Link Building Magic: Mastering Backlinks and Guest Posting

Link Building Magic: Mastering Backlinks and Guest Posting

This may seem like a weird post, for a personal blog about creativity, but it’s kind of important. Writers or authors who want to build an audience and sell their work probably want to get traffic. Getting online traffic lets you write from home and be a slob instead of standing in a public market selling your wares all day, which is exhausting.

So you put up a blog or website, but nobody ever goes there and you think it’s a waste of time. Here’s the thing: google judges you based on how many people are linking to your awesome content, and then whether the content is actually awesome based on time on page. It’s messy, but the problem with creating stuff like books or paintings, is that people aren’t really searching the internet for that stuff (they’ll browse socials and see things).

You need to write about what people are searching for, and you also probably need to do some manual outreach for backlinks, because in the beginning nobody including Google knows you exist… and you have to tickle the algorithms a little bit.

But you have to be careful not to just buy spammy backlinks or black hat stuff (don’t do dodgy shit… and sometimes don’t just hire cheap SEO people because they will do spammy shit). But it’s also important to have backlinks, which sucks because they can take work to build.

Anecdotal evidence the sky is falling

Personally I’ve never really worked on backlinks, because I don’t care, and I made great stuff in less competitive areas, and my resources are popular – people share or link because I make good shit. But I also don’t get a ton of traffic or income (and running an online business is spendy, some months I lose money!)

But very recently, I’ve had a bunch of really big brands reached out – for context, I have a domain rank of 63 out of 100. Most new blogs are under 20. So a few huge, creativity or design resources have reached out, asking for links. They probably have people on staff and they just reach out to people manually. If I were them, I would google my keyword, look at the top 100 results, and then email them all asking for a backlink.

My site’s not a big deal, so this shows me that Very Big Businesses who Make Money Online are pretty nervous about AI or very quickly losing their traffic, and they are aggressively trying to fix it with backlinks. When people reach out, I say “sure, but I want a backlink too!” and these sites have higher domain authority – like 70 or 80 – so any crosslinking is in my benefit.

Then we figure out, if they’ll send me a guest post or I’ll send them one; personally I prefer to write my own content and don’t really allow guest posts on this blog, but I’m happy to insert a relevant link somewhere, it’s an easy thing to do to “earn” a similar backlinks.

*Note: Google doesn’t love direct reciprocal links because they are obviously fishy and not organic, and hint towards unearned and disingenuous referrals, so you can do a 123/ABC link where you link to one site, they link to the next, then the other.

My point is, larger businesses that have cash are investing in backlinking, because they’re worried about eroding traffic share. Artists and Writers have an opportunity to create better, more valuable human art that people love… so it should be easier for your to earn quality backlinks from people who are loving your stuff… but that’s still going to be very slow to happen and you probably need to be a little more active, to fight for your piece of the pie.

And if that sounds exhausting, I get it – competing on this ridiculous hamster wheel of performative content (to get traffic so you can share the thing you actually care about) – it’s no fun. But you can hire someone to do it for you, and it’s much easier now than it’s ever been, so while is may not have been *worth it* before, since it’s so much easier and faster to do it now, it may actually be worth it. Or maybe it’s not worth it now because it’s not necessary now, because things are basically working now.

But what if that suddenly changes, and nothing is working, and you suddenly have zero traffic or income – it makes it harder to stay creative and keep making your stuff when you’re broke.

SEO Backlinks & Guestposts

The shorter version of this is: Google your keywords, like “this kind of art” or “best mermaid fantasy” and see what sites show up. See what they write about and check their DR (domain rank, there are free seo tools to check it). If it’s 20+ or higher, and it looks like a smaller personal blog instead of a huge thing, send an email and pitch them a guest post. Keep it short and simple. Lots of creative people don’t get the value of this at all and will immediately write you off, but some get it.

I’d usually start by focusing on value, “hey I just wanted to know I featured your Art/Book on this page, it’s awesome!” – compliments + a small favor. When you’re starting out a new site, I’ll usually immediately write listicles linking out to all the best blogs, sites, resources etc in my niche or topic – I want to show Google where I belong by linking relevant stuff; and I’m also “fishing” for links, if I share somebody’s thing they might share my post or link back.

This doesn’t have to be as shady as it sounds. I should and probably will, make a post on this site with my “favorite instagram artists” or whatever and feature them all, because I can – it’s an easy way to support and share the stuff I love, and if I organized it all and made it look nice, I’m providing value by doing the work (if I did this for authors, for example, I might also make cool graphics with their book covers that look awesome, so when they see it they’ll see I’m providing more value without asking for anything back).

That’s a weird marketing thing and personal choice, but it’s the way I like to do things: overdeliver on everything, being relentlessly helpful.

In exchange for putting all this stuff together, I’d be building relationships and maybe earning some shares and backlinks. BUT you could also just reach out to those sites, cold-emails style, but conversion will be lower since they’re total strangers who have never heard from you before.

You can also always pay for a link insertion – basically there are companies that just go around, clients pay them to reach out and try to buy a guest post or backlink for $100 or so, they do 20 a month, costs $2000 they charge $5000. But assuming you don’t have the budget, if your blog’s ranking isn’t already good to start out, then there’s no benefit to linking to you UNLESS you just make incredible stuff that’s great to share because people love it, and then you can probably just be social and send stuff to people and ask if they like it or would share it, but that’s honestly pretty spammy (follow people, support them, share them… get them to follow back… then share amazing shit).

Alright, that’s enough human-speak. The rest is filler, but I will be making a huge list of best places you can get backlinks from. There are some good/easy ones, as simple as filling out a profile on some random site, and some very hard ones, where you have to know somebody who knows somebody (and even these are usually for sale). I have tried over the years, of buying highDR domains and letting people post on them for backlinks, but authors especially don’t seem interested in link building as a marketing strategy (lucky for me, because it’s made it easy to rank for everything).

What is link building? Effective link building, specifically through the cultivation of backlinks and guest posting, is a vital aspect of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This rest of this article aims to unravel the mysteries behind link building, its importance, and how to utilize guest posting to gather those golden ‘dofollow’ backlinks. We’ll also offer up an indispensable list of sites that welcome guest posts.

The Why and What of Link Building

Link building is a crucial strategy in SEO where you aim to get other websites to link back to your own website. These ‘backlinks’ act as a vote of confidence for your site. Search engines, such as Google, view these links as indicators of your website’s credibility and quality. As a result, a higher number of quality backlinks can improve your site’s ranking on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

There are two types of backlinks: ‘dofollow’ and ‘nofollow’. ‘Dofollow’ backlinks pass on SEO benefits to your website, while ‘nofollow’ backlinks do not. Hence, for your link-building efforts, ‘dofollow’ backlinks are the ones to aim for.

Guest Posting: Your Link Building Power Tool

Guest posting involves creating and publishing content on someone else’s website or blog. It’s an excellent strategy for building ‘dofollow’ backlinks and boosting your website’s visibility. By contributing valuable content to other sites in your industry, you can establish yourself as an authority figure within your market, improve your search engine rank, and attract new audiences to your website.

However, not every website or blog that accepts guest posts provides ‘dofollow’ backlinks. It’s crucial to identify the sites that do.

Curated List of Guest Posting Sites with ‘Dofollow’ Links

Here is a list of popular websites that welcome guest posts and provide ‘dofollow’ backlinks:

  1. Moz: One of the most recognized names in SEO, Moz allows guest posting on its blog. They’re on the lookout for unique, original ideas from industry experts.
  2. HubSpot: With several different blogs across marketing, sales, and service, HubSpot is an excellent platform for guest posts.
  3. Outbrain: Known for their content marketing, Outbrain welcomes guest bloggers who can provide high-quality content.
  4. Social Media Examiner: If you specialize in social media marketing, this is a brilliant place for your guest posts.
  5. Business Insider: A leading business, celebrity, and technology news website that provides a platform for guest posting.

Remember, every site has its guest post guidelines and requirements, so ensure you’re familiar with these before submitting a post.

Wrapping Up

Mastering link building through backlinks and guest posting is an art and a science. However, with a well-thought-out strategy and a focus on creating quality content, you can harness the power of ‘dofollow’ backlinks to catapult your site’s ranking and visibility. The sites mentioned above are just a starting point, so keep exploring, keep posting, and keep building those links!