Are you tired of turkey yet? By now we should all be just about done with turkey sandwiches and leftover sweet potatoes. But using up all of the extra food is one of the best parts of Thanksgiving. It challenges us to find inventive ways to make the best of what we have.
Most of the time we plough through link building like hungry hungry hippos, grabbing what we can and watching the excess go to waste. The infinite internet let’s us believe we will never run out of fuel to consume, and maybe we won’t. But that doesn’t mean we can’t re-heat some of the stuff in the fridge from time to time. Link building leftovers are a little different from green bean casserole but they are certainly worth re-using.
If you make content for link building, which you should, then you probably know how hit and miss success can be. We can do research, plan and execute flawlessly and still have a piece of link bait fall flat. Most of the time we give up and move on to the next project but every once in a while it’s worth dusting off something old.
Perhaps something old just needs a new coat of paint. Articles can be amped up with new research or related to a more current news story. A second installment can be done on a previous topic or a follow up can be added to reflect on what has changed since the first was written. Breathing new life into stale content can result in the creation of something new. And sometimes a sequel can out perform the original, remember Terminator 2?
When the time comes to brainstorm your next great wave of content consider this; is there anything in your repertoire that can be re-built, re-twisted and refreshed to become more relevant and more successful? Building additional links to a page which already has a few, and some history on the web, can be even more beneficial than building a handful of links to a brand new piece.
Everybody deals with rejection in link building. A lot of the time it comes by being ignored. Occasionally it comes by being insulted. But sometimes it comes in the form of a polite “no” a “not interested” or a “maybe some other time. Even though they’re a let down, those responses are still worth keeping. When people refuse a link request, it’s often because whatever was pitched to them just wasn’t compelling. It doesn’t mean that person won’t ever be intrigued by anything you have to offer. But now you actually have a very important piece of information; they open, and answer their emails. That kind of insight is valuable.
The people who never write back make you wonder; did they ever get the email or did it wind up in a spam folder? No answer gives no information; it’s the hardest way to be left hanging because you never really know what went wrong. But when you do hear back, that’s feedback you can take to the bank. Keep those contacts, let time go by then try again with a new request. Don’t blow it by offering up the same thing that got shot down the first time, when you come back do it better.
The positive outcomes may be worth re-visiting too. When you do get a link and open a dialogue with a new person that is a vital channel for the future. Old contacts are an effective place to start when you’re kicking off a new link building effort. They may be good for another link, a re-tweet, a blog post or any number of gestures of online support. Keeping a little black book of your relationships is a great way to build a network and a small army to help you promote new content.
Sometimes it feels like if you can’t sit down and dedicate a few hours to link building that it’s better putting it off until you have more time. Unfortunately, free time is hard for most of us to come by with hectic schedules, so “I’ll get to it” turns into “Crap, I was supposed to do that” pretty quickly. With link building, it needs to be treated like any other important task and built into a regular schedule. But whenever you find yourself between tasks, with a few minutes to kill or needing a break from another job there are some simple things you can do.
It may be a direct effort like finding and contacting a few good websites that might be willing to give up links. Or it could be less straight forward like reading and commenting on a blog, keeping on top of the latest viral trends for further content development, or playing around with a new tool looking for ways it can make you a more efficient link builder. Every little bit adds up, so even if you have 15 minutes before your next meeting, that’s plenty of time to do something meaningful.
Most of the time in link building it feels like feast or famine. So in the hard times it can be tough to figure out where your next meal is coming from. The good thing is there’s probably a buffet of opportunities when you look back in your archives. When you re-use content and contacts and score minor victories in your spare minutes, you never have to starve. Using your leftovers well is one of the best parts of making a big meal, and one of the most resourceful ways to build links.