How to Create a Link-Building-Driven Content Strategy with @NicolelDeLeon #VCBuzz

How to Create a Link-Building-Driven Content Strategy with @NicolelDeLeon #VCBuzz

There may be various goals behind a content marketing strategy, and almost always one of them is link building.

And the reason is quite obvious: People prefer to link to useful content.

It is hard to attract natural links to commercial landing pages, but a solid content strategy may become a real link generator.

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About @NicolelDeLeon

.@NicolelDeLeon crafts organic growth strategies that leverage outstanding content creation and build relevant quality links. She works with startups and household names alike.

Check out Nicole’s website and blog: North Star Inbound

Questions we discussed

Q1 How did you become a digital marketer? Please share your career story!

In 2011, I created a startup that would depend heavily on SEO. We could not afford to hire a consultant or an agency. So our investors hooked us up with some amazing SEOs here in Austin and they were excited to mentor. So I learned SEO and did it myself.

A lot of link building and understanding of technical SEO basics. Fast forward 18 months and the only thing that was working about the business was SEO. So the startup failed, but a bunch of other startups in town wanted me to come do some consulting for them.

A few years later I started hiring and that eventually turned into @northstarlinks

Q2 Which content type is the most effective in terms of attracting links? In other words, what’s the most linkable content?

It depends. LOL. Something that is either unique, interesting, or much more useful than the competition. Beyond that, it depends on what the content is about.

We use long-form detailed guides and digital PR to drive links. But those are not the only ways. If you can give something away for free that people normally pay for, that’s effective. If you can create something extremely visually appealing, that works too.

Don’t forget relevance. Try figuring out ways of niching down your content and creating something that is super relevant to a smaller niche. If your audience is small business owners, try creating something for new business owners, or minority-owned businesses.

Using internal and external data to help your customers and industry know your story has a way of driving links as well.

Q3 What is Skyscraper Technique and how to use it to generate backlinks?

So that’s a phrase that Brian Dean popularized. And the idea is that you find something that has lots of links. Make something better. And then reach out to the folks that linked to the piece you originally found.

He’s a great marketer to be sure!

This technique CAN work. But it has pitfalls. One is that people are using this technique for ranking AND link building. If you want to rank for something you need to run a different process around keyword discovery, research, search intent, the list goes on.

And you should always try to combine your ranking and link building strategy.

Another mistake is only reaching out to the people that linked to the first piece. If you reach out to 300 linkers and end up with 30 links, you’ve done well. But you likely haven’t beat the leader. You need to find more potential link targets

Q4 What is your favorite link building email outreach trick? What drives replies and links?

People are pretty savvy these days. The one “trick” that most people aren’t trying is having decent outreach that sounds like a real person reaching out to another person. Honestly, 99 out of 100 emails are cringeworthy. Don’t suck and you’ll do well.

Also we try to always make it about them and not us. And empathy. Empathy goes a long way. Whereas, empty flattery does not work. Pls stop saying “I came across your site”. And don’t say you loved their latest blog post unless you have something real to say.

Great question. A current example would be if you are reaching out to a working parent. Life is tough right now. You don’t also have to be a working parent with kids at home to empathize. Just be a real person. It’s disarming and you make real connections.

Q5 What are your favorite link building tools?

Ahrefs for competitive research to see what’s working or not in the industry. Look at backlinks and top linked pages. Look at awesome pages that did not get links. Ask why. Look for gaps or openings.

We’ve used buzzstream and pitchbox for organization and outreach. I have yet to find the perfect outreach tool.

Yeah, I’ve seen the tool get confused. Call out a bunch of natural, organic links as toxic one week and reverse the next. I love semrush for organic research though.

Our previous link building chats:

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