The Art Of Link Giving | Evolving Link Earning for 2017

A new, unconventional approach to SEO

What if there was a way to generate dozens upon dozens of high quality, authoritative backlinks to your website without investing thousands of dollars or resorting to black hat tactics?

What if you could convince the biggest industry influencers to start promoting your content on their website without having to pay a dime or have a prior relationship?

What if one simple tactic could 10X the number of backlinks to your site and all but guarantee the success of your business?

Well ladies and gentlemen, this tactic of mythic proportions exists, and it’s called link giving.

And  today I am going to let the genie out of the bottle and teach you everything you need to know to leverage it for massive growth.

So sit down, pour yourself a big cup of coffee, and get ready to take notes.

Class is in session.2-link-arning-vs-link-building-

Link Earning vs. Link Building (and the problem with both)

Before I dive into the concept of link giving, I first want to briefly touch on its predecessors, link building and link earning.

These two practices have been an essential element of every SEO campaign since the inception of Google.

However, constant algorithm updates and changes have lead to a shift in the way that most SEOs and marketers approach them.

And even though most marketing publications and gurus continue to espouse the importance of these tactics, the simple truth is that link building (or earning) as you know it is outdated and inefficient at best.

Let me explain.

Link Building

Link building is the old-school-turned-black-hat SEO technique that was all but crippled by the Panda and Penguin updates.

It started out in a fairly benevolent manner, originally consisting of nothing more than marketers reaching out to relevant companies and either exchanging or purchasing links in an effort to boost their website’s rank and authority.

However, things quickly degenerated into a smorgasbord of spammy backlinks, poorly written blog comments, and paid sponsorships for subpar products.

And although Google has heavily cracked down on unethical link building strategies, the practice of link building is still incredibly prevalent for one reason.

It still works!

But…

Post Panda link building is far more difficult and requires an incredibly tactful approach that requires you to slowly and consistently purchase more expensive and authoritative back links over the course of months or years.

You can no longer get away with building links by spamming other marketer’s comments section or purchasing hundreds of cheap links from smaller websites.

To really succeed at link building you will need to buy links from quality sources.

And this is where most budding entrepreneurs come to understand traditional link building’s fatal flaw.

It requires money, and a lot of it.

Because of this fault, marketing tactics changed to bring us a more evolved version of link building more aptly called “link earning.”

Link Earning

Link earning is the marketplace’s answer to the problems associated with the high cost of entry to traditional link building.

Instead of simply purchasing links from other websites, companies have started to earn those links by creating high quality content that provides tremendous value to other’s audiences.

And this concept is great…

In theory.

You see, while it is true that Google’s algorithms highly favor companies that build up a natural backlink profile by creatively promoting high quality content, there is still a hitch.

For most high authority websites, the value trade just doesn’t make sense.

Even if your article provides some great information for their company, odds are, they either have similar content or have been pitched similar content by companies who are also offering to pay.

And as frustrating as this might be, you need to remember that business is business.

Unless you are offering something of mind boggling value in exchange for an authority backlink, you will probably be left empty handed.

And while it is true that many websites have had some great success by publishing and promoting viral content, this approach simply isn’t scalable.

So while the inherent weakness of link building is that it requires a strong financial backing to run a successful campaign, the inherent weakness of link earning is that without a strong rolodex of viral content, you will need that financial backing to succeed.

So What is a marketer to do?3-link-giving-

Link Giving The New Kid on the Block

After hearing about the dismal state of affairs in modern link building/earning, many of you might be slumped back in your chair with a sense of hopelessness and despair gnawing at your stomach.

Afterall, it doesn’t sound like you have much of a chance of building up the link profile you need without a few dozen viral articles or copious amounts of disposable cash in the bank.

But before you throw in the towel and jump out of the ring, let me introduce you to your new secret weapon.

Link giving.

Link giving is the practice of requesting a backlink from authority websites in exchange for a more powerful backlink to their website.

And before you start protesting and telling me that you don’t have a big enough website to offer any value to authority blogs, let me explain exactly what I mean.4-the-link-giving-process-how-it-works-

The Link Giving Process: How it Works

Step 1: Borrow Authority

Most major publications like The Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, and Business all offer guest and ghost writing opportunities to select members of the general public.

And as long as you have built up a decent list of accomplishments and have a basic control of the English language, becoming a contributor for one of these websites is a very achievable goal.

And once you have become a contributor on Forbes or similar site, you now have access to a platform that gives you nearly unlimited link building power.

This is basically an ethical way of piggybacking on other websites and borrowing their authority to achieve your goals.

Step 2: Reach Out Like Normal

Once you have earned a position as a contributor for an authority website, the next step is to reach out to your desired influencer much the same as you would when practicing traditional link earning.

With one big difference.

Now, whenever you reach out and ask for a quote for an article you are writing, influencers will know that their name will appear on a website with hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of monthly readers.

Step 3: Request a Backlink

Once the article goes live, the next step is to reach out to the influencer and share the article with them.

Now, you have already offered them a high level of value and they will feel a certain obligation to return the favor.

Therefore, whenever you end your correspondence, share another piece of work that you did that cites them as a source and request that they share it with their audience.

Considering your position as a contributor for a major publication and the massive amount of free value that you have already offered, it is a no-brainer for them to share your content and build a mutually beneficial relationship.

Link, given.

A Quick Note

Now some of the more astute readers might be thinking “Hey! If I am writing for these authority sites, then why not just link back to my own website in my articles?”

Well, unfortunately, most of the major publications you will be writing for are pretty strict about the backlinks they allow you to include in your articles.

So while linking back to someone like John Maxwell or Tim Ferriss won’t pose any issue, linking back to one of your blogs that only contains 2 posts will not be acceptable.5-how-to-get-started-as-a-link-giver-

How to Get Started as a link Giver

All right, so many of you reading this are now thinking:

That all sounds fine and dandy, but I don’t really have the authority to be writing for Forbes or Entrepreneur. What the heck am I supposed to do?”

Luckily for you, landing a gig as a contributor is actually a pretty simple process.

Step 1: Be a Voracious Writer

Look, you cannot expect to land a position contributing to one of the world’s most prestigious online magazines unless you are a pretty exceptional writer.

This means that you need to be writing and writing a lot.

There is no way around this.

Step 2: Do Your Research

Before you are ready to pitch yourself and your writing to your magazine of choice, you first need to have a reasonable idea about their expectations, standards, and general quality of their writing.

This means that you need to spend at least 5-10 hours reading over and possibly even rewriting the top articles on each site you want to contribute to.

While it is certainly possible to become a contributor without this step, if you want to stack the odds in your favor you are going to do everything possible to give yourself a competitive edge.

Step 3: Connect with Editors the Right Way

If you want to get published on Forbes, Entrepreneur, or The Huffington Post, then you can forget all about pitching yourself to editors via LinkedIn or cold emailing.

Most editors receive a few hundred pitches just like yours each and every day.

Instead, you want to first connect with other website contributors who have already developed some traction and renown with their content.

After introducing yourself to a contributor, offer to help them with research or editing.

Tell them that your ultimate goal is to become a contributor yourself and you are looking for some insights into the creative and administrative process and would love to help.

Once you have worked with them for a few weeks or months, you should have no problem getting them to connect you with the right person who can review your articles.

Step 4: Pitch Incredibly High Quality and Relevant Content

Now that you have the attention of one of the website’s editors, it’s do or die.

The content you pitch will either make or break the entire future of your link giving capacity with that website.

This makes it essential that you only pitch the highest quality content that you have.

And what’s more important is that you pitch high quality content that is relevant to their audience.

Just because you wrote some sort of epic fantasy novel a couple of years ago that blew everyone’s minds does not mean you should use this in your pitch.

Instead, find content that will make the editors take a pause from their busy day and say “Whoa! This guy NEEDS to be writing for us.”

Step 5: Know and Exceed the Company’s Expectations

If you make it through the gauntlet and earn a spot as a contributor you need to remember that the real work has only just begun.

If you want to have the ability to become a master link giver for months or years to come (which is necessary to really grow your business) then you need to meet and exceed the editor’s expectations with every article that you write.

This will ensure that you have a continuous access to a platform where you can easily grow your backlink profile and authority online.

What to do if the Editors Reject You

If the above method fails or you simply lack the expertise and writing ability necessary to land a spot as a contributor, all hope is not lost.

Your fallback plan is pretty simple and actually just as effective for building your backlinks.

Follow all of the steps above up to step 3 and then, instead of asking for an introductory, offer to start working for the contributor as a ghost writer.

This will still give you the ability to give links to industry authorities and will not require that you go through the effort of actually becoming a contributor yourself.

This is a great way to build authority backlinks, however you will also not have the ability to grow your own influence and authority the way that you would if you were to write for Forbes or a similar website.

Conclusion

To succeed as an entrepreneur in the 21st century, you need to be able to tackle conventional concepts with unconventional methods.

Link giving is the undeniable future of SEO and backlinking, and if you can become an effective giver, you will quickly develop authority and influence in a way you had never believed possible.

So take this guide and get started today.

I promise that your website and your business will never be the same.

  • Susan Schauer John

    Again – Ajay knows his stuff! If this is the only voice on the internet you follow as an SEO, you will be well rewarded. Ajay and his team are more thoroughly aware of the history of and therefore the likely evolution of search in our future.

  • Zoltan F

    Ajay, amazing content and guide on link giving. You actually answered all the objections that came into my mind exactly at the right moment. Thanks for sharing such an awesome strategy.

  • Deb Chowdhury

    Awesome Thanks Ajay!

  • Marilize

    This is interesting, link giving is a noble idea and we hope to be doing just that. Should anyone reading this be intersested in link exchange, let me know.