How I made it getting backlinks from Forbes: Complete Case Study


So you want to get backlinks from Forbes?

Well, as you probably already know, it’s not easy but not impossible either.

In this post, you’ll learn the exact approach for getting my content featured on Forbes, increasing my average positioning for thousands of keywords.

What is Forbes?

Forbes doesn’t need any introduction, because this is one of the most visited websites on the planet.  According to, Forbes is on the list of the 500 most visited websites with over 105 million users every single month.

forbes statistics

Also, Forbes revealed that, in addition to their journalists, they have more than 2,600 contributors writing content from around the world, such as CEOs and people with a particular expertise, award-winning experts and leaders.

What if you don’t have those credentials?

This is a big problem because your chances to become again another contributor are extremely low.

So what’s the solution?

Linkable assets (more on this later).

In the past 3 years, I spent a lot of time learning about how to create original research to get a better understanding of what makes a great, link-worthy article. That sort of article that people want to share.

This involved me writing, for example, some innovative studies and statistic articles, including:

???? Also read: A link building case study – how I went from 0 to 120 linking domains

Using numbers and data in my articles enabled me to get a backlink from Forbes and other big publications, such as Moz, HubSpot and CoSchedule, without doing any outreach or pitching.

These big websites contributed to increasing my organic positioning on Google for thousands of keywords.

In fact, Forbes has a domain authority of DA94, HubSpot is DA93, Moz DA91 and CoSchedule DA73.
how to get backlinks from forbes - luca tagliaferro

The basic of a Forbes backlink

Before we start with the process of getting backlinks from Forbes, you need to know what a backlink looks like.

The answer to all of your link building tactics is called a “linkable asset”.

What is a linkable asset?

A linkable asset is an high-quality piece of content designed to attract backlinks. This piece of content includes elements that people find linkable.

How do you build a linkable asset?

To develop linkable content, you must first create something genuinely amazing – something that people will want to link back to without your outreaching.

It’s one thing to promote something you know is valuable, and quite another to do so for something you know is merely average.

Let’s have a look at the real-life example that got me a backlink from Forbes.

This post was designed specifically to get backlinks from bloggers and journalists.

I also made sure I optimised for keywords journalists and bloggers were looking for.

Like “persuasion in marketing”, “persuasive techniques in marketing” and “how to become more persuasive in sales”.

value of persuasion - luca tagliaferro

Sure enough, that post eventually ranked #1 for “the ROI of persuasion in marketing”.

And started to rank for other keywords too, such as “persuasion in marketing”.

persuasion in marketing

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

The goal with this content is simple: generate backlinks from authority sites.

And that’s exactly what happened.

The page now has editorial links from Forbes:

forbes backlink luca tagliaferro

convertcart backlink

What makes a blog post worthy of Forbes backlinks?

There are three steps for creating a linkable asset that I used for getting a backlink on Forbes.

Step 1: Become the source of truth for journalists and bloggers

This is how you become the source for bloggers and journalists:

  • Research numbers and statistics
  • Illustrate your arguments and positions based on the data
  • Show a new truth or solution to a problem

Journalists and reporters are NOT subject-matter experts like SEO experts. They won’t share on Forbes or other big sites an amazing piece on how to create headlines for your blog, for example.

That’s because they are not interested in learning that topic, it’s not their job.

But they do analyse, rank and judge and give opinions about all sorts of topics , from marketing to psychology, to economics, sales and HR.

So, in order to do their job better, what do they do?

What everyone does: they head to Google and search for statistics and values. They look at numbers and data to support their opinions and positions on a specific topic.

If it happens that your post ranks on top positions on Google, then chances are that it’ll be found and linked to.

This technique is what Backlinko calls Reverse Outreach.

Instead of you pitching your piece to journalists, you write something that ranks high on search engines and journalists will eventually find it.

Step 2: Find linkable asset ideas

Linkable asset ideas, also called “journalist keywords”, are those keyword and topic ideas journalists use when they write their articles.

For example, this article on my blog is called “UpWork statistics, usage and trends”.


Who searches for these keywords and ideas?

A blogger or a journalist writing about freelancing is!

When they write, my page gets in front of them with the data they are looking for.

upwork stats serps


To find linkable assets ideas, you can start by searching for topics in your niche.

For example, “Peloton statistics”.

Then you can use People Also Ask to find more keyword ideas that journalists probably use to find their answers.

peloton stats serps


Another great tactic is to look at what your competitors publish and then check the number of backlinks they get.

If you use an SEO tool like, you can easily head over the Backlinks Audit> Pages to find this info

semrush indexed pages report


Normally, the pages with the most number of backlinks and linking domains are the statistics pages.

HubSpot most linked page, after the home page, is this Marketing Statistics page, for example.

It has over 60,000 backlinks and 11,500 linking domains!

statistics page

Then if you look at the keywords list, you’ll find a lot of linkable asset ideas you can steal.

linkable asset ideas

How to give your linkable asset the best chance of being picked up by a journalist

From my experience of publishing many linkable assets, I’ve found a few things that you can do to push your content higher up on Google search results. This will then increase your chances to put it in front of journalists and bloggers.

Collect data from trusted sources

When you collect your data that you include in your linkable asset, make sure you it’s coming from trusted sources.

Here are the best websites that can give you your statistics and are trustworthy:

  • – a curated database of statistics for every industry and niche
  • Government websites – public bodies often publish data about every industry
  • In the UK, companies’ house filing – private companies share their business metrics each quarter
  • Investors relations – public companies are legally asked to share their revenues and business metrics. Search Google for “company name investor relations”.
  • Google News – here you can find press releases, news stories, quotes from experts, data from industry publication
  • Your own research poll – you can create your own poll and interview people using tools like Google FormsSurveyMonkeyTypeFormDoodle and many more.

Format your content with tables, images and lists

Tables and lists help getting your piece more backlinks for two reasons:

First, you can generate featured snippets and gain Google’s position 0.

This is an example of a listed featured snippet. Journalists can feature this list on their articles.

featured list example

Second, images can also rank in Google Images and journalists can also pick your images and link to it.

ConvertCart linked my image in their content, just copy-pasted it. Images help bloggers to visualise and speed up their writing.

Conclusion: don’t chase people, make journalists find your content

So, this is my process for getting backlinks from editorial sites like Forbes, without having to outreach anyone.

Now, I’d like to hear from you.

Have you generated links from big editorial sites before?

How did it go?