Viral Marketing & Link Bait Basic: Part III

Last week we touched on the subject of your target audience, namely knowing who they are, and giving them what they will want. Today we will expand on that concept, and discuss the different groups that make up the satirically named ‘Linkerati’. These elite members of the Internet are the main focus of linkbaiters and viral marketers, as they are the hubs from which information is most widely spread. Think of these people as the center of a spiders web, with each strand spinning from that middle point, moving out into a wider and wider circle. The idea behind a member of the Linkerati is that they own powerful websites, blogs, or positions of information sharing. They are separate from the average webmaster whose site may or many not rank high in Google ratings, or receive a wide amount of traffic on a daily basis. They are a source for people to go to for information, entertainment, or services. From there, other Internet users will pass content along, ensuring it is seem by the highest number of people possible. Some of these Linkerati include:


Bloggers are generally considered the first in the Linkerati tier. There are several out there that manage to hold positions of accepted Internet authority, such as the writers on TechCrunch, or bloggers that write for major news publications. Because of the well known status of these bloggers, they reach a number of people, and their opinions are quite often highly respected. Their advice is followed, their recommendations taken into consideration, and content linked from them is widely read.

Social Media Gurus

Social media networking has taken the World Wide Web by storm, creating a full industry out of combined creativity. Out of this industry a new type of position has formed, and that is the position of a content submitter. These are people who are highly active in content submission sites such ad Digg or Reddit. They are one of the underestimated superpowers on the Internet, and are a major resource for linkbaiters who know their craft. Think of these submitters as the webocracy. They find, link to, and vote on content on a mass scale, ultimately deciding on what becomes popular, and what fades into the background of the never-ending pages of the web. They can massively bump your exposure into the highest levels of Internet stardom if you catch the attention of enough of them. The problem is they tend to be anti-viral marketing, and can spot a linkbaiter from a mile away. Make sure your content is strong before you try to trick these guys.

Journalists & Media Personalities

The chances of you getting a nod from the New York Times or The View are, admittedly, small. However, getting a link or mention from a local journalist or media celebrity isn’t so far fetched. This is one of the fastest, and most reliable, ways of getting sudden and extreme exposure, and the higher up the media totem pole you go, the better the results will be. But the best part about this type of exposure is that there is no such thing as bad references. Have you ever heard the expression ‘Any publicity is good publicity’? In cases like this, it can be especially true, especially if you have a traffic driven site. Just don’t deliberately try to expose yourself in a negative light…the last thing you want is to become a piece of local human interest, only to be hated forever because you weren’t cautious about your content. These are the highest in the world of the Linkerati, the ‘senior members’, if you will. But they are not the only ones that can prove beneficial for the discerning and crafty linkbaiter. Next week we will cover the other three groups, as well as how you can attract the attention of each one, creating a nice bit of exposure for yourself and your website.

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