High level strategic direction is all well and good; however sometimes before you can ‘sell’ a client (or your boss) on something bigger you need to prove you can get results right now. If you need results right now – chances are you need links right now.
But getting links right now is hard work. One of the biggest barriers for successful link building is lack of drive.
There’s a big difference between churning out crap at a rate of knots compared to having a desire to win and being the kind of person that grabs hold of opportunities before it’s too late. It’s the latter that makes me excited, and time and time again I find it’s this characteristic that makes someone great at link building. This requires having your ear to the ground at all times and being in a place where you find opportunities before they’re gone; that takes hard work and commitment.
A strong list of link prospects that you can update quickly should be your weapon of choice.
Finding people who are likely to link
There’s not much point in spending time promoting your content to people who are never likely to link to you. Some contacts are going to take a greater time investment and this is fine, but don’t waste time on sites that won’t be interested in what you’re doing.
So how do you go about finding sites and authors that will be into what you’re doing enough to link to your work? Trawling through competitors backlinks one by one can be time consuming, dull, and seeing that this is a post about getting stuff done quickly, let’s look at a faster way to work.
As some of you may know, we recently launched a tool that uses a bunch of APIs that can, amongst other things, pull contact details from linking sites and export that data into Excel. The idea here was to aid people with link clean up, but it’s also very handy for link building too! The way I’d use this to speed up prospecting is to throw in a bunch of backlinks from sites in a similar space to yours, export the data and combine into one master sheet:
Assuming you’ve got rid of the poor quality sites and those that have no contact details, by using the COUNTIF function you can pretty easily add a column to show the number of occurrences a particular person appears as a contact across a variety of your competitors linking domains. If your aim is to find people that are happy to link to content in your space, this will do the trick pretty quickly!
Using the BuzzStream ‘People’ function is a great way to store this data and manage your contacts on an ongoing basis; it’s something we’ve found really useful especially as the team grows. The beauty here is that your list of people will grow in time. Imagine spending 30 minutes a week repeating the process?