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6 Link-Building Tips for Bootstrapped Entrepreneurs

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It’s no secret: If you want to rank high on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs), you need to make backlinking a priority.

The more backlinks you receive from authoritative websites, the more trust you’ll have in the eyes of Google, the more traffic it will send you and the more more high-quality leads you’ll generate for your business.

The problem, though, is most link research and backlink checker tools are costly, and when you’re bootstrapping a startup, you money is best allocated elsewhere.

While much has been written on backlinking, little has been written on backlinking for bootstrapped startup founders. Here are seven backlinking strategies for when you have a shoestring budget.

1. Become a columnist on an authority site.

While some experts will want you to believe guest blogging is dead, the truth is guest blogging is still a viable link building strategy, if it’s done correctly and consistently.

In the old days of blogging, you would pitch a guest post, write it, and then move onto another website.

Today, writers like James Clear and Neil Patel aren’t just guest posters on authority sites - they are columnists. Having a high authority domain regularly linking back to your website can only mean good things for your ranking.

2. Collaborate with influencers in your field.

It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, what you’re selling or where you want to go with your online business, connecting and collaborating with influencers helps you go further, faster.

Why? It builds trust.

When your customers see you co-creating a product, service, blog post or resource with a trusted authority, it gives you social proof.

The more trust you have, the more likely other influencers will link to your content and, you guessed it, the better your ranking on Google. Granted, it isn’t always easy or quick to collaborate with a mover and shaker in your industry, but the payoff is huge.

3. Create an epic resource.

Getting noticed in today’s noisy world is harder today than ever.

With more than two million blog posts published every day, the 400-word list posts that were once a staple of blogging no longer suffice.

To stand out, you don’t have to shout louder, you just have to invite others to come to you. The best way to do that?

Craft an epic resource, such as an ultimate guide, a case study or a research-backed report. One that demonstrates your skills, knowledge and expertise and leaves experts no choice but to link back to you.

4. Get interviewed on podcasts.

Getting featured on authoritative podcasts is one of the most effective ways of reaching new audiences.

What most people don’t realize, though, is it’s always one of the most underrated link building strategies in a marketer’s toolkit.

Here’s how it works. The next time you go on a podcast, and you’re asked where listeners can learn more about you, instead of directing them to your homepage like everyone else, create an interview-upgrade - a resource that adds to what you discussed in your interview, and direct them to that. Not only will you get more opt-ins, but you’ll also get a high-quality backlink from an authoritative podcast site.

Related: 5 Critical Marketing Metrics to Follow

5. Do reverse guest posting.

We’ve all be there - spending hours pitching guest posts only to wait days without a reply.

With reverse guest posting, the tables are turned. Instead of pitching to other authors, you invite them to write on your site.

Many bloggers have a page on their sites with a list of the guest posts they have have published. With your's added to the mix, that’s an easy backlink - one that requires minimal effort on your part. If you can’t secure a big name to feature on your site, try someone from a shoulder niche who is looking to expand into new markets.

Related: Don't Believe an SEO Expert Who Tells You Any of These 7 Lies

6: Use 'The Posterboy Formula.'

Devised by Bryan Harris, The Posterboy Formula involves writing a testimonial for a product or service in exchange for a link back to your site.

Think about it. Every business wants to prove to prospective customers that their products and services work. That’s where you come in. If you achieve results from using a product or service, tell the company. They look good in the eyes of others, and you get a high-quality backlink for your troubles. Everybody wins.

Related: 10 Free SEO Resources Every Marketer Should Use

Whether you’re a marketer or a mortgage broker, you need to prioritize backlinking. Without it, your site will struggle to rank, and your business will suffer for it.

As we’ve seen though, backlinking doesn’t have to be a costly affair. You can get backlinks without breaking your bank or bankrupting your time. You’ve watched others do it. Now, it’s your turn.