You may want to make your idea look polarized such that it especially
appeals to one group and/or especially offends another. If other
people are fighting over guessing your intentions, you will get quality
Make your link bait look comprehensive.
Perception is more important than reality.
Most writing is quite wasteful in nature, because you have to
trim off much of what you create.
By creating ordered lists of factoids, an incomplete story can
look well researched, even if it is not. For example, if you
make a list of 101 ways to do x, people may give a few ideas
and some feedback, but nobody is going to sit and list 383
ways to do x.
Cite research, further reading, and link out to related resources from
within your content. It makes your story look well-researched and
associates your work with other trusted names or brands in your field.
You may even want to cite a few people that you want links from.
Dress up your link bait using quality design and/or relevant images
from sites like Istockphoto.
Monetizing Link Bait
Make your link bait easy to link at.
Don’t over-monetize it right out of the gate. Make it look like research
that is easy to cite rather than a piece of commercial information.
In Fame vs Fortune: Micropayments and Free Content, Clay Shirky stressed
the importance of gaining authority to gain scale and distribution if you
want to make money online.
Link bait rarely makes much money or directly pays for itself from the
direct traffic. However, it has amazing indirect value.
People who pay attention to the active portions of the web are
far more likely to be web publishers than those who do not.
Even if people do not link to your link bait idea right away, you
still gain mindshare and brand recognition amongst a group of
people who have significant authority.
Many search engines, such as Google, use authority centric
relevancy algorithms. Editorial links are seen as votes or signs
In Google, getting a link to any part of your site will help make
all pages on your site more authoritative.
Two weeks after launching a linkbait, my Google traffic and site
earnings more than doubled on a site that was getting thousands of
visitors and making over $100 a day from AdSense before the viral