiting.its little confusing for me but thank you for sharing.

  77. I found this information very informative, while still creating ability to brainstorm while reading. My blog is just starting to generate links, and this will help to expand the purpose.

  78. I have noticed that resource lists often get a lot of traffic. For instance I have a post on my blog on 90 places to find WordPress themes and it gets a lot of traffic to this day.

  79. How much a link beiting firm can take ?
    http://blinki.freehist7.com

  80. He..thanks for your wonderful information!

  81. Never thought that sharing links is a style of linkbaiting… and the humour style plus looking for a flickr pics was great

    What’s A Coder?

  82. Thanks for this information, i know this is i need..

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  • i just heard about this today. seems like it would be a good way to get some extra links especially if using a top 10 list or something like that.

  • Great Article, I plan on using this site a lot more.

  • Hi, All of the disscusion is very good and I like to use it for my printing company blog . i hope it will become worth for this printing company .
    Thanks

  • great tips, but i wonder if it’s working on technical stuffs blog like mine?it’s a technical tutorial and IT stuffs blog

    thanks

  • 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

  • This a great coment, i agree wit this..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.

  • 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.).

  • This is brilliant! I knew of course about the power of linking but was never entirely sure what I should be doing to improve my numbers. There are many useful ideas here for me, and explained in layman’s terms. Thank you!

  • Nice article on linkbaiting…especially breaking out and detailing five different types of hooks to use. Thanks!

  • I have noticed that resource lists often get a lot of traffic. For instance I have a post on my blog on 90 places to find WordPress themes and it gets a lot of traffic to this day

  • Link baiting isn’t easy, the real trick is making the link look natural.

  • Theres a lots of comments here already. But I have to thank you for this post.

    Thanks for sharing this info

  • I have just started my first blog and of cousre like most people starting i am finding it hard to get bloggers to link to me. However this article has given me some great ideas to try out.

  • yep, this is exactly what link baiting is, youve published and article/blog and now people are linking to it. excellent!

  • Top notch. I never tried link bait intentionally but I once wrote tip on some Joomla related stuff and i got a lot of link without knowing it. But that was way before i even knew IM exists.

  • Great Article. I love the tip about the funny “10 things “. I agree on the fact that positive attracts more attention on the long run.

  • Trackbacks

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