Links are the currency of online media. When large or influential sites link to your article, it has two effects:
1. It allows readers to find your article by clicking on that link. Imagine if The Guardian links to your Soccerlens article. That’s a lot of readers who will click and read your content.
2. It improves your articles search engine ranking, increasing the likelihood that readers will discover your work via a search.
Links will come somewhat naturally to good content, but there are also certain techniques and approaches you can use to make it more likely that other sites will link to your articles. This is known as Link Baiting. For a guide to best strategies, read Todd Malicoat’s article The Link Baiting Playbook, in which he outlines five hooks (or types of content) that will encourage others to link to your work.
We can’t improve on Todd’s work here, but we can provide some football related examples. Please make sure to read the whole article first though.
1. The News Hook
Offer expert or insightful commentary on timely news topics. For best results, be original. Either in your insights or in the topics you are covering. A good example of this is the website Zonal Marking, which offers football match reviews and previews but focuses heavily on tactics.
2. The Contrary Hook
Offer an opinion contrary to a widely held belief. But it has to be believable and you have to make your case strongly. This post titled Liking Joey Barton is a good example, because most people don’t. The uniqueness of your contrary hook will attract attention, but only well reasoned content will attract links.
3. The Attack Hook
This could be described as the contrary hook on steroids. It will make you unpopular. But that unpopularity will result in a lot of people linking to your article. Only do this is you have a strong stomach and are prepared for some abuse. An example of an attack hook would be 10 Reasons to Hate Manchester United.
4. The Resource Hook
If you write a post containing genuinely useful information, people will link to it. Two excellent examples are the English Premier League transfer lists page and this Premier League shirts page.
5. The Humour Hook
Todd Malicoat’s hooks are mostly about getting links from those in the same industry. For the humour hook, this works perfectly for football blogs or football journalism. This post If Soccer Bloggers Rules the World is a good example of a post designed to appeal to other soccer bloggers.
- Topic Selection
- Strong Introductions
- Article Length
- Article Structure
- Spelling and Grammar
- How to Get More Comments
- General Writing Tips
Back to the Soccerlens Writers Guide.