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Like most people, when I first found out that you could make money by building simple niche websites, I was looking for the quickest path to success. Not surprisingly, there were plenty of bloggers out there ready to sell me their get-rich-quick courses.

This is how many people get sucked in. They see the potential for making money online and start taking all the “shortcuts” that they see on YouTube or on blogs for hitting those high numbers right away.

Little do they realize that these shortcuts often don’t work unless you really know what you’re doing, and even when they do work, they come with significant risks. It’s easy to get sucked into these methods early on, simply because you don’t know how any of this really works.

After building four websites up to over 250,000 pageviews each over the last few years, I can tell you that you don’t need to take any shortcuts. For my small team and I, our goal has always been to build a long-term business, not one that will grow fast and die just as quickly. No unnecessary risks, no unnecessary shortcuts.

In this post, I’m going to show you why you don’t need to actively build backlinks to your site to be successful. At the same time, I’ll give you a few ways to encourage people to link to your site naturally, which will help it to grow and thrive over time.

Why People Build Backlinks

Quickest Path from Point A to Point B

Before I get into the reasons why you shouldn’t actively build links to your site, I first want to go over some of the reasons why people pursue it in the first place. After all, if there weren’t some benefits, no one would waste their time with it.

Backlinks are indeed important for the growth of your site. Generally speaking, the more high-quality links you have pointing to the articles on your site, the better those articles will rank.

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Not only that, but you can get new articles to rank more quickly by building links to them. Google has many components to their ranking algorithm and clearly, the number of high-quality links pointing to an article or site is one of them.

Building links also allows you to rank for highly-competitive, higher-volume keywords, that you’d have no chance of ranking for otherwise. Only larger authority sites tend to rank for these keywords, so if you’re a smaller site, you will need some significant backlinks pointing at your articles to compete with them.

Lastly, many people believe that you can’t rank at all in Google Search without backlinks pointing to your articles and site. They simply believe that backlinks are the only, or strongest, factor for ranking articles and don’t think it can be done any other way.

While the case might sound strong so far for link building, in the next section, I’ll go over some reasons why you should avoid building links to your site.

Why You Shouldn’t Build Them

Risk, Reward

While there are clearly some benefits to building links to your site, those benefits don’t come without some significant drawbacks as well.

First, link-building is extremely time consuming. It doesn’t matter what method you use, it’s going to take quite a bit of time and effort on your part, all with relatively few “wins.”

Whether you simply reach out to people via email, asking for a link to your site, or you take it a step further and write guest posts for other sites, the process of crafting personalized emails and sending them out to hundreds of people simply takes a lot of time.

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Passion Posts

On top of that, if you do happen to land a handful of backlinks from high-authority sites, you’re putting your own site’s growth in jeopardy. Google has made it very loud and clear that they don’t want you building links to your site, and they’re getting better and better all the time at detecting when the growth of links to your site doesn’t seem natural.

If you build links to your site, you will basically need to live in fear during every algorithm update that Google releases. You’ll just have to be okay with knowing that you could lose all of your site’s rankings overnight.

If that’s not enough, building links can be costly. Whether you actually offer money to site owners in exchange for a link or you simply outsource the link-building process, it can cost you a pretty penny to gain those high-value links to your site.

Lastly, you don’t actually need links to rank for most topics. In fact, the majority of articles that you’ll find on the web have zero backlinks pointing to them.

If you follow the methods that I use, you’ll be targeting mostly low-volume, low-competition keywords. For these types of keywords, you can easily get to the top of page 1 in the search results without a single link pointing to your article.

How to Build Backlinks Naturally

Gradual YOY Growth

I don’t want you to get the wrong idea and assume that backlinks aren’t important, because they absolutely can help your site grow, especially when targeting topics with higher competition.

With that being said, you don’t necessarily have to actively build links to get them. Instead, focus on producing high-quality, shareable content, which will naturally attract links over time.

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Google doesn’t have a problem with people linking to your site. In fact, links are a huge part of how the web works. They just don’t want you to artificially influence the process of getting links to your site.

If you use some of the methods below, your content will attract backlinks gradually, which will help your site to grow without any of the drawbacks of link-building that I mentioned above.

1 – Create Infographics

The first way to attract natural backlinks is to include an infographic for your article. An infographic is a visual representation of the content within your article.

These will not only attract a ton of social shares, but will also attract links to your site from other sites. You might even get requests from others to place your infographic on their site with a link to your site.

2 – Use Unique Images

Similar to creating infographics, using unique images can attract social shares and links. Whenever you provide a resource that can’t be found anywhere else, it has the potential to attract attention.

When I say unique images, I mean images that you either took yourself or images that complement your content in a fun and interesting way.

3 – Embed Videos

Embedding videos on your site has a lot of benefits, and one of them is that they’re more likely to be shared. The videos don’t necessarily have to be your own, but if they are, that’s even better.

4 – Add Graphs and Tables

Charts and Graphs

Another great way to attract natural backlinks is to add graphs and tables to your content. When someone writes a post on their site, it will be much easier for them to link to your article containing a graph or table than it would be for them to summarize the data themselves.

5 – Include Facts

Along the same lines as graphs and tables, any time you provide factual information about a topic, it has a much higher likelihood of being linked to.

Personally, whenever I’m writing an article and I include a statement that’s meant to be taken as a fact, I like to find and link to a source that makes the case for me. This is one of the easiest ways to attract natural backlinks to your site.

6 – Make It a List

A list post, like the one you’re currently reading, is something that lists several points about a topic, something like “The 10 Best Ways to Fish in the Ocean.” These types of posts attract a ton of clicks and are perfect for sharing on social media.

While social media shares might not hold the same value as links from high-authority sites, they still help to get your article in front of more people, and as your article gets shared more and more, you’ll attract some higher-quality backlinks as well.

7 – Create the Absolute Best Resource

Hitting Your Target

The last item on this list is the most important, in my opinion. In fact, this is really the only method my team and I use when creating content for our sites.

While we definitely do use some of the other items mentioned above, we don’t do them for the purpose of building backlinks. If you simply create the best resource on a given topic, that will be enough to attract some high-quality links over time as your site grows.

Think about it this way: if you’re creating a piece of content and you want to add an external link within your article to emphasize something, you’re simply going to do a Google search and link to the first result that you see that looks like it’s on point.

I do this all the time, and that’s how other sites get backlinks from my sites. Literally all you have to do is create good content, and as the articles on your site rank higher and higher in organic search, they will naturally get linked to from other sites that are creating content on similar topics.

That’s the type of natural growth that Google wants to see in your backlink profile. Yes, it will take longer for this to happen, but at the end of the day, your site will keep growing without you having to worry about losing all of that growth during an algorithm update.

Final Thoughts

The idea of building backlinks to your new site and growing it quickly might sound appealing, but it’s extremely time consuming and comes with unnecessary risks. Taking risks with your site puts it in jeopardy of being a short-term investment, which is less than ideal.

If you instead focus on producing high quality content, you can build a site with long-term growth potential. While it might take a bit longer to grow your passive income stream, it can continue to bring in money for you for years and years to come.

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    Author

    After spending several years struggling to find a reliable way to make money online, I finally developed a simple system that produces large and consistent results. My small team and I are now generating life-changing income for all of us by building simple niche websites using the basic steps covered on Passive Income Unlocked.

    2 Comments

    1. Suchit yadav Reply

      Hey Jeff ,great article !Today I realise ,links are only important to rank for competitive keywords .I was struggling hard to build more links to my site .For that ,I was doing lot of email outreach ,but conversion rate was very .Some people ask for money and some agree with link exchange .But no more ,today onward I will focus on creating good content,designing quality images and infographics .Can you tell me best software to create amazing infographics without any designing skill?

      • Jeff Reply

        Hey Suchit, you nailed it. For low-competition keywords, you really don’t need backlinks to rank. And over time, you’ll gain some backlinks naturally anyway, which will help you to rank for those more competitive searches.

        As far as infographics, we’ve created all of ours using Canva. With that being said, we haven’t created very many of them, as we mostly go after low-competition/low-volume keywords, so it’s hard to justify the time and effort to create infographics for those posts.

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