Link Building Lessons – Basics and Beyond

by mjtaylor on July 16, 2011

If you’re a link builder approaching webmasters for an exchange, here’s the best advice you can get:

Grow a thick skin: you will get rejected. Get Over It!

I once knew the consummate pick up artist. In all the years I knew Dary he never stopped asking me for, um, a date. He was annoyingly relentless and, I asked him once how he put up will all the rejection. “Every “no” is that much closer to a yes,” he said.

Ben Wills in 8 Lessons from Pickup Artists for Link Builders  offers a classic sales anecdote that sounds just like my old friend, and shows you one way to change your mind about rejection.

‘It’s about a guy who sells door to door and consistently makes only one sale out of 20 people he talks to. That sale, let’s say, gets him a $1,000 commission. He just can’t seem to get over that 1 out of 20. He thinks “Wow. 19 out of 20 people aren’t interested in what I’m offering. I must be pathetic!”

After long enough of feeling down on himself – 19 out of 20! -, he decides something has to change. He decides to try and change his perspective. And this is what he changes: Instead of seeing that 19 out of 20 people aren’t buying, why not consider that the commission, $1,000, is pretty consistently generated every 20 people I talk to? So….each person I talk to is like the equivalent of making $50!

The story goes on say that after each person who rejected him, he would say “Thanks for the $50!” ‘

duckSo, let rejection roll off your back like water off the proverbial  duck, and work on your approach and the other link building lessons from pick up artists.

I rarely open link building emails these days, and when I do, I rarely respond. If I have the least sense that it’s a “service” I delete the email. Why? Too many links have disappeared over the years. I only consider link exchanges when I can deal directly with the other webmaster, and then I only consider “content” exchanges. Here’s why: link pages with a list of links arranged by Title: Description aren’t likely to drive traffic because there is nothing there to keep a visitor on the page. Look around, most link exchange pages arranged this way have no toolbar PageRank – in other words, Google doesn’t think they are important. And neither do I.

On the other hand, a page full of resources on a topic related to my website (such as this one on Internet Marketing) that presents information with any links in context is more likely  offer content that a visitor can use. That can drive targeted traffic. I no longer do active link exchanges, but I would consider one with a company that has a similar approach and highly relevant content.

Diagram of link types

Three Types of Links

More lessons and information on link building basics: Link Building 101 ( ) explains the types of links (one way, 2 way, 3 way, etc.) and provides an overview of the basic ways to create incoming links for your site. For the most part, “self service” links are less and less effective, as Google wants an incoming link to be a genuine ‘vote’ for your content, but relevant links – however they are created – drive targeted traffic.

The most powerful “self service” link is guest blogging; providing valuable content on a relevant blog with linking power. If you have something to say, and you can say it well, you can build targeted links for your website. Try a search for “guest bloggers wanted” + your most relevant keywords or join this guest blogging forum.


Dennis O'Brien August 25, 2011 at 10:14 pm

Gidday again :)

Totally in agreement on link exchanges. I usually choose from my readers and the run their RSS in the sidebar of one of my sites as a Weekly Fave Feed. Some put my comment or my recommendation in their sidebar but I feel a feed provides multiple trackbacks. But I need to get back to visiting sites again. Been too busy working on mine :)

Great content and thanks for sharing.

Dennis O’Brien

mjtaylor August 26, 2011 at 12:04 pm

Glad you made my blog one of your first visits.

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