• Tue. Jun 14th, 2022

A link building checklist to earn more and better links

If you want to rank well in organic search, you need links.

Google told us so, revealing that links are one of the top 3 ranking factors.

Quality links increase the overall authority and reliability of a page.

Quality links to multiple pieces of content can steadily increase domain-wide rankings over time.

Not that long ago, link building went through a few dark seasons where almost every link we made was boring and spammy. No personalized email, no content needed, and only a few branding mentions.

Link building was about quantity rather than quality.

But then the term “link building” started to change.


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We’ve heard new terms like Link Gaining, Link Giving, Link Acquisition, and Relationship Building.

Link earning is all about building relationships, being part of a community, and developing content ideas that are actually worth sharing.

This focus on quality, meaning and commitment has restored balance to the world of bonding.

But you also need a diverse link profile.

That’s where this link building checklist comes in.

What follows is a recap of everything we’ll be discussing in our link building guide so far, with tasks broken down by month and week.

Rather than going over all of the same information again, I’ve provided links to the relevant chapters in the guide so you can get more in-depth information on the topics that interest you most.


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Happy bonding!

Not succeeding without technical SEO

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What happens when you link to a poorly constructed website?
  • Can you rank a website based on backlinks alone?

This might be a problem for me, but I’m willing to bet that I’m not the only one thinking ‘nothing’ and ‘no’.

The colossal pool of search engines is filling up with fast, mobile-friendly, and clean websites.

Will Google rank your poorly designed website with high quality backlinks?

Or, will Google rank your fast, user-friendly, and clean website with high quality backlinks?

Do the technical SEO work before you start worrying about backlinks. Or, work tangent to do both at the same time.

Additionally, a webmaster is more likely to link to your website naturally if it is technically sound and offers a clear user experience.

Breakdown of link building activity

I’ve created this handy annual calendar of all the link building activities listed in the chapters below.

Here is a link to the template. Please make a copy for yourself in order to modify it.


Here are the link building tasks I perform monthly:


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Backlink audit

Export a full list of your backlinks from Google Search Console. Then start to manually review the sites, adding irrelevant and low-quality sites to your disclaimer file.

Update the disallowance list

I still review my disallowance file on a quarterly basis. This is a good opportunity to remove sites or add others to the list.

Analysis of competitor backlinks

Every quarter, I collect backlink data for three of my main competitors. I analyze the data and build a list of sites that would be good for my clients.


Here are the link building tasks you should schedule each month:

Email communication


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Depending on the size of the site, I aim to feature at least 10 new sites per month while maintaining my current editorial relationships. This also includes sending emails to websites that I have mentioned or linked in my articles.

Track brand mentions

Setting up Google Alerts or Mention Tracking to look at competitor mentions, brand mentions, and even mentions from your CEO is a good place to start.

Guest blogging

Writing genuine, high-quality guest blog posts is a great way to earn links. The goal is to establish ongoing content relationships with publishers to maintain a monthly contribution.

Content Syndication

If you are looking for truly amazing content, like content worthy of Larry Kim, you can work with editors to syndicate content you’ve already written. Win-win!


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Testimonials and opinions

Testimonials and reviews are the easiest untapped link building activity to do on a monthly basis. If you provide a testimonial for another brand, you might get a link back to your website. Spread the love!


Directories are not that outdated when it comes to getting fundamental links. After submitting your site, you still want to continue monitoring the NAP.

Affiliate links

Developing a loyal affiliate audience is another great way to start bonding. What’s more, your backlinkers will also add a small coin to their bank!

Broken link building

An old man, but a goodie! Building broken links is one of the fastest and easiest ways to get backlinks. Finding a broken competitor link is like finding a burrito with your name on it!


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As we all know, content still reigns supreme. But, using ego bait, controversy, or data to create quality content that will naturally generate backlinks is one of the best ways to use content to build links.

Charities and Events

Another good way to build backlinks is through charities and events. By donating your time or money to charity, you will get lucky with a .org or .gov backlink.

And, with events, you could co-sponsor an event. In addition, you will have access to other sponsors who will allow you to win quickly.

Breakdown of weekly link building activities

Week 1 & 2

Link Builder runs an internal backlink audit and a competitor backlink audit to identify topics for different link building verticals.


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Week 3

Brainstorm on article titles to create content.

  • Send item titles to customer for approval.

Week 4

Lead link opportunities.

  • Create email templates for customer approval.
  • Find co-citation opportunities.
  • Awareness of 50 quality prospects.

Week 5

Start writing

  • Ask the customer to review the content.

Here is an example of my favorite link building worksheet.