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15 Ways to Build Free Backlinks That Actually get Results

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Link building is a crucial aspect of SEO as it helps to increase the visibility and authority of a website. Backlinks, also known as inbound links, are links that point to your website from other sites.

Links are one of the most important ranking factors in Google’s algorithm. In this study by Backlinko, they found that websites in the top positions on Google have more backlinks than websites and lower positions. That said, link building is easier said than done. It takes time and requires you to learn a new skill set, which is why many people just end up paying for backlinks. Read Google confirms the importance of backlinks strength.

But you really don’t need to pay. There’s always ways to build backlinks for free. Or should I say, there’s correct ways to build backlinks for free and there’s incorrect ways.

As I was researching for this blog, I found tons of blogs and videos recommending outdated techniques like blog comments as a way to build free links. Blog comments haven’t worked since Pokemon Go was a thing.

So in this blog, I set out to spill the beans on free backlink techniques that will actually give you massive results. And I’ll even give you outreach scripts so you can start putting these techniques into practice today. And here’s the kicker. The best links on the planet are the ones you can’t pay for. So whether you pay for links or not, pay attention to this video if you want the best links possible. And make sure to stick around the end, because the last technique gets the best of the best.

1. Fixer upper

One of the most effective SEO techniques is the “fixer upper” approach. This involves identifying where your competitors have acquired backlinks and persuading those websites to link to your own content instead. This technique is particularly powerful, as it allows you to tap into established link networks and capitalize on the authority of existing content.

To get started, search for articles in your niche that have a large number of backlinks, especially older articles that may reference outdated information. For example, if you’re in the health and wellness industry, you might search for articles that promote the benefits of cow’s milk as a miracle food.

Once you’ve identified a high-performing article, use a tool like Ahrefs or Ubersuggest to find out who is linking to it. This will give you a list of websites that are interested in your niche and are likely to be interested in linking to your own content.

Next, reach out to these websites with a personalized email pitch, asking them to link to your up-to-date article instead. Be sure to include a link to your article and a brief explanation of why it is more relevant and useful than the older article they are currently linking to. With this approach, you can quickly and easily build a strong network of backlinks that will boost your search rankings and drive more traffic to your website.

Email Pitch
Email Pitch

This is where you highlight what’s in it for them. Put this process into a repeatable system and you have free links on Autopilot.

2. HARO 

What is HARO?

Haro stands to help a reporter out. It’s a platform that allows journalists to request quotes from experts to use in their articles. 


It’s gotten me tons of links. Like this one here from Forbes. For example, Let’s say that a journalist is writing an article in the New York Post about people that work online, and they want a quote from someone who works online. So they might propose a question like, what’s the best thing about working online that most people don’t realize.  

Well, that’s convenient because you work online. So you hit them up and drop some knowledge bombs about being a digital badass. When they use your quote, they’ll give you a link back to your website.

Here’s the tactics that you need to use to get the best results from haro. Each day, Haro will send out a list of opportunities for expert quotes. You need to jump on this right away and give your quotes before anyone else does. 

Speed is the key. These journalists have deadlines, so they’re trying to wrap up their articles ASAP. Next, don’t get lazy. After you do a few of these, you might start giving half’s answers to their questions. 

You want to answer each question as if you know you’re going to get that backlink. Visualize focus. See the end goal? Whatever you have to do, just try to hit a home run every time. Lastly, answer as many questions as you can. 

If your website is about knitting, if you sit around waiting for only knitting quotes to come up, you’re going to die before you get five links.

HARO Opportunities

Remember, you work from home, you might manage people and you’ve had other jobs. You could essentially write content on anything related to business, like hiring, self motivation or whatever. 

3. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a great way for us to gain high-quality links from high authority websites. In simple terms, affiliate marketing involves partnering with other businesses to promote their products or services on our website. In return, They get a commission for each sale or lead generated from their referral.

Personally, I have had great success with affiliate marketing by carefully choosing the products or services that I promote. I make sure that they are relevant to my audience and that I truly believe in their value. I also make sure to disclose that I am an affiliate for the product or service and provide honest reviews or comparisons. Affiliate marketing boosts your business to become a brand, it can help you to increase your revenue and customer base, it also helps to establish brand awareness and loyalty.

By doing this, I am able to provide valuable information to my audience while also gaining a quality link back to my website. It’s a great way to earn money while also improving the authority and credibility of our website through high-quality links. The next free link building technique is broken link building. 

4. Broken Link

Broken Link
Broken Link

Broken link building is when you identify when a site links out to another URL that the URL they’re linking to is dead.

Maybe the other website deleted that post, or the website has completely shut down itself. Either way, the link is broken and that’s bad for SEO. Read 2023 SEO Trend Predictions.

So what people usually do is email a website with a broken link and say, hey there. In your article, you’re linking out to insert broken URL which no longer exists. I recently wrote an updated current year version of the article here.

Insert your URL. If you’d like to update your broken link, we’d really appreciate it if you considered the article instead. But before you start saying broken link building is 2018, it doesn’t work anymore. You’re right, it doesn’t work anymore unless you add a little twist to it.

The reason it doesn’t work is because just like I don’t want to update old roundup posts, people don’t care about fixing their old content even if it has broken links. But if I posted something fairly new that I know people are reading, then hell nah, I want it fixed. Find a big site in your niche that has a lot of links going to it. So for me, let’s use Backlinko. Plop them into Ahref Site Explorer and search best buy links.

Then set the Http filter to 404 not found. This will bring up a list of articles that don’t exist anymore, ordered by how many domains are linked to them. This prevents Google penalties. Article at the top has 32 domains linking to it. Clicking on that number, you get a list of all those referring domains, but if you order by first seen, you’ll get the most recent articles first.

These are your target sites. Now go back and send that same template and watch your conversion rate double.

See also: Crafting The Perfect SEO Marketing Strategy: A Step-By-Step Guide

5. Link Exchange

Link Exchange
Link Exchange

The next free link building technique is link exchanges, where you trade someone for a backlink, you link to them and they link to you. You are our link exchange. Is Google safe?

Here are the Google guidelines on link exchanges. They say excessive link exchanges linked to me and I’ll link to you are listed under what they call link schemes. The key word here is excessive. As long as you don’t do this too much and make it your primary link building technique, for crying out loud, you’ll be fine. Now, the problem with link exchanges is it’s not the most efficient way to outreach and build links.

This is what I mean. If you’re going to take the time to find websites you want links from and send them emails offering them more value, like through a guest post, which we’ll get to later, is much more effective. 

Simply asking for a link swap wastes the attention that this person graciously gave to you. So here’s what you do instead. As you very well know already, your email inbox is spammed a billion times a day from people trying to get a link on your website.

But if you actually take the time to see who is asking, you’ll see that many of these websites are actually quite good. And since they reach out to your site asking for a link, they’re going to be super relevant to you. 

Instead of just ignoring these outreach requests, respond to the people with the websites that you’d want to link from and ask for a link exchange. Just look at all these amazing links. I’ll let you guess how many of them were landed simply because I decided to take a look at who wanted the backlink. 

6. Linkable Assets

Next up, we have linkable assets. This is the art of making content that attracts links like a magnet. There’s various types of content pieces that work best as linkable assets. 

Research studies and statistical pieces do really well. Ahrefs ran a case study where they built an SEO statistics page. It’s still pulling links like crazy. 

Why does this work? 

Because writers need to reference statistics when they’re creating content, and typically when they reference data, they link. 

Another linkable. Asset Type is a free tool. HubSpot made an online calculator for advertising ROI based on some super simple math, and it’s pulled a buttload of referring domains. 

Then we have definitive guides. There’s hardly any search volume for anchor text optimization, but I made a definitive guide anyways, and it’s pulled massive links. Now that you understand what types of linkable assets can be made, here’s a framework on how to create them. Step one: know your audience. 

What are their likes and dislikes? 

SEO is like data and guides, so that’s what I create. But people in fitness like hot bodies, so I’d make something that helps them achieve that, like a fitness calculator, or helps them look at more of them. 

Like a roundup of the fittest people on the planet today. 

Step 2: figure out what’s already working by reverse engineering your competition. If videos are working, make a video. If free tools are working, make one.

Step 3: start to collect data. Make sure you’re getting data from multiple sources of information. Helps with credibility and of course, linkability. 

Step 4: makes it look beautiful. Trust me on this one. Looks matter when it comes to linkable assets. 

Step 5: share it. Post it on your blog, then share it on social media, your email list, and outreach about it. 

Step 6: rinse and repeat. Every year or so, update your asset and begin promo again. 

Next up, we have an oldie but goodie, and that’s guest posting. 

7. Guest Post

What is a guest post?

It’s when you offer to write free content for someone and in that content there’s an expectation that you’ll have a link to your website.

One of my favorite techniques for getting free guest posts is the rankable content guest post pitch. What you’re doing here is offering the right content that a website should be able to rank for. 

You offer to do free SEO for someone. If you want to get a link from the HubSpot Dr 93 website, the first thing you need to do is figure out who their weaker competitors are. 

Next you’re going to use Ahrefs content gap tool to figure out what are the keywords that these other weaker sites rank for but HubSpot doesn’t. Right away you can see this Dr 76 website by stamp ranks for a term email signature examples and HubSpot doesn’t. 

And considering that HubSpot has 138,000 articles on email, you’d think that they want to know you just sent them an email pitch like this. 

Guest Post Email Template
Guest Post Email Template

The next technique is called the Favor. 

8. Favor

It’s when you do someone a solid and they feel obligated to help you out in return. Are you serious? What are some nice things you could do for someone else’s website, but also don’t take a huge amount of work to do? 

How about a list of unlinked brand mentions where people mention a website but they don’t link to them? You’re giving someone a list of opportunities for themselves to get links. 

The way you do that is go to ahrefs, Content Explorer and type in someone’s brand name at the top, then minus their domain name. This will give you a list of all the content on the internet except that person’s site that mentions their brand. 

Now you select Highlight unlinked, and type their domain name to pull up who doesn’t link to them. Now export and you have something to send out in your pitch email. 

Favor Email Pitch
Favor Email Pitch

It’s as easy as that. 

9. Digital PR

Next, we have Digital PR, which is not only the way to get the best links on the planet, but the most in a single effort. 

What you’re doing here is creating newsworthy stories and getting them in front of the eyes of journalists in the biggest online publications. 

I wrote this article on which tech companies have had the biggest impact in the 21st century. It leverages data and polls to achieve its conclusions, and it’s picked up 65 backlinks, including the New York Times. 

To do good at digital PR, you need to start with a relevant story. What subject is particularly important today? 

Then you want to make your content as linkable as possible. This almost always means that you want to include a lot of hard data. 

And lastly, you want to be able to get this in front of journalists that are interested in that subject.

See also: Digital Marketing Trends by Industry Experts

10. Guest Graphic 

Our next strategy is called “guest graphic.” In layman’s terms, it’s similar to a guest post, but instead of writing an article, we create and share infographics with other websites to feature on their blogs.

By doing this, we are able to reach a wider audience and gain credit or a backlink to our own site. It’s a win-win situation where both parties benefit from the shared content. I’ve accomplished this strategy for Incrementors on the

Next up on the list is to get your content placed in article roundup posts. 

11. Article Roundup Posts

You know those posts where people recap the best content in a particular industry, like my monthly SEO News Roundup where I highlight the most interesting news in SEO. Or this expert roundup that I participated in for Rank Ranger. 

Let me give you the perspective of someone who actually puts content like this together. Scouring the Internet for the month’s best articles in the SEO space is a bit of a time sync. It takes time to sort through basically the entire web for qualified content.

It’s a huge pain in the ass, to be honest. And it’s much easier when people send me their articles proactively. But the thing is, after I put up a post, I can’t go edit the article and add your article to the list. It’s written, it’s done, the goose is cooked. So to get your content placed in these articles, you need to get ahead of them. Here’s how you do that. 

Here’s a bunch of search terms you should use to make a huge list of the roundups in your niche keyword like.

“SEO + link roundup”

“keyword + roundup”

“keyword + best of this week plus”

“keyword and this month plus keyword”

Next, you want to get the email addresses for these publications using a tool like Hunter IO or just using their contact form. Now, as soon as you write a piece of content and it goes live, you want to email these guys with an email template like this.

Article Roundup Email Template
Article Roundup Email Template

This is where you highlight what’s in it for them. Put this process into a repeatable system and you have free links on Autopilot.

12. Skyscraper Technique 

Skyscraper Technique 
Image by Ahrefs

In a nutshell, the technique involves finding popular and high-performing content in your niche, and creating a better version of it. By doing this, you can attract the same audience that is already interested in the topic, and also outrank the original content in search engine results.

For example, you can find a popular blog post on “10 Tips for Better Time Management” and create a more comprehensive guide with “15 Proven Tips for Improving Time Management.” By including more information and updated research, you can attract the same audience who is searching for tips on time management, but also provide them with a more valuable resource.

It’s important to note that creating a better version of the content is not about copying or stealing content, it’s about creating an original and high-quality content that provides more value to the audience.

Using the Skyscraper Technique can be an effective way to increase website traffic and search engine rankings while also providing valuable information to your audience.

13. e-book Submission 

image 39

ebook Submission

E-book Submission is a strategy used by content writers to promote their content and increase their online visibility. The idea is to create an e-book containing high-quality, informative content related to your niche, and then submitting it to various e-book directories and platforms for others to download and read.

E-book submission can be a great way to reach a wider audience and gain exposure for your content, as well as to establish yourself as an expert in your field. It also can be a great way to promote your website or blog, as you can include links back to your site within the e-book.

Creating an e-book and submitting it to various directories and platforms can be a great way to promote your content and increase your online visibility. It’s important to make sure that the e-book is well-written, informative, and relevant to your target audience. Additionally, make sure to include a call-to-action to encourage readers to visit your website or blog.

Overall, e-book submission can be an effective way to reach a wider audience, promote your content, and establish yourself as an expert in your field.

14. Brand Mention

Brand Mention is a strategy used by big brands to increase brand awareness and build backlinks to their website.

In simple terms, brand mentions refer to when another website or blog mentions your brand or website without linking to it. You can reach out to these websites and ask them to add a link to your website. This will not only increase brand awareness, but also improve your website’s search engine rankings by building backlinks.

For example, let’s say you write a blog post on “The Best Coffee Beans for French Press” and another website mentions your brand name in their article on the same topic, but doesn’t link to your website. As a content writer, you can reach out to them and ask them to add a link to your article. This will increase your brand awareness and also give your website a valuable backlink from a relevant website.

Using brand mentions can be an effective way to increase brand awareness and build backlinks to your website. It’s important to keep an eye out for brand mentions and take advantage of the opportunity to ask for a link.

15. Video Marketing

Incorporating video marketing into the backlink strategy can be a powerful way to connect with our audience and promote our brand. Video marketing involves creating and sharing videos that inform, educate, or entertain our audience.

One of the great things about video marketing is that it allows us to showcase our expertise and personality in a more engaging and dynamic way. We can use videos to give our audience a behind-the-scenes look at our business, share tips and tutorials, or even just share our thoughts on a relevant topic. 

We can create an informative video on the specific topic, Where the existing blog is already ranking on the SERP, then you need to outreach all the prospects to include your video on their content, Which is well elaborated in the video. By using this technique you’ve a chance to get a source link or mention from the website. 

Closing thoughts

Building backlinks is an important part of any content marketing strategy. However, not all backlinks are created equal, and it’s important to focus on building high-quality links that can drive real results.

The 15 strategies we’ve outlined in this blog post are all effective ways to build backlinks for free. Whether you’re creating valuable content, leveraging social media, or participating in online communities, there are plenty of opportunities to build links without spending a dime.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that building backlinks is not a one-time event. It’s an ongoing process that requires patience and persistence. By consistently creating valuable content, engaging with your audience, and seeking out opportunities to build links, you’ll be well on your way to boosting your search engine rankings and driving more traffic to your website.

In the end, building backlinks is not just about getting more traffic, it’s about improving your website’s reputation and authority in your industry. By building high-quality backlinks, you’ll establish your website as a trusted and valuable resource for your audience.

At Make Vision Clear, our team of SEO experts is dedicated to helping businesses like yours achieve higher search engine rankings and drive more traffic to your website. We have the experience and expertise to help you create a comprehensive SEO strategy that includes building high-quality backlinks. If you’re ready to take your SEO to the next level, contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help your business succeed online.

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