If you've ever tried building quality links to a brand new website, then you know it is an uphill battle.
Great blogs are hesitant to link to new websites because they lack a history of quality.
This is why marketers resort to paid backlinks initially but that is the worst way to start.
Associating your website with these types of links may work in the beginning but it rarely ends well.
I want to teach you a link building plan for a new site in a way that has lasting results.
- Create a plan to build your first 100 quality backlinks
- The Big Bang Method will get you more quality links than typical guest posting
- Submit your website to niche-specific directory links and fill out as many details as you can to stand out
- Negotiate your way onto popular industry listicles in your space that mention your competitors
- Reach out to blogs with existing expert roundup articles and negotiate getting your opinion added
What Is a Link Building Plan?
A link building plan is a 6 month plan that details your resource requirements, content strategy and link building goals.
It should include a target number of backlinks you want to build - something aggressive but not impossible.
100 backlinks sounds like a good round number for me.
Types of Links To Build for a New Website
Google has sophisticated systems in place to sniff out bad actors with spammy link building tactics.
That's not us. We want long term sustainable brands that rank high and stay ranked.
That means your link building needs diveristy and quality.
We don't build paid guest post links because they might work in the short term, but Google is really good at sniffing those out.
Instead you should develop a plan to build high quality guest posts, directory links, listicle link insertions and expert quote mentions.
These 4 backlink types combined are all you need for getting out of Google's sandbox within 6 months and having your keywords rank high in search.
What You Might Need Before Starting
Link building is a time consuming activity so you need to decide who is going to spend that time.
It could be you doing all of it at first.
Honestly, it should be you at first, until you have some success with it.
After that, the following are the bases you want covered.
You can hire a good link prospector on upwork. Their responsibilities are to go through lists of websites and identify quality outreach opportunities.
They should be able to identify the appropriate contact persons and their email addresses.
This person should be able to take email templates and do semi-personalized outreach and follow-up to bloggers.
This person knows what they're doing. When the outreach person is stuck, this person knows what to respond. When a blogger wants something special, the strategist knows how to handle it.
In other words, this is an experienced SEO person who knows how to build quality links the right way.
Guest Post Writer
Finding a good and affordable writer is the holy grail. If you find one, hold on for dear life.
The aspects of a good writer include someone who understands your niche, understands how to write for the web, knows how to write SEO content and whose quality doesn't go down after a couple of articles.
It's a unicorn and until you figure out how to break the writing process down into deeper components, you'll want to invest heavily here.
Link Building Tools
SEO tools give you data and enhance productivity. I like to use Ahrefs for data, Quickmail for initial outreach, Buzzstream for outreach management and Hunter for email data.
A Website with Content
If anyone checks your metrics, they will look weak because you have a new site. Therefore your website design and blog content need to be so good that people will link to you anyway.
This is a major step marketers don't take at first.
Spend the time first creating a great looking homepage and having at least 5-10 really great pieces of content published.
You should have a well thought out color scheme and a nice looking logo - optics matter!
Setting Your Link Building Plan Goals
Just keep it simple here. Something like 100 backlinks spread across your homepage and a few important pages is a fine starting point.
As a next step, divvy up those 100 links across the most appropriate types of links for your industry.
The examples I'll use can probably work for any industry across SaaS, services, local SEO, affiliate blogs and ecommerce.
Build 25 Guest Posts
Your goal is to score guest posts without paying for them, resorting to posting on low quality sites or publishing lazy content.
It'll take effort, time and pain - but it'll be worth it.
I suggest trying out my Infinite Guest Posting Method to help you focus on quality while reducing the burden of outreach.
Build 25 Directory Links
99.99% of directory links are no longer worth building but there should be a handful of directories within each niche that still hold value.
For example, in the SEO industry, Clutch.co, BrightLocal and DesignRush are solid directories worth getting a link from.
We call these foundational backlinks since quality websites appear on quality directories.
To find some in your industry do a simple google search for "keyword" directory and see what comes up.
I suggest creating a Spreadsheet of the popular fields these directories make you fill out, like name, address, business description, case studies etc. so you can quickly copy paste your way through a bunch at once.
Build 10 Link Insertions into Listicles that Feature Your Competitors
Getting onto best-of lists is a fantastic and effective link building strategy for 4 reasons:
1. It's a link on an aged, relevant article in your industry
2. You get natural branded links
3. Webmasters are inclined to update those articles for content freshness
4. Once you get on enough lists, newer articles will naturally start listing you naturally
To find opportunities, do a Google search for your keyword + the words best, top, list, and other descriptors that would make sense in your industry.
Then Identify the most appropriate contact person and pitch away.
Hint: Instead of asking outright for a link insertion or offering to pay, get on their good side first by including a link to their blog in a guest post you're working on.
Thinking ahead like that gets you many more positive replies to your outreach.
Build 10 Link Insertions into Expert Roundups within Your Industry
One popular way for bloggers to get unique content and reach out to new contacts is by conducting expert roundups.
I often take advantage of this strategy by reaching out to blogs that host such roundups and request my tip be added (with a brand mention and link back to my homepage).
Not only does this provide me with a valuable link back to my website, but it also helps to build up my homepage's link authority - something that is essential for any new website.
It doesn't work if you're coming empty handed, but you're doing Exponential Outreach then you'll have plenty of things to offer in return.
To find pre-existing expert roundups, do a Google search for your niche + intitle:"experts" and similar terms.
Build 30 Link Exchanges
Link exchanges are the activity top bloggers pretend they don't do yet all secretly do.
Your outreach goal when it comes to link exchanges is 2 fold:
1. Make sure they are at least 3-way link exchanges
2. Make sure the websites you work with aren't guest post farms
As long as those two things are in place, link exchange outreach becomes an incredibly powerful and affordable link building strategy when done in moderation.
To make this work properly, you need to be doing Exponential Outreach with guest posts.
We aren't interested in link exchanges like these:
Even though some of these sites have insanely high traffic metrics, they are used often by link builders and our goal is to look different.
Instead, as you're guest posting, you should email other quality bloggers and offer to mention their content in your guest post in exchange for a link.
As long as the quality of the content you're producing is good, you'll be surprised at how often this works.
What to Avoid
1. Cutting Corners on Content: Do not publish low quality content in your guest blogs. Each guest blog you publish either raises your stock amongst other bloggers or lowers it.
Bloggers love a well researched blog that is well formatted. Continually deliver that and you'll notice your stock going up along with your link building opportunities.
2. Falling for Fake High-Quality: Even if a website has high authority and traffic, if they're not in your niche or don't care about the content they publish, it's not a good backlink.
You should be looking for one thing - editorial integrity. If the blogger will publish anything, the website will eventually hurt your rankings.
On the flip side, even if a website has low authority and traffic - if they are in your niche and run by someone that cares about the content they publish - it's a much better backlink that can only get stronger with time.
This is a critical mindset change that'll help you build long lasting online businesses.
3. Doing Too Many Paid Links: Sometimes you gotta pay for links. It is what it is but this needs to be a small part of your link building profile. The websites that get in trouble are those that have obvious paid link footprints.
Putting together a link building plan is the easy part. Going out and executing consistently is the challenge.
Start small - score one guest post, using the Exponential Outreach formula and write the best article you can come up.
This simple start will open up the door to many more link building opportunities.
Have some budget but lacking the expertise or time to run a campaign? Our link building service can help!