There are many people out there who believe that building links and gaining awareness is as simple as:
- Creating a piece of awesome content
- Posting this content on social bookmarking sites and telling your friends
- Waiting for the traffic + backlinks to come streaming in
This is a strategy that has merit for anyone who already has a presence online, who already has followers/friends, who already has access to sufficient human capital to have some guarantee that their excellent content will receive enough traffic and interest to spread and gain backlinks.
The problem is that beginners out there looking to improve their SEO efforts and get more traffic to their niche site do not have access to a network of people who will read their posts and give them backlinks. They believe (because of misinformation out there) that once they write an awesome piece of content, everything else will follow. This is untrue for the vast majority of people.
The rest of the post will cover some techniques that you can utilize to spread that awesome piece of content without relying on a network of existing readers.
I will cover mainly paid techniques with which to give your content legs. The paid methods do not involve any back-alley transactions such as paid links and automated submissions. I will give a few quick suggestions relating to free methods, but I truly believe that the paid methods are the game-changers where exposure is concerned.
Paid methods and resources
The list below outlines some awesome methods you can use to get your content out there – generating traffic and encouraging links.
- BuySellAds.com – this site allows you to place display ads on any of their network of sites. The cost of the ad placements depends largely on the amount of traffic the site receives, so you can find small sites related to your niche where you can get targeted exposure. Make a display ad that entices people to come view your content, and make sure your page makes the most of any views by encouraging newsletter signups and backlinks.
- Safe-Swaps.com – this site allows you to pay somebody with an email newsletter to include your content/site in an email to their subscribers. I haven’t used this service much personally but I think it has great potential if you can find someone who’s newsletter relates to your niche.
- StumbleUpon.com/pd/ – StumbleUpon Paid Discovery is a great way to get your content out to a targeted audience. You can have your content appear only to people in or related to your niche. These people are more likely to link back to your content from their own site or blog if they are targeted.
- Fiverr.com – this site can be used for anything from paid tweets to facebook fan building. People list something they’re willing to do for $5, and you can often get a great deal of exposure for very little money.
- Google.com/adwords – if your content is that good, but you just can’t seem to get it out to an audience, it might be worth using Adwords to get exposure. Adwords can be extremely cheap in uncompetitive niches, but very expensive in other circumstances.
Free methods to build exposure
Below are some techniques for those with no money to spend. To reiterate, the paid methods are by far the most effective exposure techniques.
- Guest Blogging – this is an obvious technique, but one that is hugely underutilized. Here is a recent article with a great list of blogs to guest post on (including this very blog) . The added benefit of guest blogging is that you receive a backlink from any articles you write.
- Quora.com – Using Quora to answer questions people have relating to your niche is a great way to build authority and incentivize people to come to your site.
Some closing thoughts
The early days of a blog or piece of content are the hardest, and the techniques I listed above are those that will help to get you to the greener grass – once you have a network of people interested in what you write or promote, exposure becomes much more natural and requires much less concerted marketing effort. Content does, in fact, become the king.
First though, your content must ascend the ranks, and with each ascension, more people will hear your voice. It’s stupid not to use the most powerful traffic driving techniques at your disposal to get to this point. Write great content, and market the shit out of it. Give your content legs. That’s how you build links.