With social media and personal branding, developing a great presence online can turn you personally into a link magnet.
Andy Warhol once suggested that everyone gets their 15 minutes of fame. And social media is certainly making that little prediction come true.
How can you develop your personal brand so that you only have to mouth an opinion and a gazillion links follow? Here are nine tips on how to become a link magnet and dominate search engines.
1. Be Controversial
Being controversial comes in many different forms but it is a risky tactic to take. You can end up becoming a figure of ridicule in the very community you are seeking to gain links from.
This, of course, can also work to get you links until the community becomes wise to your nonsense and stops linking to you. It'll take a while, but eventually they'll also stop giving you citations. But by that time, you've attracted enough links and detractors that you will be a magnet for links from all over.
2. Be the Font of All Knowledge
You really have to know your stuff here. This is again a risky proposition to take because the moment you get a comma out of place, the circling jackals of the community may move in for the kill.
If successful though, your infamy will spread far and wide and it will make you into a link magnet as well as an industry expert asked to speak on panels and at conferences around the world. But then again, you've proven you really know your stuff and have gained the respect of most of the community.
3. Take a Stand
Taking a stand on a controversial subject like the desperate need for regulation in an industry full of cowboys and sometimes used as a front for fraud because there is no industry body tasked with education and whatnot can be slightly risky. It makes an industry full of unregulated, uncertified professionals nervous as the worry they may not qualify when in reality they'd likely lead it.
4. Be a Personality
This is more difficult to start off but once gained attains a life of its own. Being the font of all knowledge comes first usually, then making a splash that people talk about for years helps.
Turning up on stage drunk and talking nonsense is one way. Whipping chocolate at people is another. Distributing drinkbait is yet another. This will make you a link magnet as those who found you funny/cool/controversial/etc. talk about and link back to you.
Sharing is something the search community is good at and this was embodied in Jaamit Durrani, who tragically passed in November 2010. Jaamit was one of the best at sharing, passing along advice, tips, help, and freely giving of his time to benefit the whole community, as well as individuals.
Sharing and being a wonderful person in real life is one way to become a link magnet. You become known for sharing information that is valuable to the community and thus become a type of font of all knowledge.
6. Be Funny
Being the clown is one way of getting attention. It worked in school, for getting dates, and now it works for getting noticed in a community.
Publishing humorous link bait, which both informs and makes people laugh (and possibly snort coffee out of their noses), is an excellent way to attract links. It's even better if you can draw the illustrations yourself. Who knows, you might even become a link magnet outside search as a cartoonist or something.
7. Be Prolific
Keep it up. We all get busy and I'm the most remiss at keeping things up, but continuing to publish useful stuff across a number of platforms means you become known to a number of audiences and increase ambient awareness of yourself, which means when you then share info or publish something funny, your trust level will be high and you'll get the link.
The problem here is where the link goes; but being prolific is an excellent way to become a link magnet.
8. Be Mysterious
We all know someone who is mysterious. They may not say much on a panel or write too much, but when they do they allude to certain techniques in such a way that make people wonder. They speculate and link back to what made them speculate. They will ponder, argue, cogitate, and link back as their musings are published on blogs, as they try and pierce the veil of the unknowable.
Being mysterious can backfire on a personal reputation management level, but as a form of link bait it is an excellent way to attract links to your obfuscation.
9. Buy Links
Yeah, I said it. You want to be a link magnet and no one knows ever heard of you and your prolific sharing and excellent contributions go unheard.
You need to do something -- so you decide to rank well for "pirate SEO." There's a technique to making sure that you don't do this to directly manipulate search rankings, and yet still do. We delved into this during the How to Become a Link Magnet session at SES London, yet another reason why you should attend SES events.
Save up to $400! Register now for SES New York 2011, the Leading Search & Social Marketing Event, taking place March 21-25. SES New York will be packed with 70+ sessions, multiple keynotes, 100+ exhibitors, networking events, and parties. Learn about PPC management, keyword research, search engine optimization (SEO), social media, local, mobile, link building, duplicate content, multiple site issues, video optimization, site optimization, usability, and more. Early bird rates expire March 4.