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Make Money Online- the baby steps part 13

In this part of our guide “Make Money Online- the babys steps part 13″  we will take a closer look at the importance of backlinks. It is the second key factor out of the big four. The others are (1) content, (3) keyword optimization and (4) user experience.

2. Backlinks. Links play an important role in determining how the search engines rank your website. A large number of links pointing in your direction implies that you have valuable, unique, relevant and useful content and Google and the other search engines will  approve of that and ultimately rank your website higher. As you search the web you are likely to come across a large number of internet marketers and self-proclaimed experts that offer you advice about a number of suspect ways to get links. Back in the days you could pay for links. There are link pages around where basically you get (low-value) links in exchange for the traffic (and add revenues) these directories earn by providing these links. This practice is no longer advisable, since Google is either frowning upon, or in some cases even penalizing bad links nowadays. To put it bluntly, playing the link game is quickly becoming an obsolete art, save for a select few truly outstanding internet marketers who know all the ins and outs (by the way, these are not the guys selling their “groundbreaking” internet marketing courses and hot tips online for $). Twitter, Facebook and the likes offer good backlinking power, so at least have accounts there.

There are some links that are pretty valuable, and are worth your time. You can start out with some directories like Open Directory Project. Directories are usually worth pursuing, but definitively not all of them. We would not be surprised to find that Google will place even less value on these links in future upgrades. As for now, they are worth a bit of your time, but not too much. It is far better to join forums, networks, blog discussions and communities that are dealing with the subjects your website is covering. If you join the discussion in a positive, polite, knowledgeable and constructive manner people won´t mind if you link to your website at the bottom of your posts. Be sure to add value to the discussion and don´t overdo it, or this strategy might backfire. Always conduct yourself with the highest of integrity. It is good business- in the long run. Many high traffic websites, such as magazines or large-scale blogs, (in your line of business) offer you the chance to be a contributor, and in echnage they offer you an opportunity to link to your own website and an opportunity to present yourself and what you are about. It is good business, since they don´t have to employ a big editorial staff and the contributors get paid by good exposure. Be sure to get a do-follow link when you contribute, or at the very least a good chance to sell your website. Write good content, and leave the reader wanting more. Chances are you will pick up some frequent visitors this way.

Another way to get useful links is to contact other individuals who deal with similar topics that your site is covering on their blogs or websites. The best way to do this is by simply writing polite individualized e-mails informally asking for a link. Use humour, informal tone and let them understand you know where they are coming from. If you don´t chances are you will not hear from them again, as they often have quite a few e-mail requests to deal with each day. Don´t be surprised if they hit you back with a link request of their own. Trading links is a common practice among bloggers (although it actually isn´t beneficial to your search engine traffic) and medium-sized websites run by one individual. In some instances people will even demand more links if they have a higher page rank on their site than you have on yours. This is all part of the game and getting these medium-sized links can be a tedious time-consuming process. It is worth it, however. Our advice is to spread this choir out. Don´t do it all at once. Put aside 1 hour a month for it, maybe a bit more in the beginning just to get a flying start. Truth is that these links will start to pay off, in the long run. They will be beneficial to you and they will drive some traffic to your site. Keep in mind that the most important links are the ones individual visitors provide. And the only way to get these is by providing value to as many people as possible, and focusing on great content.

Chasing links is truly a “catch 22″ type of play. You need some links in order to drive some traffic to your site and let people discover your quality content. But in order to get those links in the first place you very often need some initial traffic. The solution to this seemingly unsolvable puzzle is to take your time. If you keep at it, the results will come. There will be times during the first year when this practice feels futile. It is not. Keep going. Once you reach the top of the first hill, the view is amazing and you will be able to see the lay of the promised land ahead.

We have just covered the second key factor of the big four: backlinks. The two that now remain are keyword optimization and user experience. In the next part of our guide, “Make Money Online- the baby steps part 14″, we will have a look at the third key factor of the big four,; keyword optimization. Please contnue your journey with us.

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