Links are the currency of online media. When large or influential sites link to your article, it has two effects:
1. It allows readers to find your article by clicking on that link. Imagine if a site like the Huffington Post links to your article. That’s a lot of readers who will click and read your content.
2. It improves your articles search engine ranking, increasing the likelihood that readers will discover your work via a search.
Links will come somewhat naturally to good content, but there are also certain techniques and approaches you can use to make it more likely that other sites will link to your articles. This is known as Link Baiting. For a guide to best strategies, read Todd Malicoat’s article The Link Baiting Playbook, in which he outlines five hooks (or types of content) that will encourage others to link to your work.
We can’t improve on Todd’s work here, but we can provide some related examples. Please make sure to read the whole article first though.
1. The News Hook
Offer expert or insightful commentary on timely news topics. For best results, be original. Either in your insights or in the topics you are covering.
2. The Contrary Hook
Offer an opinion contrary to a widely held belief. But it has to be believable and you have to make your case strongly. The uniqueness of your contrary hook will attract attention, but only well reasoned content will attract links.
3. The Attack Hook
This could be described as the contrary hook on steroids. It will make you unpopular. But that unpopularity will result in a lot of people linking to your article. Only do this is you have a strong stomach and are prepared for some abuse. An example of an attack hook would be ’10 Reasons to Hate So and So’.
4. The Resource Hook
If you write a post containing genuinely useful information, people will link to it.
5. The Humor Hook
This works perfectly because you’ll be able to reach a much wider audience by being funny. Everybody needs a good laugh now and then. A little self deprecation is great to show people you don’t really take yourself too seriously. Cracked is a brilliant website that’s entirely made up of content that shows this hook off perfectly. See that site for examples.
- Topic Selection
- Strong Introductions
- Article Length
- Article Structure
- Spelling and Grammar
- How to Get More Comments
- General Writing Tips
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