Before I start telling you how I got all the links and what not, first I shall explain the entire process, so this is the contents of the article, just skip to the bits that you’re interested in:
Getting the client
As some of you may know, I am a member of some paid, high level, business related facebook groups (you should check mine out if you aren’t already a member). In these groups, I give my particular brand of link building and occasionally general SEO advice.
Because I contribute in detail and with zero real aim or goal, nothing bullshit or nefarious, I occasionally do skype calls or messenger session (nothing kinky….. Most of the time) to help people who need just that little extra attention or are going severely down the wrong path etc
I don’t charge for any of this and you know that the outcome is?
People respect the advice that I give and it builds relationships in these groups, you become known as “the SEO guy”, even if there are others, even if they comment on the same post, your post means more, much much more.
It is to the stage now where I have put the time and effort in and people know me. So when a question is asked, I get tagged by somebody more often than not, I swoop in and #savethemotherfuckinday!
Once I answer the questions, and we ain’t talkin some shitty answer, I’m talkin in depth and detailed, that will actually help, the same type of advice you get on my blog and in my facebook group.
When this happens, and people need to hire an SEO guy or a link builder, who do you think they come to? MEEEEEE!!!!!!
A couple of months ago I was just doing my thing, being super helpful and giving out some sage like wisdom to a stranger on the internet (much like I do on my blog). When I get a “message request” in my facebook inbox. It happens to be from an extremely well known SEO blogger who has a friend who needs some link building help for his site.
He liked the stuff I was saying so made the intro, in a way that I’d prefer he didn’t but I ended up taking the guy on as a client on per link payment basis. Usually, I wouldn’t do this, but I figured it would be great to make a connection with this blogger, so I accepted the terms and got to work.
We had agreed on a 30 link payment up front, I would refund any links under 30 and he would pay me for any over 30.
I ended up with 54 links (currently, with another 20+ opportunities that he has to close personally over the phone etc).
At this point I’d also like to note that the client wouldn’t allow me to use guest posts for this campaign as he was travelling Southeast Asia and wouldn’t be unable to get the content written, this likely reduces the number of links I could get significantly, this really could have been a 100+ link month.
If any of you know me, then you know I am all about systems and automation wherever possible, so this took me 2 hours (probably less) of my own personal time.
Again, all of this was done using my link building system, check it out here.
Doing the work
Here is exactly how I did it, step by step….
Slight preface: Before I started working on this project I reached out to my relationships and used my assets to try and sneak in a few early links:
I posted in my facebook group to see if anybody could offer a link or knew somebody who could, I also posted in a private group of link builders to see if those people could offer me anything, this resulted in the first 4 links for this project, onto the BIZNISSSSSS…
Step 1: Work the content
The first step in any link building campaign is to see what you have to work with, if there is some worthy content then it makes the job easier, if there isn’t then you have to come up with some ideas and have some created (the client should always pay for content costs).
So I run an audit, basically load up Screaming frog throw the URL in and take a look at the page titles, anything that sounds interesting, check that page out and assess the content.
You are looking for anything:
Now this client’s site, was about guns, the content was fantastic so I could work with a lot of it and to make thing even better, the content could all be segmented (I love segmentation, it really helps with the creating target lists part that comes next).
The segments I decided to target based on the content that was available to me were:
You can see how this opens up a lot of potential sites that would link to this specific content if it was good enough.
The technical part –
I have a project management sheet (I’ll give you access to this later) that I use to track all of my campaigns, it has a tab to track the content that I use, so I list all of the content pieces down along with some keywords that people might use to find that content.
It looks a little something like this:
I then lay out the plan for the month (usually I do 3 months, but this client had not mentioned anything past the first month), this so that my team will know exactly what needs to be done, what type of links to go after and how many targets I want for each.
Step 2: Create a list of prospects
I walk through the selected pieces of content and decide on some keywords that somebody would type in to find that piece of content. I also add some generic phrases that are related to the content piece (you can see some of these in the image above).
I then create individual prospect lists (in separate tabs in the project management sheet) for each segment I have selected above.
From here I hand it over to my team, I have no further personal involvement in any of this (I told you I didn’t do too much work). I will continue to write in the first person to make this easier to follow but don’t worry I will give you access to everything I used at the bottom of the article.
I have a second spreadsheet, this one contains a dynamic list of sortable advanced search operators, these allow you to type very specific things into Google and be given results that match this specific criteria.
So I take one of the keywords from the content tab I showed you earlier and type it into my “operators” sheet, select the link type I have selected (which in this case is resource page links) and it gives me lots of search operators ready to be cut and pasted into Google.
The sheet looks like this:
I repeat this for all of the segments so I have 100 targets (checked for suitability by eye) for each. I list them all in a new tab named “targets”.
It’s important to take the necessary time to ensure that the targets are suitable, aren’t your clients competition or a site that doesn’t link out, these types of sites mess up your percentages. You will also need to find the contact info of the person in charge of the site.
Instructions on how to do this in several ways are included in the resources. The easiest by far is to use Buzzstream which allows you to upload a list of sites and then runs out and find the contact info for you (among a lot of other things that I won’t get into right now).
Step 3: Show them what you’ve got
Now it’s time to show your targets what you have and see if they would be interested in linking to it.
I write a separate email template for each segment and personalise each message based on what I see on their site (I’ll give you my templates at the end).
Send them an email and see if they respond.
Here is a typical successful reply:
For this client I approached 500 people and have earned 54 links up to now, that works out at a 10%(ish) success rate which is what I generally aim for.
Since I was so eager to impress this client, I also put the word out that I was looking for gun related links in my facebook group, and asked if anybody knew somebody with a gun related site, as I had something cool to show them, this resulted in 4 additional links.
This simply demonstrates the power of building relationships in your work, After a 10 second post on facebook, I was already more than 10% of the way to my target of 30 links.
Outreach is extremely important as it is how you get your content in front of the eyes of the people who may be interested in sharing it with their audience. My own personal style is to not be pushy or take up too much of the recipients time.
Keep it short and to the point, show them what you have, and ask if they would share it with their audience if they think they would be interested in it. I’ve never found a need to be more indepth than this.
Step 4: Follow up
This is something that I don’t see too many people talk about, but for me it’s extremely important, the majority of my links come from the follow up, you should always follow up with any targets to make sure they see your message.
Anything can happen to stop somebody from seeing your email, or replying to it, a timely, uninvasive reminder is often extremely well received.
Specifically for this campaign, 66% of the links came from the 4 email follow up sequence (that’s 36 links if you were wondering).
I go into this more in the video below. But essentially the followups are extremely short and concise.
So what happens when you do things exactly as described above? (As well as given to you in systemised form in the resources below).
This is what a “live links” tab looks like (pretty rewarding when you see 50+ of these rows):
Number of outreach messages sent – 500
Currently live links – 54
Number of links missed because I wasn’t allowed to use guest posting – 1 bajillion (estimated)
Traffic increase – 97,774 (45%), from both organic and referral traffic
Number of email sign ups (goal completions) – Increase of 665 (48%)
An extra 98,000 people to their site, and 665 new people to market to on their email list, not too bad for only a few hours of my own work, and around 20 hours of my 2 staff members time (1 prospector and 1 outreach manager).
All of this looks like it is really difficult or time consuming, like maybe you couldn’t do it. But you can, and it’s extremely easy, the methodology that my business runs on is to use systems wherever possible.
The staff members who did all of this work for me were hired 2 days earlier, had never done SEO before, but could follow a set of instructions, the same set of instructions that you can have access to completely free at THIS LINK.
I have purposely used this campaign to demonstrate what can be achieved with the free content that I provide and the power of having a robust proven system in your hands.
The framework I have provided you will allow you to build as many links as you would like to ANY website, at the link above there is a very specific set of instructions that will allow you to gain 10 white hat links in 5 hours of work or less (or you can just hand it off to an assistant and let them do it for you).
Here is an overview of the entire process, you can see me talk through it in the video below…
And there you have it kiddos, this is exactly how you handle a £5000 client from start to scratch.
My link building training system will do all of this for you, simply hire some low cost staff ($3 an hour) and hand them my training documents, and never worry about links again.