Most Common Link Exchange Email Mistake

Most Common Link Exchange Email Mistake

Posted by on Dec 19, 2010 in SEO

I got an email from Jo who was asking me for a review of his link exchange email and he agreed that I can post our Q&A.

At least I can help with one link – since they’re so darn difficult to get… πŸ˜‰

Here’s our Q&A:

Jo: I’ve been doing my best on manually trying to get links, by using Yahoo site explorer. So far I haven’t gotten a single reply from the websites I’ve contacted, and although I know you think this is probably normal, I would like to send my template email to you for review just to make sure (you can find it below).

Please feel free to point out what it is you would change, remove or add to ensure the best result. Obviously I change the template slightly for each mail I send, since some of the websites are blogs and accept articles rather than exchange links.


Subject: Question from a stevia related website owner

Dear NAME,

My name is Jo and I maintain a website about stevia, the all-natural sweetener. This little plant has changed my life and I want to share my passion with others.

Although my site is still young, I’m constantly adding quality content to it, and my goals are to provide the most information on stevia found on a single website, and to answer all the questions or concerns people may have about stevia as well as other sweeteners, while offering them recipes to try out, teaching about how to grow stevia, and more!

Currently, I’m working on getting links so my site can grow. I just stumbled upon your website and e-mail address, and saw that you have a page on stevia. I was wondering if you would be willing to exchange links with me, between any one of my site’s pages and your stevia page, so I can help the search engines find my website.

You can find my home page at

I also very much appreciate any feedback you are willing to give me. I’ve worked very hard on it, hoping the enthusiasm will jump right off the pages! If you have any questions, you can reach me at this address: jo @ …

Best regards,

Jo from


Tomaz: If I got an email like that and read your explanation, my first response would be “I don’t care.” I don’t care how stevia has changed your life, I don’t care what your goals are, I don’t care if you’re working on links now.

All that people care about is themselves. πŸ˜‰ (until we’re friends)

So you need to talk to the webmaster and how they can benefit from your link and how you like some specific part of their site – or that it matches your content. Do not talk about yourself or your story because 99% of the people are not interested and you’re wasting their valuable time by forcing them to read long explanations.

Most will not appreciate that and immediately delete your email. So get to the point quickly!

Also, build more links now with article submissions and other crappy πŸ˜‰ ways of building links (go through Link Building Checklist from the SBI TNT section).

You can also comment on a few related blogs a few times and have the owner get to know you. Contribute. Then, after 2 weeks or so contact them and remind them who you are and then ask for a link exchange.

That should help…

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  1. Thanks, Jo, for allowing us to benefit from some tough love from Tomaz.:)


  2. Tim: I don’t mind getting some tough love when there’s to be learned from the experience. And especially when I receive a backlink, lol ^^

    I thought the honest approach would work because in my niche, I’m having to deal with a lot of female vegans and their blogs (for some strange reason 90% of them are called Jennifer – I’m not kidding).

    But it’s harder than I thought to find a template that actually works. I still don’t really have much of a clue where I’m going to go with it. Seems trial and error’s the only way forward πŸ˜‰


  3. Great timing!
    “Also, build more links now with article submissions and other crappy πŸ˜‰ ways of building links (go through Link Building Checklist from the SBI TNT section).”
    Thanks Jo for allowing Tomaz to point us all in the right direction.


  4. Tomaz,

    Would just like to say that I have indeed received my first link using my ahem… ’emotional’ template :-p

    So you can change that 99% of yours to 90%! Yeah baby! Happy sugar free holidays everyone!


  5. Exchanging links is tough. I got my mom on SBI now, and I was explaining the concept to her. It’s hard to reach out there and establish quality contacts. She understands the creating content part, but the linking is a whole new world to her. Email is tough for her, so my goodness will it be a struggle for her to link up. I’m trying to help her out, so I’m doing things like this – where I comment on a post and leave her site linked instead of mine.

    I hope she gets it, but I shouldn’t be too worried. She’s only been on the web for one month. At least I have excellent sources like Freedom Ideas to help me teach her what to do and not to do.


  6. I’m lucky in that I managed to stumble on a decent formula for link exchange emails from the start. I send fairly short emails, and try to give the webmaster what they want.

    I read around their website a bit and form a quick profile of who it’s for and what it’s about, then position my site as a useful resource. Making friends pretty much always works for getting links as well.

    I have never got a negative response with my emails, only a few polite refusals because of my adsense or something. Most of them are one way links as well.

    Roughly 20% of the cold emails I send result in links (took me 248 emails to get 50 solid links, mostly on PR3 and PR4 pages) which I’m happy with. 10 or 15 link emails per week over the long run should work out very well….


  7. @Sebastian: are you talking about your site I guess much of your success can be attributed to the fact that the nature of your site’s topic is usually enough for people to link to. have you tried that same strategy with a bit more dry topic? like product reviews? I bet it will be much harder to get a link exchange, not saying one-way link for free.


  8. Nick: you’re probably right yes. My newer site has a topic which is a lot dryer, but I’m still going to focus pitching the value of the site’s information to the right types of website/webmaster (haven’t started link-building yet).

    I think that the site’s topic probably has less to do with getting links than the way the topic is approached and the style of the writing/quality of the information.

    One site could be about a topic that people like to link to, but the content could be dull rehashed bullshβ€’t. Another site could be about a boring, competitive topic, but if the information is presented interestingly and uniquely, and pitched to the right people, then I think the latter would get links more easily.

    It’s the fundamental law upon which Google was founded: people link to valuable, unique content. The way I see it I’m just pointing out to people my valuable content and letting them make the call.


  9. “You can also comment on a few related blogs a few times and have the owner get to know you. Contribute. Then, after 2 weeks or so contact them and remind them who you are and then ask for a link exchange.”

    That’s a great idea!
    Tomaz, thank you for advice!

    Good luck with links building to all of us,


  10. Great idea, I’ve been struggling trying to get link exchanges with some emails like the one above.


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