Link building is a never ending process as your site’s search competency has to be continuously maintained throughout its lifetime. While SEO experts are digging into more and more innovative (but expensive) ways to optimize websites for search visibility, there are quite a few cleaner and rather inexpensive ways by which you can build 1000s of backlinks to your website.
Here in this post I am talking about the free services and products that you can offer in exchange of quality oneway backlinks to your website or blog. Some of these options provide one time benefits where as others can churn out numerous links to your blog/site over time.
How to get backlinks free?
The following are some of the ‘backlinks for free services’ options.
#1 WordPress plugins, badges or widgets
If you can develop catchy and useful badges or widgets (or even plugins that contributes to visual output) and provide it for free, you can also include a backlink to the developer’s site (that’s your blog). The plugin or widget should be compelling enough and adding value to the consumer so that they don’t mind keeping your link there.
#2 WordPress themes
When you buy a professional WordPress theme, you may not like to include a backlink to the developer’s site but if you are consuming a free theme (or get one designed by someone free) the author has every right to get a backlink there in. Hence, even if you are not a theme designer, you can get a nice WordPress theme designed by somebody (for even $50), rebrand it with your backlink and put it for free download. This is one of the easiest and common ways to get quality backlinks to your website.
#3 Write free content
Whether it is guest posting, whole blog content creation or writing work sharing, you could ask for backlinks whenever you are doing this favor for free.
#4 Software and script uploads
Certain collaborative application development or open source support forums allow you to develop applications based on their SDKs and APIs, upload and list them on their sites. Most of the time, this participation model provides a backlink to your website. It may be a onetime thing but the link quality will be really high. You wouldn’t mind receiving a backlink from sites like apple.com right?
#5 Sponsoring blog contests
Sponsoring a blog contest does not mean that you are shelling out a lot of money. Sometimes it is as simple as sponsoring a 125×125 ad spot and in return you get good quality deep links on the contest related posts (announcements, updates and results).
#6 Free webservices
While a free WordPress theme or widget allows the consumer to edit and remove your backlinks, a web service with some visual elements may be a stronger mechanism to enforce your brand and backlinks. However, these web services should be something that adds real value to bloggers or webmasters that they will consume them and in return you get your links.
#7 Free consulting
Providing free consulting (e.g. Software upgrade, configuring plugins, helping to add some script) is another way to get your backlinks free. Most of the less tech-savvy beneficiaries will be glad to provide you backlinks in return of these small favors received from you. Of course, for large scale services, even you might want to accept money than links.
#8 Donate and get backlinks
A number of open source efforts actually provide you quality backlinks (mostly from .org domains) in exchange of smaller donations of $5 or $10 and above. The value of these backlinks is a lot more than that smaller amount that you donate and hence it’s worth a try.
Over to you
The above mentioned are some of the free (almost) backlink procuring mechanisms that come to my mind. Do you have anything more to add?