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I agree with your strategy. I think it would help people interesting in link campaigning to consider not just their immediate industry but also their audience; especially as it relates to directory development. Think in terms of peripherals to your market. If you took it from a potential audience viewpoint, think about what they might also be interested in. Those partners arenít threatened by your product and itís easier to get them to make sense of not only the link but the title and description you want.
While this definitely makes sense, and is the route I generally go, I find that in competitive and highly commercialized areas these are often the sites that tend to have affiliate links. Great minds think alike, and all that...
In these areas, I've found that searching backlinks of sites relevant to my keyword search is often more productive than searching the keywords themselves.