How to Create Link Bait
September 18, 2013 - Posted by Angela von Weber-Hahnsberg
Now that we’ve gotten that song stuck in your head all day (you’re welcome), let’s talk about link bait as a vital part of your internet marketing strategy, shall we?
When you’re writing content, one of the main reasons you’re doing it is to get people to link back to it, right? So that takes care of the “link” part of the equation. But what about the “bait?”
Well, what does every fisherman need when he goes fishing? A hook! And that’s exactly what you need in order to turn your blog post into link bait. You can go to Bass Pro Shop and pick up one of those glittery metallic fish with a hook pre-attached…or, you can do something that’ll actually work, and write your content with a specific hook in mind. In other words, what’s your angle? How will you approach your subject?
So, without further ado, to supplement your online marketing strategy, here is a list of five different types of hooks that can work wonders in getting people to read – and then link to – your content.
1. The News Hook – To make use of this hook, you’ll really need to have your finger on the pulse of your industry. You’ll be writing content that breaks the latest news in your field, and then giving it added value by including your expert commentary on the topic, as well. If you master this hook, you’ll be seen as a leader in your industry, which is always a good thing. But it can be time-consuming and difficult to stay on top of all the breaking news out there – unless you specialize. Focus on a niche that’s broad enough to have a decent audience, but narrow enough that there’s still room for you to make a name for yourself. People want to stay up-to-date on developments in their field – and who doesn’t love being the first to tell friends about big news? Give the people a reliable stream of interesting news, and they’ll link to your site.
2. The Contrary Hook – This hook can be a tricky one to get right – but if you’re going to use it, it’s vital you do it correctly, or else it can be more of a liability than an asset. With a contrary hook, you want to create a little controversy in your blog post. Not too much – but not too little, either. This shouldn’t be a full-blown attack on someone, or even a blog laced with negativity. It’s simply a differing opinion from one held by someone else, explained respectfully. In order to find topics for this hook, read other people’s blogs in your industry. When you find someone you disagree with, write content explaining why, in a calm and unemotional way. Controversy attracts people, plain and simple, so make sure your blog title reflects the debate. But too much negativity turns people off again, so tread carefully. If you get the balance just right, people will link to you to share your opinion both with those who agree with you – and with those who disagree.
3. The Attack Hook – This is the hook for people with anger management issues – or those who just like making other people mad. It’s probably not the best hook to tackle for most businesses, but there can be times when it would be useful. Ever heard the saying, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity?” Well, that’s the philosophy behind this internet marketing strategy. Find something to disagree with strongly – so strongly, that you out-and-out attack it in your content. Then sit back and watch the links start flying – along with the mud. You’ll have to decide if the negativity is worth the number of links you get.
4. The Resource Hook – For this hook, you’ll structure your content as a useful resource for others to refer to whenever they need information about your industry. This is another great way to establish yourself as an expert in your field – if done well, you could become to go-to guy for anyone with a question. And of course, anyone else who wants to appear knowledgeable and helpful will then link back to your site in their own content, to share the wisdom you have assembled there.
5. The Humor Hook – Finally, the most fun hook of all! Using humor to attract readers, who will then hopefully find your content funny enough to share it with their followers and connections. You can be silly or sarcastic, or toss a few jokes in here and there…even just writing your content in a casual, talkin’-to-a-buddy style can lighten the tone of your blog. But keeping up with the funny can be hard, especially if you blog on a pretty regular basis. Do it well, though, and people will fall all over themselves to link to you, to share the fun with their own friends.
So there you have it! Five hooks you can start implementing in your online marketing strategy today. Which is your personal favorite? Let us know in the comments section below!