Much of gaining quality backlinks come through the content marketing side of things. Where you create content for guest posting or to entice social users to share in hopes of building your authority.

But what if you’re not too keen or proficient on creating content?

Content is great and all (Google loves it) but it’s not the end-all, be-all when it comes to building quality backlinks for your website and campaigns. There are easier ways that don’t require a need for you to spend hours toiling away at the computer or handing it off to freelancers.

This article will take you through five of the popular methods to building quality backlinks — ones that anyone can do with relative ease!

Let’s start with the best…

#1: Authority through Association

People have an intrinsic sense to reciprocate when others do them right.

Example: If you were to link to a blog you enjoy, call the person out by name, and then let them know you’re linking then it’s likely they’ll become a reader of yours and do the same when they find your content a good fit for their references.

This does two things for you:

  • You gain a link
  • You build a relationship

It can be hard getting a footing in your marketplace and niche if you’re going at it alone (even if you have amazing content). People like to follow and be directed to others they are told they can trust.

It’s the reason why you see many big blogs interlinking — they’re passing around the authority.

What you need to do is this:

  1. Create a list of 5-10 influencers and authorities in your niche
  2. Read their blogs and leave comments
  3. Reach out to them and start a conversation (email, phone, video, etc.)
  4. Link, often, to their work and make sure they know you’re doing it
  5. Ask if they’d be willing to link back to a relatable piece on their site

You are effectively exposing your brand to their audience — if you get a mention from them then people will start coming over and this may lead to the community beginning to link to your work.

#2: Hold a Contest

A contest is one of the easiest ways to draw attention and build backlinks to your website through a very small investment in contest tools and offering one of your products or services.

The stipulations of the contest could be that the entrant:

  • Shares the contest on social media
  • Writes about the contest on their website
  • Creates a video as part of the entry (including a link)
  • Submits their email

The contest can have direct methods to earning quality backlinks (such as through entry via content creation) or potential through long-term interaction (eventually converting to a customer, earning their trust, and eventually a referral).

Popular tools to handle online contests include:

  • Wishpond
  • Rafflecopter
  • WooBox

There are many others that may also pique your interest.

Overall the idea is simple: offer something interesting, collect data, encourage sharing and linking, and delivery on the promise.

#3: Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is frequently used by site owners to make money through the sale of other people’s products. But… when it’s flipped around it becomes an extremely easy way to build quality backlinks (as long as affiliates are vetted).

See, affiliate links are going to be linking to a money page with the additional affiliate code. Placed in the hands of an experienced affiliate marketer and this could mean thousands of new people visiting the site and converting on the sale.

The die-hard affiliate marketers are even willing to create entire sites and campaigns around the promotion of a single product or service. All you need to do is keep up with quality control and you’ll have successfully turned your “sales people” into “link builders”.

#4: Work the Social

Does it count as creating content if you’re doing just 140 character updates or sharing a neat picture on Facebook or Instagram?

People love social media.

As in:

  • 68% use at least one social media platform
  • More than half check their social activity daily

People use social platforms to connect with friends, keep up with the news, ask and receive community responses, meet potential partners, get in touch with customer service, and so much more.

Active engagement with the community keeps your brand in the forefront. When you’re able to engage with the community and really get the conversations going you are then effectively creating the chance for people to refer others to the site.

Use social enough and make great impressions and this could lead to news coverage from reputable publications, callouts by influencers, interview requests, and business deals that naturally lead to quality backlinks as your popularity grows.

#5: Find and Replace Broken Links

Websites come and go. When sites are abandoned or become available in domain listings — you gain an opportunity for quality backlinks.

Broken link building is how it sounds: find broken links from expired domains or those which aren’t correctly formatted and replace them with yours.

A tool such as Ahrefs Site Explorer can scrape through a site, find broken links, and deliver them as a report. After that, it’s a matter of contacting the site owner and asking if they’d be willing to replace the link with a new resource: yours.

You will obviously want to understand the authority and standing of the page before pushing for the link. A page or domain that have been flagged by Google won’t be the effort since that negatively may pass onto your site. Use SEO tools to find the standings of where you’re trying to gain these opportunities in broken links.

Quality Backlinks and You

Not all links are equal.

It’s best to place your efforts in chasing the quality backlinks to your site than blasting keyword-dense links across profiles, thin guest posts, and being too aggressive toward your community to share.

You have to be ready to play the long game. SEO doesn’t happen overnight.

Be ready to commit. Keep coming back to read new strategies on SEO from the TopSpotSEM blog.

Put it all into action. Know when to seek those professional services. Do all this and you’ll give the competition a real run for their money.

Your turn: What strategies have helped your site rank well when you’re not creating content on the link building side of SEO?