Before we get started with my easy link-building strategies, which always lead my websites to rich snippets, I want to share something interesting with you.
Do you have an extra minute to know?
Here we go.
Yesterday, someone messaged me on Twitter with an appreciation that I am making others’ lives easier. I was humbled and grateful for the appreciation.
It’s true that I work pretty hard to get highly reliable data. I dive deep, explore things enough to make them easily digestible and practical for all – even for beginners.
And the greatest thing about the process is that I love it.
Right after the message, something appeared in my mind, which led me to this guide.
A thought struck hard in my mind.
As I put too much weight on starting a blog or asking small businesses to move online, why shouldn’t I solve their one of the biggest problems they face online? Why shouldn’t I tell them the budget-friendly link-building strategies I use for my websites?
Off-page SEO has always been my biggest hurdle in running websites for years until I learned to find untapped keywords and these link building strategies discussed below.
So it can be for many others.
Why shouldn’t I make them realize that it’s not as hard as they believe it to be?
Wasn’t it a good idea?
I loved the idea. And it led me to share my budget-friendly link building strategies that always work.
Now the question that might arise in your mind is that when there are already too many guides or videos on link building, why didn’t I simply link to them? Why did I find it essential to write an in-depth link building guide?
Yes, that’s a great question.
All the guides that I read around the internet have amazing information. But you can’t get organized information for free.
That’s why people can’t learn from YouTube even though every course is available on YouTube in random form.
Just google or YouTube the term, complete off-page SEO, you will definitely find thousands of videos on link building, but still, you can’t succeed on them. Why?
The reason is that you don’t have the whole story in such an organized manner as needed.
Let’s begin with fully organized link-building strategies now.
I have worked on many websites. I believe that backlinks play a vital role in rankings. Links create trust and authority. Hence boost rankings along with many other factors. If you are not building links, you are lagging way too behind your competitors.
At least you have to do a lot more on your site if you are doing nothing off the site. Got it?
But the problem with most small business owners or new bloggers is that they either don’t have the budget for link building or don’t do it appropriately.
Some business owners even spend money on it, but they don’t get results.
The reason is that they don’t find the right person who understands the link building tactics and do it manually.
Link building is expensive because it demands too much care and manual work.
Most freelance SEO experts have automated link building. All that stuff can either ruin your website or at least won’t give you many benefits.
That’s why you should never hire someone to build backlinks for you on freelancing platforms like Fiverr. 99% of them really don’t know anything about links. They just do what they can do.
So what you should do if you can’t afford an expensive digital marketing agency?
If so, you can follow link building strategies that I use for my blogs. I don’t spend money on link building because I believe Google can even accept your free work. Although, sometimes, I hire freelancers to do work according to my guidelines.
Disclaimer: I strongly believe that these strategies should work for all websites and blogs. But keep in mind that you should only follow it if you are satisfied with these strategies.
Here are the best working link building opportunities for small business owners and new bloggers. The opportunities I shared are mostly free. You only spend on guest posting.
Strategy #1. Create social profiles and share each link
Getting links from social media sites are not actually backlinks. Those are just signals. But once you start working on a brand new site, or any other website with no trust and authority, you should start with social signals.
Here is how I do it and why it will make your SEO natural.
Whenever I start working on a website, the first thing I do is to create social profiles on all the famous platforms.
Curious on which platform do I create profiles?
I don’t keep lists with me. Every time, I Google the query and get the sites. I mostly go for the top 20 or 30 of these social sharing sites.
After creating profiles, I share links to all those platforms.
But after that, I stick with the top social platforms. Here are the sites where I regularly share each link of my websites.
You can easily create profiles on all these sites. And add your links.
Here is how these nofollow links will improve your SEO.
Whenever you share a link on a social media platform, Google realizes that it’s worth considering the page. And if you (in fact, you must) get some likes and traffic from social platforms who stay on your website. It realizes Google that your business website or blog is worth considering to rank somewhere on SERPs.
That’s not over yet.
Every time you share your link on social media platforms, you should add your business or blog name in the hashtag and within the text.
If the name of your business is unique, Google will start to consider that many people on social platforms are talking about your business.
Wouldn’t it increase trust?
Surely, it would do.
Even I have noticed considerable rankings improvements with this strategy! Trust me; it worked many times for me.
Keep in mind that I always use unique, engaging, genuine text every time I share my links on social media sites. Even the hashtags that I use on each platform are always individual other than my website name, Sturdy Business.
I thought you might be curious to see how do I do that! Here is an example of this link building strategy.
This tweet will make you understand how to share the links on all social media sites. However, on some platforms like Pinterest, you don’t need to add tags.
Strategy #2. Join forums and complete profiles
With social signals, you make Google realize that you want to interact with people, and their positive response will pass trust juice.
After that, you want Google to realize that you have a grip on your subject and are a part of this niche.
How can you do that?
Definitely, by joining forums and communities like Quora – under your niche.
Forums and communities are public and indexed in Google. Google is noticing everything on all those platforms – (if indexable).
Once you join the relevant forums to your niche, you get double benefits.
As you create profiles on forums, add your website’s link in your profile, most of the time, you get a dofollow backlink.
Surely, such links’ value is comparatively low compared to hard-earned dofollow backlinks, but these links still pass link juice.
Although, the most important thing for joining a forum is that it should be relevant to your niche.
For instance, if you have a laundromat business and join a laptop forum, it doesn’t make sense. Isn’t it so?
Now the question that might come to your mind is, where can you get those forums?
As I already said, I don’t keep lists with me. I always inquire my friend Google.
Here is how you can find forums for your niche.
There are three methods to find forums to create links.
- Find with SEO tools
- Find forums from free lists
- Search manually on Google
Find with SEO tools
If you use SEO tools, almost all those websites provide you with a list of your competitor’s backlinks. You just put the URL of your competitor’s website in it, and it will give you most of the available data in their database.
You can download that list. And search for forums available in the list easily.
Find forums from free lists
Lists of forums for SEO are also publicly available. Here is how to search those lists.
Search any of these queries on Google.
- forums list for SEO
- (main category) forums list for SEO
- (relevant keyword) forums list for SEO
You will get tons of lists available on many sites.
Most of the forums in those lists will be irrelevant to your category; pick the relevant from that list.
Even you could find 20 to 50 forums; those will make your day.
Search forums manually on Google
Well, this is one of my favourite methods that I use to find forums for link building.
Use the following phrases along with your keywords to find relevant forums for your link building.
- Your keyword + inurl:forum/index.php
- your niche + inurl:threads
- your business type + intitle:forum inurl:threads
Even the first phrase will help you find many forums. You can use many posts on different topics for different blog posts.
For instance, I write business articles on Sturdy Business. I also share business ideas and tips to grow them.
I can’t offer an online marketing guide and laundry business ideas on the same thread. Right?
That’s why I use different keywords to find even more relevant links.
So you can.
Strategy #3. Create web 2.0 backlinks
Once you make Google realize that you are an expert in the field and answer questions, what should be the next thing?
Definitely, beginners should start loving you. They should talk about your website.
What do beginners do?
Most beginners use free platforms in the beginning. Even I used Blogger.com in the early days until I realized the benefits of using WordPress.
Those free blogs are called web 2.0 blogs.
If they like your website, they will use it as external links on their blogs.
However, in the beginning, this won’t happen.
You do it yourself.
You create web 2.0 blogs and link them back to your website.
The question that might arise in your mind is that it would take you a lot of effort to create blogs, add content to them, and keep them up to date.
Well, that’s what it takes in off-page SEO.
If you can afford a little money, you can use some content generators or spinners. Those will make your content unique. You can post them on those free blogs.
Here are some important questions about Web 2.0 backlinks that you must keep in mind.
Which platform should you use?
You can use the following platforms that I usually use in the early days of a site.
Note: I don’t build web 2.0 links all the time, but a website needs some authority in the early days. Once it has authority, you will automatically start getting these backlinks for free.
Now let’s come to the answer to the question asked.
It’s way better to use most of the available platforms at least once. It will diversify your link building. After that, you can keep the widely used platforms. Here are the ones.
Pro tip: If you could afford to buy a tool, you can buy scrapbox or Ahref to find expired web 2.0 links. Those links will already have some authority, so you can easily push your website with that authority.
I use Ahref to find expired web 2.0 addreses.
Here is how to find expired web 2.0 addresses with Ahref tool.
- In your Ahref, open site explorer.
- Add URL of any authoritative website of your niche or any other site. For instance, for me, it can be Business.com or Medium.com.
- In the left menu, under outgoing links, click on broken links.
- Search for web 2.0 links manually
Say, you can use the word Blogspot to see how many Blogspot links are there. Even you could find one authoritative blog out of 10 pages; it will make your day.
How many web 2.0s should you create?
It depends on how authoritative your niche is.
Suppose it’s a highly competitive niche like Business and Money. It would be best if you kept it going for a while. At least, you should build 20 to 50 backlinks for your homepage.
How to optimize anchor?
This is the area people usually don’t focus on!
You won’t get the maximum results if you are not optimizing your anchors in your link-building strategies.
It’s way much better to learn anchor optimization for all the backlinks you create. I have discussed it at the end of these link building strategies.
Here is what should be the anchor in web 2.0 link building to look natural.
- Use naked URLs most of the time.
- Use main domain and sub-domain in your link building. Like, sturdybusiness.com and www.sturdybusiness.com
- Use the brand name or author name. For instance, according to Sturdy Business, or according to Junaid Raza.
- I avoid using the main keyword in web 2.0 links until those are high-quality blogs.
- Embed images from your website
Here is a case study that you must know to understand the power of these links.
About a year ago, one of my fellows started using web 2.0 links to see the impact on his main site rankings. He started ten web 2.0 blogs.
He started writing 500 words articles daily and began publishing on those blogs. He linked all those blogs with one another.
Once those blogs started getting traffic (because those were genuinely created on different IPs and regularly updated), his main site got a huge rankings boost.
Well, I am not sure if this strategy works these days or not.
Strategy #4. Get backlinks from forums
Once you create a profile on a forum, you add a link back to your website. That surely does pass link juice. But if you could get a dofollow backlink from a discussion page, it would make your day.
Here is how to do it.
Once you create a profile on a forum and get involved in discussions, you get trust from the forum and from Google (if the web pages are indexed on Google).
You make Google feel that you are an authoritative person on that topic. You know the niche, and people like your answers.
The next step is to add a link to your website once needed.
For instance, after a month, you saw that someone is curious to learn about a topic that you have discussed on your website. You can share the link in the discussion.
If there were a positive response on the link, it would pass link juice and build trust.
The same question arises once again, how to optimize anchor in this link building strategy?
Here is what I do.
- Use Naked URLs
- Use generic words, like Here, This blog, This piece, etc
- Use keywords
Note: I follow the strategy in the early days of a website. After that, I rather focus on some submissions and guest posting. But I have noticed that many big sites have hire people for regular forum postings. I keep on checking their backlink with premium tools.
Strategy #5. Video submissions
This is what I have started loving these days.
I strongly believe that I am not giving my best to this section. But I am still using this link building strategy.
On SB’s YouTube Channel, I create pretty simple episodes where I try to answer the queries within a minute or two. Then post on all the best video submission platforms.
To submit videos on all best videos submission platforms, I use Fiverr Gigs. For $5, they submit your video on most of the videos submission sites.
Later on, I am more concerned with YouTube and Facebook only.
Here is the reason.
We can see that Google has started giving value to videos in search results. There are many video results these days.
But mostly, it’s YouTube.
Thus focusing on YouTube can give us better results than focusing on all (that you can’t do without a team).
I would never like to skip video and infographics submission for any important web page on my blog.
Strategy #6. Infographics Submissions
This is a simple and easy strategy that all beginners can use.
Create infographics with a free tool like Canva. And share it on the major infographics submission sites.
Here is the reason why I believe it’s worth investing in.
As I said earlier, I would never like to leave video and infographics submissions. The reason is that visitors now want quick solutions. They don’t have time to read all of your articles.
So what do they prefer now?
They now prefer watching short videos and reading infographics for quick and easy answers.
The second reason is that videos and photos have a dual impact on the mind. They have not only information but also more engagement.
That’s why we now see videos and images in the search results more than earlier.
Strategy #7. PDF Submissions
If a question arises in your mind, why do we need to submit PDFs? What’s the significance?
Here is the answer.
- PDF submission sites are authoritative websites. Why should you miss a chance to get free link juice to get authority?
- People still love to read PDFs. Hence traffic or at least branding.
Here is how I do it.
I write original content up to 500 words. Add a link to my website in it. It can be a naked URL or even with the main keywords.
Hire someone on Fiverr to submit it on all the PDF submission sites.
After one or two such submissions, I only submit PDFs on two or three websites. Issuu is my top priority.
Strategy #8. Broken Links Reach out
Would you mind getting a highly valuable backlink with just doing an easy job? I believe it’s one of the hard-earned, natural backlinks that can even change your website’s fate.
Before we discuss it, let me tell you.
I have personally experienced it for my previous blog. I got five amazing links just emailing people that there was something wrong with their website.
However, most of them didn’t reply! But who cares when you thousand dollars worth backlinks from with little effort.
Now let’s get started. Let’s see how pretty easy it is and why it’s the best link building strategy!
You might already know that many domains are expired every time. Sometimes, some domains with some authoritative backlinks also expire, or at least change wih time!
But the backlinks don’t.
Once you find those broken links on the authoritative sites, you can reach them out and ask them to replace them with your pretty similar article.
You might not already have the article on your website. What can you do in that case?
You can pick the broken link, put it in the Wayback machine, and see what exactly that article was. You can create a pretty similar article with updated and more useful information. Then you can reach out to the webmaster that one of the links on his site is broken. They should replace it because it can hurt their rankings.
I am sure they won’t mind replacing it with your article if it’s well written and on a clean website.
Brian Dean calls it the moving man method for link building.
Suppose you are still not sure why you would find broken links on the site. Look at these examples.
I have created over a dozen sites in the last two years. How many do I have this time? These are 3, and others are gone. Those had some backlinks as well.
But I don’t need them anymore.
The backlinks of those websites link to expired domains (if not registered) or at least non-existing pages (because people add fresh content on expired domains).
Here is the other example.
I had started www.junaidraza.com long ago. I changed it many times. In that process, I created many new web pages and deleted them.
If there were some backlinks, all those are now linking to non-existing pages because the site has changed.
Though the website is live, pages are no longer available.
It’s an opportunity for all the new bloggers and business owners to get useful ideas for content and backlinks for free.
Isn’t it so?
How to find those expired links?
There are two methods that I have used to find these links.
- I used Ahref the same way I mentioned earlier.
- I have also used Broken link free chrome extension to find broken links.
If you don’t have any tool, you can invest time to find those links with chrome’s free extension.
Strategy #9. Produce high-quality content regularly
Look, the main purpose of link building is to build a websites’ authority. Isn’t it so?
What if you could build authority by just publishing content?
Well, it’s not just publishing content. Two important things may greatly impact website authority.
- Content quality
High-quality content is king. By high quality, I mean problem-solving content. If the user does require to search the query again, you have given your best.
If you could produce high-quality content on your site, it would surely get you too many natural backlinks.
Here is the reason why.
Linking to useful external resources is good for SEO. Those who understand it offer free links to relevant topics.
If you have a well-written topic and someone believes it’s worth linking, you will eventually start getting too many natural backlinks.
I have obtained hundreds of such free backlinks for one blog (I sold last year).
That’s why my 80% focus is always on the content. I strongly believe that if I could satisfy the user, I am pretty sure I shall get my turn.
For instance, you were looking for off-page SEO techniques or link building strategies, and you believe this link-building guide helped you. Would you mind linking it or discussing it some other day?
Indeed, we all do!
We are humans, and we all have the same psychology.
Consistency is one of the most powerful tools with authority without building backlinks.
Here is the story of Sturdy Business (SB) that will make you understand how powerful consistency is.
When I was writing blogs on different topics, like relationships, business, self-growth, and motivation, I was sure that I was born for a business niche.
There were two reasons behind it.
I was passionate to become an entrepreneur, and I had pain for all others who couldn’t succeed in their lives. The biggest reason behind their failure was that they were not taught the appropriate way.
Well, it’s not others fault if you don’t find the right way, because you can only get it when you are fond of it.
If you seek, you will find.– Bible
So I was enthusiastic about helping those find the right path to grow their finances with the practical tips I learned.
That’s why I purchased the SturdyBusiness.com domain, wrote some articles for it, and left it for a while.
I couldn’t even touch it for long.
When I was done with all other things, I started working on SB.
Google had de-indexed some of its pages, and none of the pages was in rankings.
I tried the best possible methods for Google indexing. Updated all the articles and start adding fresh content frequently.
After four months of consistent work, Google eventually started considering it an authoritative website. I saw HUGE rankings update after four months of constant work.
There was a time when Google has de-indexed some of the web pages, and after four months, I saw a time when SB outranked many authoritative websites.
It’s was due to content and consistency. What else do we want from a website?
Strategy#10. Guest posting
This one is one of the most powerful and effective link-building strategies.
It’s not for no reason. Here is why guest posting is one of the effective link building strategies.
Google wants you to get links naturally from webmasters with their natural intent. Those are called organic links.
In the guest posting, it’s all up to the webmaster how the link will be placed in the content, and either it will be dofollow or nofollow.
Suppose you got some links with their natural intent. Say they believed in your content and offered you a link back to your website. That means they shared their website’s trust with your site.
Isn’t it great?
But you can’t get such authoritative links for free – most of the time. Even you spend a lot of time researching, preparing a great lengthy guide, and then offering to someone else for a single backlink for your website. They can still reject your guide, or at least they might not offer you a dofollow backlink without charging money.
There are two reasons clever webmaster would never offer your commercial website a dofollow backlink for free.
- Clever web admins are always working hard to keep their blogs grow. They spend energies, intellect, time and money. And they do value their business if they can’t get even a single backlink for free. How would they offer to your business website?
- They already know how beneficial it could be for your business. For instance, you are a small business in the USA or UK. You saw that SB (this blog) is a valuable website in the United States and the United Kingdom. You inquire for a dofollow link back to your business website. Why should I offer you a backlink? Even I know that even a single link from this blog will make your day. The same is for all the bloggers who seriously invest time and energy in their blogs.
Remember as the harder it is, the better.
So how to get these hard-earned links?
There are three great ways to earn links from guest posts.
- Build relationships
- Offer something valuable for free
- Blogger outreach
If you are a blogger like I am, this method should work for you most of the time, and if you are a small business, it will work for you the same way.
If anyone of your friends asks you to promote his business to your friends and fellow, what will be your reaction?
You will definitely give it a try, at least once. Isn’t it so?
Look, all the webmasters are human. They have the same feelings and emotions. If you could build relationships with them by any means, you can get huge benefits from them.
But the only thing is, you should be worth promoting.
For instance, as I am a blogger and all bloggers know, blogging is not as rewarding as other businesses. When I reach people and show them my blog, they understand that their single link back to my site can’t give me huge benefits. So their expectations are always low.
So what do I offer them?
I tell them that I shall write a highly engaging article for their website that will also rank on Rich Snippets one day because all of my articles reach that position.
I do know how to write great content. Would you mind offering me a single link back to my site in return?
My writings are so natural and appealing that they don’t reject the offer most of the time.
Otherwise, some bloggers may ask for a small donation. It’s okay.
Once they see the magical results of my writings, they even ask me to send them articles anytime. Even if I need a link back for a commercial webpage, they won’t mind it. I swear!
This is the power of relationships. Once people realize that you are a worthy person, they start compromising on monetary benefits.
Here is another thing that businesses can adopt to build relationships with bloggers.
A long time ago, I met a blogger on Twitter.
She was confused about blogging for many things. I helped her with many things. After that, I started liking, retweeting and commenting on her posts.
All that got her attention.
As a blogger and SEO, my comments were so valuable that she started believing in me (as I was natural). Once we became friends, I asked her if she could accept guest posts.
After that, I wrote a couple of articles for her blog.
Offer something valuable for free
People love to get things free. And in return, you get their attention, and hence trust.
This is what people use for building emails and building links.
For instance, you are a digital marketing agency, you can offer a free tool, and if you are a blogger, you can offer free courses and guides.
If people find the tool, guide, or course valuable, you are definitely going to get a lot of natural links.
For instance, if you are a beginner. You want to start blogging. You have basic knowledge of on-page SEO. But you are weak at link building.
You followed all the techniques I mentioned for the next six months or 12 months, and you started making over $1000 with your side hustle.
Would not you be saying?
Hey man! I was not good at link building. I couldn’t make anything, then luckily, I got this link building guide, and it made my day.
Trust me; I used to admire and recommend a lot of people I learned from. I tell everyone, I learned this from that guy, and you should also learn from him. That’s what everyone does.
But it won’t happen all of a sudden. It will take time.
In the beginning, you can even reach out to people linking to those similar tools, guides or courses. You can tell them that you have a more advanced and practical guide and you are offering it for free.
If it’s a great piece, they will link your free resource.
If you are a business and don’t have time to find, explore, analyze blogs and reach out to the bloggers, you can hire outreach experts to do all this for you.
There are many blogger outreach firms and independent outreach experts who will do everything for you.
You just them:
- Your niche required
- Backlinks or linking domains of the site
- How many backlinks should be authoritative sites
- How much traffic those are getting
- How many keywords are ranking on Google
- Which country traffic should be the most
They will find and reach out to bloggers for you. Surely, they will charge you a handsome amount per post. For instance, if the blogger charges $250, they might ask you $400 or $500 per post.
I strongly believe that money doesn’t matter in this link building strategy. The only thing that does matter is how valuable backlinks do you get.
Before I end this link building guide, I want you to understand how to check the authority of a backlink and a few other things. Because if no matter you hire an outreach expert or do it yourself if you have paid for something, you must analyze everything that belongs to it.
Also, let me know if this link building could help you or if any questions remained unanswered. I would love to answer everything that belongs to these link building strategies.
How to check website/link authority?
There are many tools in the market to check link authority. Moz Tool, Ahref or Ubbersuggest are famous. But all those can be manipulated. That’s why I would never suggest relying on those tools.
I always cross-check if the authority is real or not.
Here is how I do it.
I use Ahref because it’s one of the best tools to keep an eye on my website backlinks.
- With site explorer, open the site stats.
- Click on backlinks.
- How many authoritative websites are there?
- Check if those links are indexed on Google. (open Google.com, then check with the operator, site:siteurl, if it’s indexed, it will appear in google results).
- Now click on keywords.
- Check how many real keywords are there.
- How many keywords are relevant to the blog’s niche (to see how authoritative that is in that niche)?
- Click on outgoing links.
- See how many outgoing links are there.
- Do the backlinks and outgoing links ratio make sense to you?
If you don’t have any premium tools, you can even find free tools to check backlinks and keywords. Let’s say thehoth.com is the best tool to check keyword rankings.
If you use all other free link building strategies, that’s okay, but if you have paid a link, you should never forget to check the authority of the site.
How to optimize anchor to look like natural?
It’s way much to focus on your anchors so that you never get penalized in any update. Here is the ratio that I use,
- Exact keywords 50% approximately
- Brand name 25% approximately
- Generic 25% approximately
Even you don’t follow the ratio, that’s okay because I don’t follow the exact ratio. I just use it.