Patrick Cole is an entrepreneur and freelancer. He is also a contributing blogger for several websites. Patrick loves self-education and rock music. Connect with Patrick via Facebook, Google+ and Twitter
Some people have the luxury of mumbling into the darkness without needing anybody to answer. The fact that you’re reading this article probably means you’re not part of that group. Chances are that the reason you’re running a blog is to get backlinks, push your site up in the ratings and hopefully convert the extra visitors that you generate into enough sales to keep your head above water.
The thing is, it’s slowly becoming clear that not all blog posts are created equal in the backlink department. Some create a lot of traffic, while others don’t seem to do much of anything. To not have you waste hours crafting wonderful articles that end up getting ignored, we’re going to spend this post looking at what blog posts generate the most backlinks.
Write long list posts
Unlike how these things are normally done, today, we will start with the best. And that is, without a doubt, the list format. These offer bite-sized and easily consumable suggestions, generally about improving your life, being a better person, or – yes – sharing more backlinks. That’s right, we’re as bad as everybody else, but then what works, works. So why fight it?
What works even better than a list is a long list. You see, the advantage of a long list is that if you can pull it off is that you:
- Attract attention (Are there 134 pickup lines for clowns?)
- Create curiosity (What are those 134 different pickup lines?)
- Demonstrate expertise (Wow, if he knows that many clown pickup lines, he must know clowns)
- Suggest they’ll be highly informative (If clowns have that many pickup lines, maybe they’re outstanding pickup artists)
- Are digestible (I’ll be able to read about these clowns and still have time to go buy a clown nose before the shops close!)
- It can be immediately implemented by your audience (Hey, my mom has some lipstick and rouge, maybe I can be a clown pickup artist!)
- People will come back to the same list for more (After I’ve tried that one, I’ll try that, one then, that one! I’m going to be cligolo!)
And all these things, in turn, will help you boost your backlinks, as:
Lots of traffic X interesting content = backlinks.
How to get more backlinks?
Another great way to generate more backlinks is to use the How To articles, particularly if you’ve got How To that people will actually use. So, be certain that you find at least one or two interesting new ideas to put on your list. And if you are copying (hey, we can’t always be original), make sure that you’re copying from something that is either so new that other people haven’t read it yet or so obscure they never will.
Note that, as we covered in a previous article, how to work better for female audiences, so if you’re trying to create more backlinks, it’s better if the topic is geared towards them.
Infographics and Videographics
We’re visual creatures, and we love infographics and their video cousins. Therefore feeding people visual information will be a good tactic to get them to pay attention to what you’re doing. An added advantage to info and video graphics is that they are much harder to steal. Either people use all of them or none of them. And if they do use all of them, then all the information contained therein gets shared along with it, which includes the name of your company and your website. This means that they can be even more effective than backlink generators.
Note that though many other websites separate these two ideas, in truth, video graphics are just a further iteration of infographics.
Strong opinion posts
Do you want to get a reaction? Then stir the hornet’s nest. Write something that gets people’s goats, and they’ll link back to you to tell you how wrong you are. Then, as long as your post has some merit, others will jump on to defend you, and before you know it, you’ve got the whole blogosphere rolling (and the backlinks a pourin’ in).
And as they say, there is no such thing as bad publicity.
Admittedly, to use this tactic correctly, you’ve got to know what you’re talking about. If you’re just racist, sexist, or generally a horrible person, people might talk about you, but it, by and large, won’t produce any conversions. And that is ultimately what you’re after, right? If you have managed to position yourself as an authority in your field, however, then this might be worthwhile to challenge the conventional wisdom at some point.
And if you do so, be sure to include a personal attack on experts in the field. If you do that, that person will need to defend their position. Again, I’m not talking about calling somebody smelly. Rather I’m talking about saying something like somebody not having a clue about an article they’ve written. Then, the next thing you’ve got to do is make certain they become aware of your attack and watch the fireworks fly!
Note that this might not make you many friends.
Posts with novel content
Alternatively, if you’re not comfortable calling somebody out, try sharing well-researched data in an interesting and easily consumable format. That will give you a good chance of getting many backlinks – especially from higher value sites, where they feel you should be rewarded for noticing something new rather than stealing your idea from under you.
Do note that if you have good data, be sure to put it at the beginning of your article. People are far more likely to link back to something if it’s higher in the article, so they don’t have to tell people to scroll down to its end before they get to the juicy bit.
Putting the more valuable information first is generally a good idea, as people rarely finish articles nowadays. Most texts only get a minute at most, and if they haven’t caught the reader’s attention by that point, they’ll flicker on to the next click-bait headline. For that reason, you’ve got to take the time to create perfect content from the headline on down.
We like stories. We’ve probably been telling them since we hung out together on the savanna. That means it’s much easier to connect with someone using anecdotes and stories than numbers and statistics. And connections create backlinks. Obviously, it would be even better if you could do both (start with a heart-rending story, then switch over to the statistics to back it up). Then you’ll draw them in with the tear-jerker and drive home your point with the numbers.
However, stories are the way to go if you have to choose between the two. After all, how many people do you know sitting around watching statistics roll across their screen versus how many people spend their time absorbing stories? So use a personal experience to get them involved. The more painful it is to you, the more backlinks you’ll likely get.
It’s like problem porn.
Use positive emotions
You’ve probably read the study by OkDork, where they analyzed 100 million posts. One of the things that most people seem to have missed out on, however, is the importance of positive emotions. The emotions most likely to get shared are:
- Awe (25%)
- Laughter (17%)
- Amusement (15%)
- Joy (14%)
While anger and sadness comprise a measly 7%, other negative emotions all come under the ‘other’ category.
This is probably because people want to be associated with those emotions (and we instinctively believe that what we share tells a story about who we are). For that reason, to get your content circulated widely, remember to use positive emotions like this to evoke a response. Even better, hint at them in your headline as then people are far more likely to click through to your story and, provided your story makes good on the promise you made in the headline, that will create backlinks for you.
Bonus: The reshare
And here’s a final tip for you: Reshare your posts! Too many people do not push their content enough through social media platforms. That’s a terrible waste as, generally, only a small percentage of your fans get to see individual posts. So, especially if you’ve managed to create some good content that you think people will be interested in seeing, you must keep bringing it. Of course, you shouldn’t bring back everything. Bring back the stuff that did well (or that you think should have done well).
Often just resharing a post once or twice can double the number of people clicking through to it. And that’s a lot of extra traffic for very little work! And again, that extra traffic is far more likely to generate backlinks and push you up in the search engine ranking.
And there you go! Seven post formats that will lead to more backlinks! Try them out, and let us know how they work out.
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