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More on Link Building

I don’t much care about my PageRank. I’m perfectly happy with the number of visitors I get daily here at Affiliate Blog. My visitor count has been going in a steadily upward trajectory, and I’m pleased with the earnings from AdSense and affiliate programs.

I am the number 7 organic search result in Google for affiliate blog, and I rank high on several other searches. I am pleased that my email subscription list continues to grow, and my Feedburner RSS subscriptions keep going up as well. My Alexa ranking is in the 30,000 – 50,000 range just about every day, and Technorati ranks me at about 50,000. All of these statistics are above average and quite gratifying. Thanks to everyone for coming by the first time and for your continued readership. I enjoy emailing and IM-ing all of you.

Yet I still have a PageRank of 2. I am guessing that this is because I haven’t spent much time on Link Building. Link Building is the art of obtaining links from external web sites to your own to improve both direct referrals (people clicking on the links) and search engine ranking.

Link Building sucks. It is tedious and time consuming, and many people don’t have the courtesy to even return the emails you spend hours writing. So I was actually thinking of hiring someone to do my link building.

Two of my favorite blogs, Mook-Jon’s Affiliate Marketing Blog and Andrew Johnson’s Web Publishing Blog both have posts with solid advice on link building.

Says Jon:

Do it yourself and BY HAND. Don’t use one of those 1000+ link directory sites. Keep your links relevant to the PAGES you want to link to. Don’t always use your homepage as the page that the incoming reciprocal link is coming to, and try and mix up your anchor text so it’s not the same damn thing over and over. If you add more keywords and turn your anchor text into more of a one liner description with your primary and secondary keywords inside, you’ll see better results on a broader scale, rather than just hitting one keyword at a time.

Good advice.

Jon apparently feels the same way about getting those links together as I do:

For direct links.. outsource it. I always do. Don’t buy those pay per month links either, because those aren’t permanent if you decide you don’t want to shell out $50 a month anymore. Get someone from elance or RAC or somewhere like that and make them understand that you want RELEVANT and TOPIC RELATED direct links. They’ll probably charge you a one time fee of $10-$20 per link, but it’s a premanent link so it’s probably worth it. Don’t worry about pagerank either, because it’s fairly useless. Make sure the pages that are linking to you are ones that are visited often by the engines and are RELEVANT to your PAGES. Follow the same anchor text rules as above.

I think 30 links a month at $10 – $15 a link is do-able, especially if I just have to write the check.

Andrew has more good advice:

One technique I have been using recently is including a backlink request in registration confirmation e-mail sent out to my forum members. In this particular niche many of the users have their own websites.

I think this is a terrific idea. If someone signs up for your newsletter, chances are they might have a website similar to yours. Go visit their site and see if it is compatible. If it is, include a link request in your confirmation email.

Lastly, Rae Hoffman at SitePoint wrote an article about whether you should outsource your link development.

Here are some of the questions Rae suggests you should ask a prospective link developer:

  • How do they develop links?
  • Do they use any automated software programs?
  • What link types do they produce (one way links, reciprocals, etc.)?
  • Do they own any networks or groups of sites on which they plan to place your link?
  • How do they assess various sites’ potential to be link partners? Which factors are considered?
  • How well do their link developers read and speak English?
  • What training is provided to their link developers?
  • Will they require access to your site if they arrange reciprocal links?
  • Are they willing to sign a confidentiality agreement?
  • Can you define the anchor text you wish incoming links to display?
  • Do they limit their clientele to prevent their working for your competitors at the same time as they work for you?
  • How and when is payment due?
  • What is the average number of links their link developers generate per week?
  • What is the cost per link or per hour?
  • Can they provide you with any references from current or past clients?

The only thing that’s been holding me up on hiring someone for Link Building is that I’m not sure yet that there’s enough good content on this site to pay to point people here. That’s a call everyone needs to make.

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