Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Here's Why I Won't Quit My Link Building Job

Besides the fact I'm old and have plenty of insurance, here's why I'll stick to link marketing and ignore future casting calls:

This little piece of video handiwork is my daughter's book report. She wrote the script, the cuecards (in crayon since she couldn't find any markers) and directed her dad (cameraman) her brother(cuecard guy) and me (sorry excuse for a talk show host). I'll let you know what grade she gets. ;)

Anyway....... enough schtick, there is some link building spiel here, read on.

Last week Justilien and Roger each wrote a piece on why it's a good idea to build links in-house.

Scott Boyd of FusedNation countered with an interesting and colorful point of view on why you should out-source. While I don't agree with some of his comments regarding link builders as professionals, I do get where he's coming from and agree that linking can be tedious.

I'm not sure there is a right or wrong answer with this whole issue of out-source vs in-house but I do know this:

if you want to rank well, you need links. But if you want to succeed online, you need link marketing.

We tend to put blinders on when we talk about link building and look at it from a technical standpoint rather than a marketing or tactical viewpoint. Everything we do to get online is technically related. Web design, shopping carts, CSS, databases, stat programs, live chat, etc. All widgets/software used for instant interactive success.

But then... we hit the SEO/link building aspect and boom --not so instant, not so easy. It doesn't matter if you outsource or keep this part in-house, this is where it gets hard for everyone.

So why is that? Even Justilen, Roger and Scott all agreed on this point - link building is hard. Why is this necessary evil we call link building so difficult for so many?

I believe part of the answer lies in the approach. Link building requires a technical and creative outlook, it's the one aspect of online business you shouldn't automate and can't just upload for success. The techincal nature of your business needs to be put aside for good old fashioned sales and promotion skills. If your background isn't in marketing or you're not channeling PT Barnum, here's where it gets hard for you.

I recommend a two-tiered approach starting with foundational linking and then branching into the custom work which can use tactics such as link bait, incentive marketing, traditional advertising etc.

Every business is different and requires a custom link marketing program if you want to attract quality links. There's no cookie cutter approach here, everyone is unique from the smallest of online business to the big boys so your custom link programs need to be the same.

If you want to outsource, use these guidelines.

If you want to keep it in-house, look for people who understand the difference between being a short order cook and being a chef. Those are the folks you want to train to be your link marketers.

Fetch / Sphinn
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