Creating great content should be your number one focus as a blogger. But eventually, you want that content to rank well on Google to get as much traffic as possible.
Part of your ranking success involves getting backlinks to your blog. A backlink is a link from another website that links to a piece of your content or homepage. This might sound easy to acquire, and while it can happen naturally, taking action will improve the speed at which you'll gain these valuable links.
Here are 10 strategies you can use to get more backlinks to your blog. Even better, most of these strategies can be done for free, so any blogger out there can try them.
Why Are Backlinks Important
Google has over 200 ranking factors that determine how content ranks on its engine. But, out of all of these ranking factors, backlinks are one of the most important.
This makes sense when you think about a backlink as being a signal of trust and authority. After all, if you create content that gets tons of backlinks, that’s a signal you’re writing great content that people find value in, and Google rewards that fact.
However, when building backlinks for your blog, there are two main things to look for:
Follow Links: Backlinks can be “no-follow”, which doesn’t pass on link authority to your blog, or they can be “do-follow” links and pass on authority. When you build backlinks, you want to heavily prioritize do-follow links
Relevance: Google usually discounts non-relevant backlinks to your blog, even if it’s from a legitimate site. In other words, if the blogs that backlink to you don’t match your blogging niche whatsoever, it’s a weak backlink. Your goal should be to get backlinks from relevant content on relevant websites, end of story.
How to Get Backlinks for Your Blog
Now that you know why backlinks matter, let’s cover the strategies you can use to get more backlinks for your blog.
1. Guest Posting
Guest posting is one of the most popular methods to get backlinks for your blog because it’s simple, free, and effective.
When you guest post on another blog, the common courtesy is to allow for two permanent, do-follow backlinks: one for your homepage and one to a specific piece of your content.
So, if you have an ultimate guide or mega piece of content you’re trying to rank, you can consider writing guest posts on that topic on other blogs. A few extra links to a piece of content from authoritative, relevant blogs can go a long way in helping something rank better.
The hardest part is landing guest post opportunities. You can ask for guest post opportunities in blogging Facebook groups or email bloggers in your niche to get started. Many blogs have a guest post policy page as well that lists their rules for guest posting.
Related: What You Need to Know about Guest Posting
If you want to get more backlinks from world-renowned websites and publications, Help A Reporter Out, or HARO, is for you.
HARO connects journalists and new sources looking for quotes for upcoming stories. It’s free to sign up for, and when you create an account as a source, you pick the niches you’re interested in. HARO then sends three daily emails containing a list of questions from journalists.
You can respond to journalists if you want to share your opinion in their upcoming piece, and everything is done through email. Typically, journalists just want to hear a few sentences of your opinion so they can cite an expert in their story. In exchange, you often get a backlink to your website when you’re mentioned in the article.
HARO journalists don’t have to give backlinks, and the link is almost always just to your homepage. But this is the best way to get high-quality backlinks from massive websites, and it’s completely free.
Check out my guide on how to write successful HARO pitches to start getting backlinks with HARO.
3. Round-Up Posts
Like guest posting, some bloggers create round-up posts on their blogs that share a collection of writing from bloggers in their niche. So, if you join a roundup post, you just scored an easy backlink without having to write an entire article.
Blogging Facebook groups post roundup opportunities all the time. Usually, you have to request to join the roundup and get approval from the blogger. Following approval, you typically write 150 to 500 words on the topic at hand.
This is a fast way to get a backlink for your blog, but just ensure the blog fits your niche so the backlink makes sense.
4. Writing Authoritative Content
Did you know there’s a best length for blog posts when it comes to getting backlinks?
According to a 2019 content study by Backlink.io, long-form content gets an average of 77.2% more backlinks than short articles. Specifically, articles in the 3,000 to 10,000 word range get the most referring domains over time.
This makes sense when you think about the sort of content you link out to when blogging.
Long-form, authoritative content is typically seen as more trustworthy and more valuable. So, when people in your niche write content on that topic, they’re more likely to link to your mega-guide on the subject.
You don’t have to do this for every post, but consider writing an “ultimate guide” or “101 course” on a foundational piece of content for your niche.
Related: What is the Perfect Article Lenght?
5. Swap Links
If you want to get backlinks quickly and have blogging friends in a similar niche, one tactic you can consider is link swapping.
In other words, you and a blogging buddy can each agree to backlink to each other’s content once or twice. If one of you owns more than one blog in the same niche, you can also do a three-way link swap so no two blogs are linking back to each other.
This isn’t something you should do often, and it’s a bit of a greyhat SEO tactic. But it’s a tactic every blogger I know does, and again, if both the blogs are in the same niche or have similar content, they’re still relevant backlinks.
6. Skyscraper Method
I personally don’t like this method of getting backlinks for your blog, but it’s a classic and something a lot of SEOs swear by.
The premise is simple:
- Find a piece of content in your niche that gets a lot of backlinks.
- Write an even better version of that content.
- Reach out to everyone his links to that content and ask for them to link to your better content.
Paid SEO tools like Ahrefs and Semrush let you quickly find a website’s top pages with the most backlinks. You can also use a free tool like The Hoth’s backlink checker to get a rough idea of what pages on a particular blog get a lot of backlinks.
The pro of the skyscraper method is you’re writing the best content in your niche, so you should get backlinks organically in the long run anyway.
However, you need to do a lot of outreach. Even if your content is the best, bloggers have no real incentive to update their links, so it’s a numbers game which takes time and patience.
Related: 5 Things to do After You Hit Publish
7. Join High-Quality Directories
Another simple way to get blogging backlinks is to submit your backlink to relevant directories in your niche.
Some niches have more opportunities than others. But if you Google “best blogs in” plus your niche, you might stumble across directory websites where you can submit your blog to the list.
These links are often no-follow, and some directories ask for payment (skip these). However, if it’s a reputable directory, even a no-follow link has some value, and you might get some blog traffic if people stumble across it.
Plus, some directories offer do-follow links and actually have an application process to add your blog to the directory, so you’re not just joining a spammy list of thousands of blogs.
8. Be a Podcast Guest
While it might surprise you, another way to get backlinks for your website is to appear on podcasts.
Podcasts are incredibly popular these days, and they’re an excellent promotional platform for advertising a new course or product as a blogger.
But, podcasts are also great for link building. This is because hosts usually creates show notes that they publish on their blog or podcast hosting page. And even if they don’t publish a transcript, you usually get a link to your blog and socials somewhere on their website.
Overall, podcast appearances help build your authority in a niche, reach a wider audience, and even score backlinks. The hard part is finding consistent guest opportunities, so look for podcasts in your niche and contact the host and offer to share your story.
9. Provide Testimonials
An easy way to get more backlinks is to provide testimonials for other people. This is because you can normally get a backlink to your blog’s homepage under your name on the testimonial page.
So, if you have blogging friends who sell courses, offer to review the course material for them and to leave a testimonial. You can do the same thing if you ever hire a freelancer and like their services and want to provide a testimonial on their portfolio website.
This isn’t a massively powerful backlink, but it’s free and fast.
10. Use A Link-Building Service
I list this method with a warning that you shouldn't pay for backlinks until you know the ins and outs of backlink building and have done it yourself successfully for a while. There are a lot of shady practices out there and until you fully understand what you are paying for it's easy to take swindled.
Link building services typically use guest posting to acquire backlinks for their clients, but they have the process down to a science so it can be done at scale.
The advantage of link-building services is that all of the work is done for you. However, there are two main downsides:
Backlink Quality: Most SEOs who offer link building don’t build quality backlinks. Rather, they guest post on a network of spammy blogs that accept any kind of link, so you’re essentially paying to join a link farm that Google probably discounts immediately.
Cost: If you want to build dozens of backlinks a month, it’s not unusual to spend several thousand dollars on a quality link building service.
You might be tempted to hire a cheap link building service on Fiverr, but you should err on the side of caution.
Companies like Fat Joe are a popular option bloggers use for link building, but again, you largely get what you pay for and you have to vet the links you’re getting carefully to ensure you’re getting what you pay for.
Again, you shouldn’t pay for link building until you’ve grown a successful blog and used other strategies to get more backlinks. This is because going through the motions teaches you what separates a good backlink from a spammy backlink, so you can spot the difference if you start paying for links.
Figuring out how to get backlinks might seem like SEO magic, but successful link building is all about developing a process and refining it.
This might mean getting in the habit of guest posting once or twice a month. Alternatively, it could mean answering HARO pitches every lunch break.
Whatever the case, pick one or two strategies so you aren’t overwhelmed with options and go get more backlinks! Within a few months, you should start to see the fruits of your labor as your blog gradually ranks higher and gets more readers.