How I Tried My First Link Building Service.

It's possible that I may have said a few times that you should not do link building you absolutely positively have to stop building links to your blogs link building is a complete waste of your time.

It's possible that I may have said a few times that you should not do link building you absolutely positively have to stop building links to your blogs link building is a complete waste of your time. If you're doing it it's time to stop and do this instead in fact link building can be really dangerous but today I have a confession I decided to try a service that does link building let me show you how it's going.

Point No 1:

So professional coursework editing says that how did this come to be you may be asking well basically what happened is a while back mark from niche website builders reached out to me a super nice guy. And I met with Adam we were able to record a podcast together for their podcast it went really well. We had a fantastic conversation I really liked talking to these guys but they decided that they wanted to see. If you know maybe Id be a good fit as someone they could sponsor or maybe be an affiliate and they wanted me to try out one of their services.

Point No 2:

Here's the problem though a lot of the things that they offer several of the things they offer kind of fall a little bit outside. How I like to build my websites and how I primarily teach you to build your websites nothing against them nothing against that approach they've got one service that I thought Im going to give this a try because it's a done for you haro service.

Point No 3:

So they gave me an opportunity to do a case study trying out their horror service and that's kind of where we're at. Now Ive been doing it for a few months and I want to share with you a little bit about how it's going. If you don't know this is haro you sign up you can either be a journalist or a source or both right we're bloggers so we're journalists right you might want other people to become to be experts and source in some of your content.

Point No 4:

But also we like to be a source because that's how we get the backlink right that's how we build the authority. So you sign up as a source sign up for whichever categories within horror that you want and you'll get these emails every day that just list out like a whole bunch of different requests from journalists where they have a question and you know you look at one of these. And you look what the query is and you reply with a pitch. Now what Ive discovered is it takes a lot of work it takes a whole bunch of pitching to actually ever end up getting a link.

Point No 5:

Especially if you have a blog that doesn't have a strong domain authority now when we talk about domain authority or domain rating these are numbers that are kind of arbitrary they're made up they're created they're Ill just call them proprietary to different tools. The ahrefs has their own moz has one I mean they've all got a they've all got a number that essentially is a measurement of your backlink profile it doesn't have a way to systematically look at other forms of authority at all. If you have a low domain authority a lot of these sites will say you know what we don't really want to quote you on an article we want to give a back link to a higher domain authority site you see this is kind of a chicken and an egg problem.

Point No 6:

So the earlier you are in the process of using haro the harder it is to be successful so having this done for you actually feels like a really cool opportunity. I want to dive in a little bit more now to this experience to tell you I guess just how to be the most successful with it possible. So back to my story for just a second you know after a little prodding their team was able to finally get me to sign up for a time to actually go meet with them and provide them with all the details that they would need to be able to get started running this service for me. We set up that meeting I met with the team they're just fantastic every single person that Ive worked with has been just great they've provided me with answers to all the questions. I had they were very knowledgeable about haro they've done a great job of so many different things and basically what they did is they asked me a bunch of questions about the website about who was going to be the face of the website.

Point No 7:

In many cases bloggers are using a persona it's not a real person but rather someone that they've kind of made up that is kind of who this who's the face of the website. In my case we were using an actual person the website that we chose was cook for folks.com this is a site that you may have seen it's one we show pretty often and on cook for folks there are two people who show up on the site me and Anna.

So Anna is the face of the website primarily and she's the person that they're using so they asked me to put together a short little biography of her and I needed a head shot and I provided all of that information for them. They're able to start making those pitches on my behalf now they're very clear right up front that this process starts off very slow you start pitching and it can take a few weeks before you actually get a link from those initial pitches and so it's always kind of on a little bit of delay. But also the earlier you are in the process again because of low domain authority typically you aren't going to get as many but over time it kind of snowballs and you start to get more and more and more they do have a promised output. So they're like we're going to get you know five do follow links from domain author sites with the domain authority above a certain number certain threshold any other links that we happen to get they're free they don't they're not part of kind of our minimum that we're going to provide for you.

Point No 8:

The links are coming they're starting to pick up you know it's actually really funny in that first meeting that I had with them one of the things that they told me they had already gone and looked at the site they had already gone and run some reports probably using a tool like ahrefs or semrush. But they'd already done kind of a backlink profile they'd already looked at what kinds of things I was ranking for and the comment they gave me was this site has a really low domain authority but you're already ranking for a lot of keywords.

I had to laugh inside I didn't say anything because this person was clearly actually not familiar with who I am as well as the approach that I take to create these content websites I was thinking yes exactly that's the point domain authority as measured by those tools is only a measure of backlink profile. It's not a measure of actual authority or of just how well a website's actually going to be able to rank so as time has passed these links have started to roll in a little bit. I mean fairly slowly at first but they and they send me this spreadsheet right and it's got all of the different pitches that they've pitched as well as all the links that have been generated 192 pitches 192.

Point No 9:

And I have four do-follow links from sites that meet their minimum criteria there are more links than. However the rest of them are free which is fantastic that just goes to show how much effort it takes and that's why most of us don't do this consistently and don't get a lot of benefit out of haro is simply because it does take a lot of effort. But the results that Ive been getting so far they speak to exactly why I believe what I believe about link building versus authority building let me show you just a few examples these aren't totally cherry picked. Im going to show some really good ones as well as a couple that i found really funny so this was the very first link that we got is on this website morning laziness there's a no follow link so from an seo standpoint no benefit right. But it's still a link readers of this article can still click through it gives us a little bit of name recognition. So you know Im okay with that right but this is an article that has nothing to do with cooking right it's not I mean the website is cooked for folks.

We want authority in the cooking space but this is an article about 11 bizarre things on amazon that people actually bought and this one is actually one. We have to laugh about um and we do fairly often uh internally here. So here we go this is the section where they quote Anna supposedly right it says one of the strangest things I bought from amazon was chop sabers my partner loves star wars an unimaginable amount it's actually really funny to envision him. When Im reading this right and after many years of marriage again notice I said he's actually her fianc. I had run out of original gifts to get him for his birthday and as a foodie.

Point No 10:

I thought I would search on amazon for utensils and came across these lights up chopsticks light up chopsticks. He likes them the most he likes to make the most of them by switching off the light and eating in the dark with only his chop savers to light the way and every time we read that Anna just kind of buries her head and she's like oh my gosh that's so not who she is right it's not who he is it doesn't represent her at all. In fact people who read her blog and who follow her on social media they know these things about her, so this actually then raises eyebrows for anybody who is actually familiar with Anna and as we build real authority over time that recognition will become greater and greater.

As random people come across content like this that doesn't represent who she is at all that just raises eyebrows that just is like did these people, just like make this up and just use her name no actually this was quoted and provided to this to the to the publisher by somebody who was acting on our behalf. Now I asked them about this and what I was told was you know what most of the people we work with the vast majority are using personas for their blogs. In fact their recommendation is to use multiple personas like two or three different people that who are three different faces for the blog right different authors of content, and that way they can they can quote different people it probably makes their job a little bit easier. Because they can apply a persona that's the best fit for the pitch they're trying to make but also it gives them a little more leeway because it's not a real person whose life they have to try to incorporate into some of these blog posts.

Point No 11:

Let me show you another example this is an article called love letters to mothers from around the world and in it there's this little segment of a letter from Anna to her mother and she talks about how she's inspired her from her grandmother's love of cooking. And you know has created a career based on her passion for that and she says as someone who has lived in a different country for my mom for a couple of years. Now I do find that it can sometimes be difficult to stay in touch over stressful periods of time the irony is that Hannahs mother lives about an hour away and has for a long time again something easily verifiable by most people on social media especially because Anna goes home fairly regularly and likes to post on social media.

So once again eyebrow razor so here is the criticism that how link building isn't the right approach but instead we should do certain activities that build authority. And then I listed some of those the irony there is that some of those activities are the same sorts of activities that other people are pitching as the best link building strategies of today like using services like haro to get quoted so the criticism. I get is it's just semantics man you call it authority other people call link building but it's the same activity this is why it's not the same activity. If your goal is link building you get this link and that's the end of it doesn't matter you got the link.

Point No 12:

If it's a do follow link and it's from a more authoritative website all the better right because you got the link juice that was the goal. If your goal is real authority if your goal is brand recognition if your goal is to build expertise authoritativeness, what's the third one trustworthiness it helps to tell the truth and in order to do that we have to actually build the authority. Haro can be a fantastic resource for building that authority and even outsourcing some of the work for doing is something like haro it can be done but it needs to be done in a good way.

Now this again I said Id share some other examples there are several here that are quite good here's one an article about a hero lover's guide to buying hero meat and it's got a quote. here from Anna and it talks about a great place to go online to buy hero meat at this other you know this online store where you can buy meat and she tells about it kind of promotes it a little bit again though my concern with that is while it does fit her niche and while it is it's on brand right the problem is. Now Annas name is being associated with a product that she may or may not actually want to be associated with I you know ideally we would pick which products we want to recommend. We would recommend them on our own site as affiliates instead another website has leveraged Annas name to promote the product they want to promote you see how that might not be the best thing for your brand in the long term.

Point No 13

Again Im not criticizing these guys they're doing this exactly the way the industry says it should be done they're doing it a great job. As a matter of fact and delivering on all of their promises Im going to show you another one here this is from you know a website that people will recognize as we scroll down here. We find hers it's she's not promoting a product that she doesn't want to be associated with she's not sharing um personal life stories that are completely not they're totally fabricated instead she's just providing advice about cleaning an induction cooktop and I think that that's fine I do think it's kind of funny that she says to wait for the stove to cool because induction cooktops the point is that they don't get hot but I guess they would still get warm because the pan above them is warm so still wait for it to cool I guess.

But again this isn't advice that she gave its advice that someone gave on her behalf there are a lot of niches where you wouldn't want other people providing giving advice on your behalf unless those other people were just in lockstep knew exactly. What you would say let me give you an example of that first of all when I was offered this case study the first thought I had was well I certainly would never outsource haro for income school. Because the principles I want to teach for income school if they're going to do them in my name they certainly need to be the things. I would say and I didn't have confidence that I could outsource that to a third party. And have them actually say what I would say however if I had a team member even a part-time team member or a virtual assistant who was trained on just how to do haro and they knew how to do this.

Point No 14:

I'm not sure they'd be able to do as good a job of pitching as somebody like niche website builders because they've worked out a process that allows them to get approved more often than probably somebody who's not done it before. However the things that would be said the quotes that would be given the types of articles that we would try to be quoted in would be a better fit and the quotes themselves would be more accurate and be a better reflection of what I would say okay. So let me tie all this all together because Ive been really complimentary of the service. Ive been really complimentary of niche website builders but I haven't been super complimentary of the actual outcomes in some ways.

And here's why when we go into these activities with the mentality that we're building links we get links like these some of them have been from high domain authority websites. They're do follow links they're great from SEO standpoint and some of them have been reasonably on brand and even that's pretty awesome considering that you know they didn't get those quotes from us. They've just worked based off the profile that we gave them but we're also getting links that are pretty far off base. I think that happens when link building is the goal when the mentality is let's build authority let's build a brand let's build some recognition. Lets build e a t if that's the goal our behavior changes and we put in the work that we need to do to actually build authority.

Because we know it's worth it link building is a shortcut to authority that is often very costly actual authority building actually using haro the way that it's intended to be used and providing them with actually authoritative and expert statements putting in the effort to actually make connections with other people in your industry and then writing a guest post for their blog those are all authority building activities that will set you up with a foundation for a long lasting success.

The next point is that these authority building activities to some extent they can be outsourced and they need to be there are limitations on your time you can only create so much content yourself and do all of these other activities. So if you're at the point in your business that you can and you need to start outsourcing to other people. whether that's bringing on team members you know bringing on a freelancer to write some content for you or outsourcing to a service that knows how to be successful with things like haro it's something that you absolutely can and should consider but anything that you're going to outsource to somebody else you should make sure that you clearly communicate your expectations that you clearly communicate the things that you want said or not said.

If I had provided them with a much more thorough profile for Anna they would have more to work with if i had given them instruction that for certain types of content. I would like them to consult us so that we can provide them with the quote ourselves and then let them know that by the way we promise you that we will turn around. If you send us a message we'll reply within 30 minutes or an hour that way we don't slow you down and you can continue forward with your service we could do that we could make that happen. And frankly I think that would be a really valuable improvement for this service itself to have the option to be able to be contacted about the specific requests that they're approved for. So that we can make sure that the things that we say are on point they're on brand they're accurate according to what we would say on our own site on our own YouTube channels.

I think that would make this service substantially more valuable to me I really want to thank mark and Adam and the whole niche website builders team for giving me the opportunity to do this case study. I really do think they're fantastic people I really think I mean they offer so many different services I just got to show you real quick on. Here on their website um by the way this building empires event that's happening like right now it's something that you should be watching. if you're not but they have all sorts of services they write content they build actual websites for you can have them build your website and create content on your behalf.

They do other sort of link building they do guest posts they do all sorts of outreach that kind of stuff to help you be more successful. They also have a podcast and a YouTube channel and frankly I just can't say enough about just how awesome I think those guys are and when it comes to like a process to actually be successful with haro they've got it down pretty well. Im just really picky about how we go about building authority and making sure that the link building effort isn't really link building but its authority building. Honestly they probably knew they took a little bit of a risk asking me to do this. In the first place knowing my stance on link building but they did it anyway and I commend them. I do want to invite you to read my blog about link building there are a lot of things that you're you may be doing that Im okay with you doing. But I want you to shift the mindset away from just getting a link to building authority and I think if we can do that we're all going to be substantially more successful at creating awesome content building real authority and making sure that the blogging industry stays successful for many years.

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