How to build a niche site - episode 3: Establishing links and linkbuilding
Part 3: Establishing links
Remember those happy visitors who will revisit? As it turns out, some of them are not just revisiting, but also telling their friends about it. There is nothing more powerful than word of mouth. As these happy visitors link back to me in forums or blogs, they introduce their whole communities to ww2db.
Quality of content
Quality of the content plays a role here once again. The article on Japanese Admiral Chuichi Nagumo on ww2db is so in-depth from a certain perspective that it was cited by someone to write part of Nagumo's biography at Wikipedia, and that citation is bringing in a constant flow of traffic to ww2db. As a bonus, I am sure being linked from a popular site such as Wikipedia is helping ww2db scoring higher points at search engines. See how things tie together now?
Using forums for link building
Of course, sometimes as the webmaster I have to get things going by establishing my own links. Most of that effort is done at forums and message boards. Whenever possible, a link to ww2db is established in my message board account's profile and signature. Same goes for my blog user accounts for when I respond to topics. With that, links are provided for those web visitors who like to click around relatively randomly (trust me, they are in abundance) even if my topic of discussion has nothing to do with my niche. When posting messages regarding to my niche, I am also generous in referring a link back to my own site. Shamelessly plugging my site? Definitely, even my own fiancee says so.
Yahoo Answers can be a good mechanism
But with the good quality content that I am building up at ww2db, I think I am doing someone a good service by providing the link. Sometimes asking questions is a good way to get traffic to your site. Just this week, I posted a photo of a war-time sailor manning an anti-aircraft gun that I could not identify. I posted a link to that photograph to Yahoo! Answers, and I got 14 responses within a few hours. I not only got the answer that I need, I also got 14 links right away, plus any others who might have clicked to my site but did not answer the question. Sure, 14 is not a whole lot, but I was definitely hitting two birds with one stone.
Run a competition requesting backlinks
After reading a blog recently discussing the power of "free stuff", I decided to host a contest in which I am giving away an audio book (WW2 in topic, of course) as a prize. To enter, the contestant must establish a link to ww2db, whether it is in form of a blog entry, a "Digg", or a post in a forum. Results of this campaign is yet to be seen, but in the long run, the price of the audio book is a small price to pay for the links made by the contestants that will remain in random corners of the web for a long time, drawing new visitors to ww2db. By the way, the contest will remain open through January 2008, if the readers of this article are interested.
Recently, I have started experimenting with advertising on social networks. My own effort to do so include importing ww2db's RSS in my Facebook profile as notes. I also recently established links so that ww2db visitors can Digg/Stumble/reddit/etc. articles they like on ww2db. Perhaps in a few months I will return and share the progress. But for now, I am optimistic of this campaign, for we are just seeing the infancy of social networks.
Tomorrow's post will be on monetisation and will be my last in this series. In the mean time check out ww2db.
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