3-steps that make up The Skyscraper Technique

The skyscraper technique is most often used as a way to get people to link to your blog content.  The main idea behind the skyscraper technique is that it is human nature to be attracted to the best.  No one is impressed by the 10th tallest building in the world, they want to see the tallest.  With this technique you are making yours the best by finding the tallest skyscraper in your space…and building 50 stories on top of it.  Then you will have the content that everyone wants to talk about and link to.  Here is how the skyscraper technique works:

Step 1: Find link-worthy content

A linkable asset is the foundation of any successful link-focused content marketing campaign (including this one).  I’m not sure who coined the phrase “Linkable Asset”, but it’s the perfect description of what you want to create: a high-value page that you can leverage for links over and over again. Keep in mind that linkable asset is not “10 ways to make a million dollars” link bait nonsense. It’s content so awesome, so incredible, and so useful that people can’t help but login to their WordPress dashboard and add a link to your site. But how do you know if your linkable asset is going to be a huge success…or a total flop? That’s easy: find content that’s already generated a ton of links.

Step 2: Make something even better

Your next step is to take what’s out there and blow it out of the water. Here’s how you can take existing content to the next level:

  1. Make It Longer.  In some cases, publishing an article that’s simply longer or includes more items will do the trick. If you find a link magnet with a title like “50 Healthy Snack Ideas”, publish a list of 150 (or even 500) so that you end up with something that is clearly better than anything else out there.
  2. More Up-To-Date.  If you can take an out of date piece of content and spruce it up, you’ve got yourself a winner. If you find something with old information, create something that covers many of the same points…but update it with cutting-edge content.
  3. Better Designed.  Sometimes, a visually stunning piece of content can generate a lot more links and social shares than something similar on an ugly page.
  4. More Thorough.  Most lists posts are just a bland list of bullet points without any meaty content that people can actually use. But if you add a bit of depth for each item on your list, you have yourself a list post that’s MUCH more valuable.

Important Note: I recommend that you beat the existing content on every level: length, design, current information etc.  This will make it objectively clear that YOU have the better piece of content.  Which is really important when you start getting the word out…


Step 3: Reach out to the right people

Email outreach is the linchpin of the Skyscraper Technique. It’s similar to straight up link begging, but with a VERY important twist. Instead of emailing random people, you’re reaching out to site owners that have already linked out to similar content. When you qualify prospects like this, you know that:

  1. They run a site in your niche.
  2. They’re interested in your topic.
  3. They’ve already linked to an article on that topic.

Now it’s just a matter of giving them a friendly heads up about your clearly superior content.