Today, I thought that might ramble a bit on a few ideas I’ve tried with my niche blogs when it comes to link building. This post, like Niche Blog Ramblings, is a bit long since it’s put together from idea outlines I had last month but that I didn’t turn into full posts.
Keep in mind that I’m not an expert at it like Griz, Vic or Court and I’ve only recently started working some of these methods on a larger scale but I’ve been around a while and seen stuff work and not work and I’m usually good at spotting patterns. These techniques are manual and, for the most part, free. If you’re wanting something automated, check out Vic’s Bookmarking Demon video tutorial.
Promote Inner Pages
One mistake I’ve made and I’ve seen others fall for it too is always linking to their homepage but failing to link to individual post pages. One of the more effective ways I’ve seen to build backlinks is to have links to internal pages that use keywords and/or tags tightly associated with that post.
For example, on one of my niche blogs I have a page on job interview questions for that particular career. I promoted this page individually using some link building techniques I mention here and, as a result, I get nearly 300 unique search hits a day on it alone and it is one of my best earning individual Adsense pages.
This is also why in my Free Blog Reviews and other times when I link out to other sites I try link directly to posts using a good keyword mix, or at least the title of the post, rather than generically linking to a home page. For example, see the link to Vic’s post above. Likewise, if I wanted to help out Jason and Mike on Pop Critic I wouldn’t necessarily use the low search volume anchor text “Pop Critic” but I might do something like this:
Do your fellow bloggers a favor by linking to specific posts and using their keywords and tags for the post. You can also use this technique to promote your own niche blogs from your flagship blog or other sites you control.
Another way to promote your niche blogs and individual pages on them is to create Squidoo lenses for them or related groups of similar pages. While I was skeptical of this technique at first, due to a Google slap given to Squidoo last year, Terry Didcott’s articles, such as this one, Squidoo and Your Blog, convinced me to give it a try with some of my niche blogs.
So far, I’ve been pleased with the results I’ve seen from these lenses, particularly on newer niche blogs or on existing ones where I wanted to promote individual pages and new keyword combos. Sometimes I find that the lens outranks the site but I do get a lot of click through traffic anyway. Plus, you can make a little extra money from the shared revenue model on Squidoo even if they don’t click through to your site.
As for the content of these lens I stick primarily with simple text blocks that generally follow the pattern of a Blogging Zoom submission. That is a keyword rich bit of text that’s at least 350 characters in length and that also encourages the visitor to click through.
A similar system to Squidoo is HubPages. I have tinkered with them a bit but not really gotten into using them for my niche blogs. However, April Kerr has done some work with them that she describes in this article: How to Get Backlinks with HubPages.
Building Forum Links
Another good way to develop links for your niche blog is to use forums related to your niche topic. If your niche blog articles lack substance, I don’t recommend this approach since you could get branded as a forum spammer but, if you have solid articles, this method works well. Here’s what you should look for in a forum.
First, find a forum in your niche that is friendly to promotion or at least neutral to it. Some forums are moderated with a heavy hand and you probably want to avoid these. Being a forum moderator does go to some people’s heads. What you’re looking for are those that are OK with keyword signature links to on-topic blogs as well as links to articles on your site in posts.
Secondly, make sure the links in posts and signatures are followed. If the forum is no-follow then this backlink building exercise won’t help you and you should find a different forum to use for this purpose.
Third, make sure that the forum is active and is being indexed well by Google. If you see particular threads that have PageRank or that show up in search results for your keywords, try to focus on these threads first.
Lastly, take time to establish yourself. Don’t just jump right in promoting your site. Participate in the community, contribute, and then subtly begin promoting. This way you will be viewed as a valued member rather than just another spammer. I’ve found that it takes about 20-50 good posts to establish yourself in most forums. One caution though, forums can be a massive time consumer. Use your time wisely.
If you watched Vic’s video on how to build incoming links he mentioned changing your signature link from time to time. Depending on the forum software and settings being used on the site doing this can change your signature for all your posts, old and new, or just on new posts after the change. Figure out how the forum you’re targeting works and adjust your linking strategy accordingly.
Also, many forums allow you to go back and edit your old posts. This can allow you to add in new backlinks if you’re cautious about it. Abusing it can result in banning or changes in forum policies so be careful. Another thing is that some forums don’t leave links up permanently so you may lose link juice from a forum thread after a period of time. I recently lost a number of quality backlinks for one of my older sites when a forum deleted posts older than two years.
Getting eBay Backlinks
Another way you can get backlinks your niche blog is to cross promote it with eBay pages. eBay allows you to not only create auction pages but several types of informational pages as well. While links on auction pages are temporary, being deleted after about 90-120 days, other eBay pages stick around. Not only that, but links on these pages are followed links and these pages will, over time, obtain PageRank.
You start this process by creating an eBay account with an ID built around your niche. Read this article of mine for some naming strategies: Don’t Make One of These 3 Mistakes With Your eBay ID. Of course, using a pre-existing ID with some age is preferable. You can also change your existing ID to fit a niche or just create an entirely new ID.
Next, you create an About Me page. The key here is to create some basic info about you and your niche while adding in relevant links to your niche site. As long as you aren’t directly selling stuff on the pages you link from here you should be within eBay rules.
Another opportunity for creating backlinks from eBay are its ill-conceived social networking features such as eBay blogs, guides and wikis. When and where these links are permitted has varied as eBay tries to limit outright spamming on them while allowing useful links for it’s merchants. By creating moderately useful content, following the eBay rules which can change from time to time and with a little care you can build good backlinks this way.
Note that this technique can be combined with creating BANS stores and other eBay affiliate commission opportunities to help make you money as well.
Of course, there are a number of eBay alternative sites around that allow differing degrees of external linking. It’s worth checking them out as well and see what they have to offer in terms of link building opportunities.
…And In Conclusion
OK, I guess I’ve rambled enough for now. Leave me a comment and let me hear your thoughts on these techniques. Plus, do you think it would have been better to have broken this article up into 4 separate posts or to jam them together in a long ramble like this?