Content Management System for Private Blog Networks

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Getting backlinks whenever you want is like a super power.

It is a great power, and a responsibility, to paraphrase Uncle Ben.

Private Blog Networks (or PBNs) are a way to get those backlinks. If you are new to PBNs read more about them here (opens in a new window).

Rob, from the recent success story and all the coaching sessions, has a profitable business in niche sites. A big piece of the puzzle is ranking the site in Google, and it really isn’t a puzzle. You need 2 things:

  1. First, nail your on-page SEO.
  2. Then, take care of the off-page SEO, i.e. get backlinks.

This post is about content management for PBNs. Rob wrote this post based on a coaching session where the internet quality was terrible at the apartment in Bali. Rob builds out mainly Amazon Affiliate sites and generally follows this process.

Take it away, Rob…


rob-atkinsonRight after I complete one business system, it’s time for another fix.

This time, we’re talking about PBNs and the content management system that it requires (if you want to do it seriously).

I can still remember my first first successful niche site. The site was earning nearly $3,000 a month off ONLY two powerful PBN links. I naively thought that I had a “business”.

You need a system or be prepared to be constantly stressed.

I had no issue keeping the two PBN sites healthy with content, but my current reality isn’t two PBNs.


50 PBN Domains is a lot to manage. The sites are all independent and help support your money site so it is very important. You can’t make this work without having a system — well, maybe you can try but you may go crazy trying to keep it straight.

I have around 10 money sites and about 50 PBNs. I’m not like some guys a 100+ PBNs, but having over 50 has taught me one thing: You need a system or be prepared to be constantly stressed.

One area that has fallen out of control is the content management. If we’re being honest, most of my PBN sites get built, then have the standard 5-6 posts added. After that, the majority of them are left there begging for more content.

Making niche sites a viable business is something I’m still working on, and there’s no way I’m okay with crappy, outdated PBNs sites. Sure, it may get the initial rankings, but old PBNs are a red flag when it comes to a manual review.

In addition, my rankings could be on leaking because the PBN site is being viewed as stale, and therefore, giving less juice to my money sites.

Doug asked me to outline some potential issues or concerns I had about creating a PBN content system.

Here’s what came to mind:


267How often should the PBN sites be adding new articles? Some people preach weekly, while others think once a month is just fine.

Posting once a month feels like the right choice for my business.

Posting once a week on 50+ PBNs (and still growing) isn’t cheap. Even $4 articles add up quickly, and I don’t see much of a benefit.

Where To Schedule?


Doug and I briefly discussed this area, and I think it will take a bit of experimenting. If I decide to add a Google calendar event for each PBNs post, I might go crazy.

Doug suggested that we batch this process. For example, I could review my PBN posting “stuff” once a week.

Hiring Writers


At first, I thought this area was going to be a challenge, but then I found (not a pitch whatsoever). I was using Elance for money content and UpWork (formerly Odesk) for PBN content.

While I had a solid writer at Upwork, it took a lot of back and forth to get an assignment rolling. The turnaround isn’t terrible, but I needed less hassle.

I Need Articles is super quick, and I’m happy with the quality. This will definitely makes things easy when I’m in article creation mode.

Posting Guidelines


There were two main issues we talked about:

  • Formatting
  • Homepage Vs. Inner Page

The formatting part should be pretty simple because of the system I created for my money content. I still need to figure out if my PBN posting will be done by a VA, my wife, or me. Nonetheless, it will easy for the person to follow a set of guidelines for posting (like images, outbound links, etc).

The homepage versus inner page is something I’ve been pondering for a some time. I know the homepage has the most “juice”, but I can’t help but think it may be a possible PBN footprint in the near future. A site with 90% of their dofollow links coming from homepage blogs seems like a pretty big red flag, at least in my opinion.

I’ve actually created links from inner pages before, and like the concept moving forward. I won’t do it for every PBN, but I plan to mix it up in an effort to keep it natural.

The inner page adds a level of complexity if I decide to the go with a VA. I’ll want the inner pages to be supported by around 5 child/contextual articles to add relevance.

It’s not impossible by any means, but another area that will take some planning.

Scheduling Money Links


In a perfect world, I’d have all the PBN links timed before I roll out the first one. The reality is that SEO can be an art, and adding money links to a PBN requires a careful eye. I like to watch the SERPs and see how the site is reacting before I continue with more links.

My plan is to do this on the fly, but I will definitely have an area where links records are kept.

Tracking PBN rankings


Since I’ve had success building niche sites on expired domains, I thought tracking my niche relevant PBNs would be worthwhile. When a PBN domain matches my niche, I plan to create a mini money site and track the rankings.

My money sites will love the niche relevant links, and I might have a diamond in the rough when it comes to my PBN.

If the site starts to rank decently, without any links, it’s a good indication I can turn it into a niche site. A few more links and the site might end up competing with my “main” money site.


At the end of the day, the main goal is to make sense of my PBNs and hopefully remove myself from the equation. My PBNs are causing me a lot stress and I need to push them away and work on the bigger picture stuff.


I want to thank Rob for taking the time to write this post. It highlights the realities in running a PBN effectively, and without stressing yourself out. Here are the high points to take away:

  1. Figure out how often to post – Once a month is good.
  2. Decide where you will keep the schedule – Google Calendars is an option, or a spreadsheet that you can review weekly.
  3. Hire writers – Upwork takes more management but will probably be cheaper.
  4. Develop posting guidelines (or a checklist) – This will make the process consistent and allows you to outsource the actual posting process.
  5. Schedule your backlinks to your money site – This is highly dependent on the size of your PBN and the number of money sites that you have. 2 to 4 backlinks from your PBN over a month is a good place to start. It is part of an overall backlinking plan so think about the rest of you process.
  6. Track your PBN Rankings – This is pretty advanced but easy to track if you have a SERP tracking tool. It makes the PBN backlinks super relevant.

Do you have any helpful tips about managing a Private Blog Network? Do you think we are wrong about how to manage a PBN?

Tell us in the comments below!

About the Author: Doug Cunnington is the founder of Niche Site Project. He shows people how to create Affiliate Sites using project management and a proven, repeatable framework. Doug loves creating systems, using templates, and brewing beer (but usually not at the same time).

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This makes their service perfect for both beginners wondering where to start, through to experienced portfolio owners looking to scale their operations

They also offer ‘done for you’ site builds and link building services.


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Hey guys,

    Interesting post and it looks like Rob is in the same scenario I am in at the moment. I have around 70 pbn sites and around 6 money sites currently. I’ve been doing all of the pbn setup myself for the past year or so and its time for me to remove myself from the process as much as possible.

    Loved your idea about trying to rank pbn sites and it is something I have thought about before but never really tried.

    I also think that having almost all of your links come from the homepage of the pbn sites is a footprint and linking out from the inner page is a smart idea.

    If you placed a link from the homepage to the inner page that links to your money site you should still get some good power.

    If you guys ever want to talk more about pbn’s or niche sites feel free to email me. I would love to bounce ideas off of each other.

    Great post


    • Al

      Hey Josh,

      Have you achieved your rankings through your PBNs? I am just starting out in that area, so just curious.


  • This is one of the first PBN articles in a long time which made sense to me. I understand all the PBN principles but it made no sense to me to do all the work of 5, 10, 15 or more sites for the sole purpose of getting one ot=r two links from each one to a “money” site.

    Put the PBN sites “to work” as well, and it’s very likely that one or more of them will actually rank for something valuable on its own. If it does, then wash, rinse, repeat and keep building.

    No matter what you initially build a site for, what Google actually ranks it for is the real answer to what the site is “about”.

    Now for all those guys and gals out there with apps or SaaS riches in mind, after all these years why isn’t there a tool that would do more to help this organization task that building one-off individual spreadsheets? Opportunity knocks.

  • I don’t use PBN’s to rank sites anymore. But, I still have a few of my old PBN sites live and a few of them still hold good metrics. I’m actually looking right now at converting one of them into a money site! It’s something I’ve been meaning to do anyway – and I have all of the content from one of my old expired niche sites. So… I’m in the process of hiring a new VA to format and publish all of that content onto the site. Not only is this a cool idea to try – it’s a perfect ‘trial assignment’ to give to a brand new VA!

    • That’s a great idea, Matt. I’ve heard people get great results using a domain that has some history to skip the sandbox period.

  • Thanks for the post. I really need those informations. scheduling and publishing one content per month is doable and less expensive. I also like the inner page linking strategy.

  • I’ve been doing a mix of things on my PBNs as well. I’m at about 50ish sites, and some of them came with interesting history. So for some I’ve been adding good related content or what should be there and then adding in the links I wanted within that content. I ended up with a ski related url that happens to be in an area that is also marijuana friendly, so I’m making a ski-and-smoke website and adding in a lot of reservation links from a travel booking website. I still get a couple of PBN outbound links, but also get the potential reservation income. And no way the site won’t pass a google manual review. Sure more time than the usual clone and go PBNs that most SEO companies try and tell you work fine, but I’ll never have to worry about the site being banned.

  • Adrian Bulibasa

    This is awesome Rob and Doug!

    I bet Doug has a lot to do with how
    you are managing all that by using management hacks that he is good at, good friend to have:)

    I know you it’s stressful, but for you to make that kind of money ( and I’ve been following you for a while via Doug and I’ve heard the kind of money you are making with this) … I’ll have that stress for couple of years as well and then I might go white hate:)

    Excellent post !

    Where I could learn more?
    Have you thought to make a course Rob about this? Or a wrokshop or something? I would definitily join if you would?