Let’s face it, link building isn’t fun, it isn’t glamorous and it definitely isn’t why we each started our small business. That being said, building high quality links is an essential part of improving traffic to your website, so it’s something as a small business owner, we need to be able to do and do well. I own and operate a wine of the month club called Uncorked Ventures, people picture me drinking wine, having lunch etc. What they don’t picture, is me, reaching out to webmasters to build links. Fortunately, I can do plenty of both.
To that end, here’s 5 ways a small business can build links in 2018.
1) Guest Blogging: We’ve all heard about the demise of guest blogging, but in practice it doesn’t seem to be dead at all. Sure, it’s gotten harder and more time consuming and it’s true, we probably won’t see any interface quite as easy as My Blog Guest again, but small scale guest blogging to show yourself as an industry resource, does seem to improve rankings as time goes by. If you’re wondering how you can marry your own industry to a wide variety of topics even if it isn’t interesting, I just wrote an article about the Top Italian Restaurants in Napa Valley for a guest post. If you’re willing to be creative about your topics, you’ll find plenty of outstanding places to write.
2) Flattery: Perhaps nothing works better than flattery. For my small business, I tend to write an awful lot for my company blog, so including quotes or linking to blog’s that I would like to earn a mention on, if often a great place to start. We’ve all heard that outreach is important (it certainly is) but what better way to ask for a mention than after you’ve already done the same?
3) Share: Normally when people suggest ways to build links, they tell you to go for the big fish. Pretty much you’re only supposed to talk to sites that are suppose to move the needle so to speak? The only problem with that advice, those sites aren’t going to talk to a small business. Instead, look for an easy win or two. Talk to the newbies. Talk to the bloggers who are doing this on a part time basis, at best. Instead of asking for something, suggest that you share your space and their own to build both your audiences.
4) HARO: So if you’re a small business owner and you’re not on Help-A-Reporter-Out, I honestly don’t know what to tell you. I mean, I’m interesting and all…..but there is zero chance that I could score links from publications like Business News Daily, Forbes and Conde Nest Traveler without spending literally thousands of dollars a month on a PR company. It’s easy to spend about 5 minutes, 3 times a day responding to inquiries.
5) Give Away a Scholarship: For some time people have debated about the relative worth of government domain links and educational links. I personally have come to the conclusion that they aren’t inherently more valuable than other links, but they are likely to be more valuable because these type of sites don’t link out as much. Your mileage may vary here, but I’ve seen quite a few competitors earn a handful of links by giving away a scholarship for as little as $250. Plus, it’s the right thing to do.
If I could give you a single piece of advice though, stop reading about link building and actually get started. It’s 90% effort and 10% capability and that’s where I think most small business owners go wrong in their link building-they don’t try hard enough.