Are you a solopreneur looking for the best link building strategies?

One of the best ways to improve your search engine rankings, regardless of your niche or industry, is to increase the number of backlinks to your website.

However, be cautious, as you'll see later on. You don't want just any website linking back to yours. You want reputable websites with a strong domain authority to send you traffic.

If you're getting links from sites similar to AliExpress, you are most likely going to do more harm than good.

What’s a Great Link Building Strategy Going to Do for You

Increasing the number of backlinks to your website is a powerful way to boost your search engine rankings, regardless of your niche. However, not all backlinks are created equal. It's essential to focus on obtaining links from reputable websites with strong domain authority.

Quality backlinks from authoritative sources can significantly enhance your website's visibility in search results and drive more organic traffic. When you neglect the importance of building quality links, you risk stagnating in search engine rankings, limiting your reach, and losing potential customers to competitors.

In contrast, a robust link-building strategy can propel your website's SEO and place it ahead of the competition. By harnessing the potential of quality backlinks, you'll enjoy greater online visibility, increased web traffic, and a significant edge in your industry.

9 Essential Link Building Strategies for Solopreneurs

We’ve established that your link building strategy is pretty important, but where do you start?

Well, we’re going to run you through 9 essential link building strategies that anyone can use to build high-quality backlinks.

Below, you'll find a table of contents that will allow you to preview the 9 different — and most efficient — tactics that anyone can follow to try to build good-quality backlinks.

Let’s dive into our top link building strategies. Remember, if you get stuck with any terminology, check out the key terms section at the end.

1 - Create Link Worthy Content People Actually Want To Link To

Look, this may seem obvious, but if your content isn't worthy of being shared, then you can't possibly expect other sites to link back to your website.

Your content needs to be useful, valuable, hard to find elsewhere, and, most importantly, engaging.

Want some help creating SEO-friendly content your users will love? Check out this guide to creating awesome content.

Why is this important? Well, because if you want your content to stand out from other websites, Wikipedia, and ChatGPT, the only real way to make it different is by making it engaging.

Engagement comes in all different shapes and sizes. Your content could be engaging because you're fun, because you get straight to the point, because you're charismatic, or because your content layout design is unique.

To figure out how to be engaging in your niche, you need to study the culture of your space. Find the inside humor, blend it with who you are, and make sure you preserve your voice and personality. Part of what makes your content special is that it's created by you. And remember, you're not selling or marketing to machines; you're writing for humans.

2 - Dominate Guest Blogging Opportunities

This isn't 2012 anymore.

Guest blogging isn't a piece of cake. In fact, I'd say that it's probably harder than ever to get somebody to take you on as a guest blogger, especially if you have no authority or you’re not a well known name in your industry.

But, it's not impossible.

Let me give you some tips and tricks on how to identify some cool guest post opportunities.

First, head over to Google Alerts. We're going to be using this tool later on again, so make sure you keep it open in a tab.

Next, think of a keyword (or a string of them) that you'd like to write about, followed by "guest post." Your search query should look something like this:

You don't actually need to create an alert for this particular scenario, but what you can do is keep an eye open for which sites are allowing other users to guest post on them.

There are more elaborate tools that you can use, such as Ahrefs or Semrush, but this should be enough to get you started curating a list of websites that are guest-post friendly.

If you need help trying to contact a website owner, you can consider using hunter.io.

Part of the reason why it's much harder than ever to get featured somewhere as a guest author is because of SEO nerds like us. Many people have dragged the reputation of guest-posting all over the floor just to get a backlink to their site.

Remember that the key here is always going to be to write good content, whether it's on your site or someone else's. Try to approach blog owners with this mindset, and you're more likely to get a positive response from them.

Here's a quick cold email template that you can use:

📩 Hey [First Name]!

Hope you're not drowning in emails like the rest of us!

I'm Tony, a [Your Niche] fanatic, and I'm as serious about [Topic] as a penguin in a tuxedo.

I've conjured up a blog post idea that I think could entertain your audience. What do you say to the intriguing title of [Example Title]?

As for my credentials, I've even managed to charm [Brand One] and [Brand Two] into publishing my musings.

If you're up for a bit of whimsy and knowledge, hit me up. I'm all ears and ready to type!

Cheers,

Tony

I love trying to put a smile on people's faces, but that's just me. You obviously need to try to find the inside humor of your niche and adapt it to work for you!

3 - Harvest Hidden Link Opportunities

This one is very easy to understand, but a little bit of a nightmare to implement.

Hear me out.

Using Ahrefs or Semrush, we can quickly identify sites that have broken links pointing to us. A simple search query will allow us to download a .csv file with all the information we need to identify those broken links.

semrush

How do links break to begin with, you may ask? Well, for a variety of reasons. It could be something as simple as the link owner mistyping the URL address where they intended to send traffic. A common mistake I have come across is sending users to awebsite.com/about-us when the actual URL was simply awebsite.com/about.

Other times, we may be the ones in charge of making the mistake. Sooner or later, you'll make the big error of updating the URL of an old blog post or page without realizing that it would break any links out there in the wild. Perhaps you may even change the permalink structure of your entire site!

Yes, people do this all the time, and I have been there too. Luckily, with time, I have learned to get my permalink structure right from the get-go, and if I ever update the URL of one of my pages or posts, I always set up redirects for my original URLs using AIOSEO.

4 - Reclaim Your Unlinked Mentions

Here, we want to make sure we use Google Alerts again. This time, you do want to set up an alert to be notified via email when something that matches your brand name gets published online.

If, for whatever reason, someone includes your brand name and you notice that they didn't throw in a backlink, tell them!

It's common courtesy to link back to someone's site if they're being included in a blog post, so don't hesitate to reach out and appreciate them for giving you a shoutout.

Get notified when people mention your brand, shoot off an email, get the link.

It’s a super simple link building strategy that works pretty much on auto pilot.

5 - Reach for the Skies with Skyscraper Content

I like to call these pieces of content content hubs, but they're more commonly known out there as Skyscraper content pieces.

These are longer than usual blog posts or pages (typically 3,000 words or more) that serve as a central link-building hub. They are great because not only are they easier to have other sites link to them, but they also give you an opportunity to create some internal backlinks as well.

Remember, the content needs to be good. This means that skyscraper blog posts also require more effort and time from you.

By the way, here's a quick video where I create a content hub using Thrive Architect, in case you want to learn how to do this yourself!

6 - Secure Interviews for Easy Backlinks

Interviews are probably the easiest type of backlinks you can get.

You see, when you're interviewing someone, you're feeding their ego, and we humans just love this, don't we?

It should be relatively straightforward to encourage your interviewee to direct some traffic towards your published interview on your site.

Now, that's not to say that you're going to get to interview Barack Obama tomorrow. But, it shouldn't be too difficult to get to interview reputable people in your space. Don't chase people with 300,000 followers on Instagram. Try to interview micro-influencers whose followers actually admire them and trust them for who they are.

I don't know about you, but I'm bored of looking at influencers with millions of followers feeding us their horrendous partnerships with big-brand labels. Micro-influencers with real lives are much more compelling and get me to tune into their content for longer.

7 - Ace White Label Linking

You know, you can actually pay for backlinks. Yes, it's a thing.

White label linking, in essence, refers to the process of handing this whole endeavor over to an agency. They'll be the ones negotiating backlink placements on reputable websites for you.

Does it work? Yes.

Is it expensive? Heck yeah.

Is there any risk involved? Absolutely. Let me clarify.

Most SEO agencies that specialize in white label linking do a good job. They'll invest time to understand your business and pinpoint suitable websites for you to acquire backlinks from.

But... if you happen to engage the wrong team and, for some reason, they don't do a stellar job, you're going to face challenges in recovering from this.

For instance, if you're in the shoe business but end up with backlinks from real estate websites, it's going to be a bit of a headache to rectify afterward.

This means that if you want to invest in a good SEO agency to handle the job for you, by all means, go ahead. However, only about 1% of the readers of this post will have the means to do so.

Most of you don't have that kind of budget and are seeking a way to tackle this independently, which is entirely achievable. It just demands more time and effort, but at least you know you'll do it right.

8 - Rule the Forums for Quality Backlinks

Forums are amazing for obtaining backlinks. If someone on a forum shares one of your blog posts, you gain a backlink from a reputable source in your niche while also increasing brand exposure to others.

However, exercise caution. Some forums adhere to a social media policy that disallows do-follow links to external sites. So, conduct a bit of research to understand each forum's policy if you're considering posting.

And... one more thing...

Do. Not. Spam. On. Forums. This significantly harms your domain authority. Google isn't delusional. If you think Google can't tell when you're spamming without providing value, think again.

Forums can provide great inspiration. They can offer ideas regarding what topics people are discussing in your niche. You can then create content based on these subjects, sharing your insights with others.

But, before you press send, make sure the link in your comment is valuable, justified, and enhances the forum users' experience.

9 - Visualize Success with Infographics

Believe it or not, creating a high-quality infographic can earn you numerous backlinks. When most people think of infographics, they envision opening a template in Canva and adding text and photos.

While there's nothing wrong with that approach, don't anticipate going viral with it. Take a look at this example.

This infographic has been shared thousands of times online. Why do you think that is?

  • It's informative, presenting relevant information in an easily digestible format.
  • It's visually appealing and doesn't feel cluttered despite the wealth of information.
  • It's viral-worthy. While marketers might find it most relevant, it's likely to engage a wide audience of internet users.

The challenge is creating infographics like this, right? It's no walk in the park. Personally, I couldn't do it. However, if you can afford a designer, the results speak for themselves.

Here’s another example from the same site. These folks really know how to use infographics to get their content shared widely.

Now, let's explore some key definitions that will help you master the art of creating backlinks for your website.

Understanding Key Terms

Below you’ll find the most commonly used terms in the backlink-verse.

Nofollow: A nofollow link is one that search engines do not follow. This means that if someone shares a link on a platform like Facebook, and it's marked as a nofollow link, search engines won't track it. Consequently, it won't positively affect your site's SEO.

If you're wondering why someone would use a nofollow link, consider this: If all links on social media platforms influenced our website rankings, these platforms would be filled with spam links. Moreover, social media platforms need to protect themselves. If you direct traffic from your site to a low-quality website, it would harm their reputation, which they certainly want to avoid.

In 2019, Google announced that it would treat nofollow links as hints rather than strict commands. This means Google has the freedom to decide whether to consider your nofollow link as a genuine backlink.

Do-follow: In contrast to nofollow links, there are do-follow links. These are links that search engines follow, and they are the most valuable type of backlinks.

Anchor text: Another crucial term is anchor text. Anchor text is the text used for displaying a link. It's important for SEO because it informs search engines about the content of the linked page.

Domain authority: Understanding domain authority is essential in enhancing your backlink strategy. Domain authority reflects how reputable and respected a domain is, whether it's linking to or from your site. For example, The New York Times has significantly higher domain authority compared to my personal blog because it attracts millions of readers worldwide. Domain authority is critical, and you should avoid getting backlinks from websites with low domain authority, as they won't positively influence your standing in Google's eyes.

Internal links: These are links to pages in your site. They’re crucial from an SEO standpoint because not only do they send a signal to search engines that these pages exist, they also make it much easier for them to understand the structure of your site and it helps users navigate around your content too.

Now Get Out There and Start Building Quality Links

Congratulations, you've now armed yourself with essential link-building strategies and key knowledge to elevate your website's SEO.

It's time to put this newfound wisdom into action.

Remember, the quality of your backlinks is far more valuable than their quantity. So, get out there and start building those high-quality links that will propel your online presence to new heights. 

Want more great SEO tips? We've got you covered!

7 Keyword Research Tips for the Busy Entrepreneur

Best of luck, and may your link-building efforts yield remarkable results for your solopreneur journey!

About the Author

  • Thanks Andrea for this comprehensive guide.
    Guest blogging still works if you know how to choose sites for guest blogs wisely. A rule of a thumb is to avoid all those semi-automated blogging networks, otherwise, you can get in trouble pretty quickly. Focus more on publishing quality guest posts and attract quality traffic, the rankings will come also then.
    Keep up the good work. Now its time for me to start guest posting!!

  • The internet is always changing, sites come and go so often. I’ve gotten some really great valuable links by offering up a replacement for broken links. When I find one, I also do a search to find other places that linked to that same piece of content and offer them the replacement link, definitely makes a good use of time 🙂

  • Sometimes I feel that this stuff is a waste of time if you produce a lot of content.

    I have a lot of respect for Brian Dean and Neil Patel but I feel that as long as you already have an audience, you’d be much better served by simply cranking out tons of content instead of spending so much time optimizing things.

    There’s a small amount of optimization that should be done, but…. it becomes counterproductive.

    Shane would probably agree with me as he frequently talks about how “done is better than perfect” and releasing a product, even if it’s not perfect, is best.

    • Hi David, thanks for your comment!

      “Done is better than perfect” – I couldn’t agree more.

      I think it depends on a lot of factors whether you should deal with link building, e.g.: your niche, your current rankings, or what your competitors are doing. In my opinion, it’s advisable to build links, when, say, you’re stuck on page 2, or you’d like to make specific pages rank higher for certain terms, and you’ve done with on-site optimization.

  • Very thorough article! Link building is extremely important, however it is out of many people’s comfort zone, because it doesn’t have a high rate of success…

    • Hi Peter, yes indeed, link building is important and can boost rankings. Response rates might not be the highest, but it’s possible to improve it by thorough prospecting and personalized outreaches.

  • Wow! Thrive Themes never cease to amaze me. Not only do you provide great WP tools, but also magnificent information and tutorials full of value.

    Thank you so much for all the insights you provide, Andrea. I will make sure to check out all the tools and links included in the article.

    This is a lot of work, as you mention. And since you already worked at an SEO agency, I was wondering if, in addition to the tools you provide, you could also provide us with agency recommendations for a to z SEO services to do all the heavy lifting without breaking the bank.

    Best regards.

    • Hi Luis, this is great to hear!

      As for the agency recommendation… I have to say it depends on a lot of factors: your budget, your niche, the type of SEO you need, whether you want to hire an agency or a freelancer…

      But generally, try to find someone, who has some SEO experience in your niche – that will save some time. Perhaps ask your entrepreneurial friends if they have any good experience with an agency?

  • Really great article Andrea! You’ve covered so many good points on link building.

    In your opinion, how important would you say link building is to a website’s SEO? If you had to give a percentage, what would it be and why?

    Really looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

    • Hi Vincent, I am glad you liked it!

      Again, I have to say, it depends…:) Need to see how well-optimized and established the website is, and what the competitors are doing.

  • I like the way the template is written, highlighting potential points that can make the outreach receive a positive feedback.

    It’s a well thought out post and link building has lots of favourable strategies but personally I favor guest post more.

    Thanks for a wonderful post and it’s one of the best of its kind.

  • Nothing new but still a good read for me. Specifically this part – Are These Prospects Worth Your Time? We often collect the prospect and send the emails without checking if I get any benefit from this website or not. And templates would come handy for me. Really appreciate for this, Andrea. Thanks a lot.

    • Yeah, I think it’s better to filter those prospects out right at the start. That will save some time and energy for you.

  • Hey Andrea,

    Great explantion. Quick check.
    Why can’t Site A link to Site C and Site C link to Site A?
    Why do you need a Site B?

    Great post!!! Valuable till the last drop! Congrats!

    Looking forward to your PPC post 😉

    Marisa

    • Hi Marisa,

      Thanks for the nice words 🙂

      Excessive “A-C” linking will result in an unnatural backlink profile. It’s a red flag for Google.

  • This blog post has come exactly at the right time, the moment I started getting ready to up my outreach (which in itself sounds so weird) you go ahead and post this! Thanks Thrive Themes for continuing to add value! 🙂

  • Beginners’ question 🙂 If you write a guest post, how can you make sure they don’t publish your article without giving a backlink/true reference info? Or if I do the research you recommend that is very unlikely to happen?

    • It’s a valid question! I think you just need to take the risk in some cases.

      It happened to me a couple of times in the past… However, people usually kept what we agreed on in our emails.

  • Hello Andrea,

    This is such a Helpful and beautiful post.

    I couldn’t help but ask how you designed your sheet so beautifully?

    Did you use google sheets or excel?

    Or better still, is it possible we get it as a template?

    Thanks once again for the well-written post.

    • Hi Femi,
      It was just a quick example in Google Sheets, I usually just copy and paste data in there in the right column.

  • Thanks for sharing! It’s important information for beginner like me. This is rather difficult especially for people who had only started studied linkbuilding strategy. I’m believe I can))

  • It seems like common sense, but I actually never would’ve thought about “Link Inclusion”. Have you had much success using that method personally?

    • Link inclusion was one of my favorites 🙂 It doesn’t cost as much as guest posting, and it’s a fairly low effort technique.

      And yes, it worked for us… Let me share an example:

      One of our clients was in the wedding/fashion industry. It was easy to find link opportunities for them as fashion changes so quickly! We always found tons of ‘outdated’ articles from past seasons… We reached out to them, introduced our clients’ newest collections/designs, and some bloggers were thrilled to show it to their readers.

  • Thank you, Andrea! for this GREAT article full of actionable advice.
    My ignorance about how to go about getting backlinks had me frozen, unwilling to take action at all.
    Your article has given me so much advice, I am now excited about creating a Backlink Plan, and following through with the work, the action to obtain some valuable Backlinks.
    The hypertext links you included are great . . . lots of valuable information & tools for me to use in educating myself, and following through.
    I shall be seeking out any additional articles you have written.

  • Hello Andrea Papp,
    This indeed more than a definitive guide to link building. Oh my God, this article is enough to turn into a course and sell it.

    You really gave out a lot here. Honestly, link building is still very important as far as SEO is concerned in 2017 and beyond. Anyone who still neglecting is only making a grave mistake because, without it, there’s certainly no SEO (Maybe that’s my own opinion).

    I’ve read a lot of guides in the past about SEO, but this is the more comprehensive and I will start implementing the strategies right away as I’m currently trying to rank a new Amazon review site I started and I hope the strategies you share will work for me.

    Thanks a bunch for sharing.

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