September 01, 2017 in Tips by

I’ve been advocating broken link building to most of my clients. It’s ironic, then, when I receive a broken link building pitch. I got one the other day and it was such a great pitch that I wanted to share this example with you.

What is Broken Link Building

In case you don’t already know, broken link building is a tactic to get people to link to your website. It basically follows this process:

  1. Identify a once-popular resource that is no longer live on the web. Since we’re talking about link building, “popular” means it has a lot of back links to it already. This resource also needs to be relevant to your website.
  2. Rebuild and improve the old resource.
  3. Publish it on your site.
  4. Contact other sites that once linked to the old resource and invite them to link to your new resource (since the old one has changed).

What I like about this most: at the worst, you have a great piece of new content on your site. At the best, you’ll attract all sorts of new and relevant links to your site.

What’s the Hardest Part of Broken Link Building?

It can be hard to find a resource that’s broken and relevant, to rebuild. That takes time plus a back link tool (I use Majestic) but they’re out-there.

Once you find one, it has to be popular enough (read: have enough back links to justify your efforts. Remember: not all the sites linking to the resource will be alive, and able to change those links. Even if they’re alive, there might not be a way to reach these websites. This means you need to find a resource with hundreds (if not thousands) of unique websites, in order to find a couple that are even possible to reach.

Then comes the hardest part: the pitch. Blogs get pitches like this all the time. Your pitch needs to be unique, personal and stand-out from the cacophony of noise from unsolicited emails.

Here’s a good pitch that got my attention, the other day:

Hi David,

I was looking for an article about tracking offline advertising today and found your post – https://reliableacorn.com/blog/track-offline-marketing-roi-using-google-analytics/

Excellent stuff!

I noticed that your link to Google Analytics URL builder (https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1033867) was outdated since Google migrated the builder to https://ga-dev-tools.appspot.com/campaign-url-builder/. Just thought Iā€™d give you a heads up so you can replace that link.

Additionally, I wrote this guide on the new Google Campaign URL Builder tool – [URL DELETED HERE]

It might make a nice addition to your page šŸ˜€

Hopefully, this helps since your article helped me.

Best,

SOMEBODY

[Link to his LinkedIn profile]

What I like about this:

Now, I advocate for link building in this way but I don’t accept pitches like this. I own my hypocrisy. Still, I wanted to learn more about this person’s process so I sat on it for a few days. Also, I was busy.

Eventually he sent me a follow-up message:

Hey David,

Just following up to see if you got my last email to change your outdated link on your article (https://reliableacorn.com/blog/track-offline-marketing-roi-using-google-analytics/) to the new Google Analytics URL Builder and if you had any feedback for my guide.

Have an excellent week šŸ™‚

[copied original message into this email]

And then a third follow-up:

Hey David,

I promise this the last email. I think your article could really benefit readers if the link were updated to the new Google Analytics URL builder (see the email below).

What I like about this (which made me want to take an additional effort):

TL;DR: persistence pays off when it comes to link building.

Congratulations, friend, you’ve earned your broken back link. Good work! You have clearly followed the core principles of link building.

I hope this example of a broken link building pitch can help you, too. I will change the way I pitch them, myself.

Harvard Business Club of Charlotte MDP

David Zimmerman participated in the Management Development Program by the Harvard Business Club of Charlotte in 2018.

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