Backlinks are the force multiplier in SEO.
We show 30 different links to our photography sites and talk about what steps we took to attain them. Stay until the end for a “bonus” backlink technique that we haven’t really talked about publicly.
We also recorded the screenshare for this podcast, it’s available for members of our SEO Course.
Dylan: Welcome to episode three of the SEO for photographers podcast by fuel your photos. I am Dylan Howell and I am here with Corey Potter, and today we're going to talk about backlinks.
[00:00:09] Corey: Yes, great topics. Probably one of our most frequently requested, especially by people who . Are already kind of covering the basics and they want to get into more advanced SEO.
[00:00:19] This is one of the things people are always asking is how do I get more backlinks? Or what do I need to know about backlinks?
[00:00:23] Dylan: Exactly. I think we mentioned this all the time, that backlinks are a force multiplier in your SEO efforts and they always seem to end up doing the trick. They, they lift your rankings over time.
[00:00:35]I think it's something that everybody knows they need to work on and few people actually take the time and make the effort to build these backlinks because it, it literally is work.
[00:00:44] Corey: Yeah. I mean, it's one of those things that it's an intuitive process, right? It's not something that you can just follow a step by step guide and get backlinks.
[00:00:51] I mean, I guess you could and you could buy backlinks theoretically, although don't necessarily recommend that in case in most cases. but I think, you know, we talked about how can we teach people about how to get backlinks because in our minds, as SEOs, as, as people who do this kind of thing all the time, it's people who look at backlinks in our professional tools all the time.
[00:01:11] It just. Comes naturally, I think. And we take that for granted. So today we wanted to give you some real examples from our own photography websites and how we've attained specific backlinks. And hopefully by seeing these real examples, you'll start to get some ideas for categories of backlinks and ideas for ways that you can also do the exact same thing.
[00:01:34] Dylan: Yup. Totally. And feel free. Like these are examples and this is how we've done some, but you need to think creatively because it's, it's going to be a different task for you and a different set of circumstances. So just use these as ideas and, let's go from
[00:01:48] Corey: there. Yeah. Real quick. It kind of another disclaimer here.
[00:01:52] We're going to, we're both coming at this from the wedding photography perspective, and I would say. To be fair. It probably is a little bit easier for wedding photographers than a lot of other types of photographers, like a newborn or a maternity or family or portrait, any kind of portraits, head shots.
[00:02:08] Who are those things? They're going to have their own strategies that are going to work well. There's going to be some unique challenges, but don't give up. Still listen to this episode because there's going to be some things that are going to work no matter what industry you're in, and hopefully this will just start the ball rolling in the right direction for you mentally so that you can think about.
[00:02:27] Exactly what's going to work for you. Yeah.
[00:02:29] Dylan: And because those specialties can be a little bit more challenging to build backlinks, the competition is definitely much less, if, if the typical photographer has somewhere between 30 and maybe 70, different referring domains, which are sites linking to their site, in the wedding photography space, portrait and newborns and maternity and Boire can sometimes be like 10 to 30, or just a much, much lower number of links.
[00:02:54] Corey: Exactly. Actually real quick, while we kind of are on that topic as a general piece of advice, do you think that that's normal, like for a wedding photographer, what's a good number of backlinks? What do you see like let's say in a relatively competitive market, not like a New York city or Los Angeles necessarily, or like a.
[00:03:15] You know, the middle market, you know, like you said, Charlotte or Columbus, Ohio or something along those lines. How many backlinks do you think is enough to like, really make a difference?
[00:03:26] Dylan: Yeah, so for, for individual referring domains, I typically see people on the first page with somewhere around 70. it, it does depend on market and, and not all of those links are going to be equal, but just.
[00:03:40] Looking at like the, the overall numbers that I see from almost every market, somewhere in the fifties, to 70 or 80. and then the, the top few people that have been in that market for a long time and are usually at the top might have 200 or so. Yeah,
[00:03:55] Corey: I agree. That's pretty normal. And then in really competitive markets, I typically see even somewhere 300 to 500 in some cases.
[00:04:03] Yeah. and that's usually just the top 10% or less. But you do see that in some photography sites. Typically those people have had some sort of. National coverage on something that went viral or something along those
[00:04:17] Dylan: lines, or a long career. Exactly. Built them up over time. So yeah, let's, let's jump into it.
[00:04:22]I have my site pulled up and I'll, I'll go through my list real fast and then we'll go through Cory's.
[00:04:28] Corey: Do you want to do it like all at one time or do you want to do back and forth or how do you
[00:04:31] Dylan: want to, it's up. It's up to you.
[00:04:32] Corey: Let's just go back and forth. So we're kind of splitting up the talking here.
[00:04:36] Dylan: That totally works.
[00:04:37] Corey: All right, go first. And why don't you. share your screen. I don't know exactly what we'll do with that recording. It will make it available for our course members for sure. We may be doing some other interesting things with that in the future, but for now we'll share the screen so that you can see like a visual of what that looks like if you're able to see that recording.
[00:04:52] Otherwise, we're going to try to make this really easy to understand on the podcast as well, so that you can get an idea of where these links are and how they look.
[00:04:59] Dylan: Yeah, so a few, metrics or, or variables that we're going to talk about. a. How authoritative is the site that you're getting the backlink from, and I don't have those metrics pulled up in front of me right now, but you want to like just understand that a very well known wedding blog is going to have more authority than maybe a local wedding blog or a local wedding planner.
[00:05:21] So the, the actual links are going to be possibly more powerful from those more authoritative sites. Then you're going to look for the placement on the page. Google looks for, how close to the top of the page is it and how big is the font, and how likely is a user to click on that, as a way to see D is the, is the person that's linking to this content, are they really proud that they're linking to it or is it kind of hidden in light gray font at the very bottom is like, you can click here if you want kind of thing.
[00:05:49]and then the anchor text, which is the text of the backlink. is, is important. and so those are a few of the factors we might be talking about. Cool.
[00:05:57] Corey: Why don't you go ahead. Take the first one. I'll right it. Tell us about, like you have on your site.
[00:06:01] Dylan: Cool. So I'm sharing my screen now and my first link is from Junebug weddings, and this is from the photo contest, best of wedding 2015.
[00:06:09] And I wanted to use this as an example for a, a value that you can get from entering and winning or getting a, I guess they have a secondary reward for these. I'm trying to remember what it's called, but, winning these awards, it's going to give you that recognition in the industry, which is awesome and gives you some authority, but it's giving you a backlink.
[00:06:31] And not only is this backlink from Junebug going to be helpful, quite often a new sites like AOL and Yahoo and MSN will do an article that's like, here's the top 50. Wedding photos from this year, and you might get backlinks from all of those major news sites as well. So, the, the cost to enter a this type of competition, I think was like $25.
[00:06:55]obviously you have to have the work that is able to win the award, so work on that as well, but it's definitely worth the time and expense in my opinion. Awesome.
[00:07:06]Corey: all right. So actually, Dylan, I changed my mind. Why don't you just go ahead and go since you're sharing your screen? Yes. Well, sure. That you can just go through more of your tabs.
[00:07:14] Dylan: All righty. next I have pro flowers.com and they reached out to me after I blogged a proposal and they were doing a Roundup of 65 creative marriage proposal ideas. And they just wanted to know if they could use my photo and link to my blog post for this post. So this is just a case of me doing the work to blog in and put out my work into the world, and they did a search and thought that it would be great resource for their blog.
[00:07:47] And so I get a backlink from pro flowers. Of course, there's. Hunter, there's at least 65 other wedding photographers that are linked from this site. but it's still better than nothing. Very limited effort on my side.
[00:08:00] Corey: So basically that was kind of a little bit of luck where you put out content, they found it and they used it and credited you.
[00:08:06] Dylan: Exactly. And so that's, I mean, that's how blogging can like have a secondary benefit.
[00:08:12] Corey: Yeah. I think that's a.
[00:08:14] Dylan: A
[00:08:14] Corey: great one because that's one of the main categories that I think photographers have as an advantage when it comes to getting backlinks is credits. Exactly. Because you're able to contribute content that's unique, that people need to build their websites and they're happy to give you credit.
[00:08:29] And in some cases, not in every case, but a lot of these people are really happy to link to you.
[00:08:33] Dylan: For sure.
[00:08:34] Corey: And don't be afraid to ask for that, by the way.
[00:08:36] Dylan: Yeah, always.
[00:08:37]Corey: in fact, that's a little tip. You can go into it. Don't you have a tool that you can use to check to see if people are using your images without credit?
[00:08:43] Dylan: Totally. It's called pixie. That's P I, X S y.com. And I believe it's free to sign up and you can do a paid account that gives you like more photos that they check per month, but it pretty much scours the internet for anybody using your photos and without giving you credit. And then they have a tool to send them a.
[00:09:02] An email blast that says like, Hey, you didn't credit me like give me credit. Or you can like ask for payment, which is, could be awesome. I've, I've actually made, I, I had one. Article that didn't credit me, and I got $5,000 for the photo use, which was awesome. That is awesome. So, yeah, under my third, example, it's brides.com and it's a very similar situation.
[00:09:26]they also were doing a post about proposals. And they found my photo, I believe they actually found this one on Instagram and the same photo. It's, yeah, same shoot. It went semi viral, due to the couple being amazing and awesome. And
[00:09:40] Corey: we up on the kind of proposal. Was it like, where was it?
[00:09:42] Dylan: Yeah, so we climbed up onto this mountain top above the clouds on a snowy day.
[00:09:47] And so it's like cliffs and mountains and clouds and, just really good friends of mine. Proposing. So.
[00:09:53] Corey: So here's one tip for you for getting backlinks do Epic shit.
[00:09:56] Dylan: Yeah, exactly. Honestly, I mean, that's, it's something that I thought about when I was living in Idaho and I was seeing some cool stuff being done, in nature and, but I realized that if you take it to the next level, you can make a name for yourself so easily, and it just takes a little bit of work and just pushing the limits of whatever you're doing and for your area or where you're known.
[00:10:21] So, yeah, that's breads.com my follow or my, my secondary point on this one is that I now have a relationship with the editor of breads.com and she, she regularly emails me and it's just like, Hey, I have these 12 articles going out this week that need photos. Do you have any photos that fit this list of articles?
[00:10:39] And I make sure that every time she emails me, I answer as quickly as possible, often within like five or 10 minutes. And I just sent her. photos that are the correct size, and she can just add those to the articles.
[00:10:51] Corey: so you can make people's lives easier. Yes,
[00:10:54] Dylan: exactly. And like, if she moves to a different publication down the road, she's still gonna remember me.
[00:10:58] Possibly. So like, these relationships have throughout my career been huge. I'm going to go to the next one. It's exposure.software, and this is a company that used to be called alien skin exposure. I've used them to edit my photos as like a finishing polishing step for like the last eight years. and I just, I built a relationship because I was like hashtagging and, and.
[00:11:21] Sharing their work in their Facebook group and like, just letting people know that I use their tool. And so their marketing manager reached out and was like, Hey, do you want to do a tutorial? and then they use my photos as like examples when they've done some, releases of software. And so it was just reaching out to this company or like letting them know that I'm using the tool and then building that relationship.
[00:11:40] And that led to backlinks. It led to them doing the interviews with me, tutorials. it's been really great. So
[00:11:46] Corey: I don't want to say too, like, that's such a powerful tip in general, in business, it's a build relationships where you add value without necessarily expecting value in return. Sure. You want to be intentional about, the idea that hopefully you'll have some sort of.
[00:12:03] Reciprocity, where you can ask for something or you can get some backlinks or you can get some shares from them, but don't necessarily expect that in the beginning. Add value because you believe in a company or because you're actually friends with someone or you like them, and then that will often lead to those natural relationships that have longterm benefits and not just a simple backlink that you check off your list
[00:12:26] Dylan: completely.
[00:12:27] Yeah, such a good point. All right. The next one is green wedding shoes. this is like kind of a typical, wedding feature, but what makes this a little bit special is that once again, I built a relationship with the editor of green wedding shoes and was able to send her a, an email just saying like, Hey, I just shot this amazing two-part wedding.
[00:12:48]the first part was an elopement in Iceland. The second part was this gorgeous detail rich, beautiful wedding in Toronto. And they did a two part feature and it was exclusive and got a lot of traffic and all that stuff. and I don't think I would have got this feature if I hadn't first had the relationship with the editor and been able to just send her a note saying like, Hey, this is really special.
[00:13:11] I think you're, you're gonna like this. It's perfect for green wedding shoes, and I'm not submitting this to anybody else. Like, do you want it first? And those types of backlinks, at least back when I got this, Would would mean instant inquiries for different destination weddings or similar weddings, and in addition to the like traffic referral traffic and the backlink helping my overall rankings down the road.
[00:13:35] Corey: I have a question in a tip on this. Sure question. How do you get information for editors and what's your initial. Outreach to start building a relationship with an editor of a website?
[00:13:47] Dylan: That's a great question. the first step, I have a blog post and it's on my, my Dylan and hell.com site, and it's just called like 100 top wedding blogs and it has a list.
[00:13:57] And so first you need to know who are the wedding blogs. And so I have that list of a hundred. It's a few years out of date, and I need to update that. then I start looking at their social medias. I start looking for. The about info on their site and, and trying to look as a, for a way to get around the typical contact form or submission process that the masses are using.
[00:14:19] And I really like, I will like track down the personal Twitter or the personal Instagram or whatever of these editors and start following them and start replying to their, their tweets that might be random about getting coffee or going on a personal trip. And then over time. Building a relationship where I can be like, Hey, and typically they follow me back eventually and they, they see my work and they understand who I am and then I'm able to just reach out and be like, Hey, like this is a special wedding.
[00:14:46] I think it's a perfect fit for your publication. Do you want it? And a much higher chance of them accepting that over getting a mass, a submission from a tool like to bright lights or something.
[00:14:57] Corey: Yep. I agree 100% maybe one more tip to add to that is. and I know you've done this, and I've done this as well, meeting those people at a big event.
[00:15:06] Conferences, when you're speaking, especially even at trade shows, I've had several where I, I went to a trade show that the people who are either the marketing directors or, you know, a publisher of a major website, and I just had a quick conversation, grabbed their card, followed up via email, and it's like so easy when you actually meet them in person because they know you're real.
[00:15:28] Dylan: Exactly. And like, I feel like. That was early on in my career I, I looked at going to WPPI, not for the classes I could go to and not really for like what I, what cool stuff I could see at the trade show, but it was more like you'll end up in a hotel room party with. These editors, or like the person that's judging the Junebug awards or whatever, and you get to just like have a real conversation.
[00:15:54] Like most of my conversations would be about cycling or hiking or coffee or whatever. Like you find common interests, you build those relationships and it, it has little to do, like we weren't talking about like the blog scene or the wedding scene in Boise or Portland or whatever. we're, we're just connecting as people and I think those are.
[00:16:15] Priceless. Priceless relationships you can
[00:16:17] Corey: build know. Let me add that other tip that I had for this as well, and that is as, especially for wedding photographers, but for any type of photographer, whenever you have. Shoots that are Epic, that are something that are extremely remarkable, something that you think has a chance of going viral or that you just know is a perfect fit for a specific publication.
[00:16:41] Set those aside and do some work and it's not going to be as simple as like send one or two emails. You might have to really work on it and they might even take months of follow up. You really want to commit when you know you've got something special to making sure that it gets in the right hands. but for everything else, that doesn't mean that just because it's not amazing, it doesn't mean you can't get any links off of it.
[00:17:02] Like there's still plenty of places you can submit, including using something like two bright lights where you can submit pretty much any kind of work and someone will want to feature it
[00:17:12] Dylan: completely. All right. The next one is format.com, and this is a website platform. I actually had to figure out like where they're linking to me here.
[00:17:21]And it's, it's pretty awesome. They're actually linking to that blog post list that I talked about a moment ago. they have, a section about creating buzz for photographers and that you should submit to wedding blogs. the, this is great because it's a link to an internal page. It's not just a link to my homepage.
[00:17:39] It's a link from a, authoritative site talking about promoting wedding photography businesses to this internal page that's. My list of wedding blogs and links like this, just getting a small handful, a couple of these links will drastically improve your rankings in my experience.
[00:17:56] Corey: Yeah, and I think, that's another kind of side tip on that one is that your post about the best wedding blogs is a research intensive post that is likely to be cited as a source.
[00:18:10] Right? You've got a huge table. It's got a hundred things. It's got like data points for each. listing and it gets, it's organized by domain or whatever. You have it organized by like, it's actually something that took you hours to put together and someone else can't just put it together quickly. It's better for them to just reference your data.
[00:18:29] Dylan: Yeah. And I just pulled this up in a drifts over time, 20 different domains of linked to this internal page. And for a typical wedding photography site, that's huge.
[00:18:40] Corey: Absolutely. Yeah. And I mean, if you're listening to this and you're thinking, well, what am I supposed to do? Like, don't just copy that idea.
[00:18:47] Come up with anything. That is something where people might write about a topic and need to source a site, some sort of data. So a really popular thing might be wedding costs, elopement prices, maybe the, you know, the average cost of all of the. Wedding venues in your city, and like you put that into a table, you call each of them up or whatever and get like typical prices.
[00:19:13] You put that out there and that's it. A huge resource and you know, in your city, maybe there's not that many people that will link to it depends on where you are, but then you know, you've got some data that people are interested in linking to as a source.
[00:19:23] Dylan: Yeah. I'm thinking of Sam Hurd doing that for the photographer side, where he just has done the research on all of the photographers around the world, like what they're charging, and he's releasing that as a resource, and that's going to get huge amount of links when he shares that.
[00:19:37] Corey: And you have one recently that started to get some traction that are just like best photographers websites.
[00:19:43] Dylan: Yeah, totally. And that was just me taking a night to really think about which sites had inspired me over the past year or so, and listing those out. But I think
[00:19:53] Corey: that the one thing that's so, so important about it is you didn't just list the websites.
[00:19:57] You have some data points. It's actually are things like which platform are they on? And you know what other, whatever other points you came up with. I think that's important is to have like multi points on each thing instead of just making the list for this kind of thing completely.
[00:20:11] Dylan: All right. I'm going to go a little bit quicker through these next few.
[00:20:14]this next one is Jonas peterson.com. It's just one of his wedding blogs. And this is a no-follow comment. So it's another factor that we didn't chat about earlier. typically links are followed. there's no, no attribute. If there's, if there's nothing. I'm modifying the link. It is followed by a Google bot.
[00:20:35]they introduced the no-follow attribute to decrease, spam about 10 or 15 years ago, and then they recently said that that attribute is now just a suggestion. why this link is unique is that because it's a no follow link, it's just a blog comment. a lot of people say that that's not worth your time.
[00:20:53] It's not worth doing. But if you can comment on a well known photographer as soon after they've made a blog post, not only are you building a relationship with that photographer possibly, but they get so much traffic that people will actually click on your site and go to your site from those links, especially if it's a.
[00:21:12] A well thought out comment that you've made and it actually drives the conversation. so spending a few minutes when you're drinking coffee on like some Sunday morning, just making comments on popular photographer sites can be well worth your
[00:21:24] Corey: time. Yeah, I have an example of that in mind as well, but I will also throw in really quick.
[00:21:28] Yup. Be careful that your no follow links don't significantly outweigh your volume links. Sure. Especially when you're using a comment strategy. So if you have 300 comments that you made on different websites. And you have like 30 followed links. In my opinion, I haven't, I don't have like concrete data to say that this is going to not necessarily hurt you, but it doesn't look like a well-rounded naturally built link profile.
[00:21:55] And so I would just avoid like going overboard on something like that and until you have like a healthy link profile that you're confident in.
[00:22:05] Dylan: Totally agree. All right. My next, example is a guest post and we talk about these quite a bit. but a little bit more information. typically you do these by reaching out to a publication that you think you have relevant information to share, or that publication reaches out to you because they've, they know your name and that they want to get some of your content for their site.
[00:22:25]this is a beneficial strategy because you can, you can publish this information on their site if they have more authority than yours, and you might have a higher chance of that article ranking on their site than yours. it's an extra backlink to your site and you get to expand your audience, by taking advantage of using their audience or leveraging their audience.
[00:22:45]this example is flow themes.com, and it's, a content strategy for your photography site. So I was using my SEO background to write this article. I think I wrote it in one weekend. it links to my site. I believe it might even. Talk about our course that we offer. So it might actually help me with those sales.
[00:23:04] I know that we still get people sending up for our Facebook groups based on this. So it, it even, a year after or six months after it's been posted, it's still getting traffic. Yeah. Yeah. Next one is just a, it's a wedding blog that. The planner for my wedding submitted to and got a back link to my site.
[00:23:27] So make a great, relationships with planners because they will make your life easier. They typically will handle the submission process for you if you allow them to, which is, in my opinion, great, because you're letting them do backlink building for you. so I, I love working with planners, especially if they have connections with wedding blogs and they can do that for me.
[00:23:49] Corey: Again, make their lives easier. Get them those photos as fast as possible. Exactly. And already like the right size and the right variety. Know what they need. Ask them about it at the wedding or before I get it to them quickly. Yup.
[00:24:02]Dylan: dirty boots and messy hair. They did a, article about online galleries for photographers and they found a tutor or not a tr, a testimonial that I had on one of those, Gallery sites and they link to me with my opinion. So, that's just reach out. Like, because I offered a testimonial or I agreed to do a testimonial, I got a free back link.
[00:24:23]Corey: there's a guy that I followed for a long time. He's a blogger and he called this strategy the fanboy strategy where it's like, just go out and review everything or like send them testimonials and often they'll link to you when they use your testimonial.
[00:24:37] Dylan: It's so true. Here's another one, just to reiterate a blog comments. I had an RSS feed. I don't know if people still use those and it has all of the typical, big wedding blogs. And I just left a nice, comment, from this, this wedding blog. I did this right when I was transitioning my website because I had to rebrand and start over with a new domain and I didn't have any.
[00:25:03] Wedding related backlinks. I didn't have any wedding related content yet. and I really was doing everything I could to kind of show Google that I'm in the wedding space.
[00:25:13] Corey: Makes sense. Yup.
[00:25:15] Dylan: After that, it looks like film interview, once again, personal relationship with the founders. It looks like film.
[00:25:23]Was able to then turn into an interview about my work and who I am. So build these relationships, in person is huge. I met them at a, a conference, or I guess it's a workshop that I was speaking at. and so just taking time to talk to people. Actually like engage in conversation and, and have a real relationship is, is key.
[00:25:45] Corey: And those in industry websites are great for photographers to get. I mean, there's so many companies that are serving photographers who like you can get featured on their sites pretty easily by either a, talking about how you use their product, be writing a guest post for them, like whatever it is. And then that shows.
[00:26:04] That you're relevant in the photography industry. Yup. And so doing that builds trust and authority for you as a photographer.
[00:26:12] Dylan: Because guess what? These photography companies, they generally have a one person marketing team, and that person is doing their social and their blog strategy and everything, and they're so overworked.
[00:26:24] And so if you just reach out to them and be like, Hey, like I have this content idea, or I have this blog post ready to go, they will love you for it. Yup. All right. Almost done. this one was another expert Roundup about SEO. This is, BNH, video photo, video.com. This doesn't have to be SEO related like mine was.
[00:26:44]but most of the, I mean, these are all just photographers and they're just offering like what, marketing, solutions have worked for them. So, you don't have to really. Like be at the top of the industry to offer your expertise. everybody has experience and you probably have something that's worked out well for you, and you can offer that.
[00:27:03] So don't think that you have to be like a top 10 wedding photographer in the world to reach out and try to be on these lists.
[00:27:10] Corey: But when in that case, did they reach out to you or did you reach out to
[00:27:13] Dylan: them? Once again, a personal relationship? I met the marketing person for BNH. conference. I ended up, it's
[00:27:24] Corey: funny cause I met the SEO guy for BNH at Google.
[00:27:27] Wow. That's amazing. I didn't really talk to him that much, but I did meet him there.
[00:27:31] Dylan: I mean I ended up shooting her wedding. Like it's, these relationships have been amazing. And the. They're everything for your career. So really I think over and over, I'm just realizing personal relationships.
[00:27:43] Corey: And I think, again at my point to that last one you had there, it's good to get these industry links because other photographers and other photography related companies are going to notice you on these lists and then reach out to you for their lists.
[00:27:59] When they go to do a Roundup or all the time, whatever.
[00:28:01] Dylan: Yup. Yeah. It's, yeah. It's like this. A self perpetuating machine is a
[00:28:05] Corey: snowball.
[00:28:06] Dylan: Exactly. this one, not much. This is a offbeat bride feature. It's a tattooed couple on a motorcycle. What's interesting about this is that I really paid close attention to fitting the shoot to the brand of the blog.
[00:28:21] As soon as I did the shoot, I was like, this is offbeat bride. There may be one or two other publications that it really would have fit with, but I knew that this was a perfect fit, and so they were the first person I asked and they, they of course said yes when they saw the rad couple and doing cool stuff.
[00:28:38] Cool. here's a great one that I, I definitely use throughout my career. This is a fistful of bolts. it's a wedding that I second shot. It's, Ryan Lewis of like Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. what makes this interesting is that typically when you second shoot for a photographer and they blog, they will link to your site.
[00:28:59]that's not always the case and it's something you should probably ask about before you take the gig. But. If you are just starting out in your market and you need backlinks, you should try so hard to second shoot for the top photographers in your area. Or if you see well known photographers, and they might be four hours away and they're looking for a second, you should just be like, Hey, I will do it and I will pay my, like, gas bill or plane ticket to go there.
[00:29:28]because you're gonna make these amazing. once again, personal relationships with these people that are already authorities in the space, and you're, you're going to get a great backlink, you're going to get some referral traffic. They might like tag you on Instagram or social media and they'll probably be friends longterm and you can swap leads and everything back and forth.
[00:29:47] So those relationships are everything nice. All right. two more. Well, it's like one at a time. Yeah. One and a half more. Well, I have some backlinks.
[00:29:57] Corey: Yeah, you do.
[00:29:58]Dylan: this one again, SEO tips for wedding photographers. and it's from photo bug, which is June bugs blog. And this was just, I really concentrated on SEO as the one topic that I wanted to teach photographers about.
[00:30:12] And so I became known for that and they, they wanted to have me as an expert on there. Roundup of SEO tips. So this is just figuring out early on in your career or at some point in your career what you want to specialize in and really concentrating on being the best at that can really lead to backlink opportunities.
[00:30:30]last tip. Wikipedia. Oh, is this the best? I know this is bonus tip.
[00:30:36] Corey: This is, this is secret sauce right here. People, you better shout Dylan and talk about this very much publicly.
[00:30:41] Dylan: Yeah, totally. So Wikipedia is, in my opinion, one of the best opportunities, not only for being an absolute source of authority that Google uses to verify if you're actually putting out factual information, but there's so much referral traffic, like the traffic of Wikipedia is mindblowing sometimes, like this is probably one of the most random articles on Wikipedia, and I still get maybe.
[00:31:12] 20 clicks a day from, from this article to my site, like, it's pretty unreal. and so what I did was I, I wanted to know, are there any Wikipedia entries that had anything to do with photography that had broken links in their source references? And you can do this? I believe I, I can't remember if I did it with a Google search only.
[00:31:35]Oh yeah, I did. Because. If there's a broken link, it will generally say source needed or I can't remember what it was exactly. I'll, I'll add this to the show notes.
[00:31:45] Corey: or maybe you shouldn't.
[00:31:46] Dylan: Yeah. Or, yeah, just,
[00:31:48] Corey: it's a secret. I'm just kidding.
[00:31:49] Dylan: Do some research people know, but you can, you can just quickly look to see, Oh, here.
[00:31:56] You can look for archive from original is one, but I will look for the, there isn't a specific note for if the. reference isn't, isn't working anymore.
[00:32:05] Corey: So basically Wikipedia is putting a tr, in parentheses, there ends up basically you can do a search to see if any pages contain that text cause what you're saying.
[00:32:15] Dylan: Yup. And so once I had that, I knew that this fashion photography entry had a broken link for the history of fashion photography. And. Then I just had to do the actual research, build a page on my website that contained the source information needed and tag that as a reference for this article.
[00:32:37]it probably took, eight hours of work maybe. but. I did notice a difference in my overall rankings in the months after getting this. It gets constant referral traffic. The page I made on my site ranks number one for history of fashion photography. I don't know if that does anything for me, but yeah.
[00:32:55]but yeah, that's my, that's my secret. Wikipedia backlink.
[00:32:58] Corey: Yeah. And I mean, just know your success is going to be different every time you try that. Like, Dylan's done this multiple times on multiple sites and it can work however. The, each, each topic or article may have different, what do they call the moderators for a topic?
[00:33:17] Dylan: I don't remember exactly,
[00:33:19] Corey: but there's someone in charge or like, you know, watching. Yeah. They know they're, they're always trying to like, make sure that people aren't just using this for their own personal gain. And what we're, this tip of like trying to get backlinks from Wikipedia technically falls under that.
[00:33:33] Like you're using this for your own personal gain. However, if you are. Genuinely adding value to your site where it's like, I've got a real article. It was real research put into it. It really answers the question that's broken. Here you are improving Wikipedia, and that is acceptable as long as you're not just trying to game the system and put up crap content to get some sort of link from Wikipedia that's going to get edited out pretty
[00:33:58] Dylan: quick.
[00:33:58] Totally. Yeah. And so there's actually guides for writing for Wikipedia. you have to be super factual. You have to have. A complete lack of biases as much as possible. you can, you can research that a bit more,
[00:34:09] Corey: but it's, yeah, they will check though. Just know that like there's some that are completely anal about it and yeah, it's impossible to get listed on there.
[00:34:16] And there's some that are like not checked very much and all you need to do is just like fix it up a little bit.
[00:34:21] Dylan: Yeah. Just before anybody tries. The wedding photography, entry is. Edited quite heavily. And that's on unlock. Exactly. And that's why it's such terrible content, I believe is, but nobody's really allowed to improve it because everybody's just trying to help their own photography website.
[00:34:38] So I would block that one out from here.
[00:34:40] Corey: I feel like this is a general thought for link building is it's always this kind of weird moral balance. Right? And technically if you want to get into it like Google. Says that you shouldn't build links at all. Right. Like all links should be natural. Yeah. Natural and air quotes here.
[00:35:02]but I mean, you have to be intentional. You have to put yourself out there and then take the steps necessary for the right people to recognize your content. It's not. About gaming the system. It's about adding real value into the world and then being intentional about making sure that the right people are aware of that value so that it can get recognized.
[00:35:24] I think that's, that's perfect.
[00:35:26] Dylan: Totally. All
[00:35:27] Corey: right. Are you ready to share your screen? It's
[00:35:29] Dylan: your turn,
[00:35:30] Corey: man. This is gonna be a long episode, but I'll try to keep these pretty quick.
[00:35:32] Dylan: Yeah, we'll be good.
[00:35:33] Corey: I think it's good though. I mean I think a lot of people are going to like this. I'm going to share my screen and I wasn't able to see yours cause you're recording with the other software, but hopefully this is coming through to you.
[00:35:43] Dylan: Yep. Let me move screens here.
[00:35:48] Corey: All right. A lot of these are going to be kind of the same things, but there are a few that are different and I'll just kind of give some of my thoughts and then don't obviously chip in with any other tips or thoughts you have. Tell me when it's good to go. We are good
[00:35:58] Dylan: to go.
[00:36:00] Corey: All right, so first thing to note here is that I'm looking at, I'm firstname.lastname@example.org right now, but I also email@example.com and it's interesting because I have got. You know, F while I was still a photographer, I had three brands in my last two years of photography. I had a blase photo.com which is my photography brand, Corey potter.com, which is kind of like a general personal website, and then fuel your photos.com, which was all this stuff about SEO.
[00:36:28] And if you listened to Dylan carefully, you'll notice that Dylan howell.com was kind of all of those things for him. over those years. And we just talked about this the other day. Dylan's like, I want to get my domain back exactly. Use for more personal things. Hollywood's was put cycling stuff up there and like other things he's interested in.
[00:36:46]and that's kind of what I did with Corey Potter. And there's pros and cons to both, but just know that for the majority of my photography career, Corey potter.com was my photography website. And, I switched it. It kind of was the last, the year before I stopped doing that to a blase. But I'm mostly going to be talking about links from those two here.
[00:37:05] Yeah. but, but, but here's the point. If you own other websites, you can use those
[00:37:12] Dylan: to link to your
[00:37:14] Corey: other website completely here. Corey potter.com links to a blaze photo.com and it probably somewhere here links to fuel your photos.com and any of my other money websites or value websites I'm going to link to from all of my sites.
[00:37:27] I think if you go to the homepage here, I have fewer photos, rad rank, ice, any of the sites that I really want to rank. I'm going to link to from any of my sites that are already ranking,
[00:37:37] Dylan: and I think a quick clarification is that for most photographers, the best strategy here is probably going to be having everything on one domain.
[00:37:46] Corey: Absolutely.
[00:37:46] Dylan: Yeah. Otherwise, it's just extra work for each domain to build these backlink profiles.
[00:37:51] Corey: Yeah. The only reason you wouldn't do that is if you are like someone who has multiple businesses or you have authority as a person because of something else, and you don't want your . Photography to be mixed with that.
[00:38:02] It's confusing and people get into all kinds of existential crisis about this, and yes, it's probably not worth all of that. Like ideally one domain is going to serve you better. You're going to be like Dillon and have hundreds of links to one domain and not like me who has like 40 to each or some stupid thing like that.
[00:38:18] Yeah. Anyway, okay. Moving on. some of these are like really simple, right? So. The Columbia strings.com what do musicians, the finest Tennessee, but they have a top vendors page. There's Corey Potter photographer with that ancient picture here. Like all of these, I'm looking at all these people like 10 years ago.
[00:38:36] Hopefully. So funny cause these were like all my friends when I was wedding photographer. Anyway, so that's just linking to my site there. Same, same kind of thing you could do on it. Pretty much any site, I think another one here. So did you,
[00:38:47] Dylan: did you reach out to them
[00:38:49] Corey: in this case? It's funny cause I'm not even a hundred percent sure who Columbia strings is, I think is, yeah.
[00:38:55] Jared is a F he was a friend of mine who I talked to quite a bit. and so I don't think I had to reach out to him. I think it was just like he just had a do list. Yep. this one is the ancient vlog role of it on blogger, but for, for a long time, I mean this is 2010, but like for a long time, wedding planners were using blogger or wordpress.com in fact is where this is totally.
[00:39:18] And like. These are old links, but they're still showing up. They're still good links ish. And I'm like perfectly cause anyway, point is they just put me in like a list of their favorite vendors.
[00:39:29] Dylan: Yup.
[00:39:30] Corey: The whole point here is, these are a couple of different ones. This is another one. American floral is a florist here.
[00:39:35] Another friend of mine. Now in this case, I actually helped with their website. So it's kind of unfair. But, I mean this is just photographer credits, right? With a few different photography companies. There's mine, a place photography. All of that. Like if you, if you could reach out to all of the people that you work with on a regular basis and ask them, can I give you photos?
[00:39:54] Will you give me credit either on that page or on a credit page or on your blog roll or wherever it is. Seriously, you'll take those links.
[00:40:01] Dylan: Well, if you shoot 30 weddings a year, there's probably four or five vendors at each wedding. That's a huge number of opportunities.
[00:40:09] Corey: Exactly. All right. The next two are actually credit for taking photos.
[00:40:15] Here's the photo I was telling you about earlier. Oh, that's awesome. Actually, the background there, they're thinking of first look for setup. Anyway, so in this case, Jared is just telling the story. He hired us. and that links to ablaze photo.com and so like if you like this photo is when we took and.
[00:40:34] There's several others on his site that we took. And so it's like he's just basically mentioning us as part of his story. And a lot of photographers on their about page will like credit for the further about photo, the link to the other photographer who took it. So Tony worked with other photographers.
[00:40:48] Exactly. The head shots for them.
[00:40:49] Dylan: Yes. So he was
[00:40:51] Corey: such an easy thing. this one was, this is a blogger who has like a pretty popular blog. And I mean, it's just a. Oh, that's from really long time ago. Like how much they've been updating recently. Yeah. Yeah. Like today, two days.
[00:41:08] Dylan: Yeah.
[00:41:08]Corey: so I think they just have a lot of blog posts.
[00:41:11] Anyway, we did head shots for her and I used to be in the sidebar and there was like a photo credit there, but she still has it in the footer. That's amazing. Tography by Corey potter.com. Ironically, Jared actually did that session for me as an associate and still got credit for the company. On that site.
[00:41:30] I mean, this is a site that gets quite a bit of traffic and it's still a decent link. It's not like one of the most valuable links between a footer like that, but it's still something
[00:41:39] Dylan: in general. Would you say that links from sites that get more traffic or more beneficial?
[00:41:44] Corey: I think so. I mean, I think that's, I think it's probably a correlation thing though.
[00:41:49] Not necessarily a direct signal. That's just my guess is that like more traffic sites mean. More trusted sites, more authoritative sites. And so in general, if it's something where you're getting real traffic to a domain, that means that it's probably trusted by Google because a lot of people trust it.
[00:42:09] So they look at those metrics as, Oh, look, this is popular and popular means good in a lot of ways. This one. I don't even, this must have been from like a billion years. it looks like it's made on like Geosys
[00:42:26] Dylan: or something. Digging the web design
[00:42:27] Corey: here. Yeah, but look, there I am. HTTP man. That's Epic. So we know it's at least like six years old because I would have adopted that early.
[00:42:37] But I mean, these kinds of things. Back in the day, I would like search for every place that said anything about any kind of photographer. And if it was a free directory listing, I would grab it.
[00:42:48] Dylan: Oh, completely. I still think that's one of the first things that people should do, when they're trying to get in a new market or new photography business or just starting their SEO journey.
[00:42:57] Corey: Yup. Still works. And I mean, what Google is going to do here is if they crawl this page, they're going to extract these entities. They're going to. Basically look at this from the perspective, like, are all of these people that we know or trust, related to each other? How does this tell us something new about this new entity?
[00:43:18] There's a lot of potential benefits here. Now, one tip about these kinds of directories, I would say to stay away from anything that is geared toward the actual vendors, more so than the. the audience. So like, in other words, I don't know what this one is because it's kind of like just really old and there's not much to it.
[00:43:39] But a lot of these will say stuff like, submit your website to get better rankings in there. Like obviously building the directory just to get people to sign up, like it's geared towards the vendor, whereas like, you want these directories to be geared towards brides and grooms, people who are getting married.
[00:43:57]If that's the case or whatever they're looking for photographers, then you probably should sign up for it. Totally. If it's free.
[00:44:03] Dylan: Yep.
[00:44:06] Corey: This one, I was speaking at a conference. Someone wrote a summary of the conference.
[00:44:11] Dylan: That's awesome.
[00:44:11] Corey: And that is linked to me there. Same idea podcast, guest C, and this one, I think they linked to.
[00:44:22] Feel your photos a blaze, Corey Potter, like all of my websites got linked from this.
[00:44:27] Dylan: Yeah. That's awesome. And
[00:44:29] Corey: it's a pretty easy to get on. Totally. Like everyone's searching for guests all the time. Yup. Hey, Dylan, should we have guests on this podcasts
[00:44:36] Dylan: at some point? I think we should, but
[00:44:39] Corey: anyway, yeah, it's easy to get on podcast pretty much.
[00:44:42] So those are usually pretty good links. I mean, you're, it's like. Inherently building authority, right? Because completely podcast episodes are podcast guests, should it be authorities? So Google's like, Oh, they trusted them to be on their podcast. That must mean that they're an authority on a topic. And so now my name and this topic is kind of associated because of this podcast.
[00:45:06] Yeah. Okay. So super random one here. I just noticed this as I was going through my links. Product hunt is. I might my profile on product timed, it gives me a place to put my link and it's a followed link. how valuable is that? I'm not going to try to guess. Probably my, my opinion is it's probably not that valuable, but it's also.
[00:45:28] A real followed link from an authoritative site. Yeah. Probably not going to hurt anything to get it. In fact, I would recommend getting this kind of thing.
[00:45:35] Dylan: Yeah. We were just, we were talking before the show that we should create a spreadsheet and we're going to put that in the SEO group. I think, of of these kinds of opportunities that we find.
[00:45:46] Corey: Yeah. Also bonus tip here, if you're watching the video, you'll see I have this Chrome extension called a link miner, and you basically just click it once you're on a site and it will highlight all the links. So in green means it's a followed link. I think it highlights it in a different color if it's a no followed link, and then highlights it in red.
[00:46:05] If it's a broken link. Cool. I'm also good for the Wikipedia thing. Then you go to broken links. Yep. All right? offbeat bride. Hey, we got an offbeat bride went to, but it's not as good as yours. But this was a topic about how to have an unplugged wedding without, your you or your guests freaking out.
[00:46:22] And basically, mine is just a comment link here, but it is a comment that was adding to this conversation. And what I did is in the little space where it gives you to like put your website comment. I've linked to a specific article on my site, which was why you should not have an unplugged wedding. And I actually did this.
[00:46:42] I went to like every site that talked about unplugged weddings and just commented with like my experience and what I was thinking about this, and then linked to my blog posts. And that got quite a bit of traffic for a while because of that, those comments, and again, remember your goal is not. Purely just getting a link.
[00:46:59] It's also can I get people to notice what I'm talking about? Can I get real people to visit my website and then LinkedIn me or use me as a reference or wants to interview me? So anytime you can add value to a conversation, it's a good thing.
[00:47:15] Dylan: Just random. But the author of this post is in the course, I believe.
[00:47:20] Are you serious? Yeah. Dustin control came to a workshop of mine and then his wife joined her course, last week.
[00:47:26] Corey: Nice. Yeah. So maybe I should reach out and see if I can get a better link on this post. Nice. Nice. Nah, it's not worth it anymore. But if, if I were still trying to get wedding photography business and wanted to do that, I would do two things.
[00:47:39] If, if I knew that Dustin can trow now, I had a connection to him, I would say. A, can you like link somewhere at the end of your post and be like, however, there are some alternative ideas and you might wanna check out this article. They would probably do it. I, I would imagine totally too. I would let them know that offbeat bride is not secure.
[00:47:57] Yeah. They need to speak to someone.
[00:48:00] Dylan: exactly. Yeah.
[00:48:02]Corey: and then this one is a, a Roundup. I don't know why it's on a tag. Her Chi because technically it's not. It's a post. Anyway, it's a post about bow ties. It's wedding style, seven snazzy bow ties. And, basically it's on, was this coastal bride, coastal bride.com.
[00:48:23] And if you look at it, mine is here. It's a, it's a groom and he has like a cotton. Bow tie with a seersucker suit, and they called it preppy. Nice. And but the feeds the thing, not here, it says Corey Potter photographer via bell, the magazine. So actually what they did is they found this on another blog.
[00:48:45] And that one I know for a fact bell, the magazine featured me because of two bright lights.
[00:48:48] Dylan: Yeah. So
[00:48:49] Corey: I submitted on to bright lights. Then someone else found that feature onto your bright lights, took one of the photos and credited me there. I was pretty interesting.
[00:48:57] Dylan: For sure. And I've seen that quite a bit as well, where one feature can lead to multiple roundups from these different blogs.
[00:49:03] Corey: Yup. And this is a good one to end on, is something that we haven't even mentioned yet, which is surprising. this was a styled shoot.
[00:49:10] Dylan: Yeah. And,
[00:49:12]Corey: this was one that got picked up by a couple of wedding, what blooding blogs and. I, I'm really personally wasn't the kind of photographer who did styled shoots or had the kind of style that was really popular with wedding magazines at the time, but it was good enough and we worked with a couple of other vendors who kind of did the work of submitting it.
[00:49:35] Yeah. And so because of that, I think they had some relationships and were able to get it featured. This one photo though of them there, there's a couple of, they're standing under this light. Arch with some kind of Ivy or something on it and they're holding a sign and it says, and they lived happily ever after and they're kissing kind of cheesy, but it was so popular.
[00:49:57] Get pinned on Pinterest. I wonder if I can like look and see. Yeah. Now I don't know, but it had like 40 or 50,000 re-pins nice. And that one photo actually got me five or six more backlinks because of that getting so many pins. It got listed on a bunch of sites that were like. Wedding signs and unique wedding ideas and all that kind of stuff.
[00:50:19] So that's, that one. Shoots can be good because you can really focus on upcoming trends. Yeah. It the right photos and then get those onto those kinds of roundups and wedding blogs.
[00:50:31] Dylan: That is so true. That's amazing. I, I've only done two stylized shoots, I think in my career, but you're right. Both got featured, I think they not only got featured, but they got those, those secondary Roundup links as well.
[00:50:42] Corey: Yup. Well, we've run over. I'm that had to have been 20 or 30 ideas. I know I had 13 I don't know. Do you? How many do you have?
[00:50:50] Dylan: I lost count, but there's a lot. I
[00:50:53] Corey: think I had more than I did, so I had to have been at least 25 yep. We have a lot of good ideas there. It, it should have at least given you the right mindset to think about some specific things you can do to get links and notice how it often happens because of natural real world relationships or just being intentional about the content that you're posting.
[00:51:14] And sometimes I think both of us have probably gotten a lot of these links just because we were hustling and building our businesses, and we weren't necessarily trying to get these backlinks. But hopefully if you're . Working on it. It should give you some ideas about how you can be intentional and use your time most effectively.
[00:51:31] Dylan: Yeah, I think I've always had, backlink building is kind of a secondary priority that I'm in fairly intentional about since I started. I think I, I told myself that the time you'll spend building backlinks will really pay off in dividends if your entire site's ranking, sir. Okay. Improved and working and bringing in inquiries over time.
[00:51:49] So, I think it's a really efficient way to market yourself. it's, I think it's the same amount of work or less than, as trying to get like featured on a popular Instagram account, but instead of just having that one day of traffic, you get, the referral traffic benefit and you get the authority benefit that just helps your entire career.
[00:52:10] Corey: it's actually a good point. So Dylan, on one of the, previous episodes, we were kind of bantering and discussing how we wanted people to give us feedback. And now we have a solution to that. Totally. We have on our website, fuel your photos.com each episode will have its own page. And on that page, not only can you listen to the episode and a fancy player will put this on two X if you want to, which by the way, we both sound way smarter at
[00:52:35] Dylan: two X my opinion.
[00:52:37] Corey: And anyway, you can leave comments on those pages now. So that's where we would love for you to give us feedback. And what I would love to hear from you on this episode is. How have you gotten backlinks? What are some creative methods that you've used to get a specific backlink? It was an example, or what other questions do you have about backlinks that we can answer in future episodes?
[00:53:00] If we can get some of this rolling where people are asking questions, we'll come back in future episodes and answer these questions from these posts.
[00:53:08] Dylan: Totally. So yeah, just go to fuel your photos.com/podcast and you can and see our episodes and leave a comment.
[00:53:14] Corey: Awesome. Any other parting thoughts? I think you already kind of gave the best parting thoughts there a second ago, but
[00:53:19] Dylan: yeah, that's pretty much it.
[00:53:20]I hope you enjoyed this. I think it's one of our most requested topics and it was great to just chat about it for an hour.
[00:53:25] Corey: Yep. All right. See you guys later.
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