How To Easily Write Articles – The Simple 4 Step System To Article Writing

Ask some people to write an article for their website and they’ll look at you like you just asked them to get a tooth pulled with anesthesia.

Most people understand that unique content like articles (or blog posts) are very important for getting good search engine rankings and free traffic from the search engines.

But for some people, it is an incredibly time consuming and difficult task despite being knowledgeable on the subject.

However, writing articles doesn’t need to be difficult – even if you hate writing.

Writing articles, even a lot of them, is actually really easy especially once I explain my system to you.

I call it the OTTR system. (pronounced “otter” – like the animal)

You simply Outline, Talk, Transcribe, and Revise.

Sounds simple enough, right?

Let me explain it in a little more detail.

Step 1 – Outline

First, start with a topic that you’re knowledgeable about – hobbies usually make great choices. Just about everyone could talk for hours about their hobbies. If it’s cars, then choose a car topic. If it’s golf, then choose a golf topic.

Next, jot down a few ideas that you’d like to cover in your article. This is the outline phase.

For example, when I did the outline for this article, here’s what I started with:
• 4 Step System To Writing Articles
• Writing Articles is Easy
• OTTR
• Pick Subject You Know
• Outline
• Talk
• Transcribe
• Revise

Piece of cake, right? At that point I’ve written a grand total of 18 words. Even if you can’t type to save your life, you can probably handle 18 words.

Step 2 – Talk

On to step two – Talk. This is where the magic happens. Instead of taking that outline and writing an article from it (which you could do if you prefer), you get out a microphone and load up a program like Audacity (a free piece of software) on your computer and you start talking.

Just talk about all of the subjects in your outline until you feel you’ve gotten your point across. When you’re done, stop the recording and save the file.

Step 3 – Transcribe

Now onto step 3 – Transcribe. Now if you really hate to type or just don’t have the time for this step, give this job to someone else. This is a very easy task to delegate or outsource. In this step, you simply play back the recording and type out everything you said in the recording. Don’t try to edit it at this point – just get it all down.

Step 4 – Revise

Once you’ve got that done, you’re ready for step 4 – Revise. Now all you need to do is take out any phrases that don’t’ belong, for instance, “umm”, “like”, “you know”, etc – basically all of those filler words you use when your mind is coming up with what to say next. If you hire a transcriber, you can have them take care of this step for you.

And that’s it. You’ve got you entire article written.

And if you’re feeling more ambitious, you can use this method to write an entire book. Just use the same process, and you could write an entire book just by outlining the key ideas and talking about them.

Also, for those of you who do teleseminars or live training, be sure to record those sessions, and you’ll have a ton of valuable content right at your fingertips.

Want to learn more strategies for using article marketing? Get my entire link building course at MissionUnlinkable.com and you’ll never run out of strategies for getting more links and traffic to your website.

Long Term Search Engine Optimization Strategies

When it comes to getting your site to rank well in the search engines, a lot of advice you’re likely to read is the latest flavor of the week or loophole that someone’s uncovered that will help you get great search engine rankings for about a week.

It’s also true that the world of search engine optimization moves at warp speed. What worked last month may not work well this month. What worked last year may work against you now, and keeping up with all these little changes requires you to constantly be immersed in the world of search engine optimization.

So does that mean that you can’t get great search engine rankings if you don’t become an SEO expert or hire one?

No. But it does mean you’ll need to stop focusing on the little things, like tweaking your keyword density, or changing your meta tags, and focus your efforts on the factors that are going to matter long term.

Fortunately, there are some basic principles that you can apply that can help you weather the storm of constantly fluctuating search engine algorithms. These are methods that have worked for years, and will work for the foreseeable future so if you want to take this video and store it on your hard drive for a few years and play it back to see if the advice still works, I’m confident you’ll still find these methods work.

So here goes, let’s cover long term four long term seo strategies.

1) Write Great Content

Make the focus of your site on having really good content. I know that if you’ve watched any of my previous videos you already know that I continually harp on the importance of having great content. Well, the reason is that the search engines want to rank the sites that have the best content the highest. Also, people will naturally link to great content. Give the search engines and people what they want – quality content. Avoid quickly thrown together crap, and if you hire writers, make sure they know the subject matter they’re writing about.

2) Update Frequently

Your website should be updated frequently. A website that just sits and stagnates for years isn’t likely to rank well in the search engines. Make sure there’s something new for the search engines spiders to see – I have a friend who calls this feeding the spiders.

3) Make sure your site grows.

This goes along with frequently updating your site. You should be consistently putting a steady stream of new content onto your site. I like to use blogs for this purpose since they’re really easy to use and maintain, but use whatever method works best for you and your site. Forums can also be a great source of new content as long as they’re properly moderated.

4) Get Links

Build up your links. You should always be seeking out quality one way links.

The best links are frequently the ones you didn’t ask for and got simply because someone noticed your site and felt it was worthy of a link so when building your website, try to keep in mind that the quality of your content will affect the quality of the links you get.

While the methods for effectively getting links will continue to change, the fact that you need links to rank well isn’t likely to change anytime soon so make sure you’re always working to get quality links to your site even if that means you’re simply focusing on providing great content people will want to link to.

Once you start focusing on long term optimization methods, you’ll find that your rankings will improve without you having to go in and make little changes every time you read about what the search engines are favoring that month. Your content will rise to the top over time without you needing to constantly mess with it.

Be sure to take my free course, the Ultimate Traffic Blueprint 3.0, for in depth instructions.  It’s free and you can do it all online from the comfort of your home or office – what have you got to lose?

A Guide To Linkbait – SEO Lesson 12

Today I want to provide you with a guide to linkbaiting, and how you can use it to drive more traffic to your site and achieve better search engine rankings.

Just to warn ya – today’s video is almost 10 minutes long so make sure you’ve got a nice comfy chair to watch from:

Linkbaiting isn’t really a new concept – people have been using it for years, it’s really just the term describe the use of website or blog content to generate one way links to that website.

And other than well crafted press releases, there really isn’t a more powerful or effective way to drive massive amounts of traffic and get tremendous boosts to your search engine rankings quickly. So if you’re serious about getting more eyeballs to your website, then you’ll add linkbaiting techniques to your link building war chest.
While any page can be linkbait, these days it’s most frequently associated with blog posts since a blog posts tends to allow a little more interactivity with your audience. So just keep that in mind when I’m talking about some of these techniques.

Linkbaiting, just like press releases, is all about getting attention. So let’s talk about some ways that you can get attention.

1) Great Content

This is the classic way of building links. All you need to do is provide great content. But what is great content? Well, it’s not the type of content you get by buying private label articles or by hiring some cheap writer in India. Just take a look at some of the top sites for very competitive terms in Google and notice the amount of content these sites provide not just on that page but ho many related pages they link to. For example, I was recently doing research on the term chapter 7 bankruptcy for a website I was considering developing, and found that I had to temporarily shelve the project simply because the content on the top sites was well beyond anything I could simply hire a cheap writer to create. Many of these pages had several thousand word descriptions of how it worked – I think one even exceeded 10,000 words – and all would be considered genuinely helpful to anyone who stopped by to read it.

When you’re creating your content, especially if you want it to be linkbait, you need to make sure that instead of just writing to get some words on a page that a person will really learn something on that page, even if they don’t buy anything or opt-in to your newsletter. Essentially, you need to create expert quality information that’s easy and interesting to read. It takes more time – a lot more time – than just quickly throwing up a blog post, but you’ll find that almost all the best sites in every niche take the time to do this.

2) The case study

This can be another great way to attract links. Take the time to do some research on a product or service and see if it lives up to its hype. For example, you could compare spam services and test how accurate each is, then publish your results. Heck, there’s one guy who taste tests energy drinks, and publishes the results. Do some research, find something in your niche that you could do a case study on, publish the results, oh and include pretty charts and graphs – people loves charts and graphs.

3) Controversy (stir the pot)

Say something to stir up some controversy. For example, if you’re in the search engine optimization niche, and you call all SEO specialists snake oil salesmen, you’re going to get some attention.

I have some personal experience with this topic. In 2006 I recorded a video promoting a social bookmarking service, put it on video sharing sites, and went about my day. Imagine my surprise when I woke up one morning about two months after recording the video to an inbox full of hatemail. Apparently an influential blogger found my video offensive, used it as an example of what not to do, posted it on Digg.com and got a huge response for referring people to my video. Most people would consider being insulted in your niche an awful thing to happen to their business or reputation, but for me, I got a lot out of it. I got a lot of traffic to my site, a bunch of new links, several new subscribers, a new customer, and an interview request.

Saying something controversial on your site or making a video about it can be an extremely effective to generate discussion, and hence get you links.

Some people say that if you try to do this too often it can damage your credibility, but then again, there’s people like Howard Stern who’ve made a pretty good living being controversial 100% of the time.

4) Current Events

One way to get traffic is to tie your website into current events or to offer your own take on current event within your industry. The trick with using current events is to make sure they’re current. In this day of 24 hour news stations, constantly updated news websites like CNN.com, news that happened last week is already old news. Also, remember that it’s not enough to just cover the news, there are plenty of other sites that do that already. Give your own take on things and don’t be afraid to ruffle some feathers with your views.

5) Competitions

Start a contest on your site. I run an American Idol fan site just for fun, and one thing that we did to boost traffic to the site was run a competition to predict who the top three finalists were going to be, and we gave away CDs to everyone who got it right. This promotion got my site featured on several giveaway sites and was linked to in several other American Idol themed blogs. It resulted in a lot of traffic while the competition was open and we ended up getting a low more loyal readers to the site as a result. And with a fan site, you need as many readers as possible.

However, just having a competition or having great content isn’t always going to be enough, especially if you don’t already get a lot of traffic to your website.

You’re likely going to need to take matters into your own hands and do a little bit of self promotion. Also, keep in mind that not every type of linkbait you try is going to work. While I don’t like to use the term luck, since it implies you have no control, luck does play into things a little. Wildly successful linkbaiting campaigns require the right person or people seeing it at the right time.

Some estimates that I’ve seen are that for every four attempts at linkbait, not just regular blog posts, but actual attempts to create linkbait, one of them will get some links. Maybe one in twenty will be homeruns. So this is kind of like baseball you’re going to strike out more than you get a hit, and only once in a while hit one out of the park, but when you do, be ready for massive traffic and links.

One thing that you should do when creating linkbait is to think like a copywriter. For example, the most important element of a salesletter is the headline. If you write a compelling headline that attracts attention, you’re halfway there. Linkbaiting is the same way you need to write great headlines that will attract attention. Fortunately, it’s really easy to see what type of headlines are working, just head over to digg.com or netscape.com and read the headlines of the items that have made the popular pages.

Also, you don’t want to write like you’re trying to get in a scientific journal. Again, write like a copywriter. Use short paragraphs, informal grammar (i.e. write like you talk), use slang when appropriate, feel free to insert pictures and videos.

Also, don’t be afraid to do a little self promotion. Don’t wait for someone else to submit your post to digg or netscape do it yourself. Post in related forums and ask what people think or even email other bloggers and ask them for a critique.

And that’s linkbaiting in a nutshell.

While it’s not quite as simple as article marketing or directory submissions, it has tremendous upside, and is well worth learning how to do.

One of these days I’ll upload my hour long tutorial from my now unavailable link building course, Mission Unlinkable, but for there are plenty of good guides you can find online if you Google it or search Youtube.

SEO Lessons – Lesson 11 – Press Releases

One of the most powerful ways to bring traffic into a website and build links is to use press releases.

And when you’re using a paid online service for your press releases, you’ll find that they bring in traffic and links every single time you use them.

Even if you don’t have reporters calling or Oprah knocking down your door, press releases will still help you.

A great press release can completely change your business and bring in a flood of traffic, links, and even get you on CNBC or Larry King.

Even when given all the benefits of press releases, however, the press release remains one of the most underused tools when promoting a website despite its tremendous potential and low cost.

So why don’t more people use them, well, people have they’re excuses – I don’t have anything newsworthy; My business is different; I don’t know how to write a press release; and this one really befuddles me because someone might call me and want to interview me I’d have to *gasp* actually talk about my business to someone.

Of course, they’re just that – excuses. Coming up with something newsworthy is relatively easy. Any business can benefit from the use of press releases, they’re even relatively easy to write. And for those who are afraid you might actually have to talk to someone, though, I’m not sure what to tell you a lot of times, no reporters will call, but they might.

But if you’re convinced that you should start using press releases to promote your website, then here are a few tips for successful press releases.

1) Headlines Are Vital

Just like a great headline can make or break a salesletter, the headline of your press release can is the most important line of text you’ll right. When people are looking for stories, they’re skimming headlines, and if your headline doesn’t grab someone’s attention, then it doesn’t matter how great the rest of your press release is because nobody’s going to read it. Fortunately, you’ve got volumes of great headlines at your disposal if you subscribe to a local newspaper, or any magazine. Look at what they’re writing so you can see what works.

2) Not An Advertisement

Remember that your press release is not an advertisement. While you can and should certainly use them to promote a new product or service in your business, the actual press release should read like it’s being written by a neutral third party. Think of yourself as the reporter writing the story about the product, why it was created, and a little history. Don’t hype up the product with your marketing message. Just give ‘em the facts.

3) Quotes

Have you ever noticed how just about every article you read in a newspaper has a quote from one person or multiple people? That’s because quotes make a story more interesting. Instead of being a general story, it adds a more human touch to the writing. Always include a quote from someone in your press release and if you don’t have anyone to quote in your story – quote yourself. And you can even use the quote as a way to insert a little bit of the marketing message if you like.

With the potential benefits that press releases have to offer, you’d be a fool not to take advantage of them in your business.

If you’d like to learn more about how to write press releases with numerous “paint by numbers” examples, then you’ll want to get my free traffic generating course – Ultimate Traffic Blueprint 3.0 – did I mention it’s free?

SEO Lessons – Lesson 10 – Directory Submissions

Today I want to talk about directory submissions. I think that a lot of people get into the mindset that building traffic and links to your site is always best done by the latest and greatest new method or software.

They neglect “old school” methods of building links in favor of the “flavor of the month” method of building links.

One of the most neglected methods I see is using directory submissions.

Why?

Well, this is very much and old school method and it does take some time and work to do well. Also, there isn’t a lot of money in the directory business, so it tends to not be in the limelight when people talk about how to build one way links to a website.

Which is really unfortunate because using directories can be a great way to improve your search engine rankings.

First of all, with just about all directories you get a one way link to your website. Some directories will want you to pay a one time fee or annual fee for the link, and for really popular directories, the fee is definitely worth it, but there are literally thousands of other directories that you can submit your site to for free. So if you’re short on cash and you want a way to build links to your site for free, try this one out.

Now let’s talk about the benefits of using directory submissions.

Now I try not to get too hung up on Google Pagerank, but for a lot of people, having a higher Pagerank not only means better search engine rankings, but it’s simply a matter of pride. Getting links from directories can be an easy way to boost your Pagerank up a notch or two.

Getting in the higher quality directories can also help you get a better Trustrank score with Google. This is one of the algorithms that Google uses to rank your site, and it’s especially important if you want to rank well for competitive terms. While most directories won’t help you get a better Trustrank score, the best ones certainly seem to (Google never says which sites are in their list of “trusted” sites so people don’t try to manipulate them). I’d recommend getting yourself a Yahoo Directory listing and trying for a DMOZ listing until you get one.

And while you’re not going to get rich off of traffic from the directories directly, you can get a nice little stream of traffic flowing into you site from directories if you are consistent and keep getting your site in more and more directories over time.

So if you want better search engine rankings and more traffic to your website, then be sure to add directory submissions to your war chest of link building methods.

If you really want to ramp up your traffic, sign up for my free traffic course – Ultimate Traffic Blueprint 3.0.

 

SEO Lessons – Lesson 9 – The Link Building Paradox

Today I want to talk about something I like to call the link building paradox.

When it comes to getting your site to rank better in the search engines, the most important thing you can do is get more quality links to your site. Now there are a lot of ways to get links to your website, but the major search engines like Google will tell you to do this by providing quality content on your pages and people will naturally link to you over time.

It says so right on their website.

The only problem is that if your site is new and you have no links, it doesn’t matter how much great content you have if you don’t have any links nobody’s going to see it.

It’s like building a shopping mall in the middle of Siberia.

Which brings me to the paradox. If you have a site that ranks well in the search engines, other people are naturally going to link to you if your site has good content to offer. By having a high ranking website, it’s easy to get more links to your website since when people are doing searches in the Internet, your website will show up. Next time they’re writing about a topic the site covers in their blog or in a forum, the high ranking site they found by searching in Google is going to get that coveted link, and that high ranking site gets even more links – it’s the rich getting richer. Conversely, if you have a site that doesn’t have any links, your ranking in the search engines is going to be low, if not non existent. Nobody is going to link to your site naturally over time if they don’t even know it exists, the poor get poorer. Hence what I call the link building paradox.

This is why I don’t like such conservative views on how to build links to a website – the just provide great content and the links will come method. This view may be in the best interest of the search engines, but it’s definitely not in your best interest especially if you have a new website that you’d like to get the search engines to notice and rank well.

This is where hiring a link building company or doing the link building yourself comes in. Think of it just as you would any other promotion for your website. You don’t usually expect a TV reporter to just randomly call you up and ask if they can promote your business – no, you buy ads on their network. You also don’t expect to see anybody writing about your business in the newspaper if you haven’t done any type of promotion.

The same goes for link building, if you’re not willing to promote your website then why should anyone else care and link to you?

For the do it yourselfers, here’s a couple strategies you don’t want to be without when promoting your website.

The first is the press release. You can do this yourself or hire a pro. If you have a brand new site, then be sure to write one and let the whole world know that your website is open for business. Even if you think you have a boring and normal website, an experienced press release writer will be able to come up with a press release that will get you more links, traffic, and sales. Anytime you do something new or launch a new product or service, be sure to send out another press release. This is a surefire way to work your way up in the rankings.

The second is to be sure to write articles. You can use articles to get the word out about your website and post them on hundreds of sites that will give you a link back to your website just for allowing them to use the article. You could even take an article and turn it into a video just like this and get even more bang for your buck.

Want to learn how to build links quickly and effectively?   Then please take my Ultimate Traffic Blueprint 3.0 course.  It’s 21 lessons of pure traffic building goodness… for FREE!

Don’t want to learn, want it done?  Head on over to the waiting list, sign up, and I’ll be in touch soon.

SEO Lessons – Lesson 7 – How To Use Article Marketing For SEO And Traffic

Today I’m going to cover the topic of Article Marketing and how it applies to search engine optimization.

This is probably one of the most popular methods for building one way links to a site. So popular, in fact, that some marketers exclusively use it. I think using it exclusively is silly, but it’s definitely worth using.

Writing articles isn’t hard. You simply pick a topic, write 400-700 words about it, and then submit it to the article directories you want your article to be seen in.

When the directories publish your article, they also link back to your site. The real power of this method, however, comes from the fact that other website owners can reprint your article on their website as long as they provide that link back to your site. So instead of writing one article to get one link, writing one article can get you dozens of links, hundreds if you write a popular article.

Writing articles not only results in links to your site, which helps improve your search engine rankings, but it can also result in a lot of traffic to your site. I’ve had sites where 1/3 of all the visitors to the site were coming directly from people clicking those links in my articles.

Which brings me to my next point. Quality matters. I know I harp on this quality thing a lot, but for some reason this seems to be the first thing people forget so I figure if I keep bringing it up, everyone will remember.

If someone reads your article and it’s well written, they’re far more likely to visit your site and spend money on your site than if you have something that is full of errors and clearly took you all of five minutes to write.

Okay, now that we’ve got the obligatory mention of quality being important, let’s move on to one of the most common questions I hear about writing articles – coming up with ideas.

Sure, writing 2 or 3 articles on a topic is usually a piece of cake, however when you’re writing new articles every week, you might struggle with coming up with new ideas all the time. Fortunately, there’s a few simple tricks you can use to come up with new material. First, get out a notebook and a pen, and just start brainstorming – write down any idea that pops into your head. You can usually come up with a pretty good list then and there so anytime you need a new article and you don’t already have an idea in mind, you can return to that list.

But what if you still want more topics or you didn’t come up with much from your brainstorming. Fortunately, we’re not done yet – not by a long shot.

Start reading posts on peoples blogs that on the topic you want to write articles on. Usually, you can find ideas for more topics. Don’t copy them, but feel free to use them as inspiration and put your own spin on something. And if you need help finding blogs, just use google blog search, technorati, or icerocket, and you’ll have more blogs than you care to read at your disposal.

You can also do a news search in your favorite search engine and see what comes up. And just write about what’s new in your industry.

Or hop on some message boards on your topic and see what questions people are asking. If you see a question that you could easily answer with an article, then write it down Heck, you can even use the article you write to answer the question.

And once you’re done with all that you’ll probably have more ideas than you know what to do with.

When it comes to the actual writing of your article, just focus on writing the best darn article you can. Don’t think about things like keyword density. You also don’t need to get too uptight about being grammatically perfect. Just as long as your article flows and makes sense, you’ll be fine.

Now, once you’ve got that writing part done – where the heck do you submit it? Here’s what works well for me, but feel free to experiment and see what works for you. I only submit my articles to two places – the first is EzineArticles.com and the other is Isnare.com. Isnare is an article distribution site, so when you submit an article to them, for $2 they’ll submit your article to several hundred article groups and several other article sites. You get a lot of bang for your two bucks, so I always recommend using it. And the reason I recommend using EzineArticles is because Isnare doesn’t submit their articles to them. Since EzineArticles is the most popular article directory on the web and can send you a lot of traffic directly, you’ll definitely want your article there.

***Update – Don’t use iSnare (it may not even exist anymore), EzineArticles.com is sufficient for getting your article out there.  If you need more than that, read my Advanced Article Marketing Guide***

And when you’re writing the about the author section for your article, keep two things in mind. First, remember how I talked about anchor text in my last lesson? Well, be sure to use anchor text for your links whenever possible. And don’t always link to your homepage. Find some other pages on your site to link to.

Okay, that covers this lesson on article marketing. Just remember, that article marketing helps your search engine optimization efforts best if you do this on a regular basis.

I was going to use this sentence to plug my free Ultimate Traffic Blueprint course, but by now you’ve probably seen me mention it so many times that you’ve already signed up and been through it twice, right?

SEO Lessons – Lesson 5 – The Link Building Process

In this lesson, I talk about the link building process.

Now that we understand the need for quality content, let’s talk about the link building process, but before I do, I want to mention this again – if you’re not going to put time into putting quality content on your site, you’re wasting your time. You can only fool people for so long before you have to deliver. So just save yourself the trouble, and start with quality content – it’ll make this whole process a whole lot easier.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s jump right in. I’ve already mentioned in my first lesson how links are the most important aspect to a site ranking well. So let’s talk about the process of building links. Just remember that this an ongoing process – it doesn’t happen overnight, and it’s not something you do just once. You need to take consistent action to building links over time.

Just like moving up the corporate ladder, you typically start at the bottom and work your way to the top. When you start a job and you’re just out of college, do you start out as the CEO? Probably not. You start somewhere towards the bottom, maybe in management, but there are a lot of people above you, and over a period of years you start working your way up. And just like in the corporate world, there are ways to accelerate your ascension to the top, and there are plenty of things you can do to stay just where you are.

There are some idealists out there who claim that search engine optimization is bull, and that all anyone who claims to do seo is a scammer or a snake oil salesman. They boldly proclaim that all you need to do is focus on providing quality content and the traffic will come to you. Yeah they’re full of it.

The thing that I find most interesting about these so called idealists is that they’re usually already in a pretty good position. They’re sites are already getting tons of traffic, and have tons of links. It’s easy to say only focus on content when you’ve already got traffic and links.

Well, as far as I’m concerned, I’m not willing to just sit around and hope I get lucky. I want a system that I know will get results instead of just sitting around buying lottery tickets and hoping I hit the big one.

You see when it comes right down to it, you need to be willing to promote your website if you want traffic – it’s that simple.

Now there’s a lot of ways to promote your site. And since this is a search engine optimization video, let’s look at it from a search engine point of view – in this case promoting your site means getting links. There are a lot of ways to get links, and I’ll be covering my methods for getting them in greater detail in the future. I’ve also written an ebook called the Ultimate Traffic Blueprint on this very topic of getting links and the entire system I’ve developed for getting them – so if you don’t want to wait, I’d recommend giving it a read – it’s available at the ultimatetrafficblueprint.com homepage.

Before I continue, I want to mention that while the links I’m going to show you how to get can be very beneficial to your rankings in the SERPs (that’s Search Engine Results Pages) just getting these links shouldn’t be your ultimate goal. You should instead look at them as middlemen.

Say, for example, that I want to get a link from cnn. Well, if I just call them up and say, “Hey, can I get a link from you?” They’ll either say no, or they’ll direct me to their advertising department and those aren’t the kind of links I want. So getting a link directly from cnn isn’t going to work, however, by using a press release, I just might be able to get my site featured on cnn and a link back. The methods I use to get links, and the press release is one of my favorites, are to act as the middlemen to helping us get the links that we really want. While the links that we get directly from these middlemen are okay, we’re really just looking to attract the attention of those really high quality sites that we couldn’t have done on our own.

Now that that’s out of the way. Let’s talk about this system. I have five methods that I like to call the cornerstones to building links.

Article Distribution, Directories, Press Releases, Social Media, and Linkbait

Article Distribution is simple the process of writing an article, preferably on a topic related to your website, and submitting it to article directories. If these article directories decide to use your article, they’ll give you one to three links to your website for allowing them to use your article. Not only that, but when you submit to these directories, you also allow anyone who wants to the right to reprint your article the ability to do so as long as they also provide a link back to your website. A single good article can result in hundreds of links pointing to your site. And because of the ability to get so many links from a single article – a lot of people use article distribution as a cornerstone to their link building efforts.

Next is the directory, probably one of the oldest method for getting links. Directories are simply sites that provide listings of other peoples’ sites, much like the yellow pages in a phone book. There are literally thousands of directories out there that you can submit your site too, and provided they like your site, they’ll link to you. A lot of directories are free, but some of them require a payment to get them to consider listing your site. I think directory submission is one of those techniques that people tend to forget about and instead favor of newer, sexier methods. But keep this one in mind, it may be an oldie, but it’s a goodie.

Now let’s talk about the press release. Never have I seen a method for promoting a site strike fear in the hearts of webmasters quite like the press release. I mean for some people, including clients I’ve worked with, that when you bring up a press release, they practically run out of the room terrified, lock themselves in their bedrooms, and refuse to come out until you promise them they’re not going to have to do press releases. A press release is nothing to be afraid of. And if you think that when you write a press release and send it out that the next day you’ll have a flood of reporters calling you up and knocking down your door, you’re probably giving yourself too much credit. Once you get good at them, maybe, but probably not at first, so don’t be scared – give them a try. And remember, a press release doesn’t need to be earth shattering news. If you launch a new site, write a press release, have a new product, another press release, have a creative or interesting article, another press release. Press releases can generate a ton of traffic to a site, so don’t dismiss this one just because you’re scared of it or you don’t know how to do it.

Next up is Social Media – Web 2.0 – ye ole Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and now even Pinterest. There’s a new trend on the Internet that’s moving away from traditional news outlets and search engines when seeking out information. Instead, they’re relying on sites where what’s new, interesting, and newsworthy, comes from regular people rather than what the newspaper or television tell us. And with this new trend, of course, comes a lot of opportunity to not just get links, but to get a lot of traffic. So don’t be afraid to venture into the world of sites like squidoo, myspace, digg.com, del.icio.us and others.

And my final cornerstone is the topic of Linkbait, probably the most effective long term method of building links. Linkbait can be defined simply as have some type of content on your site that people will find interesting enough to link to. So what do people find interesting enough to link to? Well, just about anything, really. Controversial articles – free software – free tools – how to guides – mashups – videos – infographics – podcasts. Be creative here. Just remember, if your website is boring, you’re going to have a harder time getting links. So try brainstorming things you can do that will get attention and get links.

That’s the gist of my five methods for building links. I know I covered them pretty fast, but I’ll be diving into each of them in more detail later. For now I just wanted to go over them quickly to let you know what methods you’ll be wanting to implement for your website.

One question I get asked a lot is, “Gary, which method should I be focusing on?” To Which I say – all of them.

Have you ever seen the cartoon, Captain Planet? It ran from early to mid 90s in the U.S. And it was a show about these five kids, and each of them had this ring that gave them a special power. I loved this show – to this day I can still sing the theme song.

But anyway on their own, they were effective, but when they really ran into trouble, they had to combine their powers to form Captain Planet. And then Captain Planet would defeat the bad guy.

Same goes for these five methods. Each on their own can be effective, but when you put them all together – watch out.

I know I know – it sounds like a lot of work . And To be honest, a lot of search engine optimization is just that – some hard work .

For more in depth teaching, get my Ultimate Traffic Blueprint 3.0 course – it’s free and comes with videos and step by step instructions on this whole link building process, all it’ll cost ya is your email address.  (and don’t worry, I promise never to spam you).

Need it done for you, you can get on the waiting list.

 

SEO Basics – Video Lesson 1 – Link Building

Here’s my first video in my SEO video series. This video covers the importance of link building.

For those of you who don’t have broadband or prefer to read, here’s what the video says:

In the world of search engine optimization, there are a lot of myths floating around, so I’ve decided to record a series of videos to help you understand what Search engine optimization is all about. Today I’m going to cover link building.

Links are the MOST important aspect of any search engine optmization campaign.

Yes, the most important thing you can do to get your site ranked highly in the search engines doesn’t involve doing anything to your site. It depends on what are called “offsite factors.”

In general, the more links you have, the better.

So if everything was equal, a site with 100 links would perform better in the search engines than a site with 10 links.

But in the real world, all links are not equal. You need to focus on getting quality links to your site. getting mostly one way links instead of reciprocal links. getting links from sites that are related to yours instead of random websites. For example, if you have a site about horses, you want links from other sites about horses, or horse racing, or equestrian, not links from sites about computers and video games.

Now this lesson oversimplifies things a little, but this is just the first video. I’ll cover this in more depth in a later video.

I’d also encourage you to read the Ultimate Traffic Blueprint (available on the homepage), which is a free guide that to helping you build links.