5 Types Of Linkbaits That Actually Work

Linkbait is such a suspicious word. At first, it appears to be some sort of fraudulent technique to get links from other webmasters, but on closer scrutiny, it turns out that linkbait is just another name of quality content that is so cool that people feel obliged to link to it.

Any blog, on today’s web, should create quality linkbait in order to be seen by more than a handful of visitors. The web is unlike all other media. Here, the success awaits those who understand the web regardless of how influential or rich they are in real life.

You must have seen, for example, that blogs run by individuals outrank multi-million dollar companies in SERP’s, and naturally get more traffic, and can potentially earn more money from the Internet than their rich and influential competitors.

Considering the diversity of niches present in the blogosphere, it’s hard to pin down exact topics that always serve as quality linkbait, but there are certain general topics that seem to have a penchant for going viral.

I’ve been looking closely at the trends on social media sites to see what kinds of topics are often voted up and appear again and again on the popular lists. And there are some topics that are clearly more popular from the rest among general geeks. Below are five of those topics that, if used wisely, make for great linkbaits.

Sex

Who doesn’t like sex? It’s the best thing that has happened to human beings during their evolution! No wonder people, especially youth, are attracted to sexual references.

Some tips on creating sex-related content:

  • Make a list of sexy wears for geeks
  • Highlight top x sexy woman in a specific field
  • Criticize the unhealthiness of certain sexual practices
  • Cover a news story that involves sex abuse
  • List interesting laws regarding sex in some countries.

Blasphemy

In other words, spark controversy. Say bad things about what a major group of people love or respect. OK.. don’t say outrageously bad things, but it doesn’t hurt to play a devil’s advocate once in a while!

Whichever niche you may be in, there is bound to be a figure, an ideology, or a company that has a major fan following. What you have to do is peek under the hood, find the shortcomings of figure, ideology, or company in question, and nitpick!

Here are some ideas:

  • Criticize a religion
  • Find fault with a widely loved product
  • Slam a popular company
  • Make conspiracy theories
  • Condone a despised activity

Warning: Use above techniques at your own risk as they could really harm your brand.

Unusual images

An image is worth a thousand words, or in our case, a thousand blog posts. Because of their quality of conveying even difficult message intuitively, images tend to go viral more rapidly than any other piece of linkbait.

There are plenty of unusual, funny, and grotesque images on the web that stay unnoticed. If you highlight such an image, or collection of images, with a short commentary, you’ll create a fine piece of linkbait with minimal effort.

Before posting an image, see:

  • If it’s funny in an unusual way
  • If it’s ‘photoshopped’ but realistic
  • If it resonates with a particular social media community you are targeting
  • If it’s awe-inspiring
  • If it’s of something yet largely unseen and undiscovered

Life-hacks

Life-hacks are workarounds, tips, tutorial, and how-to’s, that make certain aspects of life easy. One of the blessings of the internet is that people can share with one another solutions to common problems, step-by-step walk-throughs of complex procedures, and any tips, tricks, and shortcuts that simplify tedious tasks. Therefore, if devised carefully, a particularly useful life-hack can become an instant hit, and get you loads of links.

Some ideas for life-hacks:

  • Refute common myths (e.g. Creativity is a gifted quality)
  • Write a step by step tutorial that solves a common problem
  • Define a procedure that makes dealing with a certain emotional state easy
  • Discover multi-functionality of a commonly used device/software (e.g. WordPress as a CMS)
  • Start a new life-hacks blog (everyone and their mom has one these days, and they are all popular. Just get yourself a bunch of productivity books from Amazon.com and start copying!)

Resources

Last but not least, the good old resources. I am sure you have seen those top 5 to top 101 lists of resources on almost every blog. These are called resource lists.

Creating a resource list is not difficult. There is nothing you have to write on your own. All you need to do is a bit of research to come up with a medium sized resource list. The bigger the list, however, the more time you have to spend to acquaint yourself with the subject at hand.

Good practices in creating resource lists:

  • Format the list in a unique way (e.g. images aligned to left, and descriptions on the right)
  • Categorize the list in different sections, and start every section with a descriptive heading
  • Use images in the list to mark new section if the list is fairly big
  • Keep the descriptions small and links prominent
  • If possible, write your own descriptions

There are plenty of other ways to create linkbaits that you’ll know by observing popular social media sites.

Be sure to share your linkbait techniques with us in the comments!

18 comments so far and counting

  1. mskari.org » Daily Summary 2008-11-11

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