Hello. My name is Ryan Stewart and I’m a recovering black hat SEO.
I’m not ashamed to admit it. I used black hat methods because they worked. Really, really well.
I always wanted to go white hat, I just didn’t have the manpower to scale. With 40+ clients demanding results, I did what what was needed to keep them happy.
Everything changed in 2014 when Google dropped the hammer on private blog networks. My entire link strategy went out the window and I had to adapt. Fast.
Manual outreach. Online PR. Relationship building. I was working 20 hours a day trying to growth hack all these well-known White hat link building techniques.
In my efforts, I found 2 things:
White hat SEO is a ton of work. There are no shortcuts.
White hat SEO works. Really, really well.
I’m going to share with you 3 white hat link strategies I picked during the course of my efforts.
You can take these strategies and apply to any SEO campaign. I promise you, they work.
Really, REALLY well!
Beginner's guide to link building
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Beginner’s guide to link building
1. Blog Commenting Is More Powerful Than You Think
That’s right - the original link spam!
Or, is it?
In a Google Webmaster Q&A forum, Matt telemarketing list Cutt’s stated blog comment links are perfectly fine. In fact, it’s a practice he uses himself.
I leave topically relevant comments on topically relevant sites, all the time. (Source)
Blog comments are a great way to promote content, diversify anchor text and build out a natural link profile.
But it becomes a bad practice when you outsource, automate, comment on spammy sites and jam keywords where your name should be.
Here’s how to do it right…
Step #1: How to find quality blogs
It starts with finding a high quality blog that’s relevant to yours (or the site you plan to link to).
The blog comment links I build come from blogs I read regularly and others I find on my Twitter feed.
If you’re looking for topical niche blogs, use Google blog search + advanced search operators.
For example, let’s say I wanted promote content for an eCommerce shoe store. I would enter the following search operators in Google:
summer fashion trends “comment”
summer shoe trends “submit comment”
summer sneaker trends “leave comment”
summer sneaker trends “leave a reply”
This command tells Google to find blogs based on your keyword containing the word “comment” in the page. This will bring back results of pages that have comments enabled on the page.
You can then check the Ahrefs rank for each of these blogs to identify which of them are worth your time.
To save your time, you can use Batch Analysis tool to evaluate the strength of these blogs in one run, looking at their DR or AR numbers.
Step #2: How To Get Your Comment Approved
99.99% of quality blogs will send comments to a moderator before going live.
Since you’ll be dropping a link, it’s important to comment the right way.
Name field - put your name there, not your target keyword! This spam tactic will get your comment denied every time.
Email field - any valid email address will do (real or fake).
Website field - I generally leave this blank. Since you’re leaving a link in the body of the comment, it shows the author you’re not trying to spam their blog.
Comment field - Pick one point from the post that’s relevant to your link and expand on it.
Let’s go through an example of a recent blog comment of mine.
A few weeks ago I read a great post by fellow marketer Robbie Richards.
So good, it prompted me to leave the following comment (it’s long, but I suggest you read it):
The comment caught Robbie’s attention - he ended up Tweeting the link I left later that day:
I landed a comment link on a high authority blog + additional social exposure. Not bad for a blog comment, right?
But wait, there’s more!
A few weeks later, I got the following Tweet from Robbie:
I responded to his Tweet, which was featured in his next blog update, complete with a link to my site:
One simple comment set off a chain reaction of valuable events:
A blog comment link to my content on Robbie’s site
Traffic to my site from the blog comment
Social media sharing of my content
Increase of social followers, shares and traffic to my site
A contextual link in Robbie’s round up post
Traffic from Robbie’s post
Invaluable personal brand exposure being mentioned in the same post with top marketing professionals
Not bad for a simple blog comment!
I’m moderating comments on Ahrefs blog myself occasionally.
And I can assure you that a well-written comment with a relevant link in it that contributes to the article, raises or answers an interesting question will definitely be approved here.
2. Alert The Press And Make Them Link To You
No, not PR submission sites. I’m talking ab