We started our fight for links from searching rankings describing tools similar to our solutions.
Fortunately there is a wealth of industry portals and blogs concerning programming, frond-end technologies, web design and Bootstrap. One hour of searching on Google is enough to gain a list full of contacts.
Negotiations became a key element for us. We divided them into 3 stages:
- The attempt to convince potential publishers about the value of MDB to place us on their blog for free, because it would be beneficial for their users.
- If it did not work - we offered money
- If bribery failed - we offered the affiliate program and profit participation.
At the very beginning negotiations were fruitless. In most cases it was like talking to a brick wall. No one wanted to write about unknown product whose domain was ridiculously low in Alex's or SimilarWeb's ranking.
But we fought hard for every opportunity. Contacting bloggers we highlighted benefits brought by MDB to programmers. If we found an article describing some functionality, we wrote to the author showing him how that thing could be done better / easier / faster / more beautiful using MDB.
It took long months before this wall started to crack. But with every week, our product was getting better, our community was growing fast, and domain mdbootstrap.com was moving up the ranks in a flash. Industry postals slowly started linking to us, even without our interference.
We gave up the idea of offering money for writing about MDB quite quickly. To our surprise, bloggers were not keen to such cooperation and that suggestion seemed to leave a kind of distaste .
Situation of the affiliate program was completely different. When we offered potential partners profit participation, they were much more keen to cooperate. It surprised me a bit because it required much more work from them, was more uncertain and eventually, it brought less money than immediate payment for putting some mention.
Nevertheless, it worked. Not only did we increase the number of MDB publications in industry press, but also our partners, motivated by potential profits, placed links to us in the best places. What's more, they became much more concerned about quality of content and published materials.
Our work became significantly easier thanks to Press Pack -i.e. a set of materials (texts, graphics, useful links) for use by our partners.
Currently our procedure of getting and improving the quality of links looks as follows:
- We have a designated person to monitor the net, negotiate links and the affiliate program.
- We monitor all newly obtained links to our website.
- We check whether information about us is of sufficient quality. If there is something to improve, we offer to the author help and taking part in the affiliate program.
- We monitor our lost links and determine the cause of their removal. Than we renegotiate their restoration.
- We monitor obtained and lost links of our competition. Than we negotiate placing links to our website and joining our partnership program.
- We monitor all information including phrases related to our industry in social media. It gives us additional potential to establish cooperations.
For monitoring, we use the following tools:
We also monitor all communities related to our industry, namely:
- Facebook groups
- Google + groups
- LinkedIn groups
In addition we monitor the most important Internet rankings. For our potential publishers and partners it is a valuable argument, because it allows them to verify whether they are dealing with serious player and service generating a huge traffic.
We usually rely on the following rankings (above every ranking I present data for MDBootstrap.com):
2rd place in Poland
334th place in the world
29,828th website in the world
778th in "Software" category
14,928th website in the world
Be following the above procedure, we are able to obtain about 500-600 valuable links per month.
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