Local Link Building Tactics

7 Hard-Hitting Local Link Building Tactics for Small and Large Businesses

In the Post-Pigeon era, local links have become more valuable as signals for search engines to assess a site’s local relevance in the organic search results.

In fact, the recent Local Search Ranking Factor study by Moz proves that the two most important local ranking factors are on-site signals and local links.

There are in fact hundreds of articles that share about the different local link building strategies you can use to play in the local scene this 2017 (and beyond).

But regardless of which local link building tactic you use today, there are a few considerations to take while executing each phase in a local link building campaign:

  • Prospecting: The volume of local link prospects isn’t huge enough compared to target sites of large-scale link building campaigns, so putting a lower threshold on metrics like Moz’ DA is necessary to collect a higher volume of local link opportunities.
  • Qualification: Quality can’t be determined solely by Moz’ DA or other link metrics- the referral traffic that local pages can generate should be considered (local professional organization pages for example, that are less DA30 are frequently visited by local users and therefore can refer the most engaged traffic to the site.
  • Outreach: The more localized in context your approach is, the likelihood of increasing responses and link conversions for local outreach campaigns is higher.

With these things in consideration, you can now start implementing a local link building campaign with the right fundamentals in mind.

Below are seven (7) local link building activities that you can immediately use right now which can certainly help impact your business goals:



When building links for our clients, one of the first few questions we ask is, “what's the existing content asset in the client’s website we can use as USP for linker outreach?”.

This question breaks the “content mental block” that is often experienced when strategizing what link acquisition tactics that require content to create in order to acquire high-quality links.

Interestingly, we’ve discovered that there are existing under-utilized pages published on client’s sites that we can use to show/provide to publishers and content creators to get them link to the client’s page.

A great example of this content is “jobs portal”.

A “jobs portal” is a directory/curation of all job positions available in a local area.

Your brand can even curate available positions available for a specific industry  (e.g. “tech startup jobs in New York”).

boston tech jobs

For some local brands that I’ve audited, jobs portal is inherently the first few pages published on their sites which serve as a content hub for their local partners like local professional organizations who are looking for new hires for their teams.

Jobs portal caters specifically to the “job seekers” linkable market which has a lucrative number of links pages.

Link prospecting for this strategy is pretty much the same with how you’ll normally do it for a resource page link building or broken link building strategy, but the difference is just that you are only looking for a local linkable market - “jobs links/resources pages in Boston” for example.

You can start prospecting using Google search with any of the following search queries to collect your initial set of local link opportunities:

  • “job search” “resources” “CITY”
  • employment” inurl:resources “CITY”
  • “job hunting” resources “CITY”
  • inurl:careers “CITY”

Expand your list by reverse engineering other local job portals or other local job board sites.

By checking which pages link to local-relevant job board sites on this page, I was able to collect a few more tens of local links pages.reverse engineer resource pagesOnce you have generated your list of prospects along with their contact details, you can then start engaging them through your outreach campaign.

Spend a few extra minutes to check if there are broken links on a prospect page.

If all links are working, simply request to be included as an additional resource on their links page.

I’ve found it helpful to add subtle changes to email copies to emphasize the local relevance of the jobs portal or any other local content pieces I’m building links to. I usually add lines for:

  • The best section on the resource page to add the client’s local content
  • Who is the target audience of the content?
  • A few recommendations for the content that serves as a social proof


email outreach jobs resource pages

With proper execution, we were able to acquire links:

resource page link first example

resource page link second example


Visual data link building (infographic-based link building) is getting more saturated, as more brands try to pick up on it. But with the right audience targeting along with accurate data and impressive design, visual data can still prove its effectiveness in getting high-value links especially if it’s been massively promoted through different content distribution channels.

One way to get started with this approach is to find a local piece of content created by other publishers who had an extensive research on a particular subject matter and transform it into a visual asset.

To give you an example, recently we’ve been looking for a piece of content that we could well turn into an infographic.

By searching for available public data on different trusted sites, we’ve found a research study on teen dating, abuse & bullying with respondents based in  New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

nacjd public data source website

Side note: here are a few public data sites you can source information from for your visual assets:

We’ve checked if the public data is still relevant in the current year, as we want to get the most recent study as much as possible (the latest we consider is 2016).

One way that helped us assess the relevance and credibility of a public data piece is by looking at the version history section. For example, the research study we considered was initially published in 2012 but it has been updated for 2016 (indicated in the version history section).

Then we strategize how the public data content can be turned into an infographic without cursing the target audience with knowledge.

Given that the research study has two sections: teen dating & abuse and teen bullying, we’ve decided to choose teen dating & abuse and keep the latter for future content references.

concised research study

The hardest part of visual data link building is content creation.

As an agency, there are two ways to attack this: outsource to a freelancer or hire an in-house graphic designer.

We chose the latter simply because it’s time and cost-efficient.

Produced the visual data (partial image below):

teen dating infographic

Then we’ve spent most of our hours looking for potential link partners or content publishers who’ll be interested in the content piece we produced.

We begin prospecting using the following local-centric queries in Google search:

You can also use Reverse Image Search or Tineye to find and track any local-based infographics for local bloggers and publishers who distributed these pieces on their blogs.

If in case you’ve been running out of prospects, you can tap other industries and look for local publishers who still cater to targeted audience of your content.

In our case, we tapped local legal publishers with injury/sexual harassment category on their sections.

sexual harassment injury blog

As for the outreach, make it easier for your local prospects to know the interesting fact on your visual data. It is best to state some numbers and your target audience to build the context relevance and credibility of your content piece.

visual link building outreachYou can test the two-blogger outreach process to initially capture your prospects’ interests then eventually sending the link pointing to your visual data (or attaching it in your email conversation) if they’ve positively respond to your initial pitch.


For local link building, what I’ve found to be most quantitative (high amount) in links/resource pages are those that cater to audiences who are relocating/living to a new area or city.

Typically, these are pages that provides lists of resources/references that a person who’s new to an area would definitely find.

Here are some examples of local “new to an area” topics:

  • Quality schools in [City] or finding the right schools
  • Local laws in [City]
  • Tourist information, local attractions or things to do in [City]
  • How to get here
  • Volunteer listings in [City]
  • Moving and relocation in [City]
  • internet & cable
  • my neighbourhood

If you are marketing a brick and mortar business, a local attraction, a local professional organization, or a utility company (i.e. internet cable), it’s best to get your initial set of links from this type of resource pages.

things to do in city pages

You can start prospecting by using “page-level” qualifier queries (which I highly recommend if you’re looking for “new to an area” topical pages) through Google search.

If you're prospecting for "things to do in [City]" pages, here are the following search queries that you can use:

  • inurl:"things to do" [City]
  • intitle:"things to do" [City]
  • inurl:links activities in [City]

An above approach is an alternate option to the basic link prospecting queries for resource page link building (i.e. using inurl:resources OR inurl:links “keyword”).  It expands your search for link opportunities that don’t necessarily have the title tag or URL qualifiers (intitle and inurl).

The next step is to reach out to webmasters of these links pages and offer your website to be included as an additional resource on the page.

I’ve found it helpful to prepare short lines/description to be added to the links page along with your link. It can help take away webmasters’ burden of thinking what texts to add, that describes your brand/website (e.g. best description of your local attraction).

area to pages link building outreach

If you’ve executed properly, you’ll definitely get a link.

attraction resource pages


Summer housing/off-campus housing pages are resource lists of available housing options for both students and interns in a local area.

This type of webpages can positively generate exposure to brands they’re linking out to as well as provide possible leads for brands’ services since the purpose of the page is focused on recommending rental offerings currently available in the area.

The closest vertical that can benefit from generating high-quality links from summer housing [city] pages, obviously, is real estate, particularly local apartments brands, housing and rental services companies.

National brands with apartment rentals in different cities can also take advantage of this link acquisition technique by acquiring links from summer housing resource pages available in cities they cater offerings to. The more cities they’re marketing to, the better they could take advantage of this local link building tactic.

national apartments

You can start this link approach by creating a list of targeted link prospects from Google search results - using any of the following search terms:

  • “Off-campus” housing [city] “resources”
  • “Student housing” [city] “resources”
  • “Internship housing” [city] “resources”

Populate your list by checking broken domains for any inbound links from summer housing pages. A simple plug to your favorite link checker tool can help quickly assess the number of unique referring domains pointing to these dead websites.

For example, this extinct site that is used to be an apartment rental site has a 75+ unique referring domains that includes solid .edu sites links pages. A quick look on it can reveal tens of potential summer housing pages that can be added to a link list.

ahrefs summer housing reverse engineering links

Then craft email copies you can use for your local outreach that are straightforward and easy to personalize.

Finally, acquire the link:summer housing link


Creating content that’s really hard to do and that is better than its competitors is definitely one of the best ways, not just to stand out as an authority publisher in the industry but also to acquire high-quality in-content links from other content publishers on the web.

In addition to that, making sure that the content piece has well-served its audience by providing their needs through the useful information found on the page can increase the chances of building as well as earning backlinks from highly relevant sites.

For local content creation, here are topics that are frequently searched (FSQ or frequently search queries) by local audience and linked to by local publishers:

  • Street occupancy and moving permits
  • [city] neighborhoods
  • Helpful moving tips or things to do before you move
  • Resources for landlords & tenants
  • Homeowner resources
  • Voter registration
  • Address change

The main key to succeed in creating local content is to be succinct while being so much helpful in providing the details that the local audience needs.

Coming up with a guide that sums up all of the items mentioned above for people who’re looking for direct information is an extremely useful content asset that has high chances of earning links from local content creators.

moving resource example 1

moving resource example 2

moving resource example 3moving resource example 4



Conversation marketing is a highly effective brand building tool for local business owners, marketers and/or those who’re in agency that market local clients - who don’t have a huge budget to spend to build a strong brand presence online.

While it’s certainly time-consuming, the amount of effort put into value-added conversations can invaluably bring momentum and exponential growth of links as well as drive referral traffic and potential leads for the business.

One of the best ways to start this approach is by joining online communities where your local target audience are participating and looking for direct information.

For example, if you’re promoting a local attraction site, answering questions on StreetAdvisor can be an initial jump to your conversation marketing efforts.

seed forum link building

Below are some ways that you can do to leverage and scale conversation marketing for your local business:

  • Do Google searches for direct questions that people are seeking to find local businesses and/or attractions (e.g. best [product/service] in [city/area]) and spot on local and niche-specific forums that are currently ranking in the first two or three pages in search results  - these online pages still receive a few tens/hundred of organic traffic and may bring valuable traffic to your website.
  • Choose an in-house team member who has a strong knowledge on the product/service you’re offering and let him/her spend 20 to 30 minutes daily, participating in local online discussions.

You can check out this post by Jason Acidre to learn more on how to use conversation marketing effectively for your local brand.


Reddit is a community news aggregator site that has its own ranking algorithm to decide which referring link deserves to be placed on the front page for a specific subreddit.

If you’re launching a local content that contains a compelling story/data and design-driven images, such as infographics, then Reddit is definitely a place that you can utilize to put more eyeballs on your content (increasing the amount of traffic you’re getting).

You can start by identifying specific subreddits that are relevant to your local brand. Do a Google search for site:reddit.com “keyword” OR “city,” manually check each subreddit and see if they cater to the audience with the same demographics you’re targeting.

Create a list relevant subreddits along with their current number of subscribers and online users (photo credit: Siegemedia).

siegemedia reddit promotion

It is best to take a few minutes checking referring links placed on the front page of each subreddit to assess content types (images/videos/data) that best resonate the subreddit audience. You can add a column for Notes or Remarks in your spreadsheet to mark content formats/types.

Once you have the Reddit data to base your content upon, you can now produce niche-specific content pieces that are context fit to those local subreddits.

You may want to check out this comprehensive post on creating content by building traffic source backward from Reddit.

The next step is to customize social buttons on your content by adding a Reddit button, for example, to make it easier for Reddit users to upvote your content.

Another approach that you can make to increase the likelihood of ranking your story on the front Reddit pages is by reaching out to like-minded individuals in your industry or sharing your subreddit link in an online group of marketers to get more upvotes for your client’s content piece.

inbounders facebook group

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Need help with your link building campaigns? Check out our link building services here.

21 effective ways to drive traffic to your website

21 Effective Ways to Drive Traffic To Your Website

21 effective ways to drive traffic to your website

Whether you’re a newbie blogger, business owner or a big brand, you’d always ask the question, “how can I drive (more) traffic to my website?”

There are lots of tricks and strategies scattered on the Internet on how to do that exactly, some aren’t applicable in your industry, others are executable. However, if you’ve tried tweaking them to suit your needs, it might be one of your traffic generation strategies to look over this 2017.

Here are 21 ways on how to drive traffic to your website with steps to execute them right in order to grow your online business this year.

Let’s get started.


I’ve been testing Facebook as one of my top referring sources for my career development blog (still under content development test).

There are tons of content you can actually create that can generate more followers to your page, which will drive good amount of traffic to your blog/site. But what I’ve found out to be most effective are content types that are native in Facebook: videos (with transcripts), how-to album posts and quotes with unexpected hook.


facebook content album

Check out how I increased my Facebook page from 2,500 likes to almost 26,000 followers in 2 months.

facebook page statistics
What’s more amazing is the virality of these single pieces of content that only takes a few hours to create.

There is only one link displayed on the page, evenly placed it on the right side, which means people who’d been through my page, engaged with my content and wanted some more, clicked on the website and read the blog posts.

If you’re not that photo-editing savvy, there is Canva that can help you scale your visual content creation process (20 minutes is what it takes).

Protip: Use Picjumbo.com and Google Image search (tools - usage rights - labeled with reuse for modification) to download non-copyright images, so you don’t have to worry about this issue later on.


Some industry bloggers receive “guest blogging pitches” almost every day, especially if they’ve had a huge amount of followers/visitors and authority, that people want to absorb a portion of those followers and drive them to their own sites.

This made a lot more difficult for your outreach emails to get opened and to receive a “go” for your guest post topic”.

Standing out among these “guest blogging emails” by providing as much value as you can is the key to get as much as value in return for your brand.

gmail video outreach useloomYou can screen record yourself proposing three or four relevant blog topics customised for the guest blog. Scale the process of video outreach to 30 or 50 guest post prospects using UseLoom, which is a Chrome Extension tool.


There are approximately 81 million videos uploaded currently on Youtube. That insane number of content is enough to get yourself into the Platform and start producing engaging and informational content.

youtube video description links

How can I drive website traffic from Youtube?

Put a link to your website in the description box of your videos. When someone watches your video and wants to know more about your brand, they can easily click on the link.


Basically, link roundups are pages that includes external links to latest useful resources and content curated by the blogger himself. Its value proposition is helping readers to get updated with the latest trends, tips, and strategies on a particular topic, without the need to scour every single blog and check their latest articles.

If you haven’t got a link from a link roundup in your industry, you’re missing a good opportunity to drive traffic to your website.

email roundup outreach

A simple outreach to these link roundup curators allows you not only to receive referral traffic from their link roundups (if your content has been featured), but also gives you the leverage to build relationships with them, that will soon propel your brand to other sets of targeted audiences.


If you’ve got the audacity to create a community, creating Facebook groups is for you. Its culture of value exchange can help you generate a certain number of visits for every content you post.

white hat seo facebook group

If you think it’s not for you, then invest in spending 10 to 15 minutes of your day answering questions on a well-built community Facebook group. Here are some examples of answers I shared in the past few days.

You can put a link if it’s something that’s relevant (see example below) or just be direct with your answers.

answer to facebook group question

You won’t get direct traffic instantly by doing so. But with consistent efforts to answer industry Q&As can help you build your brand as a go-to-source of information on a particular topic theme.


Any industry has its own updates and trends that you can leverage as a new content for your blog.

Because of its luxury of a good amount of searches by people following those topics, you are able to give a boost of targeted traffic to your site.

Start by creating a list of industry influencers. This way, you’ll able to see what trends/topics people are watching out.

twitter influencers list

Then put in the work to create content that doesn’t just announce an industry trend/update but delivers value by sharing your own insights to the topic (that’d would differentiate you from other content publishers in your space).


It’s easy to dive into the new content ideas you’re trying to come up with for your brand, but when you start looking in your content inventory, you’ll start seeing “high-performing assets” that can be repurposed into other content formats.

If it’s a how-to or list type of posts, turn it into a slide presentation then upload to Slideshare. Then, redistribute to other visual directories.

repurpose to other content format

Video content can also be transcribed and publish as an article, let your editor execute the proofreading. Publish it in Medium to gain some traction or use it as a guest post (if relevance fits) to absorb new targeted visitors to your blog.


If you’ve got an army of co-redditors, you’re likely to get your content up in Reddit once you submitted a piece of content. Otherwise, the Reddit market will decide if your content is good enough for massive upvotes.

One trick to increase your content’s organic search visibility is to time your posts when most active members of a specific sub-Reddit are online.

reddit submission tool siegemedia

You can do it by checking what day and time is best to submit a content to Reddit. SiegeMedia’s creative Reddit tool allows you to do that and make sure you maximise that micro effort of submitting a post to the platform.


If you’re producing the content that caters directly to a main topic, you’ve got chances of receiving other ranking opportunities for relevant keywords (within the same topic theme), aside from dominating your main keyword.

If you can find other keywords that are likely to give you boost in organic search visibility, you are increasing your brand equity on main industry topics.

SEMRush allows you to find already ranking keywords of your page, as well as of your competitors and see what they are up to (giving you an insight as to how you can better improve your own content by adding sections (subsections) to target relevant long tail terms.


In this design-heavy generation, using stock photos is imperative to appeal to your target readers. The lazy common way of adding non-stock photos you’ve searched for in Google (worse if they’re copyrighted and can’t be reused) will do more harm than good for your content.

stock photos

The truth is, you won’t get additional traffic simply by adding stock photos (even designing it well if you have the audacity to do so), but letting your current visitors stay on your site allows you to acquire indirect benefits of additional social shares because the overall content is good. This translates to more targeted referral traffic.

I’ve been using the following sites to get stock photos and design them by myself thru Canva:

It only takes five minutes to have a well-designed featured image for one blog post.

Tip: Use the search tool function of Google to filter searched images that don’t have any copyright issues (to ensure you’re not passing over to one’s property).


The power of Instagram to absorb new followers is insanely useful in this age where we can create micro-content everyday.

Besides using 10 to 15 hashtags in the description of your photo, you can also tap the power of influencers to provide you with enough discovery for your brand/content.

instagram influencer

DM’ing people to build relationships and offer substantial value to let your brand be discovered on their Instagram profiles allows you to get social traffic straight to your profile and/or to your website.


I’ve seen a lot of micro-content performing well on distribution nowadays, since the more companies whether in B2B or B2C are publishing content on a daily basis, the higher the competition there is to consumers’ attention.

If you’re strategic enough with your content, you can maximize your own email list asset to drive consistent traffic to your website.

Though marketers ruin the email marketing platform with so much self-promotion ads, there’s still room for engagement and direct traffic we can get from email alone.

content distribution to email list

Maximize your email distribution by providing enough value to them on a regular basis. Build brand equity over time.

You may want to test out this email tester tool to improve your emails' subject lines.


10x content has been a common term in the marketing space today. While this could be the era where a lot of publishers are producing long-form content, there would still be a few who don’t see much results from their efforts.

Long form doesn’t mean depth of content. Even if you created 10,000 words-guide that others in your niche have also done, ,but if users are staying enough to consume your content (check your site’s time on page), you still lack value.

content formats

One way to better engage your users in your content is to add other content formats to make it interactive. Images, videos, slides and other media formats that are relevant and caters to the same topic you’re discussing about shouldn’t be hesitated to add to your content.


If you’re in the mommy/parenting/health space, there’s a huge opportunity waiting for you in the Pinterest platform.

pinterest analytics

If you practice it right, you can see engaged visitors in Pinterest that can go to your website and start following you.

You can check your top Pin post impressions and find the common topic theme that you can start focusing on in a certain period of time (let’s say for a week). This gives you more room of organic reach opportunities that’ll eventually drive good social traffic to your website.


If you’re handling several accounts, whether you’re in an agency or an affiliate marketer with many niche websites, you may be having difficulty in scaling your content creation process.

The truth is there’s an easy way to scale the process simply by utilising content templates (common content formats that have been successful in engaging consumers/users).

You can check out this post by Ross Hudgens on 15 content templates that you can use to successful produce content on a scalable manner.


Building your own tribe of content promoters who are ready to push your content up in specific platforms gives you the luxury to get initial traction for your content.

Though in most cases, you’ll see this happening in the marketing space, other industries are also leveraging this strategy to build mutual value exchange with each other (using each profiles’ social followers to promote mutual content).

reddit upvotes hacking

This requires execution of reaching out to other industry bloggers who aren’t competing with your offerings. Always provide value here as you don’t want to look as an aggressive marketer trying to leverage others’ ability to promote content pieces.


Building your brand (whether on a personal or business level) is executable in Quora. Like other Q&A sites, your goal is to answer relevant questions that received substantial amount of views every week/month. This allows you to scale the process, as you are able to grow your profile answer views over time, particularly if the topic is most commonly asked for in Quora.

Check the question’s potential reach by looking at the number of followers for that specific question and the top or even the average number views of the top answer. This would give you an idea whether the question is worthy of your effort to answer.

quora question stats

You can also check if the exact question is sitting on the first page of search results when you directly copy and paste it to SERPs. In most cases, this type of questions are consistently attracting new visitors, thus, helps you answer to increase its potential reach.

quora question rank in search

Execute this process daily (choose 3 to 5 recent questions) and become the top industry writer in Quora.

quora most viewed writers

David McSweeney of Ahrefs had a case study on how they were able to increase the blog’s traffic by switching keywords to old performing content.

The process is simple:

  • Analyse existing keywords of your content you’re currently been ranking for.
  • If you haven’t seen any main keywords you can potentially switch to potential ranking, conduct keyword research to find out if there are main phrases with higher search volume than your current one.
  • Optimise your content for new keywords by changing the page’s URL, meta title, and other on-page factors.
  • Setup a 301 redirect of your old URL to your new URL (this is extremely important).
  • Use Fetch to Google in Console to force Google to crawl the page.

This works effectively if you’ve got pages that aren’t performing well in search and be instead switch to other relevant keywords that have high organic search count.


If you truly want to maximize your time to acquire high-quality backlinks to your site, you should look for ways to scale the link building process.

One powerful method to build links that requires no outreach and that attracts potential linkers to your website is to do reverse guest posting strategy.

It’s the counter tactic of the common guest blogging technique that allows you to receive pitches from potential guest bloggers.

To start with, you can create “write for us” industry page that contains the following formats:

  • Guest blogging guidelines
  • Industry topic themes accepted
  • Sample approved guest posts (if you have accepted guest articles in the past)

Once done, build internal links to this page by linking to it from your other blog pages. This allows you to bump up the page’s organic rankings. The goal is to dominate the industry key phrase “industry write for us” or industry guest post”. This will then open opportunities to receive guest blogging pitches.

Interact with industry bloggers who pitch you for guest posts and see how you can maximise this opportunity. You can then offer mutual benefits, such as accepting his/her high-quality article to be published on the site while being a guest on his podcast show, if he occasionally does it.

Another value proposition that you can offer is to build a backlink to your other relevant website (Site C) from the guest blogger’s site.

Here’s the scenario: Guest blog (Site B) acquires a backlink from your first site (Site A) through a guest post. You offer to get a backlink from his site (Site B) to your other relevant blog (Site C).

This better works if you have two websites that are thematically relevant to each other (e.g. same health industry).


Top of the funnel keywords with low competition are goldmine opportunities. One way to find them is to use SEMRush to generate industry keywords where Quora and Pinterest pages are ranking in their search results.

Given that these pages of Quora and Pinterest dominate the search, you have the potential to rank in the first page if you’ve created a good content to service the search users for that topic.

To start with, plug in quora.com and pinterest.com to SEMRush and search industry/topic theme of your site in the search bar. This will reveal keywords you can potentially target to rank for your brand.

For example, the keyprase “youtube addiction” has a good amount of search volume but a Quora page is ranking on the first top five spots (as of date..).

youtube addiction keyword ranking

If you’re in a counter-addiction space, this is one of the keywords that can give you some good traffic every month.


Targeted email newsletters are powerful sources of referral traffic that you can take advantage of in your space.

bizdev partnerships email marketing

If you have establish authority in your niche, you may want to maximise opportunities of getting in touch with bloggers who had a substantial email following, particularly those with high potential of linking out to relevant external blogs (e.g. regular round-ups).

A simple outreach of proposing an exchange value (interviewing the blogger on your blog while getting featured on his/her email release next week) can increase the probability of success of this marketing tactic.

Your Turn…

Do you have other ways to drive traffic to your website?

Leave a quick comment below.

I’ll be more than happy to reply to comments and answer questions.


55 Actionable Content Writing Tips


Content marketing is a buzzword. You probably have read hundreds of articles on how to create and write content that can engage readers and potential customers but at the end of your reading time, you still ask yourself, "How can I apply those content writing tips and strategies I just read?".

This guide gives you 55 actionable content writing tips that you can immediately apply today.

But for newbie content marketers, let me first define to you what is content and what is content writing.

[yellowbox] .[/yellowbox]


Content is anything that adds value to the reader’s life. It could be in a form of text, image, video, audio, product, ideas and messages that can build trust and authority with your readers and customers.


Content writing is a form of online writing that aims to convey a message targeted to an online user on one buyer's stage: viral, discover, consider and customer.



You know that you need to brainstorm content ideas.

The only problem:

You don’t know where to start.

One of the underutilized ways of sourcing content inspirations is through social media.


You can use Google+ profile, for example, to create a collection where you can store all content posts that you see both in Google+ communities and in other blogs.


You don’t need to download an app to store content files. You just have to label each post you are sharing. The next time you start writing for content, you can simply visit your Google+ and make those stored/shared posts as your references.


Productivity is an important element in content writing.

The more you are able to maximize your resources wisely, the more time you can spend for actual content drafting resulting to better quality of content.

One way to do that is to use Evernote.


It’s a great tool that you can use to create drafts for your content.

Whether you are commuting going to places or having informal meetings with your other team members, maximizing the tool for effective brainstorming, content outline and drafting is a better way to maximize time than doing nothing else.


Ever wonder how many words you can write every hour on an average?


Remember, every task that is worth doing should always be tracked. Same goes for content writing. If you can track how many hours you can write every single hour, you can also set goals for a content writing project easily. This is very helpful if you are a content writer and is getting paid on an hourly basis.

One of my favorite productivity tools is Toggl.

It’s free and has a user-friendly interface. Check out the image below – this is how I tracked my hours of outlining, getting relevant references and resources on the web and writing the actual draft.

toggl content brainstorming


Aside from writing headlines, one important skill that every marketer and blogger should be good at is engaging users in the first few sentences of the content.

The introductory part can either set the mood of the visitor continue reading it as it provides an information of what the overall content will bring to the table or get him leave the page because it doesn’t satisfy his intent.

The APP method, a copywriting method which was popularized by Brian Dean, makes content easily relatable.

Here’s an example of how Brian Dean implemented this method.

app backlinko copywriting

If you are struggling with writing the first paragraph of your content, try the APP method.


Ahrefs is a web-based link research that allows you to track a site’s most performing content in terms of link growth and number of social shares.

It helps you easily grasp which type of content your top competitors are heavily promoting and are receiving natural links from relevant sources. Here’s how can you do it.

STEP 1: Make a list of your competitors. If you don’t have any, ask your clients or do a Google search for your main keywords and see what brands pop up in the first page of search results.

Tip: Know if they are direct product/service-oriented competitors or content competitors. The clue is in the keyword you choose if they are commercially-based or informational.

STEP 2: Plug it into an Ahrefs tool and look at its top pages – you can click on the “best by link growth” to give you linkable assets that are continuously generating natural backlinks on its own.

best by links ahrefs

STEP 3: Generate ideas from their top pages. Note sections that can still be explained and discussed in deeper levels.

ahrefs competitors top pages


Expanded guest post is a coined phrase by Brian Dean that can actually help increase your content’s engagement and potential linking capacity by giving your adapt readers new taste of the information.

How to exactly do it?

STEP 1: Make a list of information in your industry based on the audience of your target guest blog. Provide actionable points as this type of content (how to’s) is more repeatedly shared and linked to by other content producers.

STEP 2: Expand your points by adding more details – more so with detailed steps. This allows your target readers to apply immediately each point you have discussed.

STEP 3: Do this repeatedly to all your distributed content – e.g. guest posts.

expanded guest post content


When there are millions of content being published on the web, there is no other way to make your content standout but to make it totally better than others.

The questions is, how do you do it?

STEP: Type in your target keyword or your topic in Google.

content writing tips google

STEP 2: Read the top ranking pages (if you don’t have much time, you can just skim). Find missing points where you or your team are able to explain much in detail. Note these points and make a list.

content writing tips first page

STEP 3: If your topic isn’t overly discussed by other blogs, i.e. there are only 2 or 3 in the ranking pages specifically covered the topic, that’s a good one you can pursue – make the content better than those 3 content assets or be the first one to comprehensively provide information on one subject if you don’t have any competing pages.


To build your content’s credibility, you have to make sure your examples are real. If not based on your life stories and experiences, link out to bloggers, experts or influencers who gave similar references.

Start following these steps:

STEP 1: Create a public or private list of Twitter influencers/experts in your industry. Most of the time if they are active content creators, they’d share their best secrets, experiences and examples of their work. These are goldmines if you’re trying to look for case studies and references EVEN IF you still don’t want to write at that moment.

twitter list influencers

STEP 2: Make a list of latest content they’ve shared on their blog and their recent valuable Twitter posts – you might want to use them as references in your future posts. You can use Notepad or best is Evernote as you can easily sync it either you’re online or offline.

twitter list influencers content

STEP 3: As you are writing your content, go back to your content references list and get what you think would be useful to add to your draft. Now, you don’t have to do Google searches to find useful resources you’ll externally link to your content.


If you are a blogging newbie, this tip might cost you a few bucks. But if you’ve been blogging for years, one way to make sure you improve the quality of your content – is by having someone to look over it (proofread and edit). Since last year, I’ve hired a freelance proofreader to check all grammatical errors in my article whether it’ll be published on my blog or distributed to others as guest posts.

Here are a few steps to make the most out of outsourcing your proofreading task.

STEP 1: Find virtual assistants who have experience with copywriting and editing. Go search in Onlinejobs.ph or Upwork for freelance copywriters, editors or writers (some have a good background with proofreading too).

Tip: If you don’t have much time, ask your colleagues if they know someone good at editing/proofreading or go to Facebook content marketing groups.

STEP 2: Interview and hire someone you’re comfortable working with. Write an outline as to the tasks and process you wish to implement. For example, in my case, I want my editor to only add changes (still have to accept/reject) – there’s a feature in Word document for this. This can help me see first my errors before actually making the change so I can avoid it the next time I write the article.

STEP 3: Accept or reject changes. Put your content into your Wordpress dashboard and publish it.

proofreading content


When you see your Google Analytics account, you’ll probably get more new visitors than returning ones. Depending on which traffic sources you’re looking at, you want to achieve a higher percentage of returning visitors.

What you can do to achieve that goal is to let your readers anticipate the next content you will publish on the blog. How?

STEP 1: Think of the type of content that will preceed your next to-be-published content. It could be sneeze pages (learn about more about it here), best of sections (e.g. Crazyegg best of content) or a series of content (one example is this content marketing tutorial of SEO Hacker).

content marketing series seo hacker

STEP 2: Set the tone of anticipation in your next content by adding a call-to-action at the end of the post. One good example is this, see how they let their readers know about the series and why it is something they should look forward to.

STEP 3: Promote your content series to your email subscribers and to your social followers.


Distractions can get in the away easily. What we need to develop as content writers is the right focus towards the goal – which is to finish the writing task within the day.

If you want to be more productive daily, follow these steps:

STEP 1: Install any of these tools to break your habit of procrastination: Focus or Forest. These tools are useful to help you get into your “focus” zone.
forest content productivity

STEP 2: Be accountable to finishing your task by making sure you open up your preferred productivity tool. The web-based product also helps you track how many hours do you spend at work, at social media/leisure, etc..

STEP 3: Be determined to finish your tasks with the help of the tool.


Success without an objective is useless. You don’t have a metric or KPI to measure your performance – making it easy to just produce mediocre content.

Hundreds of businesses, whether startups or big corporations are now investing in content marketing because they’ve seen returns from their investments – in particular with brand building, brand exposure and lead generation.

How can you create content with a business objective in mind?

STEP 1: Identify your objective as a marketer, whether you are working for an agency, client or for your own website. Set key performance metrics (learn about this here).

STEP 2: Identify pages you have on your site and match to the marketing funnel. Know what pages you are still have to create to facilitate your visitors into the buyer’s journey. Sample image from Webris.

buyer persona

STEP 3: Create a spreadsheet that shows what buyer’s intent each target page will be targeted to. You can do your topical research first before doing this. 


Informational content will best serve its audience if it solves a particular problem in the industry. If it’s something you think you haven’t implemented yet with your content marketing strategy, you can do it with these tips.

TIP 1: Find industry threads in forums and Q&A sites and look for patterns of problems and pain your content should best serve.
quora suggested questions

TIP 2: You can also skim through comment sections of top blogs in your niche. There are online readers who happen to share their struggles by asking questions to influencers.

TIP 3: Don’t think much about keyword volume. If you are targeting long tail topics, you’d be surprised to get some long tail traffic by creating a content that answers a specific question.

Tip: Read this guide for reference on optimizing content for Google answer box.


Wikipedia pages acquire a lot of editorial links and mentions from relevant blogs, making it an evergreen linkable asset when its linking inbound links grow over time. Taking advantage of this, by determining which Wikipedia pages relevant to your industry are evergreen linkable assets, helps you brainstorm for great content ideas.

Here is how you can start it out:

STEP 1: Find Wikipedia pages in your industry by using this tool or doing a Google search for site:wikipedia.org [keyword] + “dead link” (or “citation needed”)

wikigrabber content ideation

STEP 2: Determine how many referring domains are linking to each Wikipedia page to assess how linkable the topic is (~100 referring domains is a good number).

STEP 3: Create content that covers the topic of Wikipedia page you choose. Make it as comprehensive as you can, so it’d be easy for you to nudge linking bloggers of that Wikipedia page to mention your similar content in their blog posts.


There are still some content writers who haven’t utilized the power of calls-to-action as part of their content creation phase. It’s saddening that the reason people aren’t signing up for an email list or even following a certain Twitter profile is because there’s no call-to-action added at the end of the post.

Take a look at some of the best call-to-actions I’ve seen on other blogs.

call to action content

Writing a call-to-action takes only 2 to 5 minutes of your time, so be sure to have it as you write your final draft.


Design and user experience makes a lot of difference in engaging blog readers. The moment they land on the page, they don’t just read your whole blog post but look at other elements that’ll make it easy for them to understand the topic. Elements like images, videos, presentations and custom boxes give more emphasis to some of the most important parts of the content.

I’ve first seen the use of “yellow box” in Brian Dean’s post. No big thing here, but what makes it interesting is that it allows specific content to be emphasized within the whole content, especially if you’re trying to write a long-form type (~2500 words in length).

STEP 1: You can add this code to your theme’s “functions.php” file (or “custom_functions.php”on Thesis) to create a yellow box.

function make_yellowbox($atts, $content = null) {

return '<p style="background: none repeat scroll 0 0 #ff9; clear: both; margin-bottom: 18px; overflow: hidden; border: 1px solid #e5e597; padding: 13px;">' . do_shortcode($content) . '</p>';


add_shortcode('yellowbox', 'make_yellowbox');

STEP 2: Once the code is added, any text wrapped inside of this shortcode below will appear in a yellow box.

backlinko yellow box content

STEP 3: Emphasize your most important subtopics, quotes, features, etc.. using the yellow box feature.


As you write your initial or edit your final draft, it is best to know which relevant webpage you can internally link to your content. If you’re a newbie blogger and want to be smart at internal linking, you can follow these simple steps.

STEP 1: Go to Search Console – Search Traffic – Analytics (if you haven’t connect your Google Search Console to your Wordpress site yet, check out this guide).

 search console traffic

STEP 2: Find pages with high impressions and CTR but are sitting in positions 11 to 20. This is to get these pages improved its ranking positions by adding new internal links to it.

search console data

OPTIONAL: If you have thousands of pages, you can also do a Google search for site:yourdomain.com “your current topic” to find pages relevant to the content you are currently writing.

STEP 3: Link to your preferred thematically related pages from your content.


You’ll read most productivity articles talk about how to break down a huge project into small pieces of tasks. While this is very useful, there’s something missing in here. Even if you break a huge project into smaller ones, you want to make sure that you can commit to completing every small task.

Same goes with content writing. If you’ve got a huge content writing project, here’s what you can do to ensure you can publish your content on or before the deadline.

STEP 1: Break your huge content writing project into smaller tasks. For example, if you are targeting to write 5000 words in length type of content, then you can divide it into five smaller tasks (writing of 1000 words at a time).

STEP 2: Set schedules to finish each small writing task. You can use free project management tools like Trello to make this possible.

put schedules content writing

STEP 3: Don’t procrastinate. Achieve your goal daily by completing all small tasks.


Customer insights play a vital role in content ideation. If you are able to identify what your customers want, it’ll be easy for you to create content that caters to their intent, specific to their levels in the buyers’ journey. One way to do that is to use a micro survey tool. Follow these steps.

STEP 1: Install Qeryz plugin in your Wordpress account.

qeryz wordpress plugin

STEP 2: Gain insights using their platform, you can ask questions like what type of SEO professional they are, then proceeds to another question like what topics they’d like to read.

seo hacker qeryz content


STEP 3: Create content based on what insights you gathered – what content type and format they’d like to see published on your blog.


Structuring your latest article like how you plan and build a house is almost the same. If you want to make a great foundation fgr your house, then start by planning everything. Here’s how you can do it.

STEP 1: Create a list of topics, subtopics and points you’d like to discuss in your article.

STEP 2: Bundle all topics together. Look at points that you can compile into one subtopic. Make sure you don’t overlap points in each and every subtopic that you have.

STEP 3: Use this blog post structure from Zazzle Media to ensure organization of your content.

article cheat sheet


Stories tell a lot. They’re actionable, real-life, and life-changing.

If you have something that you can share that can teach valuable lessons from your experience within 1 year or so, use that as your next content idea.

Here is a sample from Matthew Woodward’s top blog post – How I Build a Top 100 Blog in 12 Months.

success failures content

You can apply these tips to make your success and failures a great content asset.

TIP 1: If you have internal data like screenshots of month to month organic traffic or growth of email subscribers, include them in your content. This will increase the credibility of your page content.

TIP 2: Show results at the beginning of your post to build initial interest from your readers, especially those who are new to your blog.

TIP 3: Share how you accomplished your success by detailing steps to make it easy for readers to follow the process by themselves.


In any industry, there are always mistakes to commit. For parents, it would be exchanging time at home with more work in the office. For search professionals, it would be blocking your important pages in your site’s robots.txt file. Whatever it is, there are always mistakes in your industry and you can use that as your content idea.

Start with doing Google search for [your industry] “mistakes” or inurl:mistakes [your industry] or intitle:mistakes [your industry] to find blog pages and forums that cover that specific topic.

google parenting search results

Note that in your content ideation or brainstorming tool if it’s feasible for your writing team to discuss.


Reddit is one of the top user-generated websites on the web where insights from experts can be best seen on its Ask Me Anything (AMA) sections. Follow these steps to generate ideas for your content.

STEP 1: Go to Reddit and search for [topic] AMA, then you’ll see a list of AMAs recently been conducted by Reddit moderators.

reddit ama parenting

STEP 2: Find any relevant Ask Me Anything threads and skim through each question and answer part. Consider using any insights or potential topics as your content ideas for blog posts.


I’m not talking about these examples of blog comments.

comment spam

But there are many other valuable comments on other blogs’ content that could be potentially be your next content topic.

Let me give you an example. This Whiteboard Friday post by Michael King garnered a lot of comments in the SEO and link building community.

blog comment content ideation moz

blog comment content-ideation whiteboard friday

If you’ll search for specific terms, you’ll notice some of the comments can be your potential topics for content (if you’re blogging about SEO).

Pro tip: Click the box saying, “email me when new comments are posted” right below the post of your target site, this would help you track if there is a new comment on the blog post. You’ll receive a WordPress email when someone just comments on the post. Some blogs in your industry have this feature in their comments section so take advantage of those.


Email newsletter is one of the most profitable sources of content ideation. Why? Given that your customers subscribe to your email list (assuming they intend to do so), you know that they want to get more information from your brand.

Take a look at this email:

pat flynn email subscripton content

If you notice the question, it’s plainly straightforward. “Is there anything you want me to write a blog post about?”

The next time you send emails to your subscribers, add a call-to-action at the end of the email asking to give you their suggested topics to write about. If you’ve got a huge list of subs, it’s a guarantee you will get replies.


One notable feature of Twitter that content marketers haven’t found worth using for their content ideation process is Twitter list. If you can create your own Twitter list or find any public lists of influences you’ve been following for a long time, then that’s a goldmine of content topics you can take priority the most.

How to get started?

STEP 1: Check out each Twitter profile of influencer(s) or experts in your industry. They may have one or two Twitter lists that are publicly available. For example, Ross Hudgens created his own Twitter list of content inspiration. Given that we’re on the same area of blogging, I can subscribe to that list.

ross hudgens twitter list subscription

STEP (optional): You can create your own Twitter list featuring all influencers preferably bloggers in your niche. Take this image below as your example. It’s my own bucket of off-page SEO, content marketing and internet marketing bloggers. Most of the content here at SharpRocket and Digital Philippines are inspired with their regular tweets.

STEP 2: Check out every link they are sharing on Twitter. This can consume a lot of time, so set it aside either late in the afternoon or evening. Use Evernote to list all links to every article they’ve shared. This allows you to quickly organize all of these resources.


As a writer and blogger, one big mistake I made in the past is trying to please my readers with flattering and unnecessary words. You can relate to this, right? When starting out in blogging, you’ll find yourself adding more words that shouldn’t be added, which makes your overall content crappy as you do it all the time.

Instead of saying very very good, you can say excellent. Instead of saying Today, I am going to tell you about, say I’ll tell you about.

Making your content as straightforward and succinct as possible is important to make your readers engaged better. In your next writing time, make sure to filter your words by cutting out unwanted phrases.


Google provides results for frequently asked questions with quick answers, satisfying every online user who does every search query.

In essence, if you are making a habit as a content marketer to find FAQs and servicing each valuable question with right answers, you are producing new types of content that can drive direct traffic by ranking 0 in Google – if you happened to be caught as top direct answer. Check out this example. I’m getting some good traffic by ranking for this query.

How to take advantage of this?

STEP 1: Use FAQFox to find commonly asked questions in your industry. Simply do searches any relevant keywords in the search box.

STEP 2: Pick a category of your choice to start filtering questions targeted to your industry.


STEP 3: FAQFox will provide a list of commonly asked questions that are good considerations for your next content. Find any that will fit to your blog categories and start answering them in your posts.


For advanced content marketers, it’s common to use Buzzsumo to find the most shared content on the web as well as of your competitors.

If you are using Ahrefs as your primary SEO tool, make sure you maximize their content explorer features. It’s quite a recent feature they have that allows you to find top content with good amount of social shares and referring linking domains.

How to maximize Ahrefs for content exploration?

STEP 1: Type in your head term or your next keyword phrase in their search phrase. Choose in title in their options to only find blog posts with exact head term in their titles.

ahrefs content explorer

STEP 2: Filter results based on your preferences, either all time or a set time period, language, specific Social account share or referring domains. Make sure to click one article per domain. Filter based on your needs.

STEP 3: Check each link listed in search results and identify new trending topics you can consider for content creation.

ahrefs content explorer content ideation

Pro tip: View each detail (click Details) to get a glimpse of link growth (referring domains graph) and organic traffic. This allows you to see if a specific content topic is linkable in nature as it tends to attract natural links over time.


Analyzing your own data is helpful to get new insights as to which area of topics you should be investing your content creation in. What you can start doing now is to look at your Google Analytics account. Follow these steps to identify profitable content themes.

STEP 1: Go to Behavior – Site Content - Landing pages and set your duration period for one year or three years, depending on how long you started blogging.

google analytics landing pages

STEP 2: Sort them by number of visits and conversions to see which content asset performs well in terms of business value.

STEP 3: Find similar content themes by listing down their topics in a spreadsheet and looking at patterns of content areas each of them is aligned to.


If you’re having a hard time brainstorming with your team using your office’s whiteboard and pen, then you need some alternatives to use for that purpose alone.

One handy tool is 635 brainstorming.

Each individual or content writer if you’re part of an agency will have 6 rounds each to suggest any content idea for a project they’re working on (assuming it’s a collaborated content writing project).

Six people, six rounds at 5 minutes per round.

This allows each content writer to participate in the brainstorming session, not just one – the content manager who does the entire thing.

If you’re part of a big agency or team, this tool might help you brainstorm content ideas effectively.


Productivity matters in content writing. When you know what specific hours you can do the work more effectively, you’ll see much greater results in less time. One habit you can start now is drinking coffee, if you’re allowed to do so.

The habit of drinking coffee helps you become more productive at work, in particular at content writing, helps you to be more alert and makes you become creative by setting your mood.

In this article from Time.com, the author shared the best times to drink coffee – it is between 10 a.m. and noon, and between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. You can drink two or three cups of coffee within a day – it’s up to you, as long as you it helps you do more content work.


It is a saddening reality when you’re trying to come up with ideas for a client sitting in a boring or, as they say, less creative industry,Let’s say, for a plumbing niche, you can’t think of broader topics than toilets, installation, etc.. Even if you do, you’ll find yourself moving away from the general content theme.

As such, one way you can do is think horizontally – others say its tangential thinking. Whatever it is, it is a process of looking at the sideways. Take a look at this example from Moz.

horizontal thinking

If you plainly look at bathroom content ideas, you are only getting a small scope of audience. But if you can think laterally, you can consider other thematically-relevant ones like DIY and eco or environment-friendly concerns.

Did you get how this works now?

You can create a bubble chart to get started with it.


Being resourceful should be every content marketer’s characteristic. Knowing what to prioritize with your list of content ideas and using what assets you already have at hand can help you follow your content calendar – only producing high-quality content pieces.

One creative way you can do now is to collect all your existing videos either produced internally or outside your organization. Once you have all of these internal content assets, choose pieces that you think can be turned into blog posts. The key here is to identify if one particular video is something your existing readers/audience will care about.

Your next step is to write excerpts to be placed below the video content. You can hire someone from Upwork to do the work for you or you can do it yourself.

content excerpts

If you don’t know what content you should be producing next, start looking at your database, see which videos you can translate into a blog post, with excerpts to preview details of the video.


Setting business goals is essential to every business activity. You can’t put a specific KPI at your desk for your content writing or creation process without a goal in mind first.

Now here are some quick tips to start defining business goals with your content writing process:

TIP 1: Be specific with your content creation goals. To be the best marketing agency is not a goal. It’s too broad and there’s a lot of factors before you can measure it. Below are some good examples of specific business goals.

GOAL: Rank on first pages in organic search for competitive link building terms.

SharpRocket is a newly established link building company. In order for us to be recognized as the best link building agency in the world, we need to rank highly for both for commercial and informational keywords.

GOAL: Generate 200 inbound leads every month with mid-level to large marketing budgets.

We have to implement a robust content creation and promotion campaigns in order to achieve that goal. We also want to make sure that visitors from different traffic sources will convert into potential SEO clients.

These are just some of goals that we have at SharpRocket. Knowing this in mind will help our marketing and sales team to set specific actions based on goals set. From goal-setting, now we can set for specific KPIs that we need to achieve every single month.

If you are an in-house content writer, it is best to always align what you write to your organization’s business goals in its digital marketing campaign. This way, you’ll be more motivated to provide the best quality with your content given that you know where it’ll go.


When you strategize your content marketing campaign, one thing you shouldn’t never forget is to create your own audience profile or persona.

It’s not rocket science. It’s very simple and if you haven’t executed this yet for your website, you can follow these steps to get started.

STEP 1: Know your audience and be very specific with this. For example, our company targets three types of companies: SEO agencies, SEO and digital marketing teams of big corporations and medium-sized businesses. Using this as our starting point, we can create the following audience profiles.

buyer persona

STEP 2: The next step is to know where these audiences are spending most of their time online. This includes identifying what type of blog they frequently read or which forums they’re actively participating in. This isn’t just useful for content creation but in massively promoting content to web places these audiences are familiar with.

STEP 3: The last but crucial part in creating your audience profile is to think of how you can add value to each of them. Each person has their own needs that your content should be able to address.

As you write your next content, don’t just write everything. Identify to whom your content is targeted to, so you can get more results from your work based on the value provided by your content.


Writer’s block is common in content marketers, especially for newbie bloggers--though at some point, you can actually avoid it and make sure it’ll not happen to you all the time.

If you’re struggling with writing your introduction, take these simple steps.

STEP 1:  Install Flowstate. This app allows you to continuously write your thoughts. If you’ve been stuck or stop writing for more than 5 seconds, the app literally deletes all of your work.

flowstate example

STEP 2: When you finish each part or section of your content, i.e. your introduction, be quick at copy-and-pasting it into your Word document.

STEP 3: Use the app every time you feel you can’t write your first paragraph. This is a handy technique every content writer should consider.


When people landed on your page coming from Google search results, their first thing to consider if they’ll keep reading or not is when they’ve found what they are looking for – user satisfaction.

I’ve seen this mistake most of the time. Bloggers tend to mislead their readers by mismatching headlines with meta-titles. They’ll write the most clickbait meta-titles when in fact their headlines and content itself don’t match to their SERPs structure.

Don’t let this happen to your own content writing campaign as you’ll lose most of the new visitors you have on your website by misleading them wrong information and by not satisfying their intent, desires and questions.


As I always say in my blog posts, organization is one key for an effective content creation campaign. If you don’t take time to organize everything, you’ll miss out some important details and make more mistakes at work.

Preparing editorial calendar for your content marketing campaigns helps you to schedule and organize topics with deadlines attached to them. This helps you become more accountable to what you do.

Below is a sample of editorial calendar template from Michele Linn and you can download it here.

editorial calendar

In her template, he tracks every info each blog post such as: post date, author, keywords, categories, tags, call-to-action and status. It’s not near to perfection, but the template can help you start with content execution.


Blogging mojo is a coined term by Darren Rowse that basically refers to a blogger’s motivation to consistently produce high-quality content. Consistent means not just once every year, but once or twice every week depending on the blogger’s writing frequency.

There are many ways to get your blogging mojo back, especially if you’re being burnout by too much content work. Here are some that are most effective for us:

  • Align your blogging style to your business goals. You wouldn’t worry if you’re producing quality content when you start to remind yourself about why you do it – and mostly it boils down to providing value to your business or to someone’s business – if you’re hired to write for them.
  • Say the same things in a different way. Oftentimes, bloggers stop writing because they think that they always blog the same topic. More often than not, they simply don’t know to find angles. You can blog about the same topic but attack its discussion in a different way.
  • Get help from other people. If you think you can’t find a good blog post today, then ask your email subscribers, your mentors or even your offline friends. You wouldn’t realize but they have something to contribute to your content ideation.


Top CEOs and business leaders start their day early in the morning, on average 6:30 A.M. Before distractions come, they’ll start to do the most important tasks of the day so they can get big wins even before the afternoon starts.

It’s interesting because content writers and bloggers might find themselves to be productive early in the morning. Depending on your work schedules, if you can try to get up early and finish the “big rocks” – your content tasks, you’ll be more efficient and effective with your content creation process.

Jeff Bullas, a popular blogger spends his first five hours (4:30am to 9am) only for content writing. By finishing this big rock early in the morning, he can get most of his day growing his blog and acquiring more business value out of it.


Engagement matters in content writing. If you can’t connect to your readers until the end, you’ll lose their interest at one point – leading to less time on page.

One technique you can employ at your regular blogging is the “dotting” technique. I see this all the time from Brian Dean’s Backlinko where he uses this technique throughout his blog posts.

dots suspense content

dots suspense content two

The dots creates curiosity which keeps visitors reading until they reach the end of the content. Such technique is much more useful for long-form content.

You can try “dotting technique to your own blogging style and see for yourself results of it (check your time on page data in Google Analytics).


Content has lifetime value. Its lifetime value depends on how long its information provides value to its target audience.

Take a look at this, this blog post of mine way back in 2014 has beemen well-received by the content marketing and blogging community. It continuously get new backlinks over time, since more and more content marketers, especially those who’re looking for additional references and resources find it very useful to include in their latest blog posts.

ahrefs content promotion strategies

If you have posts that need continuous updates and changes in its context, make sure you take to investing in its update or revision, so you can grow its organic traffic and build more audience around it.


If you’ve started with SEO copywriting, I recommend you start to read this guide from Brian Dean. It compiles actionable copywriting techniques to help you effectively engage your readers – making them stay in your content from beginning to end.

One copywriting tactic that Brian Dean shared is the use of “bucket brigades”.

Bucket brigades or grease-slide words (its other referred phrase) are words and phrases that create a smooth flow of transitions between paragraphs and sentences. They minimize the friction of readers leaving the page and lets them read the content just like a greased slide.

If you’ve been an avid reader of this link building blog, you’ll probably noticed some of my posts have bucket brigades. Here are some examples.

bucket brigades content

Here are a few bucket brigades you can add to your post (full list here).

The next time you write the draft of your content, try adding bucket brigades to make your readers stick to it.


One overlooked factor in when writing content is proper formatting. I see this all the time – plain content without tables, bullets, numbers, yellow box, etc..

There are simple and most common formatting options you can try to include in your content, such as:

  • larger font sizes for quotes and headings
  • underlined text for emphasis
  • bullets for unordered lists
  • numbers for steps to follow or lists ordered by importance
  • indented paragraphs for quotes or testimonials


Google autosuggest helps content marketers find new long tail keywords that aren’t easily been discovered using keyword research tools.

The first suggested search keywords is different from the second try.

Instead of just sticking your content ideation process with the first try suggested search phrase, try searching for Google suggested phrases the second time.


If you are a newbie in the content marketing and SEO industry, you probably are not familiar with other keyword research tricks aside from using the Google Keyword Planner.

Google provides suggested related searches connected to your current search query at the bottom of the search results page (SERPs).

This allows you to find another more related long tail keywords that you can include to your content to help it perceived by Google as desirable to rank for other thematically-related phrases.

google related searches


If you are creating content in industries with things of different kinds and classes, like food recipes, you can take this search technique: asterisks wild card to find almost all types of things you’re trying to rank for.

Here’s one example.

asterisks search results


Decision-oriented online searchers are interested in finding products or services in an industry that will best fit their needs. Because they’re still on a decision stage, they’re trying to look for as many alternatives to products they’re already familiar with so as to assess features and benefits does each product or service offers. This way, they can make better buying decisions.

A Google query for product VS can reveal other brands (competitors and industry blogs) that are producing content on that same type – comparison type of content.

product comparison search query


If you are creating robust content assets, then you always have to consider the credibility of sources you’re getting information and data from.

One way to easily find credible sources from experts, influencers and popular brands that have secured significant case and research studies is by using the filetype:pdf research method in Google.

filetype parenting search results


Typical reverse engineering has this process: find top industry blogs, plug in to top link building or content tools like Buzzsumo or Ahrefs then find which posts are getting tons of shares and links.

Glen Allsopp upgraded that approach by looking at number of comments each post received as a basis of considering the topics’ high interest rate compared to just focusing on social shares and links.

blog comments content gauge


Influencers are usually speakers in their own local communities or countries. If they have their own blogs, you’ll find them uploading their slide presentations to Slideshare and re-publishing them on their websites.

Slide presentations of influencers are top content ideation inspirations you can take advantage by monitoring their latest speaking updates using Twitter list or even finding latest events in your industry. Do a Google search for [industry] seminar/conference/event [current year] so it can provide you upcoming events as well as recaps of bloggers on a recent niche event.


I’ve been testing scalable content ideation strategy that will get results for our clients and this makes my top list – content gap analysis. Here’s how you can start implementing this to your own content marketing campaign.

STEP 1: Identify your content competitors – ones that you are trying to compete for informational keywords.

STEP 2: Plug URLs of their domains to Ahrefs together with the URL of your website.

content gap analysis

STEP 3: Export results to a CSV file, spreadsheet or Google Docs sheet. The end result should like this (image below). Check which keyword  you can potentially create content about with high potential to outrank your content competitors.

content gap analysis spreadsheet


If you are a social media enthusiast, you’d find different industry trends in Twitter alone. In fact, there are hashtags plus keyword that are picked up by top news sites and blogs that always update their posts.

Niche twitter chats is a content ideation source you should start considering today if you’re a content writer or content marketer.

These trending hashtags don’t just show up without any reasons. So if you’re having a content brainstorming block in your head, try searching for industry on Twitter.

niche twitter chats


I’ve been receiving a good amount of leads from Quora itself (see sample client inquiries below).

quora lead

But aside from lead generation purposes, this top community website is also useful in generating topic ideas for well-perceived topic ideas.

What you can do is to search for topical trends in Quora, and list them down in a spreadsheet. Here is a screenshot of what I do. Thought this is plainly for content promotion, it’s one great start for content ideation. If you're doing content promotion, make sure you know how to find email addresses of your outreach targets.

quora spreadsheet threads

You can base your picking of topics on two things: first, rank in search – search the exact question on Google and see if they rank on the first page, best should be on top spots 1 to 5. Second, if they are in a range of 10,000+ views or 1,000 to 10,000 views – this means that these threads are visited most of the time by community members and/or are getting pageviews from organic source (from search).

Bring this HUGE guide anywhere...

Now It’s Your Turn…

What other content writing tips can you share?

Or maybe you have a question on how to implement any of the strategies and techniques in our above list?

Either way, leave a comment quick below.

I'll be more than happy to reply to comments and answer questions.

So if you have a question, insight or new tactic, leave a comment right now.

ecommerce link building strategies

8 eCommerce Link Building Strategies That Really Work

ecommerce link building strategies

The promising ecommerce sites are emerging in various industries today, which gives tight to the competition as years are passing by. Marketers from these online shopping sites are finding ways to be better at servicing their target audiences, building strongly their own brands and ensuring they’re getting ahead of others in online search.

What strategies ecommerce sites require from marketers to make these properties optimized for search are as difficult as tactics required to generate links for these sites’ important pages - considering the low linkability nature of product and category pages.

In this post, I’ll be sharing to you 8 link building strategies for ecommerce sites – some are common to you but I guarantee you’ll still get some new tactics here.

Let’s get started.


The low-hanging fruits of links will come from those people you are connected with. They can either be your manufacturers, dealers, retailers, suppliers, service providers, sponsorship partners, event organizers and other networks you engaged with up until today for any kind of business reasons.

To get started, if you are a reseller or retailer of products:

STEP 1: Grab a list of all goods you are licensed to sell and from there, you start looking for available “where to buy” / retailers / dealers on their sites. You can use Ahrefs to export an inventory of products you are selling online, then create a list of websites where these products came from.

ahrefs export

manufacturers website

STEP 2: Once done with the list, search individually in each site for any available partner list pages. You can use the search operator, “site:domain.com” plus any of the following keywords:

  • Preferred retailers
  • Related Links
  • Partners
  • Authorized Dealers
  • Where to buy
  • Online retailers
  • Online dealers
  • Find our products
  • Additional retailers
  • Internet resellers

For example, if you are reseller of Cocalo, then you can do a simple search on the site and grab their where to buy page.

search results cocalo

where to buy cocalo

STEP 3: Collect contact information from target link opportunities and reach out to them. You can use this email template below:

Hi [Name],

I’m Venchito from [eCommerce brand], an online shopping site on [niche]. We started selling [BRANDX] on our website since [date].

I saw your “where to buy page” [LINK1] and wondering if we can also be listed as one of the resellers.

Looking forward to hearing from you.




Images have formed a huge part of the web for the past decade, seeing its very importance in visual experience and in defining basic information or data online.

True enough, if you started maximizing your visual assets on the web, it couldn’t just help your site build a better site user experience, but also in assisting your site’s link acquisition process.

If you’ve been working on image-heavy industries, it’ll be advantageous for you to explore link opportunities from blogs that need help in curating high-quality images. After all, who doesn’t want original high-resolution images for their content assets – i.e. blog posts?

How to maximize your site’s images?

Step 1: Go to your image database and look for visual assets that can be distributed to bloggers. You can use the image Google search, type in site:domain.com and click on the Images tab.

canadababystore images

Step 2: Curate a list of bloggers that you think will highly benefit from your images – use your preferred metrics to gauge blogs’ authority (Ahrefs Rank, Domain Authority), but I much prefer SEMRush traffic as a valuable metric for this link building strategy, since you also want to look for valuable estimated organic traffic that you can drive referral visits to your website.

parenting blogs google search

Step 3:  Reach out to your listed blogs and offer your high-quality images. Pro tip: use exclusivity as part of your initial pitch (we exclusively offer these images to you..)

Hi [Name],

I was looking through your website and noticed that you have a lot of great content about caring for babies, parenting and maternity. Just wanted to let you know that I can offer you high-quality images that you can use for your existing and new blog posts. These are all FREE and EXCLUSIVE for your blog.

Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll send the images right away.

Thank you,


Step 4 (optional): Track blogs that acquired your images but haven’t credited you as their sources. Given that your visuals will be featured on other blogs, there are high chances that their readers can also get your images.

reverse image search


One basic yet undervalued skill in link building is the ability to identify the right competitors. You may be thinking of all pages/sites that are ranking on the first page of search results for your target keyword as your direct competitors – but this is just beneath the surface.

If you see Amazon is on the top spot, it isn’t smart to go find all pages linking to this big website.

How you can identify your direct competitors and build links from pages they recently acquired from?

Step 1: Go to DMOZ and use it to find competitors based on horizontal and vertical niche levels. Let’s say you are selling handcrafted furnitures, your horizontal-based competitors are sites in this list. Make a list of these direct competitors.

dmoz horizontal verticals

Step 2:  Add to your list vertically-related sites by going a higher level in the Breadcrumb and finding sub-niches aside from Handcrafted. You’ll then see sites that sell different types of furniture – home furnishing, traditional, modern, so and so forth. These sites may offer products to similar target audience and you can guarantee that they acquire links from same types of websites.

Note: You still have to qualify them, but overall, you’ll get some big opportunities you haven’t found yet.

vertical categories

Step 3: Once you’re done list, plug in each of your direct competitor site (horizontal and vertical levels) and see their newest (recently acquired links) – see New Backlinks section.

new backlinks furniture site


Step 4 (optional): You can look for more new backlinks by showing 30 or 60 days view of recently added links.

60 days new backlinks

list manufacturers page

Step 5: Once you've gathered and qualified potential link targets, you may now reach out to them and ask if you can be added to their links/resource page. There is a higher link acquisition rate using this link building tactic since bloggers and webmasters are still in the process of updating their pages/sites.

Hi [Name].

I came across your [“list of manufacturers”] page and I noticed that you recently included [COMPETITOR BRAND] in your list.

We are also a manufacturer of [niche] products for local audiences in the US. I wanted to reach out to you directly to see if this would be a good fit for your [resource page]. You can see our recent products here:




There are a few gold mines that most eCommerce link builders aren’t capitalizing on, but can actually provide real link value to their websites. That is pursuing links in eCommerce and retail industries (general).

If your site or your client is open for publicity, then this link building strategy best fits for them. How to do it?

Step 1: Do a Google search for any of the following search phrases:

  • eCommerce events OR seminars [city] OR [national]
  • eCommerce “guest post” (example)
  • eCommerce “gift guide” (example)
  • eCommerce holiday guide

Step 2: Make a list of all possible link opportunities from sites/pages you prospected on.

ecommerce search results

Step 3: Strategize how you can acquire links from those eCommerce-specific sites. You can either do a guest post on their blogs, attend to their local or national events where you can build relationships with the organizers, or simply asking them if they conduct interviews with eCommerce site owners or marketers.

ecommerce fuel


Resource page link building is one of the classic link building strategies that you can maximize for eCommerce websites. There are, in fact, hundreds of links or lists pages intended for updates – corrections and additions on a regular basis.

If you always take time to find broken links and suggest webmasters with relevant resources (including your content), then it’s a value added proposition you can offer in manual outreach. However, this is not a necessity in eCommerce resource page link building. If you follow the next steps, you can certainly acquire links to your eCommerce target page(s) from relevant resource pages, even without the broken link UVP.

Step 1: Identify what page(s) you’d like to target to funnel your link equity through. I always recommend targeting some highly converting category pages to pass its link authority down to its products pages – they are also more linkable than individual product pages (assuming these category pages have clean layout and design).

ecommerce site categories

Step 2: Look for sites that solely sell a product in your category. Let’s say, for orthodontic supplies, find sites that sell retractors and disposables. A simple Google search for where to buy” [ product ] will provide you these product-specific competitors.

where to buy medical gloves


Step 3 (optional): If you can’t find any sites that just sell very specific products, you can find category-specific competitors. In our example, you may look for websites that sell orthodontic instruments or dental websites that have orthodontics category page.

orthodontic supplies

Step 4: Once you have a list of product and category specific competitors, you can plug them into Ahrefs to find resource pages they’ve been linked to. For category pages, make sure to use the Exact URL option for search link bar.

vendor list orthodontic


another resource page


Step 5: Make a list of possible resource page link opportunities in Google Spreadsheet. You’ll most likely get two types of resource pages: one that linked out to just one/two products (e.g. retractors) and another page with all external links related to orthodontic supplies.

spreadsheet orthodontic list-blb

Step 6: Hunt for the email addresses of your link prospects and send them emails. If you see a page that has an instruction as to what email address you should be directing your email to or that tells you what kind of resources they’ll only consider for resource inclusion – it would be wise to make use of it as your introductory sentence in your initial pitch. This will dramatically increase your response and link acquisition rates from pages with direct instructions about corrections and additions of resources.

i.e. “I noticed your note at the top of your exhibit resource page about corrections & additions, so…


Coupons and discount pages are enticing offers online customers will certainly avail – taking advantage of people who are trying to save a buck is a link building opportunity for those in the eCommerce space.

Having said that, here’s how you can benefit from coupon-based link acquisition campaign:

Step 1: Create a dedicated landing page for deals or coupons. Well-designed page targeted to specific audiences will perform better in acquiring niche relevant links than plainly having a general deals page. Here is one example of a website that regularly publishes deals pages mainly targeting gadgets and technology equipments.

Pro tip: Use this as your angle when pitching bloggers (I’ve created a dedicated deals page for your readers…)

deadspin deals

Step 2: Find both niche-specific and general coupon blogs by doing a Google search for intitle:coupon “blog”. You will then see a list of coupon sites who are targeting the same audience: people trying to save money. Here are a few general coupon blogs you can initially pitch:

intitle coupon google search

Step 3: Invest in building relationship with these coupon bloggers by giving them offers they can’t resist. One way is to use the dedicated page as your unique proposition, another is to get them as partners, so when you release a new deals page (only applicable if you sell different types/brands of products), you can make initial exposures from your offers.


Guest posts are external web properties considered to be valuable assets for a company or website – given that it has so many benefits anyone can took advantage of, such as:

  • It helps attract new social followers to your brand’s social profile accounts (these people may have read your guest articles on other blogs), which can semi-automate the distribution process of your existing and/or future content assets hosted on your site.
  • It helps bring new converting visitors to your page/site – who can become potential email subscribers and customers of your brand.
  • It helps build brand awareness and authority in your niche, especially if hosted sites are top-notch blogs in the industry since you are tapping into new groups of target audiences.

If you are still not convinced how powerful guest blogging is, you can check out more of these resources.

For eCommerce brands, guest blogging still works but not to the extent of using it solely for link acquisition – a balance between guest blogging and broken link building is a good example.

I had a client in the coupon ecommerce space that targets audiences in the parenting, relationship and mommy verticals. By using guest blogging strategy plus other link building tactics, we’ve helped the site gain organic increase on a month to month basis.

semrush organic traffic coupon site

Giving Assistant's SEMRush

A few examples of contributed content articles are here, here and here.

Let’s learn how to use guest blogging campaign for eCommerce sites.

Step 1: List down category pages of your site that you are trying to rank for in search and have history of high conversion gains – it’s much easier to see monthly improvements from converting categories than random allotment of category pages.

baby store categoriesStep 2: Track sites that have been in your networks already. Look for blogs that shared your recent or top-notch content using Buzzsumo (you’ll have higher chances of landing guest posts on their blogs).

For starters, use inurl:blog “niche” OR inurl:write-for-us “keyword” to make an initial list of guest blogs.

Step 3: Pitch with content ideas not being covered in their blogs (you are likely to get more responses using this approach since you are giving more value than other publishers just trying to land a coverage with general content topics).

You can find existing posts from industry-related news sites for rewrite or recreation and use them as an angle for guest blogging pitch.

You can also contact book authors, experts and influencers in your niche and ask if you can do an interview with them – use the output interview as the finalized guest content.

Pro tip: Make sure to add internal links to guest blog’s other content in your guest posts – it will help increase the chances of getting your posts approved by publishers.


Linkbaiting is a form of viral content marketing aims to attract links from linkeratis – coined term for people who might give links to a content.

It is a combination of efforts focusing on three main elements: usability, evergreen and unexpected hook (source).

Knowing which type of content are useful for a specific type of audience, identifying how long a particular content can benefit its target audience and adding information and data to the web asset not yet discovered on other external sources are main ingredients towards a successful linkbait strategy.

There are various forms of linkbait content now being used by marketers, business owners and agencies including extensive/comprehensive tutorials/guides/resources, visual data/information (data sources both internal and external) and expert advices/tips on a subject matter.

Each of these types can consistently provide results to your brand – i.e. bringing more specifically targeted leads and driving more traffic (organic/direct/referral) to your website and upgrading your blog/content readership.

One example of a linkbait content that is often used in different industries is round-up post. You can see this type of content even in the most specific niche and common vertical.

Unfortunately though, most link builders don’t have a concrete plan of using round-up posts – obtaining low number of shares and links on a content with 100+ contributors.

A few reasons why it isn’t effective for some marketers:

  • There is an initial intent of just building links and the primary reason why it was built – leaving no doubt that it got only a few shares from contributors.
  • Not all tips are valuable – asking questions to general practitioners, not actually an expert on a subject matter would result to low-par information.
  • Setting minimum number of works in answers when pitching potential contributors results to sub-par content output.

Here is how to leverage linkbait content like round-up post to acquire high-quality links to your website:

STEP 1: Create a top niche experts to follow content to initiate conversations with industry influencers. The pure intent of publishing the content is to build relationships with possible contributors.

top experts to follow

Hi [ NAME ],

I’m Venchito Tampon from [ BRAND NAME ]. We recently published a post featuring the top [ NICHE EXPERTS]. I’m so happy to tell you that you made our list because we’ve found your blog very useful to the community.  

We also included a link to your website which can help you get some visitors or readers back to your blog. Feel free to comment or share the post.

Thank you,

STEP 2: Once content is published, let those people you’ve included in your post know about it. Send them an email.

STEP 3: After two weeks, send pitches to influencers/experts asking for their expert advices on one subject matter (e.g. advice to beginner interior design experts).

round up post environment

Hi [NAME],

I’m doing an expert round-up on my blog and I think many people who are new to [ TOPIC ] would love to know your answer to this question:


If you could send your response back by [ DATE ] as I plan to publish it on [ DATE ], that would be great. Let me know to which website you’d like us to link to.

Hoping to hear a feedback from you.



STEP 4: Let your contributors know about the published crowdsourced content.

Hi [ Name ],

Hope you’re having a great week! I wanted to let you know that I just published the round-up post. Here’s the link: [ LINK ]

Feel free to share it to your friends or readers.

Thanks for contributing!

STEP 5: Create an infographic out of the expert advice content. This gives you another content asset that you can use for outreach.

indoor air pollution infographic

STEP 6: Promote it as much as you can, only to possible linkers – bloggers and webmasters.

Hi [ NAME ],

I came across your [ POST ]. [ TELL SOMETHING ABOUT IT]

We actually created an infographic called [ TOPIC HYPERLINKED TO THE INFOGRAPHIC PAGE ] which your readers might find it useful. [ MORE DETAILS ABOUT THE INFOGRAPHIC ].

Here are some of the findings we’d included:




If this finds you very interesting, I can send you a customized embed code that you can copy and paste for your blog.

I’d appreciate your feedback.

Thank you,

STEP 7: Track unlinked mentions of your content assets – x experts to follow content, round-up post and the infographic.

Hi [ NAME ],

I’m Venchito Tampon from [ BRAND NAME ] . I saw that you embedded the infographic on [ STE NAME ].

I’m reaching out to you because I couldn’t find any credit to our page or website. We actually have a copywright page for this. I’m requesting you to add a link somewhere in your introductory post or below the infographic.

Thank you,


If you liked this post, you can subscribe to the email opt-in at the top or at the right sidebar and follow me on Twitter @venchito14.


Have We Been Helpful?

Want to take your eCommerce link building to the next level – — but don’t know where to start, and are feeling overwhelmed by this post.

We are here to help you. SharpRocket is a team of link building specialists who love building high quality links.

To learn more about how we can help, take a look at the services we offer and results we got for our clients.