How I completely Automate my Business – The Real 4 Hour Work Week

By Dan

Ok so, I’m in the process of slimming down my agency, since the blog has taken off I have realised that I prefer writing this blog and talking to you lot rather than dealing with clients, so with that in mind the new plan is…

Keep promoting the blog until it’s income matches the income from my agency, then as soon as that happens, start culling my lesser paying/ most demanding of my time clients and just keep my favourites and the ones I would class as “elite” businesses.

This is why you have likely noticed an increased output if content, some new products offerings such as my consulting offer and my white hat link building course which will be released on May 1st, you can go ahead and join the waiting list right now and get a nice discount when it’s released).

I’ll also have my new automated sales funnel mini product available when I have some time, but the link building course will take priority until it’s Romeo Dunn!

So the minute this blog hits £60k in a single month, I’m gonna start slowly shutting the agency down, I’ll probably send my clients to the guys who have taken my consulting and show that they can deliver on what I teach them (looking at you Amit!!!).

But with that in mind I figure I don’t need to keep the way I do things a secret anymore, so without further ado…. HERE IS MY ENTIRE BUSINESS ON ONE PAGE.

So what will I show you:

  • The people you need to hire to imitate my success
  • The documents I provide and the tools I use
  • Exactly what to teach them
  • Everybody’s role within the link building process
  • My project management system (this is the heart and soul of my business, it’s taken me nearly 8 years to get it to the point it is at now, and it’s pretty fucking swish, yet unbelievably simple (even if I do say so myself)
  • How to report everything to your client in real time

It’s important to note at this point that this isn’t all required to be outsourced, back in the day I used to do all of this myself, very successfully I might add.

STEP 1 – Hiring some minions

So you didn’t think I ran this shit by myself did you? That’s just silly, nobody in the whole world got rich by using up all of their time on dog work.

So we hire people who want to do it.

Names of staff





You’re gonna need 4 people to begin with:
A project manager (you can do this yourself though, things run much smoother when I do this part myself)
A prospector (this can be anybody at all so long as they can follow instructions, I hire data entry people at about $3-5 per hour from India)
An outreach manager (mine is the BOMB, honestly I found him by accident but he is legitimately almost as good as I am, just has less of an entrepreneurial spirit, I pay him $10 an hour). His job is to analyse the prospects, make sure they are suitable for our project, select some content to approach them with (or some content to have written for them), the level of the content we need, to approach them and negotiate the link as well as send work to my writers.
A set of writers, I have 5, one at each level from 1-5, 5 being the best and needing the very best content. My outreach guy gives each piece of content we need a level, and then hands a title to the writer of that level.

I get all of my people from 2 places, Upwork and some of you guys, I get approached by you all the time looking for experience, so I am happy to give you some work to do in exchange for learning my processes. Don’t think I won’t work you hard though.

STEP 2 – Docs and stuff

Project book – This is the project management spreadsheet, my prospector inputs the information she finds in here, the outreach guy takes that information and contacts them. It also contains some other essential sheets with the info the team needs.

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 05.31.49

Search operators – this is simply a spreadsheet that allows a keyword to be entered and then spits out a couple of hundred search operators ready to be copy and pasted into Google.

Outreach templates – I have 20 link types, each one uses a different angle to approach a site with, so each type needs its own template to use (or 2). The idea is here is the tiniest amount of personalisation and then just click send, they don’t even need to type the email as I use canned responses, so they just select from a list.

Link guides x20 – This is a guide for each link type, I have 3 pages for each link type that my staff can log into and follow the guides, page 1 is a simple intro to explain the link type, what it is, who we use it for and why, page 2 is for the prospector, to show them how to find opportunities for this link type, page 3 is for the outreach specialist, show them how to pitch this type of link, how to negotiate and how much money they should spend etc

I manage all of my team and content with the Google office type suite.

Drive – I store all of my training docs, client reporting docs and everything else in Google drive, I have a training folder, a client folder (that is copied and customised each time a new client comes on board, containing the link book, the search operator sheet and the outreach templates) and an individual folder for each client.

Docs – The training docs are made in here and then “published to the web” so they can be easily accessed by the staff.

Sheets – This is the powerhouse, a spreadsheet is an SEO’s best friend. ESSENTIAL.

Gmail + canned responses – Again, essential, you need to pretend to be the client, nobody wants to give a link to an SEO, most people would be happy to help out a fellow business person. The canned responses add on from “labs” allows you to set templates that can be selected so you don’t have to write an email each time, just pick the right one from a list.

Buzzstream (optional) – Will save your prospector and outreach manager time, but not essential.

Link prospector (optional) – This can essential remove the need for a prospector as you can do it in a couple of seconds, but I don’t like to remove the human element, you can’t trust machines, where an outreach PERSON can check targets by eye and make sure they fit with what we want.

STEP 3 – Feeding the minions

I’m gonna break this into sections for each type of person.

As you will see I have pretty much removed any thinking from the process, this means that if you need more people you can simply hire somebody and have them trained in a day or so. It also means that if somebody leaves, you can replace with little to no loss of effectiveness.

jobs list

Project Manager

This person has some very menial little tasks, but also some strategic ones, so if you hire somebody to do this then you should trust them and know they can handle their shit.

So before the project management spreadsheet is given to the staff, they have to do some analysis of the client site, they do this in 2 ways:

Content analysis
What do we have to work with?
Are they actively creating content?
Do they have a content creator?
How many social shares does each piece of content get?
Do they have distribution channels built out? (email list, social following etc)
Are they willing to invest in content creation?
List all good content URL’s in targets tab
Note it as content in type column
Do they need to create some good content?
If yes create it

Link analysis
Is domain clean? No bad links (chinese, russian or spammy etc)
Is anchor text ratio clean? Ideally you will have 8-10 completely equal sections in Majestic
Run majestic on target page
Check tf, cf, link history for blips, links from relevant websites,

There are then a few other tasks:

Assign target pages and keywords
Find pages ranking between 6-35 in Google Search Console or SEMRush
Run through GWT to find pages that rank
Download all data, get rid of things position above 7 and search volume below 400
Add keywords and URL to targets tab
Let client set priority of what they want ranked

Build project plan
Outline each task line by line, date and who does the work, 3 months at a time in the project management tab
Which type of links do we need? Try to choose link types based on budget, number of links needed and current content, some clients have none, so select paid posts, guest posts, guest post exchanges etc etc, things where the value proposition does not involve them having quality or interesting stuff on their site
Add comment [email protected] to send email and give task, if you add a comment like this to a cell (task) in the spreadsheet, it will send an email to the person whose email you add, the status can then be set to assigned

Building the project plan is really important, I like to do 90 days with a task each day, that way a client can see all of the work that is being done step by step. If you set your prospector to go ahead and find 20 of a specific type of link per day, and ask the outreach manager to approach 7 per day or something similar, this is how I like to do things.

This all take about an hour or so, after this the job of the project manager is just to make sure that everything is getting done, on time, to a good standard and within budget.


This person is literally copy and pasting, they need a slight bit of intelligence, but I literally had my 13 year old sister do some of it just to see exactly the type of person I required. She kicked the shit out of it. So pretty much anybody can do it.

They have ONE job, keep the “opportunities” tab full of relevant prospects for the outreach manager.

So their job:
Read what type of link you want them to do from the project management tab, e.g. Find 30 guest post opportunities, then mark that job as in progress.
[OPTIONAL] If they don’t know how to do this link type they go to the instruction page for that type and follow the step by step guide.
They take a keyword from the target tab.
Input the search string into Google.
Go through the results.
Make sure they are regularly updated (within the last month at least).
Check they are relevant for what we want (actually about the thing we want them to be about).
Note down the link type, URL, name of contact, contact info, any notes and any editorial guideline the target has in the opportunities tab.
Do this for the next result and so on.
Repeat in other search engines, duck duck go, yahoo, bing, localised versions of Google etc.
When that keyword is exhausted, move onto the next keyword.
Mark job as complete in project management tab when they are done with it

These 10 (or 11) steps, means that this person will never ever run out of prospects, and they literally don’t have to think at all.

Outreach Manager

This is an important job, a good person to fill this position, makes things run LOADS smoother. At the same time it isn’t very demanding so long as they can follow instructions and have some common sense.

What they do:
Check the prospect is suitable
Choose a target (piece of content) from the targets tab
Approach the target with a pitch
Select a level of writer to produce some content (if required)

Their jobs are:
Read the type of link they are doing outreach for in the project management tab. Marje the job as in progress.
Go into the opportunities tab and filter it to the type of link they are working on.
Check the site is suitable.
Select a suitable target from the targets spreadsheet, what will the site owner be interested in from what we have, or will they need a piece created.
Select canned response, customise with name and send outreach to targets.
Mark status in opportunities tab (emailed on [date], replied [date], awaiting content, link agreed, link placed)
If required, assign content (based on quality required and budget) to a writer.
Add any costs or notes to the opportunities tab.
Add any live links to live tab.
Mark job as complete when done.

Again 10 simple steps, requires a little more thinking than the prospector job, but not so much.

Content Writer

This is an easy one, you need someone to write content on an ad hoc basis, these people are everywhere, I like 5 different people and give them a level form 1-5.

I pay them like this:

Pretty simple really, your outreach manager, give each opportunity a tag based on which level they need, check that that amount is left in the budget and assigns it to a writer, sending them an email to give them a title that fits with what we need.

On occasion you might have to write an outline for the writer at the lower levels, as they are completely functional and not very strategic.

They write it, add it to the notes section via Google docs link.



These days I just like to give my clients a link to the link book, so they can go in and see everything they need to, I also send a brief overview of the campaign, via Google analytics screenshots (although I do set up a custom dashboard so they can see everything they need to at any time), and Search console screenshots showing, impressions and clicks compared to the previous month.

So the staff are trained, the clients are happy, everything is running with about an hours work from you (or the project manager, depending on how you’ve decided to do this). What else is there?

Oh right… the link types, these are the types that I use and choose from at the project planning stage:

Types of links (choose 3 or 4 of these that best suit the project)
Link from aggregator round up (e.g. The best cleaning posts published this week)
Resource pages + Broken link building (a nice hybrid method of getting links on resource pages)
Guest posting
Sponsored posts (paid)
Bridge method 1 (links from your local business)
Bridge method 2 (links from similar business who aren’t competition)
Online PR (actual PR opportunites, local newspapers etc NOTE: not HARO)
Local bloggers (local bloggers in any industry but who are in your city)
Uni student blogs (paying uni students a small fee to get your link on their blog)

Helpful tactics (to be used if you need to dilute anchor text or link types)
Links from manufacturers or stockists of your products (ecommerce only)
Video links (youtube and such)
Directory links (local or relevant only)
Professional organisations (every industry has these)
Link reclamation (people who use your name but don’t link out)
Conference and event links (usually will cost you some moolah)
Blog and forum commenting (extremely useful for traffic if done correctly)

Extra tactics (things that I don’t use often but have used in the past)
Reverse engineering competitor links
Infographics (I hate this but it can be useful)
Skyscraper method (stolen directly from Brian Dean, very very time consuming but can be very useful) <— Brian Dean will likely do some link reclamation on this mention at some point, this is the only reason I’m not linking out, to see if he will haha.

This is a basic guide that you should be able to follow, the next step for you guys who can’t get it from this is to buy my link building guide, in that I will give you the exact training documents I use to train the staff, all of the spreadsheets and templates I use and everything else mentioned in the golden poop above.

I will obviously be giving you my training docs, on how what the types of links are (with examples), how to prospect for them, and how to negotiate them, ready to just be handed to the relevant staff member to follow.

I’ll literally be giving you my business infrastructure, you then just have to put it into practice, sign up to the waiting list and I’ll let you know when it’s available and even give you a little (pretty large) discount.


Check it out!

Want to completely steal my entire link building system?

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.

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