7 Authentic Ways to Get Free Backlinks for SEO (+ Free Cheat Sheet)

August 17, 2017
7 authentic ways to get free backlinks + how backlinks affect SEO

First up, let’s jump right into making sure you know what they are. Backlinks are simply links from other websites to your own website, and there are lots of straightforward ways to get free backlinks.

While you should never buy backlinks, you will need to earn them. I say “earn” because there is some effort involved, but the rewards are plentiful!

Why bother earning backlinks?

There are hundreds of algorithm elements which affect your ranking and how people search continues to evolve, but one factor that doesn’t change is: the presence of web links.

For Google, Bing and other search engines, backlinks are one of the more important ranking factors. They crawl the web 24/7 to understand how pages are connected, through web links on your website and beyond. They also determine the quality of those links.

Inbound links, where you link to other pages on your website, and outbound links, where you link to other people’s content, are both important SEO strategies; but earning backlinks tells Google YOU have authority – that your content is relevant and interesting enough for other sites to link to.

There are other benefits too.

Backlinks help you develop relationships, as well as growing your authority and traffic.

Quality backlinks nurture relationships + improve your rankings, meaning more traffic and more ideal clients. twitter icon

The word “backlinks” might sound dodgy, like a back-alley transaction at midnight! But there are several legitimate ways you can have other people, including influencers, linking to your blog.

Think of it as link-building.

Easy Ways to Get Free Backlinks

Whether you’re a service provider, product creator, local business or completely online, below you’ll find an array of opportunities to have backlinks to your website.

7 non-sketchy ways to get listed on someone else’s site {AKA link-building / earning backlinks}

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Sunday Link Love: How to Grow Your Email List, Website Psychology & Pricing Strategy

August 13, 2017
SLL 813 Email List Psychology Pricing (1)

Sunday Link Love is a recurring series of hand-picked digital marketing and entrepreneur lifestyle links from around the web.  The links are very, very rarely affiliate links, but if any are, you’ll see an * beside the link. Along with sharing my recent favorites, it’s also a way for me to keep an extra-personal touch to my blog. Social media is great, but my blog is still my home base!

Anticipating… I’ve spent the past two days moving my SEO for Solopreneurs ecourse to the Teachable platform. I’m loving the features so far and excited to start offering an affiliate program for the course! More details coming soon.

Loving… Cooler weather and a few sunny days in Pittsburgh this week. Working outside and even having a client meeting outside were highlights of my week.

Reading… I’ve been listening to the audio book The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins while running the past few weeks. It’s a super simple idea but has already made an impact on motivating me to do things I don’t want to do (like running).

Watching… Since I’ve had a lot of late nights working on tedious projects (like moving my course to a new platform) I’ve zoomed through a bunch of Netflix series the past week.

Any recommendations for shows that are good to have on for some background entertainment while doing tasks like that?

Now on to this week’s round up!

Marketing + Entrepreneur Lifestyle Round-up:

» We’re constantly being told how important growing our email list is. But the question is: how? Allison from Wonderlass is sharing her excellent 7 strategies she uses to get over 3K subscribers each month.

» Speaking of subscribers, what happens once they sign up for your newsletter? How do you keep them coming back for more? How do you build that relationship with them? Don’t miss this post on 14 ways to take your newsletter from half-ass to bad-ass.

» Workflows. Love ’em or hate ’em they can make your business runner smoother — giving you more time to focus and work on the projects that will move your business forward. Creating work flows doesn’t have to be hard. A good place to start is creating a client workflow template.

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Blogging, Business

5 Simple Steps for a More Secure WordPress Website

August 9, 2017
5 simple steps for a more secure wordpress website & blog

Your website is your hub and home base. You dedicate hours worth of work for blog posts, respond genuinely to each comment you receive, and carefully crafted your About page to reflect your personality.

So what’s the absolute worst thing you can imagine happening?

Losing all of that work, right? What if one day your site was just …gone?

Unfortunately we live in a world where people (and bots) hack into websites, gather personal information, and leave our lives a total mess.

Thankfully, there are ways to protect yourself from cyber attacks. Today’s post is from Mia VanValkenburg, a fellow digital marketing strategist, and she’s breaking down 5 simple steps for a more secure WordPress website.

P.S. Haven’t started your blog yet, but are doing your research to prepare? Don’t miss my post on how to start your WordPress blog in just 5 minutes!

If you’re running a blog or business online, there’s a good chance you’re using WordPress to power your site.

WordPress is the most popular content management system, powering 27% of all websites on the internet. And although WordPress employs a team specifically devoted to finding, identifying, and fixing security issues, it is not immune to vulnerabilities.

Take basic security precautions by following these 5 simple steps for a secure WordPress website. twitter icon

5 Steps for a More Secure WordPress Site & Blog

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5 Ways You Can Stop Interrupting Your Ideal Clients (& Why You Should)

August 2, 2017
5 ways to use inbound marketing effectively to stop interrupting your ideal clients

There is a myriad of opportunities to connect with your potential ideal clients and customers, but the WAY in which you do so can mean the difference between enchanting them into brand ambassadors or annoying them so much that they’re put off for life.

While it’s important to take a holistic view of your marketing methods, I believe many business owners simply don’t realize the full power of inbound marketing and end up sticking with only interrupting their audience instead.

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Sunday Link Love: Single-Tasking, Profitable Sales Funnels + Compelling Brand Stories

July 30, 2017
SLL 730 Single-Tasking, Sales Funnels, Brand Stories

Sunday Link Love is a recurring series of hand-picked digital marketing and entrepreneur lifestyle links from around the web.  The links are very, very rarely affiliate links, but if any are, you’ll see an * beside the link. Along with sharing my recent favorites, it’s also a way for me to keep an extra-personal touch to my blog. Social media is great, but my blog is still my home base!

Anticipating… My new headshots and branding shots from Porter Loves Photography! The duo behind the Porter Loves companies are amazing. If you’re around Pittsburgh and need family/event photography OR need help marketing your artwork, check out Porter Loves Photography and Porter Loves Creative.

Loving… I’ve been feeling an increase in creative energy lately, so I have a few art projects lined up. It’s been awhile since I’ve done anything non-digital, so I’m excited for the return of inspiration.

Reading… Truly Madly Guilty, Liane Moriarty’s latest book, for a nice fiction summer read.

Listening… 30 Seconds to Mars in anticipation of seeing them with Muse this week! See you Tuesday, Jared Leto.

Watching… Game of Thrones (of course), and Gypsy is my new Netflix love.

What are you watching this week?

Now on to this week’s round up!

Marketing + Entrepreneur Lifestyle Round-up:

» Growth hacking is one of those terms that seems to have popped up everywhere and gets easily thrown around, but what does it really mean? As you may know, I’m a big fan of organically growing your brand and business. Chelsea explains what growth hacking is plus 20 simple ways you can start growing your email list today.

» For the past little while, I’ve been making some changes to my brand. One key part of improving your brand is figuring out the compelling brand stories you should be sharing. This will help you to build strong connections with your followers and potential clients, which are vital to building a business with the capacity for continual growth.

»  I’m definitely guilty of “multitasking” – a.k.a getting distracted – whether it be in my business or my personal life.  I’m also a believer in taking care of yourself so that your business can grow. Jo is sharing 13 reminders for single tasking and being more intentional with your time, which can actually help you be more productive.

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Skip the Sales Pitch: 5 Steps to Authentically Connect & Grow Your Audience

July 26, 2017
Skip the Sales Pitch: 5 Steps to Authenically Connect & Grow Your Audience

Today’s post is from Deborah Fingerlow who’s explaining why it’s more important than ever to authentically connect with people, and she’s sharing five vital steps for doing so.

What if you start with the intention of connecting rather than selling, when it came to growing your audience?

Chances are, people will open up and provide more useful information if they don’t immediately feel like they’ve stepped into a sales pitch. (I’m willing to bet you know that feeling yourself).

Imagine what you could do with the information of your dream client’s ultimate goals, biggest business struggles or fears… What would you create? What struggles would you eliminate in your business?

The good news is that the steps to authentically connect don’t just apply to business. Use these in your personal life, too, and watch the magic happen.


If you’re anything like me, your email is flooded with messages that urge you to do something. Earn a six-figure salary. Get more emails opened. Increase your conversion rate. Just do it now.  

It can be overwhelming.  

Connecting en masse is not an easy task.

I understand the need to promote your business; we all have to do it. A good friend of mine has a physical therapy practice, and I’ve been uncoordinated enough in my life to benefit from his expertise. Surprisingly, much of what I’ve learned applies to my business life as well.

Sometimes you have to swim against the tide. twitter icon

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14 Easy Ways to Drive Traffic to Your (New) Blog

July 19, 2017

I get this question all the time: “How do I get people to read my blog?”

Whether you’ve just started a blog or you’ve been blogging for a while, you can’t just expect people to find you without any effort on your part!

Once you’ve got (at least) a handful of value-packed posts, driving traffic to a new blog, or boosting traffic to an existing one, involves three main activities: community building, SEO, and promotion.

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Sunday Link Love: Killer Landing Pages, Summer Business Tips + Instagram Myths

July 16, 2017
SLL 716 Community Blogging

Sunday Link Love is a recurring series of hand-picked digital marketing and entrepreneur lifestyle links from around the web.  The links are very, very rarely affiliate links, but if any are, you’ll see an * beside the link. Along with sharing my recent favorites, it’s also a way for me to keep an extra-personal touch to my blog. Social media is great, but my blog is still my home base!

Listening… Is anyone else pumped about the new Emo Project station from SiriusXM? I have no shame in wanting to relive my high school music days.

Exploring… Last weekend I went to a Third Eye Blind concert (my favorite band) in Cleveland and we did a little exploring. This weekend we’re seeing James Taylor in Pittsburgh and likely showing my boyfriend’s family around.

Loving… The entrepreneurs and business ladies I’ve been meeting in Pittsburgh. On Thursday I had a coffee date to talk analytics, and on Monday I posted an interview with two ladies who started a local female entrepreneur group. Take a peek if you missed it!

Reading… Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work (wordy title, I know). A coworker sent this book to me after a long conversation we had about flow states. I’m about 25% of the way through and find it fascinating so far.

For fiction, I recently finished The Serpent King, which is a young adult novel right in line with the others I love (underdog boy, quirky girl, etc.).

What are you listening to and reading this week?

Now on to this week’s round up!

Marketing + Entrepreneur Lifestyle Round-up:

» As much as I love my business being an entrepreneur unquestionably has its ups and downs! As many of you know, I think finding the time for self-care is critical to running a successful business. Hailey shares 5 ways you can reboot your mindset and get back on track when you hit a slump!

» If you’ve been following along on Instagram lately you know I’ve been in total launch mode! One of the key tools of any launch is creating a landing page for your product or service. But finding inspiration and knowing what to include isn’t always easy, even if you’re using a great tool like Leadpages*. This impressive Top 10 Landing Page Roundup can definitely get you started! Plus you may recognize one of the pages 😉

» In the summer months, when things slow down and the sun is shining, many of your clients and followers are busy taking vacations.  Here are 4 great tips that you can do to keep your own business moving forward.

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How to Be More Productive by Improving Your Morning Routine

July 12, 2017
how to be more productive by changing your morning routine

As I always say, when you feel your best, you’ll do your best.

Morning routines are a key part of that.

Today’s post is from Julie Bourbeau who’s sharing how, as a single mom and entrepreneur, she was able to change her morning routine and learn to live and work smarter (not harder) after landing in the hospital.

I think we can all learn important lessons from this post! And who isn’t trying to be more productive?


Up until 15 months ago, here’s what my weekday mornings would look like:

I would get up at 7:20 am, grab a coffee, get the kids ready for school, fix breakfast, get the kids on the school bus, and then get to work.

As a single mom and entrepreneur, I had become all about getting as much done as possible, in as little time as possible, running myself into the ground and to the point where, in December of 2015, I landed in the hospital with muscle spasms due to stress.

I vowed right there and then to slow down and to find a way to live and work smarter, not harder. I even went so far as to not set any goals for 2016… That’s how much I wanted to slow down!

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Chasing Dreams Interview Series

Chasing Dreams Interview with Emily Levenson & Kate Stoltzfus: Empowering Female Entrepreneurs in Pittsburgh

July 10, 2017
empowering female entrepreneurs pittsburgh

As a digital entrepreneur, finding a support system was so much harder than I thought it would be.

Don’t get me wrong- I’ve met tons of amazing people online since I’ve started, and I’ve loved watching them all evolve and grow their businesses.

But finding a local support system has been another story.

I took my SEO & digital marketing business full time in 2012. I had just moved to the panhandle of Florida and didn’t know a soul there. I tried researching local entrepreneur groups, contacted a few local bloggers, went to a Meetup event… but nothing really panned out.

So a few years later when I moved to Pittsburgh, I was excited to try again.  During a late night Google session, I came across Emily Leveson. I saw she was co-founder of a local female entrepreneur group and had also attended The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, so I contacted her immediately. I eventually signed up for the Propelle Rock It! Group and am so thankful I did.

Pittsburgh Propelle Female Entrepreneur Group

First Propelle event I attended in the winter.

I love having a local support system. As much as I love the “digital nomad” lifestyle and have strong introvert tendencies, it can still get lonely!

I’m so excited to share today’s interview with you. Emily and Kate are the founders of Propelle and are both doing amazing things (but I’ll let them fill you in!). They touch on so many of the same ups and downs we all go through as entrepreneurs, from losing clients and dealing with rejection to staying inspired and juggling a variety of exciting projects.

Let’s dig in!

P.S. Speaking of entrepreneurs, I have a special announcement at the end of this post!

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