Case Study Update: Stage 2 of Link Building

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The last case study update was a couple of weeks ago…

And, we are moving on to stage 2.

Here is a quick recap & update:

  1. We have been doing some link building with blog commenting.
  2. There have been a couple of Amazon sales – not much though – amounting to less than $10 income.
  3. We have been able to grow an email list of over 557 people.
  4. Traffic is generally on the rise but the growth is slow.

The main source of traffic will eventually be organic search traffic from Google. To make that happen, the site will need more backlinks.

We have a few ways to make that happen…

More Links

The next step of link building is free Web 2.0 blogs…at least in my niche site process.

These are blogs are like:

  1. wordpress.com

    wordpress

    WordPress.com sites are the first ones that I created when I built these Web 2.0s myself….

  2. blogger.com
  3. tumblr.com
  4. And, many, many more…

We have 2 main options to build out the Web 2.0 blogs – outsource the work or do-it-yourself.

Outsource With The HOTH

I posted about The HOTH before and cover a lot of details. Here are some of the most important points.

Disclaimer: If you find this guide helpful, I definitely appreciate it if you use my affiliate links to the HOTH.
Plus, if you order a HOTH package through the affiliate links on this page & get free access to the Planning & Keyword Research Videos. (It’s a $27 value) Just send me an email if you order.

The HOTH provides you with in-context backlinks with the anchor text that you choose. They build Web 2.0 blogs, and then add a couple tiers of backlinks.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask and I would be happy to help out. Just put your question in the comments below.

The HOTH provides you with in-context backlinks with the anchor text that you choose. They build Web 2.0 blogs, and then add a couple tiers of backlinks.

I have been singing the praises of the HOTH for a little while now. They package up a series of activities that I used to do on my own, by hand.

These are time consuming tasks, repetitive, and generally not a very good use of my time. These are the same link building strategies that I use for all my sites.

They build Web 2.0 blogs for the Tier 1 links.

Then the HOTH adds some other links to link to the Web 2.0 blogs – like more Web 2.0 blogs, bookmarks, and profile backlinks.

In addition, they slowly add (“drip feed”) backlinks from their private network to the Web 2.0 blogs over a period of a few weeks to simulate the way a real website gets backlinks.

Benefits

Click below to order…You get the logins…With the login information, you can log on to those sites and add more content, update your links, or make any changes that you want.

Here are some of the awesome benefits of using the HOTH:

  • You choose the anchor text so you can control your keyword density. This is critical in the post Penguin world of SEO that we live in.
  • You can have co-citations in your articles. What does this mean? They will add other backlinks to non-competitive authority websites. This is great because your website is in the company of authority websites like Wikipedia, news websites, or other authority websites related to your niche.
  • They automatically provide different Tier 1, Web 2.0 domains for subsequent orders. This means that if your first order has Tier 1 blogs with WordPress, Blogspot, and LiveJournal, then your next order might have Webs, Blogster, or Tumblr for the Tier 1. This provides more backlink and referring domain diversity.
  • The customer support is ridiculously fast. I often get a response within an hour. They have all U.S. based customer service staff and they really are amazing. Read about it on their site here.
  • You get a FULL report of the entire link structure. It’s actually more detailed than I really need! I really just read the first couple pages worth.
  • You get the logins to the Web 2.o Blogs. This is just about the only thing that I look at in the report. With the login information, you can log on to those sites and add more content, update your links, or make any changes that you want. It is like a Private Blog Network on the cheap.
  • They create email accounts for the order as well.

Other points to mention

This process saves me hours of time. Literally. Hours. It is totally worth the price.

  • U.S. vs Filipino written content – I go for the Filipino content at this time. If I was building more of an authority site or if I was doing client work, then I would most likely go for the U.S content. For me, the Filipino content does the job just fine.
  • I generally don’t elect to use any keywords in the anchor text. If I do, it is a long tail phrase that probably has more than 4 words. I save the exact match anchor text for PBN backlinks.
  • This process saves me hours of time. Literally. Hours. It is totally worth the price.
  • I recommend the Platinum package since it is really the best value.
  • Please note that the HOTH is a piece of the puzzle for building backlinks and ranking your website. If you get the HOTH, you should see a movement in your rankings – I always do but it is not guaranteed. I can almost certainly guarantee that you will not hit #1 by using the HOTH as your only form of link building. So, you need to do other promotion and link building to help your website rank in the SERPs.

DIY Method

Building out the blogs yourself can be a time consuming affair. It gets old fast and it becomes tedious

I took a deep dive on the process as a guest post on Dumb Passive Income. (This section of the guest post has been reposted with permission from Matt.) Here are the steps:

  1. Create a free email account to use for the accounts. I create a brand new email address to use for a set of Web 2.0 Blogs. I haven’t heard of someone getting their email address blacklisted for a free blog but I would like to keep my personal and business emails out of the profiles. Head over to gmail, yahoo mail, aol, or outlook for a free email account. It just takes a few minutes. I have no issue using one email address for several of these blog accounts.
  2. Create a new blog on your target platform (tumbler/wordpress/ blogger). The process is pretty straight forward for all the blogging platforms. You enter your email address and a password. Typically, you will need to confirm your email address by clicking a confirmation link.
  3. Name the blog something natural. Don’t target the niche with keywords in the url (in the subdomain). Adding your keywords in the title/subdomain is not a deal breaker but it seems more spammy than a legitimate blog. A more generic blog title can potentially be used for several of your money sites.
  4. Fill out all the account profile information. This makes the whole site seem more authentic. Fill out every field and try to create an online persona that seems real.You might have the opportunity to add a backlink to your money website in the profile. If so, then do it.
  5. Add 3 posts but don’t link to your site yet. More posts are better… The quality of the content should be dictated by the quality of your money website. So, if you are trying to build a long term, brand-able website, the content on your Web 2.0 site should be of a similar quality. In 2015, it’s poor form to use spun content to link directly to your money site. Spun content was passable before and it might still provide some link juice but the shelf life will most likely be shorter. As a reference, Level 3 quality from Text Broker is sufficient and acceptable.
  6. Be sure to add pictures and videos from Youtube. These will add more authenticity to the blog. Don’t just use a google image search and risk a copyright issue. I like to use morguefile.com for free and royalty free images. flickr’s creative commons is another source I like to use, although, you do need to provide attribution by linking back to the flickr profile. Uniquely naming the image files is a great touch and you can use keywords in the filename, alt text, and description to add niche relevancy. You can embed videos from youtube if the user allow’s it. This is a great way to help google associate a keyword or topic to your blog.
  7. Each post should link to 2 – 4 authority websites that are not direct competitors, like Wikipedia, CNN, or other news sites. These kind of links help google understand what keywords or topics the blog is about. It also puts your website in good company with very high authority websites. Don’t link to your money site yet…
  8. Wait about a week. There is a period where your site could be marked as spam. By not linking to your money site, a manual review of your new blog will yield no red flags for spam.
  9. Now that you have waited about a week, add 1 – 2 backlinks to your money site in 1 – 2 articles. The backlinks should be natural and relevant to the article or post. Use your naked url, like “http://yourdomain.com” or “yourdomain.com.” for these links. Save the exact match keyword anchor text for your strongest, highest authority backlinks, like from a PBN.
  10. Some of the backlinks should point to the main page and other links should point to specific posts. The variety is good and appears natural. If you research the backlink profile of a popular blog or website, you will most likely find most of the links pointing to a specific post or page.
  11. You can do a small amount of authentic blog commenting to help get your site indexed. This is a low risk way to get your blog indexed. Niche relevancy isn’t very important here, but if you can find a relevant website to comment on go for it.A slightly riskier way to get your site indexed would be to get a highly rated gig from fiverr to point to your new blog (NOT your money site). The risk is low since the link is not to your money site.
  12. Repeat for the other Free Web 2.0 blogging platforms.
If you are building these blogs by hand, you should click here to get access to the worksheet that outlines the process. You just have to enter your email address, then you’ll get access.

Click below to order from the HOTH…

Conclusion

I will be taking the outsourcing option as you might have guessed. After doing a couple dozen of these Web 2.0 blogs, I had enough.

It turns out that a company like the HOTH has optimized the process so that they can do a better job than me…

It is a better value for me to just pay them to build these blogs for me.

However, it is great that even if you don’t have a budget to work with that you can build these kinds of backlinks for free. If you are willing to put in the time then you can literally build out a full network for your money site.

For the next update, I will share the latest traffic stats, progress on the email autoresponder, and more…

image credits: Cristian Labarca
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10 comments… add one
  • I don’t know what’s harder… parting with my money to pay The Hoth or parting with my time to build these for free. Actually – I do know.

    I would way rather pay The Hoth. They do a much better job than I ever could. It takes enough time just to build out the site – but then to add literally hundreds of tiered links pointing back to that site – there is no way I could justify spending time to do all that when I can pay The Hoth just a little bit of money to do it for me.

    I’m with ya Doug. I no longer do this stuff on my own. I either pay The Hoth or I just don’t get these types of links. And I think they are worth it and they really help.

    • Hey Matt – yep, when it comes down to it, they do a better job.

      The have the process down & the team in place so I am glad they are in business.

  • Nice post Doug!
    It’s actually my plan of backlinking to do Web 2.0 on step 2-3.
    There is 3rd way to do it: Teach your VA to build web properties and tier 2 backlinks building.
    But it can be more expensive compare to Hoth service. 🙂

    Btw. Doug, can you link or share some report The Hoth provides? (just hide all domain names info). I think people will be more interested if they can see exact numbers.

    • Ah, Good idea, Yaro! I will think about that – it would be a great content upgrade.

      Let me know how the outsourcing goes. I think that would only be worth while if you are planning to do a lot of these campaigns.

      My reasoning is that it would take some effort to train someone well. If you hired someone that already knew how to do this kind of link building, then it would be too expensive….

      …so you end up back at the HOTH unless the economy of scale works out for you.

      That scale probably means you have clients…and they can fund the training.

      • Guest

        Hi and thanks for your reply,

        Ahh I gotcha! I like what you are doing with getting nice “pillow links” for your site with the hoth and blog comments and then come in with your pbn to push your site up the serps. That would be my exact plan of attack as well and it has worked for me.

        I still haven’t pulled the trigger on the hoth yet. I can’t seem to justify the 250 bucks for a handful of web 2.0’s. Everyone I have talked to has recommended them but I am looking forward to seeing what types of results you will get! Thanks for posting and I’ll keep an eye on your blog for the next update.

        Thanks Doug

        -Josh

      • Yes, it might only worth to do outsource the process yourself if you have big scale.

        Doug, how many web 2.0 blogs Hoth creates for $250? 8 Top Level Blogs With 3 Original Articles Each?

  • Hi Doug,

    Following your site closely and eagerly awaiting updates!

    You’re plan of attack for link building is the hoth and blog comments? Are you going to be using other methods? In my experience, using only those two things will make it pretty hard to rank. I’m interested in knowing what other plans you have or if this is all of the link building you are doing!

    Thanks for the awesome post and good luck Doug!

    -josh

    • Hey Josh,

      how’s it going? Thanks for checking out the updates.

      You’re plan of attack for link building is the hoth and blog comments?
      For right now, yes… but those are just the 1st two phases.

      Are you going to be using other methods?

      The next phase will be a few PBN Links…and I will probably do some skyscraper posts, too.

      What other methods would you recommend?

      • I accidentally commented above as a guest and on the wrong comment… Oops my bad haha

        Hi and thanks for your reply,

        Ahh I gotcha! I like what you are doing with getting nice “pillow links” for your site with the hoth and blog comments and then come in with your pbn to push your site up the serps. That would be my exact plan of attack as well and it has worked for me.

        I still haven’t pulled the trigger on the hoth yet. I can’t seem to justify the 250 bucks for a handful of web 2.0’s. Everyone I have talked to has recommended them but I am looking forward to seeing what types of results you will get! Thanks for posting and I’ll keep an eye on your blog for the next update.

        Thanks Doug

        -Josh

  • Tonio

    Hoth is quite expensive I see…

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