If you build links for a living and have not read Cialdini’s Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, get on it! The strategy detailed here relies on the rule of reciprocation that Cialdini puts forth:
The rule says that we should try to repay, in kind, what another person has provided us. If a woman does us a favor, we should do her one in return; if a man sends us a birthday present, we should remember his birthday with a gift of our own; if a couple invites us to a party we should be sure to invite them to one of ours. By virtue of the reciprocity rule, then, we are obligated to the future repayment of favors, gifts, invitations, and the like.
The idea that we need to give bloggers and webmasters a reason to link to our website is not a new one. The most popular advice for how to get bloggers to link to you is to “create a great asset”…DUH! But how do you get the blogger to notice you? How do you get her to like you? And more importantly, how do you get her to owe you?
I propose using HARO.
Before we dive in, let’s pretend we are building links for a nail care product company.
1. Find Blogs (and more importantly, bloggers)
The first step in our process is to prospect blogs (along with the blogger behind them). Here’s how to find and organize blog prospects:
- Hit up Google.com/blogsearch
- Your niche is nail care, so blogs concerning cosmetics or fashion would be a good place to start
- Enter a search query related to the niche, and see what you get
- Now, here is where the fun begins. Go into your Google search setting settings and choose the option “Never show Instant results” (if you do not do this Google will not allow you to choose 100 results per page) and then choose 100 results per page:
- Use the Scrape similar extension to quickly export all 100 URL’s to a Google doc. Here is what your settings should look like:
- Start trollin’ these sites. Here is the information we need to obtain during this process:
Is the link worth pursuing? To answer this, I consider things like:
- The PageRank/Domain Authority of the blog
- Is there an engaged readership?
- Is the topic relevant (obviously)
- What does the blogs bureaucracy look like? What I mean here is, how many different people have to sign off before content gets posted? Is it a personal blog or something that is run by an organization or group, for profit. I have found personal blogs to always be preferable because forming one relationship can ensure that you get the link.
2. Comment, share, and email
The final stage in this strategy is monitoring HARO for press opportunities that your new fashion blogging friends can take advantage of. HARO emails are typically organized into categories at the top of the email:
Look for queries related to the niche you are working in, and then evaluate whether any of your bloggers could address those queries. To prove that it is not hard at all to find opportunities to share with your blogger friends, here is a fashion inquiry from yesterday:
Now, email your fashion blogging friends informing them of the query and PR opportunity…that’s it. The beautiful thing is that you can send 20 bloggers the same query, and they’ll be none the wiser.
Now you have 20 bloggers who owe you because you’ve gone out of your way to think of them and tell them about something valuable. Think they won’t allow a guest post? Link to an infographic? Spread the word about a product discount?
By offering a relevant and valued resource, you have created a feeling of obligation. That, I promise, will make your link building efforts more successful, and far easier.