Do you want to get found by Google more and not depend on social media for all your blog traffic?
You need to learn how to get backlinks for free. Otherwise, you can write the best content ever and it will take a long time (like years) to finally have your stuff read. This can lead to blogger burnout and quitting blogging entirely.
While Pinterest is great, algorithms, scheduling tools, and other things can change… rapidly. As I recently saw when Boardbooster collapsed. Now Tailwind is the only authorized tool to help you schedule pins on Pinterest and one of the best blogging tools available.
But the most consistent way to get blog traffic, without paying for Facebook ads, is getting your content found on Google. If you’re a new blogger, or even a semi-experienced one, this can feel like a daunting task.
I know because I didn’t spend any time on keyword research or SEO until June of 2018. Unsurprisingly, my content wasn’t found much on Google and my site traffic suffered.
Instead of reading more of the endless SEO articles online I decided to learn from an SEO expert, Mike Pearson. His course, Stupid Simple SEO, made it clear how I needed to focus on SEO for long-term growth. I had to learn how to finally get backlinks to my blog!
But he also provided countless strategies to help grow my SEO presence and increase my domain authority.
Table of Contents
What is Domain Authority?
Before I go into 11 ways to get backlinks for free it’s important to remember why you’re going to spend time doing this outreach and work.
Domain authority is how strong Google views your site.
Domain authority is based on a 1-100 scale. The higher your score, the more “trusted” you are by Google. Sites like Forbes, Huffington Post, and Business Insider are ones who have high scores in the 90’s.
As a blogger, scoring this high shouldn’t be your initial goal. They have authority in the 90’s because they have hundreds of thousands of backlinks. They also have tons of people working for the company, so don’t compare apples to oranges.
The goal is to get closer to blogs you admire and think of as competition. Use these strategies from Brian Dean at Backlinko to help grow your SEO. This will lead to more consistent views, subscribers, and customers.
Don’t neglect SEO if you want to grow your blog and build a business!
11 Ways to Get Backlinks For Free (Updated for 2018)
1. Link Roundups
What are link roundups?
They are daily, weekly or monthly blog posts that curate (and link to) outstanding content.
How to Find Link Roundups in Your Industry
All it takes is a quick Google search to find link roundups in your industry. Type in these search terms to find ones quickly:
- “Keyword” + Link roundup OR “Keyword” + roundup
- “Keyword” + best of OR “Keyword” + this week
Once you find a link roundup, you need to pitch your content so you can get featured in a new roundup (and gain a backlink).
Here’s the email pitch Brian recommends sending:
Don’t be pushy or spammy with your pitch.
2. Broken Link Building
This is an epic way to build backlinks for free and provide a ton of value.
As Brian said, “With broken link building you add value to someone’s website … then ask for a link.”
How To Do Build Broken Back Links
- Add the free Google Chrome extension, “check my links” to Google Chrome. This finds broken links on any page.
- Find a site you want a link from. Visit a few pages on the site you want to acquire backlinks from. Using “Check My Links” find if there are any broken links.
- Let the site owner know and offer your content as a replacement.
Here’s the pitch Brian used to send to the site owner:
Since you provided value first by letting the site owner know about broken links (which Google doesn’t like), you are much more likely to have them link to your content.
3. Build Links from Podcasts
Podcasts are great for so many reasons. You can learn from some incredible people in almost any area of your life.
But podcasts are also great to help you get in front of a new audience, get traffic, AND build backlinks. It’s a true win-win-win scenario.
Find relevant podcasts in your niche and start following them. Listen to their episodes and find out if you have experience that would benefit their listeners. Then, reach out and pitch yourself to the podcast.
I’ve appeared on First Time Homebuying and The Unleashed Life. Not only did I get links it was just an awesome experience. I couldn’t recommend doing this not only for the links but building your brand.
4. Create Branded Strategies and Methods
For this idea, Brian talks about creating unique products to help you gain notoriety and make it easy for other people to link to your site.
He did this by coining the term, “Skyscraper technique.” His post was so informative and resource it got over 9,000 backlinks! Most of them link because he gave his strategy a unique name.
Next time you write a post don’t be afraid to come up with a catchy name for a strategy in your business.
5. Become a Source for Reporters and Bloggers
As Brian Dean said in the video, “If you want to rank on the first page of Google today, you need to build links from authority news sites and blogs in your industry.”
This isn’t as hard as you think it might be. Use HARO to build links from huge sites. Here’s how to start:
- Sign up for HARO.
- Check your inbox throughout the day as you’ll receive pitches from reporters.
- If you find one that is a good fit, pitch them! Besides, whats the harm?
This is one of the longer term strategies so make sure to try some of the other ones first.
With this method, you will actually promote and pitch your content to others before it is live on your site. This is known as pre-outreach.
Anyone that responded with a yes he emailed them back once the link was live. This led to him getting backlinks almost instantly after posting.
7. EDU Resource Link Building
Edu websites are super powerful in terms of increasing your domain authority with high-quality backlinks. But, it’s not that easy to acquire a backlink from an EDU site compared to others.
Find their resources page. University resource pages link to content that will help their students and faculty.
How to Get Started
Type into Google these site threads:
- Site: .edu “your keyword”
- Site: .edu “your keyword + resources”
- Website: .edu “your keyword + inurl:links”
- Site: .edu “your keyword + other sites”
Then find content from your blog that you think would be a good fit for the EDU resource page. Finally, pitch your content to the individual that runs that page.
Here’s the template Brian used.
Brian did mention this isn’t one that will work out very often in your favor. Roughly only 5% of EDU sites will accept your content. Make this one of the last link building strategies on your list.
8. The Moving Man Method
For this method, you need to find outdated sites and pages. Then, find sites that link to outdated resources and email them that their site is linking to an old resource page.
He then used AHREF’s to find who linked to that traffic and pitched them about the broken link and offered them his link as a solution.
Again, this strategy might take more work than you’re willing to do but it can be a great idea in the future.
If you need traffic and backlinks this is a great idea. In the video, Brian references how one of his readers had an e-commerce site and was struggling to build backlink. Instead of doing nothing he started creating epic content (always a good idea!).
Then, he started pitching that email to the right people and got backlinks. Not only that he got into the SERP results as well.
10. Find Guest Posting With Opportunities
Guest posting is still one of the best ways to get links to your site. But sometimes it can be hard to find the right sites to post on. Because with guest posting you want to only spend time writing for other people’s sites that will help you!
How to Do It
- Find someone in your niche that writes a lot of guests post
- Find a post where they have a picture of themselves and copy the image URL.
- Pop the image into the Google image search and you will find sites where the person has written in the past.
11. Create Infographics of Your Competitors Best Content
This is an amazing idea from Neil Patel on how to build backlinks using infographics.
- Take your competitors URLs and put into AHREF
- See who links to their articles for posts like lists or how to posts
- Create infographics from them using Canva or Infogram
- Site the source at the bottom of the infographic
- Then hit up all the people who are already linking to their content by providing them more value and they are already linking to that content
One last thing. Make sure that your infographic post has a paragraph of text above and below the content to ensure that Google crawls your site correctly.
Remember, this won’t work if the infographic is low quality. The number one thing to focus on is creating a beautiful infographic!
Blogging is hard enough, don’t make it harder by skipping these reliable ways to get backlinks for free from two SEO gurus! Brian Dean and Neil Patel have proven for years how important it is to SEO your blog.
Don’t depend solely on Facebook or Pinterest for your blog traffic. Try some of these strategies to get backlinks and start getting consistent traffic from Google.