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5 Ways to Negotiate a Pay Raise

Guide to getting a pay raise

Written by

CFI Team

Published May 2, 2023

Updated June 27, 2023

5 Ways to Negotiate a Pay Raise

Money, in the form of salary, is undoubtedly the highest motivating factor for every employee. Benefits and the environment they work in follow. After staying several years at the same company, a worker will definitely start to consider negotiating for a pay raise, not just as part of career growth but also to cope with inflation.

However, playing the scene in one’s head is simpler compared to how it will actually go. The process involves both courage and, of course, skills in salary negotiation.

How often should one ask for a pay raise?

Many experts say that asking for a pay raise should not be done more than once a year. However, there can be exceptions, such as if the employer specifically said that salary would be discussed again in the next four or five months.

For example, an employee asks his boss for raise in January but is refused because of cash flow problems. If the boss states that they could negotiate a raise again after six months, then the employee can naturally look to negotiate again in July.

Another exception to this unwritten rule is when an employee lands a very important account, which can potentially bring in a significant amount of money to the company. For example, if a sales executive is able to close a multi-million-dollar deal, that may be reason enough to negotiate a pay raise.

Factors that affect negotiating a pay raise

Before an employee decides to talk to management to negotiate a pay raise, it is important to consider the factors that most employers look at in order to gauge the necessity of granting an employee a raise. They include:

#1 Proficiency

The proficiency factor largely focuses on the employee’s set of skills. An employer looks at how a worker’s proficiency has improved through the years of doing his job at the company.

#2 Length of service at the company

The length of time an employee has been working in a company is another factor. A company wants a valuable employee to continue working for it because he is already familiar with its corporate culture and the things that need to get done. A company is able to save money by not having to train a new employee to do the same job.

#3 Contributions

Every employee is expected to do his job because he is getting paid. However, when one works over and beyond what is expected and helps the company achieve its goals by doing so, then a salary negotiation is in order.

Steps in negotiating a pay raise

How do we negotiate a pay raise?

#1 Choose the right time

Employers have a lot of things to think about. A worker who asks for a pay raise at a bad time is rarely going to get what he is asking for. The best time is during the regular pay review time, which is when most companies do it.

Some contractual workers usually negotiate upon signing a new contract or at the end of the fiscal year. Otherwise, during a performance review is a good time to do it.

#2 Know your market value

Employees should research what other people who hold the same position in other companies in the industry are getting paid. The key is to know how much the industry is paying people who have the same job.

#3 Have a strong business case

Negotiating a pay raise isn’t as easy as withdrawing money from an ATM wherein one can just input the amount and the desired amount comes out of the machine. It takes building a business case wherein one presents his specific contributions to the company and how his skills are bringing the company closer to achieving its goals.

#4 Go for more than just money

Although money is the ultimate aim, there are other things that one can negotiate for, such as a company car or a flexible work environment.

#5 Take your time

When there is already an offer, an employee should carefully analyze it, especially if it is not what is expected. A worker must determine if it is close enough to their expected result or if it is reasonable enough.

Final thoughts

Negotiating a pay rise shouldn’t be a stressful matter as long as both parties are open and possess a mutual desire to keep the relationship going. It is just a matter of knowing when and how to do it.

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5 Easy Ways To Fix A Read

5 Easy Ways to Fix a Read-Only Drive in Windows 11/10 PC (2023) Are You Frustrated With Your Read-only Drive? Learn How to Make Your Read-Only Drive Writable Again in Just a Few Minutes! What Happens When Drive Is Read Only and How Does That Happen?

Potential reasons why a Drive might be stuck in Read-only mode:

Physical write protection: A switch on the drive may be set to read-only.

File system corruption: The file system on the drive may be damaged.

Virus infection: A virus attack may have changed the file system or permissions on the drive.

Write protection enabled in Windows: Windows may have been set to read-only.

Hardware failure: The drive may have failed.

If you find that a drive is read-only, you can fix it by changing the file system permission. It is one of the simplest solutions to fix the problem, but if that doesn’t work, you can try the following workarounds that have been recommended by several computer experts.

Can’t Write to Your Drive? Don’t Panic! Here’s How to Fix It

We understand that being unable to write to your drive can be a frustrating experience. That’s why we’ve put together a list of solutions that we believe will help you fix the problem.

How To Fix Drive is Read Only: 1. Change Permissions In Properties

After going through the above steps, you know which of your hard drives is read-only, right? Here are a set of simple steps with the help of which you will be able to change your hard drive’s read-only status –

1. Go to This PC

6. Scroll down and check the Write checkbox

2. Run CHKDSK

If you encounter a read-only status on one of your disk drives, it is essential to address any underlying errors promptly to prevent further damage. One commonly used command, CHKDSK, can quickly identify these errors. Follow these steps to use CHKDSK:

1. Type CMD in the search bar.

3. In the Command Prompt window, type “chkdsk g: /f /r /x” (replace “g:” with the appropriate drive letter).

4. Wait for the process to complete.

If any errors are detected on your drives, they will be listed. You can then use one of the methods described in the post to resolve these errors. Once resolved, check the drive status again.

3. DiskPart is The Way To Go

Oftentimes when drives are locked and all you see is the read-only state flashing, DiskPart can be your ultimate life savior. Here are the steps for using DiskPart –

2. Locate the Drive which is read-only. Here’s how you can find if a drive is read-only. Under the Disk # (0,1,2…) you will either find the Online or Read-Only status. If it’s the latter, you can head over to the next step.

3. In the Windows search bar, type CMD

5. When the Command Prompt opens, type diskpart

6. Next type list disk and press Enter

7. Select disk which has the read-only parameter on it. E.g. if it is disk 1  then the command should be select disk 1 (press enter)

8. Next, type attributes disk clear read-only  (press enter)

The read-only parameter should have been removed by now.    

4. Check If The Issue Is Caused Because Of Your Antivirus

Is your drive or folder showing you read-only error as soon as you restart your computer? It could be because your third-party antivirus is detecting the folder as a threat and stopping you from accessing it. In that case, you can do one of the following things –

1. White list the folder in your antivirus if it hasn’t been yet

2. Reinstall your antivirus

3. If problem still persists and you are sure that the file is genuine look for an alternate solution

If you are looking for an alternative solution, you can choose Systweak Antivirus which is touted as one of the best antivirus for Windows PC. Here are some of the core features of Systweak Antivirus –

Systweak Antivirus – Features At Glance

Quick, deep and custom scans to catch hold of every bad file

Real-time protection from all kinds of cyber threats

Systweak Antivirus is updated with latest virus definitions

Exploit protection scans every file and prevents PUPs from intruding your PC

Small file size

Read Full Review of Systweak Antivirus

Price – Starts from US$ 39.95 per year

5. Remove Read-only Using The Registry Editor

1. Press Windows + R key to open the Run dialogue box

2. Type Regedit to open the Registry Editor

3. Navigate to the following path

ComputerHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlStorageDevicePolicies

5. Close Regedit and restart your PC

You can recheck if your Windows 10 USB drive is read-only or not.

Also Read: How Safe Is A Reg File and How To Deal With It?

BONUS TIP = How to remove the ‘This Drive Is Read-Only’ error on an SD card or USB flash drive:

● Check the physical write protection switch = Some SD cards and USB flash drives have a physical switch that can be used to set the drive to read-only mode. If the switch is set to read-only, move it to the write-enabled position.

● Try formatting the drive in a different file system = If the drive is formatted in FAT32, you may try formatting it in NTFS.

Frequently Asked Questions – Common User Queries

FAQ 1

What happens when a drive is in a read-only state?

When a drive is in a read-only state you can copy and read files but you can’t perform any edits on those files. In most cases, you will have to get rid of the write-protection if you want to edit or write files.

FAQ 2

Why is my drive read-only?

There could be several reasons why your drive is blocked and is write-protected. It could be that there are issues in the drive or maybe you have mistakenly activated the read-only permission on the drive. There are cases where users have reported this issue after upgrading their Windows 20.

FAQ 3

How can I get rid of the read-only state?

FAQ 4

How can I remove read-only from a USB drive?

Wrapping Up Quick Reaction:

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Sarang Bhargava

5 Ways To Add A Printer In Windows 11 – Webnots

Nowadays, wireless printers make printing and scanning work super easy. The good thing is that most wireless printers will automatically appear in the selection list of printer control dialog box (when you press Control + P keys). However, if it does not appear, there are multiple ways to add your printer in Windows 11 computer. If you are also using Mac or iPhone, learn how to connect the same printer in Mac and iPhone.

Adding Printer in Windows 11

Check the followings before trying to connect your printer.

Make sure printer and your PC or laptop are on the same Wi-Fi network. Most printers will show the network status or LED light on the display to identify it is on the network.

Print the network information like password, printer name, port and other details. You can check printer’s control panel or display to print out these details.

Enable network discovery on your computer which is needed for manually setting up the printer.

1. Automatically Connecting to Printer

Add Device Appears Automatically in Printers Section

2. Manually Adding Printer in Windows 11

Add Device When Printer Not Showing Automatically

You will see a list of options and select “My printer is a little older. Help me find it” or “Add a Bluetooth, wireless or network discoverable printer” option.

Enable Network Discovery to Find Printer in Windows 11

Next manual option is to connect the printer using IP address. After connecting the printer to your network, most printers have an option to print the network settings. This will give you the IP, port and hostname of the printer which you can use for manual connection. Select the “Add a printer using an IP address or hostname” option. On the next screen, select “Autodetect” as your “Device type” and enter the IP and port to connect your printer.

Install Printer Driver in Windows 11

3. Printing By Connecting to Printer’s Wi-Fi Network

If you are not able to add the printer, there is a direct connection option by switching your computer to printer’s Wi-Fi network.

Press “Windows + I” keys and open Settings app.

Open Wi-Fi Settings in Windows 11

Show Available Wi-Fi Network in Windows 11

Connect Printer Wi-Fi Network in Windows 11

You should enter the printer’s Wi-Fi password which is 12345678 for HP printers by default. You can get this from the printer’s network information which you can print from printer’s display or control panel.

Enter Password and Connect Printer Network

Once connected to printer’s Wi-Fi, you will see the printer appears in print control dialog box.

4. Add Printer from Control Panel

The old Control Panel app is also another option for adding your printer in Windows 11.

Open Control Panel and go to “Control PanelHardware and SoundDevices and Printers” section.

Windows will search for a network printer and show like in Settings app.

Add Printer in Control Panel

5. Use Printer App like HP Smart

Almost all popular printers come with an app for managing printing and scanning activities. Here, we will explain with HP Smart app and you should try with an app from your printer’s manufacturer.

Launch App Notification for Printer

After installation, open the app and accept the terms.

Install HP Smart App in Windows 11

Start Setting Up a New Printer

Select Printer from List in HP Smart App

You will see the printer is added in the app’s screen and shows the status. You can configure the printer’s setting and start using immediately.

Printer Added in HP Smart App in Windows 11

Configuring Printer Settings in Windows 11

Configure Printer Settings in Windows 11

Printer properties and printing preferences options allow you to setup color or black & white, orientation, paper size, quality, etc.

Use the “Run the troubleshooter” option to find and fix printer’s connection problem in your system.

Similarly, you can go to “Scanning settings” tab and configure scanning properties.

Set Default Printer in Windows 11

Final Words

As you can see there are multiple ways to add a printer in Windows 11. Wireless printers will automatically appear when connected to the same network which is easier to select from print control dialog. Alternatively, you can use direct connect or third-party app for printing documents in Windows 11.

5 Ways To Spot Scam Emails

5 Ways to Spot Scam Emails

The scammers sending these scam emails are so cunning that they spoof their email address by pretending to be legitimate company or organization. Therefore, for a layman user it is next to impossible to spot these phishing emails.

Here in this article, we have summed up 5 simple ways of spotting a scam or phishing email.

How To Spot Scam Emails 1. Email Asking For Personal Credentials

Whenever you receive an email asking you for personal details, cross check with the corresponding bank or organization before providing the same.

Also Read: Nine Ways to Improve Cyber Security

2. Emails Containing Lucrative Phrases

Also, many at times you may receive an email in which a certain product is offered just for free or at unrealistically low price. Believe us, there’s nothing free in this world. Everything comes with a price tag and the one claiming to be free will actually cost a lot.

So, whenever you receive such an email stating that you have won millions of dollars or a MacBook is offered at .99 cent then it is nothing more than a trap.

3. Fraudulent Charity Emails

Undoubtedly there’s nothing more wonderful feeling in this world than helping someone. This deed can’t be expressed in words. Also, every human being has a soft corner in his heart to help needy people. The scammers target this soft corner to fulfill their evil needs.

In a natural disaster or calamity many organizations start charity funds by asking people from all over the world to contribute. However, many fraudulent websites see this as an opportunity to earn money. They pretend to be a genuine charitable trust and scam the users by asking them money.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation themselves reported that they come across more than 4000 fraudulent websites claiming to be a charitable organization, during the period when USA was hit by Hurricane Katrina.

Also Read: How to Use Windows AppLocker to Prevent Cyberattacks

4. Email Asking for Immediate ACTION

Another method that is followed by scammers to trick the users is sending the emails that require an immediate or urgent action.

A common example of the email can be, “Confirm your account details now else it will be terminated”. Or it can be like, “Grab this! Only two lefts in stock”. These types of emails trap the user more easily when compared to others, as user tries to respond as soon as possible.

Also, in case you receive an email from your bank or credit card company regarding your account suspension then it is better to verify with them regarding the authenticity of the email.

5. Emails with Grammatical Errors

This is one of the easiest and simplest method to differentiate between a legitimate and illegitimate email. The phishing/scam emails often contain spelling blunders and incorrect use of grammar which can never ever be the case with legitimate emails.

Also Read: Is Windows Defender Good Enough for Your PC?

Bonus Tip: Always look for the “from” field in an email to make sure that website domain is same as the company name that has sent the email.

So, folks, that’s it from our side. Hope this article will now help you in distinguishing between a scam and a genuine email.

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Tweak Library Team

5 Ways To Optimize For Personalized Search

Everyone is different. So why should Google’s search results be the same for every individual?

That, in a nutshell, is the idea behind search personalization.

It can be handy when search engines better understand what you like (and what you don’t).

A couple of years ago, Google was actively engaged into search personalization.

Now, according to Google’s Danny Sullivan, personalization of search is “very light,” with location and language being the main factors that determine what different people see for one and the same query:

Basically, if you search for some kind of service, like fixing your phone or something, you will see the results of repair shops in your city while the person from another town will see different shop locations for the same query.

However, as Google is not always doing what it says and things are changing really fast, I would suggest looking into those factors that I still consider important in shaping search result pages for different users.

Plus, let’s see how we can work out an SEO strategy perfect for ranking better in personalization search.

What Factors Influence Search Personalization?

If I were to define what personalized search results are, I would say that these are the results based on the combination of traditional relevancy factors and data that search engines have on individual users, such as their:

Current location.

Language.

Search/browsing history.

Plus, when it comes to personalized results, a lot depends on whether the user is logged out or logged in (to their Google account, for example). Check out the comparison table:

Personalization factors

Logged-in users Logged-out users Location Location Device Device Browsing history

Social media accounts

Other products

Let’s dive deeper into each factor.

Location

Location personalization usually comes into play when your query implies the need for a particular place. It makes perfect sense that users from different locations see different SERPs returned after the same location-based query.

Thus, we can easily assume that this factor is one of the most important ones. It doesn’t matter whether you are logged in or logged out, Google will know your location by your IP address.

What’s more, if you are logged in on your mobile phone and geotracking is on, Google may know even more than you would consider comfortable. Check out Google’s timeline of your location history.

So, with that archive of knowledge, the search engine can endlessly personalize your results once you’ve made a location-based query.

Search/Browsing History

Back in 2012, Google published a patent on creating user personalization profiles and using this info for personalizing search results.

For example, I searched for [sequoia] on Google. Here is the SERP I saw:

Then I searched for [sequoia] again and saw a different picture:

Some snippets switched places. Plus, on the first SERP you can see videos coming first, and on the second – images. On the whole, not so many changes.

A year ago a colleague of mine made a similar experiment with the query that can have a few completely different meanings.

Maybe Google really is going much lighter in the area of personalizing by browsing history.

Social Media

For a couple of years already, people have been predicting the death of Google Plus. However, it is still alive.

In terms of its influence on search personalization, I would say that now you probably won’t see many posts from Google Plus in SERPs related to your query’s keywords.

Today, Google would rather show you some results from Facebook and Twitter (not just a result, but the whole Twitter carousel).

What I see from my experiments with Google SERPs as well as my routine search experience, there are really few results from Google Plus.

For example, I searched for keywords from my latest Google Plus posts, and I saw neither G+ posts of mine nor of my colleagues’ who shared the same posts. The story repeats with Facebook – no results from there.

So, according to my personal assumptions, most social results come from Twitter. However, though relevant, they are not personalized.

For example, search Google for [Barcelona]. Though the city of Barcelona is one of the most known in the world, I get Twitter carousel from the @FCBarcelona Twitter feed.

Though I’m a football fan, I haven’t shared anything connected with the club from my Twitter account and I do not read their Twitter feed. Football is just a hot topic right now, so football results pushed out the results for Barcelona city.

For the time being just bear in mind, when you create an account in Google Plus, you fill in lots of info that can tell Google about your age and gender as well as your interests and connections with other people. This info can be used to shape your search results.

Device Type

We have already reached that point in time when mobile-first indexing is being actively rolled out and the mobile speed update is officially out.

The results can be more or less the same on desktop and mobile, but there are quite a few device-specific factors that can heavily influence whether the page ranks higher or lower.

Other Google Products

Google has a number of various integrations (Google Maps, Gmail, Google Calendar, etc.) where it can pull different information from when you are logged into your account. This information is of no SEO value because it is mostly personal and visible only to you.

For example, if I have created an event in Google Calendar, like a flight itinerary, I can ask about it right from the search bar.

What does it mean?

Google is becoming something bigger than just a search engine.

Taking into account the latest experiment with the SERP with zero results (it was closed after a week, for now), such personalization can grow into something similar – just the exact answer to your query.

How to Perform Better in Personalized Search

If you realize that your potential visitors can get biased in search results because your business is, for example, local-based, then you should consider including personalization optimization into your SEO strategy.

Here are the things you can optimize for.

1. Optimize for Locations

You should not bother about this one if your content is more or less universal for users from any location.

However, if you target specific markets or your business has a few locations, you have to make it clear both for search engines and people.

First of all, make sure that you have Google My Business listing. This is the place where Google takes all the local info from for its local packs and local knowledge graphs.

Check whether all the details are there, like a link to your website, name-address-phone, photos, descriptions, etc. Go for consistency among all the places where this info is indicated. Update it if anything changes.

Consider using local structured data. And please make sure that everything works ideally on mobile.

The thing is, most “near me” searches come from mobile (to be exact, about 80 percent). I’m sure you want to be near those searches.

Plus, try to win some reviews from your happy users.

As search results vary depending on the location, you have to track rankings for each of your target locations in order to see how you perform in each of them.

In case you want to dig deeper, refer to this article on local SEO for more details and legal hacks.

2. Optimize for Languages

Optimization for languages goes hand in hand with international SEO. It should be applied if your relevant audiences speak different languages, and you want to provide them with unhampered experience.

There is a tricky moment here: it only makes sense to engage in international SEO if you are sure you can do it right. Otherwise, you can end up with a pretty bad case of poor UX.

First of all, you should decide what international format of a website suits you.

Here are three popular options:

One website with multiple languages to target one country where people speak different languages (like Switzerland, for example).

One website to target no specific country, just multiple languages.

In these both cases, the content can be the same along all the language versions of the site.

A number of site versions targeting multiple languages: here you may want to create similar site versions with specific differences depending on the target audience.

Here are the tactics that you should get right for these three scenarios:

First case Second case Third case Application of a specific country code (.ch, .ca, etc.) Site hosted in the targeted country Site hosted in primary market Default language and location Hreflang tags with language and country specified Hreflang tags only with language specified Hreflang tags with language and location specified Language-specific content is in subfolders in your target languages (/en/, /de/, etc.) Country-specific subfolders (uk/, ch/, etc.) + language-specific subfolders per each country subfolder (uk/en/, ch/fr/, etc.) Links from sites with a target language Links from sites with target language and location

You can either use separate sites for each language or a combination of the cases that I described.

3. Get Exposure in Social Media

The challenge for SEO professionals here is that personalized results from social media take the real estate of organic listings. But it also means that your social media posts can also occupy this space.

The best and most obvious thing here is to create quality content that people would want to share.

Do not discard your Google Plus account, as the posts from this social network can still appear in SERPs, and people who follow you in Google Plus can see these posts in their search results.

Plus, as you can figure out by looking at search results, Google closely cooperates with Twitter, so it is possible there will be more personalized stuff from this social media platform in the future.

4. Optimize for Multiple Devices

Optimizing for mobile searches is of utter importance, and the first thing to do is stick to responsive web design.

If you follow Google’s guidelines for mobile-first indexing, then you shouldn’t experience any ranking drops due to mobile issues. Plus, you can separately track rankings for desktop and mobile to spot and fix any problems.

What’s more, in the light of Mobile Speed Update, you have to make sure that your mobile pages load fast. When I say fast, I mean fast enough for the user to stay on your page, which is usually under 2 seconds.

You can use the following resources to evaluate your page’s performance especially when you suspect that your site was affected by this update:

Chrome User Experience Report with a dataset of key UX metrics.

Lighthouse, an automated tool for tracking the performance of web-pages.

Page Speed Insights, a tool that indicates quality of page’s performance and shows optimization suggestions.

Page Speed Insights tool will show you data on page speed and optimization, and recent data from SEO PowerSuite (disclosure: I work at SEO Powersuite) suggests that it’s Optimization Score, not Speed, which plays a more significant role.

5. Focus on Search Intent

Many search engines do their best to understand the meaning of your query and provide the best results. It seems that Google is an A-level student among its peers when it comes to solving search intent.

So, how is it connected with search personalization?

In its pursuit to deliver the best matching results, Google uses all resources available to it. That includes all the personal data it has on its users.

For example, I may run a search for [car rental services] in Google, and it will show me the locations in the city where I am currently in. But, if I have recently searched for [car rentals in Lisbon], then in spite of my current location, Google may show me some results in Lisbon.

It’s quite impossible to optimize for such things that I’ve mentioned in my example, but it is more than possible to optimize for search intent:

Imagine that your potential visitors try to search for your content using voice search. People usually go for natural language when talking to their phones and voice assistants, thus, your best shot is to optimize for questions and long-tail keywords.

When you come up with all the questions that potential visitors may ask, you should create content that naturally includes answers to those questions. Make use of internal linking between your related content. This way, you will be creating topical clusters that can rank for multiple related queries.

Use structured data to mark up your content (e.g., local business, event, creative works) and let search engines immediately know what type of content you have on your pages.

Conclusion

Although Google search personalization is much lighter today than prior years, there are quite a few specific things to keep in mind when optimizing for personalized search.

Namely: location, language, social media, device, and search intent.

All of these factors can alter what different users see. So make sure you’re doing all you can to influence personalization to make sure your target audience can find you.

More SEO Resources:

Image Credits

Screenshots taken by author, July 2023

5 Ways You Can Build Links Like A Pr Pro

For years, I’ve been saying that public relations practitioners should make the best search engine optimization professionals. In fact, I even wrote about it 10 years ago. Little has changed since then.

The premise is simple:

Search engines like quality links.

Public relations professionals work every day to get their clients mentioned in the press. In most cases, the press will provide links in these mentions. These links are far more valuable than any links you can get from other sources.

Building links is the hardest part of search engine optimization (I’m sure some will argue after me on this point – well, prove me wrong).

So if public relations professionals can do the hardest part of SEO, they should be the best SEOs.

But with few exceptions, they aren’t.

There are many reasons that PR folks don’t like SEO. They think it’s just for techies; they don’t want to be seen as an SEO; but mostly they don’t realize the value links can have for their clients or organizations.

But many PR professionals are changing their attitude toward SEO and embracing search. Others, though, are happy to pitch away, worrying more about the ink than the link.

Here are five ways you can build links using the time-worn media relations techniques that have been practiced for years by PR pros.

1. Find Your Influencers & Create Relationships With Them

SEO professionals are typically tech-minded. SEOs typically work to create scalable solutions that automate everything. No exception in link building.

From e-mail scraping tools to private blog networks, SEOs will jump on any link building tool which promises to create links en masse that they control. Well, at least until Google bans those techniques and the tools start getting websites into trouble.

I can tell you from experience that successful link building is more about quality than quantity. I’d rather have one link from the Wall Street Journal than 1,000 links from Joe Schmoe’s blog. But a link from the Wall Street Journal is difficult to obtain.

You don’t have to go that big.

Finding the influencers in the niche you are working in isn’t hard. It just takes time and research.

Once you find those influencers, engage them. Not by spamming them asking for a link. Really read what they are saying.

Comment. Send influencers helpful articles that have nothing to do with your site. When the time is right, they’ll be more apt to link to what you want them to, even if it’s not quite a fit.

It’s the law of reciprocity – if you do something for the influencer, they will feel that they need to help you out.

PRO TIP: Whenever possible, meet with influencers in person. Buying a journalist or blogger a beer typically has a very high ROI.

PRO TIP #2: Limit your reach. This sounds counter-intuitive, but if you target everyone, you target no one. Identifying the top 10 or 15 best influencers and cultivating relationships with those folks is, in most cases, far more effective than trying to interact with 100 influencers. Everyone has limited resources. Use yours wisely.

SEO PRO TIP: When looking at influencers, look at their search presence. If a decent influencer has a bad search presence, offer them some tips for free. Depending on the influencers, it can be profitable to even offer to fix their site for free. I can say, however, that I’ve turned influencers into clients with this tactic. Again, law of reciprocity.

2. Look for Opportunities That Tie Into Current Events

Many SEO pros already do this, to an extent. But most write an article around something timely and then pitch it.

For many of the top sites, that’s too late.

PRO TIP: Set up Google Alerts around key topics and people in your industry. That way you can know when a big story hits.

PRO TIP #2: Practice getting the word out. Create “fire drills” with your team and client and act like a big news story just hit. This is a good way to get your team and client onboard with what you are doing so you don’t get blank stares or flat or refusal to participate when the real thing hits. This is especially important for SEOs who work with other PR professionals. Get the other PR pros involved in the process. That way they don’t feel like you are taking over their job – a common problem for SEOs who practice PR tactics for link building purposes.

BONUS PRO TIP: Make sure you have your lists ready as much ahead of time as possible.

3. Use Press Releases for Big News

A few years back, SEOs almost ruined the press release. We found out that a tool that has been used for decades by PR pros also worked to create links on a ton of sites. And so we use them, abused them, and almost “losed” them.

Today there is still some abuse of press releases, but most legitimate services have increased their prices so that sending out a press release is not practical for every little piece of news.

But when you have something big to say? The links are still there. But they don’t come from the syndication.

In fact, most of the links that are syndicated are now nofollowed or carry no value.

Like you (see tip #2), influencers are monitoring for new stories. They will see your press release. If you don’t get any calls, that means you either used the wrong service, didn’t use the right keywords in the release, or your news wasn’t big enough.

PRO TIP: The “emabargoed” release, or a release that goes out to a few influencers before it is syndicated, is a great way to get an influencer’s attention. If you have one that you really want a link from, send them the press release beforehand and ask them not to put anything out about it until it goes live – but make sure to tell them when it goes live. In some cases, you can even let them break the story, which influencers love to do.

PRO TIP #2: If you don’t embargo (or more likely don’t embargo to everyone), you can send links to your release in the sites that pick up the release through your wire service of choice. If you send a link from the Houston Chronicle or even the influencer’s local paper that has your news in it, you’ll get their attention.

SEO TIP: If you work with a PR firm, ask to see their releases before they put them on the wire. That way you can insure that the keywords you want in there are actually in there. PR folks love language, and sometimes use different words than what is searched. Showing them the light in regards to specific keywords is a win for everyone.

4. Look at HARO

Help a Reporter Out was founded by Peter Shankman initially as a Facebook group to help reporters find sources for stories. Shankman knew that most reporters are looking for sources, and PR pros are looking to provide sources.

The Facebook group was such a hit he turned it into an e-mail list. Then Cision bought the whole thing for several million dollars.

Today there are still tons of journalists and other influencers asking for sources for stories. There is a veritable linking gold mine in every issue of HARO. And there are three issues per day.

PRO TIP: It takes some time to really read through HARO every day. If you can, assign someone on your team to be responsible for looking through each issue to see if there is anything relevant for your client or your company.

PRO TIP #2: Follow HARO on Twitter at @helpareporter to see urgent requests from journalists.

SEO TIP: There are frequent questions from reporters around search related subjects. Don’t forget to check it for yourself.

5. Research Your Niche

Most PR pros are news junkies. Many came into the profession from a journalism background. Good PR pros always know what is going in their niche – from the latest rumors down to the competitor offerings.

Most SEOs I know are news junkies when it comes to SEO, but not when it comes to their clients. SEOs miss out on so many link building opportunities when they don’t know the industry they are working in.

For our clients, we try to become experts in their field. We may never know the business as well as the client does, but we can certainly become proficient enough to identify linking opportunities we would never find if we didn’t know the industry.

PRO TIP: If there are publicly traded companies in your niche, read their earnings reports. You can learn a lot from earnings reports, and your influencers may not be reading them, so letting them know what’s up is a way to further the relationship.

PRO TIP #2: If your niche is wide, try to narrow it. The more you can narrow the niche, the easier it is to become an expert. And once you learn one aspect of your niche, it’s usually easier to expand to broader topics.

SEO TIP: Keep tabs on what your competitors are doing in search, what’s working for them, and what isn’t working. Don’t forget to look at their backlinks. By doing this, you will become better at optimizing your own sites.

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