.EDU Link Building with Scholarships Guide

By Ajay Paghdal

There are a lot of link building strategies in the world of search engine optimization. And out of all of them, .EDU link building seems to be shrouded in somewhat of a mystery. Alright, maybe “mystery” is a bit too dramatic of a word, but there certainly are some misconceptions surrounding this technique.

Today, we will be covering scholarship link building, clearing all of those misconceptions out, and give you some advice on how to get the most out of your .EDU link building campaign.

But, first of all, we have to answer a simple question.

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The biggest determining factor in this question is how much money are you willing to give out on scholarships. You could offer $5000, or you could offer $500 per scholarship, and end up getting pretty much the same result.

You can expect to land at least 15-30 responses from 200 outreach emails, basically landing you 15-30 backlinks for one scholarship. If you’re offering $500, that sounds more than a fair deal, especially considering that the average price for a backlink built by an agency is about $250.

As you can see, none of the external scholarships on the Colby Community College website exceed $1,500. So, it doesn’t really need to be any more than that.

But the scholarship itself is not the only expense you have to be ready for. What you also should be keeping in mind is:

  • The price of creating a Scholarship page.
  • The price for running an outreach campaign (unless you’re doing it yourself).
  • The price of reviewing all of your scholarship applications (unless you’re doing it yourself again, but be prepared for hundreds upon hundreds of them).

So, in total, you won’t be looking at more than $2000, if you decide to go for the $500 scholarship.

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Well, if you consider getting a couple of dozen backlinks for about $2000, then yes, it will. Any successful link building campaign will pay off.

Especially if bigger universities accept your offer, the one-time price of a scholarship is more than worth the benefits you will be getting in the long run. In addition to boosting your SEO, it is also beneficial for your brand image, and your relationship with your local community.

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Search Operators for University Emails on Google

A lot of the schools who accept external scholarships actually have a separate email for receiving offers. You should definitely target that one because if you just send your message to one of their regular addresses, you probably won’t get a response.

If you struggle with finding your prospects’ emails, be sure to check out our guide on how to find email addresses more easily.

Here are some search operators for finding university email addresses much more easily.

[linkio_search_operators limit=”5″ keywords=”business,mba,law,communications,medical” options=”any” categories=”24″]

General scholarship pages usually avoid listing scholarships from other businesses. For that, they usually have separate external scholarship pages. Here are some search operators for finding those.

If you know the name of the person whose email you’re looking for, you can also try using a tool like Hunter.io.

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Outreach Email Templates

I promised some outreach email templates to speed up your outreach campaign a bit, and here they are. Feel free to grab them for your own use, but make sure to personalize them for each school!

All of these templates are from our own collection of 80+ cold email outreach templates for different link building strategies.

[linkio_email_outreach_templates limit=”10″ templates=”4″ categories=”.EDU Outreach”]

Want to learn how to write outreach email pitches that get approved more? We’ve got a guide for that as well.

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Some Original Scholarship Ideas

I already mentioned essay competitions as one of the most common ways of going about scholarship link building. But it’s far from the only way it can be done.

For example, you could receive submissions in video form. Maybe a little self-presentation and why your scholarship would be important to them? Or who could make the best-looking, most informative, industry-specific video about a niche topic?

But scholarships don’t need to be all formal and serious. If you dig around, you will find tons of scholarships given out for something ridiculous. For example, Duck Brand offers a $10,000 award to whoever can design the best prom costume out of duct tape!

With Halloween coming up, I’m sure you can think of something similar…

Since we’re in the world of IT, maybe a good idea would be to have students design some of their first websites. This would both give them the experience they will desperately need in the future, and give them a chance to win some much-needed cash along the way.

When you’re coming up with scholarship ideas, you have to think of something related to your business. If you run a restaurant, a recipe competition for culinary students would be a perfect idea, for example.

Remember: you make the rules, so if you’re going to go through hundreds of applications, might as well have some fun with it while you’re at it. Don’t limit yourself and the students to obligatory essays that are boring to write and review.

Here are also 10 ideas for getting .EDU links that don’t necessarily involve scholarships.

Conclusion

So, scholarship link building is not dead after all. And if this was your initial thought before you read this article, I hope I managed to change your mind!

As with everything, .EDU link building is only beneficial in moderation. To keep a healthy backlink profile, you need to acquire all types of links, and focusing on only one would do you more harm than good.