Other-Worldly and Alternative Link Building Strategies – Part I

by Anthony Pensabene on March 14, 2013 · 31 comments · Search, Social


Good day, Kaiser the Sage readers!

Holy shit, I’m proud to be here!

(Looks at scores of previously-pleased link-building faces in the crowd.)

First, let’s engage, shall we?  Please answer the following.

True or False – “People often expect too much of me.”

You don’t have to share your answer out loud.

One’s answer may reflect deeper cognitive habits and psychological routines, which procure an ongoing outlook.

This, from a recent WSJ article:

“This question, from the California Psychological Inventory, indicates a test taker’s “conceptual fluency,” or ability to understand complex concepts, says Rich Thompson, director of research at test publisher CPP Inc. Someone who answers “True” is likely to be easily overwhelmed and may not believe in his or her own talent.”

I believe in you.

We all have limitless creativity; don’t begin thinking down an exhaustive path.  “Where we’re going, we don’t need roads,” and, “There is no spoon.”

I don’t allow outer world expectation and demand affect me too much.  I retreat into my creativity, tapping into a world of pure imagination.

It all started in the early 1980’s, where young @content_muse was busily at work, procuring his other-worldly creativity with the aid of He-Man, Voltron, and GI Joe toys…

The child-man spent his childhood blending fantasy with reality.

Kids, big and small, like to exercise and conduct creativity; in best moments, dreamers link reverie to reality.  Check this child-like, dreamed machine.

Some visionary, Da Vinci, dreamed of a flying machine in the 15th century.

OH: “Leo, stop playing with your drawing toys, and come help your mother.”

We fast forward to modern-day link building, a place where an aged-by-numbers Anthony engineers out-of-this-realm link building opportunities.

I’ll do my best to concoct an everlasting gobstopper of  new flavor for your building taste buds.

Let’s take a boat ride to the bizarre, inquiring, “How would @content_muse build links?” #hwCMbl

Search for Links to Social Media Accounts

Within many verticals, especially since the advent of ‘content marketing,’ scores of brand-related real estate exists.

Often, authors and curators link to peoples’ social media accounts rather than a particular blog post or authors’ domains.  Let’s take a look at links going to my @content_muse Twitter handle to tickle curiosity.

35 separate domains link to the Twitter handle.  If we wanted to seek future guest posting opportunities, we would pay attention to who/what publications were kind enough to lend a link to social handles and accounts.

Let’s consider fielding a future guest appearance for James Agate, doing as we did above, focusing on Agate’s Twitter handle.

We identify unfounded guest opportunities for Agate perusing the 41 domains linking to his Twitter handle.

We begin perusing URLs with decent authority, engagement, and solidified interest.

Some links are ancillary, originating from past guest posts.  However, let’s devote time in finding unique URLs where James has not yet authored.

We notice authors from SEOworkers.com shared Agate’s tweets.

We may use this observation for a ‘warmer’ initial point of contact,  asking John and crew for a guest opportunity.

As an endeavor of outreach, I may compose the following:

Dear John,

I notice you and the SEOworkers team appreciate the shares and work of James Agate and others in the online marketing space, noticing your curation of tweets from your domain (this particular one on guest posting.)

http://tweets.seoworkers.com/topics/guest-post

James Agate enjoys writing about guest posting, and, being you and team champion his shares and views…

I welcome in-house PR and link builders do the same for CEOs and clients who are active guest authors.

SEOmoz recently released its newest tool, the Fresh Web Explorer.  Bill Sebald of Greenlane SEO finds low-hanging link opportunities, perusing recent mentions of brands and personalities in his post.  Thanks for sharing, #Sebald

Let’s dock for a second and gather our link thoughts.

Acidre Actionable

  • Identify incoming links to author social media accounts. (Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus)
  • Use Open Site Explorer, Fresh Web Explorer, and old-fashioned search operators for link building. Try your own derivation of the following:link:twitter.com/content_muse -twitter.com
  • Inquire about a guest post (Or, if the webmaster linked to a social account, ask if they would kindly ALSO include a link to a brand-related URL.)

Pitch Video Guest Posts and Complement Clips

I recently interviewed Dan Shure for LinkBuilding.TV.  Of course, you’ll want to watch the entire thing, but pay special attention to the last couple minutes, where Shure and I suggest ‘pitching guest video content.’  (hint..hint)

Video, at the moment, is a ‘purple dinosaur’ (I trademarked the term.  You can’t have it.) of the SERPs, with schema markups making them more noticeable.

“Since adding video, the conversion rate for this keyword has gone up 399.58% resulting in an increase in gross profit of $978.73 in a six month period for just this keyword.” – John-Henry Scherck

That’s J.H.’s explanation of video influence on SERPs, regarding leveraged online marketing efforts in the medical vertical on behalf of a SEER client.

SERPs are at times void of rhyme and reason; Dr. Pete does a good job of keeping an eye atop the SERP watchtower.

I’m a bit curious as to the added click-through power of video.  I would like to leverage guest videos to engineer more incoming links.

Let’s go to Inbound.org, taking a look at all-time popular posts related a particular topic.   Again, let’s imagine we’re searching for guest opportunities for James Agate, an author often lending insight upon guest blogging.

We’ll peruse the most-beloved posts on the topic.

Next, we’ll take note of authors, publications, and specific information/angles of guest posting.  We can take two, separate approaches at this point – ultimately, we want to urge James to communicate with video rather than text

For one, let’s augment existing content; searching within popular published posts, we’ll contact webmasters in the following manner:

(Pitches will mention Agate’s legacy on the topic and inquire of interest in having James shoot a video to complement existing text.)

Dear [NAME],

I noticed the great reception of your piece on guest posting.  James Agate regularly offers insight to business owners on how to best leverage guest posting for digital advancement.

Rather than add text to your already outstanding content, we thought it would be great for readers and the URL’s presence in the SERs to add video to the existing content.  James would like to shoot a video, offering insight…

Alternatively, we can take the traditional route in asking for a guest post as we did in the first section above, but rather than complementing existing text, we’ll offer video content rather than text.

Remember, marketing is about communication.

Don’t limit online messages; there’s more than one way to communicate.

Let’s take this all in.

“Cat videos increase your ability to meme” – Catt Mutts

Acidre Actionable

  • Use search operators, Inbound.org, or other manner of locating well-received posts.
  • Identify a topic or niche your CEO or client can provide valuable content upon.
  • Pitch either a video complement to existing content or offer to engineer a new piece of video content for the intended hosting URL.

OH: “content_muse, have you pitched mentioned video segments?”

I’m glad you ask.  Yes, actually, I lent video insight on the topic of branding to Kaiser the Sage readers already. :)  Look for my newly-included video within the post!

Introduce and Engineer Multi-Part Posts

How many of you out there can’t wait for the next Kaiser the Sage post, like you HAVE to feast your eyes on upcoming link-building goodies straight out the Acidre oven?

It’s understood; Jason has built a readership, fans, much like a number of television series throughout history.

Cliffhangers were made by marketers; savvy marketers want us to come back for the conclusion.  A New Yorker article describes the power of the cliffhanger.

“The idea that viewers would want to watch—and rewatch—a television series in strict chronology and collectively document their discoveries with a group of strangers was once laughable, but is now mainstream,” Mittell writes in “Complex TV.” Television was no longer an ephemeral experience, to be watched and discarded: it could be collected, shared, and analyzed.

Readers, you’re within the third section of this post, likely well invested in the content journey at this point.

What if I left you hanging here (temporarily), sending you to another URL for additional tips?

Taking things a step further, one could offer a longer guest post, extending insight to include another URL.  This would engender a link in the author profile box, but also begetting another link to a deeper, brand-related page.

Television and web publishers host multi-part series often, sometimes introducing new authors.

Rather than introduce a new author on the same URL, a two-part post introduces a new URL.  For example, if an author writes on a popular topic, such as image marketing, they may solidify links on (at least) two separate domains.

Ann Smarty recognized my commitment to image search in one of her recent articles.  Taking my own advice above, I may approach Ann and the Internet Marketing Ninjas for a post on the topic.

One guest post is just a tactic and not a strategy (right?); a series of posts (on the same topic) is better aligned with an ongoing strategy.

Acidre Actionable

  • Brainstorm broad topics associated with your CEO or client, segmenting the broad into more specific points of conversation.
  • During your next outreach campaign, identify several potential suitors.
  • Organize and arrange your ‘guest series’ on multiple hosted domains, or leverage your own URL as a hosting domain, fielding links from preceding series hosts.

Here is an example:

Dear SEOmoz,

We at Skyrocket notice James’ post on guest-post outreach is well revered over one year later.  James is planning on penning a follow-up to the post, hosting Part II on our blog..

We’d love to interlink the pieces for readership UX and continuity of the subject.  Would you be willing to…

Make Learning More Possible

What warrants an incoming link?  Great content? A handy tool?  A convenient resource?

We must be worthy of a link.  How do you we gain attention to place us in contention of being worthy?

Maybe rather than getting, we shall focus on giving, putting the circular wheel of reciprocity into action.

An Italian friend of mine, Giuseppe Pastore, once sent an email suggestion; I thought it was an incredible idea.

Giuseppe understands marketing; Moreover, he observes my niche of marketing is an international enterprise.

I have potential clients and peers across the globe (SEOs in different area codes so to speak).

I have potential relationships, spanning all continents.

What about you and your clients?

Where in the world are your followers?

Could you lend a helping hand, translating content?

Yes, Google Translate is available, but I believe many nuances and vivacity of respective languages are lost in translations.

Like providing a guest post above (which offers value), how could we offer value to our international friends?

Link builder, link builder, link me a match to a well-known marketer…

How about Seth Godin?

Sure, we’d all love a link from a well-seasoned, marketing guru, right?

But, that’s a tall order.  How can we manipulate Godin to link to us?  Maybe manipulate isn’t the correct train of thought; shouldn’t we do something for him, create value?

Alessio enjoyed Seth’s content in English.  Being Italian, Alessio made a connection, linking the idea of sharing the content with other Italians in their native language, making information more available, capisce?

Acidre Actionable

  • Consider this list of international domains.
  • Use Followerwonk or another social-media measurement tool, identifying potential brand friends in international area codes.
  • Can we approach brands/personalities, helping them translate information to another language, potentially exposing both parties to newer markets while inviting opportunity for incoming links of translating appreciation?

Decompression and Reevaluation

…Our ride is coming to a close.  I promise to give more tours in the near future – this is just part one. (That was one of my suggestions, right?)

In the first section, we notice mentions and existing links to social media handles and accounts.  Returning the expression of interest, we’ll seek future guest posting and relationship-building opportunities.

In the second, we introduce video into our marketing mix, contributing to existing content, or originating completely new content, using video as a means of expression and connection rather than written text.

Next, we realized digital content, like traditional content of television, can be offered in a serial fashion.  We can hook our consumers, or get them to subscribe to later iterations, especially when we introduce a serial frame (ex. expressing ‘Part 1′ in a title, or leaving a trail of URLs for them to follow)

Lastly, we understand link building is a means to an end, which offers value.  We get when we give.  Therefore, translating existing content into another language is way to disseminate knowledge, making it more available, getting more people involved.

UPDATE: Excited for more? Check out the 2nd part here: Other-Worldly & Alternative Link Building – Part II

Anthony Pensabene

Hey, Kaiser the Sage readers. I , roving PR opportunities, and playing social laser tag with the online marketing community. I work at SkyrocketSEO, the Saloon of Literature, and LinkBuilding.TV. Making: a baseball bat with wood from a tree struck by lightning.

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