I’m going to teach you how to be your own link whore because building backlinks is the single most important activity you can do to bring traffic to your blog or web site besides writing the content itself. What you probably don’t know though is that you can build back links yourself more quickly and easily than ever before by setting up your own little network you can use to regularly promote yourself!

This is a technique that even I have gotten really, really lax in the last 6-12 months, and I find that it’s very underutilized by many other bloggers and affiliate marketers too. What you do is use these sites to promote your main blog by linking back to them either in a ’roundup’ type post or by writing a new posts and pages. You don’t always have to track down other blogs to comment on or read forums when you have your own network of sites to build links on, and the nice thing about doing it this way is that you actually “build a brand” by promoting yourself through these outlets.

10 Ways to Build a Link Whore Network

Free Blogs

Personally I think that free blogs are one of the greatest ways to build links to your blogs and web sites because you have total control over everything! You don’t have to worry about editorial guidelines or policies because you can post affiliate links, pictures, and pretty much do what you want. All the free blog sites are regularly visited by the search crawlers and millions of people already have blogs in these communities. It’s a great way to build links AND find new readers for your blog!

WordPress: This one is a gimme – if you use WordPress you probably already have a WordPress.com account. Basically it’s just a WordPress site that’s hosted at WordPress.com and not your web host. You don’t get to install your own plugins or themes, but you do get all the other features that WordPress has to offer. With 150,000 active bloggers in the community you can’t go wrong. You can write whole pages featuring different topics or just posts linking back to various things you wrote about within your other sites. This week I wrote about WordPress and eBay on my WordPress site.

Blogger: Blogger is pretty much just like WordPress, it’s a free blogging platform. They used to be an independant company like WordPress, but now they’re owned by google. They’ve been around for about 10 years and have a pretty big community as well. You can write both posts and pages and can tag (label) posts just like in WordPress. I posted about my eBay plugins on my JTPratt Blogger page as well.

Live Journal: Live Journal has also been around about 10 years and is basically a blogging platform too, although it’s a little different than both WordPress and Blogger. It was owned by Six Apart for a couple years (the company that makes Movable Type), but was sold to a Russian company in 2007. Nearly all the code that runs Live Journal is open source, you could download it and start your own community. You can see my Live Journal page here: JTPratt’s Live Journal.

Free Web Sites

Free Web Sites are places where you can start a web site at no cost on any subject you want. You could do this for a particular subject, to agressively promote an affiliate product, or just as a web site to routinely link back to various online projects you’re trying to promote. It’s an easy and quick way to build links and a source of new customers.

Yolo (formerly Synthasite): I first heard about “Synthasite” about a year ago, and basically it was just another free online web site builder. It wasn’t bad and I probably should’ve utilized it more than I did. They recently changed their name to “Yolo” – which is probably better since it’s shorter and easier to remember. They have a lot more new features now, including tons of free themes and the ability to setup you site as a “web site” or a “blog”. With their WYSIWIG editor anyone could setup a web site with no knowledge of HTML or code of any kind. If you choose one version you can change it at any time too. I took advantage or mine to setup a site for WordPress eBay Plugins the other day.

Googlepages: Google pages is a free static web site builder where you get 100MB of free space to pretty much do what you want. This would be great for offers, landing pages, building up links to affiliate products, and all kinds of other things. You get a free WYSIWIG editor here, so adding pages to your site is no problem, and you can setup as many sites as you want for free.

One Page Wonders

I call this section “one page wonders” because all 3 services are setup for you to create a single page at a time on a subject or topic. This in unlike any other free web site or blogging service, and is what makes them unique. The first 2 sites also can generate a monthly check for you if you do enough writing and promotion!

Squidoo: I’ve written about the wonders of Squidoo before. At Squidoo once you signup for a free account you get to setup as many Squidoo “lenses” as you would like. Basically they’re one off pages where you can write about a particular subject or topic. Then you add various “modules” to it to make up the content. You can write about poodles, by adding text and photo modules, and then follow it up with Amazon and eBay modules showcasing things people can buy related to poodles. You can link back to your own sites, and even link affiliate offers. The nice thing about Squidoo is that when people buy things through the affiliate links through the added modules (Amazon, eBay, etc) you can start getting a monthly Squidoo check! What a nice bonus in addition to building links and your brand! It probably wouldn’t surprise you to find out that my latest lens was on Free eBay WordPress Plugins!

HubPages: I first because aware of HubPages about 6 months after I started using Squidoo. Because of this many people called it a “Squidoo copy”. In a lot of ways it’s very similar, but I don’t really care because it’s just another way to promote web sites and build links. It’s a little more strict since their editor actually tries to scan for “affiliate links”, and you’re not supposed to have them in your hubs. I tend to just link back to my own sites. They do have “modules” that you use to add content in basically the same way as you do in Squidoo, and a “Hub Page” is basically the same as a Squidoo “lens”. You can also make affiliate money here through eBay auctions, Amazon items, and Adsense revenue. Many ‘hubbers’ get monthly checks. My latest hub was on Free eBay WordPress Plugins.

Scribd: Scribd is actually different than the rest because it’s based on documents. I guess in that regard it’s a bit like article marketing, and yet it’s not. Once you setup a free account you upload (you guessed it) ‘documents’. Any Word file, powerpoint, PDF, whatever you’ve got. This was kind of weird for me at first, and the first time I used it I used the “copy and paste” method to create my first document. The problem was none of my HTML code translated actual formatting and hyperlinks. So I just opened a new document in Open Office (you can do the same in Microsoft Word) and opened one of my blog posts and selected the whole page with my mouse (the content) and “copied”. Then I went back to the document and “pasted”, and saved it. I uploaded it to my Scribd account and published it by giving it a title, keywords, and description. Voila! instant promotion! You could write specific articles and new content for Scribd documents – I just happenned to find it easier to copy and paste a few yesterday. Don’t have MS Office? You can create a PDF from any URL in your blog by using PDF on Fly for free to turn any web page into a PDF. Then upload it to Scribd!

Search Engine Specific

Each of the major 3 search engines has it’s own ‘Web 2.0’ type of profile page that incorporates a little blogging, some social bookmarking, and social media type tools. The benefit of using these tools is of course ‘in theory’ when you add content and links here they should get indexed in that search engine more quickly. If you’re not getting a lot of search traffic from MSN Live Search or Yahoo – I would definitely setup those profile pages.

Yahoo 360: Yahoo 360 is part of your Yahoo! profile. You can do all sorts of things like add pictures, pages, and blog posts. I wrote a blog entry about WordPress eBay plugins.

MSN Live Space: Your MSN Live Space is part of your Microsoft Live Account (basically the same as a google account). It’s a free place to blog and add photos and lists of stuff (and a great way to get indexed in MSN Live Search). I posted about WordPress eBay plugins in my live space.

Google Sites: Google Sites are often confused with the ‘Google Pages’ we talked about earlier. Google Pages are more like a flat static web site, where Google Sites are dynamic and a place where you can pull in information from your Google Docs and Picasa accounts. You can actually build a little community with a google site since you can add web pages, lists, announcements, a ‘file cabinet’ page, or a ‘dashboard’. On the dashboard page you can add thousands of google gadgets.

Twitter It!

I’ve blogged about Twitter.com before, it’s a ‘microblogging’ platform. You don’t exactly build links with this service since any URL’s you enter get changed into “tiny URL’s” – but it’s a great way to build “followers” that check out anything you post. It’s a great complement to your blog and RSS subscribers, another great way for people to check out what you’re doing. If you tend to write about paricular topics, your followers are usually interested in learning more about that subject. There are hundreds of tools for twitter and searching twitter posts, so even if the links aren’t true backlinks, you doing promotion for your projects by “twittering” about them.