The Secret Sauce to Making Great Linkbait

By Melissa Duko, October 19, 2017

Ah, clickbait. Who can resist an enticing headline like “5 Reasons Why Miley and Liam Won’t Last?” Or “Kate Hudson Burns Anthony Scaramucci in Hilarious Instagram Post”?

For marketers, clickbait is a great way to drive traffic to their web pages. And clickbait’s friend linkbait is another handy tool.

Like clickbait, linkbait is meant to catch your attention, tempting you to click through to the article’s website. But the great thing about linkbait is other sites are linking to your tasty web content because they want to, not because you asked them to. (Makes you feel special, huh?)

However, there is a lot of linkbait out there. It’s going to take some “secret sauce” to make yours stand out from the crowd. Here are a few yummy ingredients you’ll need.  

Sprinkle in a Tasty Hook

When you open a can of Pringles, all it takes is one bite and you’re hooked. (At least for me anyway.) Your linkbait needs a tasty hook, too. According to Moz, it can be one of these six:

  • Ego.
  • Humor.
  • Incentive.
  • News.
  • Attack.
  • Resource.

Select the hook that best targets your ideal audience. If they’re news driven, go with relevant breaking news. If your audience has a sick sense of humor, go for humor.

Here’s an example of a linkbait product for “Canned Unicorn Meat.” Now there’s no such thing as unicorn meat, but the company Caster Specialists was looking for a way to drive traffic to their site. So, they created funny fake products to earn backlinks.



Source: Zoomspring

Unfortunately their experiment had mixed results. Now if this linkbait had appeared on a site like BuzzFeed (whose audience eats up this type of content) it surely would have taken off.

Word of caution: make sure your hook matches your target demographic.

Add a Dash of Infographics

Visual content makes info quicker and easier to process. Not to mention it’s more fun to look at. The lure of an eye-catching visual will have visitors clicking on your link in no time. Especially if it’s an infographic that plays off of current trends and news.

Related Post: How to Identify and Capitalize on a Marketing Trend

For example, the Kardashians are always in the news. And you’ll notice many of our blog posts reference them, especially Kendall. So, you can imagine how much traffic we (and others) are driving to sites when we link back.

During Kim Kardashian’s second wedding, diamond company Brilliance, took the opportunity to create a Kardashian Wedding vs Average Wedding Infographic for their blog.

Source: Brilliance

For those who wanted to know how the millions were spent, this spectacular infographic broke it all down. Naturally it was a hit, and picked up by trendy news sites, bloggers, and Pinterest. If it had just been a regular blog article it probably would have been popular. But since it was a tantalizing linkbait infographic, it went to the next level.  

Plus a Pinch of Video

Video content also works as excellent linkbait, particularly interactive and shoppable videos which attract and keep audiences engaged. And of course viral videos always resonate well, too.  

Related Post: 5 Proven Ways to Boost Your Brand’s Online Presence

Here, CNN picked up a viral video featuring a little boy giving fist-bumps to everyone on an airplane. From there, other local news stations picked up on the story and linked back to CNN.

Linkbait CNN.png

Source: WFLA

And you don’t have to be a large industry player like CNN. All it takes is the right video content to make a splash. 

Mix Until Evergreen

To keep visitors coming back for more, increase your linkbait’s shelf-life by producing evergreen content. Create timeless content in the form of articles, lists, and infographics.

Related Post: 3 Things You Need to Know About Evergreen Content

Check out this “Jessie Spano’s Caffeine Intake” linkbait. Here, Flavorwire links back to the BuzzFeed article via the creator’s name.  

Source: Flavorwire

This linkbait is seven-years-old and it’s still relevant! BuzzFeed and infographic creator Nathaniel James continue to reap the rewards of others’ linking. Amazing.


Source: BuzzFeed

Now that you know the ingredients it takes to create delicious linkbait, give it a try. Hopefully, you’ll soon find the right recipe that’ll boost your ROI (not your waistline).

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Melissa Duko

Melissa Duko

Melissa Duko is the Senior Editor and Digital Specialist for Anura. She brings to her role more than a decade of journalism and editing experience. A graduate of the University of Delaware, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in English, concentration business and technical writing, minor Art History. She also has a Master of Science in professional writing for the public and private sector from Towson University. She isn’t afraid to admit that her love for Starbucks is at gold member status. (Since 2011!) More Articles by Melissa Duko