As an online marketer, links are valuable. Not only do they drive traffic to your site, they tell google you are important. Getting links sounds really easy at first, I mean it is just a text link right? It’s not like the other webmaster needs to create a banner or do anything special, just put up a link. It probably takes less than one minute to put up a little text link, so it seems really easy to do. While it is true that it is easy to create a link, it is not easy getting a webmaster to link to you without a very compelling reason.
As most affiliates who have been in the game at least a few months will tell you, getting links is not easy, especially to your competitive pages. 99.9% of other webmasters are not going to link over to your poker room review or your bonus code page regardless of how awesome of a job you did writing it. Sure there are a few exceptions but they are far and few between.
Without paying for links or spending time negotiating details of link exchanges with other webmasters you’re going to have to think outside the box to get the links your website desires.
Innovative Ways to Get Links
There are unlimited ways to get links and this list is by far from a thorough list, but it is just to get the ideas flowing.
- Create a tool other webmasters can use for exchange for a link, such as a hand replayer or playing card plugin
- Create a wordpress theme and give it away with a footer link
- Produce a youtube video and link back from youtube and enhance your own content
- Write content and provide it to another webmaster with a link in the article (just like this article I’ve written for Poker Affiliate University)
- Create a one of a kind piece of content that naturally gets links naturally – linkbait content
- Create a viral piece of content
A distinction between linkable content and viral content is that ‘going viral’ usually means that your content is literally exploding across the web in a short time span. Linkable content is content may not ‘explode’ all at once but may gain links constantly over time. Both can be very valuable but take different techniques to achieve. I’ll leave the creation of truly viral marketing over to Professor Enke, my example will be more on the type of content that gets links steadily over time.
Again, this is only scratching the surface of ways to get links, but lets talk a bit more about creating linkable content. I like this type of content because it naturally gets links as the word spreads about content itself.
Creating Linkable Content
Link worthy content can be anything really, but it needs to be a quality piece of content that delivers something very different from what you can find everywhere else. As we mentioned earlier, you are not going to get many links to bonus code pages or poker room reviews naturally. Other poker portals just are not going to make a habit of linking to you regardless of how awesome of a job you’ve done writing them.
So you have to create some content that others might find interesting enough to send a link over to. I like to think what the active poker bloggers might link to and use that as a starting point as most of the poker bloggers (the really good ones anyway) make a habit of linking out to other sites all the time.
As an example, I’ll show my latest attempt at link able content. I decided to compile a list of the funniest poker links I could find on the web. A few weeks back, I was surfing the PAL forums and came across a thread that brought up the infamous TJ Cookier (the chocolate chip cookie that looks like TJ Cloutier). I started digging and racking my brain to find the threads that have the hilarious photoshopped threads from all the big poker forums. I researched and compiled a list of the best links on the web related to funny poker stuff. From the poker pro’s doing other jobs like Phil Hellmuth working at McDonalds and the hilarious Scotty Nyguen and Men the Master as taxi jockies.
If you will notice in my example of the funny poker links, along with providing unique content (in this case a list of related links) I also use multiple calls to action to encourage and simply ask for people to link to the content. I ask them to bookmark it, dig and stumble it and to link to it. Even right now, I’m asking those of you reading this right to stop what you’re doing and ship over a link to the content as well. Or, feel free to leave comments with links to other funny poker content and help me share a few laughs with the poker world. I think we could all use that right now so, take a few minutes and slap a link up from your blog, forum or site.
Besides, I think giving out links is like karma, gotta give them out to get them back so what are you waiting for.
The best thing you can do to create link bait is to first just try something. You could try to write a comprehensive list of poker professionals and the names of their pets, or find out compile a list of poker pro’s favorite drinks… who knows. Just do something unique and interesting. You aren’t going to get the links you want writing poker reviews, bonus codes or even poker strategy (unless you are an exceptional player who can also write well).
Creating link worth content is not easy, but it can be very beneficial for your sites health, so give it a shot, what do you have to lose?
Jason Spry is a long time member of the PAL forums and full time affiliate. His most current project is based on the casino game Let it Ride poker that has let it ride poker strategy, tips and ways to play let it ride online, look no farther that LetItRide.org!