15 Essential Skills Every Link Builder Should Have

Link Building Skills

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Hiring a link builder is not an easy task because it is difficult to find people who have the qualities to excel as a link earner.

Link building is more than just a job. It’s a challenge! Not everyone can handle the amount of pressure that link builders face during their job. 

Smart link builders possess the right skills for the job that make them love their work and earn well.

What are those qualities that you must check before hiring a link builder or what qualities you must possess in order to start your job as a link builder? This article discusses all. 

Link Building Is The Most Important Part of Digital Marketing 

The core of digital marketing revolves around link building. A link builder is essentially a marketer whose job is to earn citations/links and improve the brand presence online. 

At the start of your career, you can get hired as a link building executive or outreach assistant. Thereafter, you might get promoted to the post of link building manager or outreach specialist. 

A link building manager is essentially a marketing manager. The strategies they employ helps in the successful positioning of the brand. 

There is a tremendous demand for marketing managers. The BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) predicts the demand for marketing managers in general will increase by 10 percent between 2016 and 2026.

Here are the essential skills that every link builder should have:

01. You Need To Be Good In Research

Research is one of the primary skills for a link builder. More than 50% of the time is devoted to research. As a link builder, you should be able to research new sites as quickly as possible and should be able to earn links based on content merit.

A person good in research should be able to schedule the work properly, have some research questions in mind and should be ready to ask for help.

For example, if the link builder thinks, the sales team might provide the answers then he shouldn’t be hesitant to approach them.

A good researcher should know all the tricks and tips to better search on Google. For example, the usage of quotes when something specific needs to be searched or the usage of hyphen in order to exclude something. Here are Google search tricks that every link builder should know. 

But it goes far beyond that. As Google changes over time, so too does the need for additional research skills. Link builders need to be prepared to follow the trends in research, especially Internet research and adapt accordingly.


02. Creativity Should Flow In Your Veins 

A creative link builder is able to earn more links because uniqueness in strategy always provides better results. A creative person is able to think differently and apply strategies that are different than others resulting in more links. 

You must keep this in mind that you can’t train anyone for creativity. It is a skill that is god-gifted. You can inspire someone to be creative but you can’t train them to be creative. 

A link builder should always have more than a plan ready to complete a task. He should be able to see what others miss and should be able to do what others think isn’t possible. Link builder requires you to challenge your own limits and creativity plays a crucial role in breaking that limit. 


03. You Should Be Masters Of Networking

Networking is one of the key skills of link building. Outreach is one of the best ways to earn high authority and relevant links. A person good at networking will be able to deliver outstanding results in outreach. 

Whether it’s networking with others on social media platforms or sending a direct email to a prospect.

A link builder should always be ready to interact with new people, make new connections, respond to new emails and find new prospects to approach. It’s a never-ending process that one has to do every single day. 


04. Your Communication Skills Should Be Excellent

A link builder should be able to communicate clearly, politely and persuasively. Often, the communication happens to convince someone, hence, convincing communication is one of the key skills of a quality link builder. 

Face to face communication is different when compared to online communication. A link builder must know the real essence of communication via email, social media or blog comments. 

There are different types of emails or messages that the link builders need to send to other webmasters or business owners. These can be:

  • Email to convince a webmaster for publishing a guest post.
  • Email requesting a webmaster to remove a link.
  • Message sent via social networks to connect with a business owner.
  • Message sent to a prospect to build a link.
  • Emails sent to a number of people to earn a link. 
  • Responding to an email sent by other webmaster requesting any information etc.

Whatever the nature of the email, a link builder should be able to convince the prospect of his writing. 


05. You Should Be Willing To Expand Your Knowledge

A link builder should never stop learning. Google and other search engines constantly upgrade their algorithms to better serve users.

This is the reason, a link builder must know the past and the current updates that Google did or is doing in order to prepare their link building strategy accordingly. 

For example, before the Penguin update, large scale link building campaigns used to be done but after the strike of the Penguin, low-quality article submissions were over.

The same thing happened with low-quality directory submission, social bookmarking, and blog commenting. As per the current market trends, only high-quality guest posting/link baiting remains effective. 

A link builder should have the habit of reading expert SEO blogs like the Search Engine Land, Google Webmasters Blog, Search Engine Round Table, Moz, SEMrush, Monitor Backlinks Blog, Ahrefs, Links Management, etc. 

Besides, they must subscribe to specialized link building newsletters, attend webinars and seminars related to link building and read books related to link building in order to continue expanding their knowledge. 


06. You Should Have Patience

The patience level in a link builder should be high because they have to wait for days or even months for a reply from a webmaster. 

Link builders should practice the art of developing patience. They must understand that anger and irritation are addictive in nature and it is better to stay away from them.

The work you do today will yield results in the coming days or even months but the entire focus should be on the work and not on the urgency of results. 

We say link building is an art but in reality, patience is an art that one has to practice in order to become successful in link building.

Developing a habit of tolerating rejection is a great way to raise your patience levels. Taking the help of the sales team can work like wonders.

The sales team often face a lot of rejections from their clients and it becomes a part of their job. They aren’t sentimentally attached to each and every rejection and develop a positive approach towards their work. 

Even a single approval after twenty rejections is cherished. This should be the attitude of a link builder. 

One has to send several emails every day and have to wait positively for replies. If a person is impatient and starts thinking negatively that he can’t do the job or a reply will never come then he is not the right fit for the job of link building.

07. You Should Be Courageous and Bold

If you continue doing the things that every other link builder is doing, you will get the same results not better. A link builder needs to be courageous and bold in decision making because a rigid decision taken today might give them results that others can’t even think of achieving. 

For example, directly emailing Neil Patel or Danny Sullivan in order to strike a conversation and gain a backlink from their site (how many can think like this? But one who do are paid generously).

I am not asking them to start emailing Neil or Danny and ask them for links, this was just an example to make them understand the power of being bold and courageous. 

If they aren’t afraid to approach influencers, CEOs, top-level executives of their client’s niche then they can definitely become a great link builder. But, please remember that harassing a person by flooding his inbox with emails simply to earn a link is not done at all. They must never do that. 

Their job is to create good content, help the person they are emailing and wait patiently for the reply. Forcing a person to take a decision is not link building and I will never recommend anyone to do that. 

08. You Should Have Good SEO Knowledge

A link builder should have good knowledge of SEO. A degree in computer science is preferable because understanding technical aspects of the job become easier. 

As a link builder, one should have good knowledge of links, nofollow-dofollow attributes, website, domain, content, how to create a webpage, how to add a link, how to identify the quality of a link, how to identify the quality of the webpage, the web protocols, the web standards, working of different tools, the Google link scheme guidelines etc. 

A person who is technically strong will find it easier to understand these concepts but that does not mean that people from other streams can’t be good link builders.

After all, it depends on your willingness and attitude towards learning that makes you successful. 


09. You Should Know How To Use The Best Tools And When To Use Them

Usage of the best tools related to link building is of utmost importance. One has to develop skills of working with a tool by practicing it. A person not using a tool can never compete with a person using a tool.

The productivity of a link builder is increased with the help of specialized link building or link prospecting tools. 

Some of the tools that a link builder should know how to use are:

  • Google Analytics
  • Google Search Console
  • SEMrush
  • Ahrefs
  • HARO
  • Whois Scraper
  • Screaming Frog
  • Buzzstream
  • Ninja Outreach

10. You Should Be Willing To Adapt When The Time Demands

The job of a link builder can take a rapid turn in as little as 24 hours because the entire strategy is based on the Google algorithm. Whenever a major algorithmic update happens, the link builder needs to quickly change his strategies accordingly. 

This is the reason, a link builder must always be willing to adapt to the situation as and when the time demands. 

For example, when the Penguin update happened, all the link builders dropped the previously approved strategy of large-scale article marketing campaigns and instead switched to quality article marketing and guest posting.

Similarly, the strategy to acquire links using exact match anchor text was also revised to brand match or natural match.

A link builder needs to keep a strict eye on the Google updates and forecast it in order to keep his client’s website safe in the Google SERPs.

11. You Should Be Self-Motivated And Curious

The job of a link builder is surrounded by a lot of rejections. Webmasters often reject the request of links or do not accept the application of becoming a guest contributor. 

A person who isn’t self motivated will find it difficult to do the job of a link builder.  Besides, a link builder should always be curious to try out new things because following the same daily routine everytime makes the job boring and dull. 

They must have certain short term and long term goals and must be willing to achieve them as per the plan.

For example, if the plan is to build 1 link a day and 30 links a month then they must be willing to achieve that using new and innovative ways that others can’t even think of doing.

Even if they fail to achieve their target for the first week, they must have self motivation to double the target in the next week. This is what a link builder should do – remain self-motivated, remain curious and accept the challenges! 

12. Confidence Is The Key

Confidence is certainly the key to success because people with high levels of self-confidence are able to achieve their desired goals easily. 

As a link builder, one shouldn’t think about how are they going to complete the task; instead, they must develop plans on how they can surely complete the task.

For example, the thinking – “if I send 20 emails a day then I will surely be able to create 10 guest post links in a month” will certainly yields the results instead of the thought “how will I make 10 guest post links in a month”. 

The best way to increase self confidence is by getting rid of negative thoughts. A link builder should not have just questions in their mind, but also have answers to it. 


13. You Should Work As A Team

A link builder should always work as a team. One important thing to note is – “it is easy to achieve the desired results when you are working alone but it is difficult to do so when working as a team”. 

You have better ability to control your thoughts and emotions but you have limited ability to control other people’s thoughts. This is the reason achieving results as a team is difficult but earning links as a team is what you should strive for. 

Instead of thinking, I will earn 10 links in this month, think of I will help person X build 10 links, person Y build 10 links and person Z build 10 links. In total, my team will achieve 30 links. The output is totally different when you work as a team.

Link building requires you to perform a variety of tasks like link research, emailing, report preparation etc.

This is the reason, the job is divided between people and a person in control of research will find suitable prospects after carefully reviewing the website so that the job of an emailer becomes easier. Whatever be your task, always think of working and achieving results as a team. 


14. Link Building Should Be Your Passion Not “Part of Job”

A person who thinks of link building as a job won’t succeed in this field. Earning links should be one’s passion if they wish to be in this job. 

Committing to following one’s interest is the recipe for a successful career and this holds true for link building. 

People who love learning links might expand their skills and knowledge even when they aren’t working in office because they love doing that.

But, a person who assumes link building to be an office task will only work for 5-6 works a day and stop thinking about links beyond the office timings.

This is the reason, passion in your career always takes you ahead while doing a job that is not your interest holds you back.

15. You Should Have Excellent Analytical Skills 

The analysis is a key part of SEO. A link builder should find it easy to work with numbers and extract meanings from a set of data. 

A link earner should be able to look at the Google Analytics data and identify how many links should they build in a quarter in order to solidify the link profile and make them ahead of their closest competitor.

Similarly, they must be able to interpret the time needed to disavow a set of bad links in order to naturalize the link profile. 

Any job that involves computers involves data. A person having a data-centric approach towards work is able to make clearer and accurate decisions.


Final Thoughts

Link building is not going away too soon and it still remains one of the most important ranking factors for Google.

Link building as a career can be extremely rewarding if you know the right skills to work as a link builder. In case you are looking to hire a link builder then make sure to judge an individual on the basis of the above 15 skills. 

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