Blogging Podcast, Traffic Generation

135 The Backlinking Strategy That Caused My Traffic To Skyrocket

By Leslie Samuel

Do you want more traffic to your site? Have you seen all the schemes “marketers” promote to get you that traffic?

Was one of those strategies backlinking? It's one of the more popular schemes that marketers promote and you know what?

Listen to This Episode

I HATE how it's usually dealt with. In this podcast episode, I'm going to talk to you about how I built my backlinks to my Interactive Biology blog in a way that Google has LOVED!

Inside this episode


First, I talk about a very cool workshop/conference that I'm co-hosting. It's called Blogging Concentrated and will be in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Sunday, November 17 with Dan Morris and Maureen Fitzgerald. It's going to be AWESOME.

We're not going to be teaching things like How to Start a blog or how to use WordPress. Instead, we're targeting individuals who already have blogs who want to turn their blogs into one that MAKES MONEY!

It's a one-day event for a small intimate group of maximum 35 people. That way we can get to know each other and really dissect the issues that those bloggers are facing to help them take their blogging to the next level.

If you're interested in being there (and I know you'd LOVE it), check out the Blogging Concentrated Event Page. I'd LOVE to see you there.

Also, if you live in the area and would like to do a meetup, let me know in the comments area below.

After talking about those details, I get into the meat – How do you grow backlinks the right way. I ONLY share strategies that I've used personally and can vouch for. It's not some scheme or some tactic to fool Google and get you up there. So I get into:

  • Why you don't want to use MOST of the strategies taught by marketers
  • What the role of your content is in your backlinking strategy
  • How to take advantage of social media for backlinking
  • The one strategy that got me going in the beginning
  • The one strategy that has resulted in MOST of my traffic and exposure
  • Much, Much, More

If you've been thinking about following some guide to backlinking that you found from a marketer that seems to know what he/she is talking about, PLEASE listen to this episode FIRST. It can save you a lot of headache in the future.

My strategy isn't glamorous. It's not sexy. But, you know what? IT WORKS! How do I know? From personal experience.

Question for todays episode: Which of the strategies are you going to start with first? Let me know in the comments below

Resources for this episode


Some people just love being able to read along with interviews, or they might just prefer to skip the audio completely and just read through the transcript. Hey, if that’s what floats your boat, it is all good. Here’s the transcript just for you :)

Click here to download transcript.

About The Podcast

Learning With Leslie

Learning With Leslie is a podcast dedicated to helping you build a business around a blog. No, not one of those blogs that will fall by the wayside when Google has a mood swing, but one that will thrive no matter what gets thrown at it.

I share tips and strategies that I’ve learnt building blogs since 2008 and interview experts who are knowledgable about various aspects of blogging so that we can learn from their experiences.

If you’re a blogger, thinking about becoming a blogger (pun intended) or are not even sure if blogging is right for you, go ahead and tune in to see what this blogging thing is all about.

How to Subscribe To The Show

  1. Hi Lesley

    Great podcast. The one thing I picked up was the use of video’s on youtube to create links. Keep these podcasts coming! – Kind Regards – Ravi

  2. It was refreshing to listen to your podcast Leslie. I’ve read a lot about back linking and have felt pretty confused.

    On one hand I really want to do things the right way and not spend my time learning tricks and gimmicks. On the other hand sometimes I feel like I’m missing the boat if I don’t jump on to some of the techniques that many people are using. It’s encouraging to me to know that you’ve been able to build a successful blog by sticking to honest long-lasting principles.

    I’ve been tempted to hire some of the people on fiverr – actually seriously considering it. Now I’m thinking I can just let that go.

    I’ve had quite a bit of success with making YouTube videos and linking to my blog. I guess I’ll stick to that for now.

    1. Yeah, the way I look at it is this – do what Google wants and you should be ok. Every time they come out with a new update, so many people who have done SEO tactics get burned. I rather stay on the safe side. Create awesome content that people will want to link to and let them know about it 🙂

  3. Just got done with an amazing tasty meal and listening to this awesome content.

    So you ask which 1 I’ll work on? YouTube, I’m going to set a content calendar and get the heck to it.

    As an added resource/tool for everyone and great way for legit links….subscribe to HARO (Help A Reporter Out – Free). I’ve gotten links from previous sites and my new site from CNN, Inc, Forbes, Amex Open Forum and others. Subscribe to all the feed choices inside and you’ll get 3 emails a day. To increase your chances for being featured, respond immediately as reporters get flooded with responses and once they find a few they like they stop reading….thus first come first serve. (Took a seminar course on HARO)

    You can also use HARO as a reporter and ask questions for your blog. I just got over 50 Responses on Entrepreneur Twitter Growth Hacks and a Linkedin small business marketing question. HARO requires an Alexa ranking under 1 Million now, but that can be done pretty fast with good Content like Leslie said.

    Great Show Leslie! Off to YouTube….Watch out 🙂 Mike

    1. Great suggestion Mike. I’ve actually done a little with HARO and have landed a few interviews and been interviewed using it. It’s a pretty good system. Btw, which course did you take on HARO? I’m looking for a HARO expert that can teach it to my audience.

      Glad you enjoyed the podcast episode.

    2. I believe its called Meet the Media and held every few months in NYC. Different Media Journalist come to discuss how they like to be approached, what works with them and likewise….what drives them insane 😐 HARO is always discussed. I’d be happy to put something together if you’d like as I recommend it all the time and would love to point people to a How-To.

  4. Good morning Leslie, I would love to be there for your “Blogging Concentrated” sounds wonderful but I am in Australia, a bit far for a couple of days….one day…

    This is a little off centre here once again, but I have been following and setting my site up with your information for quite a while now, and it is now up and running, but one thing that I can’t find out anything about is..
    How do I add a shopping cart to my site? …I can’t seem to find this out from any where, even Shopify, they just gave me a list of a million links to check out but never gave me a solid answer.
    How would I start with doing this as I am really wanting to have this up and going as my next step? Any help or direction here would be really appreciated Thank you
    Hoping your “Blogging Concentrated” goes really well also…
    Let us know if you decide to come to Australia any time
    Have a fantastic day.

    1. Hi Rose,

      I would LOVE to come to Australia one of these years. It’s one of those places I’ve always wanted to visit and I plan on doing so at some point.

      To answer your question – it all depends on the purpose of your shopping cart. There are a bunch of services that allow you to do so.

      If you’re just selling an ebook or some digital product, I would recommend using I use that to sell a study guide on my biology blog here –

      If you’re selling a bunch of products where you need a full shopping cart on your site, I recommend using woocommerce – We use that for this store here –

      If you just need people to be able to send you money, you can always use

      Those are a few of the options. Hope that helps!

  5. Being new to the podcast when I first saw the show title I was concerned you were another Snake Oil salesman. Leslie, you are the real deal, keep up the good work! I am going to link up my social media first then work on some opportunties to guest post. Thanks!

    1. Haha, yeah I hear you. I usually shy away from content with these kinds of headlines because they usually are the snake oil salesman stuff. That’s exactly why I chose it – because I believe there is a RIGHT way to do it that’s ethical and accomplishes a lot. Glad you found value in it 🙂

  6. It makes sense to engage the methods that actually add value instead of the people cheating the system with black-hat tactics. Your strategy is sound and concentrated on being effective and consistent, all you require is with this method! 🙂

    1. Thanks for the feedback Ryan. Glad you liked the podcast. I believe the strategy is sound. It worked for me and I’ve seen it work for many others. Thanks for your comment. I really do appreciate it!

  7. Leslie, Love you but while these strategies might work and could have a small impact on traffic, the bottom line is produce a ton of content readers want to read. that is #1, even if the bulk of the world would hardly call the content “awesome”. Last March I started a new blog with a friend of mine, combined we put less than $1,000 a month into it and the hosting is almost half of it. we don’t back link, we don’t do interviews, we don’t guest post, we avoid others in our niche..(but boy do I wish we had a few .edu’s, I think you highly under rate that one, that is #1 if you can get them), to be honest I don’t think we have had a post longer than 300 words and some of those are affiliate links and we run about 7-8 ads per page. In less than a year we have gone from next to no traffic to almost 600,000 visitors a month. Looking at today’s live stats with about 1/2 hour left to go in the day we have 18,980 visitors and 70,820 pageviews today, just a normal Thursday which is about our middle traffic day for the week. We aren’t talking about SportsChatPlace, this is an entirely different site. We also went from a standing start to consistent 5 figure monthly income, of course some of that might not be available to everyone, I am fortunate I have a few good phone numbers in the Rolodex but in reality anyone with god traffic could make the same contacts.
    No reason to really over complicate it, it really comes down to how you spend your time and I think generating content that is Hot Hot Hot consistently gets it done time and time again, not my first rodeo and it seems to still work..

    1. I hear you Mitch, but that doesn’t invalidate any of the strategies I mention in this podcast. Content is #1, yes! You can go for quality, quantity or both. My preference is both. However, I haven’t had the time to work on quantity as much as you guys have. 74K visits in a month might not seem like a lot to you, but for a site that I haven’t worked on really in 2 years, I think it’s pretty darn awesome.

      You say you don’t do interviews and you don’t do guest posts and that’s completely fine. However, those are factors that bring traffic, whether you like them or not. There’s no arguing that what you’ve done definitely works for you, but it’s honestly not the model that I would use. I prefer high-quality content consistently. Will that take me longer to reach the same point? Maybe, but I’m actually o.k. with that.

      Btw bro, I think I saw last night that yesterday was your birthday. Was gonna give you a call but ended up not doing it because it might’ve been too late. Either way, happy belated birthday and wishing you nothing but the best.

      And we have something to talk about pretty soon. Something big!

    2. thanks..appreciated, my way takes a ton of effort, and sleepless nights. with my income streams I just think it’s harder to not for everyone but it 100%works..feel free to call anytime..

  8. Hey Leslie, awesome podcast episode. I’ve been looking into a few back linking strategies lately and I’m very skeptical about alot of them …. and since I don’t want to be penalized and want to try to build traffic naturally, I doubt that I’ll continue with those strategies.

    But some of the things that you mentioned here really hit a chord and I’m really interested in starting to implement some of them … guest posting I’m very interested in and was prepared to start but then I started reading your guest posting mastery series and I want to make sure that I have all the bases covered before I start to go out and guest post. However, I have been making a list of some of the blogs and websites in my niche/field and I’m on the verge of contacting some of them about guest posting. Either way, I believe that is a great strategy.

    The other thing I’m very interested in is creating videos. I’ve had an interest in this for a while and I initially wanted to do it … however, I heard somewhere that being everywhere is fine, but be everywhere one at a time. Meaning try to conquer one aspect before moving onto another. I just recently started podcasting (I’m 9 episodes in) and I’m not sure if creating a video would be wise right now. But I do agree that doing a video is a good thing.

    But creating great content trumps them all so that’s what I have to constantly do each and every time.
    Again, great podcast episode. Very timely.

    1. Glad to hear that you enjoyed the podcast Andrew. I strongly agree that you should take your time in terms of trying new things like podcasting, video etc. Work on building one, and once you have that going, you can think about moving into new arenas.

      Wishing you all the best with your blog!

    2. Thanks, not sure how I found your blog but it truly is an inspiration. I have hopes to be at your level sometime shortly. Everything you do is a motivation for me.. Thanks again for all you do and provide

  9. Ahh, man. I just discovered that you’re hosting this conference. I would have totally attended. Will you be hosting another one any time soon?

  10. Thanks for this article! Great that you provided a transcript.
    I was looking for inspiration and found it your blog – cheers!

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