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content
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The value of content vs backlinks will vary based on two things.

  1.  your industry
  2.  your competition within that industry

For example, selling a weight loss product on a national scale is way more competitive than selling lawn mowers in a specific state only. If your industry, in general, generates a lot of backlinks for other websites than you will need them, too.

To get an idea of how many links your competitors have you can use tools like webmeup.com or openlinkprofiler.org.

If the top 10 results for websites in your industry don’t all have a ton of backlinks, but the top 3 websites do, then you’ll likely need a fair amount to get into that pack, too.

Other than those reasons, I actually shy away from link building. Especially if the above reasons don’t require it.

If backlinks aren’t a primary necessity for your industry, skip them entirely and go with content. Good content. Don’t just write to write. It’s better to have 1 good article per week than to have 5 half-hearted pieces per week that are not unique, sourced from other websites, or aren’t engaging.