5 Unique Ways to Get Backlinks to Your Website

Today’s guest post is from Sarah Boisvert, who is an author who writes on a wide range of topics from small business to investing to high technology. She also covers social media and has written profiles of Bill Gates, Steve Wynn, and Chuck Hull.
Spider web image for 5 Unique Ways to Get Backlinks to Your Websites

Backlinks help readers find your website in the tangle of the Web! [Photo credit: Tina Phillips via FreeDigitalPhotos.com]

In this Internet age, websites are key to selling every product and service from books to videos and speaking engagements to webinars. But having a website is just the beginning. To get potential customers to find your specific website in the tangle of the Web requires having a high page rank for your keywords in search engines like Google.

Search algorithms increasingly rely upon backlinks to evaluate content strength. The logic goes that if a website is mentioned with a hyperlink to it on another website, then the content must be valuable to readers.

Knowing this, some webmasters went overboard creating links to hundreds of sites. Many of these backlinks also had no relationship to the subject matter or were connected to sites that bordered on spam.

Google responded to these tactics intended to “fool” the system, of course, and now includes relevance of subject matter in their algorithms. Consequently, backlinks of good quality are essential to driving more traffic to your website.

While it takes a little more effort now to get good backlinks, there are many unique ways to be sure your website stays within Google guidelines. Here are some tips to get you started.

Partner with Smaller Vendors

Large vendors like Amazon have established backlink programs for authors and product suppliers, but don’t ignore the smaller outlets. Get a list from your distributor of stores that carry your books and contact the manager or owner about backlinks. Organizations that hire you to speak are also a good source of backlinks. Of course, you’ll need to reciprocate and link back to these vendors on your website, but that is just good business for everyone.

Befriend Bloggers

Bloggers are always searching for new topics for blog posts. By searching for top bloggers in your subject area, you can build a list of potential websites for backlinks.

Perhaps they could include a book or podcast review, an interview before an upcoming book signing or speech, or a general interest story. This provides an opportunity for the blog to link to your website. As before, you need to be a good member of the online community and reciprocate. You can do something simple like create a page of News and Reviews with links and a brief description.

Twitter logo used in 5 Unique Ways to Get Backlinks to Your Website

Twitter is filled with media writers and bloggers [Image credit: Twitter]

Social Media

Twitter is a great social media platform for finding writers and bloggers who might be interested in reciprocal links. The Twitterverse is full of media types from national, local and international news agencies as well as bloggers covering everything you can imagine. Search for some keywords from your field and create lists of the writers you find.

There are rules of etiquette that accompany being a good member of the community. First, you’ll need to engage with the writers or bloggers, getting to know them in Cyberspace. Once you’ve established credibility and demonstrated that you’re not a spammer, you can ask for a backlink. Most Tweeters who “know” you are happy to comply.

Trade Associations and Other Organizations

Trade associations or other organizations are always happy to promote members. Often they will publish news about individual members or business and corporate members and include a backlink. This is true for every type of group from your local Chamber of Commerce to the national alumni association of your college alma mater. Get to know the membership director or IT specialist to see what kinds of backlinks they can provide.

Don’t Forget Fans or User Groups

It goes without saying that fans are always willing to help out since they are happy customers who want you to succeed. Reach out through your database or blog, but again, you don’t want to be a spammer! Limit the number of requests and, if possible, offer an incentive such as a small gift card or a promotional item.

Working on backlinks has an additional benefit beyond search engine optimization. You’ll be interacting more with the world, and it’s through being visible that good PR opportunities also arise. Following these five tips, you’ll be sure to increase sales of all your products and services through a variety of channels.

The Best Social Media Platform for Business

I’ve been asked many times before, “What’s your favorite social media platform for business?”

Many people think that if you’re in business, LinkedIn is the only place to be, and while LinkedIn has its many benefits and is a strong contender in my social media platform, my answer may be surprising to you.

My favorite social media platform, hands down, is Twitter.

I know. I know. I hear it all the time. You’re thinking “What? Twitter? I just don’t get all that tweeting stuff. All it is is stuff about what everyone had for breakfast!”

That’s where I’d jump up and down, pointing my finger at you and shouting “Wrong!” Well, maybe not so much jumping up and down… And probably not shouting. (It’s not my style.) I have no idea why I’d point a finger either…

But you’re definitely wrong. Sorry!

As simple as the site is, Twitter is the most powerful tool in my social media arsenal.

The Best Social Media Platform for Business

twitter

When I found out in 2009 that I was soon to be unemployed, Twitter was where my job search took root. It was where I was first exposed to the power of hashtags to find and sort content being shared on the internet.

I was a bit nervous at first about using Twitter. Was everyone a scam artist?

Then, I came across Steve Keating (@LeadToday) on Twitter. For some reason, his simple reassurance in his bio that he wasn’t selling anything on Twitter, only giving back, set my heart at ease. I started engaging with him a bit, and enjoying his nonsensical animal trivia on Saturday mornings. It reminded me of a book my kids and I enjoyed called 365 Days of Nature and Discovery: Things to Do and Learn for the Whole Family.

Our shared interest in leadership topics led me to discover the Lead Change Group (@leadchange and #leadchange) shortly after their Leader UnPalooza in early 2010, which sounded like a lot of fun. I struck up a friendship with Mike Henry Sr. (@mikehenrysr), the founder of the group, which led me to discover and make connections with many of the founding members of the Lead Change Group.

[Read more…]

An Interview with Jeff Goins, author of “Wrecked”

Today’s post features an interview with author, Jeff Goins. Tara Alemany, owner of Aleweb Social Marketing, had the opportunity to ask Jeff a few questions recently as part of his virtual tour for his new book, Wrecked, which came out in August 2012.

Jeff Goins, author of Wrecked, interviewed on alewebsocial.comJeff is a writer who lives outside of Nashville with his wife, son, and pup. He works for Adventures in Missions and blogs at goinswriter.com.

When you started your blog in 2010, you had some burning questions about making a living as a writer that you were trying to answer for yourself. (To see Jeff’s questions, click here.) With the recent publication and success of Wrecked, it looks like you found the answers. I’d love it if you could share part of that journey with my readers because it’s a trip they’d all like to take too!

[Read more…]

The Fun Side of Social Media

Tara Alemany, the Bubble Lady, having fun in TanzaniaYou know, the fun thing about social media, whether you are using it for business or for pleasure, is that it can be an awful lot of fun. There are online events intended simply to be silly, that take us out of our shell and allow us to feel like kids again for a little while.

For instance, on Friday nights at 11 PM ET, there’s the TweetChat #slumberparty hosted by the lovely @DabneyPorte. It is often accompanied by creative hospitality, pillow fights, stolen Diva jets, great music spun by Wayne, and general merriment.

But once a year, there is the annual International Talk Like a Pirate Day on September 19. This celebration is enjoyed by celebrities like Dave Barry, and everyday folks like you and me.

This year’s celebration is the 10th anniversary of International Talk Like a Pirate Day, otherwise known as “ITLAPD.” With over 82,000 likes on their Facebook page, this online party is a well-attended one.

Yet its popularity and extends beyond Facebook. Their website talklikeapirate.com has a Google page rank of 6 and an Alexa ranking of 259,871 worldwide and 37,696 in the US. The banter and merriment make people want to join in the fun, and this translates to traffic.

For the fact that the majority of their activity is limited to a couple of months a year in the lead up to September 19 each year, that’s an incredible accomplishment.

So as you think about your business, what kind of fun and merriment can you bring to it? This extends beyond contests and polls, which bring limited one-time traffic, into the realm of entertainment. Take for instance the Old Spice viral videos that came out a couple of years ago with the Old Spice Man. They were shared far and wide because of their humorous nature. Don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself and create a fun environment. Take yourself too seriously and you’ll be considered an old fuddy-duddy. Nobody likes hanging out with a fuddy-duddy.

I know a new business that launched their YouTube video series with their blooper reel, instead of their commercials. They ended up generating a lot of interest in their YouTube channel before they ever put up a single commercial for their brand, simply because they were willing to laugh at themselves. Once they started putting their product commercials, they already had the attention of a rapt audience.

So in honor of making social media a bit more fun, here’s a brief video tutorial on how to change the language settings in Facebook to “English (Pirate).” The same technique can be used to change the Facebook language settings to anything else you choose as well.

So, give us an “Arr!” below, and scrawl somethin’ tellin’ us what your favorite way is to have fun with social media.

To Tweet, Or Not To Tweet

Thomas Comer | B2B CFO http://www.b2bcfo.com/partner/tcomer/Thomas R. Comer, MBA, JD, a partner in B2B CFO. Tom attended a talk I gave at a NetworkPlus event in Westport, CT, this spring, which just happened to be of the same name. It’s one of my more popular Twitter talks, “To Tweet or Not to Tweet: Whether Twitter is a Useful Business Tool or a Devious Distraction.”

Without knowing what the topic was that day, Tom had brought along this poem he’d written. With his permission, I share it with you. (Apologies from both of us to The Bard.) 🙂

To tweet, or not to tweet, that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of cyber-obscurity,
Or to take arms against a sea of competitors,
And by opposing end them? To log on, to search,
No more; and via Google to say we end
The heartache and the thousand natural junk mails
That flesh is heir to: ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To log on, to search;
To search, per chance a “hit” — aye, there’s the rub:
For in that SEO of hope what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this limited liability company,
Must give us pause — there’s the respect
That makes the value proposition so long.
For who would bear the whips and scorns of clients,
The promised referral, the proud man’s brochure,
The pangs of unreturned phone calls, the Internet’s delay,
The insolence of networking, and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his laptop make
With a Facebook page? What would consultants bear,
To blog and sweat under a weary life,
But for the dread of something called LinkedIn,
The undiscovered country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus the hyperlink doth make cowards of us all.

What are your views? IsTwitter a useful business tool or a devious distraction? If you don’t know and want to find out, feel free to give us a call or book our talk for your organization.

The Oft-Forgotten Tool in our Marketing Toolkit: SlideShare

Are you an author? A speaker? A trainer? A marketer? All of the above? You know there’s a very powerful tool that’s often overlooked that we could be taking out and using more often; or at least I know I could. So, today’s post is going to cover some interesting examples of how you can use SlideShare to increase your visibility.

  1. Start first with the increased exposure that posting presentations to the SlideShare site itself gives to you. Developing a strong presence on the site, with a complete profile, suitable keyword tags for each presentation, etc. will allow others to find, appreciate and share your material and samples that much more easily. It also provides a great place to send event planners, training coordinators, etc. who want to see a bit more of what your work looks like. According to the SlideShare website:

    SlideShare is the world’s largest community for sharing presentations. With 60 million monthly visitors and 130 million pageviews, it is amongst the most visited 200 websites in the world. Besides presentations, SlideShare also supports documents, PDFs, videos and webinars.

  2. Jazz up your LinkedIn profile by incorporating the SlideShare app into it. To do so, in LinkedIn, select the More menu, followed by Get More Applications…, and then select the SlideShare Presentations app to add to your profile. Configure the app to connect to your SlideShare account, and then visitors to your profile will be able to see the most recent presentation you shared. If they click on the app logo, it will take them to an expanded version of the SlideShare app where they can explore other presentations as well.
  3. Embed a presentation on your website. If you have a presentation or two that you want to highlight for your website visitors, SlideShare provides you with the necessary embed code to be able to do that. Here’s one that I just uploaded from a talk I gave last March.
  4. Pin presentations from SlideShare to Pinterest boards. I recently got into a debate with someone about Pinterest and its ideal uses. They saw it as a place where women share recipes and post inspirational quotations. The thing is, Pinterest is such a powerful site and has an incredible level of engagement. So, why wouldn’t you incorporate it into your business strategies, marketing tactics or even your job search? Here’s a great SlideShare presentation on creating Pinterest resumes. The same concept can apply for various speaking topics, book subjects, training courses, etc. Be imaginative!
  5. Periodically share your presentations in your status updates on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Create a few pre-crafted posts that you can add to your editorial calendar and keep continuing traffic coming to the presentations you want to have the most visibility. Schedule these posts in your post planner (I use Hootsuite), so that they run on auto-pilot.
  6. Remember to craft your presentations well! A well-crafted presentation will catch people’s attention, prompting them to share it with their networks as well. Consider adding video to your presentation or an audio track, wherever appropriate, to bring the presentation to life.
  7. Generate leads using SlideShare. If you upgrade your free account to the PRO version, you can use LeadShare to enable viewers to contact you directly, right from your presentations! With a LeadShare campaign running, a lead capture box is displayed after the first 10 slides, at the end of the deck, or by a permanent display button on the player. To learn more about Leadshare, click here.

What are some of your favorite ways to use SlideShare?

On the Art of Becoming “Someone” on Twitter

Twitter engagement https://alewebsocial.comA friend asked recently:

My boss is interested in generating interest via twitter. I’ve “searched” his name and character’s name and “followed” people who are tweeting good stuff about him. How do you get people to follow you? How do you become “someone” on twitter? Thanks for any help you can offer.

Do you have similar questions? You’ve created a Twitter account, tweeted a few times, followed some interesting folks, but still haven’t figured out how to gain a following.

The easy answer is “engage them.” But that probably doesn’t really answer your question. “Engage who? And how?” you might ask.

If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you’ll know that I’m a fan of real, authentic engagement. So, you won’t find me “buying” followers, auto-responding, etc. While some of the links I share are pre-scheduled, they are created by me. Responses you get, you’re getting from me.

Now, I could sit in my office and wait for people to pass by (in my Twitter feed), and say “hi” as they march along. But that would become redundant and unfulfilling over time. Instead, I proactively strive to be useful to my followers. I go to where they are, rather than waiting passively for them to find me.

I once had a boss whom I loved. He didn’t just have an open door policy… He took it upon himself to take periodic breaks throughout his very long day and “wander among us.” He’d stick his head in at my door and ask how my day was going, if there was anything I needed to move forward on a project, etc. He wasn’t micro-managing. He was showing a genuine interest in me as a person and the work I was doing. As a result, he created a bond of loyalty that’s almost impossible to create in any other way.

So, how does this apply to building a Twitter following? Effectively using social media means applying the best leadership skills available; those that recognize people as individuals with unique interests, needs and skills. It means not only responding to people when you’re spoken to, but being willing to start conversations yourself and join conversations that are in progress already (if you have anything useful to add).

There are tools and techniques I use to make it easier to find those I want to build stronger bonds with, whether they are following me already or not. Here are just a few of them:

  • Participate in Tweetchats that catch your interest. Wouldn’t it be valuable to connect with others who share that interest? If you’re not familiar with Tweetchats, they are conversations that take place on Twitter, often at a specific time, using a given hashtag. (To learn more about hashtags, check out Hashtags Demystified.) Some of my favorites include #LeadChange, #LeadFromWithin, #BookPro, #SocMed and #SlumberParty.
  • Find the tools that work for you in filtering the information firehose that is Twitter. With over 2,000tps (tweets per second) going out on Twitter any given day, there’s just no way to take it all in. There are many tools out there to help you work your way through the fluff to the gems. A few of my favorites are Hootsuite, Bottlenose and InboxQ.
    • Hootsuite allows me to create Twitter streams filtered by those I follow or specific hashtags and keywords I’m interested in, as well as allowing me to post content to my own profiles immediately or on a schedule.
    • Bottlenose allows me to see which conversations my connections are currently engaged in. (It has a really neat sonar interface!)
    • InboxQ allows me to watch for people who are posting questions that I can answer. Thereby, allowing me to engage in conversations that may not even have gotten started yet!
  • Share relevant content with those that follow you. There are a few ways to find good content. You don’t have to create it all yourself. I use paper.li as a great way to curate relevant content from others, Twylah to share my own great content, and the bufferapp browser extension to share what I’m reading.
  • Use Twitter directories both to share about who you are, and to find people you may be interested in getting to know more. Some of the more popular are Twellow, WeFollow and TweetFind.

As you interact with people online that you like, follow them! If they enjoyed the conversation, they may follow you back. Keep in mind, as you strive to “be someone” on Twitter, that to be someone, you have to be real and authentic. Focus on growing relationships rather than making sales. As you do, you’ll find that sales come naturally as a result.

 

What are your favorite methods of growing your Twitter following? Please share them below!

Who Do You Give Back To?

I started following Dan Rockwell (@leadershipfreak) on April 30, 2010. I saw his Twitter ID listed among friends of mine from the Lead Change Group in a #ff tweet. After taking a look at his content, I knew he was someone I wanted to follow and learn from, and that others needed to hear what he had to share as well. So, I tweeted:

Leadershipfreak_tweet

Within the hour, Dan thanked me and let me know he was following me back. And so our conversation began…

That’s one thing that I love about using Twitter. Friendships develop, conversations ensue, and sometimes, just sometimes, our lives are touched.

When I first entered the Twitterverse, I did so on a whim with no real idea of what I was going to do with it. (This was during Ashton Kutcher’s competition with CNN Breaking News to see who could reach 1 million followers first, back in April 2009.) As a result, after creating my Twitter account, I didn’t do much of anything other than lurk and retweet. Then, as I was traveling to Tanzania as a missionary in June 2009, I thought it would be a great way of sharing my experiences while I was gone. Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties, that wasn’t possible.

It wasn’t until I returned home, and decided to spend some time figuring out the platform that I began making real connections on Twitter. First, there was Steve Keating (@leadtoday), whom I started following in January 2010. I was impressed with his bio, which said (and still does) that he’s not selling a thing on Twitter, only giving back. Then there were many others who followed. I found myself seeking out people who were positive, inspiring, uplifting, and had an “other” focus. We all need more givers than takers in our lives.

When I came across Dan, I recognized him as one of those people I wanted to surround myself with. But he opened my eyes to other possibilities for Twitter, which has since become my favorite social network, thanks to people like him.

Soon after we started following one another, he DM’d (direct messaged) me to say that he made a point of talking offline with the people he was meeting online, and would I be interested in talking by phone sometime? The online world of social media was still new to me, even though I was an eager student. But this was the first time I’d been part of what seems second nature now; taking an online connection and building an offline relationship.

While I was, at first, a little nervous during our phone call, it quickly became something easy and comfortable. I enjoyed learning about him, and sharing about myself. It was completely non-threatening and engaging, and I became fascinated with the potential of meeting new people who interested me. I live in a rural area of the country. As a single parent, I don’t get out much. So, being able to connect with people who share like beliefs, have similar interests and dreams, and who support and encourage one another is so very compelling to me.

Now, it’s my turn to give back to someone I care about, to support and encourage him where I can. Many of you may know that Dan was in a terrible car accident on November 20th. While it’s incredible that he survived it, what’s even more amazing is the grace, perseverance, gratitude and outward-focus he’s displayed this whole time. How many of us, at a time like this, would be tempted to slip into self-pity? Yet, Dan’s focus isn’t on himself, but on those he loves. He is a source of encouragement and inspiration to me, always.

One of the reasons I’m sharing about Dan today is because a source of anxiety for him is the medical bills that are anticipated to run around $30K in out-of-pocket expenses. This isn’t money he has just lying around. His work in the ministry and raising up leaders has been the treasure he’s stored up. To show our love and support for Dan, the Lead Change Group has been rallying around him to help raise funds to cover his expenses. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation, even if it’s only a few dollars. In 9 days, we’ve raised over $8,000 towards our goal, but there’s still a long way to go!

Take a minute, just one, and think about someone who inspires and encourages you. What lengths would you go to in order to help them? After you’ve done that, click on the image below, and give as generously as you feel led.

Time to Give Back to Dan


 

What To Do When There’s a Snafoo…

Early this morning, news started floating around about Mark Davidson, from Orange Country, CA. According to his Twitter bio, he’s an:

“Internet sales & marketing professional. I write a lot of things to amuse myself and others. On occasion, I even have deep thoughts.”

According to his Twitter timeline, this social media professional had 3 ghostwriters on staff until yesterday, when he let one go. I’m sure, to his chagrin, he didn’t change his Twitter password. The result is something highly unprofessional, but something that could happen to anyone of us as a result of a momentary oversight.

Mark Davidson

Those of us who have ever lost a job can probably relate to the feelings expressed by this ghostwriter towards his former employer. However, all that would have to happen is for Mark to name this unemployed writer, and we can be certain the writer would remain that way for a long time to come!

So, don’ttake your momentary anger and make it part of the permanent record of the internet! There are multiple lessons to be learned here.

  1. If you’re an employer and let an employ go, make sure that your systems remain secure.
  2. If you’re recently unemployed, find other, more constructive, means of dealing with the feelings you’re experiencing. The loss of an income is significant. You have every right to feel intense emotions about it. But don’t let those emotions blind your reason and drive you to irreparable actions.
  3. If you’ve been the victim of a hacked account or some other kind of business failure, consider what information you want to share with your connections. How do you want people to view you afterward? Tailor your response to that. Is there something you could have done to prevent the issue? Own up to it.

Anyone can take their ball and go home. However, professionals face their problems, acknowledge what went wrong and what’s being done to fix the issues, and they move forward from there. Mark’s subsequent tweets show that he considered giving up; but instead, he posted a want ad for a new ghost writer. Know anyone that’s interested?

Book Review: “likeable social media” by Dave Kerpen

Our next book review is of Dave Kerpen’s New York Times best seller “likeable social media,” subtitled “How to DELIGHT YOUR CUSTOMERS, Create an IRRESISTIBLE BRAND, and Be Generally AMAZING ON FACEBOOK (and other social networks).”

As the subtitle might convey, Dave has a lot to say about how to do social media right. He begins early in the book by sharing an analogy about being at a cocktail party. As with any party, you encounter a wide variety of people on social media networks; those who are great story tellers, and those who bore you to tears. Then, Dave boldly asks which person you want to see again, or maybe even do business with.

Since this review was first written, a revised and expanded version was released, which you can find here instead.

We all instinctively know who we want to hang out with at a party, but as businesses, we tend to ignore some of the most basic niceties of human communication. We forget to listen, to ask questions, and to engage with people.

Dave reminds us of the elements that make people likeable, and applies them to businesses as well. His first chapter looks at the importance of listening, and to never stop listening. From there, he stresses the importance of knowing your demographics, as well as where and how to find them, then putting yourself in their shoes. Ask yourself, if you were your customer, what would you want?

Each chapter focuses on another aspect of likeability and how to apply it online; things like being authentic, honest and transparent, taking responsibility, responding to comments people make (both the good and the bad), providing value to the people you engage with, inspiring people with the stories you share, and integrating social media into your customers’ experience.

There’s not a lot that’s new in Dave’s book. Any child who has ever been taught their manners learns the same thing. Listen. Say “please” and “thank you.” Put yourself in the other guy’s shoes. Ask questions. Be nice. If you’ve done something wrong, apologize. Don’t be pushy or bossy. Play nice with others. Don’t run with scissors. (Well… That’s not really in the book, but you get the idea!)

However, Dave puts all of these simple things together in the context of developing a likeable social media presence for your business, even if you are hampered by regulations that hinder your ability to participate in social media. A significant benefit of using social media comes from listening to what people have to say, showing appreciation for their praise and concern for their frustrations, offering guidance when and how rules allow.

One thing I particularly liked is that at the end of each chapter, there are action items that help you to apply what you’ve just learned to your own unique situation. For example, Chapter 12, called “Share Stories (They’re Your Social Currency)” suggests that you write down your company’s founding story, and package it for easy consumption on social networks. This is more than writing a bio for your profile, or an “About Us” page on your website. This is about sharing the story that captures your unique “Why,” and it can be a very engaging and compelling connector between you and your audience.

It’s for this reason that I believe there’s something in this enjoyable book for everyone working with social media; both the newbie and the experienced veteran. So, if you’re looking for an engaging read that inspires you to be more likeable, I highly recommend reading Dave Kerpen’s “likeable social media.”

The new and revised edition of likeable social media is available on Amazon now.