How An Ordinary Blog Post Turned Out To Be A Link Bait Post: Case Study

With every blog post you write, you want to get more shares, more comments and even more links.

Let’s be realistic, it doesn’t happen with every post.
However, you might notice that some posts you write, do a lot better than your “normal” posts.

Can you think of such posts in your blog? Any post that stood above the others?
Is it a coincidence?
Is there a “strategy”?

Today, I thought of analyzing one of my old posts. I would like you also to do the same by looking at your blog post achieves. (see the action points towards the end of the post)

Out of the blog posts I’ve written for Better Blogging Ways, this post seems to have attracted the most number of backlinks.

Never in my wildest dreams did I expect it to be a such a link bait post.
I was writing an “ordinary” blog post, where I wanted to share my experience and help others who might be in a similar situation. (That’s usually the intention of every post I write!)

It’s been about 3 month since I wrote the post. I didn’t do any “out of the ordinary” blog post promotions, but to this day it still get links and views!
This post has turned out to be an “evergreen” post that gets links even to this day!

So what’s this post I’ve been talking about,
Niche Site Disappeared From Google Results After Penguin Update What I Did To Recover

Even a few days ago, this post was linked to on Problogger! (Search for Shamelle within ProBlogger you’ll find the post)

So, I thought of revisiting the post to see if I could figure out, the “secret source” (if at all any!). Here are a few reasons why I think so many people linked to it. (Would love to hear your comments/opinions too. Please leave a comment below)

1. The blog post was “timely”

Google just updated their algorithm and a lot of people were in a similar situation. They didn’t know what had hit them or how to recover from it.

Other bloggers writing about the Panda update came across my blog post and was generous to link back to my blog post, to fuel their conversation.

2. I solve a problem many people were struggle with at the time.

When I was tying to figure out to get my blog re-indexed again I didn’t even think of writing a post at the time. All I wanted to do was get that niche blog on the first page of Google as soon as possible. I kept a note of what I did to the niche blog. It was mainly for my benefit so that I won’t forget what I did and didn’t do! After a few days, I was surprised and relieved when it was ranking in Google again.

So I thought if I write about it, it will help others too.

Indeed it did! I got loads of links from forums where other bloggers linked to my post because the steps I provided worked for them too!

As a result, I got several links from Forums which discussed similar issues.

GIVE people REASONS to link to your blog post and they will; you don’t and they won’t ~ tweet this

3. It’s in the title

To the point, there was no bluff, the title was clear on what the content was. (If I say so myself ;-))
It had a problem – “Niche Site Disappeared”
It had proof – the title mentioned that I solved the problem
“Curiosity stirring” – Makes people wonder “How did he/she do that?”
SEO blend – included the main keywords people would type in when searching for a similar problem in Google. The post ranked well in Google.

Even today(at the time of writing this post!), if you type “Niche Site Disappeared” in Google, my post will be the first result in Google!

4. It’s in the content!

Delivered on the title. My post was based on several days of trial and errors. It included sufficient details which made it easy for others. Overall, the post was comprehensive and well researched.

I’ve seen many posts that have scrumptious blog post titles but when you read through the post, you have to kick yourself for clicking through the link, and wasting time on the post!

5. Personable – emotional appeal

I could have just written “just the tips” only but I didn’t. Instead, I wrote about the background of the particular niche blog, that got de-indexed from Google. The reason behind this was I didn’t want anyone to conclude that it was just another spammy niche blog that got de-indexed. I wanted to highlight the Google casts a nasty spell on “Good” blogs too!

At the time of writing the post, I didn’t write it with the intention of having an emotional appeal. I felt like I should tell audience about the background of the niche blog. On it’s own, it carved into a good story I guess.

Repeat and rinse!

When you have been blogging for a long time, it’s important to look back at content you have written and see what has worked.

In this post I focused on a successful post. It’s equally important to re-visit those posts that haven’t got any comments, shares etc as well and do a similar analysis on why it didn’t work.

    Your turn now,

  1. 1. Go through your blog content achieves
  2. 2. Pick a post that has done well within your blog
  3. 3. Similar to what I have done above, ask yourself, why you think that blog post stands above the rest

In the comments section below,
Leave a link to your “best” post and why you think it was well received by others.

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18 Responses to “How An Ordinary Blog Post Turned Out To Be A Link Bait Post: Case Study”

  1. Yes, you never know which post might blast. Sometimes, you will write a post with a lot of attention but will not get response and some other time you will write a casual post and it gives a huge a response.
    Fahad recently posted..Validated Deliverables versus Accepted DeliverablesMy Profile

  2. Yes you never no what content might go viral, my friend wrote on google doodle olympics on his website and got a tremendous response for 3 days which spiked his earnings as well as his stats as well as his motivation :):) !!
    Pushkar Kohli recently posted..Be Rich Being a Freelance PhotographerMy Profile

  3. I like case studies like these, thanks for sharing your experience with us. The points you’ve made relates to my situation. Thanks!
    Kent Chen recently posted..Facebook Mobile Revenue Grows ExponentiallyMy Profile

  4. Hi,
    First of all would like to mention how catchy your headline was this time too. As you have mentioned in your points to have a apt headline is a must to bait and allure the links, so did you use it this time too. The other points you have enlisted stand rich and informative. And well repeat and rinse is a must. Learning from your own work is a talent and needs to be carved out. Once its achieved you are good at learning almost anything from anyone.
    Thanks for such an innovative post. :)

  5. Hi Shamelle

    I think that it is almost impossible to tell which one of your blog posts are going to go viral, or become the most popular.

    Some of the articles that I have written on my blog and elsewhere have had hundreds of Twitter and Facebook shares.

    I was also presently surprised to recently discover that my Gravatar profile page has over 7000 Facebook likes.
    Paul Profitt recently posted..How To Get Targeted Traffic From LinkedinMy Profile

  6. Hi,
    Its my honor mentioning that your case study as a blog was an innovative approach. :)
    One needs to learn back from themselves and it turns out to be great. One’s own work is a motivation and moreover a guide. You totally prove the points. :)
    Great reading.:)
    RajKumar recently posted..Apple iPhone 5 vs. Motorola Droid Razr HD MaxxMy Profile

  7. Hi, Shamelle!

    This is a great post but my philosophy (or at least, the one I’ve been taught) is to never post a post for the sake of posting.

    If we can answer a searcher’s question, fill a need or just make the Internet a better place to be in – surely, success isn’t slow to follow.

    Just my two cents – but I personally don’t believe in link bait. Every post should be one; or at the very least, we should all give our level best. :)
    Shandi Tan recently posted..Facebook Chair: Intelligent Branding and Your Social Media Marketing StrategyMy Profile

  8. Another great post Shamelle. You’re so right about the 3 pronged appraoch: problem, solution, and proof to verify that.
    Dr Kavita Shaikh recently posted..6 Criteria to Select Best WordPress Themes for Your BlogMy Profile

  9. that was agian an awesome article on link bait , loved that post….bookmarked
    vipin recently posted..Nokia Lumia 820 Price,Specifications,features,design and Best BuyMy Profile

  10. I believe your article got good amount of exposure from search engines.Which might have resulted in a lot of backlinks.I had a similar experience when one of my post got on the frontpage of digg.Links were flowing in from everywhere.But sadly i had tried viral linking methods which lead to a penalization from Google.My PR dropped from 4 to 1.I hope to recover soon.
    Blogger Whale recently posted..Daav Laga-Windows 8 song (Sona Mohapatra) with Full lyricsMy Profile

  11. Well the content and the quality with complete perspective are gain authority by the search engines and now a days with resent updates made it easy for all those who believe on quality only.
    Jamy Hoster recently posted..A Webhosting Unlimited Package Covers Your Every NeedMy Profile

  12. This is an amazing case study. I have a blog and it is not doing very well and now I got pointers to make it better thanks to you.

  13. No doubt, an article about giving solutions to a problem will attract lots of people, especially if you’re the first and only one that write about it.

    I think controversial post should make to the list. For example, write something that you disagree with, I’m pretty sure many people will argue with you. 😀
    Rudd recently posted..Great Resources to Learn About Genesis Framework HooksMy Profile

  14. It is very true that a post with more appropriate title, focused and problem solving content grabs a lot more attention than the others.
    And if you write something out of the crowd, people are surely going to link with you.
    rahul pahal recently posted..Get assured approval by Google for Adsense account!!!My Profile

  15. Nice post thanks for sharing it. It enhance my knowledge.
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  16. I totally agree, when I write a post that deals with an issue bloggers like myself face and put a title that clearly states the problem, I get a lot of comments and traffic to that post. Like when I wrote about unscrupulous review bloggers or spam guest post offers.
    Carolyn K recently posted..Shop Pear Tree Greetings For Unique, Creative Christmas/Holiday Photo Cards!!! $40 Gift Code Giveaway!!!My Profile

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