[WAMA] Brian Dean - Founder of Backlinko, SEO and Content Marketing Expert -Mon May 19th 9am EST/EDT

by Backlinko 50 replies


What's up Warriors!

I'm PUMPED to be doing a WAMA with you guys.

I founded Backlinko and am an internationally-recognized entrepreneur and SEO expert.

In 2008 I quit graduate school and started my first online "business" (selling an ebook about nutrition). After failing more times than I can count, I finally put the pieces together in 2010. Once I made enough money to live off of, I quit my boring job and booked a one-way ticket from NYC to Bangkok. I've been working on my SEO business from hotels, guest houses and cafes in places like Thailand, Cambodia, Japan and Spain ever since.

In December of 2012 I launched Backlinko, which is now a top 100 small business blog (according to Technorati).

I specialize in providing marketing professionals and entrepreneurs practical strategies they can use to get more search engine traffic.

Here are a few of the topics I look forward to answering your questions on:

SEO that gets results in 2014 (and beyond). I KNOW that SEO is the #1 topic on this forum for one reason: it's confusing! Well I'm going to cut through all the noise and show you EXACTLY how to get long-term, stable search engine traffic and rankings.

Blog growth. I grew Backlinko from a blank Wordpress installation to one of the top 100 business blogs online (according to Technorati) in less than a year. I'll be happy to share every last detail of how I did it.

Content marketing. I don't need to tell you that there's A LOT of buzz about content marketing right now. But how do you actually create (and promote) content that gets stands out and gets results? Ask and ye shall receive :-)

Lifestyle design. I've spent the last 4-years building my online marketing business while living in traveling in countries like Spain, Japan, Singapore and Germany.

I'll be here to answer your questions starting Monday, May 19th at 9am EST/EDT. Time Converter
#warrior ask me anything (wama) #26th #9am #backlinko #brian #content #dean #expert #founder #marketing #mon #seo #wama
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  • Profile picture of the author Alaister
    We had a great time recording our event with SEO Expert and founder of Backlinko Brian Dean. Below is the transcription of the Brian Dean WAMA event.

    Watch the Brian Dean WAMA Replay Here


    Transcript of the Brian Dean WAMA Event:

    Hey what’s up Warrior Forum? It’s Brian Dean founder of backlinko.com and I am very excited to be here to spend an hour or so to do an AMA with everyone.

    Unlike a lot of people who are in the internet marketing space, I’ve actually been on the Warrior Forum for over six years if you can believe it. Now, obviously it is not under the user name I have now, but I had a user name before that I would use on the Warrior Forum. So I am very familiar with the forum, I have been on it for years, I have bought you know so many WSO’s and spent a lot of time basically arguing with people on the forum.
    So I am very excited to be here to answer everyone’s questions about SEO, content marketing, conversions, basically whatever you want to talk about.

    So, I am just going to head over to the forum thread and take a look at some of the questions as they come in and I am going to answer them here and then I am also going to try and actually type the responses into the thread. And I know that Noah Kagan of OkDork and Appsumo tried to do that and it was hard but I am going to try to do that too.

    [01:14]

    Okay so actually we have our first question, it comes from ColeWantNagi and he actually has a three part question, so I am just going to answer that on the forum really briefly and then dive deeper on the stream.

    So he asks, “Are private blog networks still working?” That is the first question. So I would say yes, they are still working right now, there is no doubt about it. Whether they will work a year or two years from now I don’t know and personally I think that if you do a blog network right it will always work right because a blog network is basically a bunch of different sites that you own that you can link to your properties. And as long as you don’t do anything stupid to have a bunch of footprints to connect them you are pretty much good with a blog network.

    The only reason I am not so big into blog networks is that their entire structure, everything is reliant on expired domains because you buy these expired domains, they have links pointing to them and then you use basically that link equity to pass on to your site. The problem is Google will crack down one expired domains. So they ultimately are going to be like, if the domain gets completely dropped we are going to reset the links on it or we are going to reduce the power of those links. That is the real danger of building a private network and your whole entire marketing is basically built on quicksand. So if you are going to do a private blog network you can use those expired domains, just don’t think that those links pointing to them are always going to be around and they are always going to count in Google’s eyes.

    So that is the first question that he asks. The second is, “Can we buy such domains with the same who is record?” No right, you don’t want the same who is record, that is an obvious footprint.

    And, “Do you need to continuously feed content on your private blog network blogs?” In my opinion you don’t. I think you just need to put some content on there. It obviously helps make the site look a little bit more legitimate right if you are posting content on a regular basis, it looks more like a real site, but it is not necessary. I have seen a lot of blog networks, I used to have a nice para blog network and in many ways actually still do for some of my other properties and I haven’t updated them in a long time and they still do well.

    So thanks for asking that question, I’m going to see what else comes in.

    Okay so we actually have a ton of questions that just came in from people that preregistered so I am just going to answer some of those and I probably won’t type those in just because it is going to be really hard.

    [03:50]

    Alright so Emmanuel R. asks, “Can a small brand, my niche is on home improvement, succeed online without creating regular content. I’ve read about your movie man method on your blog, we don’t have enough resources to create superior content against competitors. What’s your take on this?”

    That is a really good question Emmanuel because it can seem like I am just a site that is about home improvement, or a lot of times the local business right, Emmanuel might actually go to people’s houses you know and install stuff in people’s house and actually fix leaky faucets and things like that. How is this guy going to sit in front of his computer and write content right, it doesn’t make sense.

    So I don’t think for all brands you need to be like creating regular content all the time but on the other hand you do need to have content on your website. Gary Vanderchuck puts it another way and I would love to spell it for you but I have no idea, luckily Google corrects your misspellings now, but just type Gary V basically into Google and that will show you who he is. And if you don’t know who he is. And if you don’t know who he is basically like the man, the social media guru and not your typical social media guru because this guy built a business, a wine ecommerce from nothing to like 18 million in a couple of years and he did it with content. And his whole take is that in today’s world if you sell let’s say home improvement, you are actually a media company and you also do home improvement. Or let’s say you sell pens right, you are really a media company and you also sell pens.

    And it is the same idea with SEO. You are a small improvement person or a resource about home improvement but that is your secondary goal, your first goal is actually you are a content marketing company. You are an SEO company and you also do home improvement because if you don’t do SEO right and you don’t do content marketing right, no one is going to find you. So it doesn’t really matter how good you really are at home improvement if no one can find you.

    So my case is that if you don’t have enough resources to create superior content against your competitors you are not going to do well with SEO but the fortunate thing is that you don’t have to produce that much.
    So I think Emmanuel is asking first, “Do I have to create regular content all the time? And the answer to that is no. You just need a handful of really great content that are optimized around key words your customers are searching for. So when people search for home improvement or whatever, they are going to find Emmanuel and you, they are going to find you and they are going to become your customer. But if you just throw your hands up in the air and say, “I can’t do this, I can’t create content, I can’t create content” then the fact is you are going to be invisible online. So I’m sorry but that is the way it is but the upside is you don’t have to be producing massive amounts of content, in fact it can hurt you.

    So what I would suggest Emmanuel is just finding the top five things that people in your space, your target audience your target customers, want to read about and just hit those, just dominate those. So create awesome content around them and promote that content, build links, all that stuff and then if you have more time you can start doing some other stuff but that will form the foundation. So that is all for Emmanuel’s question.

    [06:53]

    So Mike asks, “I would like to know how you personally go about out sourcing the bulk of your SEO tasks like link building and outreach so that you can focus on creating content for Backlinko. How much of your workload is outsourced and how much do you do yourself?”

    That is a really good question Mike. I don’t actually outsource as much as you probably think and the reason for that is because when you start outsourcing you lose touch with what’s happening in your business. And for me one of the things that I am proud of at Backlinko is that I Give people actionable stuff from personal experience. And I feel like if I was just outsourcing all the link building and all of the outreach, I wouldn’t even know what is going on, so I couldn’t invent new strategies, I couldn’t invent new techniques. And I wouldn’t even have any content to write about right because what would I be doing. I can’t just write content. I am not one of the people that writes blog posts about what other companies are doing. And I have seen that a lot and it can work that sort of stuff where you are like “Five Brands that do Content Marketing really well” but if you are not doing it, you don’t understand it, that is how I see it.
    So for me I rather spend less time creating content and more time in the trenches actually emailing webmasters, seeing how they respond, seeing different subject lines how they work and things like that.

    So basically to answer your question, I outsource the stuff that is the boring monotonous stuff where I don’t learn anything. So for example let’s say that I wanted to build some links to a piece of content about keyword research right and I had this list of potential sites that I think would be good targets. Maybe they have a broken link on their site about keyword research. Maybe they have an old link so I could use the movie man method to be like hey actually the link still works but it is something outdated, and reach out to them.

    When you have let’s say 500 targets, you need to know which ones are worth reaching out too and also getting their contact information and basically a lot of boring tasks that before you actually sit down and write the emails you need to have finished. So that is the kind of stuff that I outsource. I have this list and I find the list, and then I’m like break it down into domain authority and the contact email address and the contact form URL. And then I actually do a lot of the email outreach myself depending on the tier. So if it is a lower tier I don’t really learn anything but I just blast them anyway. The higher tier where I am more like doing sophisticated outreach; I want to do that myself. So I try not to outsource that. It is tempting because it is really boring monotonous work but I feel like it is important for my business because then I have cool stuff to write about on the blog.

    [09:24]

    So April asks, “How do I not only build a popular blog following quickly, but how do I monetize it?”

    Well that is a tough one right. To go from a blank word press installation to a popular blog, we are talking thousands of steps right so you can’t really outline it and be, “Okay, step one, here is what you do.” It is not like the old days of SEO because I used to buy these WSO’s back in the old days of SEO and it would be a tutorial on how to set up your site and it would be literally, “Click this, click that.” And the crazy part was that if you followed those specific steps you would actually rank. There was really no thought required, there was no creativity.

    So there is like a million steps to go from a blank Word Press installation to a successful blog today or to rank a site today. But to answer your question and give you more of the main steps, the most important part, the first part is positioning. And this something a lot of people overlook when they create a blog. You have to ask yourself, “Why would someone read my blog versus the thousands of others that are already out there on that topic?”
    So, forget internet marketing which is so many blogs, so crowded, just the fitness space, like the DIY home improvement space, arts and crafts at home, kid’s activities, parenting, mommy blogs, careers, personal finance; there are so many blogs already out there. So if you don’t have a really good answer to the question, “Why should people read my blog versus the others” then you shouldn’t start.

    So you need to have your positioning in place first. And you don’t need to have something totally new that is going to blow people’s minds but you can’t just be like my blog has quality content, I am going to update regularly. Those aren’t really unique selling propositions. You need to be like, “My blog is different because of…” whatever.
    So f or example at Backlinko right. So my blog is different from the other SEO blogs because I give people actionable link building information. Basically that is it. And as long as you have some positioning like that you can do well but without it you can’t. So you have to look at your space and look at the industry that you are going in and be like, how can I create something different than what is already out there and something that people are going to want to read?
    And once you have that it is a matter of finding keywords basically, that is how I do it to find out what people are searching for. So forget SEO for a second, keywords are really valuable just for market research. So basically once I have identified my positioning I know the people that are going to be interested, I kind of try to find out what they are searching for online and the best way to do that is the Google keyword planner because it gives you objective information right. It says, “This many thousand people search for this keyword every month” and from there I think what does that person want when they type that into Google? And then I just create content around that right.
    And then the third step is to promote the content that is keyword optimized. So like I said the keyword part is good for SEO but it is more just to find out what people want to learn about and you get good objective data. And as far as I know it is the only way to get objective information about what your target audience wants to learn more about because they are tying it into Google, it is obvious they don’t know a lot about it.

    And then you want to promote that content. There is a lot to content promotion, I am sure we will get into that later but I would say the biggest part of content promotion is email outreach, so Mike had already asked me about link building, email outreach; that is going to be the foundation of your blog promotion. So forget social, forget every other promotion, email is going to be the foundation of how you get your content out there.

    How you do that, it is very nuanced, there is a million things we could do in WAMA just on that but I will just give you one take away tip, and thank you for asking a question on today’s WAMA and it is that, if you can do one thing to get on someone’s radar screen before you email them and pitch your content your success rate will double instantly. So if you leave literally a single comment on their blog a few days before you email them, or you tweet something out that they wrote a few days before you email them, that alone will double your rate because you would be surprised how many people email me and if I have heard of them before, I am much more receptive to their message. I may not actually convert, I may not actually add their link to my site or tweet out their content but it opens a door that wouldn’t be there if someone just cold emailed me.

    In terms of monetization all I can say is, I wouldn’t even worry about that, just build the email list. So once you have your blog and you have the positioning, you have the key word optimized content, just focus on building the email list. A mistake I made when I first started building Backlinko was that I created a product almost as soon as I launch a site and the problem was I had no idea what people actually wanted because I didn’t spend enough time with my target audience. So I knew they wanted the content that I was producing, but I didn’t know what kind of product they wanted. Did they want software, did they want information product, did they want coaching, did they want consulting? And then of that what kind of coaching, what kind of information products?

    So I rushed into creating this product, and it was good, but it didn’t really fit the needs of my audience .And once I got to know them better by just being out there, producing content, having the email list where people interact, I learned what they actually wanted to see. And then when I created my next information product it was spot on, it was a 1:1 match with what people actually wanted to learn.

    So I wouldn’t rush into monetization, I wouldn’t try to create a popular blog quickly and try to monetize it because it is not going to work. Blogging, it takes a few months to even get going even if you do everything right and that is just the nature of the beast.

    [15:08]

    So Justin O. asks, “What is the best plug in for Word Press SEO?”

    Quick answer, Yoast. I don’t use any plug in because I use a thesis theme and it has kind of that stuff built in like basically all the SEO stuff that you can do but Yoast is one I have used in the past and I like. AllinoneSEO is also very good. This question gets asked a lot and I think disproportionate to the importance of plug in. No plug in is really going to be great for SEO. It is really all about what you put into that plug in right. At best the plug in can make you, help you put a title tag on your page. That is about it right. I used Yoast recently actually and I didn’t see any features that were like amazing for SEO because 99% of SEO is off page.

    So what you do on your page is obviously important, but there is no plug in that is going to be like great for SEO, you could do well without any plug in as long as you can optimize your title tags and your content; just pretty much all there is to onpage SEO.

    So let’s head over to the chat because those are people that are really here and a lot of those people that preregistered aren’t really here and I want to make sure that I get to people who are watching the stream first and foremost.

    So let’s see what we have got here.

    [16:26]

    Okay. So Rijock asks, “Copied video from You tube, spun the content and then tweeted it out. Does it work?”

    No of course not right because I don’t know what exactly “working” is, but any time you copy stuff especially You tube video which Google is very aware that you copy You tube video it is their property right, so they know [16:54 _ content] and then if you spin something and add it to your site, that is probably not going to work long term. So I am not sure how “working” is defined, but I go with no.

    He also asks, “Does auto-blogging still work?”

    I haven’t seen it work in a long time. It might still work so I really can’t speak to that I haven’t seen it working in years so my guess is that auto blogging doesn’t work, although I could be wrong, I honestly don’t know a lot about it.

    [17:20]

    Okay then we have a question from Nelac, “How to improve link building?”

    So this is kind of a vague question right, it is really hard to answer but what I would really say is that you need to do a lot of email outreach. If you look at link building, if your approach to link building, the foundation is not email outreach then you are not doing link building. So you don’t even need content on your site, you don’t even need great content on your site to do link building outreach. It helps a lot but it is not required.

    So the first step is really to be like, am I doing email outreach all the time because otherwise I am not sure how you could even build links without doing spamming stuff right. There are some creative strategies that are still white hat that don’t involve email outreach but you really want the foundation of your link building to be email outreach. So I would ask yourself that question and if it is not, I would make that the foundation moving forward.
    The other question is, “What method should be followed in SEO this year?”

    Basically the methods that have worked. This is the crazy part about SEO, so I Am going to go into a little bit of a rant here. You know back in ’99, 2000, 2001 if you go back and read the SEO advice back then it was all stuff like, create a great site, create great content and then email other webmasters to let them know about the content and get them to link to you right, because even in ’99 Google was big and people understood that links were the foundation of the Google algorithm. Then, from about like 2002 to 2012, or maybe it started a little bit later, 2004, you had a real crazy spam, right because spam worked better than email outreach. You could either create a great site and email outreach and do all that stuff, or you could just go to a forum buy 10,000 spamming links and that worked way better so it really didn’t make sense to follow all that advice.

    Now we are a little bit back to the future. That old school advice still works. So for me I’m not like trying to keep up on trends and be like this is working today, what is going to work next week? SEO is not a fast moving industry like people say. It is actually the same that it was back then. There was just this weird brief period where spam worked really well. So I would say that what is working well now is what worked in 1999, 2000.
    He also asks, “How to increase conversion rates?”

    Well it is hard to answer that because it is highly dependent on what type of site you have. So advice for increasing conversion rate on an ecommerce site is totally different than a blog, which is totally different than a service based website, which is totally different than a homepage on a service based website or even on a blog. So it is hard to answer that question. So maybe you can come back and be more specific about what kind of site you want to increase conversions on so I can give specific advice that people can follow.

    [20:06]

    So the next question is, “Do backlinks from Web 2.0 platforms like Tumblr still work in increasing domain authority?”

    I am going to go with no. First of all Tumblr is Notefull okay so they definitely don’t. But web 2.0 in general, the problem with web 2.0 properties, first of all it is a massive waste of time. So for every second you are building web 2.0’s you are not doing something that is actually going to help your SEO. You are not finding out what your target audience wants to know about. You are not finding awesome long tail key words. You are not doing email outreach to build more links right. You are not creating content on your site that people want to link to. So the opportunities cost of using web 2.0 to me is crazy. Maybe if you do everything right with web 2.0 you can get like 1% increase on a domain authority, but is it worth all that effort? I would say no. So I would say no and especially Tumblr.

    [20:59]

    Betty asks, “Are directories dead?”

    Well pretty much yeah. There is literally like five directories that still have any value. So you have the D-Moz you have the yahoo directory you have best of the web and you have a couple of others that I can’t even remember. I have on my site 17 untapped back link sources. Oh family friendly sites is another one, but there is just so few. Any type of link opportunity that is just easy to get that you can just, anyone can do, that is the stuff that you definitely want to get away from because if it is easy for you it is going to be easy for 1,000 other people and that is when Google starts to crack down right. If you are the only one doing this strategy it is such small potatoes for them, they don’t even care, even if it is spamming but once it gets scaled and everyone starts doing it, that is when Google pays attention and that is when they start to crack down.

    So I would say if you want to use directories they should be a tiny percentage of your link profile. So use the ones that I mentioned and maybe a couple of niche directories that are also high quality but I would make them like one of every 100 links, something like that.

    [22:10]

    Alright, then we have a new question. “Which one is a better CMS for SEO? Word Press or Joomla?”

    It is kind of a wash right, I don’t think it makes a big difference. I have seen Joomla sites do really well; I have seen Word Press sites do really well. I prefer Word Press because there is so much more in terms of the plugins you can use than with Joomla extensions because the community of Word Press is insane compared to Joomla's, ten times bigger. So for example you want to increase site speed which is helpful for SEO, there is a Joomla extension that can do that but there are Word Press extensions that are light years ahead. So in that sense it is a little bit better for SEO and there are also themes that are better, not for SEO but for loading themes and things like that. And it is easier to find developers to help you with Word Press than Joomla. So all things considered, I would go with Word Press.

    [23:00]

    Okay then we have, “Finding back links are very tough, how do you get them easily?”

    Well the answer to that question is you don’t right like I was just saying you actually don’t want easy links. So when a link is really easy to get, like I said if it is easy for you, it is easy for 10,000 other people. And then when those people find out and start using it and exploiting it and going crazy, that is when Google cracks down.

    So I wouldn’t look for easy link building opportunities. I look for specifically hard link building opportunities. It is a competitive advantage right. If you can get a link that you competitor can’t get, that is an advantage, but if you get one that your competitor can just go to [23:39 H_] see that you got a link from that directory and then also submits a link to that directory, you don’t really have a competitive advantage right, and if you build that link, they are going to build it. So what advantage do you really have?

    So I wouldn’t be looking for easy link opportunities, I would specifically be looking for hard link building opportunities. And this is something that AJ Ghergich, he is @SEO at Twitter. He talks about this a lot, he is this really smart guy and he basically says you want to find hard link building opportunities, you want link building to be hard because if it’s hard, then you can master it and your competition won’t and it gives you a competitive advantage, you can rank above them. But once it is easy, it is easy for everybody.

    [24:17]

    Okay so Nelac came back and said the type of site he has for conversions. He has a web development services website based in New York, so it is a service based website right. So increase conversions on a service based website, the most important thing is to have an email list, like anything right anything in business, the list is the foundation of your business really, there is no other way to put it. And Tony Robbins actually says, “If you don’t have a list, you don’t have a business” and I really like that because I think it is true.

    So with a service based business like yours you want to get leads from quotes, you want to request a quote, but you also want to build an email list with things like a newsletter, a free report and things like that because if you are a web development company, I am searching for web development New York city and you magically rank number one for that keyword, which is really hard and I go to your site, I am not going to spend $10, 000 on a project without knowing who you are, right.

    So you need to focus on getting people in a funnel and then providing value with some sort of auto responder and also maybe personally reaching out to them to let them know if they have any questions, without hard selling them, and then later get them to convert because the price on a web development project is so huge, you are not going to convert random people. It is not like a free trial right, it is not like a buffer or Warrior Forum you just show up, you can make an account for free and you are in right. You can do that if you are a random visitor but if you are a development company you need to nurture that person for a lot longer.

    [25:45]

    Okay so Julie asks, “Any tips on building links to commercial pages of a website?”

    That is a really good question because most link building is basically great content and then building links to that content but what if you need to rank like an ecommerce category page or product page, what do you do? And it is a really good question and there is a couple of strategies.

    The first is that you can use the movie man method which I discuss on my blog to build links to those pages. And I actually have a case study if you go to backlinko.com the first post is a case study of someone who was able to build white hat effective links to category and product pages. And basically what you want to do is you want to find a service, I don’t know exactly what commercial page you have, but a service or a product that is no longer around which in every industry there is something like that. So, if you sell products on your site, find a place that went out of business and they don’t sell that product anymore. If you have a service based business, find a service that was big and they don’t offer it anymore or the company went out of business.

    And you would be surprised by how many companies that actually went out of business, while they were crushing it they got tons of links. And then what you can do is reach out to those people and say, “I know you recommended people looking for this product or service to go to this page, it is not there anymore, I have a very similar product or service, maybe you should swap the link out to me.” Again tons of email outreach, a lot of work, low conversions but it is the only way to get links to commercial pages because without some great content on there, why would someone ever link to it. So you really need to be creative about doing that.

    The other answer to your question is that I wouldn’t worry so much about getting links directly to commercial pages. Like Amazon they rank for everything and if you do product reviews or you have an ecommerce site, you know how hard it is to rank about Amazon. But when you look at the pages you are competing against, I bet you 99 times out of 100, no one has linked to that page, no one. So if you have let’s say a page that sells lawn mowers, you are trying to sell lawn mowers on your site and Amazon is ranking above you with some lawn mowers page, look at the links pointing to that page. There is zero. Amazon is ranking on domain authority, almost exclusively. Because why would someone link to a page about lawnmowers?

    So what you want to do is also create great content on your site and promote things that will get links to your homepage and that will increase your domain authority, and that will boost your product pages just based on domain authority.

    So you definitely want to get as many links as you can to direct to commercial pages but I wouldn’t discount the value of getting links to content and then following that page rank to those pages that you want to boost up.
    Okay so we have a lot of questions coming in the chat.

    [28:35]

    So Jamie asks, “How do you manage your outreach process? Also what software do you use to speed things up?”

    So I kind of described that a few minutes ago that my outreach process is basically, find places where my link would add value and we can get into how to do that but basically find a page on the web where a link to something I want to get a link to, would add value. Then you want to find a way for you to get in with that person. So that can either be like commenting on their blog, tweeting at them, all that stuff, or you can find a broken link on their site or an old link that is not really updated and be like, “Oh I found this old link, I have something similar, would you want to swap it out?” So that is like the in part of it.

    And basically what I do is yeah I get this huge list of people using search strings to find them basically, and then I kind of rank them based on the eyeball test which is the most important. So I have someone look at the site and if it looks legitimate it stays on the list, if it looks shady it is gone. And then I just sought them by domain authority. And then the lower ones I just send them a very templated response. I don’t really do anything to warm them up. And the higher ones depending on how authoritative they are, I will either add them to like a list of people that are like [29:47 ballers] and then I follow them on Twitter and suck up to them a little bit before I actually do the outreach. Otherwise I try to add some value somewhere and then pitch my link.

    Not rocket science. I don’t use a lot of tools. The only tools I really use are scrapebox to collect pages where my link would make sense. So when you put search strings in the scrapebox it is a lot easier to do that than to try to type it into Google manually and then go in one by one. So this way you can use ten search strings, get rid of the duplicates, and then get them into a spread sheet. So that is a tool I use.

    I also use buzzstream to find contact information. If you are not familiar with buzzstream it is really good, they have a thing called a link buzz marker. You add it to your browser, click it and it finds contact information on that site. It is pretty cool. And then I just use email basically, email outreach. So I know a lot of people that use like [30:39 can responses.] I use that in like Gmail or if I am using Gmail. I use Yesware to track open rates, but in terms of like speeding it up it is really hard. You basically want to have as much as you can outsource and then the actual sending part that is where you come in and make it real right. And that is where you actually send a legitimate email so it is not just a template. But it is really hard to speed up. I am always looking for ways to speed up because it is time consuming process, but the nature of email outreach, unless you are going to spam people, is that it takes a long time.

    [31:10]

    So the next question is, “Is social media signal considered a ranking factor? Some people say yes, some people say no.”

    Well no right because Google says no officially. I was just at an SEO conference in London a couple of days ago and John Mueller was there who also works at Google. He confirmed they do not use social signals at all so the answer is no. A lot of people say yes, but it shows that you don’t want to listen to people you want to test stuff because a lot of people say nonsense about SEO.

    [31:40]

    Okay let’s see where we are coming from here.

    “In your Rodeo show example you mention dicing an article up and using the same content for posts.”

    Betty, that is from Betty, thank you for that question. I’m not sure what Rodeo show is. Maybe you are talking about a content road show but even that I’m not exactly sure what dicing an article up and using the same content for posts means, so maybe you could ask that again and be a little more clear because I am not sure what you mean.
    It continues, “Yet this appears to be duplicate content. How do you get around this?”

    Well Betty, this is a rodeo show question, which I think she was referring to a content road show which is something I talk about on my site. I’m not really sure. I don’t talk about dicing an article up and using the content for posts. I don’t recommend that because as you said it is duplicate content. So I think maybe I wasn’t too clear in the video about that, so sorry about that.

    [32:43]

    So Julie asks, “What is the easiest way to recover from a penguin penalty?”

    Unfortunately penguin is really hard to recover from. It is so much easier to get a manual penalty removed because then you can do a reconsideration request, a disavow, all that stuff. With a penguin it is really hard because basically you have to clean up your links, you have to get rid of as many exact text anchor text links as you can, dilute them with better links that also have diversified anchor text and then most importantly wait for a refresh. So this is something a lot of people aren’t clear on. When you get a penguin penalty, penguin only rolls out once every six months. So when they run it, it is a filter and it filters out all basically the sites that get hit by penguin right. And then they refresh the filter later. And in the meantime it doesn’t matter what you do, you are not getting out of it, So even if you do all the things right you have to wait for that refresh for you to come back to where you were before.
    And a lot of times people don’t recover from penguin or a manual is the same story, because their entire site is propped up on crappy links right, so when you get rid of them you have nothing and you drop. So even if the penalty is removed you don’t even notice, because you don’t have any good links. So that is why it is important when you have a penguin penalty to not only remove the bad links but to get some good links in there too. That way when they do the refresh, you recover, you actually get a ranking improvement because if you have 100 links or 1000 links and they are all crap, you remove them and then penguin refreshes, you are going to be ranking where you before right, you might as well be penalized.

    So that is really the easiest way. It is an awful penalty to be in and I am sorry to hear that you got hit. Because of the refresh manual penalties are much easier to get out of but basically yeah, clean up your anchor text, build some good links and then just wait for the refresh. I wish they would do it more often but lately they have been really slow doing the refreshes.

    [34:39]

    We have a new question from, looks like Philippe. So what’s up Philippe? “How can a single page site with only links ranks higher than good content sites?”

    Well the answer to that is that links is what matters. So a lot of people talking about content and talk about social signals and talk about all this crap. It really comes down to links. Links are the basis of the Google algorithm, they have been for 15 years, they will continue to be for the next 15 years because there is no other signal that is as good an indicator of quality as links. So I would take a single page site with links way over one with good content. The only reason you create good content is to get links right? So that is the answer it is because links is what matters. Content doesn’t really matter.

    [35:30]

    The next one we have got from Adam.

    “If you are hiring someone to manage SEO for your business, what three things would you look for?”

    Ah that is a really good question. The first thing I would look for is whether or not they have their own site because there is a lot of people who just kind of come out of nowhere. It is the same as social media. “Hey I’m an SEO expert, Hey I’m a social media expert.” And to me it is like prove it. What’s your site doing? How are your clients doing? And if they don’t have that track record then that would be enough for me to say no thanks, because there is plenty of people out there who are doing great work and have proof that they did great work either for their site or for their clients that you don’t need to deal with people who are kind of faking it until they make it.

    The next thing I would look for is whether or not they are really good at email outreach because as I mentioned like 1000 times, email outreach is huge and you can do it the wrong way. It is very easy to spam with a template and I am sure you guys get this all the time you know, guest posting requests. That is technically email outreach, but it is really spamming. So I would find someone who has a really good eye for doing great outreach, maybe someone who has a PR background, they are typically really good at outreach or they worked as like a link building agency. They also usually have good outreach experience because they have been learning like from people who run companies that rely on this.

    And the third thing I would look for is whether or not that person knows good content when they see it. And the reason I say that is because a lot of people fail with SEO is because they rate good content – what they think is really good content and they wonder why they don’t get links, and they wonder why they don’t get social shares, and they wonder why people don’t ever talk about their site online. And you want someone who can just look at a piece of content and be like, “You know what, this is just alright. It’s good, but it’s not good enough to get links from. It’s not going to be good enough to get user experience signals” which actually Google does use instead of social signals. So when people visit your website they actually stay there instead of going back to the search results.

    And someone can be like, “That is good content” like legitimately good, not just good, great, that we can do something with that. That is something else that is worth its weight in gold because a lot of people get high on their stuff and they think that their content is so great and they wonder why people don’t link to them. And a lot of the reasons is because their content isn’t that great right, it is just pretty good. And the thing is with so much content on the web, good isn’t good enough.

    [38:01]

    Okay so I am going to head back to the forum and check out some questions there that came in.

    So Greg asks, “Is having links in your signature on a forum like the Warrior Forum a valid link building strategy provided you contribute to the discussions and provide value?”

    No. So when you have a link in a forum signature that is not an editorial link right, that is a link that you obviously put there and Google devalues any links that they know someone just put it there. So it doesn’t matter how niche related, what anchor text you use, I consider links in a forum useless from an SEO perspective. I would just kind of use it to generate traffic to a page in a site but I wouldn’t use it for SEO.

    [38:42]

    We have another question, “Is SEO in 2014 dead?”

    So no obviously right because as long as there are search engines there will be SEO. If you type a key word into Google there is still ten results right? So SEO is what is ranking those ten sites, so it is not dead as long as there are search engines with results.

    [39:00]

    So Brian asks, “Do you incorporate social signals with your websites, if so how?”

    So no I don’t, I mean I will take social signals any day just for the fact that it brings traffic, so when someone Tweets something out I’m not thinking, wow this is great for SEO or if someone Google Plus’s something, I’m not thinking oh wow I’m going to get a boost from this it is more like, oh I got some visitors, and maybe those visitors will get on my email list and later I can sell them something. So for me social signals is just traffic, but it is also important and something people don’t talk about in SEO a lot, social signals are also important for social proof because if you are going to do outreach for a piece of content right and you are emailing someone who has never heard of you, and you are like, “Hey this content is really great, do you want to take a look at it?” And they go to your page and it has got one Tweet, one Facebook like, zero Google Plus shares, no comments, they are going to think wow this isn’t very good. No one else has ever endorsed this piece of content, why should I?

    On the other hand if they go to your page and it has 70 Tweets, 50 Facebook likes, 25 Google Plus shares their mindset is completely flipped and they say, “Wow this is a great piece of content” and it makes them more likely to link to you when you use email outreach, or they just see your page in general and you do get some of those random links, if you have great stuff, and people will see it and they will be more likely to link to it so social signals also help with social proof.

    To answer your question it can help with SEO just not really directly.

    [40:25]

    So Tom asks, “What would you do if you had to start over again in internet marketing?”

    Wow that is a really good question and Tom it is funny you ask that because I actually was thinking about that the other day because someone, kind of a new person to the industry had asked me some questions, and I thought, you know I wish I asked someone some questions when I first started.

    The number one thing I would do over again is I would start a real business from scratch. I would go in and say, “I am going to start a real online business from scratch” because one thing that held me back is I was focusing on making money online. My entire focus was how can I make money online? And when you have that mentality you are always looking at basically scams right okay. So back in the day I had 175 websites. I had all the different hosting, who is information, all that stuff because my focus was making money online and I got absolutely hammered by Google panda because my sites were crap right. I didn’t have a real business, I had 175 websites that were making adsense money. That is not a business.

    So I wish my mentality starting off was more business oriented. And if that is intimidating to you, then I don’t know what to tell you. You really need to start a real business. If you are in this game to make money online, you are done, because the days of just like making money online are over, they are done. If you want to make money from building a business you can do that and you can make money online in a million different ways but the foundation of that has to be a business and providing value. But if your whole mentality is, how can I make money online, how can I make money online you are not going to do well. So I wish I did that starting out and it was a lesson that took me over three years to learn unfortunately.

    [42:10]

    Okay Dwayne H. asks, “What specific links would you build for a new site? Are there any base links that you would build to lay the foundation for a new site?”

    That is a really good question. I personally don’t think of like a new site nay differently than an old site. So I don’t think, okay with a new site you need to do this, with an old site you need to do that. That is kind of like an old school SEO thing where you didn’t want to build links too fast and you wanted to get certain legitimate links starting out and then if you get spammier later on. So I would say just do what you are doing as if you inherited a site that was 10 years old. Either create something on your site that is actually worth linking to and then doing outreach. What types of links you get from that are totally random but in a good way right because you want your link profile to have some randomization in there. A mistake a lot of people make is like you need to have 20% exact anchor text, 10% this partial match anchor text, as if that looks natural right?

    So you don’t want to get too bogged down in specific links or anchor texts or anything like that because that can actually hurt you. Because the more strategic you get ironically the more it looks like you manufactured your link profile, the more likely you are to get hit with a penalty.

    So I really would just focus on building quality links, what they look like in real life, how they actually manifest, you don’t want to really care about that; as long as it is random looking.

    [43:32]

    So Kevin asks, “How would you go about building links to rank a page on a site versus ranking a site?”

    For me it is the same right because a home page it is hard to rank a home page these days right, because you don’t usually have good content on a home page, the keywords are competitive, so I don’t even worry about ranking a home page personally. I usually put some keyword on there, like a low competition keyword and it is usually easy enough to rank for based on the title tag and some content on the page alone and then for the really competitive keywords that is where I build up the pages and I build links. But if I had to build links to a home page, I would use stuff like infographics because when you have an infographic and it gets shared the link is typically to the home page, or it should be or else it looks a bit spammy right if you are just like, “Courtesy of lawn care Houston” and it links to some internal page.

    So I would use infographics. I would also do stuff like finding organizations depending on what kind of site you have, finding organizations that kind of lists sites that are good resources in general, so they link out to homepages. I would do that because then people don’t link to a specific piece of content that is on a page on your site, they are linking to your home page.

    For me I have the opposite problem. I find it is easier to get links to the home page just because if people like your site at all they are happy to link to it, but to get a link to a specific piece of content on your site, you need to find a page where your link makes sense. You need to find that person, pitch them, the content has to be great, all that stuff. The home page is easier because if someone is listing out like top 20 fitness blogs you can get on there. It is a lot easier than getting a “how to do a crunch properly” link, in my experience anyway.

    [45:15]

    Andrew M. asks, “What is the best way to do keyword research for adsense?”

    Honestly unfortunately I don’t know anything at all about adsense. I stopped using adsense years ago. I have no idea. The only thing I know is to look at the estimated cost per click and Google key word planner and that is usually a rough indicator of how much you will get per click on adsense. But honestly I don’t know too much about adsense.

    [45:40]

    So last question from the forum, then we are going to head back to the chat is from Dick F.

    He asks, “What are the top areas to focus on to maximize SEO for a new blog?”

    So the first thing I would focus on is SEO keywords right. So somebody asked about growing a blog and I talked about keyword research so keyword research is huge, it is massively important and it is something people just gloss over to get right into building links, or right into writing content. So I would focus on keyword research not just for SEO finding but also to find out for your blog reader what they want to learn about. What are they actually searching for, what specific language do they use when they search for stuff online which is a lot different usually than you see it right because if you are starting a blog ideally you are an expert. You know actually that topic better than the average person.

    So when someone types into Google a lot of times they phrase things totally differently than you do right? So for example if you are in SEO and are sophisticated you might type in something like, “Link building strategies: into Google. But someone who is just like a dentist and has no idea about SEO they are going to type in like, “How can I rank my site on Google?” So you need to know the key words that people are going to use. That would be the first area to focus on.

    The next thing I would focus on is creating content around those keywords that are going to be amazing. And I have seen this happen time and time again that when a blog out of the gate start off with one awesome piece of content, gets links, gets user experience signal, people start typing their brand signal into Google which is important, brand signal, it gets a massive search engine boost in rankings for keywords.

    So that would be the other thing I would focus on. There is a case study at backlinko about the skyscraper technique and it talks about how I did this and also a reader basically used this technique for a brand new blog and doubled her traffic in a short period of time. So that would be the other thing I would focus on once you have your keywords.
    So let’s just hop on over back to the chat and start answering some questions over there.

    [47:54]

    Okay so we have a new question, “Please suggest any good copywriting course.”

    You know what I don’t take any copywriting courses I just read books on copywriting. So I would recommend anything by David Ogilvy he is like the grandmaster the Mr. Miyage of copywriting. Cashvertizing is a really good book. Just look at books. I took one course actually that was really good, now that I’m thinking about it. Atsumo.com there is a course called kopywriting kourse. And I took that one when I first started out and it is really good. The guy who did it, his name is Nevil. He also studies all these old copywriters and he basically gives you like some good actionable exercises you can do to basically write good copy. And I am glad you asked that because a lot of people don’t pay a lot of attention to copywriting and it is super important right because video is huge but people read like 90% of the content that they consume online. So you have to be a good copywriter.

    So I recommend this copywriting course, it is pretty cheap, it was only like – I don’t want to quote it because I don’t remember – around $50 which is a steal.

    [49:07]

    So now we have a question from Major E Thornton. “Do aged domains really give you an advantage with backlinks?”

    So I answered this question in the beginning and the short answer is yes they do. The long answer is they probably won’t in the months and years to come. So right now they do but because it is easy like I am saying. Anything easy Google will crack down on and they have shown this, they have been doing this since basically Google started. People started keyword stuffing, anyone could do it, it was easy; boom drop the hammer on keyword stuffing. Article directories, you could just submit to hundreds of article directories at once it was easy, anyone could do it, boom done. Expired domains are the next thing to go in my opinion. So I wouldn’t really rely on expired domains for your links, maybe it gives you a boost, maybe I’m wrong that they will help, maybe they will always work but to answer your question I wouldn’t rely on them.

    So you can use them and then also build new links that are new so you are not relying on all those aged domain links but if you are relying on that, in my opinion you are in trouble.

    [50:09]

    Julie says, “Thanks for the answer Brian I really appreciate it.”

    No problem Julie, thanks for asking it.

    [50:15]

    So Irvin asks, “How much social sharing and articles should we do by ourselves and which websites do you prefer?”

    Well I mean you should just share stuff more than once basically. I just share it when it comes out and then the next day because people miss it, I share it and then like I share older stuff once a week. So I take an old article, share it and for people that may not have seen it who just discovered my blog.

    That is really all I do. I am not a big social fan, I don’t think it helps that much for traffic, I don’t think it helps for a lot of things, it is very time consuming. I just do it because you kind of have to do a little bit just to get some traffic from Twitter and stuff like that but I’m not a big social guy because I don’t think the ROI is there. Websites I prefer is just Twitter, Google Plus, Facebook and Linkedin.

    [50:59]

    Okay so we have some new chats coming in.

    “How do I go about improving email deliverability?” That is from Matt.

    Honestly Matt I am not like the email deliverability expert, I can’t even pronounce it so obviously I don’t know that much about it. If you are talking about getting a send grid and then buying a list and sending them emails, I know nothing about that. Nothing at all. I only know about Awebber, email blast, also email outreach and basically what I have seen with spam filters lately is the links are getting really hit in the filter. So a lot of times even when you do email outreach like literally one to one, you just find someone you are emailing them, it is not spam, but you have a link in there and you have never emailed them before; a lot of times that gets tripped up in the spam filter now. So try to find ways around not linking to stuff or using as many links in pieces of contents. Especially Gmail has been doing that lately.

    So that is my only tip because I am not an expert on that.

    [52:01]

    Nealac says, “Thanks for the answer Brian.”

    No problem. Thanks for asking it.

    [52:06]

    Philippe says…oh okay. Alright before we had this question, “How does a single page website rank with only links versus a page with all content” and the answer is still the same actually Philippe.

    It is because that page where the content is only links has a lot of links pointing to it right? It definitely helps to have content on the page and if I had to choose between the two I would love to have content on the page, but I’ve also seen pages that are more or less links. They also have some content on there too like content creation stuff.

    I have a post on the home page right now that is more or less a list of links with some content on it and it is because that page has a ton of authority and user experience signals that when people search for it in Google, they go there, they stick and they like it.

    So that is the answer, it is all about getting links to the site.

    [52:56]

    Alaister thank you. I already answered email deliverability as best as I could.

    Also Nealac asks, “What do you mean by good content? We have web development services firm. How to write good content?”

    Well honestly I’m not going to waste everybody’s time because there is so much great content about how to create great content out there. I would recommend looking at the skyscraper technique, just Google that it is something I talk about on my site. It is more specific because great content is kind of vague right but if you have a web development company you have tons of opportunities for great content. You are not like a dentist or some home improvement or you don’t sell some random machine part in factories like a lot of people and they really struggle with content. Web development is actually pretty easy.

    [53:37]

    So Jaime asks, “What aspect of link building email outreach do you tend to outsource?”

    So I already answered that before and basically I just outsource the stuff that is basically categorizing the pages that I give somebody. So when I find sites that might make a good linking partner, they would be likely to link to me, I outsource the stuff where people find their contact information, also to judge whether or not the quality of the site. I actually do most of the outreach myself.

    [54:03]

    We also have a question about negative SEO.

    “Still nothing to do if you have a new established website?”

    You are absolutely right. Negative SEO sucks and I don’t have any secret weapon to stop negative SEO happening to new sites. As you said if you have a new site you are pretty vulnerable to negative SEO. So the only thing you can really do is get out of the gate really quickly, build as many quality links as you can and that will form a moat for any negative SEO attacks. And I have found if you have a new site that is not really established and you don’t have a lot of links pointing to it, you are not really a target for negative SEO because who even knows you exist enough to try to negative SEO you?

    One time I had a site, one of my sites got hit by like 250,000 blog comments right after I ranked number one for this keyword. So this guy was number one for years. I got above him, then I got nailed by negative SEO and the site was pretty new. I would say only six months old and maybe even less at this point, and it still did fine, so it didn’t affect it. So it is not really about how old your site is it is about how many great links you have. So this page had a lot of links. So this spam it just looked uncharacteristic to me. Google knew it and they basically said, “This is probably negative SEO. We are going to discount these links and not penalize you.”

    So as long as you have those white hat links you don’t have to worry about the time your site has been around because as I said I got hit pretty early with a site and it didn’t budge.

    [55:29]

    So Adam asks, “Is PR a viable source and tool for link building? If so any tips and strategies for this?”

    PR can be a goldmine for link building because you are getting a link because you are getting a link from a major news site. And if you look at the SEO metrics of every news site they are absolutely absurd, I mean they are like just some of the most authoritative sites online.

    So to answer your question, yes. I am trying to get into this. I am honestly not like a PR expert but I have a friend who like gets links from journalists every week and I am trying to pick her brain and figure out how she does it.
    Basically the bottom line is that you need to find a list of journalists that talk about whatever it is that you talk about on your site, or you sell on your site and then kind of get on their radar screen. And it is a lot easier to get on a journalist’s radar screen then these bloggers right because these journalists even if you write for the Huffington Post you are lucky to get five comments on your post. Or if you work for GQ you are going to get one comment, five tweets. These major news sites, a lot of times the people who write for them don’t get a lot of love. Now New York Times is a different story right but most news sites don’t get a lot of action. So when you strategically find these people and you share their stuff and comment on their blog you are going to stand out a lot because compared to a blogger who is getting like fifty comments they are getting three and you are one of them. So that would be the first step.

    And then what she does, she basically finds out when they write something and they either give them a piece of content that is not from their site a lot of times, just to be like this might help you write the article and they write something, or something comes up they are interested in, they send them the article. Sometimes it is their stuff, sometimes it is not and it looks really good that way right. It is helpful for the person because journalists are really strapped for time. So when you send them something and it is something they are going to write about or they wrote about and it is helpful for them, it actually saves them time right so they are going to be like ah this is really helpful I don’t have to go searching for this source, someone gave it to me.

    They especially like statistics and sound bytes. So if you see they are writing a lot lately about fitness and health you would be like, “Oh I found this study where when people eat this thing they lost 10% more weight.” And they love putting that in an article right, that is what journalists love. So if you can give that to them you will be their best friend. And then when you pick something of yours they are going to be like, “Well this person helped me, I will mention them.”

    [57:50]

    Let’s go back to the forum and look at some of the preregistered questions.

    So Pooyah asks, “I have gathered several writers who specialize in their own field. I have asked them to register to sites like digital journal, inquisitor and benzinga and get approved to become regular contributors then publish content that links back to our client’s websites. What do you think of this method for link building?”

    Well I think that is a great strategy. I can’t say that I know any of the three sites that you mention so I don’t know if they are article directories or hub pages or things like that but if they are legitimately a news site where there is editorial process, so if it is a site where hub pages everyone can register, everyone can publish, I would say that is not effective at all. But if these are sites like you said where people are specialists, they specialized in their field and these people only accept specialists and then you have to go through an editorial process to get your stuff out there then yeah that is a really great method of link building. A little bit shady, but it works right.

    [58:50]

    So Vahuk asks, “What do you think about Facebook’s future in two or three years?”

    I personally, I’m not like a predictor especially with social media. I think it is going to do fine. They have some people like snapchat getting in but I think they are going to be fine. I mean they have 1 billion users and people spend a lot more time on Facebook than Google right or any other social platform. It is basically a website about your friends. So as long as there is no competitor they are going to do fine. So I don’t see them going anywhere, stock has gone way up since their initial IPO went down, and now it’s back. I think they are going to do great.

    [59:25]

    So Jared asks, “Do I need paid weblinks in order to rank a website in the top three? Take for example a branding domain in the finance industry like debt, student loans, payday loans. Can this be done with free back links and content and what are the strategies?”

    That is a good question Jared. You know paid links can really work. I am not going to sit here and be like, don’t ever buy a link, it is bad, it is unethical. I don’t see anything unethical about it. It is not a strategy that I think is the best way to use your money because I think you can get a lot more great links from creating something, putting money into creating something and outreach than you can from just straight out buying the link.

    So I would say if you want to rank for say debt consolidation, just forget it man, that key word even for paid links you are not going to get it. So when you are in a super competitive space like that, that is where keyword research becomes really important right. That is where you need to find keywords that are like trending. So then all those old entrenched competitors aren’t already ranking for them and you can get in there and rank for the top three because you want to rank in the top three especially for like pay day loans or student loans, that stuff you really need to do crazy keyword research.

    Now whether or not you can create content, yeah I think you can and I actually know this space and I can tell you there is a lot of opportunity there. If I was going to get into a space that wasn’t SEO it would be this, personal finance, because there is tons of opportunities there. There is like three guys that are doing good stuff in that space. Everything else is generic garbage. Everything else is like, “Five tips for saving money on groceries” type stuff. If you can come in there and create something amazing about debt consolidation, like a good guide right about how to get student loans, how to pay off your student loans, car loans, how to save money on car loans, things like that you can actually get a lot of links to it because there is a lot of personal finance sites that would link to it but there aren’t a lot of great people to even link to. So you could really stand out especially with some positioning which I talked about very early in the AMA which I would recommend that you do before you start any site.

    [01:01:26]

    So Adam A. asks, “What did the first 30 days of backlinko look like? How do you keep yourself motivated to keep going?”

    That is a really good question. The first 30 days was kind of an experiment. So when I started backlinko I basically already had my own properties, I had consulting clients, I was doing fine so I was wasn’t super hungry in terms of like I need this to work.

    When I first started, basically the first 30 days so I will walk you through it, I got the site designed and that was my major focus because I know that site design is way more important than content. It is not even close and it is surprising no one has asked me about design but design is way more important that content. So when I first created the site I spent, before day one, working with a designer. We went through tons of edits and nitpicking little bit, to make it pixel perfect to make sure the site was beautifully designed, otherwise I didn’t want to put it out there. And I knew that unless it looked great people are going to judge it based on the design so unless it looks great they are going to judge it as crap even if the content is really good.

    So once it had the design I worked on my first two posts. And I know a lot of people say you have to have five or ten before you start and I never understood that because you kind of want to leave people wanting more as long as they have some other stuff to check out. So they land on one page of your site, one post, you maybe want to have one or two others they can check out while they are there right it doesn’t make sense just to have one. I think I had two when I started. I would be shocked if I had three. I really don’t remember.

    And then what I did was I basically went to the Warrior Forum and I promoted it. And I have done this with other industries. I have created a great piece of content and promoted it on the forum and I saw it worked really well. And I also noticed that no one else was doing it because everyone else was obsessed with social media they forget that forums are just a great marketing tool. There are thousands of people in your target audience just looking for content and you can get yourself in front of them for free very easily.

    So I basically was just kind of active on the Warrior Forum and some other forums that are in the internet marketing space to get links and I also did some guest posts early on you know to get some traffic, not really for link building per say.

    So that was basically the first 30 days. I would say I spent one week on one piece of content because I put a lot of effort into each one, and I put one week into the other. And the other two weeks were promoting it on Warrior Forum. I did some email outreach. I also did some guest posts. So that was really the first 30 days.

    And how did I keep myself motivated? Well when I first published this post which was called, Seventeen Untapped Back link Sources, which was like the second post I ever published, I got a lot of great feedback on it. So people were commenting and saying that it was good. I also published it on the Warrior Forum, a lot of people were giving me positive feedback so that helped me get motivated because if you never published a blog that had your name on it because all my other stuff had ghostwriters or pen names, it is a little bit scary. You are putting your name out there. You don’t’ know how people are going to react. Then when you get a positive reaction that is what motivates you to keep going.

    So that is what really helped me to push forward.

    That was a really good question Adam.

    [01:04:33]

    So Sean asks, “What do you think about guest blogging as a way to build links?”

    I still think it is relevant, it still works basically to build links from guest blogging you just have to do it very carefully. So like anything, I have said this a couple of times, if it is easy you don’t want to do it. You actually want to do strategies that are hard. So basically you want to find guest blogging opportunities that are hard.

    So I know some people in the SEO space who are really smart and they basically say if a site has a write for us page, then we don’t guest post on it because then it is easy right, it is easy to find, they have a process for guest posts and a lot of other people are pitching them and publishing guest posts. So if it is easy you don’t want to do it.

    So it is all about the places you actually guest post so I would just make sure that the site doesn’t openly accept guest posts, that is number one and also that it is relevant to your site.

    So I wouldn’t focus too much on domain authority and things like that, just make sure that it is relevant. That being said you only want guest posting to be maybe 10% of your links, maybe 15 to 20% at the absolute most or else you are really risking getting penalized or if Google devalues those links someday which I think they already have to a certain extent, you know you could get 20% of your links could essentially disappear. They will still be there but they won’t count anymore and that is really risky. So I would say you want to minimize how much you want to use it and then what you do make sure you get it on a site that is hard that other people don’t guest post publish on.

    [01:06:05]

    So Gia asks, “What’s the best way to do content marketing for a fitness product for instance promoting a fitness related webinar?”

    So webinar is a bit tricky right. With a webinar you need either a list or you need someone else’s list and you need to have a relationship with that person. So I wouldn’t be so into the webinar starting off unless you already have a relationship with somebody with an email list because otherwise how are you going to get the word out about your webinar? Paid traffic doesn’t make sense because if someone has never heard of you they are not going to go to your webinar. Going on a forum is spamming to say, “Hey I have a webinar coming up” so I would put the webinar sort of last. I would just focus on the content marketing part.

    So if you have a fitness product you are in a niche that is obviously crazy competitive right. There are so many sites about fitness, so many great sites about fitness. What I basically look at is go to a site called nerdfitness.com which I hope you are familiar with Gia in the fitness space. Just check out what he is doing. This guy just crushed it. He literally came out of nowhere into this very competitive space, just did a great job, has one of the most popular fitness blogs online has about 100,000 subscribers, the guy is amazing. So I would just look at nerdfitness see what they are doing over there and do something similar.

    And basically what he did is he found topics that were trending. So in the fitness space right you have old topics like low carb dieting, low fat dieting, how to do a push up, stuff that has been around forever. And those are really competitive keywords because the people that have written about them are like WebMD and authority sites but they are usually slow to catch on to new trends. So he would write about stuff like the paleo diet which when he first started his diet was kind of an up and coming diet. Now it is kind of popular but back when he did it and he created like a beginner’s guide to the paleo diet which is very thorough, very high quality and that sort of put him on the map.
    So I would find some trending topic in the fitness space or the nutrition space that your entrenched competitor may be a bit slow to catch up and then create an ultimate guide or something amazing about that because that will get your name out there very quickly.

    So I am going to hop back on the chat and see what we have got coming on here.

    [01:08:19]

    Emery NRI asks, “When deciding the links and keywords on content, quality or quantity?

    I’m sorry I don’t really understand the question. I think you mean the link quality which is more important, quality or quantity. Definitely quality right. Now quantity still matters it is always better to have ten good links than five good links but it is definitely all about quality. And if you look at actual search results which you should, you want to learn SEO, look at what is actually happening. You will see that a lot of sites are linking with five links for really tough key words. It is because those five links are really good and more importantly from quality sites which Google is paying more and more attention too.

    Matt says, “Fascinating Q & A.” Thanks Matt, thanks for being here.

    [01:09:07]

    So Betty asks, “Do you ever outsource your content and if so who do you trust to do this all important task?”

    That is a really good question. For backlinko I don’t outsource, I don’t outsource anything even the editing which I probably should because I make a lot of spelling errors and things like that. But I don’t outsource the content for that site but my other properties I most definitely do.

    Here is the thing about outsourcing content. You want to give people very specific instructions about what you want them to do. If you just go toFreelancer.com I should say, and you go on there and you are like, “I want a writer who is going to write 500 words about olive oil, the health benefits of olive oil” and you just leave them to do it, everything is up to them, the title or maybe you give them a keyword, you are not going to get anything good back. But you can take that same person and be like, “Okay I want this guide to the benefits of olive oil and here are all the sub topics that I want covered and I want at least five scientific references in the post. And I also want eight stock images, here is my login to Istockphoto” or whatever, “You have to use those in the post.”

    The other thing I would recommend besides being really specific with your guidelines is to pay more. Like anything you get what you pay for, especially true with content. If you are serious about content marketing and if you see it as an all important task you have got to invest in it. It is the same way in your business if you looked at email marketing as a really important part of your business and then when people subscribed you created groups in Gmail and you emailed individually the different groups, how serious are you really taking email marketing? But if you have an Awebber list or a Mailchamp list you are taking it seriously because you are putting cash behind it. It is the same thing with content.

    So I have noticed a big different when you go from say $10 for 500 words and you start spending like $100 for 500 words a lot of times you can get legitimate journalists or freelancer writers who have been in the game for years and they just write absolutely amazing stuff, especially when combined with the guidelines. So really good question Betty.
    Betty says the copywriting course is $69 USD, the one I mentioned earlier at Atsumo. Worth ten times that honestly. I had actually been a freelance writer for a number of years and done copywriting for sales pages and things like that for clickbank products and I learned a lot of copywriting that way just kind of studying it, doing it. Before every sales page on clickbank was a video it was like those long pages right. I used to write a ton of those and I would basically copy what other ones were doing.

    But the problem was I didn’t even know why things were working. I was really just kind of like a copier and then when I did the copywriting course it taught me a lot of the fundamental things that I could use that weren’t just copying other people. So I knew kind of why the stuff worked and also it loosened me up a little bit. A lot of the problem with blogging and copywriting is people are very uptight kind of like how they learned to write in school and that is the worst way to write. No one wants to read boring stuff, even if it is not grammatically correct it is better to be interesting. And this copywriting course is really good but it was kind of funny, all about how to add humor to your stuff and it is really good.

    And if you want to see a good blogger who is also a good copywriter, go to iwillteachyoutoberich.com. It is Ramit Sethi. Just read his blog posts, they are really brilliant just the way they are written. So just study what he does in terms of not only blogging but also just copywriting in general. So thank you for that information Betty about how much the copywriting course costs.

    [01:13:00]

    Philippe asks, “How about using an expired domain built around your main theme and pointing to the money site."

    So I covered expired domains quite a few times. Short answer to your question, if you watch the beginning you will hear me go off on expired domains, talk all about them. Basically I don’t recommend using them because I think they work now but are probably not going to work in the future. And if you make it around your main theme it is probably better than if it is totally unrelated. But I think that just the problem is the link pointing to that is going to get devalued when Google realizes that so many people are using this.

    [01:13:32]

    Colin asks, “What is the best method to disavow a link? My site got penalized.”

    I recently had an experience with this. I had a friend like an internet friend I never met in real life he had a site that got a manual penalty. And I had a lot of people emailing me, “Brian how do we get out of manual penalty, what do I do?” And I really didn’t have any firsthand knowledge. I was kind of giving them, “Here are the guidelines” and I didn’t know what happened firsthand. So I wanted to just help them out. I was like we will go in this together, I will learn the process and now when people ask me a question about it I can actually give them an intelligent answer instead of secondhand information.

    Basically what we did, we downloaded all the links, so Href, majestic SEO, open site explorer and webmaster tools, got rid of the duplicates and went one by one and looked at all of the ones that were spamming. Sometimes it is a grey area, but usually it is pretty clear right. So even the ones that were in the grey area we considered them spamming just to be on the safe side. Then we, or he I should say, emailed all these people and actually asked for link removals. Now a lot of people say you don’t need to do that but I want to have some experience with that so we did that, got a ton taken down. I don’t know what the big deal is. We had so many taken down very very easily because people are afraid. They don’t want to link to penalized sites right. So if you pitch it like “Our site got penalized” a lot of times they will remove your link happily. And I found the conversion rate was surprisingly high, much more than for getting links, getting them removed is a lot easier. Of course these were spamming so it is a lot easier.

    And then we did the disavow. We put all the rest and the ones that were still there and didn’t get removed into a disavow file, uploaded it, one reconsideration request and his site was back within like two weeks I think he got the message and then a week later it was back. So it wasn’t rocket science, but he actually had good links in there so it propped up his site. He didn’t go back to where he was before because a lot of the links that were keeping him up were now gone or devalued already before the manual penalty.

    So once the links were removed he didn’t go way back up but his site was literally not even ranking for the domain name. So it got back in the index, more or less. So that would be what I would use.

    [01:15:39]

    So Irvin asks, “Should we buy back links from Fiverr, they offer thousands of links for $5?”

    No. So you know I think you can buy back links from Fivr, I don’t think there is anything wrong with that but I wouldn’t buy the thousands of links stuff. If someone owns a blog and they are like, “You know what I will link to your site or mention you in a blog post for $5” and their site actually looks pretty legit and it is related, that would be a good $5 investment. Otherwise, I would say no.

    [01:16:05]

    So Adam asks, “Have you explored SEO in languages other than English, if so any secrets for this?”

    I haven’t actually. I have a lot of students in my course that are from other countries and they try to rank in other Google’s. And I also recently had a great conversation with a guy from Italy and he was saying that they are actually really spamming. I didn’t quite know this but basically when Google rolls out something like penguin it hits Google.com in the US first and then they slowly roll it out to the other Google’s. So a lot of times if you are like ranking for Google…not the big ones like Google.de, Google.co.uk, Google.ca, those are pretty much the same. When you get to like Italy, Japan like smaller ones, a lot of times the results are really spamming because they don’t have the same technology that Google.com is using or it is slower to get there.

    So basically I would say if you are trying to rank in a not google.com result, I would actually go super white hat just to be ahead of the curve because everyone is doing super spamming stuff just because they can but it is only a matter of time until they crack down. I recently had a conversation at a conference with a Japanese SEO firm and they basically said they are just spamming to death but they know that it is going to end very soon because whatever happens in the US eventually gets to them and they have seen it happen over and over again. So basically they are at penguin 1.0 right now and they haven’t even got penguin 2.0 yet so it is only a matter of time.

    So go super white hat, use pretty much the same strategies and just kind of be patient because ultimately they are going to get slapped.

    [01:17:37]

    Emery asks, “Thanks for the answer, exactly what I wanted to know.”

    You are very welcome, thanks for asking.

    [01:17:50]

    Okay we have another question. “I agree with not outsourcing content but what do you outsource? There is not enough time to do it all.”

    I actually did say you could outsource the content, you just have to give them really good guidelines and then pay a notch above what you are kind of used to paying right because content has become this commodity. During the days before panda and penguin paying someone for 500 words $5 was not normal, it was cheap, but not that crazy. Now you would be crazy to pay that. So I would recommend outsourcing content if you are very busy. I would also recommend outsourcing things like outreach right, you don’t have to do that yourself. Or outsource elements of it which I talked a lot about specific elements that are easier to outsource earlier in the AMA.

    So I understand there is not enough time because like you have your market, you have your actual business and now SEO is a part of it. But the thing is SEO is a full time job. So if you are not doing SEO someone has to be. But fortunately you can outsource a lot of the elements including content creation and promotion.

    [01:18:52]

    So Adam asks. “What is the best way to push traffic from a high traffic site to a low traffic site with no penalty?”

    So basically you have to provide some sort of value or else your account is going to get banned or no one is going to go there because if you are on a high traffic site like the warrior forum and you are just posting generic stuff like, “Great post, good point” how transparent is that? Everyone knows what you are up to, no one is fooled and no one is going to go to your signature link.

    But by the same token if you are on the same high traffic site and you are providing a ton of value, people are going to go there. So it really comes down to value. It is a little bit wishy washy right how do you do that? But basically answer the person’s question. Or if you disagree put that in there. But it is not a numbers game because of lot of people on forums are like, “I want to post ten posts a day. I am going to get this traffic.” Well the things is people in the warrior forum aren’t stupid and when you are posting something, and something like generic nonsense that is just like. “Great post, I love that” or “Good point, great stuff” no one is fooled and they know you are a spammer. But when you actually stop and provide value you are going to get a lot of traffic from a high traffic site. And it is the same story on [01:19:55 Cora] Facebook, Twitter, whatever huge traffic site you are talking about.
    [01:20:00]

    So Colin asks, “How to do a reconsideration?”

    Basically there is a post on Moz that is “How to recover from a manual penalty” and someone posted a case study. My friend basically copied that template and posted it. Not rocket science. Just show them at Google duck that you have done some link removals or you have tried your best, then apologize and on the first try the site was back. So I think if you are doing it not trying to get away with anything, kind of admit defeat, and you remove a lot of links and then you disavow the rest and you apologize, it is all you really need to do.

    [01:20:35]

    Julie asks, “What would be your ideal SEO and internet marketing agency staff?”

    That is a really good question. So if I had a small team like five people, I would definitely have a copywriter. That would be number one because they would basically write the content because there is no magic to writing content. The most important thing is that it reads really well and that is why I would have a copywriter. Have an SEO person, someone who knows SEO, so traditional SEO, they know titles, they know keywords, they know onsite, they know urls, right they know all that stuff. That is another person I would have, at least one, maybe two.

    I would have an outreach specialist because I have a friend who runs an agency in the UK and they have, I think they have 20 employees. Six are on outreach just to give you an idea of how important that is and they all do email outreach and PR. So I have that and then I would have a PR more of a traditional media relations person that would do more outreach. And then I would have someone who does kind of everything else, a developer right.
    So I have a developer at backlinko, he does great work and he is like my go-to guy. He can do all the ideas that you come up with. He can actually execute it on the site.

    Wow I’ve been going almost an hour and a half on this AMA. I’m ready, I’m here. I blocked off all afternoon. I live in Berlin if you guys don’t know so it is 4:24pm here and I blocked off the entire afternoon. Now I’m not necessarily going to spend the entire afternoon with you guys, not because I don’t have time but because really it is hard to do an AMA but I’m not going to just be here for an hour because I had something to do. I didn’t schedule anything purposely so I could answer all of your questions. That being said I do need a minute to drink a bit more coffee, but I am here, I am not going anywhere.

    It’s actually really bad coffee. In case you don’t know in Germany it is really hard to find good coffee. They have Starbucks thankfully but otherwise the coffee that you kind of buy at the store is not very good.

    [01:22:45]

    So Julie says, “You rock Brian a million thanks.”

    Well thank you I appreciate that Julie.

    So Irvin asks, “How many back links are good on a daily basis?”

    That kind of stuff doesn’t matter anymore. There is no number you could give. Just build as many as you possibly could basically that are actually good on a daily basis and you will be good to go.

    So we are going to head back to the forum away from the live chat. I’ve actually going to hit refresh on this thing. I was a little bit afraid of doing it because we had so many preregistered questions that I had to go through. But that is what I am here for.

    [01:23:19]

    So Michael asks, “Thanks for your time. I have a blog and I post on it regularly. I feel like no one is reading my post. What sort of promotions should I do initially to start building a following and a readership? Thanks.”

    Thanks for asking that Michael. Sorry if I was a little late getting to your question. I apologize for that but I had a lot of preregistered questions to get through first. So to answer your question the first thing I would do is not post regularly. That is a huge mistake people make. And I think a lot of people think if you post regularly the traffic ferry is going to stop by your site and sprinkle traffic dust and all of a sudden you are going to get readers. It doesn’t work like that. I would not post regularly because like you said no one is reading your posts and that happens. When you have a new blog even if you do everything right you are going to have very few people reading your stuff. So I would stop posting regularly. Just stop. There is no benefit you get from it because you are basically playing into an empty room right.
    You publish a post, let’s say you have 100 readers, you post it to 100 people. Maybe a couple will share it on Twitter. Then you have 105 right. The next time you post you have 105. Do you really want to do that? That is like inch by inch by inch by inch growing your blog. That is the slowest worst way to do it.

    What I would do instead is I would focus on creating one amazing piece of content instead and then promoting it. So take four posts that you would usually write, so if you are writing once a week or maybe twice a week and do once a month when you are first starting. You can increase the frequency later on when you have an audience but when you are first starting you want to do just once a month. And that is the thing, what is funny is when you tell people once a month they think what am I going to do with all that time?

    Well the answer is, use the same amount of time one eight posts or four posts and make one amazing one. And then you spend the rest of the time that you have left over promoting it. So what promotion should you do? It is hard to say without knowing your industry, but in general forums are really good. And I mentioned this before when I first started I was on the warrior forum all the time promoting my stuff and promoting my site because that was a watering hole of my target audience and I knew that people would want to read my stuff on the warrior forum and other internet marketing forums.

    And the good thing is no matter what industry you are in there is a forum out there. So there is baking forums, there are fitness forums, there is basketball for people that are into basketball…not professional, like playing basketball. There are also people who are into professional basketball. So whatever industry you are in I would go to forums and make that the cornerstone of my marketing starting out. It is like traffic on tap. You publish something and as long as you are not spamming you can head over to the forum, provide value, and occasionally link to your stuff and you are going to get traffic. Or put it in your forum signature.

    So no matter what niche you are in find the forums where people hang out and then get them back to your site. It is like the old blog adage that you want to find out where your target audience hangs out, go there and then bring them back to your site. So that would be the early promotion. And I would also do some email outreach. But the rub with email outreach is that you have to have something that is worth someone sharing. So say you are able to find an influencer’s email address, that doesn’t mean anything. If you email them and like, “Hey will you share my post with your audience” and your post is like five tips for healthy eating, they are not going to do that if they run a fitness site right. They want some good hardcore stuff that they can share. And if you have that you are going to do well.
    The only way to have that is to publish regularly and to publish less often.

    So that was a good question, I hope that help you out and I wish you the best of luck with your blog.

    [01:26:54]

    So we have Matt asks an email deliverability question. Unfortunately Matt I don’t know a lot about it, like I said I wish I could help you out.

    So Cassigway asks a very very long question. And they joined the forum to talk to me which I appreciate. I have to go to the TLDR I’m sorry because it is a long one.

    “I’m a new marketing person for a hosting provider. It didn’t get off to a great start. My rankings are not improving, no one is buying. My boss is pushing adwords without knowing what he is doing and losing thousands per week. Should I limit adwords campaigns and focus on building links and original content?”

    It is a really good question. I would go back to what I said before about positioning. So I know your boss really runs the site and you are the marketing person but as a marketing person you have a responsibility to tell them, “We need positioning.” If you are a hosting provider you have to ask, what makes your hosting provider different than all the others out there? That is a crazy competitive space as people who have been in the industry for years. And from a SEO point of view if you look at like blue host and host gator they are like domain authority 90’s, or Go daddy is like domain authority 100. What chance do you have competing with these guys’ SEO even if you have a unique selling proposition but especially if you don’t?

    So go back and be like…oh yeah you mentioned you are a web hosting that sells all types of stuff. “The marketing person before me built this site and marketed it through paid blog networks, black hat stuff.”
    That is what I am saying, that is exactly what I am saying. You have got to have positioning. That is a real business, web hosting right. If you are going to try to compete with those huge guys, forget SEO, forget content, forget links, why would anyone link to you over them? I mean you can definitely compete on a certain level with great content because they are probably not putting out good stuff but you also need something else. That is just my two cents about that.

    If your boss is pushing adwords, as you found adwords is insanely expensive for hosting. So it is proportionate to SEO. And the reason that hosting is so competitive in case you don’t know is because the lifetime value of the customer is extremely high right because if you buy a domain name you think, oh I’m only making $10 but a lot of people that buy the domain name also get hosting. They get private “Who is” information. They get all these up sells and they also need the domain name for ten years, that is $80 not $10.

    So lifetime value is really high and super competitive. So to answer your question is really hard for me to answer. Basically I would say you really need to get your positioning down either for your actual product or a suite of products in your case or for your blog. So you can also do a kissmetrics deal right. Kissmetrics came out of the gate, they had a unique product for sure, but they also had a blog that was really amazing. And it was producing stuff that was like ridiculously unique and that alone allowed it to generate a lot of links, a lot of traffic right out of the gate. And that helped them rank for all sorts of keywords.

    So I would create a blog that is just like an amazing resource because in that space unless you are doing something crazy you are not going to stand out.

    In terms of adwords, the only recommendation I would have is to really focus on landing page conversions because you are going to be paying $10 at least, per click. So you need to make sure you are getting awesome leads and sales from that. And the best way to do that is split testing like crazy on your landing pages. So if your boss isn’t doing, if you aren’t doing like 20 split tests right now then you are flushing money down the toilet because clicks are so expensive you need to make sure you are getting the most out of them.

    So that is my advice. Sorry it looks like you are in a tough spot and I wish I could give you more help but it is really hard man. I hope that helps you out.

    [01:30:36]

    Okay so we have a question right now from Sell OL. “First of all thank you for all this.”

    You are welcome.

    “Now as far as I know writing good quality content is a key to gain traffic to any site. What happens when you are a terrible writer? I’m trying to write original content but it takes forever to put it up basically. Do you have some advice for me?”

    So my advice is you really don’t need to be a great writer believe it or not it helps of course but I’ve seen a lot of people who English is a second language or maybe they don’t even like writing or they hate it and they just kind of have to do it because it’s a blog. And I’ve seen those people do well because the most important thing with your content isn’t really the writing itself because there is a good saying that I have heard before. “People online they don’t read, they skim.” So when you have something online you would be surprised how many people don’t really read your stuff they are just skimming it for value trying to get all the nuggets out of it.

    So as long as you are providing those golden nuggets, you don’t have to sweat writing great so much.

    Also read up on copywriting. So I wouldn’t just…it is a self limiting belief to be like I’m a terrible writer. So if you are a terrible writer, you don’t have to be that is not a life sentence. You can read stuff like David Ogilvy or Cashvertizing or take the copywriting course that we mentioned to improve your writing skills but that is not going to make or break you anyway. The most important thing is to provide tons of value in your content and if the writing isn’t good, people don’t care right.

    I bet you don’t care. If you went to a site How to Land your Dream Job, would you care if it wasn’t grammatically correct or the writing was a little dull? Probably not right, so that is it for that.

    He also asks, “I’m confused about original and unique content. They say that we should never copy someone else’s content but when you see content online they ask you to share their content?”

    Well there is a big difference between sharing and copying right. So when you see a piece of content and you put it on Twitter and say, “This is great” that is not really copying that is sharing right, it is very different from taking a piece of content and putting it on your site. That is actually copying.

    [01:32:41]

    Matt says, “This is Brian probably sky scrapering 200 ranking factors into a complete list.”

    Actually it is. I have a case study on the blog and I can post it or maybe Alaster can help me out. Basically it is a case study of how I used that post as a sky scraper, so it actually breaks down exactly how I did it.

    [01:33:01]

    So Michael asks, “What are your most effective list building techniques? Do you give away free reports?”

    It depends; I’m getting more into giving free stuff in exchange for an email. I was sort of against it because it depends what you have on your site how you monetize your site. For me I sell an online course right and I didn’t want to give things away for emails. I didn’t want to give the impression that you can get great stuff for free because I heard a lot of information product marketers like Ramit Sethi, Derek Halpern and some others, a lot of people basically said, when you sell a course you don’t want to train your readers to be like, I get stuff for free by giving an email. That being said I think maybe I was too strict on that, a little misguided. So I am going to get back into giving away free stuff in a very unique way that I have been testing. I am going to write a post about it at backlinko in a couple of weeks.

    So this week I have one coming out about conversions that I think you will really like if you are into link building. Then I have another one that is specifically about what to give away for emails and specifically how to position your stuff without being like, you give your email, I give it for free and when we try to sell something people feel like, “Bye, I get all this stuff for free” which is very important if you are selling an information product.

    But to answer your question the most effective link building technique without giving anything away is positioning your forms very obviously on your site and having multiple forms per day. A lot of people email me and they say, “Brian I am getting all sorts of traffic but I am not getting conversions, what am I doing wrong?” And when I go to their site, they have like a homepage with one tiny form, “Sign up for my newsletter.”

    Why would anyone do that right? First of all there is no real pitch. Who wants another newsletter? I don’t know anyone who loves newsletters. Even my mom right, like my mom I used to use as an example of an uninformed web visitor because you know, she was right, she was kind of a late adopter like most parents to the whole internet thing. Now she is even sophisticated enough to be, “I hate newsletters.” She used to be on Groupon and love it, now she hates Groupon because they spammed her inbox. So you need a really good value proposition to be like why I should sign up to your list.

    What I am using now that works well in lieu of a free report is to give exclusive content to subscribers. So what I do is reserve some of my content just for subscribers and then give it only to people that subscribe after the fact. So I don’t have like a quid pro quo like, you sign up you get a newsletter, I have like here is exclusive content. That is really important.

    So also you have to have a value proposition and be like why should people sign up. Updates doesn’t make any sense, a newsletter doesn’t make any sense. You need to be like, we give you exclusive stuff or give away the free report. But I find the free report doesn’t work as well. I am going to get into that more in the post and what you should do instead in a couple of weeks.

    To answer your question, “Do you use infographics to build links? I’ve read about creating link bait content. What link bait do you create?”

    Yes I use infographics to build links. Like anything you have to do it the right way and you don’t want to rely on one strategy too much. I use it. I have a lot of posts on the site. If you go to Google and search guestographics you can find a lot of information about that.

    Also, “I’ve read about creating link bait content. What link bait do you create?”

    I’m not a big fan of link bait. The term to me, the way I have always seen it used is kind of like you create this stuff and you kind of trick people into linking to you. Like it is kind of funny. It is like upworthy or viral or buzzfeed and all those stupid sites, they are basically link bait right because they create kind of this weird content and people link to it. I’ve never been a big fan of that. I always like creating insane amounts of value in my content because that is not just relying on a trick to get people to link. You have something that is evergreen that you can promote for years.

    A lot of times also link bait has a shelf life. Like you put it out there, you hope it goes viral, you hope people link to it and if they don’t, what do you have? Just another piece of content. But if you have something that is really valuable and evergreen you can promote it for years and get links from it for years. So I hope that answers your questions.

    [01:37:25]

    So next question is from, Sailorgaruse.

    “Hi Brian. Does it help to link to authority sites in your articles?”

    I think it does. It is something I don’t think helps you a ton but it definitely makes your site look legitimate. I mean from Google’s point of view right, they love it when they have something that shady sites do that real sites don’t .They love that. It makes their job really easy right. So for example, real sites don’t have 100 affiliate links above the fold right, they don’t have massive adsense blocks above the fold. Real sites don’t do that. Shady sites do that.

    And it is the same thing with linking out to authority sites. If you look at really shady affiliate sites, not to say all affiliate sites are shady, I have some, I’m proud of them but if you have some shady affiliate site if you look at ten of them, I would be surprised if one of them linked out to an authority right. They love to horde their page rank. They love to just use outbound affiliate links right. Those are the only outbound links. So it automatically separates you a little bit from the camp of the phony sites and puts you a little bit more legitimate.

    So I like to do it. Whether it helps, I don’t think I have seen any evidence. I have seen maybe one corrolational study but I think it helps a little bit so why not.

    [01:38:53]

    “So how effective is interlinking?”

    I think it is helpful but it depends really on how much authority you have on your site. So what a lot of people do is they say, “Oh I’ll publish a post about weight loss and every time I say the term weight loss on any other page, I’ll just link to it and help boost its ranking.” Not necessarily right. The whole point of interlinking is to send page rank from pages that have authority to pages that don’t and that you want to rank higher. But just interlinking in and of itself doesn’t do anything you have to be really strategic about it. So you want to find pages that are really authoritative, find some that aren’t doing so well but are important for you in terms of keywords and then linking to them. Then it is effective but if you just kind of interlink randomly then it doesn’t help you at all.

    [01:39:43]

    “Are links from blogs, articles etcetera still effective or is it all about link pyramids these days?”

    Well links from blogs, I mean if you are getting a real editorial link within a blog post from somebody that is really valuable right, or an article on a news site that is really effective. Link pyramids, that stuff doesn’t work there is no doubt about it. And the reason I say that is just because I have never seen it work. Like a lot of white hat SEO people are like, “That stuff is bad, you don’t want to do that stuff; it doesn’t work.” And they are wrong, like paid links right, paid links can work really well.

    Link pyramids, I haven’t seen a link ranked with some sort of wheel, pyramid, all that sort of stuff in years because the thing about link pyramids why they don’t work is because they are based on you take crappy links, to crappy links, to crappy links, to crappy links, to crappy links and all of a suddenly that is supposed to rank you. But zero times zero is zero right. So if you don’t have some real links in there, the link pyramids aren’t going to help you in my opinion.

    I hope that answers your question.

    [01:40:48]

    So we have a new question from Summer Soul, he is talking about private blog networks. "I understand that you have to spread your domains at different web hosts to get different ip addresses. How many hosts do you advise to sign up with? I want to start a blog network with 100 domains.”

    I wouldn’t start a blog network of 100 domains, to answer your question. If you are going to do a blog network you want to do it really small and make the sites look really legit because if you just have a network of 100 random sites it is not going to be as effective as if you put some TLC into each one.

    For me I have a different approach. I use one site in the network per host. So I don’t even…forget class C ip’s, I will do one on bluehost, one on gator, one on justhost, just to minimize any footprint. And if you have 100 domains you have to find 100 hosts and that is a huge pain so I wouldn’t recommend that.

    [01:41:43]

    “I read some of your tutorials for buying aged domains for link networks…”

    I mentioned that in one post but I don’t really have any tutorials on it because like I said I don’t think it is going to work long term. And he is asking, “I wonder if buying good PR domains with zero back links is ok?”

    So first of all there is no such thing as a good PR domain with zero back links right because page rank is based on back link so if you see a domain with good PR with no back links that either means the page rank is fake which is very common or that they had links, now they don’t and the page rank is outdated. So it means one of two things.
    So I am going to refresh the thread again. Let’s see if any questions are coming in. Oh so many. Okay.

    [01:42:30]

    So Slopez asks, “Thanks for your time.”

    No problem.

    [01:42:35]

    So two questions…oh we already answered your question. I think you have a different username and I already answered that question.

    So let’s go back to the chat and see what is up over there.

    [01:42:56]

    Philippe says, “You must try the Portuguese coffee. We call it Beaker which is basically a super espresso.”

    Thank you Philippe. Actually my girlfriend is Portuguese, I used to live in Lisbon and I had quite a lot of beakers in Lisbon and I miss them. They are cheap too, 90 cents.

    [01:43:16]

    So we have Effron asks, “What do you think about ranking Youtube video with spam back links and then driving traffic from there?

    A year ago I would have said that actually it works but Google has been treating You tube as a regular website. So they used to kind of be, “Well it’s our property so if somebody is spamming it, it’s okay.” But then like I said it was easy, so everyone was doing so it didn’t really work that well so I would say, don’t do that basically.

    [01:43:45]

    So Cassie says, “That really helps and now let me talk to my boss about why adwords isn’t working.”

    Yeah you know I’m really glad I was able to help you out Cassie because that is a tough situation. And with adwords basically you know even with your ads you need a unique selling proposition right. I mean if someone is going to search you have to think, for every hosting related search, there are ads, every spot, so why would someone even click on yours. And if they are you need to make sure they are serious about buying and aren’t just hired clickers.
    So you need the unique selling proposition to be in the ad itself and then when they get there, it needs to continue there and you also need to do like… to be profitable with ad words if you own a hosting company, just an estimate, you have to run at least a hundred split tests to even break even on adwords because you have to understand you are entering a space where other guys have been doing thousands of split tests.

    And also invest in a tool called Spyfu if your boss is serious about continuing with adwords and that will show you adwords performance for your competitors over time so you can see what ads that they used and copy elements. Instead of just using what they use today you can see if they have been running that ad for a year and if they have it is probably a good ad, and you can use some of their copy.

    [01:44:52]

    Okay, I have the time, I don’t know if I have the energy to do another two hours because we are almost at the two hour mark.

    So Adam asks, “Thanks for the awesome WAMA.” No problem, happy to be here. “Have you tried any other channels for email outreach, LinkedIn, Facebook?”

    That is a great question; I actually use LinkedIn quite a bit. You have to pay to do that unless you have a connection with that person. So I’ve been using their premium service to send out some emails or messages through LinkedIn and I’ve found the response is really good. And I think it is just because there are less messages. And I don’t know about you Adam but when I go to LinkedIn and see a message, I always check it right. I don’t know what it is about LinkedIn but I always check it. So I feel like the open rates are really good and people see it and as long as you are not spamming, people are likely to respond to you. So I would recommend using LinkedIn.

    I’ve also used Twitter. So people that follow me, I reach out to them and I find the response rate is really bad because there is a lot of spam on Twitter so a lot of people don’t even check their direct messages on there. And I haven’t done Facebook so I can’t speak to that.

    So I think email is where it is at basically and LinkedIn maybe to complement your email stuff.

    [01:46:00]

    We also have a question, “What about web 2.0’s?”

    So I mentioned web 2.0’s before. Basically don’t use them. If they help you which is a miracle, they help a very very tiny bit and all the time you are spending on them you are not spending on the right stuff. And I haven’t seen a site ranked with web 2.0’s in years. Maybe not years, but like a year and a half. So it has been a while.
    So I am going to refresh the thread one more time. I’m going to check out the chat for a couple more minutes and after that I’m afraid to say we have to end the AMA because it’s almost two hours, I’m a bit tired, I think my answers are going to start going downhill if they haven’t already. So if you haven’t asked a question yet and you want to ask me something now is your chance. I am going to give you a couple more minutes to do that before I head out.

    So I am going to refresh the thread right now. So get your question in there. Then I am going to check out the chat and then I have to peace out.

    [01:47:02]

    Okay so Cjay asks, “Can you talk about solo ads for a minute?”

    Honestly I don’t know anything about solo ads. I know what they are but I’ve never run a solo ad in my life so I have no idea. I am not a huge fan of them personally. I think that unless you know the list really well, where you are going to get traffic from, usually the conversions are really really bad. So I can’t really speak to that unfortunately. I don’t know anything about solo ads except what they are.

    Okay let’s see. I refresh one more time and that is it I think, unless there is a second page. No that is it. I think that is everyone’s questions.

    Okay that is it for today’s WAMA. Thanks so much for asking your questions and I’m going to end the stream right now.

    Thanks guys I appreciate it. I had a blast.

    [End Recording 01:47:54]
  • Profile picture of the author kulwantnagi
    1. Are private blog network still working?
    2. Can we buy such domains with same whois record?
    3. Do I need to continuously feed content on such blogs?
    • Profile picture of the author Alaister
      Hey Brian!

      It's great to have you here for our WAMA event. Here are some questions from people who have pre-registered:

      Emmanuel R asks:
      Can a small brand(my niche is on home improvement) succeed online without creating regular content? I've read about your moving man method on your blog but we don't have enough resources to create superior content against competitors. What's your take on this?

      Mike B asks:
      Hi Brian. I would like to know how you personally go about outsourcing the bulk of your SEO tasks (i.e. link building/outreach…etc) so that you can focus on creating content for Backlinko? How much of your workload is outsourced and how much do you do yourself?

      April N asks:
      How do I not only build a popular blog following quickly but how do I monetize it?

      Justin O asks:
      What is the best plugin for WordPress SEO?

      Greg B asks:
      Is having links in your signature on a forum like Warrior Forum a valid link building strategy, provided you contribute to discussions and provide value?

      Abelhak B asks:
      Is SEO in 2014 dead?

      Brian B asks:
      Do you incorporate social signals with your websites? If so how?

      Tom U asks:
      What would you do if you had to start over again in IM?

      Duane H asks:
      What specific links would build for a new site? Are there any 'base' links you build to lay the foundation for a new site?

      Kevin C asks:
      How would you go about building links to rank a page on a site versus ranking a site?

      Andrew M asks:
      What is the best way to do keyword research for Adsense?

      Dick F asks:
      What are the top 2 areas to focus on to maximize SEO for a new blog?

      Puya T asks:
      I've gathered several writers that specialize in their own field. I've asked them to register to sites like dijitaljournal.com, inquisitr.com or benzinga.com and get approved to become regular contributors. They publish content and link back to a our clients websites. What do you think of this method of link building?

      Vahood K asks:
      What do you think about Facebook's future, in 2 to 3 years?

      Betty Z asks:
      What are the best practices to obtain credible backlinks these days? Are directories dead? TY!

      Jared L asks:
      Do i need paid backlinks in order to rank a website in the top 3 of google search results? Take for example a brand new domain name in the finance industry(debt consolidation, student and car loans, payday loans). Can this be done with free backlinks and content and what is the strategies? Thank you very much

      Adam A asks:
      What did the first 30 days of backlinko look like? How did you keep yourself motivated to keep going?

      Sean F asks:
      What do you think about guest blogging as a way to build links?

      Gia asks:
      What's the best and quickest way to use content marketing for a fitness product for instance for promoting a fitness related webinar?
    • Profile picture of the author Backlinko
      Originally Posted by kulwantnagi View Post

      1. Are private blog network still working?
      2. Can we buy such domains with same whois record?
      3. Do I need to continuously feed content on such blogs?
      1. Yes, they're still working.
      2. No
      3. That helps, but it's not required.
      Signature
      Find Awesome Keywords...Without ANY Tools
  • Profile picture of the author michaeloslier
    Hi Brian,

    Thanks for your time!

    I have a blog and post on it regularly however I feel like no one is reading my posts. What sort of promotion should I initially do to start building a following and a readership?

    Thanks
  • Profile picture of the author mattbarrie
    How do I go about improving email deliverability?
  • Profile picture of the author kassigway
    I joined the forum to talk to you. I have a weird problem. I hope this isn't too long.

    I started working for this company in March. It's a new web hosting/server datacenter that sells all types of hosting, cloud, dedicated servers, vps, etc. It's a very competitive market. We're up against Rackspace, GoDaddy, DigitalOcean, etc, and our services are quite new and have no reviews yet.

    Well the marketing person before me built the site and marketed it through paid blog networks, black hat forums and other places that sent traffic, but it was the wrong kind of traffic. The company did a free VPS deal at the time, and it really cost a lot of money and they got only 1 customer from the campaign.

    So, here I am, just coming into it, and after redesigning the whole site (the old site was really bad, not viewable on mobile at all) I'm trying to build links through social media, original content, PR 4 blogs, feeds and so forth....well, it's not working. In fact, the biggest supplier of traffic is still the black hat forums from earlier...and worse, my manager doesn't really trust me and keeps pushing AdWords campaigns that are costing major $$$ without any results--and we're running some pretty good specials.

    -------

    Okay TLDR, I'm a new marketing person for a hosting provider that didn't get off to a great start. My rankings are not improving and no one's buying. My boss is pushing AdWords without knowing what it is and losing thousands per week. Should I limit AdWords campaigns and focus solely on building links and original content?
  • Profile picture of the author mattbarrie
    And here's Brian probably Skyscraping

    "Google’s 200 Ranking Factors: The Complete List"

    Google Ranking Factors: The Complete List
  • Profile picture of the author michaeloslier
    Two more questions:

    What are your most effective list building techniques? Do you give away free reports?

    Do you use infographics to build links? I've read about creating link bait content? What link bait do you create?
  • Profile picture of the author salegurus
    Hi Brian

    1) Does it help to link to Authority sites in your articles?
    2) How effective is interlinking?
    3) Are links from blogs, articles etc still effective or is it all about link pyramids these days?

    Thanks
    Signature
    Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.

    ― George Carlin
  • Profile picture of the author summersalt
    Hello Brian,

    I noticed you have answered some questions on the Private blog network above, but i was hoping you throw more light on it by answering the questions below:

    1. I understand that you have to spread you domains on different web hosts to obtain different C-class IPs to make things look very natural. How many web hosts would you advise i sign up with, if i want to start a blog network of about 100 domains. and how many domains should sit on a web host

    2. I read some of your tutorials on buying aged domains for link networks and i was wondering if buying good PR domains with zero back-links was OK?

    Looking forward to getting your reply.

    Thanks for doing this...
    Signature
    Are you sick and tired of running around in circles and not knowing the exact step to take in-order to project your business to the next level? Then you need my FREE Entrepreneurship and Business Course. It will teach you everything you need to know about starting and running a business...If you don't consider your online ventures as a business?? Am sorry to say that YOU ARE WASTING YOUR TIME!
  • Profile picture of the author slopez
    Hello there Brian,
    first of all thank you for your time.
    I myself have two questions that's been bugging me about content writings.

    1st. I've heard that writing good quality content to post, distribute, syndicate, submit, etc; is key for driving traffic to any wesbsite.
    But, what if you're a somewhat terrible at writing? What do you do?

    2nd. I'm a little confused when it comes to original and unique content.
    People say; we shouldn't be copy other people content online, google will punish us.
    But how come when it comes to PDF documents online; I've seen some people taking other's documents, downloading and then uploading to scribd.com, docs.com, issuu.com so that people can read them and then they put their link on it???

    This really confuses me.
    All of your help will be very well appreciated!
    Thank you.
    • Profile picture of the author Alaister
      Building links with Guestographics

      How to Get Backlinks With Guestographics
    • Profile picture of the author thriftgirl62
      Originally Posted by slopez View Post

      Hello there Brian,
      first of all thank you for your time.
      I myself have two questions that's been bugging me about content writings.

      1st. I've heard that writing good quality content to post, distribute, syndicate, submit, etc; is key for driving traffic to any wesbsite.
      But, what if you're a somewhat terrible at writing? What do you do?

      2nd. I'm a little confused when it comes to original and unique content.
      People say; we shouldn't be copy other people content online, google will punish us.
      But how come when it comes to PDF documents online; I've seen some people taking other's documents, downloading and then uploading to scribd.com, docs.com, issuu.com so that people can read them and then they put their link on it???

      This really confuses me.
      All of your help will be very well appreciated!
      Thank you.
      There is no such thing as "terrible at writing" if you are writing from the heart. Just be "YOU" becasue noone else can ever beat you at that...not ever. Just be "YOU" and over time you will reap the rewards you are looking for. Just let it happen and it will.
      Signature
      I retired in 2005 at 43 and now I give away websites like these for FREE [hosting excluded]... www.jahda.com and www.cez1.net and www.nethometown.com and www.chattermarketingengine.com and www.productioncarcare.com and www.ez1headlightrestorationkit.com
      When you make at least $100+ per month, we split the profit 80/20 and YOU get the 80% Until then, you keep 100% and I'll help you drive traffic, get backlinks and put the domain in your name too!
    • Profile picture of the author AshanPi
      Banned
      [DELETED]

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