In comments from the last post some people were curious of how they could make link bait if they were not in the tech / marketing / SEO industries. My theory is that every industry (and every brand worth creating or selling) has related stories that people would be interested in sharing. If people do not talk about you then you probably do not have much of a brand.
Everything can be made more interesting by taking a story to the edge or by creating the idea centered around filling the desires of the audience rather than being created around selling something. Most information thin product database type sites fail because they are nothing more than a pool of duplicated compacted information with nothing interesting or remarkable about them. Where can I find link bait?
- social news sites like Reddit, Digg, Netscape, or Newsvine
- social bookmarking sites like Del.icio.us, Ma.gnolia, or Furl
- meme trackers like Techmeme or Blognicient
Every day they need content. Something new fills their sites every day. Also search their archives for keywords related to your field or other things you are interested in.
In the same way those sites need content daily there are also going to be millions of bloggers looking for something to link to. You can't please everyone, but if you get a half dozen organic links a day it doesn't take long to start building up some serious authority.
Before anyone gives me any crap for pigeonholing nerds, please note that I am a and am speaking for myself whenever I use the word nerd.
If it seems that many of the above listed sites have a tech or nerd bias then they probably do. But realistically nerds are nerds because they fall into some of the following groups
- interested in technology or building things more than in filling some role society deems for them
- outliers that establish their own value systems
- are often passionately interested in things that are out of the ordinary
The Goal of Link Bait
Find a way to make your topic relate to needs of nerds or a large group of society that frequently expresses their opinion online. It doesn't have to direct match fitting your product, just roughly match fitting your topic such that it looks legitimate. The goal of link bait is to bilk $1,000's of link authority at a low price. If the link bait is perfectly on topic and you get mindshare / readers / sales that rocks even better.
With most link bait you are not trying to gain topical expert links...more likely citations from people with a mild interest in the topic (and how you related it to their nerdy interests). Selling link bait to subject matter experts means you have to invest far more into creating a high quality piece of content. It is still doable, of course, but you just have to either focus more on the interests and biases of a particular individual or really know what is likely to be talked about in your field.
Link Bait is Easy to Reproduce, if You Are Creative
I could create a link bait tomorrow and virtually guarantee it gets listed on Digg's homepage, but it still wouldn't mean that anyone who reads it would get everything about the anatomy of a link bait. That is sorta what many of my recent posts have been about though, if you read through them...trying to discuss link bait from a few different angles.
Link bait ideas typically take less than a minute to think up, but much longer to implement. These following topics were requested in comments, and I spent less than 10 minutes total coming up with these examples.
Q: How about Alternative energy?
Link bait examples:
- How much global warming are you responsible for? - (maybe create a calculator, allow people to compare themselves to average people in their own country or other country)
- Bush argues global warming is good for seals (thin ice starves polar bears)? - political
- The world's first human powered car? - could be fake, etc. as long as it was funny. It could be real if you were ambitious enough.
Q: or Organic gardening
Link bait examples:
- What is in a McDonalds French Fry that you wouldn't find in a real potato?
- How many pesticides did you eat today? (again calculator type deal where they entered their food and you tell them which ones and noted potential side effects)
- What are the differences between rBGH and Agent Orange?
Q: or SEO
There are literally hundreds or thousands of these. From my site the 101 ways to build links or SEO for Firefox are both pretty solid examples. Just yesterday Brian Clark wrote this link post, which made it to the top of the Del.icio.us popular list.
If people do not want to discuss SEO then don't try to force it. Give the idea another name or cobrand it off of another brand / frame of reference. If you talk about search, Google, or helping bloggers rank instead of just talking about SEO it is much easier for the idea to spread.
Can't think of a link bait idea for your topic? Tell me your topic in the comments of this post and I (or a hip SeoBook.com reader like Brian Clark) will reply with one or two ideas. The ideas may not go anywhere, but if they do you got more than your money's worth ;)
Also check out Brian's headline tips when thinking of how to write your headline.
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