How To Steal Your Competitors Backlinks (Legally)

Backlinks are hard to come by…

But also an essential part of any effective SEO strategy.

You need links, you know you need links. Your competitors know it, too.

And the best part…

They’ve already collected tons of links that you can steal. Ethically, of course.

In this article, I’ll show you:

  1. How to find your competitors best backlinks.
  2. A powerful process to identify your biggest stealing opportunities.
  3. How to use email outreach to claim your new backlinks.

Thìs an effective way to replicate your competitors backlinks, increase SERP rankings, and boost your organic traffic.

Let’s get started…

But Do I Really Need Backlinks?

Short answer: yes.

There’s a whole host of factors that could influence your rankings, over 200 of them according to Brian Dean from backlinko.

But we don’t need to go that deep. Let’s just focus on 3 things:

  1. Quality & relevance (to the keyword) of content
  2. Level of competition
  3. Backlinks

There’s tons of other things you should focus on of course, but these are the main areas of importance.

Content and competition are important. You’ve gotta do keyword research to identify keywords you’d like to rank for, and also to assess the level of competition for those keywords.

Without this, you risk either creating content about topics that aren’t frequently searched for, or creating content that you might have a hard time ranking against tough competition.

Beyond that, your content needs to be useful and high quality. Check out the other content ranking on the first page for your keywords, and make sure that your content is just as good if not better than all of it.

How else can you expect Google to rank you with or before the competition, if your content isn’t as good as theirs?

So, all that stuff is important…

But that’s not what we’re focusing on today.

We’re talking links today. Links are massively important – checkout this report from 2015 where Moz data suggests they are the most important ranking factor.

Without keyword and competition research, and without quality content, you won’t get very far.

But with these and without links, you also won’t get very far.

We’ll get to backlink stealing in just a moment (easy there, cowboy). But first, here’s some resources for keyword research:

  1. The definitive guide to keyword research at Backlinko.
  2. 19 step keyword research process by Ahrefs.
  3. How to do keyword research by SEOAuv.

Now then, let’s move on to the links.

How You’re Going To Steal Backlinks

Let me put your mind at ease…

This isn’t illegal, and it won’t harm your competitors.

No siree, we’re just using some good old fashioned logic to look at who’s linking to our competitors, and then getting them to link to your website instead.

OK, I lied.

We also need modern SEO tools to easily assess our competition. But that’s it.. Just logic, and sophisticated SEO tools.

The process we’ll be following:

  1. Compile a list of your competitors.
  2. Analyze competitor backlink profiles.
  3. Find contact information of sites that link to competitors.
  4. Contact these linkers and give them a compelling reason to link to you, too.

The logic here is that these people have linked to a similar website (your competitor), and so are likely to also link to you.

You just have to firstly make them aware you exist, and then give them a good reason to give you a link.

You’re gonna need an SEO tool…

SEO Tool Of Choice

There’s a ton of these to choose from, really.

To name a few:

  1. Ahrefs
  2. SEMRush
  3. Moz
  4. Majestic

These all do very similar things related to keyword and backlink research. Any of them should do the trick.

My tool of choice is the mighty Ahrefs.

I don’t want to get into the reasons for this choice, but briefly:

  1. Simple & functional user interface.
  2. Incredibly fast web crawling & updating.
  3. Amazing selection of data and tools.
  4. Arguably more comprehensive (and thus more reliable) data than other tools.

So yes, I’ll be showing you how to do this with Ahrefs.

But as always, once you understand the logic behind this strategy you can figure out how to achieve the same result in different ways.

Alright, let’s find some targets.

Compiling A List Of Competitors

By the end of this step, your aim is simple…

Have a spreadsheet with a list of competitor websites. You’ll want about 50 of them. You might also want to record some other data or notes when doing this, as having information about your competitors is generally useful.

Or, if you just wanna get right to the stealing then a simple list of competitors is enough to get started.

You can make a list like this in no time with Ahrefs or another SEO tool.

I’ll show you two quick approaches…

Method 1: Competing domains report

This is probably the easiest method.

Ahrefs does all the hard work (it is mighty, after all) for you, by generating a report of domains that compete with yours based on similar keywords.

Head to the site explorer and enter your domain. Then head to the “competing domains” tab (totally unintuitive, right?):

You’ll see a bunch of huge sites at the top of the report in the screenshot – this isn’t uncommon, especially if your website is reasonably large too.

Not every website on this list will be suitable.

Websites like Amazon.com or Rei.com are massive, and will have tons of people linking to them for all sorts of reasons.. So, they’re too big for your needs.

You need to look at this list and pick out the websites which have a more narrow topic, related to that of your own website.

People linking to a website with a narrow topic similar to yours, are very likely to also link to you if you can give them a good reason.

So just go through the list of competing domains one by one. Open the website to check if it’s related to your niche, and if it looks good, then add it to your spreadsheet.

Don’t spend too long looking at these sites trying to decide. If it’s in a reasonably similar niche to yours, just go ahead and add it to your sheet.

You can also repeat this process, but this time put the domains you just added to your spreadsheet into the Ahrefs competing domains tool – a lot of the results in the report will be the same, but some will be new.

Gather as many competitors as possible using this method. At the end you’ll have a simple spreadsheet (I like Google Sheets) with a list:

 

Don’t worry if you’re running a bit short…

Method 2 will open up many more options.

Method 2: Using keywords

The competing domains tool in Ahrefs is good, but it’s not perfect.

In this second approach you’ll be searching SERPs of keywords related to your website or niche, checking for competitors who are ranking.

Your keywords

Start by plugging your own website into Ahrefs and checking the SERPS of your top keywords:

 

From here you can do just like in the first method. Cntrl+click a website to open it in a new tab – if it’s related to your niche, add it to your spreadsheet.

Other keywords

You can take a selection of keyword from the previous step, and plug them into the Ahrefs keyword explorer.

You’re basically giving Ahrefs “seed keywords” which it will use to find other related keywords. Then you can check the SERPs of these keywords, and potentially find more suitable websites to add to your competitor sheet.

I suggest you use 4 or 5 keywords at a time, although can use up to 10.

It doesn’t really matter…

Either way, you’ll get a results page like this:

The highlighted options on the left are where you want to focus.

The very first option “all” is really useful. Start there and check SERPs for any relevant keywords in the results.

Same as before, cntrl + click to open a site in new tab. If it’s related to your niche, add to sheet.

 

You could also repeat the same process you used with your own keywords above, except use the keywords of a competitors website (you should have plenty in your spreadsheet to use).

Rinse & repeat

Between methods 1 and 2 you should be easily able to make a list of over 50 competitors.

This will be plenty to get you started with the stealing.

Don’t get too caught up on being certain that a website you find in this research is your “competitor” in the strictest sense of the word…

If they have a website that’s broadly related to yours in some way, then that’s close enough.

For example, if you have a website about home renovation and you come across a competitor website about industrial construction.. That’s close enough.

You are likely to find plenty of websites linking to others which are broadly related to your own, who are also willing to link to you.

Keep cycling through these processes until you have at least 50 competitors in your spreadsheet.

GOOD NEWS: The easy part is now over…

Analysing Your Competitors Backlink Profile

This is the part where you’ll go through the link profiles of each of your competitors, one by one.

Getting a list of each competitors backlinks is actually easy (thanks, Arefs).

The mind numbingly boring part is where you go through every link one by one, searching for link stealing opportunities.

Robots aren’t so good at that part, what with it basically being an endless string of judgement calls.

We’ll get into that in just a second.

First, I’ve got some explaining to do.

So many links…

They’ve all got a purpose…

Every link. Every link is there for a reason.

That reason could be spam or some other sort of shady or automated linking strategy.

But that’s not what we’re interested in here. We’re interested in legit links that were manually placed.

Of these links, most are placed for one of two reasons:

  1. Referencing a website, brand, or business as a whole (likely to be a home page link).
  2. Referencing a specific piece of content or a resource.

Don’t take this too literally.

There’s tons of reasons for links, and more than I know. But generally speaking, this framework can help your competitor analysis.

Let’s generalise this even further and from now on call these two links types:

  1. Home page links.
  2. Resource links.

When it comes to the actual stealing, you’ll have to take a slightly different approach based on the type of links.

There’s some other differences too…

Home page links

Often, the home page of a website has the most links of all its pages.

You’re basically going to go through all links to a competitors home page one by one, looking for ones that are generally referencing the competitor.

There’ll be a lot of types of links to a home page.

Some might be from a product/service review site, others from forums, others from comments, or basically any other user-generated environment where we can’t steal links.

We’re not interested in those.

We’re interested in the blogger in your niche who’s referencing your competitor (for any reason), and who might reference you too.

Or the authority sites, or the .edu sites, or any other legitimate and contactable web property that might reasonably link to your website.

Let’s just get started, you’ll understand more as we go…

Back to Ahrefs…

Start by copying the first competitor from your spreadsheet and plugging it into Ahrefs and going to the “best by links” report:

We’re only interested in the dofollow links (nofollow is worth very little in terms of “link juice”, as I’m sure you know), so go ahead and click that number beside the home page.

Don’t worry if the home page isn’t the highest, that’ll happen sometimes. We’re going to tackle other types of pages in the next step.

After clicking, you’ll be taken to a link report on a new page. This will be slightly different than if you went to the link report for the whole site on the previous page – that report would show links to all pages on the site, whereas this one shows only link to the home page.

On this page, you’ll want to use these filter settings:

 

Once you’ve got a nice list like this, it’s time to go through each to decide which are worth contacting.

Export the list from Ahrefs – you’ll be using spreadsheets again.

The websites on this list are your link prospects. Or your “targets”, if you want to feel more gangster about the whole thing.

Processing your prospects 

All of the work so far has just been to get you a starting a point – a batch of websites that might link to you…

And a whole bunch that certainly won’t, for any number of reasons.

We want to spend as little time as possible trying to contact websites that won’t link to us, obviously.

To do this, you’ll come up with some criteria that a website must meet, in order for you to conclude that there’s a reasonable chance they’ll link to you.

Then you’ll go through each of your prospects…

If they meet the criteria, you’ll contact them. If they don’t, you’ll forget about them forever.

The processing of prospects is a topic that requires it’s own article.

Lucky for you, we have one right here.

You should jump to “step 2: filtering prospects” to pick up where we’ve immediately left off in this article.

Criteria & examples

The article I just linked has some great information about this, but it’s also general information designed to be useful for any cold email outreach.

Definitely read it, you’ll be missing valuable information if not.

But in this article we’ll also talk about some things that are specific to this backlink stealing strategy.

We’ll run through some prospect examples, too.

Choosing prospect criteria

This is a list of things you can check each prospect against.

If they pass, you contact them. If not, you ditch ‘em.

You can adjust the criteria as you please, but here’s what I’d suggest for home page link prospects:

  1. You can find contact information. Doesn’t matter how perfect the prospect looks, if they don’t have contact information then they’re useless to you.
  2. The website is relevant to you. Because we went broad (in terms of topic/niche) when choosing competitors, you’ll come across a few link prospects that just aren’t relevant enough to you to justify a link. Imagine you own the prospect website, and ask yourself if you’d link to your own website if asked. If not, ditch it and move on to the next one.
  3. The website is active. If it’s some 2001-looking piece of shi.. Well, it looks like it hasn’t been updated in awhile, then it’s probably less likely that you’ll get a link from them.
  4. It’s a link you want. Do you want the prospect website to be associated with yours? If it’s some shady or scammy website, you might prefer them not to link to you. Your call.

I’ll say it again, step 2 of the prospect processing article has some more great information about this stuff.

You can choose any criteria that you want…

You can be really tight with your requirements, or really loose. Tight will mean you only contact a small number of quality prospects. Loose would be the opposite – you throw mud at a wall and see what sticks.

Whichever is more suitable for your specific needs.

I’d suggest a balanced approached, somewhere between tight and loose. The above criteria is probably close to that.

After choosing criteria, you’re almost ready to start the processing.

One more thing before you start processing

You might be wondering what you should do when a prospect meets your criteria.

Well, you’ll contact them. But not yet.

We’ll process a bunch of prospects until we have a collect of 20-50 that meet our criteria, then use a fancy email tool to contact them all at once.

When contacting your prospects, you might want some information about them to help make your case as to why they should link to you.

In your email, you’re basically going to be saying “hey, I see you link to this site. I have a similar website which i think might be useful to your readers for reasons x,y,z” – but, you’ll want to make it seem as authentic as possible.

Webmasters these days are spammed with all sorts of automated link requests.

Some things that might make you seem more authentic:

  1. Mention an article on their website that you liked.
  2. Include the url of the page containing the competitors link.
  3. Make a genuine comment about their website or business.

If you’ve read step 2 of the prospect processing article I mentioned earlier, you’ll understand why and how information like this is so useful.

But basically, before starting processing you’ll want to have a spreadsheet set up so you can record data about prospects who meet your criteria.

You’ll of course need to record the url, email address, maybe a name of the website owner if possible, and “essential” stuff like that.

But you can also include fields on your spreadsheet to record things that’ll make you seem authentic in your outreach.

That way when it comes to actually contacting a prospect, and you want to mention an article on their website that you liked, you won’t have to go back and find one.. It’ll be right there in your spreadsheet.

In summary… 

You should:

  1. Read step 2 of the prospect processing article already.
  2. Decide on criteria.
  3. Decide what information you want to record for criteria-meeting prospects.
  4. Read step 3 of the prospect processing article, titled “contacting prospects”.

At this point, after processing your prospects, you’re ready to do the cold email outreach.

The other article that I’ve mentioned several times covers it all. Read it.

There’s also some more advice about contacting your prospects at the end of this article.

Resource links

As mentioned previously, these are links to content or resources on a competitors website.

When looking at the most linked pages of a website, the home page is often at the very top. Other pages that also have many inbound links are worth looking at too, though.

The basic idea here is that you’ll identify content or resources on competitor websites that draw a lot of links, then try to replicate the resource on your own website, and finally ask for a link from the same source.

Actually, it’s better to take your competitors resource and make it even better. This gives you a very compelling case when it comes to asking for a link – your resource deserves it more than your competitor.

To be clear, you’re not copy-pasting, or directly stealing your competitors resource. You’re taking the concept, and creating a resource of your own along the same lines.

You might have heard of this strategy before…

They call it “the Skyscraper strategy”

And it’s fantastically effective.

So you’re going to find a resource, improve it, and then use your own super-awesome upgraded version to convince websites to link to it – who’ve already linked to your competitor.

Let’s break this down a bit.

This article doesn’t cover the whole strategy in all its glory. But we will cover:

  1. How to find resources that have much link potential.
  2. How to choose which resource to actually copy (hint: the one that’ll get you the most links for the least work).
  3. How to process your link prospects

Let’s get started…

How to find linkable resources

Jump back into Ahrefs.

This time, paste a competitor from your list into the site explorer, click “best by links” from the left side menu:

If you’re looking at big sites, there’s going to usually be some junky pages that are unsuitable for this purpose, as you can see in the above image.

Investopedia is a wiki site, so a lot of it’s most linked pages are definitions of terms that people are linking to for reference.

You want to look for content and resources that are more useful than a simple term definition.

Something that provides a lot of value either through comprehensive content about a topic, a useful tool or piece of software, etc.

More importantly, the resource should also have a decent amount of dofollow links.

Some of your competitors won’t have anything suitable. If you run into this problem, consider picking some larger websites as they’re likely to have more content/resources and more links that you can try to steal.

In our example of Investopedia, I found some pretty sweet courses:

Here’s the pages:

  1. http://www.investopedia.com/university/technical/
  2. http://www.investopedia.com/university/options/

Check them out, they’re multi-part crash courses about technical analysis and options trading.

Very valuable stuff, it makes sense that they would get a lot of links. The linkers can see the value in the content, and want to share it with others.

This is the type of resource you want to find in your own niche. Use it as inspiration to create your own amazing resource, and you stand a great shot at getting a lot of links.

Now, let’s see how many links these pages actually have…

See that one with 19,000? No way it has that many dofollow links from unique domains.

Cntrl+click on the number of links to open the backlink report for that page in a new tab, and then set the filters from this image:

A mere 236 dofollow links from unique domains.

Much lower than the 19,000 shown on the other page, but still pretty great. That’s 236 link prospects you could process and contact if you had your own version of this resource.

So we looked at a competitors most linked pages, scanned through them to find a useful resource with lots of links, and got an estimate for how many link prospects we can get.

Good start.

But wait, there’s more… 

The next thing to do is head to the “organic keywords” report for the resource url.

This will show us all the top keywords sending traffic to the resource.

Check the full results page where you’ll find similar content/resources, and more link prospects for what is essentially the same resource:

Then, the same as above, you can cntrl+click on the dofollow links number for a result, set the correct filters, and get an accurate count of link prospects:

Boom, another 54 link prospects for the same resource. Do this for all suitable results on the SERP.

Then go to the second keyword, and check those SERPs for more resources which might not rank for the first keyword.

Do this for all the main keywords in this report, and by the end you should have a nice selection of similar resources, and know roughly how many links they each have.

Now you know:

  1. How to find linkable resource ideas.
  2. How to estimate the number of link prospects you could access by creating your own version of the resource.

Let’s move on…

Choosing which resource to copy

OK, so, what’s your aim here?

You want your quality backlinks. Right, easy.

But you don’t just want backlinks – you want quality backlinks for the least amount of effort possible, or for the least expense.

In other words, you want to attain quality backlinks as efficiently as possible.

To do this, I suggest making a spreadsheet to compare all your options – for each resource idea, you’ll list all the versions of that resource you can find, and the total number of potential link prospects for each.

This way, you’ll be able to compare all resource ideas on two factors:

  1. Number of potential link prospects for you to contact.
  2. Amount of time and expense required to produce your own version of the resource.

After that, it’s a matter of choosing the idea which has the most link potential, for the least amount of effort/expense.

Here’s what my spreadsheet might look like for the technical analysis guide idea mentioned above:

 

And the options guide idea:

Both of these are beefy guides, so it’s going to take some work to make your own version, and have it be a quality resource.

Since both of these options probably take about the same amount of effort/expense to produce, you should choose the one with more link prospects.

Of course, you should check 8 or 9 different ideas, then compare them all like this before choosing.

I can’t give you a number of potential prospects to aim for.. It varies based on your niche, and a load of other factors.

The best thing I can say is just to compare your ideas to one another, and pick the most attractive.

It’s worth spending some time on this analysis.

If you start too soon on an idea that you didn’t properly research, you might find out halfway through that the potential isn’t as good as you thought.

Some of these resources can take a lot of effort to reproduce, so it’s definitely worth making sure you have enough data to support your decision before starting.

With that in mind, let’s move on to the next step of the analysis.

Filtering and processing prospects

You should only do this for 2 or 3 of your ideas, at least at first.

You’ll remember that earlier I mentioned our prospect processing article, about 10 times.

Well here’s number 11, because we’re pretty much going to exactly follow step 2 of that guide again.

There’s just one little difference…

Usually, when you do this processing for some sort of outreach, you’ve already decided for definite that you’re going to actually contact your prospects.

This is not the case this time.

We’re going to assign criteria that a prospect must meet, as we did before. And we’re going to check each prospect against that criteria, also as we’ve done before.

The difference here is that you’ll be doing it before you’ve decided for definite that you’re going to contact these prospects.

Or, more accurately, before you’ve decided whether or not to build the resource that they might link to at all.

As I said, making these resources can be a big job. So it’s worth analyzing not just how many links similar resources get, but exactly how many of those linkers meet our criteria.

The previous step was to get a broad overview of your options, and choose the ones worth exploring deeper.

This step is to explore deeper, and confirm the level of opportunity before we even start the expensive and time consuming job of building the resource.

You’ll be going through each prospect one by one, and deciding whether or not they meet the criteria.

At the end you’ll have an exact list of qualified link prospects. This will make it very easy to look at the work required to make the resource and the amount of potential links, and decide whether it’s worth the time and effort to make it.

If it is, it’ll simply be a matter of contacting all these prospects to pitch your resource and ask for a link.

This is covered in part 3 of our prospect processing article – and, there’s also some email templates at the end of this article.

Processing prospects and digging deeper 

I’ll say it once again…

The prospect processing article tells you exactly how to do this, you should go check it out.

Under Step 1 of that article you can find a heading titled “Export a list of backlinks from an SEO tool” – you can start there:

Take each of the resource urls of your choice ideas, plug them into Ahrefs again, and follow the steps in the above article to export and organize the data.

The article explains it all, but what you want by the end is a simple spreadsheet with a single column of all the urls that link to any of the resources for this idea.

Here’s an image I stole from the other article to show you what it’ll look like:

After you’ve done that, go straight to Step 2 of the prospect processing guide, where you’ll be shown exactly how to further filter these prospects:

Now we just have to talk about criteria…

Criteria for skyscraper link prospects

If you remember from the previous section, I suggested a balanced approach to criteria..

Not so tight that they would cut out tons of decent quality prospects, but not so loose that we fail to cut out total junk prospects.

When we were doing home page links we were processing quite a wide range of prospects (because there’s all sorts of reasons someone would link to a home page), and so we had several criteria to cut out irrelevant or junky prospects.

This time however our range of prospects is quite narrow – they’re all websites that have linked to a resource centered on a specific topic.

This means we don’t need that many criteria at all, since they’re all already reasonably likely to link to us (y’know, if and when we actually create our own version of the resource).

I will suggest three simple criteria for you to use. You will contact a prospect, if:

  1. You can find contact information.
  2. They link to a resource similar to what you might build.
  3. The website is a blog or article site with editorially approved content.

Editorially approved content just means that it’s been hand-posted on a website by a writer, editor, website owner, or anyone who has control over what’s said in the article and changing it.

Or to put it another way, you want to avoid things like forums or other user generated or automatically generated content. They’re not real prospects because you can’t reasonably contact someone to show them your resource and ask them to edit it into the page.

Ok, so…

Now it’s time for you to follow step 2 of prospect processing for all your prospects, for the 2 or 3 ideas you decided on from the previous step.

It’ll take some time.

But again, it’s worth it.

We’re not going to talk about creating resources…

But, I can point you in the right direction.

After you’ve done all your processing and decided that it’s worth creating your own version of a resource and reaching out to your prospects, you’ll run into your next problem…

Which is actually building the resource.

In the case of a content guide or course, it’ll be pretty obvious how to do this.

You’ll have to look at all the current resources, then make a content plan for yours to be even better. Then either follow the plan by writing yourself, or hire a freelance writer to do it.

Whatever you do, you need to make sure the end result looks good and is useful.

If it’s not, your prospects probably won’t be interested in linking to you… you’ve gotta impress them.

For other types of resources like online tools or software, reports, infographics, and so on, you’ll just have to figure it out.

It won’t be that hard to at least come up with a plan of action.

The main thing to keep in mind is that you need to be as good or better than your competitors resources.

Armed with that mindset and the power of Google search to find answers to your questions, I’m confident that you can make it happen.

That’s all I’ve got to say about creating resources.

Here’s some links about skyscraper and content product that you might find useful:

  1. http://backlinko.com/skyscraper-technique
  2. https://ahrefs.com/blog/skyscraper-technique/
  3. https://www.authorityhacker.com/seo-copywriting/
  4. https://bloggerspassion.com/skyscraper-technique/

This article is now about 5,500 words long.

We’re nearly there, I swear…

Contacting Link Prospects

It’s been quite a while since we talked about it…

So let me refresh your memory.

We went through two different types of links you can steal from your competitors, and how to do it. These were:

  1. Home page links
  2. Resource links

No matter which you’re using, you’ll have to go through the steps outlined here using Ahrefs and our prospect processing article to firstly find link prospects, and then decide if they meet your contact criteria.

After all that, it’s finally time to get to the stealing.

Time to contact your prospects and convince them to link to you.

There’s very useful tools for cold prospect outreach via email. You can import your spreadsheet of prospects, fiddle with some settings, and have the tool automatically contact everyone.

Full details on this process are covered in step 3 of our prospect processing article.

Something that’s not fully covered in that article is what you should say when emailing your prospects.

There’s a few general tips:

But, here in this article I’ll give you two templates for your initial outreach email. One for home page links, and another for resource links.

Keep in mind, these are just examples to give you a feel of what they should look like – use these as a starting point, or create your own.

Home page link prospect outreach email template

Your first email to the prospect is the most important.

After that, the followup emails are only sent to those who don’t reply. They’re just quick like “hey, did you get a chance to check this out? Let me know.”

1st email: 

“Hi there,

While researching recently, I came across your website. It’s great/useful/entertaining/whatever!

I’m emailing you because I’d like to ask your opinion on something….

I noticed that you have a link to YouCompetitor.com on ProspectSite.com/page-where-link-is

My website is YourSite.com (we’re quite similar to YourCompetitor.com) – What do you think of my website/product/service?

Would love to hear your thoughts!

Thanks.

YourName”

1st followup: 

“Hi,

You didn’t get back to me, so I just wanted to send you a little reminder to give this some thought when you get a chance.

Thanks!”

2nd followup: 

“Hey there,

Did you get a chance to think about this yet? Let me know.

Thanks!”

Final notes

The idea here with the first email is to get a response that kicks of the engagement, then you can reply to continue the conversation and ask for a link.

Your success rate with the home page method may not be great. The problem is you’re not really offering any value to the prospect to grab their attention or entice them to link to you.

It’s more of a “hey you link to our competitor, us too?”…

As I mentioned earlier in the article, this approach takes less work that the skyscraper method but it’s also a bit like throwing mud at a wall to see what sticks.

The skyscraper method is about creating valuable resources which are useful to your prospects, because their website visitors will find them beneficial.

So although it’s more work because you have to create the resource, overall it allows you to make a much more compelling case to your prospects as to why they should link to you.

This article is now over 6,000 words.. Let’s wind it down.

Skyscraper outreach email template

The idea here is similar to above, you want to engage the prospect first by describing the resource you made and ask if they’d like to see it.

Then continue the conversation to ask for a link.

Here’s an example initial email, and the followups would be the same as above. Then I’ll also show an email template you can use to continue the conversation with any prospect who is interested in seeing your content.

Initial email 

“Hey there,

I recently came across your website while browsing. I really like it, I got caught up for almost half an hour!

I’m emailing you because we recently created a tool/guide/article/whatever your resource is.

I thought you might be interested in it! Let me know if you’d like to see it, and I’ll send it along.

Thanks,

YourName”

Interested response 

“Hi!

Great to hear back from you. You can check it out here: YourSite.com/YourResource

Would you like to add it to your site? I think it could add value for your audience on this page: TheirSite.com/where-they-link-to-competitor

I’d be happy to write a paragraph to fit it into that page nice and naturally.

I look forward to hearing back from you!

Thanks,

YourName”

Final notes

As you can see, it’s much easier to make a compelling case for a link when you have some good solid value to add for the prospect and their audience.

Your success rate will surely be much higher with the skyscraper method than with the home page method… But, it’s a lot more difficult and time consuming because you have to create the resource.

Nothing ever comes easily…

Conclusion

So, that’s it, all 6,300+ words of it.

Each of the methods outlined here has their pros and cons, and at this point I would suggest you do some research to decide which method is the best for you.

None of this is an exact science.

Every website or business is different, and so you have to manage your outreach based on the unique things about your own.

Some final tips

Alright, you’re ready to go give this a shot…

Just remember:

  1. Always try to add value for your prospects.
  2. Be friendly and genuine.
  3. Never spam.

Good luck!