(PRWEB) October 13, 2012
There is always that kid in the family. The kid who was disappointed on family fishing outings because their fish wasn’t the biggest, or maybe it just wasn’t as big as they wanted. Their kid brother or sister would catch a ridiculously small fish and grin at the camera, fully satisfied with the catch. Not them. So they tried different methods—change the fishing location, change the lures, changing the time of day. Then, one day on the Discovery channel, they notice that the little fish attract the big fish, and BAM! An idea is born!
That is link baiting. They’re not trying to get the little fish to get your bait. (Not that they mind the little guys at all!) They’re trying to get them to look and to tell their friends so that before long, all the fish are waving their fins wildly and blowing bubbles about THAT bait. Then, the big fish can’t help but notice. They aren’t trying to sell a product but to get the link—the bubble-blowing, fin-flapping kind of links. They are trying to get people to notice, because their content, their bait, is irresistibly delicious.
One can throw corn kernels in the water all day and attract (and even catch) those little sunfish, but that’s not gonna get the kind of fish they want. Quality. That’s what we need—quality content that can’t be resisted, that attracts the kind of people we want and encourages them to link back to the site.
Before one begins writing content, we have to ask these three questions:
1. What do writers want linking to their content?
2. What's important to them?
3. What will the content do for them?
Write it down. Post it up. Put it in a place where it will be seen.
Target identified? Check. Now for the quality content.
Anyone can put together helpful content. It can even contain some quality information, but this content has to do more! This content needs to make the audience come back for more! To help keep on the right track as one writes linkbaiting content, we ask these 7 questions:
1. Is it intuitive?
Are people going to finish reading the content and go “Huh?” If they’re trying to get people to link to the article on cleaning out your engine coolant reservoir on a car and there are no diagrams and use words few people understand, no one’s going to link to the page. As a writer, one is serving the reader, so make it easy to understand with both writing style and visual aids.
2. Does it demonstrate expertise?
Use numbers. Quote sources. Get guest writers who have expertise on the subject. Don’t write fluff. The writers goal is to gain the readers’ trust. Trust is a hard thing to gain and harder still to regain.
3. Does it provide useful information?
Interesting is good, yes, but if it isn’t informative, readers won’t come back for more. What are some areas that the readers will need to know about or how to do? Be that source for them.
4. Is it unique?
Give them something different. If everyone else is doing or saying what this piece is saying, why should the website be anyone’s first choice? What little tips can be highlighted? Is the writer a painting expert? Add some décor ideas or spackling advice or what to do when their little dog falls asleep in the freshly painted corner of the room and has paint stuck to his fur. Be where the reader is.
5. Does it relate to the target audience?
What personality would readers like? What kind of personality does the writer want their site to have? Are they the sarcastic, dry-humored kind of content provider? Are they the well-polished expert? Are they the friendly advice giver? What kind of personality can they create that will make their readers enjoy reading the content?
6. Does it address a newsworthy event?
Keep up with the news—not just headline news. Who are the readers? What kind of news would interest them? Are they interested in hearing about how Kim Kardashian is dating Kanye West? Do they want to know about the latest advances in science, a play-by-play of last night’s tennis match? Don’t just report it! Remember how we talked about the information being unique? Add an opinion or someone else’s controversial opinion. People link to that kind of content!
7. Does it appeal to a wide variety of people?
Remember the kid in school when the teacher tried to get them to learn that 2+3=5? So they drilled and drilled and drilled. Then she asked them what 2+3 was and they didn’t know. Had she given them French fries to hold or made them hop around the room, he could have gotten the answer. Here’s a little secret: readers are all different from each other! Find some way to appeal to each of them in each post. Add cartoons, embed videos, create a distracting game or amusing noise-maker (ok, maybe not the noise-maker).
A writers job as a link baiter is to attract and keep the attention of their online fishes. Keeping the attention can be the hard part, so remember—these content checks aren’t one-time only activities. Make the readers confident that the content is the best. Drop in that bait and watch the little fishies swarm around that deliciously irresistible expertise.
Keith Eneix is the founder and CEO at fannit.com, a Seattle based SEO company. He manages all things SEO related for over 30 businesses in the Pacific Northwest.