[Step-By-Step] Best 3 Link Building Strategies for SEO Beginners in 2021
In this article, I am going to show 3 link building strategies for beginners with a step-by-step process and how you can outsource and scale those strategies to generate tons of backlinks.
In SEO for B2B backlinks play a major part and If you are just starting a new website, then you shouldn’t just for links to come naturally, as this could take ages. You need to go out there and build backlinks manually.
Before we move to the actual link building strategies, you need to understand the processes of link building strategies. Because this will help you to better understand them and implement any of the link building strategies.
Also, it will help you when you are building backlinks for your website or your clients as having processes helps you to visualize the range of activities from beginning to end so you can create a systemized approach to building backlinks.
So, almost every link building strategy follows these four steps:
Prospecting: That is when you are searching for potential prospects you want to get a link from.
Vetting: After generating a list of prospects, you will need to vet unqualify and low-quality prospects that are not worth the effort. Often this can be done during prospecting simultaneously.
Outreach: Once you have completed your list, then it’s time to connect with the prospects. Typically, this is done via email, but also you can use social media to connect with your prospects.
Scaling Up: You will need to scale the three steps to generate as many high-quality backlinks and as fast as possible by hiring in-house marketers, freelancers, or agencies.
So, I will be using these four steps for the three link building strategies to show you exactly how you can apply them to your website from beginning to end. Also, I will share some of the best tips I have learned along the way to generate above-average results.
1. Guest Blogging
The first link building strategy you can use to build a lot of high-quality backlinks for your website is guest blogging.
Guest blogging as the name suggest is content marketing tactic where you are writing blog posts for other websites and publication to acquire backlink and increase the exposure of your brand.
This link building strategy is super beginner-friendly, and I recommend everybody to continuously search for guest blogging opportunities. Especially for those who are just starting out and need quickly to build high-quality backlinks.
To find reputable guest blogging sites is not hard at all and there are many different techniques you can use to find plenty of guest blogging opportunities.
So here are my five favorite techniques to find guest blogging prospects:
Technique #1: Analyzing Your Competitor Backlinks
The first technique is to analyze your competitor backlinks to find guest blogging opportunities.
Simply take any of your competitor URLs and paste them into any backlink research tool. I am using SE Ranking Backlink Checker for this. For example, in my niche, this could be: Backlinko.com
However, if you are not sure, you can run competitive research for your own website using SE Ranking.
And the tool gives you a list of your competitors based on the keywords you are competing on.
Once, I have my competitor URL, I enter the root URL into the Backlink checker and hit search. This will give me the full list of backlinks of my competitor domain along with additional helpful information on each backlink.
Now I click on the number of “Backlinks” and this will give me the full list of my competitor backlinks. Then, I just set some filters such as “One Backlink Per Domain”, “Only Dofollow links” as those are the value passing links and set the “Domain Trust (DT)” to something high like 40.
And now I just scan the list. I recommend you look at the anchor text as anchors with brand or guest blogger names often indicate it could be guest posts.
And within just a few minutes I have already found guest blogging opportunities such as this and there are many more.
Technique #2: Analyzing Social Profile Backlinks
The second and one of my favorite ways to find guest blogging opportunities is to analyze social media profiles.
Simply take any Twitter or LinkedIn profile of a person that is very active in your space and writes a lot of guest posts and enter it in the Backlink Checker.
For example, Ryan is very active and famous in the marketing niche.
And same as before I will go through the list to find any guest blogging and other link building opportunities.
And within just a minute I have found a few guest blogging opportunities.
Technique #3: Using Google Search Strings
The next technique doesn’t require any SEO tool and that’s using Google to find Guest Blogging opportunities.
Simply take any of these strings and pop them into Google with your targeted keyword and start searching:
Keyword + “submit blog post”
Keyword + “write for us”
Keyword + “submit news”
Keyword + “submit content”
Keyword + “submit your content”
Keyword + “become guest writer”
Keyword + “submit article”
Keyword + “guest author”
Keyword + “submit post”
Keyword + “submit an article”
Keyword + “submit guest post”
allintitle: Keyword + guest post
Keyword + “writing guidelines”
Keyword + “guest post”
Keyword + “This post was written by”
Keyword + “guest post courtesy of ”
Keyword + “guest column”
Keyword + “guest article”
Keyword + “guest post opportunities”
Keyword + “guest posts wanted”
Keyword + “looking for guest posts”
Keyword + “guest posts wanted”
Keyword + “contributor guidelines”
Keyword + “contributing writer”
Keyword + “contribute to our site”
Keyoword + “contribute to”
Keyword “freelance writer”
Keyword “contributing writer”
Keyword “want to write for”
Keyword “become a contributor”
Keyword “guest posting guidelines”
Keyword “suggest a post”
Keyword “become a guest blogger
Keyword “guest blogger”
Keyword “writers wanted”
Keyword “articles wanted”
Keyword “become an author”
Keyword “guest poster wanted”
Keyword “send a tip”
Keyword inurl: “guest blogger”
Keyword inurl: “guest post”
For example, in my case it could be something like this:
And of course, you can modify any of these strings and try different variants. As you can see, each string is just another way to say guest blogging.
Also, I recommend you check out this list of queries and strings from Optimize Smart for even more suggestions.
However, not every blog and website will have published guest blogging guidelines as for some of the SEOs this is considered a spammy tactic and it attracts low-quality content just for sake of getting a backlink.
Technique #4: Ask Around If They Accept Guest Posts
So, the fourth technique which is my all-time best is to simply ask around if they accept guest posts.
You would be surprised how many brands, websites, and blogs actually do accept guest blog posts despite they do not mention it on their website.
As I said, some marketers consider this as a spammy tactic, so they do not publicly display it. However, in many cases, they actually do accept guest posts.
So, just simply Google any topics and keywords related to your niche, and then once you find interesting domains simply drop them an email asking if they accept guest posts.
Also, often before I ask, I look around the website to see if they already have any guest contributors, and if they do, then instead of asking if they do accept it, I will be asking how I can become a guest post contributor on their website.
Technique #5: List of Sites that Accept Guest Posts
And the last technique is to search for a list of sites that accepts guest posts.
There are countless websites that publish a list of sites that do accept guest blogging on their website.
Just pop into Google something like this: list of sites that accept guest posts keyword.
And here is an example in the supply chain niche:
As you can see, there are countless opportunities waiting for you.
Remember, I recommend you to always focus on sites within your niche as the relevancy of the backlink you build matters.
Alright, once you have found your prospects, the next part is to evaluate your prospects to ensure you are not wasting your time.
Because publishing guest posts takes a lot of your time and resources, and you simply do not want to publish an article on low-quality sites.
So here are a few things you should check:
Domain Trust: This is an estimated score of website overall authoritativeness which is also called PageRank, and the higher the number the more authority/link juice it can give to you. Thus, you want to focus on websites with a domain trust of at least 30 if you are starting or higher depending on your domain trust.
Relevancy: Rather than just getting backlinks from any website you want to focus on websites in your niche. So, first, try to focus on a website in your niche, and then expand your reach.
DoFollow or NoFollow: This tells Google whether the website linking to you wants to be associated with you or not. Thus, if the website puts NoFollow links to their guest posts then most like it you will not get the valuable link juice. However, in 2019, Google has changed its policy and now even NoFollow links may influencer your ranking.
Of course, you can go even deeper and consider more things, but at the beginning I recommend you focus on only these three things. And once you build more experience and get the feel of the industry, then you’ll know better what blogs work the best for you so you can focus more on them.
One last thing I want to share with you. Don’t focus on the most authoritative websites on your list as a first and rather you should aim for the mid-range. The reason why is because the high authority websites are probably bombarded by guest bloggers every single day which makes it very hard.
That is why first focus on the low and mid-range website to get some quick and easy wins and once you have some proof of your guest blogging experience, you can start targeting the more authority websites.
Once you have vetted your list, the next step is to start with outreach. This is probably the hardest part of link building, and you will face a lot of rejections. But that is okay as the reward is far greater.
First thing first, there are a lot of bad email outreach and if you are owning a website or have access to the email address displayed on your company website you probably received something like this:
As you can see, this person did not spend even a second to find out who is writing to and just wrote very generic Hey there…
Also, this email is clearly a template that has been sent to hundreds or even thousands of people. This method is called the shotgun approach and leads to minimum results, and it makes you look like spam.
Instead, you should aim for a more personalized approach, focus on building relationships, delivering value, and show you are not spam.
Alright, to start with blogger outreach you need to find an email for the person to contact. In general, I recommend you find a person in charge of the blog or an author that is working for the company.
But this depends on if the websites provide writing guidelines where often they provide the email address where you should submit your blog post or get in touch with them.
However, if they do not provide writing guidelines or anything like that, then you need to find an email address of a real person. This means you should also verify the emails.
For example, on my website, you can clearly see who the author of the blog post is and even how you can contact me, yet I still get emails like this…
But in some instances, you can find links to the author’s social media like in this example and connect with the author over social media.
But if you prefer email, then to find an email address you can use email finding tools like Hunter.io. Simply, put the name of the author and the company and it will give you an email address. It doesn’t work 100% of the time but in many cases, you get the real email address of the author.
Or you can use the tool to find any email addresses associated with the domain and go from there. Basically, you want to find a real person behind the company logo that can help you or navigate you to the right person.
Alright, once you have the email address, the next step is to craft your email. Again, this highly depends on the technique you are using and there is not define template on how to go about it.
Now, based on this I know you will need to create content to target these keywords/topics soon or later to rank for those keywords. So why not now and why not me?
There is nothing you can lose if you do not like my content and you can keep the keyword ideas and send it to your writers to create better content.
How does it sound? Let me know if that is something that interests you.
As you can see from both emails, I am very personalized, I have done my research, and before I am asking for something I am providing them value by showing valuable keywords they should target.
Remember, before you ask for anything, first offer value. This will rapidly increase your conversation rates and get you guest blogging opportunities even on the most authoritative website.
And the last step of doing link building and guest blogging is to scale it.
As you can see, link building strategies take a lot of time and guest blogging is not any different and while at the beginning you will have to do everything alone, later you should think about scaling this process to generate more high-quality backlinks.
Because without and doubt guest blogging is one of the best link building strategies to get backlinks for your website, but it also takes a lot of your time.
So, while I can’t teach you the entire process of scaling the guest blogging because that’s the topic for another article, at least I can share with you some of the best tips to get you started:
So here is, my three tips to scale your guest blogging:
Outsource prospecting and vetting steps: These are the easiest steps and can be easily outsourced by freelancers using platforms like UpWork or Fiverr.
Outsource email finding: If you do not have tools like Hunter.oi you can easily outsource that too. Often freelancers have more of these tools. So, send the vetted list of prospects so they can add the email addresses there.
Outsource writing the content: Also, you can outsource the actual writing as well. But avoid using cheap content writing services. Instead, you want to find an actual blogger who knows your industry and has experience in writing content for the industry. This is super important because low-quality content can damage your reputation and it’s hard to regain it back.
So, these are my tips to start scaling guest blogging.
Also, often, I do not recommend outsourcing the outreach process as it should be done in-house as that’s when you are building a relationship with the brand or person and this could be a sure way to burn the bridges if don’t wrong.
The second on our list of link building strategies is using HARO services.
As said on their website HARO connects journalists seeking expertise to include in their content with sources who have that expertise.
They provide you with daily queries that you can answer and earn a backlink if the journalist decides to feature your answer.
This is one of the easiest ways to get you started with link building as most of the steps are done for you and basically you only need to answer journalist queries.
Let me show you.
Prospecting with HARO is as easy as it gets. Just sign up as a source,
By completing their form.
Once you sign up, then select your preferences, so you can receive only relevant queries to your niche.
And once you complete their form and select your preferences, you will receive 3x times daily Monday to Friday queries from a journalist based on your preferences.
And that is all for prospecting.
The next step of the process is vetting.
As you probably might guess this gets even easier. Simply scan the queries you get from HARO and when you see any that you like, is relevant to your business and you have some expertise in it, just click on it.
For example, in my case, the number 7 “How to Identify a Marketing Qualified Lead” is relevant to my marketing niche.
As you can see, vetting is even easier for HARO as you just need to scan queries from journalists and find the one you believe you can answer.
Once you find the query that is relevant to you and you think you can answer, just click on it and it will navigate you to the query description and requirements.
Here pay close attention to the deadline and the requirements first. If the query is not expired and you are the person they need, then answer their questions.
As you can see the outreach for HARO link building strategy is super easy as well and, in my experience, the conversion rate is somewhere between 10-20%.
However, I want to share with you some of the best HARO link building tips I have learned along the way to improve the conversion rate. So, here are my best 6 tips for HARO:
Increase your credibility: Often the journalist will look at your website, browse the content, look at the About page to make sure you are a credible source. So, make sure, you have an About page and relevant content on your website. Also, try to try to add any social proof that shows you or your brand are experienced in the industry.
Provide social media links: Show that you are a real person. Often adding a link to your LinkedIn profile shows you are a real person, and they can see your experiences within the relevant industry.
Provide relevant link: I like to provide one or two relevant links to my content based on the journalist topic to show I have already talked about it here. The best links are your guest blog posts on a high-authority website.
Answer within 12h: For some reason, I have always seen better conversion when I manage to answer as soon as possible. So, If I need to decide first I always attend to the fresher queries that are just a few hours old.
Keep it within 200 words: Journalists want your quote and not an article. Try to answer any of the queries within 200 words.
First focus on outlets you don’t have a link from This is because backlinks from a new domain often influence your ranking more than a repeated backlink from the same domain.
So these are my tips to improve your HARO link building.
Now, let’s have a look at how you can scale your link building effort using HARO.
As you could see unlike from Guest Blogging and other link building strategies I will mention, there is not much to do for you when using HARO, just reply to queries as best as you can.
But you can use the same trick link building agencies are using for their client to build editorial links using HARO but so much cheaper.
All you need to do is get a freelancer on UpWork or Fiverr with experience in your industry to answer HARO queries on behalf of your company. Just create an official email for the freelancer, give them some fancy title that showcases their credibility and expertise and let them answer the queries.
Trust me, some Agencies can charge you hundreds of dollars for the exact same thing, but by hiring a freelancer, you can pay like $10-$20 for every query freelancer answer and give incentive whenever he/she earn a backlink for your website.
3. Resource Link Building
The last, very effective, and again completely beginner-friendly link building strategy is resource link building.
Resource link building is the process of finding a website featuring outside resources that are relevant to your niche and getting your site included on the page as one of the resources.
And why is this strategy being so effective because of two things:
First, because websites that are creating resource pages are always looking for new resources to include on their website. Thus, they are open to being pitched.
And second often they provide a form to submit your resource or blog, which makes the outreach process super easy, like this one.
So, without further due, let’s get started with resource link building.
Prospecting for resource link building is similar to guest blogging, you need to do some research to find relevant resource pages for your blog.
So let me share with you my two favorite techniques:
For example, one of my competitors is backlinko.com, so to find where he was featured as a resource, I take his domain and pop it into SE Ranking Backlink Checker, and hit search.
Then, I click on the number of Backlinks to get the full list of the domain backlinks.
Now, as you can see Backlinko has almost one million backlinks. That is way too many backlinks to manually go through the list.
So, to narrow down the list and improve the quality of prospects I set filters. First and most importantly I want to see only backlinks that are DoFollow and second, I set the domain trust (DT) to a minimum of 50 to get only higher authority websites.
Alright, I still have a list of backlinks from all kinds of pages, so to narrow down the list, I can use the URL filter. Here I need to enter any word or keyword that is commonly used in URL for resource pages.
And I know such words that commonly appear in the URL of resource pages are:
So, let’s take one of these words to filter down the list of backlinks to only from a URL that features such words in it. Let’s start with “resources” for example.
Of course, the list will not be perfect. But by scanning the list, you will find plenty of resource pages. And as you can see right off the bat, I can see already a couple of resource pages.
And this is just the first page, if I keep scanning, changing the keywords in the URL filter, and adding more competitors, soon I will curate hundreds of resource link building opportunities.
Technique #2: Use Google Strings
And the second technique to find resource link building opportunities is to use Google Strings in a similar way to the Guest blogging strategy.
Just take any of these strings, modify them to your targeted keyword and enter them into Google search:
Simply add one or a few of your targeted keywords into the sheet.
Then click on the “Results” tab at the bottom and you will get plenty of customized search operators.
And now just click on any of the SERP links, which will navigate you to Google and you can start analyzing the Google SERP to find resource link building opportunities.
For example, right in beginning, I can see two resource link building opportunities for myself.
And both provided a way to contact them to request to include my link.
So, these are my two favorite ways to find resource pages and now let’s move to the next step.
Alright, once you have your list of resource pages, then it’s time to select those that can move the ranking needle for you and are not spam.
So, when you are vetting your list of resource pages, it’s the same as with guest blogging, you want to start with pages with domain trust of at least 30, ensure they are relevant to your niche, and provides a DoFollow link.
However, there two things you should be extra careful when you are building links via resource pages:
Avoid Spammy and Link Exchange Websites: In some cases, you might find resource pages where they require to exchange backlinks to be included. This is against Google quality Guidelines and you certainly do not want to be associated with these websites. Remember the website I found earlier?
Once you have your list of vetted prospects, the next step is to start your outreach campaign.
Again, similarly to the guest blogging strategy, you need to find an email where you should send your pitch. And as you could see, often they provide some sort of form or contact on the page to submit your blog.
However, if they did not, then you need to do some digging and find a person responsible for the blog. The best is to start with the Author of the page.
For example, if I wanted to get my website on this resource page “The Best SEO Blogs To Follow in 2021” I need to find the email of the author.
So, the first place I can start with is by clicking on his name to see if the author page has some contact information. Unfortunately, it does not.
The next place I can check is on the “About Us” page. Here I cannot find anything as well, only he likes bath duckies. I like them too. This will help me to create a more personalized pitch.
Alright, so the next place I can search for his information is on Google. So, I took his name along with the brand and passed it to Google.
As you can see, right at the top I have his LinkedIn profile where I can get in touch with him. However, I usually prefer email rather than social media.
But the next page is more interesting to me. The page is Appolo.io and it shows me that it knows his email.
So, I signed up, and right away I got his email.
Plus, they have a Google Chrome extension to get an email address directly from the LinkedIn profile. Pretty cool.
I also tried Hunter.io just for the sake to see if I could spare myself a few minutes and I got a different email. Regardless I try both and see which one is working.
Unfortunately, the email address from Hunter did not work.
And the result? Well, we are still discussing the opportunities, but it seems promising.
Of course, if you are starting with email outreach you might want to use an email outreach template, so here are two of mine I typically use:
I am [Your Name], I saw [something personal from social media or website] and I must say [my opinion that is aligned with the prospect], and [sad and short story to build empathy + humor if can].
Anyway, as you probably guessed this will be some kind of outreach email where I will ask to get featured on your blog article:
Wow, not sure how you guessed that, but you are so right! So I cut the fluff when you already know what’s going on.
What I am asking for?
I would love to get my website [your website], included on your already amazing list of [name of the list].
Why do I think I am a good fit?
[Strong value proposition of your writing] If you don’t have, I suggest you figure it out as soon as possible. It will drive your content production and differentiate you.
What do You Get?
[Give your best offer] Include anything that you believe will help the person or the brand once you have something, then double it.
That’s it, what do you think?
Of course, there are tons of more templates on the internet if you don’t like this one or you feel it would take too much effort to create a personalized one. This template fits me and my personality, so I like to use it.
Alright, so now when you understand the process of link building with resource pages, is time to ramp up the production!
The first tip I can give you to scale resource link building is to find somebody to make you the list of at least 100 resource pages with important information like Domain Trust, and their overall monthly traffic.
Then, of course, outsource the finding of email addresses and authors names as that can be done for a couple of dollars and it will save you a lot of time.
And there you have resource page link building at scale. Again, I recommend you do outreach yourself or only let in-house staff such as the manager or head of the team do the outreach.
Link building takes a lot of time and effort, especially if you are doing it all alone. And I am not even talking if you are doing it alone and nobody knows who you are, that’s super hard!
When you are building your brand or personal brand, you need to work twice as hard to build backlinks and deliver valuable content to your audience. This is without a doubt the hardest part of starting a website.
But don’t give up, the more your name or your brand grows the easier it is to build backlinks. Link building strategies take time and even for experienced marketers it is one of the hardest parts of doing SEO.
Some pictures are coming from Freepik and some of my links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase something, I might get some small commission as a reward for reference. Of course, I am actively using all these services and products, and I only affiliate products or services I have full trust in their quality!