Who will link to me? And why?

You’ve created an excellent email newsletter, but few subscribe; you’ve launched an interesting podcast. Still, listeners are nonexistent; you’ve published an exceptional blog post, a compelling research report, a remarkable webinar, a top-notch video, a stunning visual… but the links don’t show up.

In a marketing flywheel scenario, links come from engagement by your existing audience and then are (hopefully) boosted by algorithms on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google, etc. If a good engagement rate is 20% with an email newsletter and a good amplification rate (i.e., sharing of any kind by those who engage) is 2%, your 200 subscribers might have 40 readers and 0 shares.

If there is one universal in every part of marketing-oriented creation, it is this: whatever you produce, no matter what, where, or how you’re promoting it requires backlinks, yet to the surprise of many first-time creators, quality and resonance are two very different things.

Certain elements of share-inducing emotion can be analyzed, reverse-engineered, and applied to work you create and how you earn amplification, like:

  • Novelty
  • FOMO
  • Ego
  • Rankings/Lists
  • Controversy
  • Relationship
  • Belief reinforcement

The list above is by no means comprehensive: there are likely dozens of more aspects, some easy and others more difficult to understand or replicate — a few may even be so destiny-based or so random that analyzing them makes little sense — because your job as a marketer or creator isn’t to explain every piece of work spread in your niche but to use those elements we can understand.