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Since I read Gary Vaynerchuk’s first book, Crush It! I’ve noticed more and more similar books and blog articles on the subject of his book; making a living from your passion.  I guess I can say I’ve taken his advice, combining my two passions of football and internet marketing into a blog of my own :)

I’m one of a million football enthusiasts in the world, and I’m no more passionate about the sport than anyone else.  In fact, there are many, many of my competitors, or fellow bloggers who are much more passionate about the beautiful game than me.  The one advantage I have over a lot of affiliate bloggers out there is I have a background in internet marketing, especially link building.

And that little background brings me nicely onto today’s chosen blog topic; Link Building with a Passion.

If I could draw your attention away from the blog idea you have in your mind for a few seconds, here are some ideas for you to consider for obtaining links to your blog/website.

Engagement

Away from your blog, explore the outside world on the internet.  Blog commenting may have limited effect on your rankings, but by commenting on other blogs will help you gain exposure.  And not just by the author of the article, but potentially by other readers and commenter’s also.

Forums are a way to build up your reputation within your chosen community.  Being helpful on there can result in natural links or lead you on for future link requests.

Guest blogging is one of the latest link building trends.  Offering to write an article or a number of articles on someone else’s site, in exchange either for a link in their Blogroll or such, or within the article(s) itself is amongst the best types of links you can get.

Exposure in the media would be a dream for link building.  Perhaps getting a link from the BBC is out of the question, but speaking on a TV/radio show where you can drop your URL link in, as a specialist in your subject could be something worth aiming for (I’m still waiting for a call from Sky Sports to hire me as Andy Gray’s replacement!).  The more exposure you get the more likely it is you’ll get a link!

Example: All publicity is good publicity!  That has been the case for Julian Assange of late as links were flowing into wikileaks.org when it was still up, since his exposure in the news!

Wikileaks Backlink History

Socialise

Give your audience the chance to interact.  I use Twitter to comment on live football matches or recent news.  I use it to interact with fellow football fans, and occasionally I communicate so much with them we request link exchanges with each other.  Sometimes we even end up meeting in person!  You don’t have to get as personal as me, but Twitter, Facebook etc are great tools to build up a following and ultimately build yourself a link.

References

Try to get references/recommendations/endorsements from people in your industry.  If you’re selling a product, approaching (happy) customers to write a review, or endorse it is a great way to obtain a link.  Sometimes you don’t even need to prompt people to review your products, this will come naturally.  Sometimes you may need to drop a subtle hint to link to your product.  If you have freebies/spares/overstock to give away – this is a perfect opportunity to request a link in exchange for a review of your product.

Crossing Industries

If you’re running out of link targets in your industry, not wanting to link exchange with competitors/not able to get links from your competitors, then be creative.  Look for verticals that aren’t necessarily the same as you, but similar or related.  This opens up guest blogging and partnership opportunities.  If you build up a relationship so well, there’s potential for them to call you the “specialist in this industry”.  This is all of the above strategies in one!

Building Links Offline

Away from your computer screen there are still opportunities to build links.  I’m not going to lie, but I often drop my URL into conversation.  Whether that be my work or personal URL, just depends on the people I am speaking with.  But if you leave a good impression on someone (along with your business card) then you’re on your way to building links offline.  Again, it may require a subtle hint to link to you, or may just be a straight forward link exchange.  Myself, I’ve done this down the pub before!  My boss is great at doing this at events where he speaks.  If done correctly, this is a great link building strategy.