When is a link more than just a link? When it has the potential to create even more links! Too often site owners look at link building as a one step practice—find a blog, leave a comment, get a link; write a press release, get a link; share content on Facebook, get a link. But link building for SEO can be so much more than that! It’s time we stop looking at links as the end goal, and focus on link building activities that can produce links exponentially.

Here are three ways to give a little but get a lot with your link building:

Don’t ignore the smaller blogs/players in your industry.

Not everyone can get interviewed on Mashable, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t dozens of smaller blogs that would be happy to quote you or review your new product. Small blogs might not have the expansive reach of top industry blogs, but they do have their fair of loyal and targeted readers. A smaller industry blog might also be more willing to interview you, offer a guest blogging opportunity or promote a local event your hosting than a top blog simply because they have the space and time to do so. A link from a small blog is no less valuable than a link from a top industry blog, and you might have the opportunity to get more links down the road from a smaller blog that you have a good relationship with.

Share other people’s content.

I am a big fan of writing one recap post for my company blog each week. First off, it’s a quick and easy way to guarantee that new content is going live on my blog, so even in a really busy week there is fresh content getting pushed out. To find great blog posts to share with my readers, I simply pull from the blogs I read on a daily/weekly basis and link to ones that I left comments on! Think of it like this—when you leave a comment on a blog, you’re getting a valuable inbound link for your site. Why not return the favor and link back to some of your favorite bloggers? When I post the recap blog on Twitter I make sure to mention the author’s Twitter handle so they know I shared their content. This helps me better connect with the blogger and I might even get a shout out for sharing their content!

Sharing other people’s content can help your connect with other industry professionals and thought leaders. No man (or website for that matter) is an island and it’s important to open lines of communication with other people in your industry. If you come across a great blog post or white paper, go ahead and share it! Not only is it great fodder for your own social networks (to fill in the gaps between promoting your own content), you never know what kind of love you might get back.

Thank people for sharing your content on social sites.

It’s amazing what a little common courtesy can do for your social media marketing and link building. There are plenty of ways to track and monitor who shares your content, so try to give a quick shout out/thanks to those people whenever you can. If someone quotes you or your content in a blog post, leave a little comment (another link!) thanking them for the mention. People want to do business with people, and building those personal relationships, even if you never meet face-to-face, can go a long way to help your link building.

Link building is neither quick nor easy and if you think it is chances are you’ve been doing it wrong! Instead of spending all your time and effort focusing on just building dead end links, why not switch gears a little and start investigating link building activities and opportunities that can not only get you one link now, but infinitely more down the road.