It seems that every post that I have read about link building in the last few months starts with the words 'since penguin' or 'in a post penguin world' or 'since the black and white furry apocalypse' . This is all fine - and a couple of them actually contain some decent advice. But what you really want to know is what you should be doing next year.
How do you move from link building to link strategy?
I'm not here to preach about relationship building and whether they have any real ROI for a small to medium business. I'm not here to preach about #RCS or whether the guest blogging bubble has burst.
What I am going to do is pull together 16 link building posts from the last few months (by people who are smarter than me) that will help you draft out a real link build strategy for the next 12 months - one that is sustainable and that is actually actionable.
Local link building
The Complete Guide to Link Building with Local Events - by Kane Jamison
A great post that covers everything that you need to know for earning links using local events - Kane covers everything that you require to get moving with this strategy in 2013.
Unmissable Local Link Building Opportunities by James Agate
Although James is best known for his epic posts on guest blogging tactics this post gives some actionable insight into how small businesses can actually build links that will make a difference to them.
Quick and Dirty Citation Finder for Local Business by Gaz Copeland
Citations are still important for any local campaign - if you don't have budget for citation tools you can always use the techniques in this post by Gaz for some quick tips for keeping ahead of the competition.
Using forums - the right way!
Non-spammy Tips for Link Building with Forums by Michael Smith
Gone are the days of links in your signature (they should have passed years ago) - this post by Michael looks at how you can leverage forums to build the kind of connections that lead to great links - he even covers getting clients on board for agency types.
Forum Participation Rubric for Ecommerce Link Building by Don Rhoades
One of my favourite posts of the year - Don looks at using forums to build links that have real value for clients - building for traffic rather than link value.
Using commenting - the right way!
What You Comment Upon Now Echoes in Bar Crawl Commentary by Anthony Pensabene
Anthony has been everywhere this year and this post shows why he is becoming one of the most respected guys in our industry.
General link building posts
8 link building methods that market your site by Jason Acidre
Jason is well know for his epic posts on link building but I really like this one over at the Raven blog - quick actionable tips for small businesses that don't have a massive budget.
An Open Discussion on the Current State of Link Building featuring Chris Dyson, Sean Revell, Don Rhodes, Peter Attia and Nick Eubanks
Peter hosted this over at Cucumber Nebula - it started life as a Google Doc and turned into one of the best posts of the year - covering many aspects of link building and what you should be doing moving foward.
The Death of Link Building and the Rebirth of Link Earning - Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin
I tried to stay away form the usual suspects but this video from Rand encapsulates where link building will moving over the next year or two.
Improving your outreach
You Can get Links from Cold Outreach by Chris Dyson
We all know that content marketing was one of the hottest topics of the year - but if you want to succeed your outreach needs to match that quality. This post by Chris was one of of a few that he covered on his blog.
The 3 Ps of Great Outreach Emails: Personalized, Positioned, and Persuasive by Matt Gratt
Matt has also covered psychology of outreach and link building several times this year on the Buzzstream blog - all of which are highly recommended.
3 Ways to Drastically Improve Outreach for "Big Content" [Case Study] by Gregory Ciotti
This post by Gregory didn't get as much love as it deserved - well written and researched and a gateway to some of the other great posts that Gregory has written.
Using Images for Better "Oscar the Grouch" Outreach by Anthony Pensabene
Further reading: Books that aren't about link building but will help you with your link building (!)
10 Books Every Link Builder Should Read That Aren't About Link Building by Matt Gratt
The 3 Best Link Building Books (That Aren't About Link Building) by Michael Smith
How non-SEO Books Have Taught me to be a Better SEO by Paddy Moogan