Ego bait is a link building tactic which entails featuring someone in a positive way on your website resulting in genuine links from their own site and/or social media channels. The basic theory is if you say that someone is great in an article or post, you have then given this person a reason to promote said article or post.

There are five main types of ego bait. Below, you’ll find an overview of each with examples from different niches, although each type could easily be used for any niche in which you work.

The Guest Post

Invite a suitable guest to write an article to be posted on your website. This provides your site, and thus your visitors, with more relevant content but at the same time gives your guest exposure and the chance to reach a new audience. The guest is then more than likely going to promote this post to their current audience and followers, thus providing links to your site.

Example:

Imagine that you have a website which reviews and recommends various brands of pet clothing and accessories. You could look for a popular blog written about a dog which has a considerable following. You could invite this blogger to write a short post for your website about their dog’s favourite outfits, perhaps including pictures of the popular pooch! You could link to their blog from your site as the blogger advertises that they have written this guest post and links to it from social media and the blog itself.

The Interview

A pretty self-explanatory type of ego bait; ask a series of questions to a third party within your niche and publish their responses on your website. Again, the guest benefits from exposure and will be flattered to have been considered important enough to be interviewed and so will advertise this to their audience, again providing genuine links to your site.

Example:

This time, picture that you have a website which reviews male enhancement products. You could approach the owner of a website which provides sex tips for men, requesting an interview. I doubt many would turn this sort of request down – especially given that you have essentially dubbed them an expert on sex! Once they have agreed, draft a short series of interesting questions which you can publish alongside their responses. The more unique the questions the better; don’t ask them something they will have answered a thousand times before. You would then link to their website as they promote the fact that they have been interviewed and link to yours.

The Industry Roundup

This is essentially the same as an interview but featuring several industry influencers rather than just the one. You can offer your visitors varied expert views on a topic; this is really high quality content for your site. The round-up adds the extra pressure for the guests to take part as other experts are also involved. An added benefit of this method is that multiple people will consequently have an interest in promoting, and thus linking to your site.

Example:

For the purpose of this example you are the webmaster of a sports nutrition review site. You would find popular sites within your niche which do not compete with your own. For example, in this case you could find personal trainers’ blogs and websites which promote downloadable exercise regimes, semi-professional sports persons’ websites etc. On their agreement to participate you would send the same series of interesting questions to each person. Similarly to the interview, you then need to publish the answers they have sent. This is likely to require a little more editing though as you have more responses which may repeat the same points. Once published, you would link to the sites of each participant as they all promote the article.

The List

This is a simple method to undertake which doesn’t require the input of others, just your own research. Publish a list of great sources or ‘top picks’ regarding a specific subject within your niche, let the people/businesses know that you have included them in said list and encourage them to promote it. You could even provide a badge for their website – this is sometimes referred to as widget bait.

Example:

Now imagine that you have a weight loss authority site. One idea would be to research healthy recipe blogs and, after finding some of the best, publishing a list of the “Best Blogs for Healthy Recipes” as content on your site. You would then simply contact the bloggers and advise that they have been included in your top picks. They’re more than likely going to want to promote this. You could make it even easier for them by letting them know via social media, allowing them to retweet/share your post.

The Simple Mention

Perhaps the most obvious and common type of ego bait; you reference or quote another website/blog within your own, link this reference to said site and encourage the owner to promote your article.

Example:

You now have a site which reviews e-cigarettes and everything else related to vaping. For the sake of this article we will call it EverythingVape. Perhaps you write an article about the upcoming trend of vaping cafes. You would probably mention one of these places and talk about the services they offer. You would then link to their website and let them know that you have given them a little shout out. Again let them know via social networks e.g. “@ExampleVapeCafe I’ve mentioned you in an article here (link) EverythingVape loves your café”. It’s so easy for the café to share this message, especially on Twitter and it makes them look good, who wouldn’t share something telling them how wonderful they are?!

Ego Bait Don’ts

  • Don’t forget to tell your target that you have mentioned them or posted their content, as they are highly unlikely to just stumble across your bait one day and promote it out of the blue.
  • Don’t aim too high. Be realistic with which sites you target. You want promotion from people with a good following but really you should aim only a little higher than your own – Arnold Schwarzenegger isn’t going to promote your article because it says he’s on your list of “Top Bodybuilders”!
  • Don’t be a sycophant, yes you want to make these people feel good about themselves but people don’t respond well to over enthusiastic compliments from people clearly looking for personal gain.
  • Don’t forget to maintain the relationship. After using any of the above ego bait techniques you will have communicated with your target at least once, continue to network because you never know what opportunities may arise for future collaboration.

We’re continuously advising our affiliates to add more “generic content” to their websites, and these techniques are all great examples of how you can add relevant, useful content for your visitors whilst gaining from genuine links and additional promotion.

We’d love to hear your ego bait experiences or tips. Please share them in the comments section below.