One of the most important aspects of getting your website to rank well in search engines like Google is to get links from other websites to your own. If Google sees that others around the internet are talking about you, it will trust your website more, and you’ll rank above other websites that are less trustworthy or valuable than yours.
Links don’t just help with search engine rankings, though. If you’re able to score links on popular web pages, you can generate a large amount of referral traffic that can result in more mailing list subscribers or increased music and merchandise sales. When it comes to promoting your music online, free website traffic is extremely valuable.
If your website is new, it’s unlikely that people are going to find it at all – let alone link to it. So, how do you go about getting links?
Here are three strategies you can use to build links to your website.
1. Try guest blogging
Guest blogging is a simple way for newer websites to gain quick exposure. This is one of the most common strategies used to gain new links because it works extremely well.
Here’s how it works: you find blogs that write articles about your area of expertise or interest, reach out to them asking if you can contribute, then write an article that includes links to your website in it (that make sense for the article).
This method works exceptionally well if you have a blog of your own, because then you have more linkable pages on your site. For example, if you’re writing a guest post for a travel site, it might make sense to link to an article on your blog about travel experiences you’ve had while touring.
Here’s how you can get started with guest posting.
Find websites that accept guest posts
Most blogs that accept guest posts say so on their website, which makes it easy to find guest posting opportunities on Google.
There are hundreds of search strings you can type into Google to find websites and blogs that accept guest posts, but here are a few that have worked well for me:
- “keyword” + “write for us”
- “keyword” + “guest post”
- “keyword” + “post was written by”
Just replace “keyword” with something that you’d be interested in writing about. For example, if you like writing about travel, search “travel” + “write for us.”
Brainstorm article ideas
Before you actually compose your email, you want to come up with a few ideas for articles that you can contribute the website. Ideally, these ideas are topics that haven’t been covered before.
After brainstorming some ideas, you can check if the blog has covered these topics already by searching for keywords on their website, or with Google by searching site:thewebsite.com + “keyword.” It’s usually okay to write about something that has been covered before if you can provide a different angle on the topic.
Reach out to the website
After you’ve come up with three ideas to pitch to the blog, it’s time to email them. When emailing bloggers, it’s important to keep emails as short as possible and make them easy to skim.
Here’s an email similar to the one I use when reaching out to blogs about guest posting:
My name is [Name], and I’m a member of [Band Name].
I'm reaching out because I'd like to contribute a guest post to your blog.
I've been brainstorming some ideas that I think your readers would like:
- Idea 1
- Idea 2
- Idea 3
To get an idea of my writing quality, here are some of my recent articles:
- Article 1
- Article 2
Please let me know if any of these interest you.
Using an email similar to the one above, I’ve received one-in-five response rate. Before including recently written articles, my response rate was one in 10.
Once you receive a response, the next step is to write an awesome article for them. Once it’s published, you’ll receive some instant referral traffic and increased Google rankings a few weeks later.
2. Help A Reporter Out (HARO)
This one is simple. Basically, you sign up for a mailing list that sends you inquiries from various blogs and media outlets, and then respond to topics that are relevant to you. Even if inquiries aren’t exactly relevant to music, you can put a musical spin on it, like I was able to do with this article by talking about Bandsintown.
Just sign up for Help A Reporter Out, then you’ll receive multiple emails each day from reporters working on stories for media outlets of all sizes. Just open the emails, scroll through the topics, and respond to the ones that you think you’d add value to.
3. Get on list articles
List articles generate more referral traffic than any other type of link, and if the article ranks well in Google, the referral traffic can keep coming for months.
One list post Dozmia was featured in continues to generate over 100 visits per day, most of which convert into users.
Here’s how to go about finding and reaching out to blogs that have written list posts.
Find list articles
Finding list articles in Google is easy. The types of list post you’d be a fit for will be different depending on your style of music, but here are a few search ideas to get you started:
- Top 10 bands in Florida
- Songs with awesome breakdowns
- Bands that sound like [popular band]
Searches like these are likely to return a large number of list posts that you can potentially be added to.
Contact the website
As mentioned above, when you email any website, it’s important to keep the email as short as possible, and make it easy to skim. Here’s an email you can use to build links to your website:
I came across your blog post [Article Name] [Link]. Awesome stuff!
My band, [Band Name], sounds very similar to [item on the list], and I think we would make a great addition to your list.
Here’s our website: [Link]
Let me know if you need more info. Thanks!
Change the email depending on what it is you’re trying to build links to. The above script can also be great for generating links to a new music video, single, or album to build referral traffic.
Nick Rubright is the founder and CEO of Dozmia, a music streaming service currently available on iOS. He has a passion for helping musicians understand various marketing concepts, and creating the perfect playlist. Sign up for Dozmia's mailing list to get music marketing hacks straight to your inbox.