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