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Niche Site Challenge #5: My Highly Effective Link Building Strategy

by Jon Cooper
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If there’s any problem an internet marketer comes across in the field of niche marketing, its creating the necessary backlinks to make their sites rank. Luckily for you, link building is my forte, and without much trouble I got my niche site, bpoindustry.net, to rank at the top of the SERPs with some of the simple yet actionable strategies I listed below. Because I pride myself on giving you the most actionable link building information on the Web, I decided to get as specific as I can by naming the exact websites I use.

Because I’m a white hat, I’m not going to show you any scummy link building strategies like programs & software that supposedly makes you rank in days. Instead I’m going to show you strategies that don’t cost you a dime, are proven to work, and are risk free. I’ve been thinking about testing some of the automated link building tools & software out there just to see the results, but I haven’t gotten around to them quite yet (maybe a future case study?). So, here’s my niche link building strategy.


Relevant Blog Commenting

By far one of the more proven tasks you can do when it comes to link building, relevant blog commenting not only gets you relevant links (although nofollow, yet very effective), but you also educate yourself about the niche you’re in. After I created my niche site and put up 5-10 pieces of content, I still didn’t know as much about the BPO Industry as I’d like, so by reading a variety of outsourcing blogs I got a better grasp on the subject.

Some of you might be wondering just how effective these types of links are. In my experience, they’re the difference between a lazy link builder & a successful one. Yeah, I said it – if you’re going to be lazy when it comes to link building, don’t expect to get repeatable, long-term success. Lazy link builders don’t get these types of links because they’re nofollow, which in their minds means “worthless”. They’d rather just use a $30/month service to build spammy backlinks that, according to the countless testimonials on the sales page, works like a charm. But I digress…

These links are very effective for two reasons. First, they’re relevant – if a post is about the BPO Industry, and I get a link from that page regardless if it’s nofollow, it passes some serious relevancy (almost to the point of anchor text). Second, it diversifies your link profile; if you have 100% dofollow links to your website, it looks unnatural and can get flagged by the search engines. Also, there’s an added bonus: blogs will take notice if you keep commenting on all of their posts. This means that if you’re looking to build relationships in your niche and become more authoritative than a 5-page niche site, this can help create that connection.

If you’re wondering how I do it, here’s my strategy (this is 100% original to the Web).  I go to Blekko, my new favorite search engine, and type this in: “BPO /date”. In this case, substitute “BPO” for your niche. What this does is list the most recent posts written on the web about BPO. This helps you find the most relevant posts across thousands of domains, and not just on a few blogs you managed to find on a top 10 list. Again, this results in a more diversified link profile. Another added bonus is that the results are fresh. I’ve seen posts written in the last 20 minutes showing up in Blekko’s SERPs, meaning I’m one of the first people to read it & comment, which can end up sending a bit of traffic. Depending on the niche & readership of the blog, this can get you a lot more traffic then you think.


Dofollow Blog Commenting

Although they’re some of the lower grade dofollow links on the web, blog comments without the nofollow attribute are still very effective. Because not many blogs offer dofollow links, it’s hard to get relevancy. Because I do this often enough, I’m going to share with you a few of the dofollow blogs I comment on for this strategy:

  1. Dumblittleman.com
  2. Grokdotcom.com
  3. Smuggecko.com
  4. Blog.articlesnatch.com
  5. Blog.mofuse.com
  6. Web.appstorm.net
  7. Kikolani.com

You can find more on my dofollow blogs list, but you don’t need more than the ones listed here. Getting 4 or 5 links per blog is all you need for this strategy. I don’t recommend abusing this strategy, because although these can be effective by themselves, they’re most effective when they’re just one part of your entire link profile.


Web 2.0

Although not a huge part of my link building strategy, I did end up using some of the Web 2.0 sites listed below. When getting links from these sites, make sure your number one priority is domain authority (an OSE metric). The main reasons I used these sites are for a higher number of linking root domains & because they’re good to use if I wanted to do any type of secondary linking. Here are the sites I used:

  • Squidoo – my example (if you have a Squidoo account, I’d appreciate it if you gave the lens a thumbs up J).
  • WordPress.com – my example
  • Blogger.com (or blogspot.com) – my example
  • Weebly.com – my example
  • Tumblr.com
  • Posterous.com
  • Gather.com
  • Livejournal.com (nofollow)

Once you create an account, you’ll be able to create content on these sites. Some of these are blog platforms, others are free subdomain websites, and Gather & Squidoo are like article directories but without the submission process. You’re best bet is to create a 300 – 400 word article on each (doesn’t have to be high quality), and then get these pages indexed. The only site listed above I recommend building links to for secondary linking is Squidoo. For the others, once they get indexed, you’re good to go. Squidoo requires you to create a lens, which takes a little more time than the others, but ends up as a better link than the others.

There are two more things you need to know about this. First, if you’re going to take your time and create a nice piece of content on any of these, it’s going to be on Squidoo. Spend an hour on creating a nice lens on your niche, then build links to it. When I went through this process, I found a couple nuggets of gold: Squidoo lens directories. Although they’re sparse and low quality, they’re free links for your Squidoo lens (I only found two that did the trick, but you might find a couple more out there):

  • Articletroll.com
  • Lensroll.com

Second, if you noticed on some of my examples of the sites I used, I stooped a little low with an experiment. I got access to an article spinning account (Gasp!), and I used it just to see what goes on in the life of a black hat. I ended up spinning the article and placing the spun versions on sites like WordPress.com & Blogger.com, but nothing more. I don’t suggest doing this because if you want long-term success, nothing is worth risking. Even though the highest risk of spinning articles to put on Web 2.0 sites is Google not marking it as original content, this practice might lead to another, and eventually you get sucked into the black hat world of complete automation. If Google’s increasing intelligence hasn’t cautioned you to stay away from any of that stuff, I’ll be the first to tell you don’t even bother risking any of your hard work.


Profile Links

Registering on websites that have a high domain authority & Page Rank can once again diversify your links & send a little authority your way. Although I didn’t create profiles on most of these sites, I highly recommend it. Once again, make sure the pages get indexed & then move on. Here’s a few of the sites you can get great high quality profile links form:

  • Youtube.com – 1 dofollow link on profile page (nofollow on individual videos)
  • Naymz.com – create profile about your site, add links
  • LookUpPage.com – create profile about your site, add links
  • Addthis.com – 1 Forum profile link
  • Drupal.org – 1 Forum profile link
  • Help.com – 1 Forum profile link
  • Last.fm – 1 Forum profile link
  • Aboutus.org – 1 Nofollow link OR many followed links. To get them, just go to the website’s search bar and type in your domain name. It pulls together information (which you can edit) and creates a nofollow link at the top. If you add a ton of awesome information about your site, you can email them & ask for them to make the links dofollow (thanks Kane for this bit!)
  • About.me – Create a page about you or your site & get a link


Article Submission

In my opinion you don’t have to submit a ton of articles to rank smaller niche sites. I only submitted a couple to the higher quality sites, but I recommend submitting more if you’re more of an authority site. On most of the sites you can either create original content (more effective, more time) or you can just syndicate your articles (less effective, less time). I know the lists of the best article directories change frequently, but I did my best to show you the best ones as of November 2011. In my opinion, if you’re creating original content for the sites, only use the most authoritative ones listed here:

  • EzineArticles.com – 2 in resource box
  • GoArticles.com – 4 nofollow links in article, 2 dofollow in resource box
  • ArticleSnatch.com – 3 in resource box
  • IdeaMarketers.com – as many as you want. I go for 2 in article, 2 in resource; I wouldn’t go for more than that.
  • ArticleBlast.com – 1 in article, 1 in resource (not positive though)
  • Amazines.com – as many as you want. I put 3 in in article, there’s no resource box.
  • SooperArticles.com – 2 in resource
  • SelfGrowth.com – 3 in article
  • TheFreeLibrary.com – 4 in resource
  • Articlesbase.com – 3 in article, 3 in resource (all nofollow)
  • ArticleTrader.com – 1 in article, 2 in resource

I’d like to point out that if you’re thinking about posting original content on these sites, think about submitting only 1 piece of original content per site at the very most. Instead, use that content to either put on your own site or submit as a guest post on a relevant blog. If the post is good enough, it could get posted on a medium to high visited blog, and could not only give you a few high quality links, but also some traffic.


RSS Submission

If you’re niche site has a blog, which I highly recommend (I talk about creating the blog in the third niche site challenge post), take the feed and submit it to RSS directories. Here are a few you can use:

  • Feedage.com
  • MillionRSS.com
  • FeedCat.net
  • URLfanx.com
  • Plazoo.com
  • Feeds4all.nl
  • Zimbio.com

To make sure you get links when you submit your feed, make sure you install the RSS Footer plugin so when your content is scraped you always get a link.


Social Bookmarking

Although used mainly to help get my links indexed, social bookmarking can also pass link juice to any page you want. It’s pretty straightforward; you submit a link as a bookmark, and because they’re very popular sites, Google usually finds the links pretty quickly & indexes the page. I personally only use 4 of them because they install into Google Chrome & make it very easy to bookmark, but I suggest using more if you want that extra oomph. Here they are:

These have chrome extensions that make bookmarking easy:

Other great ones:

  • Folkd.com
  • Mister-Wong.com
  • Slashdot.org
  • BlinkList.com
  • NewsVine.com
  • BibSonomy.org
  • Connotea.org
  • JumpTags.com
  • DropJack.com


Other Link Building Strategies I Could Have Used

Believe it or not, just using the above strategies made me rank in no time. Here are a few other effective strategies I didn’t use but should of (and need to):


Directory Submission

It’s pretty basic, but it still works when you’re ranking in non-competitive niches. If you take your time when submitting to each directory to see how much anchor text you can get from each, you’ll like the results you get. Justin Briggs in one of his webinars talked about a group of his SEOs taking their time to find & research relevant directories, the PR they will pass, their most recent cache dates, and how much anchor text they can get in each listing. Instead of outsourcing this, which ends up getting around a 50% approval rate with most links passing little value, they ended up getting around a 90% approval rate with links on PR4 and PR5 pages. Since there are too many lists of directories out there, I’ll spare you the time of making yet another one. What I can say is that you need to focus on looking for relevant directories & researching the pages you can get links on to make sure its worthwhile submitting.


Blog Directories

If you can manage to put up enough content on your blog to be accepted during the submission process, blog directories can do the trick. My blog gained a Page Rank of 3 after only submitting to blog directories, meaning there’s value to be had there. The only drawback that limited my niche site & possibly yours is that most of these directories require you to either have a certain number of posts or a certain number of months posting (most are around 3 months). There is one way to get around this; on WordPress you can set the date your blog posts go out, so if you started your blog in November of 2011, you can set a post to go out in September of 2011 & one to go out in October of 2011. When the reviewers go through your blog, they see the archives dating 3 different months, which is the requirement of most blog directories. It’s sneaky, but sometimes works.


.Gov blog commenting

I recently stumbled across an awesome list of government blogs but I’ve yet to go out and start commenting on them, but it’s a good sign that you might be able to find relevant .gov blogs to comment on & pass relevancy from. Because they’re on a .gov domain, they pass a little more authority than those of .com despite the nofollow attribute. Again, blog commenting is a type of link building that you’ll never run out of, so when in doubt comment it out.


Conclusion

Although you’ve heard of most of these strategies above, they actually do work. If there’s anything that seemed to work best for me, it was the blog commenting. Using Blekko to find the most relevant posts & leaving a comment on each and every one seemed to do the trick in Google; after spending only a little time link building each day for a month, I managed to rank #2 in Google for my targeted term. If you’re looking for higher quality link building strategies, this probably isn’t the strategy for you, but if you haven’t gotten the links I noted above, regardless of the size of your site, then you need to get them as soon as possible. The 3 essential things when building links to niche sites is link diversity, link relevancy, and the domain authority of the links. Although Page Rank is powerful, you need to focus on those 3 before you go for the high PR links.

Thanks SO much for reading! Leave any questions or comments you have below, I’m dying to hear what you have to say!

What you need to do now is tweet about this post – that’s all I ask for spending the hours of putting together this evergreen resource. Please subscribe by RSS to this blog to get even more free link building & SEO content.

Niche Site Challenge #1 – The Saga Begins

Niche Site Challenge #2 – Creating Your Niche Site

Niche Site Challenge #3 – Content Creation & Organization

Niche Site Challenge #4 – Rankings Update

Niche Site Challenge #5 – My Highly Effective Link Building Strategy

This post was written by...

Jon Cooper – who has written 122 posts on Point Blank SEO.

Jon Cooper+ is an SEO consultant based out of Gainesville, FL who specializes in link building. For more information on him and Point Blank SEO, visit the about page. Follow him on Twitter.

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74 Comments
  1. Hey, great post, tweet and like granted. Most of this should be enough to rank smaller niche sites for sure, but more importantly for clients and non-niche sites, it’s 40 new domains that can be linking to your site. Regardless of the individual link quality, I believe that will do a lot for any website.

    One big improvement I noticed on your Profile links section is that AboutUs.org doesn’t have to be nofollow. If you complete your profile well, and then email them, they will remove the nofollow from your page. We just got a tweet from them because of how much content we added to our profile, check it out:

    https://twitter.com/#!/AboutUs/status/132521423351721984
    http://www.aboutus.org/HoodWebManagement.com

    The trick is to have a good description of your site ready to go, and then fill out plenty of the links with the social profiles and 3rd party links relevant to your website.

    Also, in regards to RSS sites, take the time to set up a Zimbio.com account for your feed and have it published to the correct categories. Definitely worth your time…

    • Jon Cooper says:

      Kane,

      Thanks so much for the feedback! I was not aware of Aboutus.org’s policy when it comes to granting dofollow links; I’ll add the information to the post if you don’t mind :)

      On the subject of Zimbio, I just forgot to mention it above, but as you said, it’s another awesome RSS syndicator.

      Also, thanks for the tweet :)

      • “1 Nofollow link. To get it, just go to the website’s search bar and type in your domain name. It pulls together information (which you can edit) and creates a nofollow link at the top. If you add a ton of awesome information about your site, you can email them & ask for them to make the link dofollow (thanks Kane for this bit!)”

        Might want to chage the first part from “1 NoFollow Link” to “1 NoFollow Link OR Many Followed Links” – just to get the point across!

  2. At the beginning of your post you write “that don’t cost you a dime”. Since I work for SMEs which can afford to pay a dime or two my question is: Could you do the same for link building opportunities which cost up to – let’s say – 10$ (one time, yearly)?
    Would be a great series too, I think.

  3. The reason you need to do this is that you do not want your comment to seem spammy at all and it should be well written enough to guarantee approval.One of the main reasons why you are commenting on blogs in the first place is to get backlinks that matter.

  4. Jon Ball says:

    Loved the post. I get weary of way too complicated and esoteric link builders pontificating about their “advanced” strategies. Your straight forward and common sense strategies are very welcome. Thanks!

  5. Robbie says:

    Matey that’s a mighty fine summary of tools & techniques.
    SEO Noob? Head here for some ethical SEO methods.
    Good job.

  6. James Hind says:

    With the number of blogs now using Disqus, and similar, which don’t get indexed normally it’s getting harder to find blogs with indexed comments (in our niche at least).

    • Jon Cooper says:

      James,

      Now that Facebook comments are being indexed, you might be able to leverage blogs with Facebook commenting (although you might have to be creative getting your link in the comment). Also, think about extending from your niche to other similar, non-competing niches. For example, Auto Parts might be a good niche to find blogs to comment on & interact with.

      Hope that helps!

  7. Michael says:

    Jon, I think I have just about finished drooling. Excellent, excellent article. I was actually quite excited while reading it.

    I don’t really have much to add other than (plus someone already mentioned the AboutUs.org correction), I myself, not being a big fan of article submission. I honestly feel like time could be better used and if the content is original, why not use it on your own site (more of a rhetorical question)?

    Keep up the good work!

    • Jon Cooper says:

      Michael,

      I had been putting off this post for too long, and I was going to put it off even further if it wasn’t for you :).

      Thanks always for the positive feedback! You rock!!

      • Michael says:

        Lol. Thanks Jon.

        Definitely made my week reading this. What else can I say? I am a sucker for solid link building content, material and strategy, even if it is stuff I already employ in my arsenal. I guess I am just happy that someone didn’t put together a bunch of nonsense. :-)

  8. Darren says:

    Another great post Jon. You keep on knocking them out of the park.

    I “thumbed up” your Squidoo Lens.

  9. I had a question about Your web 2.0 linking strategy.
    When you talk about using the root domains, do you mean using the root domain of the web 2.0 property and linking to any page on of the main site we’re linking to? What do you mean specifically and what do why do you prefer this strategy.

    • Jon Cooper says:

      I’m not sure exactly what you’re asking, but I think I have a good idea. When you create these web 2.0 properties, you want to get at least one link back to your main site from each, and by getting at least one link from all of these various web 2.0 properties, you increase the number of linking root domains. This helps diversify your link profile.

      Hope that helps! :)

      • Yes, Thanks..
        Let’s say I have several pages on my WordPress Blog, your suggestion is to link from the homepage of my WordPress for instance.
        Basically I should be linking from the root/main URL of my Web 2.0 properties to my main site. Is that right?

        • Jon Cooper says:

          Honestly, it’s up to you. If the most authoritative page on that 2.0 property is the home page, then go ahead and put a link on the home page to your main website. I don’t suggest making multiple pages on each individual property because I’m only looking to increase the linking root domains (the # of different domains that are linking to you).

          Also – make sure the link is in your content. Don’t just put up a massive link out of context to your main website. Instead, link your keyword in the middle of a paragraph when it makes sense.

  10. Hi Jon,

    I just finished reading all five of your posts about the niche site challenge, I got here via SPI, and out of the 4-5 different niche site duel posts I read on other blogs, only yours got me hooked to read all of them.

    You mention in another post you aren’t too happy with the theme of this blog, but I kind of like it, unlike a lot of other sites, it’s content focused and easy on the eyes when reading a lot.

    Anyways I’ve been blog commenting for a while now and have noticed great differences since, but I was wondering what you stand is on comments that use KeywordLuv and/or CommentLuv?

    • Jon Cooper says:

      Thanks Jamie!! :)

      If you’re a blog and thinking about using either of those 2, please take a step back. While it encourages people to comment, the amount of spam you get from it just isn’t worth your time. I’d rather have honest to good folks like you be the majority of the comments, even if it means a lower overall number.

      In terms of link building, they do work, but I wouldn’t comment solely for the reason of either of these. Keywordluv is by far the better of the two (commentluv is more for traffic & less for link value I’ve noticed), but again, going out of your way to find crappy blogs to comment on just because of either of these isn’t smart. Instead, find the most authoritative blogs you can get nofollow links from. Authority nofollows seem to be much more powerful than dismal dofollows.

      Hope that helps!

  11. Thanks for answering Jon, it does help, I was thinking more for link building, I don’t have neither plugin installed on any of my 9 blogs/websites because of the spam aspect.

    I will keep focused on the better/bigger blogs to comment on.

  12. Francis says:

    Hi Jon,

    Great blog. Could you talk about how your monetization of the site is going seeing as you are no.2 on google for your keyword now?

    Francis

    • Jon Cooper says:

      Francis,

      I’m currently only using Adsense, but in the future when I have more time, I might look in a few other directions such as a company directory or lead generation for different companies.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment! :)

  13. Neil says:

    Jon – this is a really great post. I’ve been blogging for a few months now (part time) and spent a long time thinking about the design, build and content of my site without really putting much thought into SEO. Since turning my attention to this neglected corner of blogging I’ve not found any worthwhile information on how to build out backlinks – and this post is exactly what I’ve been looking for. Thanks for the blekko tip too!

  14. Neil says:

    Jon, what’s your opinion on the mass marketing tools like Unique Article Wizard to blast spun articles out to all sorts of outlets? It’s obviously effective (at the moment) but seems more black hat than white. I know you mention you used spinning software for the anchor layer, would you do it for the secondary layer too?

    • Jon Cooper says:

      UAW and those tools aren’t very effective anymore. I’ve used UAW and saw little results. Also, with Google getting smarter, it’s not worth the risk whatsoever – in the best, best case scenario, UAW and alike will work for 6-12 months, but by then, you’ll probably get penalized big time.

      I wouldn’t use it for any layer (just tried it as an experiment), but it’s really up to you. I’d say yeah, just to play it safe, if I had to choose between yes or no.

  15. Neil says:

    OK, thanks. (You just saved me $67 a month! ;) )

    I’m yet to get around to doing all the things you outline above – it takes quite some time to write different articles yourself and submit them to different sites. I think it’s taking even longer for me to rank in the search engines as I changed one of my sites substantially (in terms of content and positioning) and I don’t think Google has worked out what I’m about yet… probably would have been a better idea to just get a brand new domain name and start there.

    • Jon Cooper says:

      You’d be surprised if I told you aiming for quality can actually save you time, increase efficiency, and lower risk – just take my case study on my SEOmoz blog post. It took me 1.5 hours to write, and it ended up netting me 1,000+ referring traffic, 80+ links, 80+ RSS subscribers, etc. And all of it was pure white hat, passing real value that lasts forever. So, what you should be doing is things like guest posting that are obtainable yet at the same time yield great results. Hopefully you catch my gist :)

  16. You’ve said it so yourself, link building is your forte. And luckily for us, since we are getting vital benefits from your posts. And yes, I agree with you when you said that these tips actually work. I’ve proven that and still doing it. Thanks for this. Waiting for more to come.

  17. Neil says:

    Hey Jon – I’ve been busily putting in the hours and following the strategies you suggest here. One quick question on blog directories: most of the ones I’m trying to submit to are asking me to add a badge or link on my homepage in order to verify the submission process. Obviously I get why they want me to do this, but how do you get around it? Do you fill out the homepage with a load of ugly looking badges, or are there specific blog directories that don’t require this which you use?

    • Jon Cooper says:

      Great question. Honestly, it’s not worth it, so just forget about them. When I first submitted to blog directories for this blog, I started with a list of 300 or so, but then I only ended up submitting to 150-200 because of $, reciprocal links, and what you said above.

      No one link is worth a piece of crap badge, especially if it’s from a directory with 1000s of outbound links.

  18. Neil says:

    Cool, I looked for a way to bury the link/badge on a page that isn’t indexed by the search engines and doesn’t feature on my site navigation, but sadly this didn’t work. Will just move on to the next directory and see what happens… cheers for the info!

    • Jon Cooper says:

      Glad I could help! Yeah, unfortunately most of those directories want the link either on the home page or a click away from the home page, so trying to bury it usually doesn’t work (like you found out!).

      Thanks Neil for yet another awesome comment :)

  19. Neil says:

    No worries Jon – I’m glad I’ve found someone like you that’s open to sharing how you do what you do, and explaining it in an easy-to-use format. I’ve also completely gone mental on link building since reading your blog (I’m spending about 5 hours a day on it, with a day job!). Hopefully it’ll pay off soon :)

    • Jon Cooper says:

      Thanks! But I need to address the 5 hours a day part.

      First of all, I suggest to pace yourself more. Spending that much time per day is a ton (like you said), and I just don’t think you can keep up at that pace in the long run, so I suggest only spending an hour or two a day.

      Second of all, if you’re focusing on long hanging fruit (i.e. directories, comments, article submissions, etc.) then 5 hours a day might not be the best option in terms of link velocity (build links, but not too fast).

      Third of all, if you’re going to spend that much time on link building each day, focus on quality and relationships. Get to know others in your industry, or create a link building campaign the right way. These are what pay off down the road.

      Sorry to be so critical, as I’m not trying to rub off like that, but since you’re on my blog, I’m going to do the best I can to steer you in the right direction Neil! I like to see all of my readers, especially the ones that take time to comment, succeed :)

  20. Neil says:

    Thanks Jon. I think I just get swept up in ideas and want to put them into practice straightaway. To begin with I spent the most time just creating content I could be proud of (build it and let them come), but since coming on here I’ve decided to make more effort building links myself. I’m doing this across two separate domain names, and I’m doing it for a long time on the weekends and then less time during the weeks. But a lot of the effort has been on web 2.0 and article submission directories (where I’ve put up unique content everywhere) and the content takes time to write.

    I’ll take your comments into consideration though – if creating too many links too quickly is a bad thing, I’ll slow down ;)

    On the good news front – my sickly sales page has been updated and has made its first sale within 24 hours of the re-write. So I’m probably on a bit of a link building/blogging high from that! :)

    • Jon Cooper says:

      That’s great news Neil!

      The last thing I would tell you is that if you’re going to spend time creating so much unique content, don’t waste it all on article directories & Web 2.0 properties. Instead, look to guest blog, as the couple links in your bio from these are 10x more powerful than a link from Ezinearticles, Squidoo, or the like. I’d say 80-90% of off site unique content should go to guest blogging, and the other 10-20% for what you’ve been doing so far.

  21. Neil says:

    Gotcha – I’ll save my fire for the guest blogs. Busy creating some video content right now to see how viral I can make that. Cheers for the top tips! :)

  22. Neil says:

    I’m using the search string “keyword” inurl: “write for us” to find blogs to guest post on. There seem to be quite a few in my niche that are happy to accept any guest posts (and give a few backlinks per post) with PR of 3-5. Is there a minimum PR you’d be looking for in a blog you’re going to guest post on, or are you just looking to get access to someone else’s targeted traffic?

    • Jon Cooper says:

      The main metric I look at when looking for guest posting opportunities is Open Site Explorer’s domain authority metric. This is because since this is a newly created post, the PR of the homepage won’t matter, because that’s a statistic of an individual page; I’m more concerned with how authoritative the blog is, and that’s where OSE’s DA metric comes into play.

      Also, traffic comes right after that. You can gauge traffic with either Alexa or Compete, but I usually gauge it more by social interacting; look for blogs that have recent posts that are tweeted & shared a lot.

  23. Donna Duncan says:

    Hi Jon,
    I have three questions.
    (1) At the risk of embarrassing myself, what does BPO stand for?
    (2) What do you think of Hotfrog and merchantcircle?
    (3) Any reason you don’t mention answering questions about your niche on sites like quora and focus?
    Thanks. Donna

    • Jon Cooper says:

      1) BPO stands for business process outsourcing. Just found when I started via Google’s keyword tool (don’t worry, I had no idea what it meant at first either!)
      2) Haven’t heard of Merchantcircle, but Hotfrog and the like are not bad to get a link from, but I personally don’t see those links as very worthwhile. Still get them if you have time, but they don’t really show up in backlink reports (even though you think they would considering the more user friendly profile).
      3) I’m trying to answer more link building Q&A on Quora, but for this niche site, I didn’t find it worthwhile because:
      a) I’m not trying to become an expert
      b) There’s little to no link value offered on Quora
      c) The niche site is for a quick buck, and nothing more

      Hope this helps Donna! Hope to see you back on the blog in the future :)

  24. Neil says:

    Thanks – I’ll use the DA from OSE from now on. :)

  25. Chris Green says:

    Hi Jonathan (fellow niche site dueller). I noticed that Pat hasn’t updated your posts on his niche site duel page. Might be worth asking him to update so you can get more traffic for the efforts you are putting in mate.

  26. Simon says:

    Hi Jon!

    I am a new reader of your site and newsletter and I must say that I am very happy that I’ve found it.
    You gave here some great tips, I especially liked part about profile links. You wrote that after setting this profiles, “make sure the pages get indexed & then move on”. Do you mean indexed by sending pings like with pingomatic or other way?

  27. Sharon Thoms says:

    Hi thanks for sharing this info. I don’t have any of the links you have mentioned above and my site already makes it to a number of 1st pages on Google so I’m excited at the prospect of seeing a rapid improvement. Evergreen article definitely.

  28. great post. I really love it. keep up the awesome work,I will certainly turn out to be a regular visitor of your Post.

  29. Daniel says:

    Hello, Jon

    How’s it going? I wonder how you are doing with your niche site, I guess that you gained quite a bit of exposure by participating in Pat Flynn’s niche site duel.

    However, I see that many participants seemed to stop posting updates, which is weird because this probably boosted their possibilities.

    Cheers,

    Daniel.

  30. james porter says:

    Literally one of the best posts I’ve ever read on seo. nice one.

  31. Jenn says:

    Jon,

    Thank you for posting such valuable info about link building. I was hit pretty hard after the Panda update and have been trying to get my numbers back up since. Good news is that I had used some of the suggestions previously. Bad news is I also used a few black hat methods and now I’m paying for it. I’m going through all the backlinks that were created through Backlink Philippines and deleting as many of them as I can. And it’s going to take a little while. I have a little over 300 :-/
    Can I start using some of your link building methods before deleting most of my black hat links, will it have a negative or positive effect on my web site?

    Thank you!

  32. JIm Carry says:

    It is a great post and thanks for explaining all the things clear and specifically, thanks for the list of the sites. REally from here i would just start working and gain ranking for my site..

  33. Awesome blog! Do you have any helpful hints for aspiring writers?

    I’m hoping to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you suggest starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m completely overwhelmed .. Any ideas? Thanks a lot!

  34. deyim says:

    Do these methods work in a post Penguin world?

    • Jon Cooper says:

      Yep! My example site is still ranking fine. Nothing real black hatish going on here. Just some basic link building that, if you do a little bit of each and don’t push it, you’ll be fine.

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  37. Hi Jon,

    Thanks for sharing these information. Been doing a lot of article and directory submission thing in the past. But the results aren’t that good. Your suggestions seem effective and easy. I’m actually starting to look for blogs that are open for guest posting. I’m just thinking of keywords to use when searching for a relevant niche.

    Another thing that interests me is the profile linking. Will try to do that.

    Am not that familiar with the web 2.0 so I’d better read more about that too… Thank you so much.

    I’m looking forward to read more of your posts…

    Regards,

    Kate

  38. Hi, I do think this is a great blog. I stumbledupon it ;)
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  39. Good day! This is kind of off topic but I need some
    advice from an established blog. Is it very difficult to set up your own blog?
    I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick. I’m
    thinking about creating my own but I’m not sure where to start. Do you have any ideas or suggestions? Thank you

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