If you’re working on a search engine optimization (SEO) campaign for your business, then you will likely want to build links back to your website.
There are lots of ways to build links, but one of the most effective is through high-quality content placements on authoritative websites.
In today’s article, we’re going to show you how to write cost-effective link building content that won’t cost the earth, and help you climb the search engine results pages (SERPs) with ease.
Know your industry inside out
Perhaps the most common reason why link building content can take so long to write is deciding on the topics you’d like to write about, and doing the research required to create quality pieces.
But if you know your industry inside out and you’ve got a whole host of ideas, then you should, theoretically, be able to write content without taking the time to research, and that can save you lots of time and help you produce more link building content.
The key to being a good content marketer and creating quality link building content is research.
Make it a habit to read news articles about your industry at least once a week, as well as blog posts from your competitors and industry figures.
Add bookmarks to your internet browser, follow bloggers and influencers on social media, and focus on your personal development.
The more you know about your niche, the more you’ll be able to write about it, and the more varied, organic and interested your content will become.
Churning out the same post fifty times with different wording is no fun for you and no fun for your audience; variety will keep it fresh.
Follow blogger guidelines to the letter
Most websites that accept blog posts or sponsored posts have strict guidelines that writers must follow in order to have their content published.
Be sure to read them before submitting content.
You may think that you’ll save time if you ignore their guidelines, but the truth is that the majority of bloggers are pretty strict on the content they will accept on their websites.
If you don’t follow their guidelines to the letter, there’s a strong chance that they’ll reject your content or ask you to go back and make changes to your piece.
Follow the rules and your content will be published.
It’s also important to note that guest blogging guidelines are often pretty similar.
Most bloggers impose a minimum and maximum word-count on guest posts, ask that you link back to other posts and pages on their website, only add links back to your website that are valuable and non-promotional, and respond to comments once the post goes live.
These are pretty basic guidelines, so don’t be lazy. Follow them in order to keep bloggers happy, and you’ll find it easier to secure some more quality placements as a result.
Decide on a firm word-count
When you’re writing link building content, it can be tough to know how long your pieces should be.
Typically, we always recommend that content should be as long and as in-depth as possible, as long-form content performs better on search engines than smaller articles.
However, there’s no point in spending hours writing the ultimate post, only to have it published on a low-authority website for a backlink where nobody is going to read it.
In that case, you’d be better publishing on your own site, so deciding on a word-count for your posts makes sense.
When we’re working on link building campaigns for our clients, we tend to find that 500-word blog posts perform best.
They’re quick to write (we manage to churn them out in less than an hour), allow you to cover a topic in enough depth that it’s useful, and incorporate a link back to your website without looking too promotional or spammy.
What’s more, because of the speed at which you can write 500-word blog posts, link building campaigns can become scalable, allowing you to write more content for more websites to build more links.
And we all know that more links lead to higher rankings on search engines.
Rank links based on return on investment
Whilst 500-word blog posts usually perform well and help you to secure some high-quality links on other websites, it’s important to rank links and effort based on your return on investment.
If you’ve secured a placement on a site that has a high domain authority or a strong brand, then you should spend more time to craft a quality piece of content that people would want to read.
For example, if you’ve managed to get a placement on a site such as The Huffington Post or Forbes, then you’re naturally going to put more effort into your content than you would a new website with a Domain Authority of 20, so create your own sliding scale and write accordingly.
Typically, the value of the link will determine the amount of work you put into creating a piece of content.
For sites with Domain Authorities between 10 and 30, spend no more than an hour writing your content, as the link will provide value but doesn’t warrant endless hours of work.
For sites between 30 and 50 Domain Authority, spend longer on your piece and consider long-form content with original research and unique graphics.
And for sites with a DA of 50 or above, then put in the effort; these are the sites that attract thousands of unique visitors, where a single link can make a difference to your overall rank, so take your time and create powerful content that will drive traffic back to your website.
On high-performing websites, you may even want to consider second-tier link building to further enhance the quality of your link and create a quality resource that will drive traffic back to your website.
You’re more likely to get a guest post on a high-authority niche website to number one on Google than you are a post on your own site, so weigh up the pros and cons of link building.
Recycle your older blog posts
The chances are that you’ll be building links on websites that cover the same topics and niche as your own, so looking back at your older blog content can give you some food for thought when putting together link building material.
Of course, we’re not saying that you copy and paste your blog posts word for word on other sites, but using the themes and structure can help you to save time and produce more high-quality, relevant content that ties in well with your keywords.
Say for example you run a clothing company, and want to build links back to your womenswear line.
You could take one of your popular blog posts about what to pack for your summer holidays and tweak it for other websites, adding different product suggestions or changing the tone of the piece.
By having a template or ‘finished product’ to look to for ideas, writing it will be a breeze.
Another idea is to shorten your long-form content pieces into smaller, bite-sized chunks for your link building blogs.
If you wrote an all bells, all whistles blog post on securing a mortgage, then you could cut it down into smaller articles that you could share on different websites, and get more value out of a single piece of content.
You could even link back to your long-form piece to let readers find more information; the additional benefit is that you’ll get a backlink as a result.
Outsource to an agency
If you’re new to link building or you struggle to write high-quality content that bloggers will want to publish on their websites, then you may be better off outsourcing to a company, like SEO expert Paul Gordon.
Of course, this will require a budget, and it might make your link building activities more expensive, but it’s still the more cost-effective option if you value your time and want to get more quality backlinks through link building content placements.
The cost of a typical link building blog post can vary from company to company, but you should be able to pick up some quality 500-word blog posts for around £20 per piece.
Once you’ve factored in the time it takes to reach out to bloggers and secure placements, you’ll find that this is still a cheaper and more sustainable option than paying for link building services upfront, but that is, of course, only if you have the time and skills required to find those quality placements.
Creating quality link building content that will perform well on search engines and help you to secure more links back to your website isn’t easy, but with a few tweaks to your current strategy, you’ll be able to increase the quality of your content and write more of it.