How to Get Backlinks: 5 Strategies for Beginners (& Templates)

How to Get Backlinks: 5 Strategies for Beginners (& Templates)

Vlad Orlov
Vlad Orlov

Brand Partnerships at Respona

Content creation is an integral part of increasing a website’s organic visibility.

Yet, no matter how high-quality the content is, it often misses a much-needed push to take it the extra mile and deliver better results.

That push is backlinks; which are links from other websites linking back to your own.

How do you get websites to link back to you?

In this guide, we’ll go through 5 link-building strategies that’ll help you achieve this and get better-ranking results on the SERPs (search engine results pages).

More specifically, some of the strategies we’ll cover include:

  • Guest posting
  • Appearing on podcasts
  • Building linkable assets

Plus, a few more that’ll help you build a strong backlink profile.

Without further ado, let’s get started.

Link building cheat sheet

Link building cheat sheet

Gain access to the 3-step strategy we use to earn over 86 high-quality backlinks each month.

Download for free

Strategy #1: Publish Guest Posts

The first strategy you can use to build backlinks is all about guest blogging.

This involves offering to write articles on other websites’ blogs with the intent of adding links that lead back to your own website.

It’s really a win-win situation if you think about it; one side gets new content while the other one receives backlinks.

It’s worth noting here that simply building backlinks isn’t as important as getting quality links from websites with high domain authority.

Actually, according to a study, the domain rating that SEO (search engine optimization) tool Ahrefs assigns to a website is correlated with higher Google rankings.

Domain Rating in relation to SERP Rank
Image Source: Backlinko

The more backlinks you receive from high-authority websites, the more trustworthy you’ll be in the eyes of Google and other search engines.

This is why backlinks are considered a prominent ranking factor.

What we suggest you do is find reputable websites that accept guest posts in your field of expertise and take advantage of the opportunity for backlinking.

Let’s see how you can do this step-by-step with the help of our own tool, Respona.

Example: Digital marketing blog

In this part of our guide, we’re going to show you how to acquire backlinks by creating quality content for other blogs.

For the sake of example, we’ll assume we’re a new digital marketing blog wanting to gain some initial traction via new links on some blogs.

Author’s Note: What’s important to remember when it comes to guest posting is that you don’t want to contact bloggers or marketers who own websites that compete with yours; aim for ones covering topics in your area of expertise.

One of the most effective ways to find websites to guest post on is through outreach emails.

The following process covers every step of that procedure, from link prospecting to actually sending the emails.

The first thing you want to do when you enter Respona is to create a new campaign by clicking on “Start new campaign” in the top left corner.

Starting a new campaign in Respona

You then have to give your campaign a name; we suggest naming it something that’s descriptive and memorable.

Let’s name ours “Guest Posting – Digital Marketing”.

Naming a campaign

Assuming that everything’s ready, you can go ahead and click on Continue.

It’s now time to build your campaign; by using our tool’s built-in search engine you can add keywords or topics that’ll help you in your email outreach efforts.

To begin with, since we want to find websites to guest post on, let’s select the drop-down list next to the search bar and click web search… 

Using the web search source

…and add:

intext: “digital marketing” intitle: “write for us”

To the search engine bar.

Advanced operator string

This basically means that we’re asking Respona to find guest post opportunities on the web that contain “digital marketing” in their content body – intext – and at the same time include “write for us” in their title – intitle.

Makes sense, right?

Other resource pages include:

  • News
  • Blogs
  • Podcasts

That you can tailor your email outreach campaign around.

After you’re done, you can click on the search icon and you’ll be presented with some results based on your modifiers.

search results

What’s great about Respona is the fact that it also provides you with some valuable metrics, such as the Ahrefs Rank and the Domain Rating of each website.

Obviously, we don’t have to necessarily contact all the link opportunities, so we’ll choose certain ones that are most suitable for our needs, taking into account the other metrics we have at our disposal.

Author’s Note: These metrics are similar to ones you can get from other SEO tools like SemRush or Moz. They can help you qualify your prospects and choose only the ones that fit your specific criteria.

To be precise, we’ve selected 8 search results that have a DR of over 30 and we’re ready to move on by clicking Create a Sequence.

creating a sequence step

It’s now time to set up your email sequence.

Here, you can either use a ready-made sequence from the list – which in our case is Guest Posting Sequence – or start an email template from scratch.

Selecting a saved sequence

Let’s see what the template will look like before personalizing it.

Question about guest post submission

Hey {first name},

 

My name is [your name] and I am the owner of [your website name], a digital marketing blog covering a wide range of topics in the industry.

 

This may be a bit out of the blue, but we decided to reach out as we are actively searching for guest post opportunities. 

 

We have followed your blog for a while now, and we think that we could add some value to {organization}’s audience through a nice well-written blog post. 

 

Everything that we write is SEO-focused and well-researched.

 

These are some content pieces we’ve published on notable websites:

 

[Published post link 1]

 

[Published post link 2]

 

Would you like to hear some topics we have in mind for you?

 

Cheers,

[signature]

Author’s Note: When creating a template, make sure to avoid spam trigger words that’ll make your email look spammy and not trustworthy.

Simple, right?

Before you finally personalize your email, the next step is about finding the right contact information for your prospects.

You can choose whether you want to:

  • Find the article’s writer only if they work at the company, otherwise, find X number of people who work there.
  • Ignore the writer and find X number of people who work at the company.
  • Only find the writer of the article.

Let’s go for the first option and ask Respona to find two employees if the article’s writer can’t be found.

Selecting a contact automation

After that, you can even choose the position and seniority you wish your opportunities to have within the company.

For instance, you can go for “editor” and “journalist” or “manager” and “director”, among many more.

When ready, you can click on Find contacts in the bottom right and wait a few minutes for Respona to find all the contacts.

As you can see below, our tool managed to find the contact details for seven out of the eight opportunities we chose, which is a success rate of just under 90%.

Not bad, right?

Found contact information

You can then click on Continue.

What comes up next are the contact profiles for each website and you can even sort them by their job position.

Simply choose the ones you wish to send an email to and assign an opportunity to each one of them.

Assigned contact information

When ready, click on “Personalize” to move on to the final step.

Personalization step

It’s now time to personalize your emails one by one.

You can even use the suggestions Respona provides you on your right in order to add an extra nice touch to your email.

finished message template

After that, click on Launch Campaign and you’re good to go!

To sum up, finding the right websites to guest post for isn’t the easiest task you’ll do in a day, but the process can get much easier if you use tools like Respona that automate the entire process.

After all, once you create great content and receive your backlinks, the outcome will be worth it!

Author’s Note: With high-quality content and some luck, you might even get featured on someone’s link roundup, which will give you an even greater boost.

Let’s now have a look at another link-building technique you can use.

Strategy #2: Be a Guest on Podcasts

This part of the ultimate guide on link building is all about podcasts and how to appear on them in order to receive valuable links.

Much like guest blogging, podcast outreach involves finding relevant podcasts in your niche and contacting their hosts in order to appear on them.

This is a common tactic found in many marketing strategies as a way to not only build high-quality links but also gain exposure since it’s a form of digital PR.

Actually, when you’re a guest on a podcast, the host will not only interview you but will most likely tag you in their social media posts and, most importantly, link back to your website when publishing the episode.

You can find good and relevant podcasts through various ways, like Google search and LinkedIn, but most of the processes usually take a lot of time.

What you can do instead is use Respona’s automated outreach capabilities.

Let’s have a look at them.

Example: Content marketing agency

Let’s assume you’re the managing director of a content marketing agency and want to get featured on a bunch of relevant podcasts.

Just like in the previous case, you first need to set your outreach campaign up.

Once again, don’t forget to name it something descriptive and memorable.

In our case, we believe that “Podcast Outreach Campaign” is a good choice.

Podcast outreach campaign name

When you’re ready, you can click on Continue.

It’s now time for the part where you start building your campaign.

Remember when we selected web search in the previous example?

This time we’re going to go for podcasts since that’s what we’re looking for.

Podcast source

We’re supposedly a content marketing agency so it makes sense to look for podcasts around the topic of content marketing.

Let’s add the search term in the field.

podcast search

What’s more, by selecting Add Filters you can further refine your results based on:

  • The category
  • The freshness
  • The language

Let’s assume we’re looking for podcasts in English and in the category of Marketing.

Simply click on Apply filters and Respona will provide you with a list of opportunities.

Although you can’t see the whole list in the screenshot below, there’s a large number of podcasts we can choose to reach out to.

podcast search results

For the sake of simplicity, let’s go for the first five and click to continue to the next step, which is to create an email sequence.

selected podcasts

Since we don’t already have an email sequence around podcasts, we’ll opt to create our own template from scratch, before clicking on Confirm Contact to move on to the next step.

Here’s what our template will look like.

Suggesting an interview

Hi {first name}

 

[Your name] here from [your company].

 

Been binging your podcast on the way to work recently and loved the last episode, {episode title}.

 

I wanted to ask whether you accept new guests? 

 

I think I could bring a valuable perspective on [topic] because of my [experience]. I have already been featured on a few other relevant podcasts like [podcast 1] and [podcast 2].

 

Let me know if you’d be interested in having a chat! 

 

p.s. I’d be happy to promote the episode across our audience of [# of followers] followers. 

 

All the best,

[signature]

When you’re happy with your template, you can go ahead and continue to step number three, where Respona will fill in the contact information for your prospects as all podcast opportunities come with pre-assigned contact information.

Review the contacts by looking at the Manual Search menu in the top right corner.

After you’re satisfied with the contacts, it’s now time to personalize your emails.

Besides your own and your contact’s name, it’s good practice to refer to a podcast episode of theirs that you heard and liked.

This will show that you’ve actually researched their content, which adds a great human touch.

Respona is here to help you with that too, since you can see all of the episodes on the list on your right, as well as listen to them in order to get an idea of the tone and overall message.

In case there’s contact information for more than one person, you can scroll down and toggle between them to choose which one you want to contact.

Contact profiles

When you’re done, you can click on Launch Campaign.

There you have it!

After you personalize the emails for every opportunity, you simply sit back and wait for a response.

The backlinks and brand mentions you receive from the podcasts can give you a great boost in authority and drive traffic to your website.

Let’s continue to the next way of getting quality backlinks.

Strategy #3: Promote Your Best Content

This strategy is all about acquiring links in a straightforward way.

You basically find content online that’s relevant to a piece of content you have and ask the writer or website owner to link back to it in exchange for something.

That could be a shoutout, a free trial of your product, or even a discount.

Try, however, to avoid exchanging links since this is something that Google doesn’t approve of. 

Another tactic you can follow is that of broken link building.

Here you want to find relevant pieces of content that have an anchor text which leads to an inactive page – this is what we call a broken link – and ask the site owner whether they can replace the broken link with your own link.

This is often a common part of link building and SEO strategies as well as a good way to gain an edge over competitors.

Nevertheless, let’s see how you can promote your best content in order to get as many good links as possible.

Example: Outreach software

Let’s assume that we’re an outreach software and want to promote our piece on how to get a blog noticed.

As always, we first need to create a new campaign within Respona.

Let’s give it a nice, memorable name, like “Content Promotion Campaign”.

Campaign name

After we click on Continue, it’s time to define a few basic things about our campaign.

Let’s instruct Respona to find blog opportunities and also use the following modifier in the search bar:

intext: “email outreach” OR intext: “outreach email”

This will provide us with unlinked opportunities that contain “email outreach” or “outreach email” somewhere in the body of the content.

advanced search

Author’s Note: Respona’s search engine results are powered by Bing, so you might notice some differences between the results you see in Respona and the results you would see in Google.

After we click on the search icon, we can see that Respona has provided us with a wide range of results based on our preferences.

You can select as many as you see fit, but we’ll go for the first five for the sake of example and continue to the next step.

It’s now time to create an email sequence promoting our piece of content.

Why not create a template from scratch?

Here’s what it’ll look like:

email sequence

And here’s a closer look at it:

Regarding your (topic) post

Hey {first name},

 

Just finished your article, {url title}! It was such a good read I just had to share some thoughts on it.

 

Firstly, it really stuck with me when you pointed out [article summary snippet].

 

Secondly, you mentioned [anchor/keyword] in the article, but didn’t dive deeper or link to another source.

 

We just released a guide that will provide something extra to readers who want to learn more about the topic. 

 

You can find it here: [article link]

 

As a “thank you” , I’d be happy to provide a [custom incentive].

 

Regardless, I’ll be a frequent reader. Keep it up! 

 

All the best,

[Signature]

Another cool feature that Respona has is the ability to automatically send a follow-up email in cases where you don’t receive a response.

All you have to do is click on Create new step and then write a follow-up message, as you can see below.

Creating a new step

You can even adjust the due date of your follow-up; for instance, our own will be sent seven days after the initial email.

Interesting, right?

Let’s click on Confirm Contact to continue.

Like in the previous strategies, this is the part where we decide what type of contacts we want Respona to find for us.

Once again, let’s go for the option of finding the writer of the blog post only if they work at the company, or one other employee instead.

Plus, we’ll add some preferable positions and seniorities within the company.

automation setup 3

Now we’re happy with our selections, let’s scroll down and run the automation by clicking on Find contacts.

This process shouldn’t take more than a few minutes for Respona to complete.

The good news is that the tool managed to find contact information for all five of our items!

Completed contact automation

By clicking Continue, we can get the email addresses of our contacts and get one step closer to acquiring some great links.

All we have to do is assign opportunities to the desired contact points that Respona has provided us with.

Assigned contact information

After doing that for each opportunity, we’ll click on Personalize so we can move on to the personalization and optimization of our emails.

Personalized link building message

After personalizing our initial email with our contact’s first name, links to both posts, the incentive we’re offering, and an article snippet – which can be found through the article extract on the right – we can go ahead and personalize our follow-up email too.

personalized follow up.

Once that is done for all five of our opportunities, we can hit Launch campaign in order to officially begin our link-building campaign.

What’s important to keep in mind is that the links you’ll acquire should be dofollow instead of nofollow.

The former is basically an external link that allows search engines bots to track it and provide us with link juice, which can contribute to higher search engine rankings and – ideally – a spot on the first page, organically.

On the other hand, the latter doesn’t allow search engine crawlers to follow it and although you might gain referral traffic, it doesn’t count as a valuable backlink.

You can find out how many of your backlinks are dofollow and nofollow by conducting a backlink audit.

For a start though, you can concentrate your efforts on acquiring as many high-quality links as possible by following the strategies in this guide.

Let’s have a look at another one.

This link-building technique is all about getting your website featured on list posts.

List posts are basically pieces of content that include a list of different products or items that people are searching for.

You can typically identify a list post in the SERPs just by the title tag, which usually contains a number and/or words like “top” or “best”.

In this instance, let’s search for “link building tools”:  

Google search results

As you can see, all the results are list posts that gain organic traffic from people searching for such tools.

As you can imagine, having your own product featured on such a list not only provides you with referral traffic but also backlinks.

In the following example, we’re going to show you how you can do exactly this.

Let’s get into it.

Continuing with the same example, let’s go with our very own Respona, a link-building software company wanting to get featured on a list post among other similar companies.

First things first, let’s start a new campaign within our tool.

Let’s also give it a useful name like “List Post Link Building Campaign” and hit Continue.

List post campaign name

It’s now time to define a few basic things about our campaign.

More specifically, we’ll set the page sources to Web search and use the following modifier:

intitle: “link building tools”

Which will help us find list posts including that phrase in their title.

As you can see below, Respona has found many opportunities based on our criteria so let’s go ahead and select a few of the many list posts provided so we can contact their writers and get featured in them.

respona content search results

The next step is to click on Create a Sequence to continue with our campaign.

As we’ve seen in previous examples, here you can either create your own template from scratch or use a ready-made one.

Since we already have one around list posts/comparison guides, we’ll go for it.

Selecting a sequence

Our template looks something like this:

You missed one, {first name}

Howdy {first name},

 

My name is [your name] and I am the [your role] at [your company].

 

I wanted to quickly show my appreciation for your post: {url title}.

It’s a fact that most of these tools work great when it comes to [topic].

 

Thought you would be interested in including {Your company/product] in the article?

 

[1-2 sentences differentiating your product]

 

I’d be happy to share your post with our [# of followers] followers on social media to drive traffic to the article :) 

 

I look forward to your reply!

 

All the best,

[signature]

Since we’re happy with it, we can go ahead and click on Confirm Contact to continue to the next step.

You know the drill by now; let’s order Respona to only find the writers of the list posts and ignore other company employees.

contact automation setup 4

Of course, you’re free to opt for any of the two other options; the choice is yours.

When ready, simply scroll down and select Find contacts.

As you can see below, Respona actually managed to find contacts for all six of our opportunities!

Completed automation 4

Let’s click on Continue and assign opportunities to the contact profiles the tool found for us.

Finding list post authors manually

After we’ve assigned an opportunity to all six of our potential contacts, it’s time to hit Personalize in the top right corner in order to personalize our emails.

Here’s what such an email would look like.

Personalized message

As you can see, it’s personalized and structured in a professional – yet approachable – manner to request a link.

Once this is done for all six opportunities, all that’s left is to hit Launch campaign to begin the email outreach process.

It’s as simple as that!

All we do now is wait for a reply and ideally receive a positive response.

List posts are generally a great link-building opportunity, as long as they include other products or companies in your industry.

Other types of content that you can use to attract links to a homepage or landing page of yours are infographics, comparison pages, and guides.

Let’s move on to the last strategy we’ve got for you to build backlinks.

Strategy #5: Build Linkable Assets

This strategy is all about building linkable assets.

According to Backlinko, 94% of websites don’t have any backlinks at all, so linkable assets are a great way to receive some.

They’re basically pieces of content that other people find worth linking back to because they’re about something interesting, educational, or even entertaining.

Common linkable asset types that you’re certainly aware of include case studies and research posts, just like the Backlinko one that we referred to above.

In the following example, we’re going to show you how to start building such an asset successfully.

Let’s get started.

Example: A law firm that’s based in Colorado

For the sake of example, let’s assume we’re a law firm based in Colorado and want to build a linkable asset for our blog.

The first step is to think of a basic term that we can build the asset around; let’s go for “Colorado car accident”.

However, in order to come up with that keyphrase, we’re going to need the help of an SEO tool like Ahrefs, which we use to conduct keyword research, among other things.

Author’s Tip: You can use any other keyword researchtool like Moz or SemRush, as well as a Chrome or a WordPress plugin.

To begin, let’s go to Ahref’s keyword explorer – next to the Site Explorer – and insert the term we’re most interested in, which in our case is “Colorado car accidents”.

Ahrefs keyword search

What you’ll then see is an overview of the selected keyword, including metrics like the monthly search volume, the keyword difficulty, the CPC, and more.

However, since we don’t want to build our asset on the term as it is, we’re going to click on Matching terms.

Ahrefs keyword difficulty

We’ll then be able to see a list of all the keywords that include our target term.

As there are over 2.3K keywords, we suggest you use a few modifiers in order to narrow things down to what you’re looking for.

Such modifiers can be:

  • Statistics
  • Analysis
  • Infographic
  • Trends
  • Testimonials
  • Experiment
  • Study

Which are all ideal to create a linkable asset around.

In order to use them, you can select Include, then Any word, and paste the modifiers in before clicking on Apply.

This will instruct Ahrefs to find opportunities including both the target term – Colorado car accident – as well as one of the modifiers.

Ahrefs filters

As you can see below, one of the terms that fit our criteria and have a relatively good search volume is “Colorado car accident statistics”.

So it makes sense to build a link asset based on that term.

Ahrefs keyword results

There you have it!

Coming up with a keyword to base your linkable asset on is as simple as that.

However, what is also of utmost importance is the way you structure your asset by answering the right questions.

One prominent way to find what people are looking for is to search for the term and have a look at the Q&A snippets in the SERP.

Google search results

You can even visit other pieces of relevant content that rank high and see how they’ve been structured themselves.

Nevertheless, make sure to find a great linkable asset idea that’ll make other people share and link back to it.

Author’s Note: If you want to create the best linkable asset based on a term, you can take advantage of the skyscraper technique and outperform your competitors.

Let’s wrap things up with a few final words.

Link building cheat sheet

Link building cheat sheet

Gain access to the 3-step strategy we use to earn over 86 high-quality backlinks each month.

Download for free

Now Over to You

Our guide has now come to an end.

We hope that our six strategies will truly help you in your link-building efforts and contribute to getting your website rank high/er in the SERPs.

Acquiring links is by no means a piece of cake, but with some guidelines and the help of a good link-building tool like Respona, the process can get much easier and effective.

If you want to discover how to achieve that, make sure you book a one-on-one demo of our tool and we’ll help you out step-by-step.

Thanks for reading!

Vlad Orlov

Article by

Vlad Orlov

Managing brand partnerships at Respona, Vlad Orlov is a passionate writer and link builder. Having started writing articles at the age of 13, their once past-time hobby developed into a central piece of their professional life.

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