This is a popular subject; it sounds very seedy to discuss baiting for links, instead think of this as creating marketing.
“A few years back when I was working for vitsoe.com I put together a section on Dieter Rams for the website filled with lots of information about the designer. We knew that there was interest but we had no idea how much interest. Having found in the archive a list of 10 principles in good design, written back in the 1980s, we started to put this in to a web page as a list so that we could explain the principles behind the products. What we found very quickly was that people were blogging about these principles and linking back to the web page where they sourced it. This created an enormous number of links to the website which raised the authority of the site and, in turn, pushed us up the search results for Dieter Rams and even more useful good design.” Daniel Nelson, October Communications
This is link bait at its best; genuinely interesting content that people want to link to. Using this principle on a blog should be quite simple as people love to share content and bloggers create engaging content on a daily basis. But one thing makes it difficult to get the right hook: longevity of relevance and reach.
Longevity of relevance and reach
Relevance is so important when creating link bait as there is little point in writing about the iPhone 3GS now as it is old news and nobody is searching for it. What people want to know about is the new iPhone before it is announced. If you can get something interesting on that then you will get a lot of people linking to your content.
Longevity is important here also if you don’t want to keep coming up with the next big thing. Writing about the new iPhone might win traffic now, but after it is launched less people will care about your article – the trick is how you can write something so interesting that stays interesting for a very long time.
The final point is reach, by this I mean how many people you influence with your content. If you write an amazing article about how Modernism changed the world but nobody with any real sharing power reads it, then it has less chance of becoming a hit. If you can influence someone that has a wider reach then you might find it becomes a runaway success. This was the case for vitsoe.com as one large blog picked it up and since then it has been linked to daily, years after it was posted.
Think about the kind of articles that have longevity, relevance and will appeal to people with a large audience. Try a few out, really give those posts a push to get them in front of as many people as possible and see what happens when it is shared.