Don’t skip this post too fast, I’m not going to review the same link building methods you have read over and over on many blogs. We all know we need to build links towards our site to make it great in the face of the big G. We all know we need authority links, or links from popular sites if you prefer, in order to rank higher in search engines. We all know there are tons of gray hats with suit and tie methods to build links with article submissions, spun content, private blog networks, web 2.0, blog comments and so on. It has become so obvious that many people are doing it, and many people are penalized by Google for doing so. They get penalized because it’s not a natural way of building links. This is where I’m going with my article; creating a way to build natural links with a detailed and effective process.
This is a question you may think about but never ask… just kidding! Well Google bots wonder about it with regards to links. So how can you build natural links? Isn’t it not the paradox of “building links” as if they were really natural, they wouldn’t be “built”? This is probably why it is so important to have a strict, detailed process about how you will generate them. Don’t worry, I’m not going to sell you some kind of product at the end of this post, this is a pure and natural way of building links. You may want to accelerate the process by hiring VAs to do a part of this job, but it’s not necessary.
This article is based on the method I intend to use to build links for my new niche site which hasn’t yet been revealed. I’m still building it and I want to reveal it once it generates income. My goal is to make at least $500/month with this site by the end of the year. Here’s the process I will use to make it happen
Yup… you can’t really get away without this. If you start a niche site and you want to rank in Google, you need to work several hours on your keyword research. The point is not only to find the specific keywords your homepage will target, but to build a list of at least 50 other long tail keywords that will be targeted by the other 50 articles you will write on your site. That’s right; I actually intend to write over 50 articles for this site. I’m now done with 17 at the moment. Each of them is targeting a different keyword and all of these keywords are related to the same topic. This is how you can A) build a natural fit with Google rankings since you completely cover a topic and B) rank for long tail keywords and get traffic while waiting for your most competitive keyword to rank.
For the record, I use Long tail Platinum Pro to conduct my keyword research. It helps me generate and calculate the keyword competitiveness in only a few minutes.
The second step is also all about building a natural site to get natural links; write your articles! I started to build links around my niche site once I have a structure that looks like a site instead of having a pale home page with 2 links working on it! I want to capture the interest of my first visitors right away.
While writing articles, you will start to get a real feel for your site and how you want to shape it. It will be easier for you to create internal links and modify your approach as you progress.
Now that you have a site that looks like a real site, the next step is finally about link building! You should make an attack plan before you start going crazy with building 500 links per week. Anyways, this method won’t work forever, how is this possible to get that many amount of links naturally? Duh!
Relevant quality links are done one by one with other sites discussing the same topic. There are three main ways to build these links. Blog commenting, guest posting and expired domain 301 redirects. And I don’t know much about expired domain redirect methods so I will leave that to my friend Jon Haver at Authority Website Income.
My strategy will revolve around blog commenting and guest posting. My detailed process includes how I will search through the internet to find blogs covering my topic. I don’t waste time to identify the PR or do-follow or no-follow links. My point is to find all the articles about my niche site topic, copy and paste the url in an Excel document and start write a comment on each article. The comment must be at least 50 words and must add value to it. I use a pen name with the name of the site to comment (ex: Mike @ The Financial Blogger). It looks less spammy and has better hopes of getting approved.
Then, I will write 2 guests posts per month including 2 links each. The first link will be the home page and the second link will be for another page on my site. I select preferably a page I have chance to rank high or that could lead me to some affiliate sales.
I already know a lot of people in this niche so I don’t have to be too creative in my approach for guest posts. If I didn’t know anybody, I would probably comment on their blog (not only on my topic related article but in general) for a few weeks before sending an email to ask.
Higher volume links are low quality links compared to the relevant ones but they definitely help to get several sources of links. Among the most common sources, we have Web 2.0 sites (WordPress, Blogger, etc), Private Blog Networks (not recommended), Directory Submissions, Yahoo Answers, Social promotion (Twitter, Facebook, etc) and carnival submissions.
These resources are well known by any internet marketer and have definitely lost power for ranking strategies. However, it doesn’t mean that it’s not worth something. The idea is to build a constant and sustainable flow of new links over several months, read years to consolidate your site strength.
These are hard to come by and they include important websites, high PRs and .edu links. The method that I’ve found to build such links so far is to write epic content (article over 2,000 words) going all-in about a topic and refer such important websites as resources. Then, you can send an email and hope they will link back to your site. It’s not as good as a pure link from an authority site since they are reciprocal links, but at least you have it!
This is where planning is important. You definitely want a massive amount of links pointing towards your site but you don’t want them to happen overnight. This is why I would rather take a slow approach and build roughly 100 links per month (so 25 per week). Once I’ve listed all the places I want to link from, I determine the number of links to build for each type on a weekly basis. This will look a lot more natural and it ensures that you can build links for at least a year.
Now that you know how many links per week and how you will build them, it’s important to have a plan for pages you want to rank with. You will obviously aim 50% of your link building towards your home page; this is your main page to grow your authority. However, I plan on using the other 50% of my links to point to various other articles. This is a good way to make sure that you have more than one strong page and, here again, it makes a lot more sense to have various pages highlighted in the web.
I’ve selected 5 other pages (so roughly getting 10% each of my link building strategy). It should be interesting to see which pages will rank on the top 10 searches first!
If you want to save time, create a word document with a process for each type of link you want to create. This is how you can truly think about how you can build a maximum of links with a minimum of time. Then, create an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of each of the links.
The more detailed your process is, the more effective you will become in building links. And this is when you can start to outsource part of this boring stuff…
You can pretty much do everything by yourself. There is nothing mentioned in this post that you can’t do. But these tasks are quite boring and repetitive. This is why I decided to hire a VA on ODesk to complete these tasks. This is also why I just insisted on how detailed your process must be.
I spent 30 minutes on ODesk to find the VA I was looking for. I picked someone charging under $3 per hour and started with a very simple task: find all blog posts related to my topic and copy their url into a spreadsheet. In 2h20 he found 200 articles. That was a big $6 spent on him for a very boring task.
I will train this VA slowly with a new task each week. The point will be to become proficient at all different tasks I don’t want to do:
- Find blogs to comment on
- Blog commenting
- Creating web 2.0 sites
- Carnival submissions
- Directory submissions
- Publish content (find pictures, do links, etc)
- Social promotion, etc
I’m currently writing a detailed procedure for each task with print screens and additional information to make sure he does the right thing first and doesn’t ask any questions. So far, I’m pretty happy with the results!
I mentioned this before in the article but don’t go crazy with link building once your site is live. Give it time to grow naturally as well. Now that you have a detailed process there is no rush to push the link building machine to the extreme. I will start off by building 100 links per month from various types but I won’t stop after a month. The key is to keep adding new links and make the link building wheel spin forever. After all, great sites keep getting new links each right, aren’t they?
I’ll tell you if this plan works in a few months, but I’m already seeing some results after my first attempt…
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