One of the most effective link building strategies is ego baiting or creating content to specifically appeal to someone’s ego in an attempt to get that person to link to your content, tweet about you or mention you on social media or in their own content. Ego baiting is an effective way to get the attention of bold-faced names in your industry and attract some of their audience while simultaneously gaining credibility, but it can also backfire if you do not do it correctly. At best, a poorly executed ego bait campaign earns you nothing more than silence or a bland “thanks” from your intended target. At worst, your efforts to gain links are obvious and earn you nothing but disdain and a bad reputation.
There are many ways to go about ego baiting for link building purposes, from curating lists and creating awards to simply mentioning your “targets” in everyday blog posts, but unless you follow through on your efforts and take the extra steps required to actually get the links, your efforts may be in vain. You need to avoid the most common “deadly sins” of ego baiting.
1. Not Telling The Person That You’ve Mentioned Them
The experts at Digital Current note in their guide to link building that as long as someone has a blog or website, there’s a good chance that they will share the news of your ego bait with their audience. However, they need to know that it’s out there. There’s a good chance that anyone that you’ve deemed worthy of ego baiting has a substantial online presence and has the Google Alert messages to prove it.
However, you cannot assume that the person you’re targeting will receive any sort of alert to your mention. That’s why it’s vital to reach out and let your target know that you’ve included them in your content. Send a quick email or reach out on social media to give him or her a heads up.
2. Not Asking For What You Want
It’s not enough just to inform the target that they have been included in your content. After all, ego baiting is part of your link building strategy, so the point is to get links. So you need to be clear what you’re looking for when you reach out, without just coming out and asking them to link to your site. When you ask for a link, your target will see right through you and probably not be as impressed or honored by your mention as you would expect.
Instead, include a link to the content, a prepopulated tweet that they can share, or a badge they can post on their site if that’s what you’re offering.
3. Appearing Disingenuous
Ego baiting is best for building relationships. The relationships you forge with other bloggers and experts can support your link building success well into the future. That’s why it’s important to make your ego bait informative, honest, and useful to your regular audience – not just to the person you’re trying to get a link from.
It’s fine to share your enthusiasm for someone’s product or ideas, but avoid coming across as a brownnoser or sycophant and appearing disingenuous.
4. Aiming Too High
We’d all love to get a retweet from a Kardashian or Lady Gaga, but unless you have an existing relationship with them (or any other celebrity), they probably aren’t going to respond. Similarly, if you reach out to the same thought leaders that everyone else is, your bait could be lost in the shuffle – especially if the others sites have more followers, look better or more closely align with the target’s own goals.
Therefore, to get the most bang for your link building buck, carefully choose your targets and focus on those that are most likely to respond favorably – not one of the minor Kardashians.
5. Not Seeking Additional Opportunities
The primary purpose of ego baiting might be link building, but it’s also relationship building. Once you’ve mentioned someone in your content and provided some positive exposure, you are in a better position to ask for something in the future, whether that is an interview, a guest post or even a link. When you let someone know that you’ve mentioned them, and they seem receptive to you and your site, follow up with additional ways you can work together. After all, while a single link is nice, an ongoing, mutually beneficial relationship is even better.
Ego baiting for link building is a solid strategy, when executed properly. Don’t commit these deadly sins, and carefully consider who you approach and how. Who knows? Someday, you might be the target of ego bait yourself.
Link Building Is A Vital Part Of Online Success