Getting back links to a new site can be hard early on, one way to get things kick started is to post material up that is likely to attract attention – and therefore links. Welcome to the world of linkbait!
But how far should you go when it comes to trying to attract attention? Our 29 debates bloggers have about blogging series continues.
What is Link bait?
Link baiting is the process of creating content to attract links. This is generally an acceptable practice when it comes to building your websites profile, Googler Matt Cutts has even mentioned on his blog in the past. Regular readers of Blogercise will however realise I do not promote the creation of content for any other reason than to provide the best possible user experience.
And this is the critical point to remember: Link baiting need not be a separate activity, you should be continuously striving to create articles that people will want to read and then share.
There is no doubt that kicking up a storm can get you recognised, and if that is your strategy then I can’t stop you going down that route. Many bloggers, professionals and celebrities have boosted their public profile though controversy.
If you have read around this site (if nothing else check out our 10 step site building guide) then you will know that the Blogercise way is building websites through honesty and integrity. If for no other reason that I want to look back at my creations and know that they succeeded on their own merrit.
I am not naive though, for every webmaster who wants to build something to be proud of there are a dozen that want a quick route to easy money. If this sounds like yourself then you’ll probably not find a great deal of use to you on this site. But I hope you keep reading and perhaps you’ll see why investing the time might just pay off!
The irony is that many people who turn to the dark side end up working harder and harder but never getting anywhere.
The choice, of course, is yours.
If you do try to be controversial then please watch that you don’t get yourself on the wrong side of the law. I am not a lawyer and so can’t offer any advice about what you can or can’t post about people, products or companies but if you think you might be close to crossing a line then please seek professional help.
It is tempting to think we have free speech but actually there are many laws and rules around what you can or can’t say. Like I said, I can’t offer specific advice but if you start making stories up or inciting hatred then you may find yourself in a lot of trouble.
It might seem that making up a story could be a good way to get links but you might find yourself in hot water if someone makes a formal complaint and gets the layers involved. Not a risk I’d want to be taking.
Linkbait for the Safe Blogger
My most successful link building exploits have all been around getting a scoop. If you can be the first to publish a genuine story of high interest within your niche then you are bound to attract attention. Remember to notify the key players when you put the post up and wait for the links to come in.
This example is a win-win situation whereby I have provided something useful to my readers and the wider blogosphere that will attract attention and linking. So perhaps we can argue that this isn’t link bait at all, it’s actually about creating a good website that people will want to read and share.