|Building your own blog link network|
Here's a viable step by step to building a network of blogs. Monetization is via selling guest blog posts. In today's link building environment, guest blog posts are 'the' way for people to build links - it's possible to be on the backend of this, and make it repeatable.
By way of background, a couple of years ago I wanted to investigate how bloggers were monetizing. So I bought a good but defunct blog for $500 then sold it out like a $10 hooker. I have added no content to the site myself, simply sold stuff. The site now makes $100-$300 per month on average selling guest blog posts. It's in the financial sector, PR4 and I retail blog posts for $199. (Aside - don't bother contacting me about any of this - I will explicitly not sell you blog posts or anything else through WebmasterWorld. This post is informational, not an ad for my services). No penalty, no PR slap, nothing. And if it does go sideways in Google someday, who cares? I spent $500 and made thousands. The website is consumable inventory, not my first born child.
So if $500 turns into a few thousand a year, why not make that repeatable? Sure enough, it can be done.
1) You'll need domains, ones with PR. You can buy dropped domains if you know how. or search for defunct/dead sites and make an offer. Whatever you do, go find 25 or so good quality PR2-4 websites. That's some work, but worth it. Unfortunately I can't provide specifics on how to make this repeatable. I have bought sites just by looking for defunct blogs, so it can be done.
2) Find 25 low cost domain registrars. You need a different registrar for each website. Transfer the domain to it's own registrar. You'll need to obscure your ownership data somehow, when you register, so that there's no connection between the sites.
3) Find 25 seperate low cost wordpress hosting sites and register each domain at a seperate. The hosting company will give you their DNS which you'll go back to the registrar and enter. Setup the wordpress account (more details in step 5) for the site.
4) create a spreadsheet with the following columns:
dns1 and dns 2
registrar userid and password
hosting company userid and password
hosting company cost
wordpress userid and password
guest post cost
in another tab in the spreadsheet set up a sheet with the following columns
URL of guest post
email/contact info of purchaser
The first sheet will track your 25 domains. The second sheet tracks your sales.
Very important - if you're selling guest blog posts, do it annually not permanently- AND TRACK IT. This is repeatable income. Most people sell for a year and never rebill. Don't make that mistake. You'll double your income next year without doing anything other than sending out bills. That's how the smart people do it - I know because a smart person told me that.
5) setting up the site: pick a free template and install it (this is easier if you purchased your hosting from a wordpress hosting company, they'll have templates there for you to pick from).
-Pick a topic for the blog. Make it a high monetization site like insurance/finance, banking, gambling, diet, etc etc etc.
-Write three blog posts. Don't crap out, take the time, write 3 strong posts to seed the blog.
- install contact form 7. Set up two contact forms. The first one, set the 'email to' field to be whatever their email address is. That makes it an autoresponder. Don't copy yourself in, just have the contact form send them an email with the price for the blog post (likely $50-$199 each) and a link to the second contact form. The second contact form is the one that contacts you. In other words, they fill out the contact form and it sends them an email that says "guest posts are $199. if you're still interested, click on this link to actually contact me'.
- Don't publicly reference the second contact form. For the first contact form, put it on a page in your main menu called '<your niche> guest blog posts". So if your niche is tech, the page is called 'tech guest blog posts'. It's a honeypot for people to search on. On that page, provide a bunch of suggested topics, like "guest blog posts for tech, gadgets,computers, blah blah blah'. Give them lots of keywords to find your page on.
- Google the niche and find some people that are obviously buying links. Drop them some links either in your initial posts or sidebar. Their competitors will check the backlinks of the site you're linking to and find you.
You know have a network of 25 high quality sites with great content. You can either link to yourself (I wouldn't) or just sell guest posts.
In terms of purchasers, let them find your sites, one at a time. Don't be handing out a spreadsheet with your 25 sites. That'll just get you interconnected by Google. They find you, sell them a guest post with their links and move on. When you communicate with these folks, always give them your website address (they're dealing with hundreds of requests, they won't remember you). Publish their content right away - same day - and email them a link to the article with your request for payment. Make their lives easy.
Over time you'll start to make connections with SEO companies who'll use you routinely for blog posts.
Once that's all running, you can find another 25 domains and re-use your registrar and maybe even the hosting as long as you don't interconnect the sites through your purchasers. Track them in seperate spreadsheets and don't let them touch. Then if your one network goes down, you still have another one available.
In terms of results, I've already provided some ongoing income numbers above. In terms of time from setup, you should start seeing requests for guest posts as early as a couple of days after setting it up. After that it's just a matter of sorting through the serious inquiries willing to pay, and negotiating from there. If you do this 25 times and make $200/month per site, you're cranking out $5000 per month and growing. this is absolutely doable if you set this up right I believe (not quite there yet myself). Nice income stream, repeatable and sustainable for the forseeable future. And after the initial setup, not a lot of work.
Coming from an old fashioned printed newspaper model way before the web, this seems really abstracted, and the subterfuge involved is verging on the surreal. Don't get me wrong - if this works as a profitable business model I take my hat off to you. But it's getting so far from the 'create good content, connect with the right advertisers, reach the right people and you will make a living' model that it must say something about what's wrong with the web right now.
I always assume some of the offers I get for paid links and posts are from Google employees. That's what I would do if I were them anyway, to find out who is selling links and posts.
With that amount of work, I'd rather build something I'm proud of and earn half the money for longer than the foreseeable future.
Thanks you for that detailed explanation.
I'd be proud if I did something like that and, of course, Google engineers are wasting their time in thoughts like "Could have 5000 followers all the members of G+ from a mathematical point of view" (seriously, I knew it from a reliable source), not manually building links.
By the way I tried something similar with a different approach and got an absolute failure so I didn't write a post. :-)
Unless you're no-following all the links (unlikely given your audience), this seems easily targeted for a penalty, along with all of your clients. Matt Cutts and co. are on a crusade these days to penalize networks like this.
|this seems easily targeted for a penalty |
Seems the OP is covering all the bases. Did he leave something out? It would be informative if you pointed out the flaw that makes it easy to target.
Martinibuster - How about some of the paid post inquiries actually coming from Google employees? And the part where you are associating all your sites with "some people that are obviously buying links"
|Did he leave something out? |
Backlinks. Google knows all the connections between the sites. This churn method makes it pretty easy to find a network of sites that are set up very similarly, and which probably have a lot of low-quality posts. It's only a matter of using the first contact form to get a price for a guest post. Then the network is discovered. That it hasn't been targeted yet is only because it hasn't been found yet. But give it time and it will be.
Now that the basic process has been outlined here, you can be sure that Matt or someone on his team has taken note and will be looking for it.
|Backlinks. Google knows all the connections between the sites. |
Maybe I missed it, but I don't think the OP mentioned linking the blogs together.
The sites/blogs already have links to them. That is why you look for expired sites.
|Maybe I missed it, but I don't think the OP mentioned linking the blogs together. |
He didn't, but there are other ways to find a paid link. One way is to look for certain patterns in how the text around it is written. Or, in this case, they could look for the form URL and a certain copy that's used to get people to fill out the form. When you're churning out the sites like in this model, you're probably going to keep a lot of things similar for simplicity's and speed, especially if you're spending some time on making your initial posts look legit.
the problem (potentially) is not Google's algo (its not smart enough) but may come if one of the link buyers later sees a drop in rank (likely because of something else they've done, not this), then panics, believes the Google FUD, and heads over into disavow land - and that means discovery.
|brotherhood of LAN|
>heads over into disavow land - and that means discovery.
Depends on how you define the discovery though. Yes they'll discover a link, and a site behind it which may cause issues of some sort, and may cause issues for any other sites in the network pointing to the same domain, depending on how many fingerprints there are between the sites on the network.
Building a link network is fine if you can also build traffic, otherwise it's kind of a waste of time in the Penguin era.
|You can buy dropped domains |
The easiest way to do this IMO is to find a directory of blogs and just link check the outbound links about every 15-30 days and you'll find them dropping like flies. Finding them before someone else does is the key because you want to catch them before they land in a domain auction.
|Finding them before someone else does is the key because you want to catch them before they land in a domain auction. |
I admit I am ignorant regarding this, so I hope you don't mind lending a hand with this.
Once they drop (I am assuming you mean that the domain name registration lapses) aren't they usually get in some sort of state where they can be renewed by the previous owner (maybe for a fee). A
And after that, don't they usually go straight to auction?
Or am I missing something here?
Are you reusing the original blog content? you are doing well to get $200 for a link from a blog with only 3ish content pages - I would not pay that much.
Yes 200$ is a kill! and you are really doing well if you can get that money for a link from a blog you describe, in this post panda and penguin era where more emphasis is laid on "quality"