If you aren’t trying to grow your blog out there in the world, this post will be completely irrelevant. This is a newer version/compilation of a couple of posts I’ve done before on building backlinks to your blog and domain authority.
What is domain authority?
Domain authority (DA) is a scoring system that was developed by Moz, a major search engine optimization (SEO) company. It’s meant to reflect how well each website is likely to do in search engine rankings. You can read more on their page What Is Domain Authority?
DA scores range from 1-100. They use a logarithmic scale, so the difference between 80 and 90 is way bigger than the difference between 0 and 10. Moz bases the score on a number of factors, but from what I can tell, the biggest factor is links, and especially backlinks, which are from other sites pointing back to yours. Since I started writing this post, Moz has just finally started recognizing my internal links, and if they’re looking at my site, it probably means they’ll start noticing any links I might have pointing your way.
DA matters most if you’re trying to get sponsored posts and that kind of thing. Your site’s DA isn’t a secret between you and Moz; anyone can look it up. If your blog has a yourblog.wordpress.com URL, you won’t be given your own DA; it just gets lumped in with the overall DA of the WordPress.com domain.
While DA specifically matters for sponsored posts and the like, it doesn’t directly reflect what Google thinks. Google likes backlinks, but they seem to pay much more attention to what’s actually on your site than Moz does.
What’s probably most interesting to the average non-monetizing blogger isn’t the DA number, but rather the who’s who of sites that are linking to your blog. You can get this info from a number of places, including Moz, Ahrefs, and SEMRush. They’ll all tell you slightly different things, because to find out that sites X, Y, and Z are linking to your site, they don’t get that information from visiting your blog; they get it if/when they happen to swing by X, Y, and/or Z.
Ways to build backlinks
There’s only so much control you have over creating backlinks to your site. Some marketers do blogger outreach to try to get people to link to their sites. Social media shares make a difference. You might not think of Mix (and does anyone actually use Mix?), but they seem to be a favourable source of links. There are also some sources of links that you can control, so let’s have a look at those.
- Write in other places. The post Way to Share Your Mental Health Story lists a bunch of options. You may also want to try Medium, Elephant Journal, Hubpages, or Vocal.
- List your blog on the OnTopList directory.
- Do quick posts on buymeacoffee.com and/or Ko-fi linking back to your site. Even if you’re not looking for coffee donations, it’s a good way to get links pointing to particular posts/pages you’ want people to see on your site. Google Images also seems to like images on coffee site posts. After I changed the URL on my buymeacoffee page, my DA dropped by one point shortly thereafter as it didn’t find the new URL right away.
- Contently lets you create a portfolio of your work, like some of your best blog posts.
- Goodreads can be a source of backlink action. When I post reviews there, I write at the bottom “this post originally appeared on [link to post].” Leaving reviews on popular books seems to be the way to get your link noticed.
- List.ly is a list creation site. You can include links to your own content as well as things located elsewhere on the internet.
- Want to tell WordPress developers what’s broken in the block editor? Github is the place to do it. You create a profile with your blog URL, and create or comment on a pull request. Boom, you’ve got yourself a 96 DA backlink. It’s a little more sophisticated than ranting to the happiness engineers, but this is the hangout for people who actually solve broken editor code problems as opposed to trying to smooth over problems for you.
Ads on other bloggers’ sites
I’ve come across a few blogs that have advertising packages, where other bloggers will pay to be featured as an advertiser on that blog for a month. The standard shebang seems to be showing the advertisers’ blog logos in the sidebar, doing a blog post featuring the advertisers and linking to several of their posts, and doing some social media shares. The prices for this that I came across were in the 5-20 £ range.
This concept seemed strange to me at first as a way to promote one’s blog, but then I realized that what it probably comes down to for the people purchasing the advertising spots is a way to get a backlink.
Over to you
I know that getting a DA to budge seems just short of impossible. Hopefully some of these ideas will be useful to you. Do you have any link sources of choice that you’d like to share?