The Link Building Mindset – Part 1

Posted on Nov 15, 2011 in link building blog

A cornerstone can be loosely defined as a key element upon which the overall structure depends. In the case of acquiring links this means a key aspect of the process without which you may find yourself discouraged. Cornerstone topics are articles on this blog that build a foundation that will help you acquire links. 

Every project, in fact, every reality, is influenced by interpretation. Reality isn’t necessarily what you see, it’s how you see it. Every event is understood through  colored lenses of your past experiences and current level of knowledge. How you react to an event at age 35 will differ from how you would react to the same event at age 19. Knowledge and experience cause the same event to be interpreted differently. In the case of link building, I’m going to pass along some insights about relationship building that are a cornerstone to the link building process. 

Let’s take the example of building links to a blog
In the case of promoting a blog, the first reality to consider is that a blog is often part of a community.  Participating with thoughtful comments on the other blogs that make up the community of the niche is an important activity. Perhaps as important is to participate as a REAL and enthusiastic member on related forums. If those forums allow you to post a signature link then do so. If not, don’t give up on that forum, keep posting. Acquiring links is an outgrowth of acquiring connections. This is an important point worth repeating: Acquiring links is an outgrowth of acquiring connections.

Participating in the existing community related to your niche topic and becoming a genuine and REAL citizen of that community can be viewed as brand building. It could be viewed as earning respect and goodwill for your site. It could even be viewed as the difficult to reproduce work that will leave your competitors struggling to catch up. Provided you have something useful to say or offer then the site will grow as people get to know it, linking to articles as well as exchanging blogroll links.

Links are connections
Don’t think of it as How do I get links. It’s not about getting. Getting is a one-way activity of taking. It is not a one-way process. It is not about taking. It’s a hundred-way activity that involves giving and taking with numerous individuals. Whether you are acquiring free links, paid links, or any other kind of link,  focus on the individual who is in the position to give the link. What are their needs? What are their stated goals for the site and how can you help them achieve that? Is it money? How can you make it work for them and you? Is it quality content? This is where cultivating connections becomes useful. If you cultivated community then you may be connected to someone who can help you knock a content-ball out of the park. Just because a community or situation does not immediately result in a link, the relationship contains a latent potential to benefit your project.

Getting into the mindset of building relationships is a cornerstone of a successful link building project. Relationships are links. They are links between people. Hyperlinks are links between the sites operated by people. Earning those links does not have to be a matter of months or years of work. A relationship can be created in as little as two emails. The point I want to emphasize is that the link acquisition project may get a boost if it is refocused in terms relative to community and relationships.

Putting the mindset into action
Getting into the relationship mindset involves listing who the community leaders are in your niche. This includes organizations and institutions, not just people. Having these groups or individuals allied with your site will then help you work your way down the niche ecosystem acquiring links from them. Acquire the relationships at the top then acquire the links from the second tier on down.

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