Whether you are a small start-up or a large marketing agency, link building is an essential element for search engine optimization and increasing visibility online.
Link building is essentially the process of reaching out to websites with legitimate traffic and high metrics to acquire high-quality backlinks through an A/B tested, automated, and cost-efficient process.
Although larger firms tend to have an unfair advantage when it comes to link building compared to small firms because of their bigger budgets and resources, anyone looking to save on costs when building high-quality backlinks can still do so.
You just need a solid strategy and the right approach to build authority backlinks and outrank your competitors on the first page of Google.
Typical Link Building Journey
Building links has always been a critical element of successful online business, but creating a commercially viable link building process is often a challenge.
The main things to consider when building links is how much time and money can you afford to spend on link-building, as well as how link building will benefit your business.
A typical link building journey follows these steps:
- Create a list of blogger websites
- Record their email & SEO metrics.
- Contact them and receive a positive response
- Pitch a blog topic that fits the website and your niche
- Agree on the “publishing” fee or compensation amount
- Wait for the article to go “live”
- Ensure the anchor text and onsite basics have been optimised
- Maintain the “live link” and managing any adjustments.
Let's say you have a limited budget of $300 - $900 per month for your link building blogger outreach. In that case, you have to be strategic in your blogger outreach.
Link Building Blogger Outreach
In the process of blogger outreach, the first thing you’ll need is set a budget and be clear on the resources you actually need to make link building easier.
That includes figuring out what you are budgeting or sacrificing to make the whole link building process cost-effective.
We'd suggest sacrificing all budgets going to “publishing fees” where possible and only consider websites or blogs that could be seen as a “legitimate” businesses, rather than hobby blogs or otherwise unprofessional websites.
In suggesting that you build links through blogger outreach, however, there are some pros and cons you should consider:
- Blogger outreach provides a competitive advantage when it comes to your backlink profile with links that will be more difficult to get.
- It can provide unique backlink profile - your competitors most likely won’t have a similar backlink profile as you.
- You get geographically relevant links and the opportunity to “blog” on related niches or local business websites.
- Cleaner websites - professional blogs and business sites will have a cleaner backlink profile, being less of a “link farm."
- There is always a chance of being algorithmically penalized by Google - in Google's eyes, any link exchange for money is against the rules.
- You are going to see results over time. If your lucky things will happen fast, but it’s unlikely.
- Difficult scaling - If you are providing clients with “organic links” using this process, you may struggle to scale and schedule publishing orders.
- Website owners may not always agree to this kind of link building arrangement and your relationship with your client may be unreliable.
Budget Link Building Steps
Now, for budget link building and blogger outreach, you can leverage an affordable, three-step approach:
- Outsourcing - key to scalability.
- Analytics- key to performance and tracking.
- Automations - key to efficiency and speed.
Here is a list of essential steps for budget link building outreach using the above three-step approach that you can use and adapt to your situation:
1. Outsourcing/Virtual assistance. ($500 aprx. per month)
An essential element of any business is human resources, this can either be yourself or a virtual assistant (VA) which provides power to the campaign. First consider the versatility of your VA’s. Whether you opt-in for South East Asia, India or Eastern Europe, they will give you a bang for your buck.
With $500 you can find someone in one of those countries to work around 4 - 6 hours on a daily basis, and if you provide them with initial training they will do an awesome job. You can find these virtual assistants through sources like Fivver and Upwork to name a few.
The best way to use a virtual assistant in this scenario is by providing them with the task of sourcing legitimate websites or businesses that post blogs and gathering emails off the contact page. The key here is to keep all websites that suggest “mommy blogs”, “guest post accepted”, “editorials” or anything alike that suggests “paid” to 30% of the total that you find.
That means 70% of the list will be local business websites that display a blog page and the remaining 30% will be websites that display “guest posts accepted”- that hopefully won’t require any financial compensation.
If you are considering outsourcing, it is highly recommended that you read “The 4 Hour Work Week”, a summary video embedded below:
2. Link analysis using free tools (free)
As Donald Trump would say, no longer do you have to spend “billions & billions & billions” (we mean thousands) on SEO tools. There is a plethora of free to use tools, like DA Checker by Moz and many many more.
By using some of these tools to assess your prospects, you (or your virtual assistant) can then manually go check the domain authority of the websites and analyze the referring domains using the suggested tools above.
Anything above DA 10 with 20+ quality referring domains will be acceptable and provide enough link juice to your website!
3. Thirdly and finally - Email automation ($80 - $200)
You’re almost there; you now have a list of websites and contanct email addresses. You have also checked the domain authority and any potential spam and confirmed the websites are clean.
The last step in the process is to contact these website owners and propose an article or collaboration, basically trying to persuade them to publish your blog.
How hard could it be, right? Well, that’s where you’re wrong. This part of the email process is the most tedious, time-consuming and un-motivating part of it all.
But don’t worry, with the right email automation tools like MailChimp and many such tools available online you can send the right message to the right people at the right time using automated workflows.
Email automation is extremely effective for lead nurturing and ultimately driving sales from potential customers as well as existing ones. If enough emails are sent to the right people, you will see results very fast.
However, also expect all sorts of replies, random questions, and off-topic suggestions sometimes. What’s key here is to create a relationship with these people so you can use them on an on-going basis.
The first email to your prospects should come across very natural and sincere. Imagine this like the first time you're meeting someone you’d like to impress you’re not going to spill the beans and ask for something straight away, right?
Once you get a reply, consider the conversation as a friendly chat with someone you just met that could lead to long-term mutually benefitual collaborations.
Remember, consistency and delivering real value in each of your link building outreach content is key for success throughout this entire link building process.