It blows my mind how dismissive many writers are about backlinks when it comes to SEO. Yes, having quality and keyword optimized content is critical, but that is just one aspect of Google’s 200+ ranking algorithm factors.
It’s like the old “build it and they will come” philosophy. Yes, some may come and yes, you may get lucky and have thousands come, because you beautifully crafted a piece of content – but it’s a gamble. There is no guarantee, anyone outside your existing circle of influence will ever see it.
I don’t know about you, but I hate waiting on luck. Which is why I create my own – a step two, if you will – to ensure each content gets the exposure I want it to get.
Let’s look at both steps a little closer.
Step #1: Create Quality Content
Content is king. It really is. The thing with kings though is, they only reign over their own land – however large or small that may be.
Your existing audience (your people) may be enough exposure for you, but for me – if I’m already putting my time into creating content – I want to make sure it gets seen in other lands as well.
Heck, I want the world to read that message.
Which is why I’m such a strong believer in step two. Saying your content doesn’t need backlinks – to me – is like saying “It’s a healthy newborn. Why would I give it milk?”
Step #2: Build Quality Backlinks
Think of backlinks as soldiers. The more you have, the more land you can conquer. The more trained the soldiers are, the less you need to get the desired outcome.
It’s not wise to send your farmers with pitchforks to conquer land for you. They may grant you SOME success, if you have enough of them, but it would be a costly endeavor in the long run.
In SEO terms: I’d never go out and have someone point cheap / questionable / worthless / spammy links at my money site. It’s too risky in the long term and would greatly jeopardize my site’s credibility in Google’s eyes as well.
I prefer not to send thousands of peasants (low class backlinks) out to attempt to conquer land (search engine rankings) for me. I’d much rather send in small groups of highly trained special forces (powerful in-content backlinks) that get the job done 99% of the time.
When you have strong backlinks pointing to your highly optimized content, you do not need many of them to get decent to excellent rankings.
Quality Content Without Backlinks
Time and time again I see freshly published content rank fairly high in Google without a single backlink. The problem is – even if the content is the best online on the topic – it won’t stay on the top half of the first page, unless it has at least a few solid backlinks pointing to it.
We all know the top 3 spots on Google are where the money is made. In fact, the top 3 positions get over 50% of the clickthroughs. With the spammy Google adwords ads now displaying at the very top of most search result pages, it is even more imperative to have one or more of the top 3 organic search positions if we want to tap into the highly targeted traffic.
You painstakingly invested mental energy into creating awesome content. Why not milk it for all it’s worth by getting it to stick where the most eyeballs will see it for months and years to come?
The difference often is zero to a few dollars per month in passive income per article versus hundreds of dollars per month. It’s like leaving the table after the appetizer – never enjoying the actual meal or even tasting the to-die-for dessert.
Simply put: Just writing quality content can result in Google sending you enough traffic to passively pay for your coffee each day. Writing quality content AND building strong backlinks to it can – passively – pay for a new car or even a mortgage.
It makes that big of a difference!
My favorite part about it is, that it starts adding up with each post you publish.
EXAMPLE: My wife’s food blog made good money with brand sponsorships and ad revenue, but she had to constantly publish new content to keep the momentum going. Once I got involved on the SEO side of it and she started search engine optimizing her content, she – within a few very short months – went from no passive income per month to thousands each month (on top of the usual brand related income).
It is only now that she feels she built something for herself. Before it was like a job. If she stopped working, the income would have stopped too. Now – even if she were to take a year off – she would continue making a very respectable income from the blog alone.
You see, content is a critical element. It all starts with quality content. If it ends there, you might be making decent money but likely very little to no passive income. The passive income is what creates freedom. The passive income is what makes you rich. The passive income is what defines the value of a business, should you want to sell out and retire.
No one wants to buy a job. They want a system that is profitable without them having to bust their behind for each penny.
And to think that just a few solid backlinks can make such a difference is incredible.
Best Backlinks to Build for Non-SEOs
I get it. You’re a writer. You’re probably a damn good writer. So the thought of having to build backlinks paralyzes you. Am I right?
You’re not the only one. Meaning you’re not completely screwed. You have options.
If you don’t want to mess with guest blogging, blog commenting, Private Blog Networks (PBNs), or any of the other backlink building strategies I teach, why not do the occasional press release?
Heck, why not do a press release every time you publish a new piece of content? It will cost you a few sodas, but – assuming the content is exceptional, like it should be – the return on investment will be worth it. At least, it always has been for me.
These days I write a ton of press releases myself, but used to (and still occasionally do) outsource them to Nix. He not only writes them but – after my approval – submits them to hundreds of press syndication sites as well.
The backlinks each press release gets me are unparalleled in quality and quantity for the price. So definitely a very solid service I recommend investing in.
Don’t want to write press releases yourself? Have Nix do it. Don’t feel the need to micromanage and let him do his thing. Because it isn’t content on your site, I wouldn’t be too picky about it. In my opinion, it isn’t so much about the press release, what it says, etc. It’s strictly about the backlinks I get from it.
If you would like more information on exactly what Nix offers, I did an in depth review of his done-for-you press release service here.