Sunday, August 07, 2016

How Not To Be A Dumbass Link Builder

dCame across this video which I found hilarious since I'm working in a new niche (new for me anyway) so I started poking around the marketing behind it and lo and behold, a little linking story emerged. Watch the vid first:

Ok so what's the link take away here? There's a couple but it's a hike to get there so stay with me.

I've been researching the baby/infant area recently and finding, as you'd expect, a ton of mommy bloggers supporting the topic. Which is great, just the demographic we need for this campaign.

Mommy bloggers are very supportive of one another and have huge blogrolls as a result. Having these resources is a big plus when you're researching a specific demographic as it helps you identify key players in the niche. If you see certain blogs over and over, read about them in news publications or notice they're speaking at industry events, you've identified key gatekeepers.

In business, gatekeepers are people well known in their field, they're top-of-mind when your industry is mentioned and sought after for their opinions. Like the medieval nave who guarded the castle and determined who came in and (more importantly) who didn't, they're influential in establishing trends and spotlighting newcomers.

When you find a gatekeeper, research them for all they're worth. When I started my search I was specifically looking for media leads and trends within the mommy gatekeepers. I knew if I could convince one of them to host my client's content I'd have a much easier time approaching other mommy bloggers. I ended up finding both and a bonus trend I wasn't looking for - Daddy bloggers.

Now I've seen and heard about Daddy bloggers of course but like a lot of people vested in link building, I was going for the proven and well known spots for link leads. Researching takes an inordinate amount of time and doesn't always result in desired results so it's natural to gravitate to where you've been successful in the past.

Still, as someone with a couple of campaigns under my belt I should have known cutting out the research step involving gatekeepers was dumb.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Link Spiel Has A New Home

I started this blog in 2005 and used it until 2009 as a place to talk about link building. 

In 2009 I moved off Blogger and onto a "real" domain

I blogged about link building, SEO and all things marketing on LinkSpiel until early 2014 when I took a much needed break from work to get my life in order and make some decisions about what I want to be when I grow up.

in January 2015 I came back to work with a new vision and renewed energy, I decided to close LinkSpiel completely and redirected it to my link building site,

So I have my hands full, eyes open and heart set to new adventures.  I can't wait to see what the future brings.  

Take care and thanks for reading here.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Jingle Links. Yeah Baby!

It's time for our annual Jingle Links Sing-a-long!

Dashing through the blogs, I came upon the posts, dishing about paid links that no one’s supposed to host.

That Google it keeps saying, if you host these links,

We’ll zap them all, give no love and watch your site sink - sink.

Ohhhhhhh ....

Jingle links, jingle links, jingle all the way.

Oh what fun it used to be to buy paid links all day – hey!

Jingle links, jingle links, jingle all the way....

If Google could I know they would just wish us the hell away.

From all of us at Alliance-Link and The Link Spiel - Happy Holidays!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Guilty (in a good way) By Link Association

An article in our local newspaper caught my eye today; it was a short piece on how the public relations folks in a neighboring County were going to offer a variety of new programming on their school and government cable channels. It also pointed out how the school system was using YouTube to host its video's and had plans to add more.

My link spidey senses got all tingly as the ideas whirled in my head; I immediately started thinking about the opportunities I could take advantage of on local access cable. I headed over to the County site to see how and where to submit video content and found this on the Production Request page:

All York County Government and York County School Division offices, departments, agencies, governing bodies, boards and commissions are eligible to submit requests for programs, public announcements for cablecast or internal use, and/or requests for program production services to the Division of Video Services. Other individuals or groups are not eligible unless sponsored by an eligible user.
Ok so maybe not the dot-gov-link-gold-mine I had first envisioned but no matter, this still may have link building potential for both direct and residual links.

If your business caters to local government or the school division, look for sponsored programs and special events where local business people are called upon to donate goods and services. Video tape your products being used at the event and work with your government contact to have the tape included on the local cable channel. (remember, you have to be sponsored by a "eligible user"). Be sure to include contact information at the end of the video.

You can also send the same video to your local television stations for rebroadcast on weekends when news stories are slow and they're looking for content. Never hurts to try!

If your school system or local government has a YouTube channel, start a dialogue and leave comments. There's no link popularity to be gained but you'll build plenty of community popularity as well as credibility.

Associating your business through in-direct links on local cable channels might not generate a measure of green through your toolbar, but it may help grow the green in your wallet! Pop over to your local cable station and see if there's an opportunity to submit links either directly or through a sponsorship. You'll be guilty by association in a good way no matter what you do!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Get In Touch With Your Inner Link Self

We don't talk much about surveys when we discuss link building, probably because a lot of webmasters feel their keyword lists should suffice as research when they're trolling for links.

But really - your keyword lists don't tell you about people's loyalties or personal preferences which is what you need to know before engaging in the more promotional link building.

From my experience, people like to have packaged solutions, they want specific tactics and the sites to use them on. I think that's why directory submissions are so popular and the center of so many link discussions. People can wrap their heads around the whole process because it's a no-brainer.

Find directory, qualify, pay for submission, submit. Bam, one-way link in place. Easy peezy.

I like easy too but know from doing SEO that easy doesn't boost your site in the serps. That easy normally begets links that don't pass strong link popularity and that easy ends up making you work harder down the road.

Which sucks. That's where the research in the beginning really pays off. Talking to people, doing surveys, buying trend reports etc - all those things help you get in touch with your customer base and eventually in touch with your inner link self.

I say this all the time ad-nauseom but it's true: if you were doing business on Main Street you wouldn't just take out a yellow page advertisment and be done with it. You'd find out from:

  • friends

  • family

  • the Chamber of Commerce

  • Better Business Bureau

  • your industry association

  • trend reports

  • local newspapers


  • SBA (Small Business Admin)

  • resources like

  • Federal Citizen Information Center (in Pueblo CO)


... and so on where the people likely to buy your products frequent, trends in their demographic, what publications they read, etc. Then you'd go and advertise there as well.

Talk to the people who buy your stuff. Talk to friends and family and figure out what they're doing online. We live in a SEO centric world and don't search or think like the average consumer. Don't assume your customers think like you do, or search like you do because they DON'T.

Find out where your customers go and do everything you can to place ads in those locations. Keep talking to them, keep asking questions, keep in touch. You'll build exposure, gain trust and accrue links if you do.

photo found on AzureInspired

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Friends And Photos From SMBU

Here's a bunch of photos from the last Small Business Marketing Unleashed conference in Columbus Ohio. It was a great show and I enjoyed being part of it.

This is Diane Aull (Torka) and I at the COSI charity dinner the night before the conference started.

Rachel Phillips of Search Engine Guide and Diana Adams from Pole Position Marketing.

Matt McGee and I

Christine Churchill in one of her sessions talking about keywords.

Rachel Phillips, Irma and David Wallace who all apparantely coordinated wardrobes.

Robert Clough and Jennifer Laycock of Search Engine Guide. Along with Rachel and Vickie Evans (Jen's mom) they did a great job putting this conference together :)

Michael Stebbins and Matt McGee. Mouths open and in awe of something witty I said. (cough)

Stoney deGeyter being Stoney.

Notice his photo is larger than the rest. That's because I wanted everyone to see his new long hair-do and because I took these photos from his Flickr account without asking. LOVE YOU BUDDY......

Chris, Heather Lloyd-Martin and myself at dinner the first night.

One of the best parts of being at these shows is seeing your buds. Heather was the first person I made contact with in this business, it was sometime in either 2000 or 2001. (neither of us can remember).

I met Chris (along with Jill) in Dec 2002 at my first SES in Dallas. I had been working for Jill for almost a year at that point but had never met her in person. That was the last time for Dallas, the show moved to Chicago the next year.

Seems like yesterday :)

Here's the rest of the photos: SMBU Flickr and Stoney's set. Enjoy.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Who Knew Martha Stewart Was A Link Building Role Model?

If you’re planning to attend Search Marketing Expo East 2008 in New York October 6-8th, stop by one of the linking sessions and say hello.

I'll be on three panels; Link Building Bootcamp, External Linking Tactics and Tools Glorious Tools where I'll be doing what else... link tools!

If you still need to register I’d be more than happy to share my SMX Speakers’ discount which is $150 off the all-access pass. Whoo hoo!! Just holler!

That's right, a clear no link required freebie. No request for a link, no requirement for anchor text. Just a promo code for $150 bucks. Unlike our friends at Martha, we're not asking for a thing in order to get the freebie.

Isn't that great? Yeah we know the freebie isn't coming out of our pockets but we didn't have to mention it now did we.

I mean, answering all that email and sending out the promo code will take a ton of time but hey, that's ok with us! Even though time is money we're going to smile smile smile and email along because we're hoping our karma attracts lots of quality inbound links to this blog.

Aren't we the best? Time to go and play on twitter, see you around SMX East!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Cover Your Link Ass et

There's been a couple of articles written on what to look for when hiring a link builder, one was done by my good friend Justilien Gaspard and the other by Sugarrae. Both give excellent practical advice to follow if you're hiring someone/firm to do your link work....

The rest of this article has been moved to the new link building blog the Link Spiel. It can be found here

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sir, Would You Like Fries With Those Links?

Recently in several SEO forums I noticed a number of threads discussing ways to find and build "economical" links. The forum participants wanted to know how they could initiate "safe" reciprocal linking as well as "fast" submissions to free article directories. They reasoned these tactics were worth doing because both linking methods were "economical" and "easy" to use.

I understand some linking techniques can be expensive, tedious to implement and extremely time consuming, but tying your online business success to linking tactics deemed "easy", "fast" and "cheap" seems counter-productive. If you limit your linking to low-cost tactics or look at the practice as "link building" instead of "marketing for links" you're almost guaranteed to fail.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Using Tip Jars For Links

I read a Sphinn today titled "Seth Godin Wants to Cheat Advertisers With Fake Clicks" and thought - yikes! Suggesting people click on adsense as a reward is stupid for lots of reasons but especially stupid on a link building level.

Clicking adsense might get the blogger a little money (or no money if he gets banned) but he/she will never know it's coming from YOU.

But hitting a tip jar ensures the blogger knows exactly who the donation is coming from. If you're interested in guest blogging or having the blogger review your products, donating to his/her tip jar is a great way to get attention to your cause.

Forget clicking the adsense, drop a tip. It might get you a link.