As many bloggers know, PR is a numeric value representing the importance of a website, and is largely based on the number (and weight) of incoming links. While this may not be the most efficient way of determining the value of a website, it does affect your search engine rankings, and many advertisers will use it to decide whether or not your blog is worth advertising on.
There are a lot of ways to build links to your blog, some of the most effective being:
Provide valuable content.
By valuable content, I don’t mean simply writing about things that people find interesting or useful- your content must also be considered more valuable than what most other blogs in your niche are providing. If you don’t present something original to your readers, why would they read your blog over a more popular one, let alone link to it?
The more you post, the more pages you will have that could appear in search engines for people to find (and link to). But keep in mind, don’t sacrifice quality for quantity. A hundred “good” posts will probably receive fewer links than five “great” posts. Write at a pace that is comfortable for you.
Display a link to your feed and encourage others to subscribe.
This is a very popular way of informing your readers of new posts. The more subscribers you have (given that you are providing them with quality content), the better your chances of them linking to your blog when they come across something useful.
Be a guest blogger.
Guest blogging is a great way to build links to your blog and expose yourself to a new group of readers. Writing for other sites in your niche may be the best way to go about guest blogging since links from related websites hold the most value, but writing on a different topic can be fun too, often leaving a blogger more inspired to write and implement new ideas into their work.
Trade links with other bloggers.
This is an old method of building links. Find other bloggers who would be willing to add you to their blogrolls, and do the same for them.
I wouldn’t suggest trading links with just any blog- only link to those that are relevant to your own. Your blog will win cool points with Google if it is linked to on a page with similar keywords.
Submit articles to free article directories.
If you’ve got some free time, I would suggest writing some articles on your niche topic and submitting them to free article directories. You are allowed a link to your page at the bottom of your article, and if submitted to numerous sites (I recommend Article Marketer), you could receive dozens of links for a single article.
Has a website helped you in some way? Write a testimonial for it. Sometimes these testimonials will include a link to your blog, and it’s a good way to get other webmasters to visit.
Tell your friends about interesting content.
Did you write a pillar article that your friends and other webmasters may find interesting or useful? Send them an email about it. Perhaps they will link to your new post. But don’t advertise all your articles this way- just your best work. Otherwise, they may start overlooking your emails.
Write about other bloggers.
This was an idea contributed by Meredith from Brand Torrent. Bloggers love it when people talk about them (if it’s good publicity), and many will link back to your post so their readers can see what has been said, too. This is a good way to get links, traffic, and perhaps a few new friends.
Contribute to other blogs.
Did you read an article that you found helpful, but also have other ideas you’d like to add? Leave a comment (or send an email) and share your thoughts with the author. Sometimes a blogger will write a follow-up post linking to those who contributed their ideas.
A good example of this would be Meredith’s comment on my previous link building article, in which she shared a technique that worked for her, and I included it here, linking back as a way to say thanks (see above).
Write an article that helps others.
It is not uncommon for bloggers to link to something that has helped them in some way. If you can define a need (one that applies to many people) and provide a solution, and write it in a way that is easy to understand and put into action, you may earn yourself several incoming links.
Give stuff away.
This is an excellent way to build your links, but the drawback is it (usually) costs money. A common way to go about this is to hold a raffle or contest in which each participant must link to you. This not only ‘spreads the word’ to a much wider audience, but it also increases your traffic and, if successful, rewards you with links from many other blogs (some may have a high PR) and more ad revenue or sales.
Write controversial articles.
This is a great way to inspire discussion and get links from other blogs. However, you must consider that everything you say affects your reputation online (and sometimes offline). If you don’t want to be thought of as a jerk (or something worse), choose your battles wisely and be careful about the manner in which you state your opinion.
Link from your other blogs.
A lot of bloggers have more than one website that they update regularly. (I consider Blogger to be the best free blog service, especially for those who want several.) Link to your blog(s) every now and then in your posts, especially if they are relevant to the topic at hand. I wouldn’t recommend doing it all the time, but once every now and then could prove its effectiveness.
Create free blog templates.
Free blog templates are in constant demand. If you are a designer, you may want to consider creating a few and include a link back to your website. That way, everyone who uses your template(s) will be linking back to you.
Don’t limit yourself to these link building strategies alone- there are at least a hundred ways a blogger can build his or her incoming links, and I’m sure there are many that have yet to be discovered. Work diligently, get creative, and have some patience- PageRank will come with time. If you’d like to read about why your blog isn’t making money online, we have a detailed posts on the common mistakes that most online webmasters do.