February 9, 2010
The perfect link building e-mail consists of a couple of must haves. Here I list five advice that work for me. I vary a lot as I generally don’t work solely with e-mail when building links. Usually the introduction occurs through e-mail, but I try to get everyone I meet online down in my MSN or Skype as soon as possible.
From your Skype or MSN you can build lasting relationships with people that might not only result in more links, but also in lasting online friendships. This naturally requires that you have content worth linking to. Otherwise you’ll be stuck in the sick land of having to pay for your links. Yes, in some verticals you’ll have to pay for your links either way… but like Gary Beal says… then you might just want to consider “buying sites instead of buying links”, as the cheaper alternative.
1. Introduce yourself as being someone
Regardless if you are world famous or a local hero read by two people you need to explain why you are someone to the person you are writing to. What purpose do you fill in this world? Think about it for a while. Everyone in the world is someone, and even though even your mother hates you, she hates you for a reason. That reason might be what you are and thus this is your space to make perfect online.
When you make the initial contact you need to give them a purpose to link to you and not to someone else. Try to put this into one or two sentences and make it your “elevator pitch”. Without being someone, you won’t get that initial curiosity that is needed from the reader of the e-mail you send. Sorry, that’s just how we work as humans…
2. Offer something, don’t ask for something
Second advice I want to give is that you should never ask for anything, but offer something. Either if this something is a post of yours that you think that you believe the receiver should read, or if it is some content that you would like to guest write. The whole rule here is to never “ask” for the link without some restraint.
People are greedy, especially if they know SEO and if a true SEO gets the notion that you are desperate, then they’ll make sure you have to pay more than the link is worth. With pay I most certainly don’t mean money, but it might mean that you’ll have to contribute or offer something in return that vastly exceeds the value of the link.
Put some constraint on the receivers thoughts and demands by proposing an offer.
3. Contribute if possible, source code
Make it simple to link to you right away. Don’t write an e-mail where you put a url to your post in it. But the full anchor text link in the e-mail.
Do: <a href=”jesperastrom.com”>Facebook Tutorials</a>
Even better is if you can contribute through comments on the page where you want your link. This works even if you don’t have an e-mail address to write to but there is a comment field. If you don’t pose a threat, there is a high likelihood that your suggestions will end up in the main article.
This has everything to do with the introduction of you being someone as well. If you manage to match your contribution with your introduction then you’ll be all set. An example of this could be if you find a social media article that writes about social media in general. Perhaps you could write a few rows about your specialty Facebook and send it over with a link back to you saying “For more specific advice on link>Facebook</link visit jesperastrom.com.
These kind of extensions or contributions do not work all the time, but they work most of the time if your content has something to offer that is too time consuming to compose that the receiver of your e-mail finds it too much of a hustle to remake what you have made.
4. Be specific, think win-win
One thing I get really upset about are all the e-mails talking about linking that I receive that are so diffuse I don’t even finish reading them. Be short, be specific. Highlight stuff and make it obvious what you are out to get.
A good distribution can be to answer the following questions with less than two sentences each:
- Who the heck are you?
- Why are you writing to this person?
- Where do you want your link?
- What does the person have to gain from linking to you?
- How are you making it easy for the person to link to you?
- Where can the person confirm what you’ve said?
The last point is to make it easier for the person to trust you. This can be a link to a resource of a site that you own where you have already implemented a similar link. Do not use a non owned reference as you sometime contact notorious link builders that won’t reply to your e-mail but will contact the site that you have given as reference and offer them to remove your links for theirs.
Use a website, a Facebook profile or a LinkedIn page where your authority or information is confirmed as ligit. This way you boost your e-mails credibility whilst assuring that you avoid the thieves out there.
5. Be genuine, don’t spam
This is the most important thing out there. Yes you do need volume in the links to your content, however you don’t need that much volume. You are better off social bookmarking your content or using a ping crawler than chasing volume links through e-mail. For volume you should go for domain links without anchor text to the start page.
A few, let’s say 10-15 authority links to a post or a page is generally enough to get a vast advantage in front of your competitors. To get these links you might have to spend some time on finding the sources you want links from, but that is time well spent.
My main point here is that you shouldn’t find 500 websites you want links from, but you should find the sites you REALLY want links from and then do what’s needed to get these links.
Be genuine in the way that you do not lie about your intentions. If you use an alias personality, that’s fine, but don’t say you are offering something that you won’t deliver on. Use a good e-mail program so that you can see whether or not the person you’ve sent the e-mail to has actually opened the e-mail or if they have just let it slide.
If the person has opened the e-mail but haven’t contacted you back then maybe you have to work her/him through some social media site or some other place and get them introduced to you in some other way.
Please don’t spam a person. Not only will your mail server end up in the filters, but your name and site will end up in the forums. That is never fun. There are loads of idiots out there who out you in the forums for building links on purpose.
These are 5 Advice, but please fill the comment field with more advice or argue with me if you don’t like some of mine. There are loads of them out there so, please improve this post and I might just link to you in an update ;).
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