About Gaz Copeland

Gaz Copeland is the owner and author of the Stoke on Trent based SEO Blog – Stoked SEO

Ego Bait Needs a Rebrand

A Guest Post by Gaz Copeland

What is “Ego Bait”?

Ego Bait, for those not in the know is traditionally described as creating a piece of content with the main intention of appealing to a target’s ego and (hopefully) getting a link, share or recognition from them in return.

The target is generally an influential blogger in you niche, a brand or a potential employer. Ego bait is often coupled with another popular link building tactic to ensure maximum effect, ego bait lists, case studies, interviews, surveys and crowd sourced content are all extremely effective marriages.

Here are how others describe ego bait:

“The process of creating content almost solely for the purpose of gleaning links off others” – Ben Norman

“Essentially producing something that strokes the ego of the person/people/company featured.” – James Agate

How have I used Ego Bait?

Personally I have created a number of ego bait pieces over on my SEO blog and in other places around the web, I really enjoy creating this style of post and I guess they have been successful for me over time.

One of my first ego articles was the “Awesome SEO’s on Twitter” it was fun to put together and I felt I was giving a little back to some of my favourite SEO’s who in my eye’s weren’t getting anywhere near enough credit.

Problem?

“What’s the problem” I hear you ask? “If it works, you’ve done it yourself why does it need a re-brand?” you say..

Good question, I’m glad you asked! Just look at some of the language I’ve used above:

  • Bait
  • Target
  • Ego
  • Gleaning

Hardly “pleasant” is it? And that’s my major issue, ego bait in it’s traditional sense seems to me a very dirty, manipulative and underhand tactic. You are a cold calculated soul, carefully stalking and selecting you victims, your only intention to appeal to their narcissism and to trick them into doing your bidding. In my experience  thankfully that couldn’t be further from the truth.

I didn’t create my “SEO’s who rap” article with the intention of tricking the “targets” into linking to me or sharing my content. (Although that did actually happen) I created it because it was something I had observed and I thought it would be pretty fun to put those guys together in one place.

Solution?

I’ll tell you straight, I don’t know what the solution is, maybe you can tell me? I’d be really interested in hearing alternative names for ego bait which truly convey the process without such negative undertones.

What I do know is that “Ego Bait” is in dire need of a rebrand. If you are looking to create a piece of content to trick somebody into linking to you, or to blow smoke up their { ass | arse } then you are doing it wrong. It won’t work, they will smell it a mile off and it will backfire, especially in the SEO industry.

To create successful ego bait the first thing to do is stop trying to create ego bait, because that’s not what it is. First and foremost it’s something of value, it’s interesting content, it’s sincere.

Further Reading:

Ben Norman – What is ego bait and how effective is it?

James Agate – A guide to producing effective ego bait

Ross Hudgens – A model for link building