Viral Marketing & Link Bait Basic: Part I

Over the last decade the Internet has become the primary resource for laying the groundwork and expanding on business principles. It is for this reason that more people are turning to various marketing methods that will help them compete with the millions of businesses that cover every edge of the endless World Wide Web. This 10-week article series will be dedicated to going over the uses, basics, and benefits of two popular online business models: viral marketing and link baiting.

We will start today by looking at what these two marketing methods are, and how they can be used to promote a company, product, service, or website. From there we will explore different ways of using these methods every week, as well as finding examples of when they are used. By the end you should be close to an expert in the world of SEO, and able to begin applying these principles to your own site.

Link Bait

link bait

Link baiting is the process of creating anything which attracts backlinking, or ‘baits links’. The purpose is to generate enough interest in whatever it is you promoting in order to drive traffic, and so increase your visibility. It is one of the most common methods of SEO, and a much safer way of using links to expand than resorting to spam.

(Spam would be posting a link on other sites, in emails, or in directories where there is no purpose behind the post. For example, using a copy/paste statement on blog posts that include your link in order to draw people to your site. This rarely works, and will usually result in you being reported as a spammer, posts being deleted, and your IP being banned).

These principles will all apply if you are trying to increase sales, though that is rarely the main goal of link baiting, and is usually just an effect that occurs during the process. Think of it as a bonus, while you work to create lasting visibility and traffic. Think of baiting as a way to generating a stable source of revenue, rather than a short term boost or promotion.

Now, the general concept of link baiting is not enough to explain it. To do that, we have to look at the context in which it is being used within this article. That is through viral marketing, which changes the way link baiting is used, even if it doesn’t change it’s general purpose. It is the powerful mix of the two that will bring you significantly improved results.

Viral Marketing

viral marketing at its best

Technically, viral marketing is simply the process of sharing information via the Internet, be that through emails, text messages, blogs, or any other resource that can be used to transport a message. That information is sent with the express purpose of increasing the visibility of it’s own message, and growing exponentially.

A good example of this is a viral video. Someone creates a video that is meant to be seen by as many people online as possible. They post that video on their social networking page. Their friends view it, and then post it to their social networking pages, and perhaps to a profile on another site. Those friends that view it on another site email it to their list of friends, and so on and so forth.

As that video is spread, the information becomes viral, whether on purpose or by accident. When this is done by someone who is wanting to share information, such as in an advertisement, it is viral marketing. When they use it to attract people to their websites by offering a link, site name, or to advertise a product or service, they will put that link either in the video or the description.

This is, of course, only one example. There are a number of ways that link baiting and viral marketing can be used to draw attention, and to encourage backlinking. We will discuss them, in the coming weeks, but for now we will conclude our first installment, with a little assignment. Take a look at a few websites that offer video content, especially if can be uploaded by third parties. An example of this would be YouTube. You can see a number of examples of viral marketing and link baiting at these sites, as well as backlinking opportunities.

Until next week!


  1. Viral Marketing & Link Bait Basic: Part II | eCommerce and Marketing News & Tips says:

    [...] week we took some time to look at exactly what linkbait is, and how it works within the context of viral marketing. We learned that linkbaiting was the [...]

  2. Ezequiel Bernat says:

    Thank you – I’m always looking for good tips, hints and ideas to improve – I’ve been researching information now for quite , and I’m always trying to come up with interesting ideas for visitors to my site. I’ll be sure to check back soon for more


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