Link baiting has acquired a bad name in some circles because of blatant abuse of the technique and the general distrust of the public, but link bait can actually become a positive way to increase links and traffic to your website or blog.
First you have to know who your audience is. If you have a very technical niche, cheap shots tricks won’t be appreciated. Research and try to figure out not only what your typical visitor’s humor level is, but how highbrow or lowbrow you need to be to catch their attention. Linkbait can be a funny video or a cool gadget, depending on whether you are catering to college frat boys or lab nerds.
Watch the news and tie in if possible to recent events. If you sell women’s foundation garments and see a story protesting the notion that earthquakes are some higher deity’s way of punishing the world for braless women, you can play that into a clever piece of linkbait about how buying your product makes the world safe from earthquakes.
Lists are a great way to get links in, but only if you really have something new and innovative to add. So many people do lists that it has kind of lost it’s charm. Try reverse lists, or ‘negative’ lists – Top ten ways to get fired your first day on the job” for example. People will read it because it has an unusual slant. This type of link baiting works well in niches.
Use visual aids! Pictures and videos are some of the most linked to things around. Use great videos and images to boost the efficacy of already good linkbait. If you can’t find one, consider asking an artsy friend to draw you a cartoon. Don’t get caught up in perfection, but make sure your site is equipped to play back video in compatibility with most browsers and at a high level of quality – and include easy code for embedding that will link back to you to encourage viral linking from blogs etc.
Make sure you give credit where credit is due and cite any sources. People will view you with more authority if you have your sources cited inline as you write you articles. Don’t plagiarize or steal other’s work – if you want to quote, use quote marks, attribute, and link inline so people can go read the whole story (make sure the link opens in a new tab so you don’t lose your visitor). Link baiting services will know all of these tricks.
Finally, carefully consider your title. Look for something relevant and interesting that still would be searched for so you can show up in response to search. If you are writing about the volcano with the un-spellable, unpronounceable name, it won’t do you any good to keyword target that name. Instead, use the word volcano and the location instead, such as ‘Will the volcano in Iceland erupt again’ – asking a question makes your readers want to know the answer, and they will click on your article to see what YOU think.
Careful link-baiting can be accomplished by using a qualified link baiting service with experience in coming up with useful, valid link bait.