The SEO world changes quickly, and some of this content may be out of date.
For more recent content, check out the following case study where I break down step-by-step how I build an authority niche site that ended up generating $119,088 in just 9 months. Or check out the more recent posts on SeoFlipper.com.
EDIT (March 20, 2012): Please note that the blog networks mentioned in this post are no longer recommended .
By far the #1 common questions I get are about linkbuilding. There’s no close 2nd.
I still think that many newbies who aren’t seeing results through their backlinking efforts are actually struggling with (without realizing it) niche selection and keyword research, but with so much information, disinformation, and fear-mongering out there, I can understand why there’s so much confusion out there when it comes to link building.
There is something to be said for having link diversity and powerful High Authority permanent links. If I’m building an authority site or a niche site in a competitive niche, I’d want all kinds of links and lots of them. I’d want high authority home page links, high PR blog posts, social bookmarks, directory links, web 2.0s etc. The more the better.
While in an ideal world the same would apply to micro niche sites, the reality is that your resources are really limited when building niche sites.
Since microniche sites usually earn between $10-$200 a month, you can’t really afford to buy high PR homepage links for a monthly subscription fee (although these are extremely powerful), and you can’t afford to throw money down the tubes on ineffective link building services. You need a linkbuilding method that is powerful, yet cost-effective and eventually scalable as well.
In my humble opinion, the best linkbuilding method for microniche sites as of today (this could easily change by the time you are reading this) are private blog network posts.
Private blog network posts are extremely cost-effective per dollar spent. Ideally, you want as much link diversity as possible, but if I just had to pick one linkbuilding method for my niche sites, it would be blog posts on private blog networks. In fact, private blog posts probably consist of 80% of my linkbuilding efforts for microniche sites.
If you don’t know what a Private High PR Blog Network is, in a nutshell, a Private High PR Blog Network is pretty much what it sounds like – a network of blogs, privately owned by an individual or company. These blogs are set up for the sole purpose of generating links to other sites. These networks may be truly private – setup by a site owner for himself or his friends/close acquaintances – or it may be semi-public and open to anyone to join or post to for a fee.
“High PR” is used loosely of course; a more accurate description of most private blog networks would be “some PR” blog network (they’ll usually have a PR of between 1-3) – but the blogs will usually be aged and the links will pass on linkjuice and authority.
With private blog networks, you have two choices: 1) creating unique blurbs, and 2) creating posts with spun content. Some networks will only allow 1, while others will permit 2. There are pros and cons to both.
PROS of private blog networks that only allow unique content
CONS of private blog networks that only allow unique content
PROS of private blog networks that permit spun content
CONS of private blog networks that permit spun content
Additionally, there are a few other things you want to look for when selecting a High PR Blog Network to invest in:
Other things you’ll want to consider when selecting a Blog Network is your own needs. Do you have lots of sites or only a handful? How big is your budget? Are your sites making money? How competitive is your niche?
Build My Rank
If you only have a handful of sites, I would suggest a blog network like Build My Rank (Disclaimer: The link to your left is an affiliate link. Feel free to go straight to the site by typing buildmyrank.com into your address bar if that makes you uncomfortable). Build My Rank is probably the best known “private” blog network out there. They’re known for their high-quality standards, reasonable pricing, and kick-ass user intereface.
Because they only accept unique blurbs (minimum length 150 words) and can be quite picky about spelling and grammar, Build My Rank (BMR) links are very high quality considering its essentially a “public” blog network. BMR also will ping and bookmark your individual blog posts, ensuring that your posts get crawled and often indexed by Google.
I don’t use BMR anymore because I simply have too many sites to manage. Build My Rank can actually get somewhat expensive once you start outsourcing lots of posts, and I have my doubts whether its really cost-effective for small niche sites when you factor in outsourcing costs. If you’re at a point where you don’t have time to write blog posts purely for linkbuilding purposes, I would recommend one of the blog networks below that accept spun content.
However, if you’re just starting out though and you have some free time to write your own posts (if you’re a fast typist and semi-decent writer, you should be able to easily crank out 15 posts an hour), I highly recommend you check out Build My Rank. The best part is that they let you start off with 10 links for free, so I suggest you pick an inner page of your site that’s optimized for an very low competition keyword and give it a shot. If you’ve done your keyword research right, you should be able to see a noticeable improvement with just 10 links.
BMR Tip #2: If you don’t see results with BMR, your niche/keywords are too competitive for a microniche site. It’s really that simple.
Authority Link Network
Authority link network (ALN) is getting a really strong buzz these days, and for pretty good reason. Unlike most private blog networks, authority link network isn’t a centrally managed network of blogs. Instead, authority link network provides an interface where users can post their links to a network of over 20,000 PR1+ blogs. This ensures lots of link diversity and makes Authority Link Network extremely powerful.
ALN Users can even get extra links for free if they add their own PR1+ blog to the link network. For those without blogs to contribute to the network, link packages start at $14.95/month (1 article w/ up to 3 links per day). These articles can be spun, making it an extremely scalable solution for those with lots of niche sites.
While ALN is extremely powerful, the downside is that the quality of a lot of the blogs is somewhat suspect. And because they don’t have the strict quality standards of a network like BMR, you’ll find after a few months that a certain percentage of your backlinks will have disappeared. However, even with factoring in the gradual loss of links, ALN is still far more cost-effective than a network like BMR if you’re building links to a large number of sites – especially if you can contribute your own blogs to the network.
One more downside to ALN is the submission interface, which can get a little bit inconvenient if you’re managing a large number of links since they limit submissions of each spun article to 5 posts. There are number of 3rd party services offering ALN submission services that can manage the article submission process for you if you’d prefer to avoid the hassle of spinning and submitting articles. You can also outsource the process to your VA, but I wouldn’t recommend this unless you already have a VA you’re working with.
If you have a lot of sites to manage, or even if you’re just starting out and are looking for a cost-effective linkbuilding method, I really recommend Authority Link Network. For the past few months, its been my primary linkbuilding method on my own niche sites and I really can’t recommend it enough. It’s 100% free to sign up and poke around the interface, though you’ll have to subscribe to actually start submitting posts.
However, one caveat with ALN is that because the quality of the blogs isn’t managed nearly as well as BMR, and because this network is getting absolutely huge (20,000+ blogs), it is somewhat questionable Whether ALN will be effective 1 year from now or if Google will make it their personal mission to shut it down. As long as you backup your links from ALN with other link sources, you should be fine either way. However, if this possibility makes you uncomfortable, I recommend you stick with Build My Rank.
These two blog networks should get you started on your way to microniche profitability. That’s it on private blog networks for now. I’ll definitely be doing more posts on linkbuilding again in the future since this is clearly a subject where people are hungry for info, but the two networks above should be enough to get most of you pointed in the right direction.
As always, feel free to ask questions in the comments, twitter, or via email. To be informed of future linkbulding posts, be sure to Add Seoflipper.com To Your RSS Feed and don’t forget to follow along on twitter as well.
Note: The links I posted to the various blog networks are affiliate links. While most of my links on this blog aren’t affiliate links, for these particular links I will get a commission if you purchase through these links. However, I promise that I would never recommend a service that I haven’t used myself and don’t actually approve of.