Building Linkable Assets

Let’s talk about how to earn links for your website.

Before we get started, let’s walk through a quick review of what Linkable Assets are:

When you want to earn links to your website, the best way is by providing something of value to your audience and community.

Your audience, in turn, in exchange for the value you’re sharing with them, will share your Linkable Asset with their communities, linking to it.

The end result? By investing time and energy in creating something of value for your audience, you’ll slowly, incrementally earn links. The small initial investment in creating a high-quality linkable asset can result in dozens or hundreds of high-quality links for your website.


When I talk with people about Linkable Assets, I often hear murmurs wondering how ‘little’ you can get away with creating and still earn links to your website.

A few years ago, I took part in a course on fitness. One message the instructor shared with us on the first day of class has stuck with me.

When you apply yourself at 100%, you get 150% back in your results.
When you apply yourself at 80%, you only get 50% back in your results.

The instructor called this the “100/150” rule.

When it comes to building a Linkable Asset for your website, I want you to keep the “100/150” rule in your mind. When you apply yourself at 100% — focusing on creating something that your audience and community will value — you’ll see amazing results. When you try and get by with as little as possible, you’ll see a fraction of the results you’d otherwise experience.

You don’t want to start from a place of asking “How can we earn links?” You need to start from a place of asking “How can I create something so amazing, so fun, so cute, and so charming, that my audience will see it and naturally want to share it, bookmark it, and link to it?”

I have three Linkable Asset case studies that I want to share with you. Each of these Linkable Assets are single page websites that have earned links from hundreds of domains. And each of these case study websites took less than a day of work to conceptualize, create, and launch — and they continue to earn new links today.

Example #1 — IsThisRetina.com?

My colleague Kurt Elster (who helps Shopify stores double their revenue at the Shopify Agency, Ethercycle) created IsThisRetina.com as a one-page Adsense site.

IsThisRetina.com is a simple, single page website. The site lets you calculate pixel density and viewing distance for a display. But this simple site has earned links from 152 domains.

Example #2 — RainyCafe.com

This case study website, from my friend Kurt Elster (of the Unofficial Shopify Podcast) is another one-page Adsense site. RainyCafe.com lets you create a mix of ambient background noise from two channels: “Rain” and “Cafe”.

First, Rainy Cafe is a great site. If you like working with ambient background noise, you should use Rainy Cafe. (I’m writing this article while listening to it).

Second, this single page Adsense site is impressive. Rainy Cafe has earned links from 1,520 separate Referring Domains (including links from 11 Educational domains).

Example #3 — ClaimingManatee.com

CalmingManatee.com is a single page website that cycles through calming photos of manatees coupled with aspirational / inspirational / calming messages.

My good buddy Kurt Elster (who just launched a great coaching service to help consultants move from being a freelancer to being a business) created ClamingManatee.com.

Let’s take a look at the content together.

Wasn’t that nice? You want to see another one? Okay!

The site is simple, funny, heartwarming, charming, creative, and a powerhouse of a Linkable Asset. CalmingManatee.com has earned links from 3,021 separate domains.


I didn’t write this article to just tell you how awesome Kurt is (that said, he is pretty damn awesome).

I wrote this article to show you how successful Linkable Assets come from focusing on creating something that your audience will naturally want to read, bookmark, share, and link to.

Each of these websites took Kurt an afternoon to launch. He didn’t set out to create something that would earn him links. Kurt had an idea for an interesting, informative, or funny site — and then he created it. He promoted it. And people shared and linked to the site.

Truth be told, each of these sites are based around a very simple concept:

Each site focuses on doing one simple thing very well for a specific audience. Each site provides a ton of value to the people visiting the site (the ‘100’ of the “100/150” rule). In turn, each of these sites has earned a ton of links.

When you think about creating a Linkable Asset for your business, I want you to think like Kurt. Focus on providing value to your audience, your customers, and your community. Here are some other examples of great Linkable Assets:

In each case, the people creating these Linkable Asset started by asking “How can we create something of value for our audience?” Then, they created that resource. After that, they promoted the resource to their audience. And finally, they started earning links.

Your Linkable Asset doesn’t have to be revolutionary. And it doesn’t have to be absolutely perfect.

What it does have to be valuable to your audience. And that value can take one of many different shapes: interesting, unique, informative, funny, or charming.

How To Get Started With Linkable Assets

If you want to get started creating Linkable Assets, there’s a few simple steps you can take.

  • First, identify who your audience is. Be as specific as possible.
  • Then, research your audience. What questions are they asking? What problem are they trying to solve?
  • After that, build a resource — a guide, a course, a walkthrough, a video, or a PDF — that helps them answer that question or solve that problem.
  • Finally, promote that resource to your audience. Ask them to share it with their friends.

Let’s walk through three examples.

MDMA Harm Reduction Guide

Who is the audience?

Club goers, partiers, ravers, and people who explore altered states of consciousness.

What problem are they trying to solve?

MDMA — Ecstasy or Molly — is a club / party / rave drug that produces euphoric effects, but can cause mental / physical harm. Knowledge of how to space out dosage, be healthy, and what supplements to take is frequently shared within this community, but it’s hard to find an authoritative source to trust rather than anecdotal stories from “Someone Who Isn’t Me”.

How did they solve the problem?

By curating a guide on what supplements to take with MDMA to minimize harm, they made it easy for members of their audience and community to practice safe harm reduction. Because this resource solves a common problem in this community, it’s natural for it to be sought out, used, bookmarked, shared, and linked to.

If It Fits Your Macros Calculator

Who is the audience?

Amateur bodybuilders and people who are following the ‘If It Fits Your Macros’ diet to lose weight

What problem are they trying to solve?

Calculating the correct breakdown of Macro Nutrients (Carbohydrates, Fats, and Protein) for their calorie target.

How did they solve the problem?

By creating a calculator (a bit of Javascript, HTML, and CSS), IIFYM made it easy for people to easily calculate their precise macronutrient targets. Because this resource solves a common problem in the fitness / bodybuilding community, it’s natural for it to be sought out, used, bookmarked, shared within the community, and linked to.

Double Your Freelancing: Free Pricing Course

Who is the audience?

Freelancers and consultants.

What problem are they trying to solve?

Understanding how to charge a premium rate for the work and services they provide.

How did they solve the problem?

By creating a free 9-day course on pricing, Brennan made it easy for freelancers and consultants to overcome the knowledge and confidence barrier that keeps them from charging a premium rate for their services. Because this resource is targeted specifically to the freelancing / consultant community, it’s naturally shared and linked to as consultants sign up for the course and receive value.

Best Practices for Building Linkable Assets

  • First, identify your audience and the community you’re targeting with a laser focus.
  • Second, research and study that community to understand the questions they’re asking and the specific problem they’re trying to solve.
  • Third, build a resource to help them solve that problem. Remember the “100/150” rule. You need to focus on creating the best resource you can to help them solve their problem.

When you follow these steps, you’ll be creating a resource that is helps the members of your audience solve a specific, painful problem they’re experiencing. And because the resource is lasertargeted to them and their pain, they’ll share it with other people experiencing the same pain.

Net result? Happy audience. And a happy audience will naturally share and link to your linkable asset.