Link Building Tips for Niche Blogs

Link Building Tips for Niche Blogs

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

Inside Your Head

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:

If you want to read some great, in depth, recaps of TV shows like Battlestar Galactica, American Idol and Lost check out Pop Critic. Jason and Mike are great at what they do.

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.

Squidoo Lenses

Squidoo

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

A forum discussion

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

eBay Homepage

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?

 


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24 Comments »

Comment by Y. S.
2008-03-13 12:28:18

Internal linking seems like something I should start doing. A lot of bloggers end their posts with “related posts” with internal links. Will that do?

As you said we should be cautious when linking from Forums. ESPECIALLY if you are a new member. You will be banned in no time! Although Forum moderators give you more freedom and don’t interfere with your writings if you are a regular well known member.

Comment by jfc
2008-03-13 12:42:07

Hi Y.S.,

It does seem that using the related post or random post plugins have some beneficial SEO effect. Of course, this depends a lot on the quality of your article titles and so forth.

That’s true. Jumping right into a forum with an obvious bit of keyword spam is sure to get you banned. But, then again, there are forums out there that are moderated by power mad dictators. For example, I got banned from a popular TV show’s semi-official forum because the moderator decided that a thread I had started discussing a certain drug related incident that was both a key element in the plot of the show and instrumental to a certain character’s development violated their TOS against discussing illegal drug usage. :roll:

 
 
Comment by Mike Olbinski
2008-03-13 12:47:19

Good stuff Frank, and thanks for the links :)

Happy Lost day!

Comment by jfc
2008-03-13 13:39:33

Thanks for stopping by Mike and you’re welcome.

 
 
Comment by Y. S.
2008-03-13 14:17:29

“there are forums out there that are moderated by power mad dictators” … yup, give people with low confidence and have social problems some authority and see how they’ll abuse it.

 
Comment by Dinheiro
2008-03-13 15:33:52

This is a very good post jfc. I made a squidoo lens about Personal Social Network, that can complement this post and it’s more ways of getting visitor, traffic and backlinks.

Comment by jfc
2008-03-14 08:53:20

Hi Dinheiro,

That’s a good lens.

 
 
Comment by April
2008-03-18 07:15:31

Thanks for the link. Another tip is to use Yedda which is similar to Yahoo answers but doesn’t have the no follow tag attached. Or at least the last time I checked. I’ve only used it to link to one of my sites plus I’ve also added sites that don’t belong to me so that it looks natural.

Comment by jfc
2008-03-18 08:18:37

Thanks April,

Yedda seems like a good option too. I just signed up for it and answered a question and the link in the answer is a followed link.

 
 
Comment by nate
2008-03-19 18:21:51

A little off topic, but I thought you might enjoy what I did to entrecard….which I agree DOES s#ck. - http://natespost.com/index.php/entrecard-scam-mongo-credits/

Comment by jfc
2008-03-19 19:55:38

Hi Nate,

Interesting post, thanks.

 
 
Comment by nate
2008-03-19 20:44:29

I have done nothing with Squidoo….you have motivated me to put that on my list of things to do tomorrow.

 
Comment by Lin
2008-03-25 19:31:29

Hiya Frank,

I do not think this post should have been broken up into four smaller ones, it held my attention throughout.

Interlinking posts with specific keywords in the link has worked very well at getting Double Indexed in Google, and I have Grizz to thank for teaching me how to do it. Just do a Google search for the term “difference between helping and enabling” and you’ll find two of my posts at the number 2 spot.

About Squidoo…, I suck at making a lens. I’ve been surprised to find that one sucky-one I did has brought some traffic to my posts about helping vs enabling. But I would really like a good detailed tutorial on how to make a professional looking lens on Squidoo. I saw one that Grizz did, but seeing it doesn’t teach me how to make a Squidoo lens that won’t make viewers cringe and bounce right off in search of a better looking one. Perhaps a….ahem….upcoming post perhaps, oh buddy oh pal??? :)

Comment by jfc
2008-03-26 08:20:05

Hi Lin,

I’ve only made a few Squidoo lenses, probably about 20 in all but I’m adding a new one for each new niche blog I create. I generally follow the same pattern of using about 5 text modules, each with an internal link to the target blog and a couple of other things that make sense like a poll module or a widget. The text modules are just an intro paragraph, much like what you would see for a Blogging Zoom entry. Generally I’m seeing a pretty good click-thru on the lenses to the target blog of about 50-80%.

2008-07-11 03:34:31

When it comes to building Squidoo lenses, I’m curious if you create new identities for each of these lenses?

If you’re tying it to a niche blog written by, let’s say, Bob Smith, do you then create a new Squidoo user called Bob Smith, who has a lens on that same niche? Or, do you create a totally different Squidoo user, Dave Jones, who has a lens that, by coincidence, is on the same niche as Bob Smith’s blog?

Or, do you simply have a Squidoo identity under the name Frank, and you have a gazillion lenses all heading out to your various niche blogs? I’m just starting with Squidoo, and I’d like to start building correctly from the very beginning, rather than make some dumb mistakes out of the gate.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by jfc
2008-07-11 08:52:59

Hi Amish,

I generally do aliases like I do with Blogger blogs, a maximum of about 5 per account.

 
 
 
Comment by jfc
2008-03-26 14:28:34

Lin,

Here’s an example Lens: Niche Blogging Tips.

Let me know if you have any questions on it and how it was created. I’ll either answer it here or in a separate post.

 
 
Comment by Houseboat Rentals
2008-05-04 19:50:39

Frank, Good tips here. I use Squidoo a lot. I find I get more traffic from my Squidoo lenses than I do organic. I am trying for organic but not much luck yet.

Yedda looks a lot like Wis.dm. I use to use Wis.dm a lot, but not since I met Vic and Court and Grizz. (No Time)

I am finding so many useful tips on your blog. Congrats on how well it is going.

Denise

Comment by jfc
2008-05-04 21:58:21

Hi Denise,

I’ve seen a few sites where Squidoo will bring in a bit of trickle traffic. I’m not sure how well it converts though.

I try to provide something a little different, something that blends or something in addition to what the “Big 3″ say.

 
Comment by April of Scotland
2008-05-06 15:32:48

Can’t see any way of leaving links of wis.dm. Maybe i’m missing something?

 
 
2008-06-04 16:21:56

Thanks for the tip, its very hard finding niche building tips for niche blogs.

Comment by jfc
2008-06-04 23:15:59

Hi ‘Episodes’

I hope you found this article helpful.

 
 
2008-08-08 01:05:32

I am now typically creating a blinkweb sales page for each new niche that goes live. I like the sales page type as you can link stuff and not need much content…unlike at Squidoo and Hubpages. When blinkweb starts to get some rank those links are going to serve me well.

 
2008-11-08 11:46:37

I’ve always promoted my inside pages whenever I blog. I just feel it helps to support the topic I’m writing and helps increase page views. I’ve just created an ebay about me page and a blog so it’s good to read that it’s dofollow and has backlinks potential. Thanks for sharing.

Peter Lee

 
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