One of the most common questions we get asked at webinars and training events is: “How can a business find time to do all of this link building?” There is no easy answer to that question – link building is time consuming, just like any other business activity. However, there are ways you can manage your time to make it less time consuming.
Let’s summarize seven of those:
1. You must convince yourself that it’s really important. Link building is marketing and you’d never be too busy to market your products, would you?
2. Exploit what you’re already doing in your business for link building purposes. You’re talking to customers and answering queries, you’re publishing sales and product information, you’re attending industry events, you belong to national associations or local business associations. All of these normal business activities create link building opportunities: make sure you recognize and use them.
3. Make use of dead time. If you find yourself waiting at an airport railway station or you’ve arrived early for a meeting, or someone has failed to turn up for a meeting, make sure that you use that time. We both travel a lot and ‘dead time’ is just a business reality so we’ve trained ourselves to make use of it. You’ll always find us carrying a simple notebook to jot down ideas, outline articles or actually write them.
Once a week, review the notes you’ve made and pick out useful content that you can concentrate on creating.
4. We’re all creatures of habit and if we include link building activities in our schedule, then we’re much more likely to spend time doing it – for example, spending half an hour first thing in the morning, reading and commenting upon important blogs in your industry. Perhaps you’d rather do that over morning coffee, or lunch or in the evening. Whatever your own personal preferences, build your habits around them.
5. Interview yourself. It might sound a bit crazy, but for some people this can be a really good way to get thoughts down on paper. At training events business people often talk to me about the time that it takes to write articles or blog posts. Many business people freeze when they sit down to write, yet get them to talk about their business and it’s hard for them to stop. So trick your brain into thinking you’re just answering some questions, not writing an article. Imagine five or six questions that a reporter might ask you about your business. Then jot down the answers to each question in turn – your answers can then be quickly edited into a useful article.
6. Don’t be over ambitious at the start. You can waste a lot of time being overwhelmed by the task. Concentrate first on getting a small amount of work done. That might mean targeting just 10, 20 or at the most 50 blog posts: develop your skills with that first initial set.
7. Get help with creating content. Do you already have someone in your business who enjoys writing? If so, encourage them to develop their skills. You may not have the budget to hire an agency to do your link building, but you may well be able to afford to hire a journalist on a freelance basis.