How to write quality linkbait: the five Ws

Posted on March 6, 2010


The five Ws are an old standby for the news industry. Every journalist learns that a good news story has to explain the what, who, where, when and why. A secret of all writing is that the five Ws are of infinite interest to any reader. If you want to draw them in, set out the exact circumstances of the story. The five Ws is something you can use in a different way when creating linkbait for search engine optimisation.

Good linkbait needs to have a certain something that will fascinate Internet users. This is getting harder and harder to discover as more businesses compete for attention. A knowledge of the five Ws will give you an advantage when creating the best limkbait content.

Who: Who is your target for this particular piece of linkbait? Linkbait tends to be more successful when it is specifically targeted. It’s much harder to entice a general audience with a piece of content, as individual people don’t have general interests. They have individual ones. Figure out what the specific interests are of your target user groups and aim your linkbait toward them.

What: What aspect of your proposed linkbait will make your target group pass it on? You need to know what makes your bait ‘tasty.’

Where: Where do your target groups communicate on the net? This is where you’ll need to post links to your linkbait.

When: When you post linkbait is becoming a more important concern over time. Internet users are more active during certain periods. Those periods will be even more specific for user groups.

Why: Why should users link to you? You need to make this clear within the linkbait itself. A strong message will point them in the right direction.

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