You’re just starting with your company. As a result, you’re already struggling with a wide variety of problems. You’re trying to find a workaround in a challenging and competitive setup. But, at the end of the day, this pressure and stress gives you a high. Let’s face it. You signed up for this, and you knew what was going to happen. And something within told you that you were up for the challenge and that, well, let’s do it!
Now apart from the many problems that face a startup, one problem is mostly out of your control. That is how to get quality links back to your site when you have limited or, worse, no content? Creating content is time-consuming and resource-intensive (read, dollars!). Eventually, you will have to invest time and money in creating content assets and invest in content marketing. But in the initial stages, when you have no content, you still need to get quality backlinks. In an earlier post, we’ve already shared some easy ways to earn quality backlinks. Let’s explore a few more strategies that you can use to start building links before you can start generating quality content.
#1. Community work
Surprised? Hear us out. Take up a community concern, like cleaning your neighbourhood. Make an event out of it. Invite people of the community to participate in it. You don’t have to spend much on advertising for this kind of events. Ask a few members of the press and also contact the local waste management authorities to be part of the drive.
Apart from the positive image your company will create as an environment-friendly business, you will get a lot of potential mentions in the press (and links), social media interactions. All those involved in the cleanup drive will mention your company along with photos of the event; the waste management authorities may mention you in their online newsletter or blog and reward you with a link, and some independent local bloggers and news sites will feature your drive and link back to you.
You can create a regular event out of this and hold it every fortnight or once a month. As the event gets bigger, your mentions will start to increase.
#2. Run a contest
Everybody loves a contest. It’s easy to create one on your social media platform, and if the contest is exciting, it will soon go viral. Building links from a contest cannot be your only goal. It comes with added benefits like creating brand awareness, launching a new product, increasing sales by giving away discount codes and so on. Before you set up a contest, define your goals, your target audience, what type of contest will attract them the most and the time and resources you need to invest in it.
Apart from the natural links that come back to you, you should also leverage the contest you have set up to gain links from bloggers and influencers in the market and by getting “contest partners.” This is win-win for all concerned. Everybody gets publicity.
3. Offer a donation
This could sound sneaky, but it is a great way to get some high-quality links. All you need to do is find charities (preferably in your niche) that display the list of donors on their pages. If they show links of corporate donors, great! Make a donation to the charity and get your link. Simply Google “Art organisations/Charities/Theatre groups accepting donations + list of donors” and you will get a list of organisations that accept donations and preferably give you a link. Global Giving Foundation, for example, lists its corporate donors on a page with their logos and links to their websites.
You can also get links to high domain authority sites like theatres, art organisations and student clubs of high schools, colleges and universities if you make a donation to them or sponsor an event. A look at a college website will give you details of the student’s club. You can contact them and ask if you could sponsor an upcoming event. Most events will have their microsites that are linked to the parent organisation’s website, where you can get a link as a sponsor.
4. Converting brand mentions into links
There are times when someone mentions your brand or company either on social media or on a blog. Sometimes they link to your site, sometimes they don’t. Using a social media monitoring tool (like, Mention), you can track all your brand mentions. Once you find all the mentions without links, you can reach out to people who mentioned you and ask for a link.
5. Connect to the right people
This is not a strategy, but a way of life, really. If you connect to the right people, they will help you. In this case, they will link back to you. Social media is a goldmine of people who can be of valuable service to you and your brand. Connect to people who love your products or services. Engage them in high-quality conversations and they will mention you without you even having to ask for a link.
Find communities and forums related to your niche. Participate in conversations and provide value to members. Help a member solve a problem, answer questions, and in general, build a reputation. This will help you get instant links and also help you build a long-lasting brand authority, credibility and respect.
Sending free product samples to bloggers in your niche and asking for a review can also be a great way of getting high-quality links.
6. Host a webinar
You don’t have to be a speaker at your webinar. Invite an expert in your field and either hold an interview or a talk with Q&A at the end. Advertise the event on your social media platforms and reach out to bloggers in your niche. They will happily announce the upcoming webinar with a link to your site. Webinars and other online events are highly engaging and get you a large amount of traction as mentions and links.
7. Offer pro bono services
If you cannot afford to give away donations to charities or sponsor events, this is a good way to get some high-quality links. Find non-profit, local community or other charity organisations in your area. Reach out to them and offer them your services free of charge. They will be more than happy to mention you since you have invested your time and efforts to help them.
So what link building strategies did you use in the when you did not have that much content yet? Do share your ideas in the comments section!