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While link building will instantly ramp up your brand’s visibility and drive traffic, they’re a notoriously difficult component of SEO and digital marketing in general.

Stop and think about the vast amount of content on the internet. It’s practically endless, or at least an amount that’s beyond the average person’s comprehension. The pool of competition alone can make link building a challenge, but we all know that all content isn’t created equal. Among all the great content marketing, there’s also plenty that misses the mark on every level. Thankfully, this is a good thing if you’re one of the people committed to quality content.

But, great content alone often isn’t enough to earn valuable backlinks. If this leaves you scratching your head, stop and consider that about 75% of content marketing is getting fewer than 10 shares and absolutely zero backlinks. There’s probably nothing wrong with most of this content, so what gives? Why is link building so hard even when you’re crushing the content game?

It’s likely that it isn’t about the quality of the content you’re creating, but rather the strategy behind it. If you’re ready to start reaping the rewards of valuable backlinks, here’s what you need to know about making your quality content even more attractive for link building.

Creating Content That Fits

So, you’ve created an amazing piece of content and you followed all the rules of SEO and engagement. You sit back, assess and conclude that it’s SEO perfection and packed with value for the person engaging with it. It doesn’t get any better than this, so why isn’t it earning any links?

This is actually a common scenario, and the first thing you need to consider is where this content marketing masterpiece of yours actually fits in.

For example, does the topic and value provided match up with the audience you intend for it to reach? This isn’t just about the topic. You should also be considering the tone that you’ve used. Say, you represent an established insurance agency that’s had moderate success with their content marketing strategy for reaching an older millennial or generation X market. However, now you’re interested in appealing to a demographic that’s 5 to 10 years younger.

You might not think that those few years matter much, but it can make a huge difference, especially when it comes to reaching out to this demographic through content. The reason your content might not be getting links is that it just isn’t geared toward the audience you really want to attract with it.

Find an Original Angle

A major element of gaining search engine love is creating content that sets you apart as an individual. If you’ve invested in quality content creation then you already know that copycat content is an SEO disaster waiting to happen, so you should avoid it at all costs.

When it comes to link building, you need to take your commitment to unique content a little deeper. Your link building strategy should include researching the people or brands that you would like to earn backlinks from, and this involves looking at their own content marketing strategies.

If you want to earn backlinks, it’s important to create content that’s going to appeal to other sites and their audiences without being too similar to what’s already there. The simple fact is that someone is going to be hesitant to link to content that might seem competitive with their own.

There’s a sweet spot can be found in content that reaches to their audience as well as their own, without coming too close to the exact type of content they’re already producing. For example, an interior designer might not have too much luck link building with content about top fall paint colors. However, if they can specialize the topic and really narrow it down to a niche that hasn’t been covered to death in previous posts, then the odds of someone linking to it within their own generalized content is exponentially higher.

Make Connections

When it comes to link building, there are basically two approaches. You can either sit around and hope that someone will come across your content and find it worthy of sharing, or you can take some initiative and reach out to other content creators you would like to connect with.

Obviously, unless you’ve managed to already build a massive following the chances of success with option number 1 are limited. This means that if you really want to get the backlinks you’re going to have to put yourself out there.

While many content creators realize this, they’re lacking a defined strategy for making those connections. The most common mistake we see is going too wide with the approach. It might seem that the more you reach out and the more contacts you make, then the better chances of earning a link. If you’re looking at this from purely a numbers perspective, then this might be true. However, what you’re also looking at is a ton of resources that are essentially being wasted on dead-end prospects.

Your time, and the stellar content you’ve created, are worth more than this. Instead, develop a strategy for reaching out to prospects that are most likely to give your content a boost with a link, even if it means drastically reducing the number of contacts you make.

This is a strategy that works because it frees up your resources to devote more time to cultivating your approach. For example, you can spend more time in the research and communication aspects. Unless you’re paying for a link building service, this narrowed approach to outreach allows you to cultivate the types of relationships that can lead to great link building success.

Reinventing Your Content Strategy

Sometimes, the key to success is all about small changes to your strategy. If your content isn’t generating links, take an honest approach at discovering why. Is there anything that can be done to elevate your content quality or are you really reaching your target audience with your current strategy? When it comes to content marketing, success is in the details. By investing in a smart strategy you’ll be rewarded with the link building success your quality content deserves.

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Paul Scott
Founder and President at

Founder and President of GoingClear Interactive located in Boston, Massachusetts, I'm driven by a passion for the web services industry with a focus on building user-friendly, scalable innovative website properties that convert.  From our business website packages that needs an effective and results-driven online presence which optimizes their conversions and grows their business, to complex back-end web programming based custom web apps for large corporate, government or brand new startup businesses, I enjoy being part of the discovery, building and post-launch growing process for any business I work with.