One of the reasons I'm a big fan of Zemanta Related Posts is that all the content we publish on our blog gets recommended to other bloggers who are actively covering related topics. It's a totally white-hat way to grow your audience, and build quality links to your blog without much effort -- well, other than the significant effort required to publish compelling content in the first place.
From an SEO standpoint, links make the world wide web go 'round. Inbound links are a major factor in how well your site ranks in search engines -- and search engines drive the vast majority of web traffic.
Great content will naturally attract quality links -- the kind of relevant, trustworthy links search engines like best. You can help your blog attract those quality inbound links using Zemanta, of course. Here are five others ways you can use your blog content to attract natural, high-quality, relevant inbound links.
1) Invite Guest Bloggers
The typical approach to guest blogging is to go out and try to publish a post you've written on a popular blog in your niche. Here's another approach: Try inviting bloggers and experts -- ideally with significant followings of their own -- to write a guest post for your blog. Just as you'd promote your own content, they're going to promote the guest post they wrote for you across their network. They'll link to it from their own sites and blogs, and share it with their followers attracting likes, tweets, and additional links resulting from the extra exposure.
Amanda Record at ThunderSEO offers some great advice on how to launch this type of guest blogging program.
2) Create a Team Blog
An extension of the strategy above is to create a team blog, with regular contributors publishing content, sharing it with their networks, and linking to the blog from content they publish elsewhere.
3) Conduct Interviews
Most companies have a media page, or will promote media coverage and interviews via their company blog. If you can get an industry expert to participate in an interview on your blog, you'll likely receive some great links from that person's company website, personal blog, as well as shares across his/her network. Your post will also become a source for other outlets looking to cover that person or company, and could be quoted or linked to dozens of times.
Over at the SixEstate blog, we conducted an interview with Unthink founder and CEO Natasha Dedis. Not only did this interview earn dozens of shares, it got a link from Unthink's media page, and was cited at Digital Trends.
4) Link Out Often
Linking out to relevant content you cite or quote on your blog is a great way to get noticed by those sources. Most bloggers, journalists, webmasters, etc. will know when they receive an inbound link. If you link out, there's a good chance you'll get some link love and social shares in return. This doesn't mean you'll get a link from every source that you link to, but over time you'll be rewarded.
Linking out also makes your content more credible and authoritative to begin with -- which is the best way to build an audience.
Rand Fishkin, CEO of SEOmoz, presents five reasons you should be linking out from your site, and refutes some of the arguments against linking out.
5) Outreach & Promotion
In addition to standard social promotion for blog posts -- like tweeting new content, sharing it on Facebook, etc. -- I like to do some personal outreach, as well. I'm not talking about spamming everyone you know and telling them to read, share, and link to your fabulous post. I'm talking about reaching out with a personal email or DM on Twitter to select people you know will be interested.
A good candidate, for example, would be someone you've just cited or quoted in a post. They'll likely notice this on their own eventually, but why not shoot over a quick note while the post is still fresh? This can also be a nice "in" to request an interview.
David Reich is CEO of SixEstate, a content marketing company fusing professional journalism with intelligent SEO to help brands establish dominant thought leadership positions around their most important issues and causes. SixEstate manages a growing network of experienced journalists with writing credits from such outlets as The New York Times, SELF, Glamour, and many other renowned publications and news sites. We're always looking for talented writers and editors to join our team. Follow David on Twitter.
- Guest Blog Post - Is Blogging Still Relevant? (zemanta.com)
- 10 Amazing Blogging Insights Your Analytics Can Tell You (hubspot.com)
- The 8 Best Link-Building Tactics to Boost Off-Page SEO (hubspot.com)
- Guest Blog Post: Zemanta puts the 'cherry on top of the sundae' (zemanta.com)