Link Building for Your Niche Site
Now you finally have a fully functional niche site that you can proudly show off! What’s next? Making sure that it’s visible to real people searching for topics related to your niche site. And the easiest way of doing this is to make it rank on search engines like Google.
This is where link building comes into play, as it’s inevitable for making an amazon niche site rank. No matter how good your content and site structure is, your site simply won’t rank that well until it has up-votes from other sites in the form of links.
Because link building is such an important part of the whole process of earning money from a niche site, newbies often resort to the relatively easier but riskier methods of building links. These links are not only unhelpful in making your site rank, but can in fact be detrimental to your niche site’s success in the long run.
This is why I do not recommend practising pure spam-based black-hat SEO on a niche site. Even though a $5 Fiverr gig offering 5,000 backlinks might seem pretty attractive, make sure you steer clear of such spam packages because they can only harm your site and not help it.
Well, don’t get me wrong. Some forms of aggressive black hat link building still work. Not the pure spam type, but strategies like Private Blog Networks (PBNs) still work. If you spot 5 niche sites ranking for a random keyword, chances are, at least half of them are utilizing PBN links.
Now, let’s face this. Any link building is actually against Google’s guidelines. But, does that mean every single link that you’ve built is likely to get your site penalized? No, unless you built the link in a spammy way. This is also why authority sites who’ve utilized relatively safe link building practices, don’t get penalized. So, as a beginner, you need to stick to relatively safer ways of building links. Let’s explore a few such methods:
Genuine blog comments on relevant blogs within my niche is usually the first type of link building I do for my niche sites. I use my name (that’s used in the niche site) as an “anchor” to link to both the homepage and internal pages of my site. This is not only a natural practice, but it also brings in visitors from those other blogs.
Apart from that, these links help to diversify the overall anchor-text profile of my niche sites. When “author name” anchor text dominates over keyword-rich anchor texts, it’s easier to use keyword rich or exact match anchors without worrying about getting hit by the Google Penguin algorithm.
Keep in mind that more than 90% of links obtained from blog commenting will be nofollow’ed links. This means that they themselves won’t pass on any link juice to your site and actively help in your ranking your site. But still, they work very well in diversifying your anchor text distribution and building up a natural-looking link profile.
Here is one of my favourite ways of searching for relevant blog posts which have a high chance of accepting new comments.
- Go to Google.com (the US-version).
- Use this advanced search operator:
intitle:[topic] “2..20 comments”For example,
intitle:treadmill “2..20 comments”
What this basically does is, it returns blog posts having my target topic in its page title, and has somewhere between 2 to 20 existing comments. So, this ensures that these posts are both relevant to your site and are also known for accepting blog comments while not being unmoderated to host hundreds of spammy comments.
If this seems too time consuming and boring for you, you can easily outsource this to a Virtual Assistant (VA) from a freelancer site like UpWork.
Now, let’s move on to the next strategy, and this one is a crucial part of my overall link building strategy for niche sites.
Link Building Using Infographics
For some of my sites, I invest on infographic creation, so that I can leverage it to build some solid links. I’ve actually written a solid post in the past on infographic link building, but I’ll discuss the process here in short.
If you have no clue about infographic creation, and don’t know where to start, I’d recommend outsourcing the whole process to any reputable infographic designing agency.
Basically, after publishing an infographic on your site, you can submit them to sites that are known to share infographics (infographic aggregators). Also, you have to get in touch with sites that are known to share infographics on the same topic as yours.
As the sites that’ll post and link to your infographic will link to the page that has the infographic, I recommend placing your infographic somewhere within a money-page. So that, when the infographic sharers link to that page, it’ll get benefited directly and achieve better rankings.
Here’s the entire process in short, if reading the entire infographic link building guide that I linked to above is too much for you to read:
- Generate an easy-to-copy, clean embed code for your infographic. You can use this WordPress plugin, or this tool by Siege Media.
- Submit your infographic, along with a link to your original page as a source, in infographic directories like these.
- Email relevant sites which have already shared infographics on similar topics in the past.
- Use Google’s reverse image search to find which sites re-shared any particular infographic.
- Share your infographic on image sharing sites with a focus on visual content, like Imgur.
- Target industry-specific communities and forums to get people talking about your infographic.
- If you’re really confident about your infographic doing well once it reaches enough people, you may try promoting it via social media.
Building Links Using Web 2.0 Sites
This is a fairly popular strategy and as a result, it’s often used improperly (and thus ineffectively). Firstly, let me get you a basic idea of what Web 2.0 sites actually are. They are basically the ones that let you blog freely within their platform and yet allows you to freely manage your site. A few examples would be, WordPress.com, RebelMouse, Tumblr, Weebly, etc.
It’s very easy to mess up web 2.0 link building by doing stuff like using spammy/copied/low-quality content, stuffing tons of links in a single web 2.0 site, etc. To make sure your web 2.0s actually help you to rank your niche site instead of getting it penalized, try to ensure the following:
- Use readable, unique content for posting on Web 2.0 sites. Low-quality content can not only get your Web 2.0 site removed from the platform, but they can also attract penalties towards your money site, easily.
- Link out to your niche site in a way that resembles a natural linking pattern. I don’t recommend linking to your niche site more than twice from the same Web 2.0 site. This is to ensure that your Web 2.0 site doesn’t seem like it exists only to rank to your site.
- Link out to other relevant sites (but not direct competitors).
- Set up ‘About’ & ‘Contact’ pages for your Web 2.0 sites to make them seem even more legitimate.
Also, keep in mind, not all Web 2.0 sites provide dofollow links, you need to ignore the ones that don’t, because all this much effort isn’t worth it when the link is nofollow’ed. In addition, here are a few relevant guides on Web 2.0’s, that’ll help you massively in case you decide to rely a lot on this type of link building:
If you want, you can outsource Web 2.0 creation to a VA, as well. There are many VAs on platforms like UpWork who are already aware of how to create, design and post in a Web 2.0 site. You can just provide them the guideline I posted above to ensure they don’t do anything risky.
Niche-Relevant Forum Link Building
What I mean by niche relevant forum link building isn’t spamming all your niche relevant forums by posting useless posts and stuffing in your link. You should just create profiles in the top 4-5 forums in your niche, and add your website URL in the “URL field” of your profile.
For most of the forums, this link will be nofollow’ed, but that’s still helpful not only in anchor diversification (as these will be naked/branded links) but also in driving relevance to your niche site.
Just don’t go overboard in your efforts and set up profiles on a hundred different forums within a week and link out to your site from all of them. I recommend sticking to only a handful (4-5) of them, as this works best when done in moderation.
No matter how many “SEO gurus” tell you that guest posting doesn’t work any more, you can be pretty sure that they hardly know anything about the reality. Not only are links from guest posts one of the most powerful type of links, they work just as well these days.
What doesn’t work, however, is low-quality guest posting. You basically need to reach out to real, high-quality blogs, and supply them interesting content. Think of it this way, you’re providing a fellow blogger some high-quality content which is bringing traffic to their site, while also fetching your own site one or two links. It’s practically a win-win situation for both parties.
One of the most important elements of a guest posting campaign is the pitch – the email you send to the blog owners enquiring about the possibility of publishing a guest post on their site. From my experience, you shouldn’t be too pushy in your first email. You can just ask them whether they are accepting guest posts at all, instead of sending them a bunch of topic ideas in the first email itself.
There’s a misconception among people that guest blogging is not that effective for niche sites. This isn’t fully true. Of course no one would want to link to your site if it screams “AFFILIATE!”. For other site owners to link to your site without a doubt, you need a good site design, structure and lots of informative or other genuinely useful articles. But we’ve already covered that before.
Resource Page Link Building
These can be both powerful and relatively easier to get for an amazon affiliate niche site. In the last two months alone, I’ve secured more resource page links than I can count just by sending a simple email.
Basically, this is a two-step link building method. Firstly, you need to find out relevant resource pages within your niche that link to other sites related to yours. Next, you need to reach out to the webmasters of those pages asking them whether it’s possible for them to link to your site too.
You can use the searches like the following on Google to find out niche-relevant resource pages:
- [topic] inurl:resources
- [topic] inurl:links
Once you’ve curated a list of potential link targets, you can send them an email like I did, as shown in the image above. Or you can use a template:
Curated List Link Building
This is a fairly uncommon link building strategy for niche sites, and not many people actually know about this. This is mainly a sub-type of “ego-bait link building”. What you basically do, is look for and curate a list of top sites or resources within your niche that are genuinely helpful for anyone who’s looking for content related to that topic.
It isn’t hard to come up with at least 10-20 such sites or content pieces that stand out among the rest. Once you’ve created the list, it’s time to create a new, dedicated page on your niche site with a title like “Best Sites/Content on [Topic]”.
Once you’ve created the page, you just need to email the site owners whose sites/content you’ve featured on that page. Though this doesn’t guarantee a 100% conversion rate in terms of link acquisition, you still should get a few links or at least a fair number of social shares in return. Not that bad for a fairly simple and less resource-intensive link building method, isn’t it?
Other Link Building Strategies for Niche Sites
Apart from the ones I’ve already mentioned, there are a few morelink building strategies that you can use, but they don’t need any detailed explanation either because they’re pretty self-explanatory or are just not that important in my opinion.
- Reach out to relevant sites directly, asking them to take a look at your content and link to them if possible. (be careful with this one, reaching out to a competitor can backfire)
- Links from question-answer type sites like Yahoo! Answers and Quora.
- Links from high-quality web directories.
- Links from high-quality social bookmarking sites like Reddit & StumbleUpon.