Chapter 16: Throw Away Your Form Letters (or 5 Principles to Better Outreach Link Building)

Editor's Note: Michael King shares five principles of effective outreach link building. When this post was originally published on The Moz Blog on Aug. 12, 2011, these principles were worth adhering to in order to dramatically improve the effectiveness of outreach emails. Two years later, in a post-Penguin world, these principles not only still work, but are essential for anyone using outreach emails as part of their link-building strategy. Their effectiveness will be likely be improved even further (and future-proofed) for those who suggest their content be shared, versus linked to.

I'm sitting on an air mattress in my new, unfurnished Brooklyn apartment listening to the sounds of the city outside the window after a long day of client meetings. At one point, I was thinking, “Man I wish I had bought that ugly sofa from Ikea so I'd have something to sit on,” and the next thing I knew, I was considering the Tao of Outreach Link Building.

I know, I know. Outreach link building is hard. It takes time. You send 1,000 emails and end up with seven links, but I believe that's largely because most search marketers approach link building the wrong way. In fact, I'm going to declare right now that link building should be the easiest and most fun part of SEO. Yep, I said it. Let me finish, though, before you head to the comments to tell me why I'm wrong.

First, let me say that I love ...

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