Would you buy a link for the Price of a Mars Bar?

Can a link, retailing at 55p be both profitable for the link builder and effective for the linked to?

A while back I came across a link building scheme that was effectively selling links for 90c, or about 55p. Which is the price of a Mars bar.

As I offer a link building service I was left scratching my head over how they did it whilst keep it effective and making a profit.

Consider one link being built every ten minutes

(they stated all this on the site)
By hand
Do follow
Indexed
Correct anchor text

6 links per hour
30 links per 5 hours = one day
600 links built over 20 days = one month

Retailing at 90c per link
= $540
Costs = $320
Profit = $180

Worker gets $360

This does not take in to account links which are rejected.

To hire a full time worker you would have to outsource to a country where $360 a month is a decent wage. They do exist, but running a team offshore raises other issues.

The only place which fits the criteria are forum links, not the signature links, but within a snippet of text. Could this be performed within the 10 minutes? Probably could be, but you would have to have a team process where each member concentrates on a specific task.

Tasks would be:

  • Researching forums
  • Opening accounts
  • Opening email accounts
  • Seeding the account
  • Writing link text and posting link
  • Entry into spreadsheet and saved in Dropbox
  • Indexing of links
  • Report to client

It could be done, whether or not a link from a forum is worth the effort is worth it is another thing. And you would only know this if you tested it. And if this did work you would hardly blog or comment about it.

My thinking is that it is cost effective, rather a binary yes/no work/not work.

The problem is the effort involved in setting up this kind of thing is not worth it if you only have one site. It really only works if someone else sets up the service for others to buy and then creates efficiencies of scale which make it worthwhile, and would probably need quite a few clients.

It’s interesting though isn’t it?

Content Marketing Training and a dog called Fenton

One of the biggest problems I come across in helping people build links to their websites is how to build magnetic content which attracts links. It seems that selling plumbers supplies online does not naturally lead to expertise on online publishing.

Who would have thought?

The reality is, creating effective web content is a highly specialised skill and in some ways is counter intuitive to running a business online. So, someone who may be expert in sourcing plumbing supplies and negotiating favourable terms may not be able to produce digital information which excites the cockles of the linkerati.

Website marketing is a nuclear arms race. If one website in the niche gets a 30 megaton bomb, then everyone has to, just to keep up. If someone goes out and gets a 35 megaton bomb everyone again has to run out and get the latest nuke. And thus it is with getting websites to rank.

Your plumbing supplies website can compete in the rankings without having over 300 back links, just as long as no one else does. Once you get your links from the usual places, the industry body, local chamber of commerce and a link from your web designers (web designers have a cheeky habit of sneaking in an advertising link on the website you just paid for) etc. it becomes a bit more of an effort to go and get the links.

And so a natural backlink ceiling is imposed on your niche. But along comes Frank the plumber and he uploads a picture of a dead squirrel that he pulled out of the waste pipe of a Bosch Dishwasher. The picture goes viral, his local plumbing supplies website starts to rise in the search engine results page and the cash starts flowing in.

Frank the plumber has not offered cheaper prices, or become a better plumber, arrives at his jobs in a quicker fashion or has improved his business in any way. Except, his revenues have increased because a dead squirrel has caused his website to collect more links, thus rising in the rankings and becoming more visible in the search engines.

Frank starts thinking. If the linkerati like pictures of dead squirrels found in the waste pipe of a Bosch Dishwasher, I wonder if they will like a picture of a dead mouse stuck in a hose retaining ring? Frank goes on to find that people online find pleasure in emailing pictures of dead animals found in plumbing, thus creating an online gallery of user generated content and also creating a community of rabid fans who can be nudged to do things with help the marketing of the website.

Now, I’ve outlined a scenario which has happened many, many times. People fall into becoming skilled at using content to market their websites. These people have no obvious training in online publishing or any kind of publishing and yet they just seem to get it, whilst others find coming up with ideas for effective content incredibly hard.

My theory as to why this is so hard for the average business person to grasp is that they simply don’t have the time to understand the basic concepts of what works and why it works. It’s important to know why a piece of content works.

You laugh and share Fenton, but do you know why?

Content like this is sometimes called Linkbait, which is misleading, but that’s for another blog post. This skill of creating magnetic web content and using it to juice up the linkerati can be taught and is something I am going to be teaching with the launch of Linkbait Coaching 3.0. Which takes a focussed look at analysing what works, why and how to replicate it. It’s not ready for launch yet, but soon.

You could of course hire someone specifically for this task, or you could train someone in-house. Training in the art of content marketing will pay you back in sack fulls over time. Investing in creating better content is something that can be used over a variety of mediums and is not just for improving your Google rank.

Link building with content is not the only way to get links

You may think it counter intuitive for me to propose that link building content is not the only way to go for links, as I earn my crust selling link building services.

But this is what I tell my clients who hire me for link building consultation.

There are many ways to skin a cat and many ways to build links, sure, content is a tried and tested way to build links if properly implemented and this is discussed at length.

But as you roll back the reasons and psychology of why people link you find that content can sometimes be less important.

Something I have observed over the years is that you are more likely to link to someone if you meet and like them at an seo conference. Why is that? The content is still the same.

It’s because the process of giving a link is based on emotion. Not the sobbing into your hanky after watching a tear jerker, but the fact that deep down within the brain the bit that drives emotion always beats the cold hard logic.

In a way it’s odd that a bunch of Spock wannabe seo engineers will link to someone because they feel it deep within them.

But the human condition affects us all.

Good or bad.

We try to be logical and base our decisions on the cold hard data, but we never do and here’s the thing, we don’t even know we are doing it and hate it when it is pointed out.

  • Fear
  • Greed
  • Social acceptance
  • Sexual gratification
  • Jealousy
  • Pride

All impinge on our decision making process. It’s what makes linkbait work. Linkbait is not based on logic, it’s based on the emotional triggers.

Social psychology is what you should be studying, rather than that new programming language.

Don’t believe me?

Watch the links fly after an seo conference. It’s not because the link targets content got better.

Observe that people mostly retweet those who retweet them. Getting retweets is link building lite, same process. If you can do one you can probably do the other.

How can you up your link building game.

1. Develop a social context
2. Control the relationship
3. Know why people link
4. Give back to those that give

We will be concentrating more on link building psychology in the coming weeks.

Link Building Machine Introductory Price ends 1st October

Note: If you have already ordered from Link Building Machine, don’t worry, you are locked in for one year at the introductory price.

The introductory offer for the Link Building Machine will be finishing on October 1st. Those ordering the minimum spend before then will be locked into the introductory price.

Why have an introductory price?

  • I like to reward those who sign up first
  • Uptake has been surprisingly high
  • Generates loyalty from those who sign up first
  • Highlights the inexpensiveness of the product, this is important when price is a buying trigger
  • An increase in price allows the potential for an affiliate offer
  • So many people have told me its too cheap, it probably is.

Order before the first of October and get locked into the introductory price for one year year.

If you have already placed an order, don’t worry about it, you are already locked in at the intro price for a year.

To order, subscribe to the email list on the right to receive preferential information on how to order.

Where Can I Find a Great Link Builder

Throughout my travels in the world of Internet Marketing and SEO, you meet a lot of liars, bullshitters, schmoozers and arse-lickers, (a nice line inspired by Alan Sugar). There are a bunch of other words too, but I don’t have that long to write this.

Point is, how do you know who is good.


How do you know when you have found a good link builder?

It makes little sense for a good link builder to show work they have done as it is commercially sensitive. I always keep a few in my back pocket that I know I can show, but most of the time there is little visible sign of anything really happening.

Link builders tend not to have showrooms or large shop front windows.

But, one bunch of people do know and that’s long term clients. I say long term as there is no such thing as short term link building. Not if you want a long term business.

Great link builders take a strategic look. Here are a few I have found along my way who I would recommend.

This is not a definitive list by all means, and if you are a great link builder and feel you should be on my list then let me know and I can make another list.

But these link builders stand out and would be who I would hire to manage my link building. They are also who I recommend to other clients when I have no client spaces available.

So, take it from me. These are people who are at the top of their game and have impeccable credentials and can be trusted to get the job done.

Of course the more interesting blog post would be the dark side of link building and the story about the one armed, Ukrainian, transexual midget, who can do amazing things with sub-domains – but lets save the best till later.

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