10 Best Ways to Get Free Backlinks for Your Websites

Backlinks are the focus of attention of SEO community for a good reason: link profile is one of key factors for the website’s SEO. At the same time, link building expenses are a significant part of SEO budget.

In this article, we’ll explain how to save your money and get free (or almost free) backlinks in 10 best different ways.

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1. Social Media

Social media use is one of the easiest ways to get free backlinks and increase your brand visibility in SERP. Some of them allow you to get dofollow backlinks, others don’t. In spite of the fact that dofollow links value much higher, do not underestimate nofollow links. Natural link profile must contain both dofollow and nofollow ones.

  • LinkedIn. LinkedIn blog-publishing service allows you to place nofollow links in articles. They can lead traffic to your website and naturally diverse link profile. And the main thing is that correctly written posts can be ranked pretty high in organic search. It means that you can use Linkedin blog as an additional promotion tool.
  • Pinterest and Tumblr. These popular visual content sharing platforms allow to make posts with dofollow links and successfully promote your content in organic image search.
  • Youtube. If you didn’t start any promotion of your company on Youtube, now it is time to do it. Don’t want to think about this? Ok, but what about backlinks and brand visibility in SERP? It’s reason enough to start working with Youtube.
  • Google Plus. We have already dedicated one of our WordPress SEO articles to Google+ social network and its importance. Backlinks from active G+ profile can be very useful for your website’s SEO: they’re considered not only by Alphabet’s search giant but also by other search engines.
  • Facebook and Twitter. Even if single thought about creating nofollow links makes you depressed, we highly recommend not to ignore popular social networks. They can become a nofollow link source, attract new visitors to your website and increase organic presence of your brand.
  • Reddit. Reddit is one of those services that react negatively to link spam: it requires appropriate and relevant link posting. It can sound a bit scary but don’t be afraid. When you’ll understand laws Reddit lives by, each properly placed link can become great garnish of your ‘link cocktail’ and lead huge amount of targeted traffic to your website.

2. Blog Publishing Services

Independent blogging platforms and blog publishing services from leading search engines can serve as additional source of backlinks and traffic. While making posts, don’t forget that publishing of same content on all platforms definitely isn’t good for you. Besides, every blogging platform has its own specific characteristics you need take into account in the content development process.

  • Blogger (ex-Blogspot). Blog publishing service developed by Google that allows placing dofollow links in posts.
  • Medium. Large independent service that is pretty popular in professional communities. Unfortunately, all Medium links have rel=”nofollow noopener” attribute.

3. Q&A Platforms

Main perk of Q&A services in terms of your website’s SEO lies not so much in backlinks creating, but in increasing brand visibility and direct targeted traffic flow. Usually, Q&A websites automatically set rel=”nofollow” attribute for all links, but it doesn’t mean that such links are completely useless for your website.

Here are several Q&A services that deserve special attention:

  • Quora. Large international service with a huge community and amount of professional questions (and answers, of course).
  • Yahoo Answers. Popular Q&A service developed by Yahoo search engine.

4. Forums

Manual blog commenting is one of the most simple and widespread link building techniques: all you need to do is to find and filter topics relevant to your niche and then start leaving comments.

Before you start working with a certain forum, you need to check:

  • amount of organic traffic
  • regular activity
  • who ‘lives’ on a forum: real users or link builders

Before writing comments, take forum rules into account: some of them say that you need to get some reputation before placing links in your comments. Violation of the rules can entail temporary or even lifelong ban.

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5. Websites with Lists of Products/Companies

If ratings and lists (of products or companies) are popular in your niche, you can use existing options and add your company (and website link) to them.

To find popular niche lists, use one of the Serpstat instruments — Keyword Research → SERP Analysis → Top by Keyword.

Link adding method will depend on list format of the list itself. If it was created as an article, you need to write a message to its author directly. If it was generated automatically, perform all necessary procedures required by a website to get in general rating.

6. Guest Posts and Publications in Niche Mass-Media Blogs

‘Blog’ section of niche media can be seen as next step in a long chain of ‘opinion pieces’ evolution of classic print media. The difference is that publication process became much easier than before. Now it is enough to register (or log in), upload your article with appropriate formatting and correct links and push a ‘Publish’ button.

This technique successfully works in such projects as TechInAsia: user-generated content goes through basic moderation and doesn’t require lengthy referral process and serious editing. It is a perfect way to place a natural link on the one hand and attract a great traffic from the newsfeed (and organic search) on the other.

One way or another, we can say that guest blog posting in niche media is a profitable venture 🙂 You need only to spend a little time and make an effort to create unique and valuable content that must be approved for publication.

7. Broken Link Building

If outbound content generating or publishing becomes problematic (you’ve completely run out of ideas or website owner asked for an exorbitant price), you can use one more link building method. This method involves searching for broken links and replacing them with active relevant links (from your website, of course):

  1. Select websites.
  2. Crawl them with Netpeak Spider to find all broken links within each website. You can read a detailed guide about broken links and how to find them in our previous post.
  3. Export and analyze broken links.
  4. Offer to website’s owner to replace broken link with a new one that leads to a relevant article from your website.

8. Participation in Conferences and Other Professional Events

Participation in professional events can not only be useful in terms of traditional PR: it also can provide additional possibilities for link building. Send your employee to an event as a speaker, become an media partner or a sponsor – and you are guaranteed to receive high-quality backlinks on event’s website. Don’t forget to speak out your requirements for links at the beginning of the partnership with event organizers.

9. Collaboration with Bloggers

In a perfect world partner (advertising) blog posts include an active dofollow link, and therefore content marketers and SEOs are interested in them.

Can we classify this method as free? If your company has sufficient social media authority or huge email subscriber base, your PR opportunities can be a good argument for collaboration with bloggers. Otherwise, you can always propose a straight swap if the blogger really needs your product.

10. Wikipedia

This backlink creating method is the most resource-intensive. And we don’t even mean money: it’s all about your time and nerve cells. The process of creating a Wikipedia page demands your perseverance: you’ll face series of edits before your article will be approved by Wikipedia administrators. However, when a page will be published you’ll get your treasured trusted backlink.

OUR ANALYSIS OF 10 TOP PAID BLOGGERS 2017

  1. Huffington Post – $14,000,000 per month
  2. Endgadget – $5,500,000 per month
  3. Moz – $4,250,000 per month
  4. TechCrunch – $2,500,000 per month
  5. Mashable – $2,000,000 per month
  6. CopyBlogger – $1,000,000 per month
  7. Perez Hilton – $575,000 per month
  8. Gizmodo – $325,000 per month
  9. Smashing Magazine – £250,000 per month
  10. Tuts+ – $175,000

Figures accurate as of March 2017.

We’ve analysed this list and picked out some key learnings about what makes blogs successful:

Blogging is a long game

There’s no escaping the fact that finding success with a blog takes time. Tuts+ has been going for ten years, The Huffington Post for twelve, CopyBlogger eleven and Mashable for twelve. Gizmodo has been on the go since 2002! For those of you who have blogging ambitions on a marketing-leading scale, the lesson here is that you’ll have to be in it for the long haul.

That’s not to say you can’t achieve excellent results in the medium-term. Mashable reached 2 million readers in the space of just 18 months – but the site’s founder Pete Cashmore did put in 20-hour days writing tech articles over the course of the blog’s first year.

Personality pays
One of the things that jumps at us about this list of high-earning bloggers is the vast number of online influencers and personalities associated closely with the blogs – e.g. Arianna Huffington, Moz’s Rand Fishkin, and Perez Hilton. These people have all become famous thanks to their blogs – but at a certain point that dynamic evolved, and their individual celebrity became a factor in the sustained success of the blogs.

This suggests that putting personalities to the fore in your blog content won’t just bring positives for the personalities themselves; it may also prove to be traffic- and revenue-driving in the long-run.

Tech and marketing blogging is lucrative – and competitive

Eight of the ten high-earning blogs on Forbes’ list produce content about technology, marketing and IT. There exists hugely popular and high earning blogs in other fields too, but this does indicate that digital and marketing content has excellent earning potential. If you intend for your blog to generate a high level of revenue, you should carefully consider whether the subject matter you’ll be covering is easily monetizable.

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