We’ve been at this business for quite a number of years now and over that time we have tried just about every backlinking method known to man. We’ve tried authority site backlink packets, article directory submissions, reciprocal linking, 3 way links, blog commenting, link wheels, blog networks, forum posting, social bookmarking and networking, press releases and that’s just for starters.
We even paid an SEO company back in the early days to do the SEO and backlinking for us. That was a big mistake… it didn’t take long before we realized that we knew more than they did and they cost what felt like a fortune at the time.
I think our goal with all of this has always been to try to find an easy way to get backlinks but I’ve come to the conclusion that there really is no easy way. If you want strong powerful backlinks then you have to work for it. And notice I said ‘strong powerful backlinks’. Anyone can get a ton of backlinks to their website – I could email someone now and they could get me thousands of links in the next 24 hours but you can only imagine what sort of links they would be.
The distinguishing factor here is quality not quantity. One good quality backlink has more value than hundreds or even thousands of poor quality backlinks.
That’s not to say that all of those backlinking methods I’ve listed above are worthless. On the contrary, a good mix of backlinks is important so it helps to include a range of different techniques. However, what we have found is that out of all the backlinking methods we have tried one stands head and shoulders ahead of the rest. The backlinking method I am referring to is guest blogging or guest articles (or PAD if you are a James Martell student).
Guest blogging simply involves giving free articles to website owners in exchange for links back to your website.
Simple right? Too simple for some it seems or perhaps they really don’t see the value in this method. We received an email some time back from someone saying that they had read where someone had posted on a forum that although our Amazonian Profit Plan was great the backlinking section was ‘weak’. I could only laugh at that because this method of backlinking is about the strongest there is.
It may seem ‘weak’ to some because of it’s simplicity and because there are no tricks involved in it to manipulate the search engines. And it is because of this many don’t see the value in it.
They also don’t even want to try it because they know it involves work. Most people simply want to press a button and hey presto they have hundreds of backlinks. In an ideal world that would be great but so far I am yet to see any automated backlinking system that results in hundreds of GOOD QUALITY backlinks.
Even those blogging networks haven’t been much of a success. We’ve tried most of them and some are better than others of course but ultimately your links end up on blogs that have been manufactured simply to add links. What this generally means is that the content on those blogs is average to say the least and they aren’t updated very often. You will also find that your links are mixed with other often undesirable links so you are associating with a bad neighborhood so to speak. We keep trying these networks and will probably continue to try them but as yet we haven’t really found any that have been up to par.
Another thing to consider here is that Google is starting to focus on quality even more so particularly with their latest update. I can only imagine that more is coming from Google in the future so we need to be ever vigilant that we not only provide quality content but we also have quality backlinks from quality sites.
This is an industry where just about everyone is looking for a quick fix and when I say ‘everyone’ we include ourselves in that bunch. Even though we have worked hard to get where we are, we are still constantly looking for things to make it easier. But then again maybe it’s a good thing that it isn’t that easy to make money online. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it and the market would be flooded.
It’s a case of survival of the fittest – only the strongest survive in this business and usually that means those that don’t give up and keep at it despite the work. You only have to look at JamestheJusts success story to see that.
What I am getting at is that if you want to really succeed with all of this you have to be prepared to do the work and you have to be prepared to stick at it for the long haul. That means even if you haven’t made a cent in the first three months, you keep going. And even if you have only made a few dollars by the end of the first year, you keep going, And even if, like us, after 5 years you still aren’t making a full time income, you keep going.
Doing the work means that you have to stop looking for the easy way out. You have to focus and focus big time and you have to stop looking for excuses. Getting traffic is often the biggest hurdle for most and excuses abound as to why they haven’t started to focus in on that area. Even for those who have started backlinking it is often a case of spending a few hours on it and then forgetting about it for another few weeks or maybe forgetting it altogether because it is just too time consuming or too difficult, or family commitments are getting in the way or it’s boring or whatever. Boring just doesn’t cut it – if you have an excuse for not working on building traffic then you have to get past it because it really is your biggest obstacle to making money online. This was one of our biggest obstacles – for us it was all about building websites and adding content but not real much happened when it came to backlinking.
Traffic is critical to your success and to get traffic you have to work for it.
So, How does guest blogging work?
If you have a system of getting traffic that works for you then by all means use it. We just know what works for us and guest blogging works.
The first step involved with guest blogging is finding sites to submit articles to. The best sites are those within your niche. Bear in mind, when contacting sites in your niche they may consider you as their competition and may not want to add a competitors article to their site. This often has to do with what you are promoting. If you have a specific product site then it can be a little more difficult – for example, if your site is about Apple iPhones and you contact another site also promoting Apple iPhones they will probably ignore your email. On the other hand if your site is about dogs then often it is often easier to contact other dog site owners as in general these sorts of sites are not as product orientated and they see you as more of a kindred spirit rather than as a competitor.
To get around this, you simply approach sites that aren’t in the same niche but are kind of related in some way. For instance, with the iPhone example, I might contact young bloggers who talk about fashion, music and similar topics.
You want a list of sites that have a decent pagerank – we usually go with 3 and up. You can start with technorati.com to find blogs or simply use the Google search.
Once you’ve found these sites you simply send them an email asking if they would like to take a free article from you in exchange for 2 to 3 links in the article back to your website. You let them know that the article is unique and will be on a topic related to their site.
If you get a response back from them you simply write up your article (or get someone to do it for you using Elance for example) and send it to them ensuring that you have placed links to your website within the article.
As you can imagine this method of backlinking can be time consuming. It’s not the quick and easy automated type of backlinking that everyone is after. But you also have to remember that the quality of links is very strong because you are picking sites that are already favored by Google.