If you build a big website and the content is outstanding, eventually you will gain traction and your website will become a success.
However, this process can take several years–or even worse–may never happen at all, unless you do a bit of promotional work.
You need links so that the search engines will trust your website and send you free traffic (which you can then turn into income).
First, let’s define “premium” links.
There are two types of links that you can get:
1) Premium links (good ones!)
2) Manufactured links (bad ones!)
If you do not have ANY links pointing at your website then you cannot really make income in the way that I am suggesting.
So you need some links.
At this point in the game (2012), Google has started to email website owners, stating that Google has penalized their site and is sending them less traffic because Google is suspicious of certain low quality links that are pointed at the website.
Think about this for a moment because it highlights a really important trend.
It used to be possible to rank well in the search engines and make decent income based on low quality, manufactured links.
This is no longer the case. The trend is shifting. More and more, low quality links work less and less.
More and more, the search engines become better at discounting (and even penalizing) those low quality, manufactured links.
It used to be the case that I could recommend to the newcomer that they attempt to get a bit of both worlds: get a few premium links (“real” links) and then go manufacture a bunch of links (such as by using article directories).
I do not believe it is safe any longer to recommend both. At this point (2012) and everything that follows, I would suggest that you ONLY seek out premium quality links.
What is a premium link?
Simply put, a premium link is any link that comes from a REAL website.
When I say “real” website, what I mean is this:
* Websites that have a person behind them that actually cares about the site visitors.
* Websites that have editorial control over what gets published on them (they try to only publish good content).
* Websites that are actually read by PEOPLE every day.
Believe it or not, there are millions of websites on the net that do NOT fit these criteria. In addition, these millions of low quality sites are where you can get manufactured links from.
A premium link is created by a human who is making a decision about whether or not to link to your website. When they make this decision, they are looking over your site and wondering if it is a good fit for their readers. This is the process by which premium links are made.
If, on the other hand, you create a cheap article and submit it to some site and you automatically generate a link from doing so, that is probably not a “premium link.”
Google your topic to find premium link locations
If you do a Google search for your topic, glance through the top 10 results. Any one of those sites would be a GREAT place to get a premium link from. Because Google obviously thinks highly of each of those sites, a link from one of them to YOUR site would be very powerful.
How to get premium links
My opinion is that the best way to get premium links is to offer to write an amazing guest post for another website.
This is difficult to do but it is well worth the time and effort. Remember, if you do not get ANY premium links, you will probably never generate any income. Pretty much any six figure website is going to have at least a few premium links pointing at it (my first six figure website had about six premium links total….that is actually very few and quite easy to attain over time).
Let’s break the guest posting process down into steps.
My suggestion is this:
Go through this process once, and do a successful guest post. That is your goal. Just get one premium link for now. Do it once, get a win under your belt.
The process is tough but it gets easier after you have done it once. Trust me.
Just do it, get ONE good link to start with.
You can build from there.
The guest posting process
Here is how to land your first guest post and get a premium link from a site:
1) Start with your own website – get your home page looking great. For now, take down ALL monetization. Then, create a super premium article to publish on your own site. Make sure it is sitting right on your home page. Make it amazingly good and useful, your best article ever. Try to pack it full of value, include any relevant pics and videos, etc. Make it awesome.
You need to do this because you are going to ask someone to link to your site when you pitch your first guest post. They are going to come look at your site. They will look at your home page. What will they see?
You want them to see amazingly good content and NO ads. Squeaky clean. Make sure you have a great article on the home page.
2) Opportunity research - make a list of websites that you want to guest post on. Actually make a list, do it in Notepad or Word and save it to your desktop. Include the contact details for each site.
Go to Google and do a search like this:
“guest post” (your topic)
So if your site is about tennis, you would do a search like this:
“guest post” tennis
Glance through the results. Some of them will actually be guest posts and some will not. Find the ones that ARE guest posts and then add their website into your list.
Do this again by altering your keyword. Instead of “tennis” you might try “racket sports” or something. Or replace “tennis” with “sports” and get a much broader range of sites.
This takes time. Do it anyway. Try doing it with Yahoo and Bing, too. Try altering your topic keywords as suggested above.
As you do this, keep adding potential websites to your list. These are the sites that you will try to make your guest post pitch to.
3) Content creation – write an original guest post. My suggestion is that you write a thousand word post, or close to it. I also suggest that you make it one of your best articles ever. Yes, you want to give away your best content in order to try to get a premium link.
Another thing that I try to do is to write a killer article that COULD potentially be published elsewhere. This includes publishing it on my own site if the post gets rejected.
However, even if you pitch the guest post and they reject it, I would just go down your list and keep trying until you get it published somewhere. A last resort might be to just publish it on your own website.
4) Pre-pitch. This is important. Do NOT skip this step! Before you pitch the guest post to a website owner, do yourself a big favor:
Leave them a mega-comment.
Whatever website you are going to pitch your post to eventually, go to that site and find their most recent article and leave a mega-comment on it.
What is a mega comment?
It is a very in-depth, insightful, and useful blog comment.
You want to comment on their blog and say something useful about their article. Start a real conversation. Don’t just leave a fluff comment.
In fact, with the mega-comment approach, your comment that you leave on their site should be as good as a regular article in itself. Make a comment so good that it could stand on its own as a solid article.
I would argue that any mega-comment that you leave should be at least, say, 500 words in length.
Trust me, if you do this, the website owner will notice! They will be shocked and delighted that someone is adding that much value to their site in the form of a comment.
You may even consider leaving more than one mega-comment on their site, possibly over the period of a few weeks or even months, before you pitch the idea of guest post.
This is known as “buttering them up” a bit. They will know your name, they will recognize you based on your mega-comments, and this will help you to land the guest post.
5) Pitching the guest post. At this point, you are 99% of the way done. Just email the website owner and offer up the post.
I tend to say something like this:
Hi there [website owner’s name]
I have been reading your blog for while now and I really enjoy it.
I recently finished polishing up a guest post titled:
“A Great Sounding Guest Post for their Particular Blog”
I am wondering if you would be interested in publishing it? I think it could be really helpful for your readers!
Do let me know!
So I just give them the title of the post, not the article itself. If they are interested then you can ship them the entire guest post.
Also, I would include a simple byline at the start of your guest post, something like:
This is a guest post by Patrick Meninga. He is a full time entrepreneur and blogs over at Make Money With No Work.
I always just go for a single link, and I never try to get fancy with it. Just link using your website name or your brand. We are building authority here, not sniping keywords.
Build on your success
After you get one successful guest post, use it as leverage to go chase a second one.
You can even include that in your email to the second website owner, something like:
“You may have seen my recent guest post over at X. I just finished writing another premium article for publication on your website, if you are interested.”
Depending on your topic, you may only need a single premium link or two in order to get the ball rolling. If your content is truly fantastic, this may be all the marketing that you ever have to do.