How To
5 min read

How To Create Content That Gets Backlinks (without paying for them)

Chris Lu
November 20, 2022


These days, it seems like everyone is dabbling in content marketing in a bid to attract customers and build their business. But while anyone can whip up a few blog posts, creating content that gets backlinks is not as easy as it seems.

Oftentimes, people invest significant time, money, and effort into creating great content but still don't get the traffic they want. Other times, they take shortcuts that only hurt their content in the long run.

Looking to level up your search engine optimization (SEO) for a smarter content marketing strategy? Here's how you can create content that attracts backlinks and builds your domain authority.

Backlinks Technology Online Web Backlinks Technology Online Web Businessman  seo backlink stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

What are backlinks?

A backlink is simply a link from another website that leads to your site. For example, this link to our article on content marketing for startups is a backlink.

Backlinks are essential for SEO because Google uses inbound links as one of its main ranking factors. Therefore, a high number of backlinks helps you rank higher in search results, which means more traffic and conversions.

To put it simply: the more people talk about you, the better your brand becomes.

Now, you might ask: how do I get more high-quality backlinks?

Build backlinks with linkable content

The first step to a good link building strategy is to create content with a high chance of getting links. 

What do I mean by "high chance?" Well, I'm talking about content that is useful or helpful, educates people, or even just entertains them.

Let's get the ball rolling with a few examples of content that would be very likely to snag you some links!

Interview industry experts

Interviewing industry experts is a great way to provide your audience with useful, valuable information. With this approach, your audience gets to learn from someone who is likely more knowledgeable than you are on the topic at hand. For example, let's say you run a chocolate business and want to write about the latest chocolate-making trends. Of course, you could research on your own, but you might be better off interviewing someone in the chocolate industry.

To find authorities in this area, start by looking for authors of recently published books on chocolate. These authors will likely have websites listing their credentials and contact information. If not, do a quick Google search for their name along with "email address" (make sure to put the person's name in quotes to get more accurate results). The top results should bring up any contact information they've listed online.

If you're having trouble finding an industry expert using these methods, consider using an app like Lusha or RocketReach. These apps allow you to search for email addresses based on a person's name or company domain name. You can also look up information like phone numbers and social media accounts associated with that email address so you can gather more information for your pitch email or decide how best to approach them.

Example of an expert interview:

ProfitWell Interview with Waseem Daher

Resource pages

A resource page is a static, curated list of the best links on a specific topic. Resource pages are often website fixtures for industry associations, educational institutions, and nonprofits, and they typically rank well in search engines.

You can find resource pages by doing a Google search for "keyword + inurl:resources". This should help you generate a list of sites that link to helpful content related to your target keyword.

Well-curated resource pages are goldmines for any marketer looking to increase their search rankings through relevant backlinks from high-authority domains and high-quality websites related to their niche.

Example resource page:

Side Hustle Stack

Create original research

Original research is an excellent idea for several reasons — not only will it likely include plenty of supporting statistics (which we'll get to in just a minute), but it’s also a great way to give your readers or audience something they can't find anywhere else. And that, as you know, is exactly what they want.

But how do you conduct original research? There are lots of ways to go about it. You can:

  • Survey your customers or audience on their interests, habits, and preferences
  • Analyze data from your own company or business to determine trends among your customers and other insights into their behavior
  • Look at data from third-party sources like the government, Google Trends, etc., and draw conclusions from this information

Example of original research:

Databox eCommerce Challenges for 2021

Paperwork and hands on a board room table at a business presentation or seminar.  original research stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Writing controversial content

A great way to generate backlinks is to write controversial content. This method can be risky, but if you do it right, it can yield impressive results.

Writing a controversial post is relatively easy.

Find a topic that is frequently discussed in your industry, and present both sides fairly and accurately. Make sure you aren't inflammatory or one-sided in the debate, or readers will think you're just fishing for controversy.

And don't forget — if you do it right, controversial content can help establish your authority on the topic!


Infographics are another great way to get links. Think of them as visual press releases that provide readers with valuable data or information in an easy-to-read and visually pleasing format. The best part? You don't have to be a professional graphic designer to create an infographic. There are plenty of free tools available on the internet that make infographics accessible for non-designers.

These tools include Canva, Visme, Piktochart, Venngage and Infogram. They all offer templates you can customize using your design ideas (or your organization's brand guidelines), and you can make changes in real time without the help of a designer. Many of these tools also let users download their infographics as shareable PDFs or HTML snippets, making it easy for readers to copy your infographic and post it on their sites or blogs with a link back to yours.

Some things to keep in mind when designing an infographic:

  • Keep the design clean and simple (so the information flows well)
  • Use colors sparingly but effectively (so the text is legible)
  • Avoid clutter by minimizing text (if possible)

If you follow this advice, your infographics will start generating attention, getting shared around the web, and racking up backlinks for your website!

Benchmark reports

A benchmark report is a comprehensive resource that provides insight into the performance of an industry, or even better, a specific niche within an industry. 

Benchmark reports usually aggregate data from multiple surveys or studies on the topic (e.g., search engines, email marketing, Facebook ads) and display it in one cohesive format for easy viewing and analysis.

Benchmark reports are beneficial for anyone who wants to get a sense of how well (or poorly) their performance stacks up against the competition. For example, if your company specializes in creating marketing strategies for restaurants, analyzing restaurant-related benchmark data might help you identify gaps where companies could use more assistance with their marketing efforts. This opens the door for you to provide guidance on best practices they can implement going forward.

Example of a benchmark report:

Animalz Content Marketing Benchmarks 2021

Write comprehensive guides

Writing comprehensive guides is perhaps the most effective method for getting backlinks to your content. Why? A guide gives readers so much information that they can't help but reference it when creating their own content.

For example, you could create a guide on "How To Become A Data Scientist In 4 Months." This might outline the following:

  • How to learn Python
  • How to build projects using Python
  • Examples of good project ideas
  • Other steps to take to level up your data science skills

Knowledge base. How-to guide.  how to stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Example of a comprehensive guide:

SEO Content Marketing For Startups: How to create a content production system

Takeaway: Create content that serves other content marketers' needs.

All good content marketers are hungry to get backlinks — after all, they're an easy and effective way to improve your domain authority and search engine rankings. However, getting backlinks isn’t always easy, especially if you're new to content marketing.

The best way to earn backlinks is by creating content that is truly useful to your readers or others in your industry. Content that solves a problem for other marketers is the essence of viral content and will generate backlinks naturally. The trick is making the content shareable, accessible, and interesting for your readers.

That said, don't be fooled into thinking you need tons of links flooding in all at once: when it comes to backlinks, quality will always be more valuable than quantity.

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