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I almost hate using the word “linkbaiting” because many of the tactics bloggers use aren’t really anything special at all, they’re just good, basic blogging tactics.

So categorizing them, especially in a category that tends to have such a negative reputation, means a lot of bloggers will ignore their potential because they think it’s something new they’re going to have to learn.

So let’s not even mention… THAT word… shall we?

Here are 20 tactics for generating incoming links. (Sneaky, right?)

In this post, I’m giving you some ideas for tactics that can help bring in those incoming links.

I don’t necessarily agree with all of these but they’re all viable and it’s not for me to judge.

  1. Tools: Offer other bloggers some sort of valuable tool to display on their blog that includes a link back to yours. An example would be the Google Page Rank checker.
  2. Quizzes: Fun quizzes and tests always bring in links. Give your readers a button to put on their own blogs and attract even more attention.
  3. Contests: If there’s a prize involved you’ll always have participants. Run a contest on your blog a create a buzz.
  4. Get there first: Be the first person in your niche to present a new twist on an old concept and people will link to you as the source of their new information.
  5. Scoops: Stay on top of the news in your niche. You don’t have much time to scoop a big story, but if you do you’ll pull in the links.
  6. Exposé: Do some research and expose a fraud, a scam, or a conspiracy and you’ll generate a buzz heard round the Web.
  7. Awards: Create your own blog awards ceremony to generate a buzz. You’ll bring in links from people who want to nominate others and people who want to be nominated. Then you’ll generate links from people who want to get votes. And finally, you get links from the happy winners and the disgruntled losers.
  8. Lists: A high-quality list post will generate plenty of links, as long as it’s comprehensive and useful.
  9. Humor: Humor almost always works as linkbait. Sometimes it even travels across multiple niches.
  10. Talk about someone: Want that blogger to link to you? Talk about him on your blog. Review his blog. Make him famous and he’ll sit up and take notice.
  11. Community: Build a community on your blog and you’ll have people who link to your comments because that’s where all the action is.
  12. Design: Design something and let others use it as long as they keep your link. WordPress is a good example. Those designers create all those free themes with their links in the footer: links you can’t remove unless you pay a fee.
  13. Rants: Everybody likes to rant every now and then, and if they’re well written, they also like to read rants. Be prepared, though. You may also get some negative reactions.
  14. Controversy: Controversial posts generate strong emotions and those are the most often the types of posts that go viral.
  15. Attack: Snarking, sniping and picking fights with other bloggers will definitely get attention and links from every corner.
  16. Shock: Shocking content also evokes strong emotions. Anger, fear, disgust, outrage – these all attract attention and links.
  17. Research: With so many bloggers doing the bare minimum, a well-researched article consisting of facts and actual data means you’ll be the source everyone is citing.
  18. Freebies: Give away a good freebie and watch the links start flowing in.
  19. Usefulness: Again, like well-researched content, you’ll be the source everyone links to when you provide something that’s actually useful.
  20. Wow: They’re old hat now, but infographics were huge linkbait when first introduced. So were videos. Produce something unique or do something that produces a “cool effect” and you’ll be a star.

Reading through this list you can probably see that a lot of these linkbaiting tactics are just standard operating procedure for some blogs, particularly those high-ranking, high-traffic blogs you admire.

They’ve been baiting you all along and you never even noticed.