Are you struggling to get high-quality backlinks for your website that Google (and other search engines) rate as authoritative?
Today, I want to share a backlink strategy I’ve never seen around the internet before.
Thanks to this strategy I was not only able to grab two highly relevant and authoritative links. I was also shared in a huge newsletter, a podcast, received a massive traffic spike of 543.31% overnight, and got a ton of new email sign-ups.
What I’m getting at is that this is a tactic I use for backlinks, but it has a range of other benefits as well.
Enter the EZ Affiliate Backlink Strategy.
What is the EZ Affiliate Backlink Strategy?
When you hear of affiliate links it’s usually referring to a link from your site, to a brand you’re affiliated with.
EZ Affiliate Backlink Strategy is about getting those all important backlinks from your partnered brands. I’m going to lay out step by step my method in winning these quality links. This strategy will even work on a new website.
Let’s break this process down. I’ll be giving specific examples from my travel blog, Horizon Unknown, as this is where I’ve tested this method.
Since COVID-19 has all but crashed my travel related sites traffic, why not use the down time for some experiments?
1. Identify your backlink targets
First up, you want to identify your niche specific affiliate partners. Write a list of who you are currently partnered with, or plan to be partnered with in the future.
What brands or products do you use, recommend or review that are relevant to your website? Many of these larger companies will have an affiliate program you can apply to.
For me in the travel industry, I flagged World Nomads and Skyscanner as two prime targets.
I use and love both these brands. They are highly respected in the industry and their sites have excellent authority, and large audiences so it was a win-win for me.
2. What content are these brands interested in?
What type of posts are these brands sharing and writing about? You need to pitch specific content to your partners. Remember, they deal with tons of affiliate partners on a daily basis, so you need to grab their attention.
Jumping to my example; for World Nomads, I created an article on travelers stuck overseas due to COVID-19. Not only was this a timely article, but it also tied in with travel and the question of travel insurance being a necessity.
It was very relevant at that time, which is partly the reason why it got picked up so easily.
For Skyscanner, I contacted them about a guestpost opportunity around finding love overseas and moving to another country. I thought this would work as an airline company helps people cover oceans to be with the ones they love.
Turns out, Skyscanner Australia was planning a collaboration post about just that – so I was able to sneak in with just a few hundred words and gain a highly relevant and authoritative link to my site.
This is something I can’t give you too much direction on. Your affiliate partners and the content you pitch them will be specific to your niche. Think outside the box, use your personality and find something fresh and interesting.
· What is special about your story?
· How can your site create unique content with affiliates in mind?
· What’s trending in your industry/niche you can capitalize on?
3. It’s time for backlink outreach
Yes, it’s one of the most daunting parts of a backlink campaign. The cold-email sucks, and this is where the power of the EZ Affiliate Backlink Strategy shines.
It’s not a cold-email. You’re affiliated with the brand already. There’s no searching on the contact page for a contact. You should already have a contact email address for someone who is looking after you as a partner.
Create a personalized pitch email to your affiliate contact. You spent all this time researching great content, don’t blow it by sending the lazy “Hi there, I have great content, link please?” type of email.
We all know those emails and they suck.
Craft your email well, show how it will fit their readership and be open to new suggestions.
There might be a little back and forth, likely your affiliate contact isn’t in control of the content creation and posting schedule, but you will have a huge foot in the door.
Back to my personal experience, my goal was a link from World Nomads. I got that link, but I also got a podcast shout out, social shares and my post sent out to their 400,000+ strong email newsletter.
The Skyscanner story is a little less impressive, it was just a highly authoritative link…
I reached out, pitched my story idea to my affiliate contact and was given an outline of the exact article in the works.
I’ll admit, I was lucky, but I wouldn’t have got that far without this backlinking strategy.
Are all links created equal?
If you’ve spent time in the content creation world, you likely know how difficult a high quality backlink can be to get.
If you’re affiliated with a brand, chances are your site fits their product or service well. Which means the content is relevant.
On top of that, I’m sure you can imagine some big names in your niche – These sites will likely be high in domain authority, making a backlink from them much more powerful.
Combine these factors, and you’re looking at a great potential link.
This isn’t some Fiverr gig where you’re guaranteed “1000 top quality links for just $12.50”. No, these are relevant and powerful links.
The type that Google will give you more of that E-A-T status we all crave (Expertise, Authoritative, and Trustworthiness).
If you’ve spent time on the internet, you know not everyone behind a keyboard can be trusted on what they say…
…but just to make it clear that this strategy does work – here is some proof.
Here’s proof this unique backlink strategy works
This isn’t just a tip on how to get backlinks to a travel site, this can work with almost any niche.
There’s a lot of fluff on the internet, so I want to let the results speak for themselves.
One disclaimer before I show the stats. This site is solely focused on travel. Due to COVID-19, I saw around a 1,100% drop in traffic since the end of last year – no one is adventuring the globe in 2020.
Thankfully there are still a few people reading about exploring the globe, even if they can’t right now.
Let’s start with the traffic spike due to the World Nomads newsletter and their (name of podcast) podcast shout outs.
I woke up to a 543.31% traffic spike overnight. 127 sessions jumped to 817 on the final day of May, 2020.
Not huge numbers, but a welcome boost in these unprecedented times?
Now let’s talk about the posts position in the Google search results. Google indexed this link very quickly, and I noticed the overall rank for this page shoot up from 141 to a high of 9 by the end of the week.
That’s the 15th page, to the 1st page.
Given how competitive the subject was, achieving this position with my sites modest authority is testament to power of this strategy
How this strategy increases email open rates and reply percentage
Since you already have a direct contact to your partner through their affiliate program, you know you’re emailing someone on the inside. They may not be the exact person you want to talk to, but chances are they will be able to put you in contact with the content supervisor.
You’re also a member of their program, so they know your site is quality, or else why would they partner with you to begin with?
Other backlink techniques only gave me around a 5% reply rate, and a 3% success rate of actually gaining a link.
With the EZ Affliate Backlink technique, I tested reaching out to 8 separate affiliates across two tests. I received an amazing response rate of 37% (3 replied back to me) and two of those replies came with a link.
A staggering 25% of partners I emailed gave me a highly authoritative backlink to my site.
Does this method get backlinks to a new website?
Yes, in theory, a new site can benefit from this technique.
The main obstacle a new site will have is meeting the requirements to become a trusted partner of a program.
But once you’re in, you’ll have a contact and a foot in the door to start creating those hard to get mentions for your website.
Extra tips for using the affiliate backlink strategy
The great thing is, this backlink case study can be used with other techniques as well.
I’m going to keep this list short, as this post isn’t a linking techniques post. But try adding this new method of highly relevant backlinks in conjunction with these popular methods.
I’ve personally seen varying levels of success with the methods below, so they are great by themselves.
1. The Skyscraper Technique
If you haven’t heard of the Skyscraper Technique before, let me give you a run down.
Brian Dean of Backlinko.com created this as a proven structure to outperform your competitors.
You find a post that has links to it that suit your website and create a post on the same topic that goes above and beyond.
Say it’s a list of 29 things to do this summer, you create a list of 49 great things to do this summer. You’ve built a taller skyscraper and provided much better value.
Next, you reach out to the sites linking to your competitors post, letting them know there is better content (yours) out there.
Now, do any of your affiliates partners link to a competitor’s post you’ve just out built? Here’s your chance to pitch your superior content.
Follow step number 3 to reach out to your contact and let them know your content is out there.
2. Broken Link Building
Searching for 404s, or broken links is a popular strategy. You find relevant links that point to a dead page or post, then outreach for those links to be then directed to your content instead.
You get a link and the linking website gets one less broken link on their site. It really is a win-win.
Do your affiliate partners link to any broken links? Let your partners know and provide a solution to your relevant content that delivers value.
3. Infographics Outreach
Another popular tactic is to repurpose your content into infographics that deliver your content visually.
It’s pretty easy to see where this one is going.
Let your niche specific partners know you have this helpful visual piece of content.
Are you ready to try this new backlink outreach method?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this strategy. Do you think it will work or not? Why is that?
Let me know in the comments, along with any success you’ve had with this unique way to generate backlinks.