Here’s the truth: Budget is not a big factor in link building – time is! Link acquisition takes time and can be tedious. But with a dash of creativity, any entrepreneur: startup or big time, can launch a link building campaign that works!

Working at a B2B remote company that is bootstrapping all the way has taught me to rely on what’s available on the web + what I can make do with my skills + and the time in my hands.

Without further ado, please dive into this list of 6 link building strategies when you’re on a shoestring budget:

1) Sign up to Local Citations and Directories

2) Write a testimonial of a relevant brand

3) Be a HARO Source

4) Feature an influencer or a well-known personality

5) Create expert roundup posts

6) Go Skyscraper!

I have listed each one according to the easiest to the most time-consuming one. In all these strategies, I have never paid a single dime! But I can honestly attest, they work!


Link Building Strategies PDF Guide


1) Sign up to Local Citations and Directories

Directories are not dead – at least the regularly updated and relevant ones. You can start by researching what directories have been put up in your city (i.e. yellow pages). Some are free, while others charge a small fee. The benefit is not just acquiring a link back to your site, but also getting your business and contact details published in local listing sites.

To begin with, put yourself on Google Maps and apply for a Google My Business Listing (free).


2) Write a testimonial or review of a relevant brand

As an entrepreneur, it’s certain you would be using products or services that help you out in your business. Pick your favorites that are most relevant to your industry. Then write a well-detailed and heart-warming testimonial/review for them. Make sure you mention how the brand (or its product features) have benefitted you. I can guarantee they will not only love you for this – but they’ll most likely publish this on their site, with a link back to you.

To make sure it works out, be more aggressive in your approach. It won’t hurt. Email them the testimonial alongside asking them to publish it on  their case studies section + a link back to your site. Win-win situation.


3) Be a HARO Source

Didn’t discover this until my former boss asked me to answer in his behalf. Basically, HARO is the acronym for HelpAReporter.com.

Sign up free as a source. As you complete your profile, you will be presented with a choice on the types of queries (or questions) that you want to answer (Haro Preferences):

HARO Queries
After that, you will start receiving queries via email, twice a day. Respond to the topics or article titles you think you can provide substantive information. They will reach out to you if your piece has been chosen for the journalist’s write up or blog post.


4) Feature an influencer or a well-known personality

Introduce thought leadership into your brand. If you think you are not yet on the same status level with the influencers or experts in the industry, it doesn’t mean you can’t invite them for a chat. The chat can be in a form of interview questionnaire that you send out through email, for example. List down the points you want that industry leader to answer or share his opinion on. Tip: Reach out to the ones you have done business with, or is a complementary brand. Most likely, you won’t get the CEO to write their answers – but a VP or Head of Marketing can still offer the best insights.

After publishing this feature article, ask them to link back to it from their site, and share to their social communities. It’s free publicity for them from your own platform, at the same time you gain a link back, and a wider audience base.


5) Create expert roundup posts

This is the mother of all influencer write-ups. Just like in #4, you feature personalities seen as “experts” in your industry. Key here is to pick people who are already connected to you. Those you’ve done business in the past, or those industry brands you have engaged with in social media. I noticed it’s easier to get answers for a roundup post when I already have a contact person I can email in their company.

To create a roundup post, pick a controversial topic or keyword topics with a high search volume that is related to your niche. In the email that you’ll send, ask a single question. One very specific question that they can answer and expound on. Could be a trend, a common issue, or whatever. Make sure you state the goal of your roundup post so they can understand the context and prepare for their best responses. Set a deadline. Ask for their profile picture and a short bio about them.

If you can’t get enough responses, do your research. Research online for these experts’ past interviews on the topic and use that in your post. Just be sure to credit the source.

Once published, reach out to them and ask for a link back to your site or article; and share the post to their social network.

If you cannot get a link, I can attest that so far, roundup posts have brought us the most traffic.


6) Go Skyscraper!

I’ve put this in the last slot as this strategy is the most time-consuming among the rest. Nevertheless, this is really effective. In a nutshell, the skyscraper technique is done by writing the best piece of content there is, and then reaching out to people who have shared similar content that are less inferior.

  • First, select your topic that is relevant to your market. Run it via keyword tool, and pick the one that has significant traffic without so much of a competition.
  • Once selected, craft your article title. In incognito mode, run a search using that title and take a look at the articles published on search.
  • Pick the top 3. Using a backlink profiler tool like OSE, Ahrefs, or Majestic – gather the sources of their links. List that down in a spreadsheet. Now you know who are linking back to those articles.
  • After creating and publishing the best content out there (versus those currently existing), it’s time to reach out to your competitor’s source of backlinks.
  • In your spreadsheet, include the back link source’s name and contact details. This can be difficult to secure since not all publish their email addresses. You can just visit the site, and then use the contact form. You can also reach out to the web owner via Twitter.  Now, tell them why your piece is more helpful/updated/better.

Another way to go about this is to do a Twitter search for competing articles. You will then see who have shared your competitor’s content. With that data, you can reach out to these people telling them why your article is better or more helpful than the previous post they shared. True, not all will link back to you — but they will likely share your article on Twitter. Instant traffic.

If you need help in your link building or SEO strategy, book for a 60-minute online coaching with me:

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Romela de Leon-Ortega

SEO Consultant & MomPreneur
With over 10+ years of experience as a SEO and Search Marketing Consultant, I empower brands to develop long-term growth through search engine optimization. I also assist local businesses in launching Adwords PPC campaigns. Huge bias for MomPreneurs, as I am one myself 🙂