2. 10 steps on how to create back links?

First you need to determine your market and your competition. The bigger and more competitive is the market, the more effort and links it is going to take. For example, if you are trying to get top rankings in the 'weight loss' or 'Money making' markets, then you are faced with tough competition and it's probably going to cost you a lot of money. On the other hand, you can target a niche and you can get away spending a couple of hundred dollars.

Here is what to do with niche sites. In the example here, a person has created a site about Cold sores and how to cure them.

1. Create Remarkable Content

Creating content should be your highest priority, above any of the suggestions below. Create interesting and valuable content that other people will want to link to. Here are some tips for creating content that people will be more likely to link to:
  • Use numbers (examples: “5 easy ways to” or “7 best strategies for”)
  • Start with “How to”
  • Use relevant keywords people are searching for
  • Include benefit to reader (examples: “get more visitors” or “reduce costs”)
  • Be controversial (example: “Is PR dead?”)
  • Be specific - don’t fill your blog title with puns or try to be too clever
  • Be unique
Example: I used articles to get good quality backing links. Basically we get 500 or so articles on our subject topic and they are distributed across the article directories. They then link back to our site. We do this at intervals rather than all at once. This is good practice for any SEO back linking methods.

2. Ask for Links from People You Know

One of the best ways to get links when you're first starting out is to ask people you know to link to your site from their site using a target keyword as the anchor text (the text being used as the link to your site). Here are some people you can ask:
  • Customers you've built relationships with
  • Partners
  • Vendors
  • Friends/Family

Example: I have built over 500 social bookmarks, again a good method of getting links from high PR sites.

3. Guest Blog or commenting on Similar Niche Industry Blogs

Build a list of other niche blogs in your field. Start commenting on their blogs with insightful comments, and then reach out to them and ask if you can write one guest post for them. If they accept, write NEW content for their blog (don't just copy and paste something already existing on your blog). Remember to include a couple links within your post linking back to your site, and using anchor text with your relevant keywords.

You don't need to do more than one guest blog post per blog, especially if you don't have the time to. 20 links across 20 different domains is BETTER than 20 links across only 2 different domains. So if you spend time on 20 guest blog posts, spread them out across 20 different blogs!

Blog commenting, this is a great way of getting high quality links because you can target your nich. Basically you add comments on people blogs and they link back to your site. Try to find 'do follow' blogs on your specific subject. Try to do 10+ blog comments per week . This is something you can easily do your self. Go on google and type 'your market' 'do follow'.

4. Link wheel

Get a good quality link wheel built for your site. This is a good way to build a lot of search engine friendly links. Look here to see what is a link wheel.

Example: I use trustworthy sources to build our link wheels.

Ok, so these are the 4 link building methods I start off with when launching a new site, it will give you a good presence online and you will start to climb up the rankings. For some sites, this will be enough to get you top rankings, and for others you will need to do a bit more work.

Example: These 4 link building steps cost me around $500 and the work done is very good.

After a couple of months when you should start seeing results. You can then really up your game and link building strategy. Here is what you can do when you need to push your site:

5. Dmoz listing

Search engines see Dmoz as the most respected directory online and they will give a lot of importance to websites having links from Dmoz. Not all sites are accepted and it does cost you to get in.

6. Forum link building

This consists of posting your links on forums that are content rich to your market. These are very valuable links to the search engines.

7. Squidoo lens

If you don't know what a Squidoo lens is then don't worry. Squidoo uses tags to categorize the pages, or as they call them 'lenses'. Google loves links from high authority sites, and this is one of them. You can get fast results using this method.

Applying steps 5, 6 and 7 will give your rankings a real boost, however it will cost you a few hundred dollars to achieve it, if you are like me and can't be bothered with all that tedious work.

8. Avoid Black-Hat Link Building Strategies

It's also important to know what kinds of link-building strategies to avoid, so that you don't waste your valuable time and effort doing something that can make Google sandbox your site (remove it from their search engine). Here are the strategies to avoid:
  • Link buying
  • Link farming
  • Article submissions (e.g. Ezine Articles, Info Barrel, http://linkalizer.com/, etc.)
  • Too many 1:1 link exchanges

9. Create a Badge for Other Websites

The badge strategy is simple in concept: you provide an image for others to place on their site. Maybe it's an "editor's pick" award that someone wants to place on their blog/site to show the quality of their content. The benefit for you from a link building standpoint is that this image has a built in link (with proper alt-text) to a page on your site. Other suggestions include:
  • Building an application that gives out a grade. People will then start placing their grade on their website or blog.
  • Offering an online certification that can be placed on the recipient's site
  • Providing a badge to promote a content you are hosting

10. Create a Contest

Holding a contest with a useful prizes can also generate links to your site without utilizing a badge. The prize can be a free service or a credit towards a purchase, or perhaps some form of recognition. The important thing here is to find a prize your target audience will like. Then develop the contest and spread the word and encourage people to link to it.

Once established you should consider making the contest a regular occurrence with a regular winner. This will encourage continual link building. Alternatively, you can hold the contest only once a year, hype it up and build a lot of links in one swoop. Then, once the contest is over, you can 301 redirect the contest pages to wherever page you like.