Crowdfunding link building is an underrated and often unexplored link building strategy. It’s not the most common link building strategy out there and only a few link builders are aware it exists. It’s an easy and extremely effective way to get links from high DR sites.
So how do you engage in crowdfunding link building? We’ll cover all you need to know along with a quick discussion on the best crowdfunding platforms where you can support campaigns.
In this article you’ll find:
- What is Crowdfunding?
- Is Crowdfunding Link Building Legal?
- How to Start With Crowdfunding Link Building?
- 5 Top Crowdfunding Platforms
- Maximizing Crowdfunding Link Building
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Related Reads
What is Crowdfunding?
Crowdfunding is the process of funding projects or ventures by collecting small amounts of capital from a large number of people.
The advantage of crowdfunding over loaning to start a business or getting investors is the lower risks. With crowdfunding, you don’t have to get a loan from banks or investors just to start your business. Additionally, you don’t have to sell a percentage of your company just to start.
As for small businesses, it’s a great tool to generate sales even before your business launches. Your supporters from crowdfunding platforms can preorder your products before they even come out. You’ll also start cultivating a community who is ready to back up your business even before you start operation.
Crowdfunding is usually done by utilizing the wide reach of the internet through different social media platforms and crowdfunding websites. This enables a large number of people to become investors in your project or venture, but at a lower risk to themselves, than a few people contributing large sums.
Depending on what is being funded and how it’s being marketed, crowdfunding projects can become viral. For example, one of the most famous products that started on Kickstarter is the Oculus Rift, an early virtual reality headset before such things were popular or even well known, in 2012.
The Oculus Rift was a revolutionary technology that raised $2.4 million in its Kickstarter campaign. In 2014, only two years later, it was bought by Facebook and is now a leading technology in the gaming and media industry.
Is Crowdfunding Link Building Legal?
Thankfully, crowdfunding link building is one of the few legal ways to purchase backlinks from websites. Paying for backlinks is generally frowned upon by Google. These are called unnatural links. Once you purchase a large number of backlinks, even though such content is not worth linking to, these links now aim to manipulate your page’s ranking. This is a direct violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and can result in a Google Penalty.
But supporting a startup is not a violation of Google’s Terms of Service. It just so happens that the startup’s way of thanking you is by giving you a backlink.
How to Start With Crowdfunding Link Building?
For you to maximize link building based on crowdfunding, you have to first understand the system of crowdfunding.
Businesses, brands, and entrepreneurs launch their campaigns with goal funds in mind. Like, we’re asking for $20k to develop this product or service, and here’s what we will create, with your help, and here’s how it will benefit consumers.
To help motivate people and other companies to invest, support, or donate to any given campaign, crowdfunding incentivizes small to large donations with benefits and/or rewards. A general rule of thumb is that the more you donate or invest, the more rewards you will get in return.
Generally, crowdfunding link building follows 3 steps:
1. Look for opportunities online.
The first step is the most complicated. Finding the right campaign or project to support can be quite challenging considering that there are so many out there.
To make the process easier, you can utilize the power of search engines to narrow down your choices. Like, say your business is in apparel, and clothing. That’s very broad, but you could find relevant results to opportunities online relating to your product category or niche simply by typing in that category in this special way:
Here are two search strings that you can type into your browser to find relevant results:
site:[website url] inurl:projects + “link to your website”
site:[website url] inurl:projects + “donor page”
Simply replace the “website url” portion with your target crowdfunding platform. We’ll be discussing the best crowdfunding link building platforms later in the article so you can choose one from that list. For example, we’ll be using Kickstarter. It will look like this:
site:kickstarter.com inurl:projects +“link to your website”
Full disclosure, despite having a search string like this, it can still be quite challenging to find a suitable campaign for your business or niche. Some of the search results don’t actually offer links to your websites, they just mention the keyword “link” in their content. This is why it’s still important that you read the campaigns thoroughly before supporting them.
To help narrow down your searches even further, you can add keywords right after the “link to your website” and “donor page” portions. This will give you even lesser results but at least they’re more targeted to keywords that are relevant to your brand.
site:kickstarter inurl:projects + “link to your website” washing machines
site:kickstarter inurl:projects + “donor page” washing machines
2. Support, invest, contribute, and/or donate to campaigns that are relevant to you and your brand.
Once you’ve found an appropriate campaign to support, consider donating to them. Processes may vary depending on which crowdfunding platform you’re making the donation through. Go ahead and follow the instructions provided by each platform to finish your transaction.
3. Wait for your links to be placed in the relevant domain.
Once you’ve made any donation, there’s nothing left to do than to wait for your link to appear in the particular domain of your choosing.
5 Top Crowdfunding Platforms
1. Indiegogo – Best Overall
Indiegogo, Inc., was founded by Danae Ringelmann, Eric Schell, and Slava Rubin in 2008. The founders wanted to find a way to fund their own causes and ideas, and so they created Indiegogo.
Now, since 2008, the creation of this opportunity has given life to more than 800,000 innovative ideas. Indiegog has more than 9 million individuals from 235 countries and territories backing up numerous campaigns.
Its large audience is the perfect reason why this is one of the best crowdfunding platforms online. You can easily set up your campaigns here and market them to millions of people. There are tools provided with Indiegogo that let you integrate other platforms like Meta (Facebook) and Twitter to promote your campaign.
You can set up campaigns for up to 60 days with Indiegogo. The platform has a 5% fee plus a 2.9% and $0.30 third-party processing fee.
2. Kickstarter – Has a Wide Reach
Kickstarter launched in April 2009 and since then, it has become a widely popular crowdfunding platform with many successful campaigns. One of these noteworthy campaigns was the Exploding Kittens card game which raised over $8.7 million.
This is a great crowdfunding platform to use if you’re not sure which platform to start with. It has a good fan base that can potentially be interested in your campaign. It’s great for artists, musicians, techies, designers, startups, and small-scale businesses.
It’s important to note though that Kickstarter will charge you 5% of your total funds raised as a fee. Consider this fee when you’re choosing this platform.
3. GoFundMe – Best for Individual Funding
GoFundMe was launched in 2010 and it has become one of the best and largest crowdfunding platforms online. It is the best platform for individuals who are looking to fund personal healthcare expenses or keep local businesses up and running.
Compared to other platforms, a striking advantage of using GoFundMe is that it has a 0% platform fee. The only fee you need to worry about is a processing fee which is 2.9% and $0.30 per transaction.
4. Patreon – Best for Creative Individuals
Patreon was started in 2013 by Jack Conte, who is a YouTube Musician, and Sam Yam. Since then, it has become the home of more than 250,000 creators who get their funding through their art.
Patreon is extremely popular in the art community. It’s the perfect crowdfunding platform for supporting your favorite independent artists in their journey of creating art. This also includes podcasters, writers, musicians, and other forms of artists.
What makes Patreon unique is that people can support their favorite creators through a monthly subscription. As for Patreon, it has 3 available plans for creators. The Lite plan charges a 5% fee from the total generated funds, the Pro plan gets 8% and the Premium plan gets 12%.
5. Mightycause – Best for Nonprofits
Mightycause was founded in 2006 as a solution to offer a service for underfunded nonprofits and individuals who need to lift themselves up. Since then, the platform has become a catalyst for raising over $550 million for more than 150,000 causes that matter.
Mightycause charges only an average processing fee of 1.2% of the money you raise during your campaign. You’ll also need to pay 29 cents per transaction so make sure you make each transaction count if you want to maximize it.
To start your campaign, Mightycause offers two plans that you can choose from. First is the Essentials plan where you pay $59 per month and is billed annually. Second, you can go for the Advanced plan which is $99 per month and is also billed annually.
In the Essentials plan, you get all the basic tools you’ll need for your fundraising campaign. This includes unlimited fundraising campaigns, unlimited peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns, social media integration, and various donation reports. As for the Advanced plan, you get an addition of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) integration, Text-to-Give technology, and advanced analytics.
If you’re choosing this platform, take into consideration that the fees may be quite hefty for a non profit organization.
Maximizing Crowdfunding Link Building
Crowdfunding link building is a great strategy to use to get links from high DR sites. It’s easy to just make a donation to get a link for your webpage. The challenge lies in how you’ll find the right campaign to support.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How is crowdfunding link building a cost-effective strategy?
Considering the value that you get from getting backlinks from high DR sites, it’s considered a cost-effective strategy. You don’t even have to do much, all you have to do is to donate to support a campaign. How much you need to donate to get a backlink will vary from one brand to another.
2. Can crowdfunding link building be my sole link building strategy?
There are multiple strategies in building a healthy backlink profile. There’s guest posting, claiming unlinked mentions, building free tools, etc. Adding your crowdfunding link building strategy to all of this helps you get many high-quality backlinks from different sources.
3. Is link building an important strategy for SEO?
The general rule of thumb with link building is that the more high-quality backlinks you have, the higher your ranking on search engine result pages will be. With link building, you’re ensuring that the backlinks you get come from high-quality websites. So, yes, link building is important for an effective SEO strategy.