I’ve said it before, and I’ll probably continue to say it in the future: Link building is hard.
In particular, content-driven link building is hard because you’re hoping the idea and execution you’ve come up with is strong enough to attract links.
You may think you have the best idea in the world, executed in a stunning way via a great design, but if the person on the other end of your outreach email doesn’t agree, your content can fail in spectacular style.
While hard, executing a good link-building campaign is not impossible. Today I want to talk about ways to identify and overcome what I call “blockers,” which are issues or situations that can stop you from getting things done. You can be the best agency in the world, but if you can’t get things done, it’s not going to count for anything.
At my agency, we don’t lose many clients, but it does happen. That’s part of agency life. We try to minimize our losses as much as possible, but there are always going to be times when things don’t work out. Sometimes you could have prevented it, sometimes there is nothing you could have done differently to save the project. So while I’m not going to claim to know all of the answers, I do want to share what I’ve experienced to be the most common link-building blockers.
I am also going to share an example of a project we lost because we didn’t do a good job of identifying and overcoming the blockers I talk about below.
The principles below could easily apply to most types of projects, not just link building or search engine optimization (SEO) but general marketing projects, too. From experience, I’ve found the blockers outlined to be most prevalent and “deal breakers” on content-driven link-building projects.
For the sake of clarity, the link-building project mentioned here was content-driven and used items like guides, white papers and infographics to attract links.
Identify link-building blockers early
Every single project has things that get in the way of doing the job. It’s important to find out what these “blockers” are as soon as possible. You’ll still encounter unforeseen blockers, but when it comes to link building, there are a few common blockers that you should always ask about when you start a project.
The content-driven link-building process will be slightly different for every agency or client, but generally, it will include the following broad steps:
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