Great content is nothing without effective promotion. The key to maximising the effectiveness of your link bait is to make sure it gets seen by as many webmasters & bloggers as possible.
Start off by sending a personal email to a few bloggers who you think might be interested in linking to you. Most people will have a list of people in mind already but if you don’t then you might need to skip this step – there is no point sending emails to people who are not interested in what you have to say. If you really have no idea about which blogs are likely to want to write about your content then you might want to monitor sites like Digg, Netscape & Del.icio.us for a few weeks and subscribe to all the blogs that appear to be related to your site. Once you have a feel for what the popular bloggers in your niche are writing about it is a lot easier to create something cool for them to link to.
The most effective way of promoting your content is to use social networking. Unless you are a well known user at some of the social networking websites such as Digg, Del.icio.us, Netscape and Stumble Upon it is highly unlikely you will be able to publicise your link bait effectively using these channels so you are best either waiting and hoping somebody else finds your content and submits it for you or taking a gamble and submitting it yourself. Don’t bother trying to scam these services, most have very effective filters for spam and will ban you straight away. Emailing a couple of friends and asking them to give your site the thumbs up on something like Stumble Upon and certain other sites is a good idea just don’t go overboard with the emails.
One tactic that works very well is to give your site the thumbs up on Stumble Upon first and then visitors from there will like your site and submit it to some other social networks themselves.
Thanks to John from Digital Production Agency for helping me get started on this.
If you are struggling to gain any traction and your social media campaign is a non starter you should step back and spend a month monitoring the social media sites and submitting content from other peoples websites so you can gain a feel for what people like to read about.
Responding to your link bait
Assuming your link bait takes off and starts attracting some discussion in the blogosphere and in social media sites you need to be prepared to accept comments and criticisms and quickly take appropriate action.
For instance if you realise the script you released had some bugs you would need to fix them and then post a response to alert users to the fact that you are listening and have fixed the problems. Don’t be afraid to make changes to the link bait but remember that controversy is a good thing â€“ don’t start editing blog posts just because somebody didn’t agree with you.
Sometimes the comments made in response to a successful article or tool can inspire you to create something even better and more useful to your readers. My first Google Analytics tutorial raised a number of questions and I was able to create a second post and even a third post answering the questions and hopefully helping some of our readers on the way.
Further reading: Beginners guide to link bait