Confessions of An Underground Link Building Ninja

Before I get this post rolling, I’d like to confess something right up front. I’ve read a LOT of articles about link building. I’ve read endlessly about article marketing, press releases, social bookmarking, commenting, blah, blah, blah….

Aren’t you just a little bit sick of all the rehashed material.

So here’s the deal. I want to raise the bar. I want to blow all of those other half-baked articles out of the water and bring you something insanely valuable.

Before we dive in though, I’m going to tell you now that this is a looong article. But I promise not to waste a second of your time. If you commit yourself to studying this article I promise that every word will drip with tasty marketing insights.

You’re going to learn some cool ways to get featured on ZDNET, CNET.com, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Newsweek, and CNN. I’m going to reveal one of my favorite techniques for getting hundreds of powerful one-way backlinks in just a few hours. Plus, you’ll see how I turn articles into multiple formats and open up 5x as many link opportunities.

Plus, you’ll learn how to use the internal link juice of your own website to catapult your search engine rankings.

So, let’s dive in. We’ll start with one of my favorites…

Getting your site featured on major new sites is one of the best kept secrets in the blogosphere and I’m going to show you two different strategies for getting your links on sites like CNET, CNN,
FoxNews, Reuters, and USA Today.

The first technique uses a site called BlogBurst, a website that connects bloggers with mainstream media sites. Simply join the BlogBurst network and start getting picked up by some of the world’s most popular media sites.

All you need to do is submit your RSS feed. Once you’re accepted into the network, you’re articles will enjoy exposure on major media sites and a ton of extra publicity at no extra cost to you.

But it doesn’t end there… There’s actually an even simpler way to get your blog featured in major news sites like CNN, The Wall Street Journal, and Newsweek.

All you have to do is link to a story and a company known as Sphere.com matches up mainstream news items with articles in the blogosphere. Go to the bottom of any CNN story and you’ll see a drop down box that says: “From the Blogs”.

Click on the link and you will find blogs that are linking to the article. Not only does this put your blog on a major news website, it can also drive hundreds of visitors.

Sphere is also being used by TechCrunch, Time, Reuters, CBS, AOL, the Washington Post, WordPress, GigaOm, Newsweek, and ZDNet, allowing you to get your blog featured on any of these prestigious sites.

Now, here’s one of my favorite techniques for getting hundreds of high-quality one-way backlinks in just a few hours…

Best of all, it requires no additional “brain” work on my part. Here’s what I do. I take my articles and turn them into EXE files (an executable file).

This allows me to submit my article to hundreds of software directories. Each directory sends me a one-way backlink. Not to mention, hundreds of extra visitors.

Now, you’re probably thinking this is way too techy and complicated, but it’s really pretty simple. First, you need to get some free software called WebSiteZip Packer.

This will allow you to turn an HTML page into an executable (.exe) file. So all you need to do is put your article in HTML format, enter it into the software wizard, let it do a bit of magic, and an exe file pops out the other end.

You then need to create what’s called a PAD file and submit it to all the software download sites.

Now creating the PAD file is a bit more difficult. I actually used a program by Michelle MacPhearson called 30 minute backlinks to get complete step-by-step instructions on how to do this. So if you want to really take advantage of this method, she’s an incredible person to learn from.

This technique is extremely powerful and I’m surprised that more people aren’t doing this because it allows you to obtain unlimited one-way backlinks from sites with a PR of 4,5, 6 and 7.

Just think…you can easily turn all of your articles into exe files, meaning every article you write has the potential to create hundreds of links back to your site.

Now, if you want to take this strategy to the next level, I suggest you use a site called Download.com.

Download.com is one of the largest software directories online with a huge distribution. However, Download.com also offers a hidden benefit that most people miss.

Google LOVES download.com. It has extraordinary authority online, allowing you to get a Top-10 listing within Google in a matter of days. Just like Squidoo and Scribd can rank very quickly in Google, Download.com is another incredibly powerful tool for ranking in Google. However, most people haven’t discovered this hidden gem.

Quick Note: Keep in mind that you can distribute a number of different types of programs to download sites, including screensaveers, widgets, and toolbars. Get Creative…

Here’s one of my golden nuggets…

Another cool way to get backlinks is to streeeeetch your content by turning your articles into podcasts.

You can automatically turn all of your blog posts into podcasts using Talkr or Odiogo. These services use text-to-speech technology to convert text to audio.

All of your articles are now podcasts that you can submit to podcast directories. By converting your articles into multiple formats, you open up entirely new link building opportunities and expose your content to new audiences.

Why not turn your articles into ebooks, affiliate tools, emails, or even slides to post on SlideShare.net. Look for ways to leverage your existing assets…

You can also build links with contests. Holding a blog contest is a great way to grow your blog’s audience, build inbound links, and improve your search engine presence.

You can promote your contest through the following sites…

Contest Blogger
ThePrizeBlog
MyBlogContest
ContestBeat
AboutBlogContest

Contests are a great way to interact with your community, generate buzz, build backlinks,
and attract new readers.

Here’s a strategy almost no one is taking advantage of…

Forum links!

I know, you’ve probably heard forum links are worthless but nothing could be further from the truth.
Forum links can be extremely powerful.

However, I do NOT suggest that you waste your time away on forums. Instead, I would look for popular forums related to your niche and buy sig links from the top users. These active users will likely have made thousands of posts and you can usually buy their sig links for pennies.

Seriously, most forum members don’t know how valuable their sig links are. This is especially true for forums outside of Internet Marketing. Look for forums that have a PR of 4 or higher and users that have at least 1,000 posts.

This technique works well for all 3 search engines, but it can quickly catapult you to a top 3 position on MSN. The key is to use a targeted keyword phrase in the anchor text of your sig links. I would shoot for a keyword phrase that’s 3 – 4 words long.

The next link building technique is a method that takes blog commenting to an entirely new level, allowing you to build thousands of backlinks in just a couple of weeks.

As you probably know, every time you make a comment on a blog you get to put your name in it. However, if you’re a smart SEO, then this is where you place your targeted keyword phrase, which is then hyperlinked back to your site.

Unfortunately… this is where most marketers stop.

But a few smart marketers look for WordPress blogs with the Top Commentators plug-in installed.

This allows you to become a top commenter and get a site-wide link in the blog’s sidebar with your targeted keyword phrase. Unlike comments, these links are almost always do-follow. Start becoming a top commenter on just a few blogs and you will quickly build hundreds, if not thousands of links.

The final link building tactic is one of the most under-used strategies but also the most effective
when used properly. It’s internal linking.

Every one of your pages has inherent link power. By controlling the flow of link juice through your site you can dramatically increase your search engine rankings without having to build external links.

You can do this by adding the right links in strategic places on your website. Some of the most important pages on your site are the category pages. The category pages are listed as navigation links on the sidebar of your page. Because these links are site-wide, they can be extremely powerful for ranking for your targeted keyword phrases. These category links should contain the anchor text for the top keyword phrases you want to rank for.

Another powerful strategy for optimizing your internal link structure is to use contextual links. These
are links that are present within the body of an article. Wikipedia is one of the very best examples in the use of contextual links. Almost all of their articles have contextual links peppered throughout the content. Each one of these links leads to a related page on Wikipedia.

This extremely powerful network of contextual links has enabled Wikipedia to dominate the top
positions in Google.

Another way to boost your internal link structure is by utilizing footer links. This is a great place to use links to target different variations and modifiers of your core terms. For example, if one of your core keyword phrases is “golf wedding favors”, you might place a link in your footer for “golf ball wedding favors”, which is a variation on the core phrase.

These footer links allow you to target a broader range of keywords. Don’t limit yourself to using the same footer links on every page. Change it up a bit so that you can target an even greater variety of anchor text.

Congratulations! You’ve just made it to the end of this very long article and I want to thank you for taking the time to read my tips. I’m honored that you would take the time to read what’s going through my zany little brain.

My goal on this blog is to provide you with an insane amount of value. So if you have any friends you think might benefit from this article, please feel free to pass it along.