Link earning is the talk of the town—but not everyone understands what it entails.
While many often equate it with link building, link earning is a different strategy. To learn how the two differ, the benefits link earning brings, and how to reap those advantages, keep reading.
What is Link Earning?
Link earning is the method of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your own. These hard-earned links are significant players when it comes to enhancing search engine visibility.
It’s the process of making your content so valuable and insightful that others can’t help but link to it, demonstrating its credibility and worth. You could say it’s all about generating natural interest and trustworthiness in your content.
Link Building vs. Link Earning: The Difference
Understandably, link building can be easily mixed up with—or even mistaken for—link earning, but there is a difference between the two. Link building is a way of getting other sites to link back to yours through active efforts, using techniques like guest posting or link exchanges.
Link earning follows a more natural, organic trajectory. Instead of actively going after links, you focus on creating content that is so powerful and interesting it gets people to link to it naturally. This is somewhat less direct, but arguably more sustainable and authentic and as such, may be more effective.
Link building might start the relationship, but link earning is what deeply roots and sustains it.
For a more detailed overview of their differences, check the table below.
|The process of actively acquiring backlinks.
|Natural acquisition of links.
|Proactive and intentional.
|Reactive and organic.
|Outreach, guest blogging, directory submissions, and link exchanges.
|Content creation, quality engagement, social shares, and brand reputation.
|You have direct control over the acquisition process.
|Less direct control as it relieson audience response and external validation.
|Can yield quicker results as it involves direct actions.
|May take time to see significant results as it relies on organic growth.
|Higher risk of penalties from search engines if not done ethically.
|Lower risk of penalties as itinvolves natural processes.
|May require continuous effort to maintain and build new links.
|Often more sustainable in thelong run due to organic growth.
|Emphasis on quantity of links.
|Emphasis on quality of links and audience engagement.
Benefits of Link Earning
If you’re wondering whether you should invest your time and resources in link earning, you should know that the advantages are quite extensive and support your website’s overall growth.
These are some of the benefits of link earning:
- Reputation and Trust: Backlinks from quality websites will improve your site’s credibility. Naturally, this kind of visibility boosts trust among readers which in turn has a beneficial effect on your traffic and search rankings.
- Long-Term Results: Link building may provide rapid but short-term, fleeting gains, whereas link earning is geared towards long-term sustainability. The relationships you build and the value you provide build up assets that bear fruit for a long time to come.
- Boost in Organic Traffic: Earning links from high-authority sites pushes your site up in the SERPs, directing more organic traffic your way.
- Increased Brand Exposure: If authoritative sites link to your content, it has a huge positive impact on the exposure of your brand. This boosts brand recognition and brand familiarity.
- Quality Referral Traffic: Links from authoritative sites result in high-quality, relevant incoming traffic, increasing the site’s overall engagement and conversion rates.
- Diverse Traffic Sources: With link earning, you’re not just banking on search engine traffic—now you’re attracting visitors from other parts of the internet, giving your traffic sources a little diversity.
How To Earn Links: Six Tips
These strategies can help you boost your link-earning efforts:
Create High-Quality, Unique Content
Creating high-quality and unique content is virtually a requirement for any business that wants to establish an online presence and benefit from it. Experts state quality content is the most important ranking factor that can make all the difference.
Top-notch content differentiates you from the crowd but also makes other bloggers, businesses, and professionals want to link back to your website. To ensure your content meets the highest quality standards, you should:
- Understand your audience. Research what triggers their interest, any questions they might have, and what problems they’re looking to solve.
- Create content that addresses these needs—this not only builds trust with your audience but also positions you as an authority in your field.
- Focus on originality—search engines are all about uniqueness. Presenting insights from a fresh angle or offering new information increases the likelihood of your content being shared and linked back to.
- Pay attention to details. Quality content is well-researched, error-free, and full of relevant information. It’s also well formatted, with clear headings, bullet points, graphics, and images to make the content more digestible and engaging. Sites are more likely to link back to in-depth, comprehensive content as it provides more value to their audience.
- Optimize your content. SEO strategies should be woven into your content creation process.
Use SEO Strategies
As hinted above, SEO must be a part of your overall digital marketing strategy. Only 0.63% of people go beyond the first Google page—earning a spot among the top results is obviously crucial. And, the better your ranking, the likelier other websites will link to your site.
These SEO tactics can help you move up the SERPs and earn links effectively:
- Aim to have reputable websites link to yours. A few quality links can outperform numerous links from low-authority sites.
- Create content that’s relevant to your audience. Research shows that long-form, in-depth, and authoritative content tends to receive more links.
- Understand and use keywords effectively. Make the most of long-tail keywords that have lower competition but high conversation rates—36% on average.
- Create an easy-to-navigate website with fast load times. Google’s research shows that bounce rates increase by 32% when load time goes from 1 to 3 seconds.
Embrace Guest Blogging
Guest blogging can generate substantial results, as Kevin Payne proved to the internet. After persuading bloggers to accept his guest pieces and reaching out to important influencers, he managed to increase his monthly traffic by 20%—in just three months!
Given how powerful guest blogging can be when done right, it’s no wonder 60% of blogs write 1-5 guest posts a month. In a survey conducted by Referral Rock, 3% of respondents said they write 100 or more blog posts per month!
These numbers underline the importance of guest blogging as part of your link-earning strategy, and here’s how you can take full advantage of this tactic:
- Identify high-authority blogs in your niche. Approach them with a proposal for a guest post that provides quality and unique content.
- Research the interests of the blog audience. Tailor your guest post to address those interests, thereby increasing the likelihood of engagement and shares.
- Include a link back to your website within the content or in your author bio. Offering valuable resources on your site gives readers a reason to click the link.
- Don’t restrict yourself to just one guest post. Creating a series of posts on a relevant topic can improve engagement and yield more backlinks.
Take Part in Online Communities
Increasing your active presence in online communities is a form of networking—the web version of rubbing elbows at a business conference.
Members of these online spaces are known to ask for advice and recommendations or simply pose questions that you can answer. When the opportunity arises and it’s appropriate, including links to your relevant content in your responses can provide value and increase visibility, boosting your link-earning efforts.
Plus, any type of online engagement—social interactions, comments, or reviews—can positively impact search engine rankings.
Before getting involved in these communities, you should know that:
- You are more likely to be trusted and respected if you provide genuine, useful contributions to discussions.
- A one-time post won’t cut the mustard—engage, comment, and provide value regularly.
- Presenting yourself in the right light by being gracious and respectful is the way to go.
- Shoehorning links into your postings won’t get you far—they should fit naturally or they will be seen as spammy or overly promotional, which can backfire.
Create Linkable Assets
Developing captivating, user-friendly content such as infographics or visual content is yet another great approach to earning links as they are considered linkable assets. 65% of people are better at retaining information through visuals and with 49% of marketers agreeing that visual content is very important to their overall marketing strategy, there’s no room to question its effectiveness.
Visuals offer a fantastic avenue for presenting intricate data and concepts in a digestible and engaging manner, which is why data storytelling is growing in importance by the minute.
To make the most of this strategy, start by:
- Identifying current and engaging topics within your industry
- Creating infographics that present complex information in a simple way
- Using colors, charts, and minimal text to communicate your message
- Publishing and sharing your visual content on various platforms
Original research studies also attract immense attention and by extension, earn links naturally. When you produce unique, thorough reports based on your own research, it holds value for others within your industry. These reports can be cited by others, thus earning you valuable backlinks.
Here’s how to approach this strategy:
- Identify a gap in your industry’s knowledge or a hot topic
- Develop a research methodology and conduct your study
- Analyze your findings and write a detailed report
- Promote your study across various channels
Consider Broken Link Building
One man’s broken link is another man’s link-earning opportunity. The good news is, links often break over time due to factors such as page deletions or URL changes and you get to swoop in to replace these broken links with your own.
What’s especially appealing about this method is its win-win nature—the site owners save time and resources as they don’t have to scour their site for malfunctioning links while you gain a credible and relevant backlink.
To do this:
- Find broken links on well-regarded websites in your industry. Either do it manually or have tools such as Ahrefs and Screaming Frog assist you and help you streamline the process.
- Contact the website to let them know about the broken link and provide them with a relevant link to your content.
Link Earning: Key Takeaways
Link earning is known to bring tons of benefits to businesses, but only when done right. From creating high-quality content to building relationships and broken links, there are many ways you can go about it.
However, although seemingly simple in theory, link earning is a strategy that demands a lot of time, effort, and resources. If you’d rather focus on other operational tasks, you can contact us and have our experts do the heavy lifting.