Future Hot Job? Full-time Link Builders

SMS Text

Eric Ward at Search Engine Land has a great article about what makes the perfect link builder. The question remains, will this become one of those hot jobs that everyone wants filled but few can do? Or can enough people learn? Do you have to be technically-oriented, or creative, or both? A Leonardo da Vinci of blogging?

Eric says that the best link builders/ content publicists have certain characteristics. I’m summarizing: they’ve worked in business and maybe an academic setting, have an intellectual curiosity, and most of all, passion. There’s more, and I urge you to read his article.

Now, I have by no means been link building as long as he has, but have done some intensive work in the past year. Here are a few of the traits that I’m finding a link builder needs (though there is overlap):

  1. Passion. Really important. Most of the bloggers I’ve hired/ worked with either don’t want to link build or will not or cannot learn. Or maybe they don’t see the point yet.
  2. Really understands the purpose of link building.
  3. Has or can build a repertoire of different techniques for link building.
  4. Thinks of link building as a long-term effort. Linkbaits are not enough – but that’s just my opinion.
  5. Is outgoing. Even introverts can link build, but breaking out of a shell helps considerably. While building a powerful social media account isn’t absolutely necessary, it helps as well.
  6. Has creative abilities as well as a technical understanding of blogging, etc., or is able to learn. By this I mean has a sense for the creative aspects of written language, such as producing natural-sounding anchor text while also understanding technical copywriting, some SEO, etc.
  7. Storytelling ability. This goes hand in hand with the previous point. My worst linkbaits were my early ones, where I was over-zealous in my linking. My best (most popular) ones injected a bit of humor and used actual joke and storytelling hooks that I picked up when I spent a year basically starving and mostly writing short fiction. In retrospect, it was a worthwhile skill to add, though that doesn’t mean you need to acquire it the same way.
  8. Attributing intelligence to the reader.

I think, and I’m sure others do too, that link building will become a full-time job position sooner rather than later. Is it a skill that can be picked up? I believe so. Is it easy to do so? That probably depends on your desire and passion. Does it have to be part of a blogging position, or can it be separate? I say integrate.

Thoughts? What characteristics do you think a link builder should have, and do you think this will become a full-time job in the future?

Get the latest news from Search Engine Journal!
We value your privacy! See our policy here.
  • Frederick Townes

    Raj, I definitely agree with your position on the matter. I think that more and more even the introverted will be forced to participate and add value within their online communities simply to avoid being left behind.

  • CVOS Netpaths

    a bit of humor and used actual joke and storytelling hooks
    light heartedness can break through a lot of barriers.

  • Mukesh

    Link building is already a full time job in third world nations like India where most companies today outsource link building projects. But currently these companies hire third grade labor as they think link building is nothing other than sending and even replying with templated emails.

    The average qualification a company looks for in India for a link builder are:

    1.) Average English Speaking abilities
    2.) Some knowledge of internet – how to use google to search
    3.) Qualification no bar

    An average employee with the above qualification can only send and reply with templated mails. The html part of adding links is done by a html personnel. Worked fine so far..

    But I think this senairo is definately about to change. I see MBAs and other highly quality people involved in link building activities. Finding strategies and working out rules.

    Even today in many companies, behind every link building team is a qualified MBA or business person framing the rules.

    Link building definitely cannot be done by the average joe. It needs loads of determination, knowledge and interest. So people in India, change your rules and hire fresh talent than saving a few bucks on low profile employees, cause ‘not everyone can build links’ just like ‘not everyone can code’.

  • Simon Dance

    Haven’t personally taken on a huge link building strategy for one of our clients I must stress that good eye sight is a must!

    In many instances particular niches see you searching through pages of spam/ adsense sites and ebook sites before you finally find a gem. Link building can be difficult, particularly if you are constrained by the core subject, but there is always longtails….


  • Jean Lam

    Many websites are trying to get more and more backlinks and link building as a full time job has already started because there is really a demand for that. Link building is a time consuming job and you need to be passionate and patient if you plan to do it full time. You also need to be able to discern if a link is good or bad. Some technical SEO knowledge is recommended. I also think a full time link builder should check whether a site is worth promoting or not. If a site is spammy or a link farm for instance, launching a link building campaign for that site can potentially penalize other websites linking to it.

    For a full time link builder, link building should be an ongoing effort and a long term strategy for an Internet business. It can pay big dividends in the long run because it is creating a web presence for a website. The best thing to do is targeted link building that is getting links from highly relevant websites as far as possible, thus driving targeted visitors to a website. One-way targeted links are getting more and more value nowadays but still I think and have experienced it that reciprocal links with relevant and related websites will just have a positive impact on your traffic even if they are getting a bit devalued as far as link popularity is concerned.

  • Winston Burton

    I think that Link Development should be a full time job. Many companies outsource link development to off shore companies who do not always secure good quality links.

    I have dealt with a lot of off shore link builders and I would rather train someone and bring them in-house because I think it is better in the long run.

    I have had some problems with off shore link builders i.e spelling errors, language barriers and their lack of understanding what a good quality link is.

  • Link Building Blog

    I’m glad to see this old post predicting what is the truth regarding the industry. I’ve seen such a sharp increase in clients hounding me for full time link building that I’ve had to unfortunately outsource most of it.

    Just becareful who you go with because a lot link builders are using such old and ghastly techniques that do more harm than good.