The Free Stuff Link Strategy: How to Make it Work

Being GenerousOf all the backlink strategies out there, being generous is one of the most simple, most powerful and most natural methods. Building backlinks doesn’t have to be done manually or even intentionally. Instead, if you just focus on giving away high quality stuff, people will naturally want to link to you.

It sounds almost too good to be true. Or, to the ears of an experienced marketer, too naïve. Yet it really does work, even in the most competitive industries.

The Law of Reciprocity Reciprocity

The law of reciprocity states that if you do something for someone for nothing, they’ll feel a sense of obligation to you. This is why the charity collectors outside department stores will often give you a rose before asking you for money. They gave you something, so you’ll naturally feel like you need to give something back.

Giving away free stuff, like free reports, free CDs, free videos, free software, free downloadables and so on taps into this sense of reciprocity. If you give them something for free, they’ll feel like they need to give you something in return.

It’s How Loyalty is Built

Build Customer LoyaltyThe people who will ultimately be your ambassadors to the internet will be your loyal readers and followers. These are the people who will tell all their friends about you. These are the people who will link to you and share all your content, getting other people to link to you as well.

The way you create this sense of loyalty is by giving away high quality content for free. People want to know that when they send friends your way, they’re going to be treated well. People want to know that you really stand behind your content, before risking their own reputation by linking to you.

People Link to Content, Not Promises Social Media Content Strategy

It’s common on the internet for people to put conditions on content. Sign up for this newsletter to get a free eBook. Or “Like” this page to gain access to the videos. Or make a purchase to get this informational product.

Unfortunately, people don’t link to promises of content. People only like to link to content that they can see already. If you’re locking your content behind promises, there’s a very good chance you’re only getting a fraction of the backlinks that your content is capable of generating.

The Goal is to Impress and Astound

Stand OutThe goal of quality content is to impress and astound someone. The quality of your content can’t just be good, it needs to be so good that it stands out from the rest of the pack.

This is what gets linked to. This is what gets people to talk about your content. This is what turns people from regular browsers to consistent and loyal followers.

Examples of Content Giveaways

There are many different ways you can give away content. Podcasting

Podcasting is one prime example. Once a week, or several times a week, you make it a habit to give away your content. People who regularly follow your podcasts will quickly become loyal followers.

Another example is people who regularly post high quality blog content. Readers who frequent that blog are naturally going to be drawn in.

Giving away a free iPhone app is another great example. Free apps get tens of thousands, even millions of downloads. Many businesses simply use these free apps as a way to get people through the door, then lure them into their actual business model.

The list goes on and on. The bottom line is, great content, given away freely creates a sense of obligation, a sense of loyalty and at the end of the day, more backlinks.

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5 Responses to “The Free Stuff Link Strategy: How to Make it Work”

  1. J1 Waiver Physician on February 22nd, 2012 1:02 pm

    Obviously you are right. If you try to concentrate on high quality contents then automatically people will link to you or they will tell about your content to others.

  2. Nick Stamoulis on February 23rd, 2012 3:19 pm

    A link building strategy is limited without content. A goal should be to achieve natural links over time. This means that you need to create something that is worth linking to. This is where the quality content that you produce helps boost your links and SEO.

  3. Maximizer e-Services on February 24th, 2012 4:28 am

    Totally agree! The quality of the content’s got to be superior enough to warrant people linking back to you.

  4. Anonymous on February 24th, 2012 10:53 am

    And this way we will be building a lot of links as well as our content/website will be growing virally in the online space.

  5. D Jamieson on March 8th, 2012 4:00 pm

    Completely agree, content is the most important factor in any linking campaign. Through content you can naturally gain the sort of links you could never get through other means, links from sites like the BBC, Guardian, Times etc. Get your own house in order and others will link to you.

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