If you’re a blogger or a business owner who is trying to grow their blog, you know the struggle of getting backlinks to your site.
It can be really difficult, trust me I know.
Maybe you’ve tried doing some manual outreach with minimal success.
Or maybe, you’ve tried to outsource and hire out the process but found that it’s just way too expensive with not enough results to show for it.
Finding prospects, collecting emails, crafting your pitch, keeping track of how many emails you send out, the open rates, following up, all just to have them say “sorry we’re not accepting guest posts at this time” or “our sponsored posts cost (insert ridiculous amount of money here)”.
The average open rate for email across all industries is 16.22% according to a study conducted by Constant Contact.
That means if you send out 100 emails, on average about 16 people will open it and then a percentage of those people will accept a guest post.
You can see how this can get stressful pretty quickly if you are not airtight on your processes and follow up.
That was me just 3 years ago! That was the last time that I actively built any backlink to a blog that I ran, and let me tell you…
This has taken such a big load off of my shoulders and has allowed me to focus on activities that actually move the needle and produces amazing results in a relatively short amount of time.
Ready to actually start growing your blog without using any backlinks?
Then let’s dive into this guide so you can move forward knowing you can have amazing blog growth without ever needing to build a backlink, (if you don’t want to).
An in-depth Guide On Growing Your Blog With No Backlinks
So, to make this guide as simple as possible I’m going to break down one of the processes we use to grow our clients blogs with no external backlinks in a step-by-step fashion, but first, let’s talk about what you need to focus on in order to kick this off correctly.
Focusing On What You Can Control
We’ve consulted with dozens of blog owners over the past few years and they always wonder why their blog isn’t growing the way they’d like and it’s usually because they are focused on aspects of their business they ultimately have no control over.
There are really only two components of your blog you can’t control and that is inbound links and rankings.
So, the bad news is that one of these is really needed to start getting traffic (rankings).
The good news is that you are in control of more things than you are not in control of. Which can ultimately result in rankings, which leads to traffic and conversions.
So how many things are you actually in control of? When blogging you’re in control of:
- On-page SEO
- Content production
- Content quality
- Content ideation
- Keyword research
If you do all of these correctly, not only will you start ranking with no backlinks, but you can do so pretty quickly, as we’ve been able to do time and time again.
Let’s break each one of these points down step-by-step.
1. The Content Ideation Process
So one of the best ways to start generating content ideas for your blog is to really start stepping into the shoes of your potential customer and understand what questions they are searching for online.
You can ask yourself 4 questions:
- What problem(s) does your product solve?
- What do you want to become the authority on?
- What question would your customer ask themselves before finding your product?
- What is your product?
So if you’re not getting traffic, a lack of searches is not the problem. The problem is you’re not front and center when your potential customer searches their question in Google.
To start generating potential questions, first, write a list of your products or services. This is what we usually refer to as “high level topics”.
For this example, let’s pretend we’re a company who sells products just for dogs. We’ll start the ideation process by listing out our category of products.
2. Coming Up With Easy To Rank and Highly Relevant Keywords (The Free Way)
Now, our team prefers to use keyword analysis tools. Our favorite by far is Ahrefs as we’ve found it gives the most accurate data compared to other similar tools. It’s worth mentioning that no tool is 100% accurate.
Knowing that these types of tools are expensive, I want to show you a free way to come up with these easy to rank for keywords by using good ol’ Google Auto Suggest.
Start by taking your first high level topic and searching it in Google to see what others are searching.
As you can see, there are plenty of searches around the topic of dog food, some stranger than others 😂. Now it’s time to find some keywords that you have a chance of ranking for.
We can do this by assessing the first page results.
After a little bit of research, I came up with the keyword “does dog food quality really matter”?
Now let’s look at why this is actually an ideal keyword to target.
There are 3 things that stand out to me when analyzing the first page results and they are:
- There is only 1 result that has the exact keyword in the meta title
- There is a forum on the first page
- Most of the articles are not up-to-date and are very “beatable” as far as on-page content
Okay, so you may be looking at that above screenshot like…
But it’s honestly really simple once you have done it a few dozen times.
One of the biggest indicators that shows we can rank for this keyword is a forum ranking on the first page.
While forums may have a high DA (Domain Authority), the PA (Page Authority) of that specific ranking result is usually very beatable.
We know it’s beatable because forum answers are usually very short and to the point. So what this indicates is that we should be able to write an in-depth 1500 word article, with helpful information and pictures included and rank past the site.
While this is much more time-intensive, it’s free and produces some really great results.
Now we’re going to demonstrate how we find low-competition keywords using our favorite tool, Ahrefs.
Finding Easy To Rank Relevant Keywords (The Paid Way)
So there are a ton of keyword research tools on the market currently and we’ve tried a good amount of them.
While we do recommend a few tools, our favorite by far is Ahrefs.
We first start by taking a high level topic, as we did with the free strategy and searching it within Ahrefs.
While there are multiple ways we can go here, for this example we are going to take a look into the “questions” category.
If you have a newer blog, try and shoot for a lower KD (Keyword Difficulty). We recommend 35 and under.
All of these keywords ask a question that dog owners want answers to.
These can all be great potential topics for someone that sells dog food. Certain parameters can also be set to easily find keywords that not only align with your product or service but have lower competition so you have a faster chance of ranking.
The parameters that we set for this search was a maximum KD of 35, and a minimum volume of 100.
We use many different ways to generate keyword ideas for our clients, but this is one of the quickest and easiest ways you can find some less competitive topics to start producing content around.
3. Become The Go-To Resource
After you have gathered a bunch of potential keywords for your blog, now it’s time to begin writing your topics.
Once you make a decision on the first keyword you are going to create content around, you need to take a look at the first 3-5 results in Google.
For this example, we are going to use the keyword we found earlier, “does dog food quality really matter ?”
So we’re going to go through each of these results and create an outline based on what information we feel like would be useful and leave out info that we feel wouldn’t be needed.
You should also add in more content based on your own personal knowledge about the topic.
Once you have a complete outline, it’s time to start filling it in.
Be sure to use plenty of pictures and demonstrations throughout your content.
Also including call-to-actions to your product or service is essential in initiating that transition from visitor to potential customer.
This guide has two call-to-actions, one at the beginning of the article and one at the end.
The one in the beginning
The one at the end
It’s important to note, when writing your content, keep the users in mind more than the search engines.
You should use your keyword once or twice throughout your content and in your H1 heading but overstuffing your keywords does not work anymore.
Maybe you could get away with it in 2014, but not today.
In fact, stuffing keywords into your content can actually trigger negative SEO on your site.
You should write as if you’re talking directly to your audience, because you are.
Naturally place your keywords throughout the content, use some LSI’s and make sure your article is super informative and helpful and this is enough to rank in Goole for low competition keywords.
4. Repeat Steps 1-3
So you’ve been through the content ideation process, you’ve conducted thorough keyword research and have your list of topics and you’ve written an informative and helpful piece of content around the topic.
If you consistently repeat this process, there’s no way you CAN’T see results.
The hardest part about blogging is staying consistent. What helps is batching out your content and scheduling it to release at a certain time.
Try your best to keep the time consistent. So for example, if you post twice a week, try and post the same days per week, every week.
Why Low-Competition Keywords Are At The Foundation of Everything We Do
We are long-tail keyword stans and for good reason!
There is no other type of keyword that can rank as quickly while generating the ROI that these types of keywords can generate.
The average conversion rate for long-tail keywords is 36%.
The reason that long-tail keywords convert higher is because when users search these phrases, they are looking for a very specific answer to a very specific question.
Have you ever seen a meme that you really resonated with, and thought to yourself, omg! Yes! That’s me!
That’s the same feeling a potential customer gets when they see that you’ve answered their question “spot on”.
Targeted buyers mixed with quick rankings is a recipe for success.
Ready To Start Growing Your Blog With No Backlinks?
There you have it!
You’ve got the basics down now.
If you thought this guide was going to be more complicated, i’m sorry to disappoint you.
But we like to keep SEO and blog growth as simple as possible because as i’m sure you already know, it’s not difficult at all to overcomplicate the process.
Focus on providing a great answer to potential customers that are searching for questions, while presenting your product or service as the solution and you’ll be good to go!