5 hallmarks of top quality linkbait: What every business needs to know. Social media.

Weapons of Mass, hmmm Bass, DestructionEveryone knows that links are the currency of choice in this social media economy, right? RIGHT?

Of course you do.

But what makes a truly linkbaitalicious post stand out from the rest of the pretenders? How can you ensure your link is the batiest bait that ever baited? With the Joe Boughner Link Bait Framework Methodology of Superlative Superness (TM), you can GUARANTEE* your linkbaitey success.

5. Always use a numbered list

The days of well structured prose are gone, man. <li> is the new <p>. Nobody wants to get on a roller coaster with no clear sense of how long the ride is going to take, you know what I mean? Numbered lists are comforting. Digestible. They wrap you in a warm blanket of familiarity, subconsciously conjuring memories of sitting on your comfy couch, drinking a cup of ovaltine and watching Letterman (you know, before he got all pervy). Long, articulate narrative flow is for term papers. This is the internet. You’re competing with LOLCATS for crying out loud. Gimme my info in a neat little list or go back to Harvard, Hemingway.

4. Infographics. Every time.

“Well Timmy, you have a decision to make here. You could read words, like in a book. Or you can absorb the same information in pictures! Like a comic book!”

Oh gee, let me think about that. COMIC BOOK PLEASE!

Infographics have gone viral like the monkey plague in Outbreak. They give you that warm self righteous feeling that comes from learning something new without all that dry, boring reading. It’s like art and science – who doesn’t love that?

“But Joe, what if my argument isn’t well suited to an infographic?”

Good question, rhetorical reader I just made up. Lucky for you, I’ve got an infographic that can help:

snarky infographic

“But won’t that make me look like a jackass?”

You’d think so, but no. Exhibit B:


Got it? Good. Moving on.

3. Search Engine Optimization is geek speak for needing some love

Search Engine Optimization is a skill that requires nuance and subtlety. One must learn to include the content triggers they need to ensure high visibility in search results while not setting off red flags that may suggest the page is a link farm or other form of black hat spam.


It’s all about links. The more links in and out, the better. And if those links come from an a-list blogger like Chris Brogan or Todd Defren or Mitch Joel or Kneale Mann or Robert Scoble – your post will be slathered in SEO awesomesauce. But how do you get them to link to you? You do it for them! Leave a comment on a post of theirs (it should be at least tangentially related to their subject) and wrap it up with a “it’s like I wrote recently on my blog…” Drop in a link and Ka-Bam! Google is your friend.

Note: It’s also a good idea to find some way to link to them in your posts too. It’s called a handshake or something and all the cool kids do it.

2. Call Nicholas Cage, we are setting up a straw man

Oh wait, that movie was called Wicker Man, wasn’t it? Oh well, celebrity names are probably good for SEO too. I assume. The best posts are those that refute an argument. It shows you’ve got an analytical mind and, just like on the playground, you can totally boost yourself up by putting other people down. But challenging a real argument is dangerous. Instead, set up a straw man. It’s way easier. I find that starting your argument with “a lot of people say” or “it’s been said that” helps. Then bring the hammer of logic down on these totally fictional people. Point – counterpoint? That’s for chumps. Point – flawless victory is the 2.0 way.

1. Make a ludicrous claim. You know, to start the debate (but soften it with a question mark)

This is what we in the know call a “call to action” (aka: a desperate plea for comments). It’s also about engaging the conversation and all that too. That shit matters. Wrap up your post with some outlandish bullshit claim that you can’t hope to back up and wrap it up with a question mark so if some wise ass in the comments gets all up in your business you can say “hey, I just wanted to start a conversation. This is a great debate.” Something along the lines of this:

So what do you think readers: Will the internet be replaced by a bunch of trained messenger chimps and a series of plastic tubes?

(oh yea, it helps to make that part bold)

Creative Commons License photo credit: Let Ideas Compete

*Not an actual guarantee


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