Recently Gael from Authority Hacker interviewed me for their podcast and YouTube channel. You can watch it here.
Gael and Mark of AH are no marketing slouches.
Which makes it interesting they subtitled the cover image “No link building“. That’s not an accident.
I guess the “no link building” aspect of what I do is an appealing concept.
In other words, I‘m not the only person who doesn’t like link building.
Whenever these interviews come out, I try to reply to comments.
One comment caught my attention. It’s as follows:
Hmmm… I‘m not convinced yet. Spending so much on content, waiting at least two years to see if a site is worth spending more time and money on, waiting to get enough traffic to upgrade from Adsense, and then only having one or two sites making the majority of your income with a few others basically covering costs? How many people are realistically going to be able to do the same without even knowing what the digital publishing future holds? If it’s really more a matter of quantity then why buy his course?
Hey Regina, very valid question and concern. When I started out I wrote everything for a long time so other than hosting, there was no cost. If writing is not your thing, unless you are well funded, perhaps a content model that focuses on earning far more per piece of content is a better fit. Also, there are faster ways to build an online business. Building links will do it. Launching e-commerce and buying ads can be way faster. My approach is a good fit for me because I like writing and don’t care for link building or working on CRO. Thanks for chiming in – your comment brings up excellent points that everyone should keep in mind.
She brings up some good points.
The biggie is how long this stuff takes.
Waiting is a real drag. I wish I could turn a website on and have 47 million visitors the next day for free.
Like most folks, including me, Regina wants something faster. She also wants more of a sure thing.
Who can blame her?
Sadly, I can’t promise or suggest faster or certainty.
I can only share what I‘ve done and what I do now.
Like she says, we have no idea what’s in store in 3 years.
- Will retail stores be around?
- Combustible engine cars?
- Will AI take over content production?
- Will Google keep all the traffic for itself? Will Google be broken up into multiple companies?
- Will links still work for SEO?
So many unanswered questions.
Link building is likely a good fit for folks like Regina
There’s nothing wrong with building links. They work.
Interestingly, I‘m not interested in doing it even though I know it would grow traffic faster and I‘d make more money.
In fact, I‘m an ideal publisher for link building because I have sites with hundreds and thousands of inbound links.
Building 50 high-quality links to specific high-earning pages would very likely go unnoticed by Google.
And yet I resist.
Folks often ask me why.
My boilerplate answer is risk and the fact that I‘m not generally interested in the tasks involved. Both reasons are true.
I don’t want added risk. I have enough risk.
I don’t care for the work involved in building links. Pre-Penguin I build tens of thousands of links. I know the drill.
The third part of the answer, which I don’t think I‘ve said before is “I don’t have to.”
It’s a smart ass response but it’s true. It’s a luxury actually.
I have a good thing going. I make enough to earn a living without building links, so why build them?
They aren’t a value-add.
Sure, they might put money into my pocket but they don’t actually add any value. I get more of a kick out of adding value (content).
If I enjoyed the thrill of it, I‘d do it. That’s enough of a value add in my books.
I suppose one could argue that if I made more money, I could publish more content which is a value add. That’s true.
But the answer remains the same – I don’t need to nor do I want to… for now.
If I were starting from scratch and in desperate straights, I probably would build links.
I‘m not morally opposed. It’s not illegal. It’s not an ethical issue IMO.
Should you build links?
Sure, if you want to speed things up and can shoulder a little more risk.
If your site is newish, you have less to lose.
Don’t merely listen to me.
Regina is smart to challenge the model. I like that.
Do what you gotta do.
If you’re patient, there’s no need. If you’re itchin’ to get some traffic no matter the cost, go for it.
I‘ve read that I‘m anti–link building.
I just don’t do it.
I‘m not a runner but that doesn’t mean I‘m anti-running.
I just don’t run.
Jon runs the place around here. He pontificates about launching and growing online publishing businesses, aka blogs that make a few bucks. His pride and joy is the email newsletter he publishes that’s “the best blogging email newsletter around.”
Hyperbole? Maybe, but go check it out to see what some readers say.
In all seriousness, Jon is the founder and owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties visited and beloved by millions of readers monthly. Fatstacks is where he shares a glimpse into his digital publishing business.