Hey Indiehackers! I’ve recently published a case study on how we were able to grow Pixelied (a SaaS company) from 0 to 24,000+ organic traffic in only 8 months building backlinks from high authority websites. I’ve documented the entire process step-by-step on how you can replicate the process and get backlinks for your website.
When we started a couple of months ago, we had a completely new domain, zero backlinks, zero domain rating, and no organic search.
There are many guides out there that teach you how to build backlinks using hundreds of different methods. What makes this post so special, you might ask?
The answer is dynamic personalization. This is what will give you an edge over your competition. Since, it is something that is still not being used by many people in the industry.
We rank for lots of competitive keywords leaving behind companies like Canva, Snappa, and Crello.
The full post with screenshots is down in the comments, but here’s a tl;dr:
Here are the main steps involved in the process:
It may seem obvious but to earn backlinks, you need to create good content.
Your content must provide value to your readers. It’s incredibly important that you do not take this step lightly as the success of this strategy depends on your content.
We used the skyscraper model which is a tried and tested inbound marketing strategy.
In the skyscraper strategy, we’ll essentially look for our target keyword’s SERP on Google. Let’s say you want to rank for the keyword ‘‘how to lose weight”. Go through the top 10 results carefully.
Make a note of the format, tone, and style of content ranking on the first page. Essentially, we’re spying on our competition.
After doing our research, we’ll simply create much better content than our competitors such as adding more content, visuals, questions, video, data in a structured manner, easy to read content, etc.
Tip: I would highly recommend creating at least 2000+ word blog posts to have a chance at ranking your content.
Note: You don’t always have to follow the skyscraper technique. Creating a high-quality post that provides unique and new insights can also work.
If you’re good at writing and don’t have a budget. Then that’s perfect! But we outsourced the content creation part to an agency where they published 5 blog posts every month.
I was able to find several great content writers on Reddit that had been creating blog posts for SaaS businesses. The subreddit on which I posted the job description was HireaWriter.
You can generally find good writers in the US$0.08–0.1/word range. If you want to have a 2000 word blog post, then that would cost you about $160-$200. If you’re working with individual content writers, then I would send them a content outline of the post they have to write on. Details like the main keyword, your target audience, SEO guidelines, headings, etc.
Twitter is another great place where you can create posts using hashtags like #hiringawriter to reach potential applicants.
With your high-quality content ready, it’s time to look for backlink opportunities.
In this step, we’ll look for websites that have provided a backlink to our competitors and most likely will include our blog post as it is the most comprehensive post on the subject matter, recently updated and fresh.
To do that, we’ll use Ahrefs to analyze link profiles of the top 20 websites ranking for our main keyword. We’ll open the backlinks page of each of those 20 websites while selecting these filter types:
link type = blogs only
language = english
link type = do-follow backlinks
After doing this, we’ll export the backlinks from all these 20 websites in one single sheet. With this information, we’re almost ready to contact these websites and ask for a backlink.
The first thing we’ll do is look for the author’s name by opening the blog post. This information is usually at the bottom of the post.
Paste the link of your blog post in Snov’s “Domain Search” page.
Since we know the author's name, we’ll most likely be able to find their details there. For example, if the post is written by Dawood Khan, then in Snov, most likely you’ll find my contact details such as [email protected]
Once you have repeated this process for all your prospect websites, we’ll now have to verify the leads using an email verification tool. We used Thechecker for this purpose.
Note: If nothing works, you can roll the dice and contact a generic company email ID such as [email protected].
Hunter.io recently launched a new tool named ‘Author Finder’. The tool has an accuracy rate of 60–70% so it’s pretty reliable. I haven’t used it much but the results have been great so far.
If you have a budget you can outsource the lead generation process and save yourself plenty of time. Back when I was starting a few months ago, I had to do this whole process manually and it was a pain in the a**.
Upwork and Freelancer.com have plenty of lead generation freelancers who can find contact details for you.
We pay $0.2 for each deliverable lead they find. This is a great way to scale this whole process quickly.
Tip: I would recommend giving the freelancers a test list of 20 people with their website links. This way you’ll be able to assess which freelancers provide quality work and that you can work with.
This is the secret sauce that we use to get high quality backlinks from our outreach campaigns. It can truly differentiate you from everyone. The reason why it works so best is because not many people are doing it.
Personalization is basically sending dynamic images and gifs at scale without doing the work manually for each prospect.
Here’s an example: https://imgur.com/a/jOvmQtK
Once you’ve filled your prospect list with names and emails, it’s time to finally reach out to them. You’ll be sending each person a personalized email.
The human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than plain text.
For personalization, there are endless possibilities that you can try. You can use funny memes, pictures with your dog or cat, or using a picture of you or your co-workers holding a laptop with a screenshot of their blog post.
You don’t have to follow this format but the idea is to be creative!
Most people are busy and may not reply right away. So, it's important to have a follow-up email sequence that sends reminders after two to three days.
Generally, short and simple subject lines such as “quick question” or “quick question + name” or “hoping you can help” are effective.
Keep the email short and sweet. Don’t add paragraphs of text explaining who you are, what you do, and all the unnecessary information.
Using humor is a great way to break the ice and cheer them up before they form an opinion of you.
Don’t ramble in your introduction.
Use 3-4 liner words along with personalization. Don’t use words like great or awesome. These can be seen as empty compliments.
Now that you have their attention, it’s time to close the deal.
Instead of paying a fee for a backlink, we provided them with a lifetime access to our Pro plan and a shoutout on our social media channels. This allowed us to secure backlinks for free.
To put things into perspective, we sent 129 cold emails to prospects asking for a backlink. Out of these 129 prospects, 46 people provided a backlink to our site. (A whopping 36% success rate)
Limit the number of emails you send to 50–100 emails every day. Otherwise, you will burn your email and domain reputation.
If you want to scale this process, hire the help of virtual assistants or freelancers.
Also, test sending emails at different times of the day.
Usually, the best time to send emails is between 10–12 am EST. When you do get a response, reply as fast as you can.
While the best backlinks are free, some people will still ask for a fee no matter how good your outreach is.
Only consider this for special cases such as for sites that have growing organic traffic, no sudden drops in traffic (most likely site has been penalized), good domain rating, etc.
Getting high quality backlinks can be tough but it isn’t impossible.
If I can do it, so can you.
I would be more than happy to answer your questions.
LIKED OUR RUN-DOWN? HERE'S THE COMPLETE GUIDE WITH STEP-BY-STEP SCREENSHOTS: https://dawoodkhan254.medium.com/high-quality-backlinks-f00d12d0edb