I performed an unusual backlinking campaign for a mid-sized NYC based software company. The result ended with the acquisition of dozens of PR5's and PR6's at a cost of approximately $1.50. Here's how:

I scouted potential site owners that would have interest in owning a complimentary copy of the company's software.

I contacted these site owners/webmasters and shipped free copies with an MSRP of $99 - $299 in exchange for a simple inbound link. Everyone was so enthusiastic about putting the links on their sites after receiving the free sofware. Many even put links and free banners on their homepages! Each copy sent cost the software company only $1.50!

I am currently applying the same model for a client who manufactures garments. The production and shipping costs are inexpensive, yet the products are potentially valuable to the right site owners.

Offering site owners and webmasters something other than a reciprocal link (many are bothered daily by these requests), may be a good idea for your backlinking campaign as well. If you are an e-commerce merchant, it may be a good idea to offer discounts or products at cost.

A final note: Donating products or services to non-profit organizations is a valuable technique as part of a quality backlinking campaign. In addition to the warmth and goodness you'll feel inside, many orgaizations will repay your kindness with a thank you and a link to your site. And non-profits usually have decent, good, or excellent PR.

I hope my tips offer you some insight on effective link building strategies.

Avi A. Wilensky

I'm suffering from a case of deja vu. I don't remember if you had posted this strategy before, or if I simply read this post a couple of hours ago! Goodness gracious ... it's been a long day.

But I am definitely in agreement that a large problem is that so many people receive link exchanges that many don't bother anymore. For example, look at DaniWeb - of course I know link building is important, so I took the time to build an automated system ;) (albeit it's a bit more feature rich than the typical link directory).

In any case, definitely a good tip, Avi. Now if only I could think of something to offer .......... ;)

Dani, what else could you offer other than free technical support?? lol

EDIT: 500 posts - yay!

Great tip, but it could get costly and cumbersome over time. Regardless, if you have the ability to do something like this, its definitely something that will probably really help your PR.

Forum owners can compile huge and valuable amounts of information usually already structured for people trying to learn.

Why not put all this together and offer it as a *free* eBook?

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Great idea! I'm a software developer, and have handed out a some free licenses before, but it has never occurred to me to hand them out in exchange for links. Mmmmmmm 1 way links, luverly!

Yay! I figured out a way for all you software developers to get free inbound links! Feels good to help.

Good idea, I will try it on my Web hosting site and also my industrial tools site.