Link Building takes a lot of time. For competitive advantage, you must have a team of people in-house who shoulder the responsibility of your Link Building. Specifically, you need a link manager, someone who can write guest blog posts, and a researcher. Also, if you can, outsource the research work. Moreover, getting a really good freelance writer might be somewhat difficult especially for some niches, and thus, hiring a full-time writer in-house might be the better option after all.

Another option is to employ an SEO agency who will be solely responsible for your Link Building. Meanwhile, that could be a bit risky because a vast majority of these agencies sell PBN sites as guest posts. Now, imagine paying so much for something that might end up harming your business and website.

Hence, the reason for this guide, for the purpose of teaching you 3 crucial methods of passive link building, which apparently cost you nothing.

But note that nothing is 100% passive. That is, the methods will still demand that you devote some time. However, in comparison to guest posting and making prospects for opportunities, the 3 methods I’ll show you in this guide could be considered passive link building.

1. Search for Unlinked Mentions

Search for mentions, names, website which are currently not linked to your website. Determine if it is possible and appropriate to have a link in such mention. Thereafter, contact your webmaster/editor to know your chances of getting the link.

Already, you can perceive that the method is not completely passive. For instance, if you are renting out an apartment, to you, it seems like a passive income. Did you know there are times you have to call your tenants, do some painting work, and have to seek new tenants, among other things?

Using the unlinked Link Building, the LB method is very direct and easy to use. To be specific, it requires that you:

1. Set up an alert system for unlinked mentions

2. Upon receipt of a new unlinked mention, send the editor an email and you can get your link hopefully.

This takes at most 5 minutes to execute.

You can use the SEMrush Brand monitoring tool for this

Visit Brand Monitoring, and set up your keywords.

Clearly, the SEMrush shows you the unlinked mentions:

Let me suggest that you do not have to use just your brand name. Instead, you can also use:

A. Your personal name

B. The names of your partners/employees

C. Your company slogan

D. The name of your company’s products

E. Brand name misspellings

F. Domain name misspellings

Things you must not do when using the unlinked mention method

A. Skip press releases; you can rarely edit them. Many low-quality sites typically republish a single press release severally. Meanwhile, they lack due maintenance and in the real sense of things, nobody is checking the emails. Thus, there is no need to send emails.

B. Forget about negative brand mentions — that is perhaps a blogger has mentioned your name in a negative context. If you go ahead to ask for a link here, you might be creating more tension for yourself. Stay away from such.

C. Do not ask for a link all the time. Simply ask yourself if the readers see more value to your site when you add a link.

The truth is, there are times you really do not have to put a link. For instance, in a situation where the author of the article randomly mentions three different brands of coffee one after the other: Starbucks, Lavazza, Costa Coffee. Imagine you work for Lavazza, and therefore want a link to Clearly, you really do not need a link here bearing in mind that the author will deliberately link all 3 brands once he does link one. Skipping the opportunity is, therefore, the better option here.

2) Stock Photo Library

1. Ensure that you or your client have many images.

The idea here is not that you should start taking pictures, hiring designers or spending quality time online creating your own images. Rather, it is to make use of you or your client’s existing visual content.

2. Collate them in a library without a watermark

There are some free stock photo sites online where individuals and businesses go to to get royalty free images that suit their interest and purpose.

Every site must have visuals, and truthfully, online users would rather visit platforms that publish professional content that appeal to their visual sense. Hence, the need for quality images.

Meanwhile, to earn as many backlinks as you can naturally, you need to give them exactly that.

Collate your photos in a library without a watermark. That way, they are free to use and this, in turn, would entice people to download these photos and use them on their websites.

3. Upload your photos to a site that has Creative Commons license

Here, I would suggest you use Flickr.

While you add links, be certain that it makes images available under the Creative Commons (CC) license. This will give anyone who wants to use your photos the opportunity to do so as long as they link back to the source.

Moreover, the CC license enhances the indexing of the photos into more image databases and makes it easy to be located by specialized search bots.

You can adopt this attribution:

“This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered. Recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials.”

4. Automate your image search

One smart move is to automate your image search in order to concentrate on more productive activities.

This does not necessarily mean hiring a virtual assistant. Rather, it means using a special tool that can detect image theft- Pixsy. This tool allows you to be in charge of your pictures, monitor and control their usage online.

Never ignore on-page and off-page SEO. Even more importantly, focus on optimizing your images as well. Invest more in your marketing efforts and enhance your brand visibility by taking advantage of your link-worthy images. Additionally, this will create more referral traffic and add more credit to you for the work done.

Be reminded that having a stock photo library is a passive method of Link Building, and thus, you cannot expect too many links from it. I would suggest 3-4 links per month is a good enough result.

5. Contact webmasters and request for a credit (link)

You do not need to scare people away and make them feel bad for whatever they might have done. Instead, a mild and polite email would do.

Get in touch with them, and remind them that they have used your image. Be courteous enough to tell them how happy you are seeing they liked your image and particularly, for a credit link to your site below the image.

Here is what Toby Dean from AddPeople says about this Link Building method:

“My favorite link building method is utilizing Flickr to passively building links, this method works great if the client has original imagery photographers, etc, but can be used in almost any market if you’re willing to take a few pictures that sites and or bloggers in your market commonly use. Simply set up a Flickr account, upload your images and set the license to free to use with attribution. You can even designate the page you’d prefer they link to. I’ve used the method to passively build 40+ links to the commercial photography page of a client’s site from the likes of life hack and rank no1. Finally, just run a reverse image search once a quarter and reach out to those that didn’t link – 80% of my follow-ups resulted in links being added.”

3) Content Syndication

I think it is ideal that you constantly syndicate some of your overall blog content. Make it a smart move though. Because you are likely to encounter possible problems with content syndication, such as:

  • Issues with content duplicate
  • You are likely to outrank your own content
  • Syndicated content might end up getting the tweets, links and comments

Ways of avoiding these problems

1.Use -rel=”canonical”

2. You’ve had your content out there for more than 6 months. Assuming it takes a minimum of 6 months for your content to get the most links, and social medial shares.

3. Never publish the whole article. (Curate it instead): With that, there is no way the syndicated content will outrank the original.

How to find sites where you can syndicate content to

Use the following search phrases on Google:

-Originally appeared on

-Originally written by

-Originally published on

-Originally shared on

Make a list of websites which accept syndicated content. Contact them, and some of them may end up liking your content.

Do not syndicate your entire content, but just the ones which fall under the criteria mentioned above. You can send them original content if they request for it. From experience though, some editors prefer a mix of the two- syndicated and original content.

Here is what Maros Kortis from SiteProfiler by Mangools says about content syndication in their marketing strategy:

“Every time we publish a short intro and an outline with a link to our article on GrowthHackers, we earn up to 100 clicks in 2 days. This is just one of the many content syndication options. Through syndication, you’re exposing your content to people who would never hear about you. If you have the “rel=canonical” tag implemented correctly and your URL is already indexed, you should definitely try it.”


That is all about the 3 methods you can use to get links on a monthly basis, and with minimal effort. Also, you do not have to spend so much money and expend so much energy as they come for free.

About the Author: Georgi Todorov is a digital marketer. He recently started his own blog about digital marketing DigitalNovas. His passion is to help beginners to start and grow a successful online business. He has just launched his Link Building Training. Hit him up on Linkedin or Twitter @GeorgiTodorovBG anytime.