If the only referrals to your site are from your mom’s Facebook page, you probably suck at link building.

If you tweet eight times a day begging other Twitterers for links, you probably suck at link building.

And, if your idea of link building is to set up sham sites stuffed with links to your site, you most definitely suck at link building.

Stop staring wistfully at your Google Analytics dashboard and start racking up those links: it’s time to dive into the Ultimate Guide to Not Sucking at Link Building.

Step One: Create Some Killer Content

The easiest way to build links is to create content that people naturally want to share. We’ll spare you the “content is king” rant and instead ask you this: what links do you see your friends and followers sharing? They’re not sharing links to generic websites, they’re sharing links to individual pieces of content: a news article, a blog post or a video.

If you write something that makes people laugh, people will link. If you write an in-depth guide that people find useful, people will link. Meet a need, and people will link.

Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as writing a funny blog post and waiting for the links to start pouring in. To attract links, you have to attract attention.

Show Off That Shiny New Content

Attracting attention on the attention-deficit Internet is easier said than done. Posting on social networking sites, social bookmarking sites or relevant forums are a great first step to attracting attention to your content. An online marketing service company can help you get the word out through promotional social seeding campaigns.

Share the Wealth: Start Guest Posting

Guest posting on other relevant blogs effectively kills two link-building birds with one stone. First, it promotes your content and site to a brand new audience; second, it allows you to link to your site within your post (giving you a free inbound link in the process). It’s a win-win all around.

Start Stacking Up Quality Inbound Links

In theory, links act like “votes” for a website. Unfortunately, those link votes don’t all carry the same weight. A link from a trusted, authority site in your field will carry more weight than a lesser-known site. Similarly, a link from a trusted site in an unrelated field (a tech site linking to a vegan blog, for example) doesn’t carry as much weight as a site within your industry.

Create a list of the top 20 related blogs with similar demographics to your target audience (tools such as Quantcast.com can provide you with free demographic reports). Analyze the content on these blogs: what are readers responding to? What kinds of content to these sites link to? Focus on creating content that would interest sites on your target list.

In Conclusion: Don’t Suck

Don’t buy links. Don’t beg for them. Don’t tweet the same post 24 times with a plaintive “PLEASE RT” attached. When a site links to you, they’re essentially “vouching” for you and your content. Screw up, and they’ll delete their links to you — and you’ll be left alone and linkless on the last page of the SERPs.

For help with link building, or any other Internet marketing service, contact us today.