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6 Fast Ways to Build Links Without Email Outreach

Dealing with outreach burn out?

I get it.

Outreach is the preferred link building method of the modern SEO, but it grows tiring fast.

Even if you’re an absolute rock star, you’re unlikely to push beyond a 15% success rate. That means a ton of “No’s” and a lot more ignored emails. It’s enough to exhaust anyone.

So if you need a break from all the outreach, you can turn to the tactics listed here to keep building links without outreach.

1. Web design directories

I’m adding this tactic first because it’s dead simple.

Web designers commonly look for inspiration when working on new sites, and one of the best places to look when you need some fresh inspiration is a web design directory.

What is a web design directory?

Web design directories are simple; users submit screenshots of their beautiful site, and if approved, they get showcased on the directory.

For visitors, this provides a constant stream of new designs. Members that submit content are rewarded with a link.

If you want to try it out, you can follow my tips and collection of directories here:

Web design directories article

23 Active Web Design Directories for Link Building

I made sure not to include all the outdated and defunct directories, so only working and up-to-date sites made the list.

2. Quora

Quora is a great site to pop into a few times per week for some quick link building.

In case you’re not familiar with it, it’s a question and answer site, sort of like a more professional version of Yahoo Answers.

You can choose topics you have expertise in and start answering right away. Quora doesn’t stop you from adding links to your answers, and they can point to any page on your site.

Quora editor link button

These links are tagged with “nofollow,” but this is still a good way to round out your link profile and drive traffic to your site.

And speaking of traffic, you can get more by optimizing your profile for clicks and email signups.

Optimized Quora profile
I include a link to an email optin and other popular content on my site

If you write a constructive answer, people will click on your profile to learn more about you, making this an effective lead generation tool.

Quora won’t give you juicy “dofollow” links, but as you can see, it’s a good place to promote your content and expertise, and that can surely lead to attracting high-quality links.

If you’re looking for a more direct method to score rank-boosting editorial links, you’ll love this next tactic.


HARO connects sources (that’s you) with journalists and content creators.


You can signup for free as a source and select your interests.

HARO selected topics

Once you’ve done this, you’ll begin receiving three emails per day with source requests.

Each request is looking for an expert they can quote. All you have to do is reply with your best answer, and if your quote is published, a link to your site will also be included.

HARO is a mixed bag; it can get you powerful links, but none of your replies are guaranteed to be used. It’s essentially link building spec work.

Overall, I think it’s a worthwhile tactic for getting those “hard to copy” backlinks. You’ll like my guide if you’re interested in using this tactic:

How to Get Weekly Backlinks from HARO (Plus 6 ROI Tips)

It takes dedication to use HARO week after week, but as your answers go live, you’ll find a steady stream of fresh editorial links pointing to your site.

4. Link-sharing sites

Every time you publish a new article, you should have a few go-to sites for sharing it.

Everyone knows to share their content on the major social networks, but most niches have smaller link-sharing sites.

For example, over at Compete Themes, I frequently share content on

It’s a small community, but sharing there gives my posts a nice boost in visibility. For newer websites, these types of links can help a lot with getting your posts crawled and indexed sooner too.

You’re not likely to boost your rankings overnight with this tactic, but it’s a quick and easy way to get traffic and diversify your link portfolio.

5. Reverse outreach

Don’t get triggered.

Despite the “outreach” word in its name, I promise this tactic requires no prospecting or actual outreach.

Reverse outreach is a tactic where you are the recipient of an outreach campaign, and you flip it into your own link.

I know, it sounds a bit Inceptiony.

Regardless, it’s actually very simple and works extremely well.

All you have to do is review the outreach emails you get from other SEOs and check if their site is authoritative and relevant. If it is, you turn their request into a collaboration. For example, you offer to give them a link in return for one from their site.

My detailed guide will help you start landing these links right away:

How to Get Backlinks with Reverse Outreach (The Most Efficient Tactic)

Obviously, this does require you to have an established site, but if you’ve been ignoring tons of these emails until now, you’re really missing out.

6. Startup directories

If your business is less than a year or two old, it can still qualify for many startup websites.

Most people only think of these sites when initially launching, but they’re happy to include your product as long as it’s interesting and relatively new.

The most popular site of its kind is Product Hunt.

Product Hunt homepage

Submitting is pretty easy. Just make sure to create your account at least one week in advance so that you can unlock posting capabilities.

Then all you need is a handful of graphics and a short description of your product. You can even schedule your launch at a specific date and time.

While Product Hunt is the biggest, there are other great sites you can submit your site to.

Some of the top sites include:

You’ll get a mixture of dofollow and nofollow links from submitting to these directories. And more importantly, you’ll get new email subscribers and trial signups too.

How else will you build links?

Since these tactics don’t require any outreach, you can start getting results right away.

While some tactics like using HARO don’t guarantee links, many of the other tactics do. If you’re tired of slaving over your inbox for a few links, you might enjoy landing a bunch of links fast with the tactics above.

And when you’re ready to dive back into outreach, I’d recommend you try out some of these clever tactics:

13 Link Building Outreach Email Examples [Copy & Paste Templates]

Each outreach variation you find in that post has a pre-written email you can copy & paste for your own campaigns. Pretty easy if you ask me 😉

Thanks for reading, and please consider sharing this post with someone else before you go!

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