Content Marketing For Backlinks

Stewart Dunlop

In this article I’m going to show you how to create a powerful piece of content that people will want to link to, and then I’m going to show you how to build links for that content. This strategy is the absolute core of our link building methodology at LinkBuilder.io –  this is real, white hat link building at its finest.

Note: If you’ve already got a piece of great content and you want to build links to it, then skip the first section and move onto outreach.

Creating a piece of powerful content

Many SEO agencies have a funny way of doing their content strategy for clients. They think that building content and trying to rank it on clients site looks something like this:

  1. Do keyword research to find most search terms in client’s niche
  2. Give the client a list of topic suggestions based on the most searched terms
  3. Have them create content
  4. ???
  5. Traffic

This does not work. Here’s how it should really look:

  1. Do keyword research to find terms with good search volume BUT low competition
  2. Give the client topic suggestions along with guidelines on what to include, along with source materials from other great websites
  3. Create content that’s way better than anything else out there (the famous ‘SkyScraper’ technique) and way more detailed. Make sure it’s better than any Wikipedia page on the topic especially!
  4. Launch an outreach campaign to people who may be interested in the topic
  5. Win links and get traffic

How to come up ideas for linkable content

Basically, how do we create a linkable content asset that people are going to want to link to. It’s honestly so much more straight-forward than it seems. Here’s a nice little checklist:

1) Find 5 popular websites in a similar niche to the website you’re promoting. Let’s say we want to promote HeadphoneDisco.com – a silent disco website. There’s not going to be many silent disco blogs out there! But we can look for event blogs and music blogs. Here’s one I found – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/blog/

2) Next, plug the URL into Ahrefs and filter for ‘Top Content’

Ahrefs filter top content

3) We want to order by ‘RD’ (referring domains) to figure out what blog posts are the most linkable from the EventBrite website. I found a couple of cool articles that were extremely linkable and gave me some ideas:

Good linkable articles

4) Refine the idea. Currently the title I’m thinking is ‘The best music festivals of all time’ – Using data and statistics to back up our article. It’s very relevant to our clients website, and it’s a broad topic that people will be interested in. We should do a quick search on Google to make sure there’s nothing amazing out there.

As we can see below, there’s a ton of ‘current’ articles, but there’s not many recent articles that do an amazing rundown of the best music festivals EVER…So we’re definitely onto something here.

Best festivals of all time

5) Research data. You’re going to want to make a list of possible data sources in a spreadsheet that our writer (or the clients writer) can draw upon for the content idea. Here’s one I quickly knocked up in a few minutes:

best music festivals of all time

6) Hand over to the client / writer – After we’ve got all of our sources ready and given some structure to the writer, we need to communicate exactly what we want to make this a seriously linkable piece of content:

  • Needs to go into intense detail on 3 of the best music festivals ever to grace the World ( we don’t want to dilute it too much)
  • Talk about the lineup, the numbers, the data, intense anecdotes and stories from the festivals
  • Make sure the piece of content is at least 3000 words long
  • Make sure the content is rich with images and media (YouTube embeds)

Editor note: If you’re serious and looking for someone to take care of the content for you, we strongly recommend using a content marketing agency like Grow & Convert.

Outreach

Option 1) Downloading backlink profiles. I’ve just ‘Google brainstormed’ a few websites and pages that I thought might have nice tasty backlink profiles. All I’ve done is plugged them into Ahrefs to see how many referring domains each one has, and now I have a few nice options:

  • https://www.timeout.com/london/music/the-50-best-music-festivals-in-the-world – 77 referring domains
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_festival – Poor wikipedia page – 528 referring domains
  • https://www.festicket.com/magazine/discover/top-20-music-festivals-in-the-uk/ – 24 referring domains
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodstock – Woodstock (legendary music festival) – Over 1400 referring domains

Let’s export the timeout.com article backlink profile – that looks like a nice starting point! (The export button is at the top right of Ahrefs)

Now, we only really want to pull out the domain + the referring page URL for our purposes.

What I like to do is format it into a Google sheet like this, before I prepare to upload it to our outreach tool (Pitchbox) and I’ll just copy the referring page URL into a domain column and a referring page URL column, exactly like this:

Now, I download the sheet as a CSV so I can upload it to a new Pitchbox campaign!

Make sure it’s set up like this before you import:

Now’s the part I won’t go into too much detail about. We’ll need to personalize some details for all of the contacts we upload to Pitchbox. This includes;

  • Adding email addresses that Pitchbox can’t find
  • Adding first names
  • Adding site names (not just the URL, but the written, natural name of the site)

Basically all of these details:

Personalizing the pitchbox campaign

Email Templates

Now, let’s set up our outreach template! Here’s something I’d use for this campaign (I’ve had great success using this on other campaigns)

Outreach template

And of course, it’s essential to queue your follow up! Here’s my typical follow up email for a campaign like this – short, sweet and personable. Adding in the ‘robot’ phrase hopefully shows that you’re a real person!

I also always make sure to add the ‘previous outreach email’ merge tag, which ensures that your last email shows below the follow up (as a key reference point for the recipient)

email follow up template

Once you’ve got everything set and ready, you can test your emails before launching the automation!

Select the websites you want to email to and press the ‘Preview Email’ button. This is important, because it shows exactly how your email will be received – It’s a final chance to make sure you’ve formatted the template correctly.

It should look something like this (but of course, the final version will include the real URL to our piece of content!):

Time to launch

Once you’re 100% ready and happy, it’s time to launch the automation sequence, and watch the results come rolling in!

Results & Links

Here’s a short video of me using this method to great effect with a different client of mine called Drifted.com, a very niche car racing sports websites:

We won way over 30 links using this method in just a single month, it was that easy! Plus, all of the links were on extremely topically relevant websites.

Image we’d gone to the effort of posting 30 guest posts on those websites? That would’ve taken forever.

Below are just some of the links we built within the first 30 days or so…

Drifted link results

Conclusion

The conclusion is simple – If you want to build a high volume of links regularly from natural, relevant websites, then you MUST incorporate a high quality content strategy alongside your link building efforts. Remember, the key thing here is to create a piece of content that people are actually interested in and get excited about, otherwise your outreach efforts will be for nothing!

Incorporating this strategy alongside things like guest posts (Which are great, because we can control the target pages and anchor texts), broken link building and scholarship link building will lead to a cohesive link building strategy that will guarantee a great flow of links and results for your website.