In one of my recent guides I covered how to use HARO to become a source for reporters. And that’s something you should DEFINITELY be doing. But HARO connects you with journalists who are planning features in advance. And what else do reporters do? They report the news of course! Let show you how create Awesome Backlinks!

So… if there’s breaking news related to your niche, that’s a HUGE opportunity to pick up mentions and links.

1. Monitor the news for new mentions of your site’s main topics

The easiest way to do that is by setting up a Google alert or BuzzSumo Alert.

how to create backlinks

2. Reach out to reporters with added VALUE

If you’re going to get a link from a news site, you’re going to have to put in some work.

You have to provide real value to the reporter. And ideally, make their life easier.

Reaching out and saying “I see you wrote about this, I wrote about it too.” will quickly get you flagged as a spammer.

How do you provide value? Here are some ideas:

  1. Give them a quote with personal insight from your industry. Include your credentials.
  2. Offer unique data or statistics.
  3. Offer an alternative take.
  4. Create an infographic or custom visual that they can embed in their story.

Whichever way you go, there’s one thing that’s SUPER important… You need to act FAST.

Today’s newspaper is tomorrow’s recycling. So ideally you want to reach out the same day that the news is breaking.

Pro tip: Create a personal black book of journalists who cover your industry. Then ping them as soon as you see a story breaking. That way you might catch them while they are still working on an article for publication.

3. Scale The Skyscraper Technique

Yeeea, skyscraper content is still my #1 go-to tactic for building high quality links.
In fact, this piece of Skyscraper Content that I published a while ago has already racked up 5,6K backlinks:

how to create backlinks

The best part? This approach is SUPER simple. In fact, it’s so simple, I can boil it down to just 3 steps:

  1. Find a popular piece of content in your niche. Hint: popular = lots of backlinks.
  2. Make something even better.
  3. Promote the heck out of it!

With that, here are a few extra tips to help you scale this strategy.

Find Popular Content

Your first point of call is Google. Search a popular keyword in your niche, and it’s a safe bet that the page ranking at #1 will have backlinks powering that #1 ranking.

how to create backlinks

But say you’re not sure which topic is going to be best for attracting links. Is there a way to take out the guesswork?
(Note: you’ll need an Ahrefs, Majestic or Moz account for this.)
Ahrefs and other link analysis tools have a report called “Best by links”. This will show you the most linked-to pages on any site.

So plug in a competitor’s site, find their most popular pages, and you’re set. Easy peasy.

Make Something (a LOT) Better

Found a page to skyscraper? Great. Your next step is to create something even better.
But…making your page “a little” better isn’t going to cut it. If you REALLY want to pull in those links you’re going to have to make something a LOT better. In fact, I try to make my skyscraper content 5-10x better than the current top page.

How do I do it?
Easy. I work out what’s missing. Then, fill in those gaps.

Here are a few tips from my personal checklist:

  • Does the ranking page go in-depth on the topic? If not, I’ll make sure I cover EVERYTHING it skipped.
  • Is the ranking page text heavy? If so, I’ll include TONS of high-quality images in my post to make it more visually appealing.
  • Does the ranking page include video? If not I’ll add one to mine. In fact, I’ll probably do that anyway!
  • Does the ranking page include 10 tips? Then I’ll include 20. Doubling is a good starting point.
  • Does the ranking page include links to related resources? If not, I’ll make sure mine does.

I’ve yet to find a page that I can’t 10x with a little thought and a lot of hard work.

Promote The Heck Out Of It

Reaching out to people you featured in your content is a good place to start with content promotion.

Besides that, here are some other tips:

  1. Reach out to people who linked to your competitor’s page.
  2. Reach out to people who commented on your competitor’s page.
  3. Reach out to people who shared your competitor’s page on social.
  4. Reach out to people who linked to other pages in the top 10.

Build a big prospect list… and go nuts!

4. Double Down on Effective Content Formats

When it comes to creating content that will attract quality links I don’t like to rely on guesswork. And neither should you.

There are a number of proven content formats that people LOVE to link to:

  • List Posts
  • Quizzes
  • “Why” Posts
  • “How to” Posts
  • Infographics
  • Videos

That said, every industry is different. In your space videos might work best. And for others, it’s list posts.

So I recommend trying out a few different formats… and seeing what works best for you.

Then, double down on those formats.

Pro tip: Combine two or more of these formats into one piece. Hint: A “How To” post in list format, or a “Why” post with an infographic or video would do the trick.

5. Resource Page Link Building

What’s the purpose of a resource page? To link out to other useful pages!
And that’s a link builder’s dream.

All you gotta’ do is:

  1. Find em’.
  2. Make sure you have something that’s worthy of a link.
  3. Reach out.

I’ll be honest:
Finding them is probably the hardest part. So here are 10 advanced Google searches that will help:

  1. “{your keyword}” + inurl:resources
  2. “{your keyword}” + inurl:links
  3. “{your keyword}” + inurl:recommended
  4. “{your keyword}” + “top websites”
  5. “{your keyword}” + “top sites”
  6. “{your keyword}” + “recommended websites”
  7. “{your keyword}” + “recommended resources”
  8. “{your keyword}” + “further reading”
  9. “{your keyword}” + “recommended reading”
  10. “{your keyword}” + “useful sites”

Pro tip: Flipping this round, a well curated, super helpful resource page on your own site can be great for picking up quality links. You can even try reaching out to OTHER resource pages to suggest they link to YOUR resource page. Sounds a bit like Inception… but it works!

6. Name Your Strategies

Heard of “The Moving Man Method” or “The Skyscraper Technique”? Well… both those terms were coined by yours truly 🙂
This means whenever someone is writing about them… get another quality backlink!

how to create backlinks

Can you do the same?

Sure! All you have to do is:

  1. Figure out a process or strategy that’s unique to your business.
  2. Give it a catchy name.
  3. Write about it!

And it’s writing about the process that’s key. Because you’ll only get links if:

  1. Your strategy is SUPER useful.
  2. You can prove it works.

This is why I always feature real-life case studies when I reveal a new strategy or technique.