A case study is “a published report about a person, group, or situation that has been studied over time”, according to Wikipedia.
Here’s an example of a case study (written by Brian Dean of Backlinko):
Case studies can get a tonne of backlinks, because bloggers link to them to as references.
Here’s how to build links with case studies:
- Find something in your industry to write a case study for
- Write the study
- Reach out to those who might be interested
Google is your best friend when it comes to finding a case study topic – use these search operators to find ideas:
Or, if you have an influential blogger in mind already:
These search terms will help you to find “how to” guides and unique techniques in your industry.
It’s then a case of writing a case study for one of them.
Here’s an example:
Rand Fishkin came up with the idea of “10x content” in his “Whiteboard Friday” video on Moz.com, entitled “Why Good Unique Content Needs to Die”.
Here’s the video (in case you’re interested):
“10x content” is the name Rand has given to content at least 10x better than the next best search result.
His theory is that you MUST be a “10x brand” to stand any chance of competing in the modern landscape (and I agree).
If you Google the phrase “10x content”, it returns over 15,000 results, so it’s clear that this idea has gained a lot of popularity.
Creating a “10x content” case study (i.e. creating your own piece of “10x content”, then writing a blog post about the process/results/outcome) would be a sure-fire way to attract backlinks.
When you have your case study, reach out to anyone who might be interested.
This may include:
- The original blogger (who your case study was based on)
- Fans of the original blogger
- Anyone else who has blogged about similar ideas
- Those who linked to the original case study
Here’s an outreach template you can use:
I’m [YOUR NAME], [POSITION] at [WEBSITE].
I noticed that you recently wrote a blog post about [INSERT IDEA HERE]. Great stuff!
I recently published a case study of [INSERT IDEA HERE] – thought you might be interested?
Here’s the link: [INSERT LINK TO YOUR POST]
I’d love to hear your thoughts,