5 Easy Ways to Build Backlinks and Outrank the Competition

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Jeremy PolandBy the end of this episode, you’ll have at least a dozen new backlinks for your website.

For those who are new to SEO, quality backlinks will help you climb the ranks in Google — which means you’re going to make more money.

To talk through his best link-building quick wins and link-building tactics, I’m joined by Jeremy Poland.

Jeremy is a long-time Side Hustle Show listener, he’s a former Pastor and non-profit worker turned SEO pro, and he’s gone from digital marketing freelancer to agency owner.

Jeremy specializes in helping small businesses leapfrog the competition with easy SEO wins.

The backbone of what Jeremy does is build backlinks, and best of all he does it without needing a huge marketing budget.

Tune in to The Side Hustle Show interview to hear:

  • some of the quickest and easiest ways you can pick up backlinks
  • why industry-specific links are so important and how to build those
  • some of Jeremy’s best “special plays” backlinking tips

Don’t have a site of your own yet? Check out my free video series on how to start a website of your own.

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1. General Monthly Backlinking Opportunities

“Google doesn’t need to see an explosion of links all of a sudden for a particular organization,” Jeremy explained.

A methodical approach of building links every month can have a huge impact on your SEO and show Google that your site is gaining traction.

If you want to add a few links a month, some of the directories and sites Jeremy said you’ll be able to add your link to include:

The best thing about these sites is that it’s free to add a link. You might have to submit a form or set up a profile, but it shouldn’t take long to list your business with them.

You’ll notice that some of these links will be “nofollow”, but that’s fine. A natural backlink profile will consist of follow and nofollow links.

Getting Links From SEO Tools

Jeremy explained that you can also use various SEO tools to gain backlinks simply by using them.

For example, if you use WooRank.com to check your own website’s SEO score your site will be added to their database.

Not the most impactful of links, but Jeremy said these links are signals telling Google that your site is active and it’ll have some impact.

Social Media and Publishing Sites

There are a bunch of social media platforms and publishing sites where you can promote your business and pick up a backlink at the same time.

A few of the publishing sites Jeremy mentioned are:

All of these sites allow you to promote your business and link back to relevant articles on your site.

Again, they’re nofollow links, but Jeremy said it’s still worth getting at least one backlink from each of these domains.

For social media platforms, you can set up profiles on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Reddit for more links.

2. Industry-Specific Links

“If you’re a roofing company, Google would really like to see some links from construction or roofing-related sites,” Jeremy explained.

Jeremy said that Google is going to “give you extra points” for links that are industry-specific or related to your niche.

Jeremy has created batches of sites he was able to obtain links from by industry on his site.

You can search various industries like plumbing, law, marketing, pest control, etc., and find a list of sites to target if your niche is covered.

Jeremy said it’s not uncommon for industry-specific sites to ask for a small fee to join, something like $10-$20.

But it’s worth paying a few bucks to get your site listed on a directory or membership site that is specific to the industry you’re in.

On the higher end of the cost spectrum, you could pay $1,500 to get your site verified and listed on a certain .gov site — although Jeremy only shared this as an example.

If you want to search out industry-specific backlink opportunities yourself, Jeremy said to start by looking at who you’re buying products from, vendors in your space, and companies you’re involved with.

It might be worth reaching out to some of these sites and asking if you can be listed on their partner list if they have one.

Alternatively, you could suggest guest posting, being featured as a case study, or some other creative way of being mentioned on their site.

3. Local-Based Links

If you’re running a local business, the more links you can get from other local businesses the stronger your local SEO will be, Jeremy explained.

This means you’re going to appear higher in the search results when people search for your service and you’ll be appearing on the map (if you’ve signed up for Google My Business).

Jeremy looks for local directories, blogs, and publications when building local-based links for his clients.

On DIYSEO.link, Jeremy has a list of local links he’s built for his business in Texas, as that’s where he’s from.

But you can use his examples and replicate the types of sites he was able to get links from in your area.

Jeremy said you can even find some local sites outside of your area that’ll link to you.

For example, Jeremy has built some links for his Texas clients on a Florida municipality website and said these are great links.

Some sites with local lists to get you started are:

4. Special Plays

“Special plays are smart and creative ways of harnessing the assets or the aspirations of your organization for online PR and SEO gain,” Jeremy said.

When working with a new client, Jeremy looks at what that client has done that’s been newsworthy or could be turned into something newsworthy.

Some of the ways he then turns this content into links are:

Author Links

If you’ve published a book, there are a number of sites you can get some backlinks from.

Goodreads.com is the top of the chain,” Jeremy said. There are also a bunch of other sites Jeremy shares within his membership community.

If the owner hasn’t published a book, Jeremy will help turn some of their online content into a book and go through the same process.

Podcast Guesting

The same can be applied if a client has a podcast or is willing to start one, and/or is willing to be a guest on other shows.

Some of the podcast-related sites Jeremy shared where you can syndicate your podcast and pick up links are:

If you’re willing to be a guest on other shows the number of backlink opportunities is endless.

Job Page Link Building

Creating a “career page” is a great way to attract inbound links passively and actively if you’re receiving resumes.

You can take your career page or job listing and post it on dozens of job listing sites with a link back to your site.

Jeremy said he also looks at media sites, newspapers, university job opportunity sites, and anywhere else he can post job listings for his clients.

Press Releases

Jeremy has press releases as a “medium level special play” as they don’t move the SEO needle as much as they used to.

Plus, most press release opportunities are paid so you’ll need a budget for this one.

If you do have a newsworthy press release, Jeremy said it might be worth spending some money on it.

You’ll attract a lot of backlinks from high-authority news sites and it might open the door to further opportunities.

5. Discount Links

“Discount links are so wonderful because this applies to so many people and it is very powerful,” Jeremy told me.

To take advantage of discount link building, you need to create a page on your site listing discounts for a particular group if you don’t already have one.

For example, you might offer discounts for seniors, veterans, teachers, or other groups of people related to your niche.

Jeremy said there are lots of websites, in particular school districts, that look for discount opportunities like these to share with their audiences.

All you have to do is reach out to these sites and give them a link to your discount page and they’ll add you to their list of discount resources.

Jeremy said he has aggregated this process on DIYSEO.link to make the process quicker and walk you through it if you need help.

What’s Next?

Jeremy has a set of clients he does SEO for, but DIY SEO proves that SEO doesn’t have to be expensive.

“I’m trying to give people exactly what they need, and that’s the backlink building opportunities and the nudge to do so,” Jeremy told me.

Jeremy has created databases with more than 3,000 backlink opportunities, sheets, and processes that are all available on DIYSEO.link.

He says anyone can use these resources and start building backlinks and improving their SEO.

Jeremy’s #1 Tip for Side Hustle Nation

Look for creative and interesting ways to do things that others have not done.”

Links and Resources

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About the Author

Nick Loper is a side hustle expert who loves helping people earn more money and start businesses they care about. He hosts the award-winning Side Hustle Show, where he's interviewed over 500 successful entrepreneurs, and is the bestselling author of Buy Buttons, The Side Hustle, and $1,000 100 Ways.

His work has been featured in The New York Times, Entrepreneur, Forbes, TIME, Newsweek, Business Insider, MSN, Yahoo Finance, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Financial Times, Bankrate, Hubspot, Ahrefs, Shopify, Investopedia, VICE, Vox, Mashable, ChooseFI, Bigger Pockets, The Penny Hoarder, GoBankingRates, and more.

16 thoughts on “5 Easy Ways to Build Backlinks and Outrank the Competition”

  1. Outstanding advice from Jeremy. Reverse engineering what large firms do and honing the information so small businesses can apply is magic.

    Along the lines of what he suggested re: scholarships, there are any number of not primarily for profit activities that look for sponsors in every area. Most of them now have websites. A local folk festival near me would put up a sponsor page every year and donations (sometimes in kind eg. an electrician going to do electrical work) would be credited to the donor and if above $500 would get a link back to their website. And the folk festival people left the donor pages up from year to year. Six years after that particular years event was over, donors were still getting lovely link back juice from a one time donation. Businesses should look for events, activities to donate to if they offer donor recognition with links. If they don’t, how about suggesting it?

  2. So much value and practical advice delivered by Jeremy in this podcast. Big thanks to Jeremy, and to you Nick for bringing him on your show. Loved it!

  3. It was a great joy to be on this show Nick! Plus the encouragement and ideas from the SHN have pushed more further along! CHEERS!!!

  4. What an awesome episode and jam packed with content! Had to come to the show notes to be able to unpack everything. This is definitely a rabbit hole I am going to go down with my current site and for future projects, but would love to hear how you structure your new website backlink plan.

    Is it a heavy 30/60/90 days up front building as many links as possible, then tapering off to a few times a month or monthly building/upkeep?

    • Thank you very much for listening Stephen. My answer to your inquiry is as follows.

      Is it a heavy 30/60/90 days up front building as many links as possible, then tapering off to a few times a month or monthly building/upkeep?

      – I see 6 months to a yr of monthly backlink building (20-30 new referring domains per month) + 3-4 special plays (links built from a podcast / event / job listing / discount / coupon etc) in order to “catch the larger scale competition” in terms of backlink power. I’ve found this to be the #1 deficiency for new or smaller scaler operations. This advice is tailored to a startup or local business that isn’t generating many links from their own content / activity already. Our approach could be summarized as teaching / providing the backlink sources to help people manually build / connect for the foundational links they need — which will then in turn open doors for more links to be generated organically (being found and recognized by other websites w/o any effort)
      Happy to talk more via the links above. Cheers,

  5. Well Nick, I went to Jeremy’s site link and got a couple of trailers, but where is the offer. I feel very dense but I wanted to find out about taking his training and couldn’t find where to send my money.

  6. One of the most useful podcasts ever!

    Thanks, Nick and Jeremy!!!

    One thing I noticed when looking at Jeremy’s plans – not much flexibility for beginners.
    Well, Free plan and then $155/month which is way too much for 80-90% of the blogs with a lack of backlinks (read “lack of income”).

    Don’t you think that creating more flexible and affordable entry plans would attract a lot more clients? Let’s say ~$20-30/m for those who do not need local, scholarship, or other specific links,
    for example. Sort of “build your own plan” from the features that you need.

    Right now I really need backlinks and I’d like to hire Jeremy but I don’t need all the features from $155/m plan…

    Please, pass my question to Jeremy – thanks!

  7. THANK YOU! Loved the AARP TIP!
    Also to get my ebook registered on Kindle.. then Good Reads. I will probably get a fiverr person to help me do that. I use fiverr ALOT for more technical jobs (over my pay grade). Thanks for all the inspiration!

  8. This was my first listen to your show and it was PACKED FULL of amazing and useful information! Great job to you both.

    I sincerely appreciate it.



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