As I mentioned before, WordPress is the biggest scoring free service that you can use. It is also the only one that doesn't allow you to spam their system and use it just for promotional actions. All the other services mentioned earlier allow you to monetize your blog or web site. Some share a portion of their revenue as well. So, if you want to make some money on the side, these services will provide you with the possibility to do so.
WordPress doesn't allow you to build blogs just for Search Engine Optimization and I quote:
We have a very low tolerance for blogs created purely for Search Engine Optimization or commercial purposes, machine-generated blogs, and will continue to nuke them. So if that's what you're interested in, WordPress is not for you. A self-hosted solution would be much more appropriate for you; suitable hosts can be found at http://www.wordpress.org/ hosting.
Also see the following text taken from
This might be just one of the reasons that Google loves WORDPRESS.COM blogs. So how is it possible to use WORDPRESS.COM to promote your website? Actually, you don't. On this service you are not going the promote your site in a way that you can do on the other services. On WORDPRESS.COM you truly build a blog or site containing pages with true value to the visitors of that blog. You can create an About page where you put a link to your main website and in that way show the readers where to get more information. You can also put a link to your website in the link section (Blogroll) together with a few other relevant links that contain valid information.
Blogging on WordPress and your ranking
If you cannot promote your web site in a big way then what is the point of creating a blog on WORDPRESS.COM? A blog on WordPress can rank highly for the topic that you are blogging about and will give you some SEO love through those rankings.
What is more important is the fact that you can take a special topic from your main web site's topic and create a blog around that.
If you write your blog posts well and start to rank on that topic you will be seen as an authority on that topic and people will want to know more about you. That is the main reason to invest time to blog on WORDPRESS.COM to be recognized as an authority in your field of expertise. As you took only one topic out of all the topics that your site is about, you can do it again for another topic as well.
You could also see these blogs as a collection of topic silos that create an array of highly related web sites that point to yours. This kind of link building takes time, and a lot of it! Is it worth it? Yes most certainly, and in more ways than one.
With blogging you can achieve the following:
- An authority status if you do it right
- More traffic to your web site
- Better rankings in the search engines
- More insight into what the visitors of your web site are looking for
- To interact with other people having interest in the same topic as you
- Fun in writing and that will reflect on your site as you want to create more content on that site as well
There is also a downside that you have to consider—it takes time away from building content on your main site and you have to cover more locations to maintain in the beginning. If you use that blog to write some timeless quality content on a niche part of your main site you will find out that you can stop maintaining those blogs after a short period of time. Remember, these are valid blogs to build incoming links to your main site!
Digging deeper into WORDPRESS.COM blogs
Creating a blog on WordPress is also very simple, go to WORDPRESS.COM and get a blog. Wait! Don't go yet! You need a few guidelines to start.
- Your initial user account name is going to be the first part of your URL, so name it right and remember, you cannot use a "-" in your username. My first account was seo4joomla so what I got was seo4joomla.wordpress.com. When you are logged in to WORDPRESS.COM and you type in the URL with a new keyword that you want (if it is not taken); you will get the option to add that blog to your account so that you can manage all of your WordPress.COM blogs from one place.
- Think about the title of your blog, if you want to change it later you can do that in the settings panel.
- Once you have your new blog, start cleaning.
- Delete the sample post and the comment along with it.
- Delete all the links in the blogroll (unless you are going to write about WordPress).
- Change the base post category from Uncategorized to a relevant topic name.
- Change the name of the links category from Blogroll to your most relevant keyword.
- Delete the About page and create a new one with the keywords of your blog in the title. That way your URL (page slug in WordPress) is containing the same keywords.
- Choose a nice theme layout that fits your topic, and if possible use a customized header. Using a customized header will give your site a slightly different look from the other WORDPRESS.COM web sites.
- Change the tagline in the general settings and start writing the way you do on your web site!
Using free blogging services
As you saw, there are several blogging platforms and free web site building platforms that you can use to promote your web site. There are a lot more out there on the Internet, but you need to look for the ones that rank well in the search engines before you put your valued time into building a linking "empire".
These services are free of charge and sometimes live on the revenue that comes from the blog content they host. If you don't want to be on such a platform where there are advertisements around your writing, don't use them. If you are afraid that you can lose your blog on such sites look for a way to make backups (for example, on WORDPRESS.COM you can use the Export function).
How to minimize your blog writing time
Keeping content fresh and up-to-date on all the blogs that you build is not that difficult. If you focus on blogging on your own web site, you should try to integrate the RSS Feed from your web site into those blog pages. RSS Feeds are the best possible automatic way of updating one-to-many, so use it to your advantage.
Using your best content for link building
Use the best articles from your web site to get into the picture of social bookmarking web sites. Find the most visited pages and the pages with the greatest number of comments, if you have a blog on your Joomla! site. Go to bookmarking sites and bookmark your pages using your own account.
There are a lot of bookmarking web sites that you can use, just make sure you send your bookmarks to at least the following:
These are some of the most influential ones that count towards your search engine ranking and are a great way to get traffic. Traffic from this kind of web site will come in bursts and mostly will not span a longer time period than a few days.
The real power lies in the long term effect.
Writing articles for links
If you like writing about your passion, you can consider writing articles and submitting them to article publishing services. People are always looking for information and, if you can provide that to them in a smart way, it will help you to gain recognition as a field expert.
You don't have to write long articles, but they must be informative and should give the reader an answer to a question they might have. Write those articles and submit them to services such as:
Each of those services have their own "Terms of Service" that you should read before submitting your articles. They have their quality guidelines as well. The length of the article might need to be of a certain minimum or maximum number of characters.
You might not be permitted to link deeper into your web site than the top level. Get that information before you choose a service to work with. Depending on the number of webmasters that will use your articles to republish, you could get a lot more incoming links from just a few well-written articles.
What you should NOT do is take an old article from your site and send it as an article to be republished. That could backfire, as the services mentioned have a clause in their "Terms of Service" stating that the article is original and not published before.
You should really not republish an already submitted article on your own web site, it could give your site a duplicate content penalty as that article will be published all over the Internet (with your link in it). An alternative could be that you publish some of your articles combined and rewritten into an e-book in PDF format that you give away for free from your web site.
Learning how to ask for a link
Sending an email to webmasters asking for a link to your web site is also an option to gain more incoming links. But sending an email with text such as the following will not get you a link from my site.
I have found your web site really informative and I think that my web site http://www.example.com could also be of benefit to your visitors.
Please consider placing a link on your web site and send me the page with that link and I will link back to you.
With kind regards,
Webmaster of http://www.example.com
So, what is wrong with such a request. You don't use the name of the webmaster or company involved. You don't show that you really visited the site and read some articles. You don't talk about the topics and benefits that visitors might find on your site. You request a link back before you consider placing the site link on your site (a dead give away of non-relevance, otherwise you would have linked to the site already).
You ask for a confirmation of the placed link, which tells me that you don't check the site and you don't have your analytics in order. You don't give out real contact information. Emails such as this look like they may have been sent out by a "link building company" that will spam all webmasters of sites that might be remotely considered "on topic" to your site.
So, don't buy into those services unless you are sure that they know how to do it right. Also include a so called "anti-spam" option in your contract with them to make sure they don't spam, otherwise your carefully built reputation may be shattered to bits.
A better request could have been, for example:
Dear Mr Boulden,
I really liked reading your web site and particularly your page on xeriscaping.
We have a web site on which we write about the elements used in xeriscaping that
might be of value to your readers.
It contains information about structure and placement of those elements and some
reviews of pro and cons of the materials used. You can read it at http://www.
I hope you would consider linking to it from your page
or from your link page.
Maybe you could use this description and code:
• Xeriscape garden elements
• Materials and elements to use an xeriscape garden
I hope you find the information on our site of value and would consider a link from your
site as a privilege.
Please contact me if you have any questions.
With kind regards,
Herbert-Jan van Dinther
Director of Crazy Beez Landscape Gardeners
Knowing what to include in your link request
As you learned in our mail example, there are some things that you can do to get a conversation going with another webmaster within your niche to get a link.
- Use the real name or company name:
It is much better if you use a real name or company name in your email, it shows that your are really interested in the content of his/her web site and you took the time to get the information.
In most of the web sites you can look for a contact page and see if it's stated there. Otherwise, check if you can find the information on http://www.whois.net/, where you fill in the domain name and voila and you get the information. (In some cases you don't get it because of privacy settings from the hosting/domain provider.)
- Show that you really visited the site:
This is key to your success and you have to read some of the articles. There must be some articles that you like, otherwise you wouldn't even contact the webmaster to get a link on that site. In your mail you can quote some of those articles, link to them, and give some good quality comment on those articles (short please! You don't want to over do it).
- Tell the site owner about the topics of your articles and benefits to their the visitors:
Showing that there are real articles on your site, related to the topic of the site you want the link from, will create curiosity from the other party to check out your web site. Your web site content needs to be "link worthy" for them to host the link on their pages.
At this point you should include the URL of your web site and you should do this by sending a link such as "Target Keyword and Domain" so that they can easily copy the link into their site and you have some control over the keywords used in the link to your site. This means, you have to provide them with a predefined HTML code that is ready to copy and paste, to make it easy for them to create the link to your site. For example, the HTML code would look like:
<a href=" http://www.cblandscapegardening.com/">Landscape Gardeners Los Banos </a>
If you don't, you will probably end up with http://www.example.com, which is not as good as a link with the keywords in it.
- Put up a link first:
When you send a request to get a link to your web site, make sure you have a link to the other site on your web site. Also, make sure you clicked on that link to go to their site.
It will show up in their statistics and they might even have checked out your site before you send the request.
- Close your mail by giving out real contact information:
Putting the real contact information in the request mail gives you credibility and shows that you are really looking for a conversation with the other party. If they have a question for you, they can easily contact you.
- Getting the link:
You send out the mails to the webmasters and you are awaiting a stream of relevant incoming links.
Don't be disappointed if it doesn't work right away. If it is a popular web site, emails for link requests will be coming in all the time, so it might take some time for the webmaster to get to your request. Some people are very picky when it comes to linking out to other web sites (I am), because they really want them to fit into the interest of the targeted audience of their web site.
If you don't get any response, try again in a couple of months and after that next year. Don't start spamming to get your link, it's a sure way of not getting it. The success rate of such link requests are really dependent on the kind of niche you are working in. If it is a high competition niche, you have to work harder and still you cannot expect a high success rate.
In this article, we looked at several options to get incoming links to your web site, including the following:
- Paid links
- Forum signatures
- Commenting on other web sites
- How to start building your own incoming links
- Getting your best content on social marketing sites
- How to publish articles on republishing services
- Asking other webmasters for a link
If you have read this article you may be interested to view :
- Joomla! 1.5 Blogging and RSS Feeds
- Extending Joomla! Blogging and RSS
- How to get Incoming Links in Joomla! 1.5 SEO: Part 1