Content-based link building is all about RELATIONSHIPS. In particular, blogger and media relationships. Whether you're writing guest posts for publication on leading industry sites or conducting massive group interviews and surveys you need to know ALL the bloggers and other media creators in your industry.

Here's how to thoroughly query your space in order to discover who you should be interviewing, requesting guest post opportunities from, listing, giving awards to, and any other ways you can think of to engage them!

1) Find the Round-Up Writers
If you're blessed to be in an industry with hundreds or even thousands of bloggers, it's highly likely that there are "round up" writers. These writers seek to thoroughly cover the events of the day or week by posting lists of their favorite articles. Since you publish great content, you should know who these folks are and let them know when you publish.

Here are some queries for finding them:
[mdkw*] intitle:roundup
[mdkw] intitle:"round up"
[mdkw] intitle:links
[mdkw] intitle:"weekly roundup"
[mdkw] intitle:"weekly round up"
[mdkw] intitle:"best of"

Note - if you're not finding anything with the intitle searches, try removing the operator.

2) Find the Guest Post Publishers
Some bloggers seek content in the form of guest posts from outside experts. If the blog or website has authority in your space and a targeted readership then you should, by all means, submit some content to them.

Here are some queries for finding these oppportunities:
[mdkw] inurl:category/guest
[mdkw] "guest blogger"
[mdkw] guest blog post writer
[mdkw] "guest post"
[mdkw] "guest article"
[mdkw] "guest column"
[mdkw] inurl:contributors

3) Find the Blogger and Twitter Lists
If you're looking to really blow out your contact lists for future engagement, then build on top of the efforts of your colleagues. It's fairly common in many verticals for bloggers and other publishers to make lists of each other. Blogrolls are another excellent example of blog lists.

[mdkw] blog list
[mdkw] top bloggers
[mdkw] blogroll
[mdkw] "blog roll"
[mdkw] twitter list
[mdkw] twitter users

4) Find the List-Writing Linkbaiters

Who has written linkbait in the past? What did they aggregate into lists? This can show you what not to write, as well as give you ideas for your "list of lists..."

[mdkw] "list of lists"
[mdkw] "top * ways"
[mdkw] "top * tips"
[mdkw] "top 10"
[mdkw] "top 100"

Make sure you outreach to the sites included on your lists and let them know they're on them!

5) Find the Interview Writers (and Interviewees)
We've found that getting interviewed is a fantastic link builder - and a lead generator. Further, group interviews with experts really help to generate links and establish relationships with the top bloggers and thinkers in your space.

Here are queries for finding sites that conduct interviews, as well as individuals who may be open to you interviewing them:

[mdkw] intitle:"q/a with"
[mdkw] intitle:"q&a with"
[mdkw] intitle:experts interview OR talk OR discuss OR answer
[mdkw] expert interview
[mdkw] intitle:interview

6) Putting it All Together...

Now that you know who publishes in your space, you know who to begin engaging with, researching thoroughly, highlighting in your content and even retweeting consistently. So start with some "aggregation" content, then move on to individual and group interviews. Make sure you're reaching out consistently when you publish new content - especially to those who you've featured. And most importantly - keep it up! Keep at it and you'll see your rankings, targeted traffic and brand buzz grow in your market!

All of these link building queries (and many more) are in our link building query tool here >> :)

April 29, 2010

Garrett French is the co-founder of Ontolo, Inc., and co-creator of the Ontolo Link Building Toolset, which uses your target keywords to find and grade link prospects. The Link Building Toolset reduces link prospecting and qualification time, letting you focus on the most important part of link building: relationships.


"29" in the title almost scared me off when I saw it in TweetDeck but I am really glad I came by. This has got to be the most niche post I have read tonight and is very useful. Great stuff. Thanks.

Very cool tricks. Printed and desk'ed.

Thanks for the great round-up! One note though: do you really think "footnotes"
[[mdkw*] = "Market Defining Keyword"]
work on a long page? After all, in books one can glance down to see what an asterisk refers, I had to basically bypass all your info before it made any sense to me.
Just a thought, not meant to be picky...and again, thank you for helping us all out.

I enjoyed the article and am giving the guest post ideas a try. I agree with Kate's thought that the footnotes weren't ideal (I was reading this on my BlackBerry RSS originally). Most importantly though, I had a good guest-posting takeaway. Thanks.

Hi Folks! Glad we could be of use to your link prospecting efforts! Please comment here or email me about any new queries you find, or if you're having trouble brainstorming queries for your content/industry.

Kate - You're right! Thanks for the lesson on my footnote usage... in the future I will work to make my articles more usable...

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Search Engine Guide > Garrett French > Link Building with Content: 29 Queries for Content-Based Link Builders