Content based link building is the only link building left worth doing

Ok, for those of you who know Seth Godin (the blogging and marketing expert), I am playing on his statement below:

“Content marketing is the only marketing that’s left”
—Seth Godin

The old way of marketing is an interruption with your “cute” agency level message and that is similar to the old way of begging for links, in the sense it no longer works. Begging for links is next to useless now unless you are really building a relationship with someone that makes sense. New link building focuses on building cool content that journalists, bloggers and many people will find just too informative or cool to ignore.

Quality content can attract people who will then share your content of their own free will. You should be building up a cache of content that informs, inspires them or makes them laugh. Basically, it’s anything really cool, informative or sometimes just free – like a free trial software download that generates a ton of people clicking on your site. Widgets, calculators and info-graphics are also examples of content that can generate links.

My cousin Lucas Brunelle has a site about crazy bike videos. Over a million people have viewed his videos on YouTube and roughly 15,000 people link to his site. He never did SEM until he met me and yet these numbers blew me away. He had great ranks in the search engines simply because people linked to him based on how unusual he was. A search marketer’s job is to replicate that natural or organic process in a healthy way that actually adds value.

Photo from
We have built video games, info-graphics, cool articles and more in order to get links for our clients, and it has paid off much better than emailing a million people to request links or taking huge risks buying links.

While not all campaigns get the links you want, if you build good content, even if you fail, your users still benefit.

We designed and built this video game for Rock Bottom Golf years ago and while it didn’t get the links we hoped for, it had people sharing high scores on Facebook and engaging like crazy….

We developed the Caveman Golf Game for Rock Bottom Golf.

Some examples of content and ideas for link building

  • Lists, e.g., Top 10, Top 20, Top 100
  • How-to Guides
  • Humor
  • Controversy
  • Reviews and Comparisons
  • Interviews (e.g., celebrities, experts, bigwigs, etc.)
  • Free Tools and Software
  • Awards
  • Blogs with Attractive Content
  • Niche News
  • Breaking News
  • Images
  • Videos
  • Webcasts
  • Podcasts
  • Polls and Surveys
  • Video Games
  • Widgets
  • Info-Graphics
  • Webcams

How to Create Great Linkable Content

  1. The key: Try not to solely think of it as link bait. In other words, don’t create content solely as an attempt to attract eyeballs and links. Make sure your content helps people, is truly funny, educational or will be deemed useful by a large number of people. In other words, provide value that is answering questions or needs that your customers lose sleep over.
  2. Make sure to provide social media widgets (i.e., share icons) on your content to make it easy for people to spread it around. Also add a great comment feature like Social by Mailchimp to encourage tweets and Facebook shares.
  3. Create a title that really stands out, as it will be much more likely to get linked to that way.
  4. Create a well design cool area on your site or even a second blog just for cool or helpful content. People like to bookmark a chunk of funny or high quality content more than just a one off.
  5. Add bulleted lists, images, video and lots of variety. has a cool set of posts (some of my all-time favorite) on what makes a link worthy blog post. The bottom line is that posts that are not just plain text do better and lo and behold posts that have a wide variety of cool content and multimedia get more links.
  6. Lastly, don’t try and hit a home run every time or you will get nothing done. Go hit a bunch of singles, do it regularly and promote all of your great content because you never know what will go viral. Share all your posts on Facebook, Google Plus and Twitter so your posts have a better chance at going viral.

Excerpt from one of our SEO/Social Media Comics

What Does Link Bait Look Like?

Here is a concentrated list below of link bait resources that should be helpful to anyone trying to create more shareable content for viewers.

Viral Video for Business

Reviews  (has over 500,000 backlinks)

Funny Sites


SEOMoz generated 1 million plus links from content as follows:

Web 2.0 Awards – 100K+ links
Beginner’s Guide to SEO – 12K+ links
Page Strength – 7.5K+ links
Search Ranking Factors – 23K+ links
SEO Blog – 53K+ links

“I didn’t fail the test, I just found 100 ways to do it wrong”
—Benjamin Franklin

Don’t be afraid to try something new. If it fails, try again.

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