Give Your Linkbait a Boost

Linkbait is a proven method for growing traffic to your blog and increasing your search engine rankings. But sometimes your linkbait might not take off like you hoped it would. In these cases a little bit of creative marketing can make all the difference. Although the whole premise of linkbait is to gain links without all the effort, if it isn’t being seen by anyone you will need to give it a boost.

If your website or blog doesn’t have many readers, even great linkbait can go relatively unnoticed. If this is the case, you need to get a few links and some traffic to get the ball rolling and the momentum should continue if the piece of linkbait is effective.

The goal is to get targeted readers and links from other sites/blogs that also have targeted readers. Focus your efforts on getting other bloggers to the page, because they have the ability, and are the most likely, to link back to you.

Here are Some Ideas:

1. Use StumbleUpon. StumbleUpon can be a terrific source of traffic even if your blog doesn’t currently have a lot of readers. Other social media sites, such as Digg, give websites with large audiences (or users with a lot of “friends”) a big advantage. With Stumble Upon it’s very possible to drive a ton of traffic to your site without already having significant traffic.

After one of your pages gets submitted to StumbleUpon it can continue to get visitors if many users like the content and give it the thumbs up. As a result, quality content can get a lot of exposure quickly, regardless of the source.

Another advantage with StumbleUpon is that the majority of its users are also bloggers themselves, which means it’s possible to get a lot of links as a result this traffic.

In order to maximize your chances of getting traffic from StumbleUpon, you can place buttons on your pages that will remind readers to give it a thumbs up, and to make the process as easy as possible for them.

If your linkbait isn’t getting enough attention with StumbleUpon naturally, you can pay StumbleUpon to bring visitors to your pages. StumbeUpon advertising is affordable, and best of all, it can start a viral reaction. If your paid visitors give your pages the thumbs up it can result in even more traffic, which you will not pay for.

2. Try 2nd Tier Social Media Sites. Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit, and del.icio.us aren’t the only social media sites out there. Small sites that are focused on a specific niche can be extremely effective. Best of all, success with one of these sites can lead to success with the major ones. Find a social media sites whose audience would be a good match with your content. (See our list of social media websites).

3. Submit to Blog Carnivals. A blog carnival is a collection of links to blog posts that all cover a certain topic, and it is published on a host blog. Anyone can submit links to be included in blog carnivals (although there is no guarantee the host will include your link). Blog carnivals may not generate a lot of traffic for you, but it’s an easy way to get the first few links and get things rolling. It will only take 5 or 10 minutes to submit your links to several carnivals. For a list of current carnivals, see BlogCarnivals.com.

4. Funnel Traffic from Other Pages on Your Site/Blog. To get more traffic to your linkbait, create some links on other pages of your site that get the most traffic. You can also funnel traffic by including a link in the footer of your RSS feed.

5. Make Reciprocal Link Agreements with Other Bloggers. With a good piece of linkbait it will be easy to find reciprocal link partners. All you need to do is find blogs that you think would be appropriate and email the owner with your request. You could include a link back to them in an upcoming post, your blogroll, or anywhere else. Many bloggers publish a daily or weekly post of interesting links. These bloggers would be good to target.

6. Email Bloggers in Your Network that You Think Might Be Interested. If you have been blogging for any length of time you probably have made some contacts with fellow bloggers who cover the same topics as you. Think about the content and the links that they provide to their readers and decide if you think they would be interested in recommending your post to their readers. If the information in your post would be appreciated by their readers, they may give you a link.

Alternatively, if you don’t have any bloggers in your network that you think would be willing to link to your post, look for others who might be interested. Find a popular blog post on a related topic and do a Technorati search to see who is linking to that specific post. Contact them to let them know about your post and maybe they’ll link to you as well.

7. Leave Comments with the URL of Your Post. When you leave a comment on another blog you are able to leave the URL of your blog. Most people always leave the URL of their homepage, but why not leave some comments with the URL of a specific post? This will work best when you are commenting on blog posts that are related to the one you are linking to.

Now when the blogger or other readers click on your link they will be taken directly to your link bait. Remember, getting bloggers to your linkbait is key, and this is an easy and effective way to do it.

8. Post a Link in Blogging Forums. You may be able to find some other bloggers that like your post and are willing to link to it by doing a little promotion in forums. If you try this be sure to promote it in a place that allows this type of thing. The best way to do it is to find some threads on the same topic as your post and leave the link as a resource. This way you are providing more information for people who are seeking it rather than just blindly throwing a link out to the forum.

9. Consider a Press Release. Depending on the type of content in your linkbait, you may have some success with a press release. In order for a press release to work you will need to have something very noteworthy. Editors get thousands of press releases each day, so yours needs to be something special.

You can submit free press releases at www.i-newswire.com and www.prbuzz.com.

10. Don’t Follow Up Too Quickly. In order to give your linkbait maximum exposure, consider not publishing another post to keep it high on your front page for a while longer. This way all visitors to your blog front page will see it right away. Also, if you use excerpts you may want to consider temporarily switch to full posts to give visitors a better look at the linkbait.

This strategy should not be used if your readers are used to a regular posting schedule. Keeping your subscribers happy is more important than a little bit of extra promotion on the homepage.

11. Set the Post to be Sticky. By default your blog will show newest posts at the top of your front page. If you want the linkbait to continue to have the most visibility while still publishing new posts, consider making the linkbait sticky, which will keep it at the top of the page. WordPress users can download the Sticky Post Plugin to do the trick.

12. Build a Large del.icio.us Network. Del.icio.us is more than just a tool for managing your own bookmarks. You can add users to your network and other users can add you. When you’re logged in you can see the bookmarks of people in your network and vice versa. This means if you bookmark your own linkbait others may see it and bookmark it too.

This can help you to build links because some del.icio.us users automatically post all of their bookmarks at the end of the day to their blog (it’s a feature that del.icio.us offers). If these users bookmark your linkbait you’ll get a link when it is posted to their blog.

To find del.icio.us users that post to a blog, copy the URL of a few pages that are currently on the front page of del.icio.us (these pages are getting a lot of bookmarks). Tomorrow do a Technorati search to see who has linked to that specific URL. Search through some of the links and you’ll probably find some who have posted their del.icio.us bookmarks. If they are bookmarking pages on topics that are similar to your blog, look around the blog and see if you can find a link to their del.icio.us profile. If you do, add them to your network (you can add me to your network in the sidebar of my blog, although I do not post my bookmarks).

If you have a post that you are hoping to draw a lot of inbound links, try some of these tips and see if you can give it a boost and start the momentum.

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