When you have good content but people aren't linking to you, what options do you have? What can you do safely without penalty? A Search Engine Watch Forums webmaster asks this very question:
A few days ago a colleague suggested that we come up with an "incentive program" for link building. I don't want it to appear that I'm bribing or attaining links in an unethical manner but I need some help.
There's some great feedback from some well-esteemed industry experts.
Debra Mastaler writes that you should focus your efforts within the community that is most familiar with your products before branching out:
Start by extending the offer to current customers, vendors, family and friends and then branch into any Associations you belong to. It's much smarter to market to an established group of people who already buy your "stuff" and like you than hunt around for new prospects.
She adds that it is a good to seek out community sites as well:
Search on "community" + "your keywords" to find social networking sites hosting your demographic and get involved. You'd be amazed to find out what some of these sites are offering their membership in the way of networking and promotion opportunities.
Our editor Chris Boggs also contributes and points out the discussion from Matt Cutts on paid links. It's definitely something a brand new link builder should consider so that there are no penalties for trading links.
Forum discussion at Search Engine Watch.