At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the best way to build your link profile isn’t through trick and gimmicks; it’s through building real relationships with real people and offering them valuable content they will want to link to on their own.

You’ve probably tried being rather direct with your link-building efforts. You contact a website via e-mail, pitch your site, try to convince the reader that you’re worth linking to, and then wait to see what happens. This is a slow, arduous process with a low return rate. You may send out thousands of e-mails and only get a handful of positive responses.

Now, this doesn’t mean you just blindly throw your quality content onto the web and see what sticks. It doesn’t mean you take a passive approach to building links. But it does mean that instead of bluntly asking for links that you develop a real relationship with specific people from which you would like links.

This will take some research and will take some effort, but it will bring in quality results.

When looking for people to connect with, you need to find well-connected people who may actually be interested in what you have to offer. While I would love to get a link from a popular blog, if that blog isn’t relevant to my interests I would be wasting my time trying to connect with those people.

Once you have a group of people you’d like to connect with, engage with them over the various channels they provide. As always, it’s important that you add value to the conversation (i.e. saying more than “great article” or “this was interesting”). Throughout this process, you’ll need to ascertain their interests. What sort of content are they looking for?

After you develop this quality content they may be interested in, be sure they know about it. Don’t overwhelm them, but use that already-established relationship to pitch what you have to offer.

Again, this takes a bit more time and effort, but in the long run is well worth it.

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