Using Up Your Leftovers: Link Building Edition

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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.

Leftover Content

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.

Leftover Contacts

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.

Leftover Time

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.

Jennifer Van Iderstyne

Jennifer Van Iderstyne

Jennifer Van Iderstyne is an SEO Specialist at Internet Marketing Ninjas, formerly WeBuildPages. Internet Marketing Ninjas is a full service internet marketing company based out... Read Full Bio
Jennifer Van Iderstyne

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  • Rahul@MazaKaro

    haha Loved how you started talking about the turkey , i love it actually and i dont fed up eating it , but still the comparison was so smart and direct !
    loved your ideas and how it is clear to follow some of this 🙂 thank You

  • Conledy

    It’s a wonderful article!
    Just keep it up!


    Nice post Jennifer!
    Nothing is leftover. Everything you get you can turn it into gold if you utilize it properly.

  • Stupid Cunt

    What a load of hot air… I have some left over spam, maybe I will spin it once again ‘nuke’ it in the microwave.

  • Tampa Realtor

    Great post-Thanksgiving blog!

  • Ros Phillips

    It is always good to read about time management tips to refresh the tired… even when you may think you are not working on ‘link building’ just reading articles, keeping up with trends and commenting on forums etc all add up to ‘something.’

  • Casie Del Fabiones

    Link building might be a tiring work daily but one thing I do like at it is when they (people who asked to link their site to yours) still interested to keep you as their good contact and as a good source to be their future business partner rather than interested only at your pagerank. If the latter is always at hand I would rather not have a pagerank so no one would contact me just because of a pagerank…reusing of old contacts would be a good idea but it would be better if your old contacts would contact you as they think of your good existence and often say thanks. That one word alone would keep you think you helped them, it’s a good feeling, right?

  • Ben

    Revisiting old articles is a great way of coming up with new content – if nothing has changed, you can say so and how you were right all along, if something HAS changed you can update your original article with the latest breaking news. Happy days either way!

    Thanks for the article. 🙂

  • kimya

    Great job on your writing! Love it much that I can’t really resist to read every word! Thanks!

  • humhsky

    Hi. First of all I would like to say what a great site you have. I have been using it for a month or so now and really seeing the results. I am half an inch longer already and a good bit thicker. Thanks again.

  • Jompesh

    Its all about candy that a web master must know.

  • smith greal

    Let’s face it. Every webmasters, web publishers and website owners all dreamt of the same thing. Every one of them wants their websites to be ranked in the top 10 of every major search engines.

  • smith greal

    Let’s face it. Every webmasters, web publishers and website owners all dreamt of the same thing. Every one of them wants their websites to be ranked in the top 10 of every major search engines.