I recently took some time out to do a bit of travelling opposite East Asia (which was incredible!) and motionless that we would, along with a organisation of friends, set adult a transport blog. Knowing that we would be embarking on some extraordinary adventures, we suspicion it’d be a rubbish not to blog about them. Plus, a suspicion of bringing in a tiny additional money to go into my transport comment helped in my decision.
After a month or so of growth a site was finally prepared and we wanted to start meditative about how to get some trade going on a website. Whilst paid promotion and amicable media were a outrageous partial of a strategy, we knew that appearing in a hunt engines for a far-reaching preference of long-tail phrases was going to be instrumental to a blog’s success. This is when we began building my integrate building devise and, after trialing out some unequivocally successful approaches, I’ve motionless to now share my integrate building devise with we all – we can appreciate me after
Identifying My Link Targets
As a code new blog it can be unequivocally tough to benefit links from high management sites. Unless we have something utterly singular or special (and even afterwards we competence struggle), it’s an ascending conflict to get your calm in front of anyone. With this in mind we motionless to start off small. However, a ubiquitous sequence of ride that we kept for any links that we was looking to build was this:
“The integrate contingency have a genuine intensity to beget trade behind to a blog”
Many blogs and other websites have ‘useful links’ or ‘ useful resources’ pages. These pages generally list partner websites, applicable blogs or other sites that they work with. Although these forms of links aren’t going to outcome in ground-breaking integrate building wins they could, if we awaiting correctly, yield a integrate that will not usually give we an SEO boost, though indeed beget trade to your site as well. These forms of links are utterly applicable for a transport industry.
A lot of people write-off these forms of links, classing them as ‘spammy’ or ‘low peculiarity links’. Now, while we determine that they aren’t enormously powerful, we remonstrate that they are useless. To find a pages where we wanted to get a integrate placed behind to my blog, we followed these discerning steps:
- First, we ran this query by Google – intitle:travel blog inurl:”links” OR “resources”.
- I afterwards went into Google’s hunt settings and comparison to perspective 100 formula per page instead of 10.
- Once we had 100 listings, we scraped all of a URLs regulating the ‘Scrape Similar’ plugin for Chrome and exported them to a .CSV file.
- I did a bit of primer work to mislay irrelevant links and afterwards grabbed a domain/page management for any of a links regulating MozCheck.com and pasted this into a sheet. we could afterwards arrange a links by page management and mislay any that had a PA reduce than ~25. This helped to find aloft peculiarity targets.
- After witling a list down to around 40 targets, we scanned a volume of outbound links on a pages regulating Niels Bosma’s SEOtools plugin for Excel and sorted a list by pages with a lowest series of outbound links on them. This not usually softened a energy of a integrate by it also meant that there was some-more of a possibility that we would get some trade from a page.
- Finally, we got in hold with webmasters from a sites to see if they would list my site on theirs (using usually branded anchor text) in sell for their site appearing on a ‘Our Friends’ territory of my blog.
The finish outcome was that we managed to benefit around 15 links to my blog that indeed brought by some trade as well. This took me around 3-4 hours in sum (including outreach) and helped to emanate a good bit of domain farrago to a site’s integrate profile. On tip of this, it also helped me to start building a few relations with webmasters that incited out to be unequivocally useful after down a line.
Useful: within this article we explain how to arrange by integrate targets in Excel in a bit some-more detail.
**BONUS: here is a overdo email template that we used when contacting webmasters…
Hi NAME HERE,
Just suspicion we would dump we a discerning mail per your website, DOMAIN URL HERE. we unequivocally suffer a things we write and it has been removing me vehement for my travelling trip!
I am starting adult a transport blog myself and it has usually left live a integrate of days ago. The blog will follow a organisation as we transport opposite East Asia and Australia (we leave today!). we was usually wondering if we would be kind adequate to dump a integrate to a blog (http://www.meltedstories.com) on your links page (URL OF THEIR LINKS PAGE HERE) as it would be a vast help. I’ve combined we onto my ‘Our Friends’ page anyway since it will be a good apparatus for my readers.
Don’t worry if we don’t wish to supplement a blog, though if we let me know your Twitter hoop anyway afterwards we will make certain we follow we and dump we some retweets! You can follow us during @melted_stories.
Feel giveaway to get in hold during any time though!
Just an Honest Backpacker
Prospecting Through Competitive Research
The subsequent theatre of my integrate building devise was to do some rival research. For many SEOs this is a tack partial of any integrate building debate and can exhibit some unequivocally engaging insights into what other websites associated to your possess are doing to acquire links.
My initial pier of call is always a amazing, and strangely under-rated, ‘Competitive Link Finder‘ apparatus from SEOmoz. By simply plugging in a URLs of 5 other transport blogs, identical in character to mine, we was means to now get 20 plain integrate targets from a list of around 45. This took me 15 mins to do and we usually placed all of a links into an overdo spreadsheet that we created. Here are a forms of links that we found:
- High management transport blogs that my competitors have guest posted on.
- Blogs that run weekly ‘photo of a week’ competitions that will integrate to your print if we win.
- Good peculiarity travel-niche directories.
- ‘Top transport blogger’ lists and competitions.
- Content that my competitors have collaborated on in sequence to get a mention.
- Links to speak articles where my competitors have answered questions on a high management blog and have perceived a integrate in return.
All this within 15 mins – not bad, eh?
Every bit of information that we collected we kept inside a integrate prospecting spreadsheet. This shaped a basement of my integrate building devise and authorised me to brand a list of targets that we could proceed with a accumulation of calm and propositions. My recommendation for any blog owners would be to do a same since it allows we to means your integrate building efforts in a prolonged term. Then, any few months, we do some serve investigate and supplement to a spreadsheet.
Acquiring Links from Your Targets
Now that I’d finished some rival integrate research, it was time to devise out a approaches that we would take to indeed acquire links from my targets. This can mostly be a place where many people strike a section wall. During a early stages of my time during Wow Internet, we found that we was overcomplicating a routine of appropriation links. However, a existence is that it’s mostly best to keep things simple. You don’t indispensably have to spend a happening on formulating an extraordinary infographic, or bit of video content. More mostly than not, all we need to do is simply ask (I know, crazy, right?).
Guest blogging has taken some hang recently and we can, in some cases, see why. A new post on a SEOmoz blog by James Finlayson summarized a sleazy slope of bad guest post calm and we totally agree. This brings me behind to my initial integrate building rule:
“The integrate contingency have a genuine intensity to beget trade behind to a blog”
Forget judging your guest blog opportunities formed usually on a PA/DA of a site and start meditative some-more about site engagement. If we see a website with a domain management measure of 40 though there are no comments from readers and minimal amicable shares, afterwards we would generally omit this site, in foster of a site with reduce DA though some-more comments/social shares. This is utterly vicious when building links to a blog, so as a aged observant goes – don’t decider a book by a cover!
Finding Guest Blogging Opportunities and Gaining Them
I had already found a handful of guest blogging opportunities from my rival research, though we knew we would need a many larger representation distance to work with in sequence to build a plain form of high peculiarity links. This, unfortunately, takes utterly a bit of time. This is where we took a root out of Paddy Moogan’s book.
I recently review Paddy’s integrate building book (which was awesome) and he talked about outsourcing basic investigate tasks by oDesk in sequence to save time and boost capability overall. One thing that Paddy stressed was to usually outsource micro-tasks and leave as tiny shade to a charge as possible. With this in mind we put together an endless brief for a charge of anticipating transport blogs that supposed guest posts and fit a following criteria:
- PR of during slightest 2.
- The blog contingency be English vocalization and associated to travel.
- Must have some form of communication on a blog posts.
- Should have amicable shares on a new articles.
- Must have posted new calm within a final 2 months.
**BONUS: you can take a demeanour during a full brief that we used for the integrate investigate plan here.
As we can see in a integrate investigate brief, we didn’t usually wish to simply accumulate a URLs of a blogs though we attempted to get as many information on them as possible. This was so that we could use this profitable information for other integrate building methods and also to bond with a blog owners by amicable media and build long-term relationships with them. The information that we asked a oDesk applicant to accumulate for me was:
- The website URL.
- The name of a website.
- A hit name.
- A hit email (if possible).
- The URL of a hit page.
- Twitter hoop of a contact.
- The Facebook page URL of a website (if relevant).
- The pretension of a many new essay posted (this is so we can simply see if a website is applicable though carrying to revisit any one and check).
One week and $30 later, we had a list of 50 opposite guest blog targets – amazing! Don’t blink a energy of giving a good brief to a freelancer; it unequivocally can make a universe of difference.
Useful: the name of a freelancer we used for a integrate investigate plan (who is now also doing some serve investigate for me now, as well) is Michael Howells. Here’s a integrate to his oDesk profile.
**DOUBLE BONUS!: as I’m feeling utterly generous, I’m going to give we the list of 50 overwhelming travel-related guest blog opportunities that Michael collected for me. You’re acquire
Once we had a list of guest blog targets, it was afterwards time to brand that would be a best places to start reaching out to. This is an vicious and mostly over-looked theatre of many overdo campaigns. Bearing in mind that we had usually a tiny bit of calm on my blog, we indispensable to try and find an angle to work on with my pitch. To do this we separate adult my guest blog targets into sub-sections formed on their primary thesis (i.e. if 5 of a websites all specialised in backpacking on a bill afterwards they would go in a same group).
Once I’d categorised all of a websites in my list, we had to now confirm what we would use in my representation to a webmasters that would benefit their trust and concede me to post on their site. In my armoury were a resources of photos that we had taken during my time travelling and a whole horde of first-hand experiences. From looking during many of a websites that we was targeting for links, it was transparent that they were heavily focused around lots of good images and many of them elite to have a author’s voice clearly benefaction via many of their articles. Knowing this, we carried out a following steps:
- Highlighted blogs that talked about East Asia privately in a few of their articles.
- Narrowed down a list to find that of them supposed guest authors some-more frequently.
- Picked 10 initial targets and began to follow all of their amicable media accounts, criticism on their articles and share their calm by my blog’s Twitter/FB/G+/Pinterest.
- Got in hold with a webmasters in a friendly, discerning email that let them know who we was, my transport skeleton and a brief intro to my blog. we afterwards mentioned that we was looking to write for some transport blogs about my adventures and wanted to see if they would cruise vouchsafing me do this on their blog.
- If we perceived a reply, we finished certain that we looked during a forms of articles they posted on their blogs and afterwards gave usually applicable suggestions for probable essay titles.
After we had a few articles published on opposite transport blogs it meant that we could anxiety these articles in my subsequent flurry of outreach. This valid to be unequivocally effective as we progressed and gaining guest post opportunities seemed to get easier and easier. One tip that we would give to anyone doing any overdo is not to plead ‘links’ during all in your created communication as we risk losing your legitimacy as a genuine blogger. Travel blog owners utterly don’t suffer this.
**Bonus: Here’s one of a overdo emails that we sent to a transport blog owners (as we can see, we keep it as personal as possible):
I wish you’re well. We spoke around a month ago simply about a integrate sell for my transport blog, Melted Stories. we have something somewhat opposite to ask about now!
Firstly we usually wish to contend how many me and my partner suffer your blog (especially deliberation my girlfriend, Laura, is also a vegetarian).
I know that we don’t unequivocally do this on your blog though my partner and we have usually finished 2 months of travelling around and experiencing Thailand and we wondered if we would cruise vouchsafing us do a guest post on your blog?
It would be associated to an knowledge that we had within Thailand and one that we feel would fit in with your audience. For example, we recently visited Chiang Mai and took a outing opposite to all a best places to see, including spending a day looking after ex-working elephants and visiting a tigers (that are many unequivocally not drugged!).
I won’t jabber on too many since we know we contingency be bustling though we can take a demeanour during some of both myself and Laura’s essay during these links (below) and if we could let me know possibly approach that would be great.
Also, we would adore to have we write on a blog so if that’s something that would seductiveness we afterwards we can have a giveaway power on what we speak about!
Take Guest Blogging to a Next Level – Become a Columnist
I have to acknowledge that this wasn’t something that we indispensably designed from a opening but, as we changed brazen with a guest blogging activities that we was doing, it became an apparent subsequent step.
One of a initial articles that we wrote was for the WildJunket Magazine, an online ubiquitous transport publication. During my conversations with a repository editor, Nellie Huang, we started to form a good charge and she afterwards asked me if we would cruise apropos a unchanging columnist on a blog, specialising in ‘travel tech’. we jumped during a chance, of course, and as a outcome of this we write 2-3 articles a month for a website and get some good links behind to my blog. Not usually this though WildJunket have a outrageous amicable following and loads of activity on their website. This was positively something that we could use to my advantage.
After we had created a few articles for Nellie we got in hold with her to plead any ways in that she could assistance me out, for example, with pity my content, removing in hold with other bloggers and any other ways she could suggest. The response was unequivocally certain and Nellie authorised me to use a WildJunket press container when contacting websites and she also pronounced that if we wanted to write a sponsored post for companies on a blog afterwards that is excellent too (as prolonged as it fit in with a editorial guidelines). On tip of this she concluded to share anything we wished on a WildJunket amicable media accounts, that was great. we afterwards combined a following divide into my overdo emails:
As good as regulating Melted Stories, we am also a unchanging columnist for Wild Junket, that receives over 1.65 million pageviews a month and has a Twitter following of usually underneath 30,000. Any essay that we did write for we would be common opposite all of my personal amicable media accounts, and that of Wild Junket and Melted Stories, so it could be a win-win conditions
This dramatically increasing a series of replies that we perceived from webmasters. My recommendation would be to try and secure a identical form of setup on associated blogs within your possess industry. Look for blogs that have transparent subject areas and, once you’ve built a charge with a webmasters, advise that we could turn a unchanging columnist specialising in a specific subject on their blog.
Tip: Industry-relevant online magazines can be a utterly good aim for this.
Sponsored Posts and Paid Tweets
This is expected to means some debate among a few readers, though in my opinion this can be a illusory approach of pushing trade by to your website and enlivening links behind to your content.
A sponsored post is, in essence, a guest post that we compensate for. Many websites, generally within a transport industry, will concede we to write an essay compelling your products/services in lapse for payment. Matt Cutts has uttered his opinion on this activity a few times and has pronounced a following:
“Clear avowal of sponsorship is critical, and that includes avowal for hunt engines. If integrate in a paid post would impact hunt engines, that integrate should not pass PageRank (e.g. by regulating a nofollow attribute).”
My idea is not simply to find blogs that offer this and afterwards place a integrate to your site within them. What we would advise is regulating sponsored posts to boost your online community. To do this we found websites that had a utterly vast amicable following, loads of interactivity on a website and a serf niche audience. we afterwards wrote a post associated to my travels and a tiny intro to my transport blog. What we found was that we was means to move over some good levels of trade from a post and constraint some new readers for my blog – accurately what we wanted!
NOTE: If we ever compensate for a sponsored post afterwards we make certain that any links behind to my site are ‘nofollowed’ since it’s not value a risk of carrying a Google chastisement imposed.
These are similar, in a way, to sponsored posts and are flattering self-explanatory – we compensate someone to chatter something from their chatter account.
Again, there are going to be a few people who contend how wrong this is and that they would never do this for one of their clients, etc, etc. What we would contend to those people is that if we would be prepared to compensate for promotion space on someone’s website afterwards what’s a disproportion in profitable them to chatter your calm on Twitter?
I contingency acknowledge that I’ve usually finished this a integrate of times and have had varying results, though in one box we managed to beget a few hundred visits to one of a articles on my blog, that is mostly some-more than we would get with a ensign ad and for a fragment of a cost! There is also a advantage of being means to enhance your possess Twitter following in a process, that is another combined bonus.
Useful: You can use BuySellAds.com to hunt for Twitter users that sell tweets within your niche.
Bringing it all Together
It’s still early days for my transport blog though I’ve had some overwhelming initial formula and hopefully this essay has given we a few ideas of your possess to assistance we go out and build some peculiarity links to your blog. The pivotal summary that I’m perplexing to communicate here is a significance of building relations online and combining a plain village within your blog.
Simple things like blog commenting, that was traditionally a tack partial of integrate building, has now turn a illusory approach to build relations with bloggers and indeed expostulate trade behind to your possess blog. A lot of integrate building can be utterly surreptitious and it isn’t always a quickest to do, though if we follow my one elementary sequence afterwards we should be means to keep on a right track:
“The integrate contingency have a genuine intensity to beget trade behind to a blog”
I’d adore to hear your possess integrate building triumphs, so be certain to let me know in a comments of a blog or get in hold with me on Twitter or Google+. Before we do that, here’s an overwhelming print of my partner and me with a tiger in Thailand…