Monday, October 22, 2007

Bait Your Hook

“There's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.” ~ Stephen Wright, American Actor and Writer
After posting Friday's CVoD article entitled, "Learning From The Old and Lame", I realized that I did not mention one very important fact. The mocking tone I used was intended to teach you, dear reader, that a viral opportunity exists when you create tools or attractive value for your site.

People will come to your site and other sites will want to link to you... this is what you want, right? (The answer is a resounding yes)

I think I conveyed that... but probably not strong enough. Plus, I forgot to give you the buzzword... after all how can we be Internet marketers without our buzzwords, eh?

The concept is called "Link Baiting." Let me explain a bit more...

Link baiting is a great way to get natural links to your site. Real organic links that Google loves to see. It means to create something that naturally attracts back links for your site by getting people to create a viral buzz about what you produced.

In other words, it is any content or feature within your site that somehow baits viewers to place links to it from other websites. Google's own Matt Cutts defines link bait as anything "interesting enough to catch people's attention." Google is in support of it as it is based on natural relevant linking.

Such quality content is carried throughout the Internet by word of month, (remember this is considered viral marketing) and traditionally your increased links will come from forums, blogs, and the social bookmarks such as,, Furl, Digg to name just a few.

For new CVoD readers... why is this important?

The quantity and quality of inbound links are two of the most important metrics used by Google's algorithm to rank your pages. Link baiting trys to acquire those relevant links to your site.

As discuss previously, new links and more visitors, ... what's not to like?

What do you need?

And idea, or a hook. Something the will peak the interest of your niche. Keep in mind all of this baiting is free to your site visitors. Here some examples:
-Make a valuable resource report... (Here's a great one from my friends at International Living. It's called the "Quality Of Life Index" ...a list which ranks the world's best and worst places Live, Work, Vacation, or just be.)
-Build a useful tool (See Fridays article)
-Write an interesting article (Lessons from Project Management: 101 ways to organize your life)
-Run a contest
-Use humor, a funny story, picture or Joke. (Flying Spaghetti Monster)
-Write an outrageous theory or something controversial. (Evangelical Scientists Refute Gravity With New 'Intelligent Falling' Theory)
-Become an expert in your niche and write valuable information
-And don't forget to mix and match. (Remember Monkey mail... it's a mixture... but diffenently viral. Heck, I was forwarded this one many times)
In other words, create value for your readers.... sound familiar?

I hope so. But don't think that this is easy. It's not. It's takes hard work and creativity to produce amazing, highly-linkable, high-quality content. But if you can do it... it's one of the best ways to target the engines naturally.

AND with the web 2.0 becoming more and more in play to acquire new eyes to your pages, it's a great way to use the social networks, blogs and news outlets of the web.

Why is it hard to do?

Outside of coming up with a great idea... it's the launch. Marketers forget it needs a launch and proper push. Otherwise, if you merely produce it, post it... odds are no one will see it.

So what you really need to do is to create a mini-PR campaign around it's release. Push eyes to it at the start. Make sure the bloggers and social media users can find it and help promote it.

It's definitely worth your time to try it... so, go create value.... or rather go bait your hook.