What are backlinks and why do they matter? Backlinks are when other websites link back to yours. This is good for a couple of reasons. One, it makes it more likely that people will make their way to your blog, and two, it makes search engines like you more, which also makes it more likely that people will end up at your blog.
How to check backlinks
There are a variety of tools you can use to get an idea of what sites are linking to yours, including the Ahrefs backlink checker, SEMrush backlinks analytics, and the Moz link explorer. They’ll all show you somewhat different link profiles.
Why? Because these tools don’t work by looking at your website. They have webcrawlers that meander about through the internet, keeping track of any links that they find. When you enter your site’s URL into the tool, it checks its database of the links its web crawlers have found, and shows you any links that it’s come cross that point to your site. Their web crawlers aren’t as free-ranging as a search engine’s, so they may miss links that you know actually do exist.
Write on other platforms
Doing guest posts on other sites is one way of getting backlinks. If mental health is your thing, a number of major mental health websites will publish people’s stories. The post Spread Your Writing Wings – Share Your Mental Health Story has details on that.
You can also get high quality backlinks by cross-posting on different platforms. Medium, Vocal, and Libero Magazine all allow you to publish content that’s already appeared on your blog. There are differing opinions online as to whether or not duplicate content is bad in the eyes of search engines, and Neil Patel’s site has an interesting article challenging the assumption that “if something appears twice online, asteroids and locusts must be close behind.”
Share on other platforms
In addition to your standard social media, Mix is a place to share some of your content and get backlinks at the same time.
Sites for authors
If you’ve published a book, setting up an author profile and book pages on AuthorsDB and BookLife can give you high quality backlinks. Female authors can use Shewrites to post writing-related articles.
The donation sites buymeacoffee.com and Ko-fi are another way of creating backlinks, especially if you do short posts linking to content on your site. You can do this even if you don’t ask for donations on your site, and your profile will still likely generate some views from within those donation sites.
Influence.co is a site that helps brands and influencers to connect. I signed up for an account a while back but never ended up doing anything with it, but my profile there gives me a backlink from a site with a high domain authority (DA), which essentially means strong search engine cred.
Contently lets you create a portfolio of your work, including posts on your blog. Contently does well in search engine rankings, so it can be a good way to help people find you.
List.ly is a list-building site that’s a great source of link juice, and potentially a decent way for people to find your blog. You can also share the love with fellow bloggers by doing something like a list of 10 great anxiety blogs (including your own, of course).
Does any of this matter?
Short answer: no. Longer answer: if you’re wanting more people to find your blog via search engines, being proactive about building backlinks will help your cause. If you don’t care if people are finding you via Google or not, none of this is relevant to you.
And if you’re curious about other people’s link-y business, you can look up their sites the same way you look up your own. If you happen to look me up on Moz, you’ll notice that most of my top 10 domain authority links are included here in this post. Being a little creepy sometimes is rather fun, isn’t it?