How I Built 5,660 Backlinks in 30 Days [New Strategy]

And dozens of other authority news sites and blogs.

…and you can browse through stats that they’ve compiled about that topic.

Or expand the People Also Ask boxes to reveal more commonly-asked questions.

Reverse Engineering

(Like “TikTok monthly users”, “How much time people spend on TikTok” and “TikTok downloads by country.)

In fact, this approach has helped my stat pages show up in dozens of Featured Snippets, like this:

They don’t scale.

Your first step is to find a “Journalist Keyword”.

My secret?

That way, YOU can be the go-to source for data on this emerging topic.

And they cite me as a source in their articles:

(In fact, that single page has 11.5K total backlinks. 95%+ of which came from Reverse Outreach.)


For example, this page about Tesla is quickly becoming one of Backlinko’s most linked-to pages.

Specifically, trending topics that don’t have a lot of easy-to-find data sources.

Which helps it rank higher in Google for its existing keyword. And rank for completely new terms.

Specifically, you want to answer the most interesting questions that journalists have around the topic.

This means most traditional keyword research tools are out.

It’s called “Reverse Outreach”.

That sounds great. Until you look at some of my competitors.

Business Insider:

TikTok users – Complex stat
Search Engine Journal – Referring domains

And started to rank for dozens of other keywords too.

That’s not to say 100% of your stats need to be crunchy stats. For example, here’s a relatively complex stat from one of my pages:

But there’s one big problem with most link building strategies:

And this case study I’m going to show you exactly how I did it, step-by-step.

Just search for a topic…

But you can use your stats page to make the data easier to find and consume (and earn a ton of links along the way).

Google News

So when I did the math, I realized that I needed a different approach to link building.

Backlinko – TikTok users

Rinse and repeat for every stat on your page that you can.

Include Visuals and Charts

My stats post about DuckDuckGo covers pretty much everything a journalist would want to know.

TikTok users – Backlinks growth

But once it does, you sort of get into a link tornado situation:

TikTok users – Google rankings

Yes, this brought in some traffic.

A Journalist Keyword is just like it sounds:

For example, take my post about Tesla.

Next, look for a page on a competitor’s site with a lot of links.

Here’s how:

Snippet Bait

And that’s exactly what happened.

Journalist keywords in subheading

According to Semrush, I have 47.3K referring domains.

For example, here’s a crunchy stat from my TikTok stats page:

Note: Interest in trending topics (like Clubhouse) can fall off the map. But the upside still makes the approach worth it. Even though Clubhouse is no longer relevant, that single page (which took about 2 hours to write) still brought in 1.6K total backlinks!

Backlinko – Clubhouse users

Visuals help your stat pages get more backlinks for two reasons:

These are usually questions that bloggers and journalists want answers to.

So yeah, that’s Reverse Outreach: my go-to link building strategy right now.

The question is: how do you find Journalist Keywords?

People Also Ask Boxes

Backlinko – DuckDuckGo stats

Examples of crunchy stats include:

  • Industry size
  • Company revenue
  • The number of people doing a thing (eating keto, mediating, etc.)
  • Time spent doing X
  • % growth over time

I also like to review and update these pages AT LEAST once per quarter.

Let’s look at a real-life example.

That way, all of your data is up to date. And you keep getting that temporary freshness boost that comes from a legit content update.


This is a stat that ANYONE can understand in 3 seconds. And is easy to cite in an article.

Then, find the Journalist Keywords that the page ranks for.

Stats in job posting

Now I’d like to hear from you.

TikTok users – Crunchy stat

In fact, most of the links that I get to my stat pages are people citing crunchy stats.

Sure enough, that post eventually ranked #2 for “TikTok users”.

Obviously, Tesla isn’t super relevant to my niche (digital marketing). But Tesla is in tech (which IS somewhat relevant to Backlinko). So it’s not like I’m creating a stats page about the keto diet.

Step #2: Outline Your Content

Your next step is to outline your article.

Next, it’s time to gather all of the data that you’re going to include in your stats page.

Like Yoast (67.2K referring domains):

But you want to include as many crunchy stats as you can (especially towards the top of the page).

But in general, here are some great places to find data for stats pages:


Backlinko – Tesla stats

A new strategy called Reverse Outreach.

You can use tables to show growth or decline over time:

Or for rankings:

With that, let’s jump into the step-by-step process.

Step #1: Find “Journalist Keywords”

(Without sending a single outreach email.)


Well, when Clubhouse was poised to become “The Next Big Thing”, everyone and their mom was writing articles about it.

The New York Times – Clubhouse article

Tables can help you rank as a table Featured Snippet.

Tesla sales – Related searches

Step #3: Collect Your Data

Crunchy stat cited in article

For example, take a look at Backlinko.

Statista – Netflix data

“Work for Us” Pages

If you’re writing about a brand, check out their job listings.

For example, remember Clubhouse?

Sure enough, I found plenty of stories with data I could use.

Semrush – Backlinko – Referring domains
Twitter – Investor relations
Google SERP – TikTok users

Statista is a curated database of stats on pretty much any industry under the sun.

Inc. – TikTok users backlink
Google SERP – Social media users – People also ask

(Plus, this assumes that Yoast isn’t going to get any more backlinks during that time. Which isn’t going to happen.)

Bloomberg – TikTok users backlink

If so, how did it go?

The problem with Google News is that stories like this disappear from the platform after a few days. Plus, a lot of those stories are behind a paywall.

Statista – Search – Netflix

For example, this page from Backlinko is optimized around the journalist keyword “social media usage”.

Clubhouse users – Backlinks collage

Instead of reaching out to bloggers and journalists, you have them come to you.

Just search for a topic in your niche…

Second, according to the Victoria University of Wellington, visuals make your content more credible.

You can definitely target Journalist Keywords in your niche (or in related niches, as I did with my Clubhouse post).

Instead, you need to think of the types of data someone would need when writing an article on that topic.

Depending on your content, the keywords you targeted, and your Domain Rank it can take some time for your stats page to pick up some traction.

And this strategy is PERFECT for Reverse Outreach.

All you need to do is format your stats page with a subheading optimized around a Journalist Keyword.

By sharing that data on a stats page, you’re preserving compelling data that would be otherwise hard for journalists to find.

Step #4: Optimize Your Stats Page

And let’s assume that 5% of the outreach emails that I send result in a backlink.

Crunchy stats are bite site stats that are easy to understand at a glance.

TikTok users – Traffic

That page now has editorial backlinks from Bloomberg:

I also made sure to optimize that post around keywords that bloggers and journalists search for.

I built 5,660 backlinks last month.

(When done right.)

This post was designed specifically to get backlinks from journalists.

Backlinko – Social media users

But yeah, it can take 3-4 months for your page to start to rank and get passive links.

How about another example?

A few months ago I published this post on my site:

And the more crunchy stats you include, the more links you’ll get.

This is obviously HUGE if you want big-name publications to use your stats.

Add Lots of Tables

Stripe post – Valuation table


It was a huge pain to find useful data about Clubhouse!

But those problems are an opportunity for you.

If you get stuck, just search for a different keyword (it can take a few to get going).

Who searches for that keyword?

Specifically, each of that post’s subheadings covers a key subtopic about the search engine:

I like to check the page’s organic rankings periodically:

Bumble users – Organic search positions

When they do, my page gets in front of them with the data they need.

(More on that later.)

The goal with this content was simple: get backlinks from authority sites.

First, they give bloggers a visual they can use in their content.

One that could scale. Big time.

Again, this data is usually sort of buried in a PDF.

You get links. Those links push your rankings higher. So you get more links. And the cycle continues.

Twitch post – Rankings table

What would a journalist writing about Tesla want to know about?

  • Tesla’s revenue
  • How many Teslas are sold each year
  • What models are most popular
  • Charging locations
  • Vehicle sales by country

But that’s not really the point. The people searching for these terms aren’t really my target audience.

Reverse Outreach completely flips the script on outreach-based link building.

Or other huge brands in the marketing space, like HubSpot (341K referring domains):

Stat backlink anchor text
Google search – Social media users
TikTok users – Backlinks collage
Backlinko – Page speed stats – Backlinks
Page speed stats – Ranking keywords

Target Trending Topics

Insider – TikTok users backlink

Have you tried getting passive links before?

Google SERP – Roblox users – Backlinko snippet

Let me know in the comments section below.


For example, you can see that this page from Backlinko has a lot of backlinks.

HubSpot – Referring domains

But don’t be afraid to go outside of your niche a little bit.

Answer below subheading Backlink from visual

Outreach-based strategies like The Skyscraper Technique still work GREAT.

…and look for People Also Ask questions that are looking for data.

Yoast – Referring domains

Let’s say I wanted to close my link gap with Yoast using email outreach.

After months of testing, I think I finally found it.

DuckDuckGo stats – Content

So I found every Clubhouse-related stat that I could. And whipped together this collection of Clubhouse stats.

I’ve talked about Snippet Bait before.

US public companies have to share key business metrics with shareholders each quarter.

Adoric – Backlinko citation

Where you find your data depends on your topic.

Because each stat has an opportunity to show as a Featured Snippet.

That page quickly picked up passive links from The Guardian, Cosmopolitan Magazine and more.

In fact, you’ll sometimes ONLY find this info in job listings. Which makes it the exact type of juicy data that journalists want (but is currently hard to find).

S-1 Filings

For example, a New York Times piece was the first to report that the app had been downloaded 600k times:

I’m currently about 20K referring domains “behind” Yoast.

But they also are just a great way of making a lot of data easy to understand at a glance.

Just to see if it’s starting to rank for long-tail keywords. If so, that’s a GREAT sign.

In fact, I relied heavily on Google News for my Clubhouse stats page. I literally searched for “Clubhouse” in Google News every single day for WEEKS.

Specifically, you target keywords that bloggers and journalists search for. And create content that they WANT to link to.

And if you look at the keywords that the page ranks for, you’ll find LOTS of journalist keywords.

Now it’s time to organize and optimize your stats page.

Pro Tip: Check out the “Related searches” for even more ideas.

Backlinko – Last month backlinks

A blogger or journalist writing about how popular social media is!

Then, provide a short and sweet answer to that question right below that subheading.

There was only one problem:

Search Engine Journal (214K referring domains):

(And they’ll usually link back to you as the image source.)

Here’s how it works:

How “Reverse Outreach” Flips The Script on Traditional Link Building

For example, this page continues to rack up new links each and every month.

And if you’re in a competitive niche, you NEED to do link building at scale.

Either way, when you can use a table, you should use a table.

Include “Crunchy” Stats

That means I’d have to send 400K outreach emails just to catch up to Yoast.

Google News is a goldmine of industry data in the form of:

  • Press releases
  • Milestone news stories (“15% of Americans now consider themselves vegan”)
  • Data from industry publications
  • Quotes from experts
Semrush – Backlinko – Indexed pages

It’s a keyword that journalists use when researching or writing an article.

Companies love to entice potential hires by bragging about user numbers, revenue growth and more.