Something which often gets overlooked on SEO link building strategies lists is Crowdfunding (sometimes called crowd financing or crowd funding).
There are hundreds of crowdfunding sites around and hundreds of companies on each of them pitching for investment (donations).
Typically a company looking for funding offers a range of fixed amounts you can donate to their project/business. The amounts you can invest normally range from £1 – £1000 and each donation amount has a reward assigned to it.
Often the smaller amounts get you some kind of small thank you gesture or a product sample and the larger donations get you coverage on their promotional materials and larger scale publicity.
What I absolutely love about using crowdfunding for building links is:
- Cheap and easy link. Very often donating one of the smaller amounts get you a link or thank you on their website. This is easy for them to do and costs them no money so they see it as being less attractive to a donor than say your logo on corporate printed materials which they reserve for the larger donations. Except for link builders this reward and price point is perfect! I often find projects who will add your link in exchange for the £1 donation…
- Link for life. It’s unlikely your link will be removed. They won’t want future investors/donors to see that ‘thank you’ links are removed once they get the money and they will also feel a moral obligation to keep your link live as you donated during their infancy.
- Donations for every niche. There’s so many projects/businesses looking for funding you can normally find a project that’s spot on or related in some way to most SEO topics you’ll encounter. Often the projects are categorised making them easy to search through quickly. Sometimes if you can’t find the perfect project for a niche you’re working on there’s something related.
- Could be huge. Some of these projects/businesses MAY just become very successful in a few years. That £1 link now could be worth a LOT more down the line on a site which becomes impenetrable to get links from once it takes off.
- Brand association. Following on from point 4 you are connected to that brand for life. If they become big there’s association there and also inferred wisdom that you donated in advance of a project becoming successful.
- Publicity. Aside from the link you might also get publicly thanked on Twitter/Facebook etc which reflects well on your business and gets you additional positive publicity.
- You’re helping. You got the link you were after but you also helped someone launch their project/business too. Nice to get a link with the knock on effect of helping the person you get it from. Sometimes I find myself going a donation level up than I have to in order to get a link because a project really connects with me. Win Win!
Crowdfunding link building considerations:
- You might end up on a page with 100 other donations. Not ideal but can you complain for £1?
- The project might flop after x months/year and the site with it.
- The link might end up getting removed if they revamp the site once they become successful and forget to include that thanks page.
- Normally donations are not collected unless the project reaches it’s funding target. Don’t assume because you pledge a donation you’ve got the link so check back on donations periodically
- Brand association was mentioned earlier but this could also work against you if in the future the project takes a direction you don’t like or want to be connected with.
Have you used crowdfunding for your linkbuilding excercises before? Is there anything you think should be added to what’s above? Just use the comments..