Linkbait is content that has been created with the intent to draw backlinks. With writing, these types of articles usually require a significant amount of effort to complete as they are intended to be quite impressive and informative, and they usually require a great amount of research. It is a recently popular trend to write linkbait for blogs, and I have had plenty of experience with doing just that as it was my primary job back when I wrote for Mashable. Now here at Performancing, this post is essentially a guide for all of you future expert linkbaiters in the making, and I used (and still do use) this to create and evaluate all my previous linkbait as well.
A great linkbait will have a specific topic. Just like blogs, the more specific the focus, the better chance there is to have a great amount of interest generated. It should be something catchy and interesting, but it should also appeal to a specific niche. Common sense will apply here, but as I will repeatedly say, knowing your niche will help. Once you create the topic, you then must determine if it is even worth pursuing the task of researching and writing the linkbait.
People like stuff that is new, creative, and unique; a great linkbait should have all of those qualities. Social news sites like Digg are really a double edged sword as it can be a great way to expose your ideas, but it also means that most of the stuff people think up has already been done. You must ask yourself what you can create that will quench the reader’s thirst for information and entertainment. If you have the answer, then you are well on your way to creating a new great linkbait.
There is little point of putting in the work to create a linkbait if it is not useful to those that put in the time to read it. The success of the linkbait depends on how useful the article is, and if it is, people will link to it as they will believe that others could find it to be useful. If everything goes as planned up well, the article will continue to grow in popularity as more people discover and share it (i.e. the domino effect). Knowing your blog’s niche will make this easier.
How long or short should a linkbait post be? That depends on what you are covering; however, most people have a short attention span, and just because you have a lengthy post does not mean it is a great linkbait. Instead of trying to add as much content as possible to make an article appear impressive, try adding only the content that most relevant to the initial topic.
Finally, a quality linkbait should be, what else, 100% superb quality. As I mentioned before, a quality linkbait takes a nice chunk of time and effort to complete, and you should plan it all out before even starting. You should take the time to ensure that all the facts are correct, the article is properly edited, and the flow of the content is great. After all, what could be worse than spending so much invaluable time to create a sub-par article.
Hopefully these tips make your first or next linkbait article worth the time and effort. There are many more in-depth resources on the web, but these should be the stepping stones for any great link-gathering masterpiece.
Did you know that Performancing Services can write and promote great linkbait?
Great ‘Linkbait’; providing an excellent example of how to do it. Specific niche, interesting to the target audience. Meets all the criteria you’ve set your self
Well constructed link baits can really bring you the increased visitors intended. So it’s worth your time and effort in spending some time in proper research before diving in into writing your article. Others have already come out with contests, interviews and the like, so yours have to be different, unique and useful to your readers.
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This post was featured in today in FullTiltBlogging.com’s Daily Blog Summary – A summary of the top 50 Make Money Blogging Sites. Good job.
All great points in the comments section. Oh, when I was writing this article, I didn’t mean it as in the type of article that would simply trick someone into reading it, but instead, I was simply referring to it as linkbait because that is what a majority of bloggers love to call those types of articles.
good bait also numbers each item, especially when the title has a number in it
Good Link Bait shouldn’t smell! There must be something of value. It could offer up houmor as many jokes become popular. It could offer up a useful tip or instruction. What it it cannot offer is a waste of the readers time.
My to do list is getting larger…I try to create quality content on my sites. But I need to develop content that people would link to. My sites are built to grow my subscribers and visitors. But increasing my link popularity with link bait will help with search engine traffic.
Great post James. I will be linking it later today!
Length is a factor if you are just producing raw information, but if you are providing a step-by-step tutorial, or a list of links where you can find (insert whatever valuable info here), then I don’t believe length is a real issue.
I try not to think about it as link baiting – it sounds like a trick (especially if you are the fish). Instead, I think of it as sharing useful information and interesting sites with the people who visit my website.
As for length, I agree that people have short attention spans. There was a time when a “good” paragraph had 5 to 7 sentences. Try that in a blog and see how many people stay around to reed.
Get in, get out and give them something worth reading!