When writing an article or baiting for links, you should choose the right strategy depending on the type of links you want to gather.

Basically, I identified 3 factors (feel free to add your comments if you want!):

1. Backlinks trend

Articles like gossip news, scoops and popular gadgets reviews spread very quickly, so they grant you a high number of backlinks in a short span, but they also tend to stop their growth quickly.

Articles like tutorials, reviews and howtos have a slower spread rate, but they continue to produce links for longer.

If you need fast links (e.g. you need a higher technorati authority to brag with your friends ;) ) you can produce tools, widgets, templates or elements that can be added to your visitor’s webpages: this is an easy way to get a large number of backlinks (that’s the reason why a lot of people design wordpress themes: each time the theme is installed they receive a backlink from the “theme by” link)

2. Visits trend

Links to different resources produce different visits trends: stuff like viral videos, controversy-oriented posts and citations in news grants you a spike in your visits graph, but no long-term visits, while howtos, resources (plugins, themes, software, tools) are often less spiky but tend to grant visits for long time.

If you need visitors on a specific date, maybe because you want to promote a new product or a service, you should go viral (and use social media promotion), while if you need a smaller but constant flow of visitors, producing other type of content is probably the right thing to do.

3. Returning visitors ratio

Some articles can hook your visitors, making them save the link for future reference, while other are “one visit is enough”…

Long term content is more valuable for the reader, it gives you better links and higher returning ratio, but is not always the best choice: it requires deeper analysis and must be updated frequently.

Short term content can be produced easily and does not require constant updates, also the traditional blog structure is more “short term posts oriented”… If you don’t need your readers to come back to your older posts, or you don’t want to your older posts to be a big reference, it can be better to write a couple of “light” posts per day instead of a single great post a week ;) (If only I had the time to write a couple of posts per day…)

Which one is for you?

What is your preference?
How do you try to get some additional links?
How do you promote your product or your blog?
Or, if you want to put it in other words, how do you linkbait?

francesco mapelli