If you’re like me, you’ve read just about enough about link building with press releases and web 2.o properties.
Well you’re in for a treat…
Because today I’m going to pull back the curtain and show you 4 powerful link building strategies that I use to rank sites in insanely tough niches.
If you’re looking for something new to add to your link building campaigns you’ll love these little-known — but very powerful — strategies.
#1: Pay Broke College Students
One of my clients is the incredibly competitive life insurance niche.
Because it’s not a “sexy” niche (or even remotely interesting), things like link baits and infographics don’t work.
And most insurance-focused resource pages on .edu domains are inundated with SEO firms begging for links.
To give him an edge in the SERPs, I started to pay college students to link to his site on their student blog (you’d be surprised how many colleges allow their students to set up personal blogs on their .edu domains).
All I do is reach out to them and ask them to set up a blog and post an article (with a link to my client’s site, of course!).
I usually pay them $50 — which to a college student — is a lot of money.
Here’s how I find them:
1. Fiverr: There are hundreds of broke college students on Fiverr willing to do anything for a few bucks:
If someone’s willing to post 100 flyers for $5, you better believe they’ll be happy to copy and paste an article for $50. Just reach out to each of the people that run the gig with your offer.
2. Job Boards: Most Universities have a student job board, like this one from Yale.
Just post that you’re looking for a student to help with your marketing campaigns. You don’t need to be much more specific than that.
Bonus Tip: Some student job boards actually let you post a dofollow link to your site in the job posting. This way you get your link even if you don’t find a student to drop a link for you.
3. Student Clubs and Organization: There are literally hundreds of student organizations that operate on a shoestring budget. And they’re more than happy to accept a donation in exchange for a link on their organization’s page.
You can find them using these search strings:
site:.edu “student keyword club”
site:.edu “student groups” + “keyword”
site:.edu “student organizations” + “keyword”
Depending on your niche, you may have to be creative with the keywords you search with (Unfortunately for my client, there’s no “Student Life Insurance Club”).
But I’ve found that targeting clubs that at least somewhat niche relevant boosts your success rate. Not to mention that getting your link on a page related to your site’s niche also makes the link more powerful.
For example, if you had a site about SEO, you could reach out to the student web design or programming club.
You can also just head to individual University sites and look for their list of student organizations. Some sites even let you search for organizations by category and keyword:
#2: Do an Industry Survey
One of the cheapest way to attract a boatload of natural links is to do a quick and dirty survey.
To show you how easy this can be, look at this single-question survey by Search Engine Roundtable:
And here’s are the metrics for the page where they published the results:
Keep in mind this wasn’t a 5-figure industry research study.
This is from ONE question!
And you can do the same by coming up with a few creative questions to ask people in your niche. Once you get your results, post your results as a blog post — or better yet– an infographic.
Pro Tip: Look for a “knowledge gap”. For example, if you’re in the affiliate marketing niche, you could do a poll to see how much the average affiliate marketer makes every month. Or you could do a single-question poll on where they get most of their traffic. Just make sure you’re finding something new so that people get excited when they see your results.
#3: Find Link Prospects With Ontolo
Ontolo is like ScrapeBox….on steroids.
Ontolo scrapes the web and finds places where you can drop links, using footprints that you give it.
What sets this apart from ScrapeBox is that you can filter by PageRank and Domain Authority…which means you don’t waste time on low-quality sites.
For example, let’s say you wanted to find guest post opportunities in the SEO niche.
Usually you’d grind in Google using tried and true search strings (ie. “SEO” + “write for us”).
But you can use Ontolo to find thousands of prospects in minutes.
First, set up a free account. Then enter your keywords:
Finally, choose one of their footprint templates.
And you’ll get a list of guest post targets.
700 prospects? Not bad!
Of course, you still need to pound the pavement and reach out to all these site owners. But this tool will often find link prospects you’d otherwise miss.
#4: .edu and .Gov Guest Blogging
I bet you didn’t know that .edu and .gov sites accept guest posts.
Sure, they’re not going to have “write for us” and “guest blogging guidelines” pages.
But if you follow the steps on researching and warming up prospects in my Definitive Guide to Guest Blogging, you can get your guest post published on any blog…even those hosted on .edu and .gov domains.
Just look at this example from PIT.edu:
Yes, that’s an author bio from a guest post on a PR3 page on a .edu domain!
Heck, even WhiteHouse.gov accepts guest posts!
How did these people get such amazing links?
Simple: by asking.
Most .edu and .gov blogs don’t openly accept guest posts. Which means you can’t use the usual suspects of guest blogging search strings to find them.
Instead, you need to find blogs in your niche on .edu and .gov domains and offer a guest post to the blogger.
It takes a bit of legwork, but these are the types of links that really move your site in the SERPs (and keep them there). And it’s something that can give you a HUGE leg up on your competition.