Effective Link building is the life-long thorn in the side of anyone doing SEO. What works? What doesn’t ? Why do I have to pay so much? The truth is, you don’t. You can get really effective link building very easily if you know what you’re doing and with the right tools and guidelines.
I’ve interviewed Collin Lahay, a 19 year old self-made one way link building expert. You can see his website collinlahay.com and check out dozens of fantastic
How did you get into making money online? When did you start to make “real money”? How much are you earning now?
I got into this industry by accident. I was merely making a site for me and a few friends to get around our high school's website filtering software. They had blocked sites like Wikipedia and MySpace (big at the time), and there was free CGI and PHP scripts around the web that you could upload to your own site and circumvent your browser to the blocked pages. I told my friends and they told there's, and the word of mouth kicked in until thousands upon thousands of people around the web were using my bandwidth and it was costing me about $10-15 a month to host it. This was more than I wanted to spend to do everyone a favor back then, so I put Google Adsense on it hoping to make my hosting bill back. Well, it made $800 in two months of running it and I sold it to some random guy who wanted it for $1300 after my Adsense account got smart-priced (but that is a whole different story). After I saw the profitability in online advertising, I was hooked. I started making mini sites and eventually learned SEO and link building to take them to the top of the search engines to start earning more money.
My first "real money" check (besides for a few checks for $800 to $1400 for websites) was when I launched two web2.0 web properties called rsshugger.com and wordhugger.com. They are pretty crazy ideas but they were insanely profitable when I marketed them correctly. Wordhugger made thousands of dollars in sales, and rsshugger had a few $20 premium acceptance spots sold (I think it was under $500 though). I then sold them to an investor for $12,775.98
(you can read about it here).
That was my largest check for a long time, and at that point I was doing internet marketing full time and loved it. Due to non-disclosure contracts that I have to sign with corporations I do business with, I cannot legally say how much I am earning now.
What specifically do you find makes you the most money online?
Affiliate marketing. The industry is one of the few in the world that is recession proof. No matter how poor people are, everyone still needs to buy the stuff they need, and affiliate marketers are making a killing by selling it to them. Anyone can make micro affiliate sites, and rank for niche keywords in short amount of time (with proper effective link building), and so it makes for a very profitable + easy industry to get into.
** Eds note: Although there are hundreds of ‘affiliate e-Books’ out there, if you want two that work and are free then download the
'Affiliates Masters Course by Ken Evoy'
and 'Master Affiliate Marketer' which is free with my Web Bulletin (I originally got MAM in a package; loved it - so I bought resale rights:p)
Why did you create collinlahay.com?
I was a member on forums like DigitalPoint and Site Point for a long time and saw thousands of "$7 eBook on how to make $50/day guaranteed" sold everyday, and it really made me mad. None of the eBooks on DigitalPoint were worth any money, and half of them were pretty bad even if you got them for free. There were also a lot of questions in the link development section on DigitalPoint and people would continually ask the same questions so I knew I could reference myself indefinitely by answering people’s questions on a website.
I saw the need for a "do it yourself" effective link building guide as the only link builders in the industry charge thousands of dollars that just don't work for people starting out. I wanted to create the ultimate link building guide that was completely free and companies making $1 to $100 million per year could have an employee (or themselves) utilize. My link building cookbook is now that guide and has been featured around the web, in videos, conferences, email lists, and as a template for companies outsourcing their link building. I constantly get emails saying employers have their employees bookmark my blog to keep up with building links, and it’s a good feeling to help out other people who helped me out when I started.
What would be your #1 tip for someone starting to try and make money online?
Don't start blogging! Blogging is a hobby of mine, but it is the MOST TIME CONSUMING and LEAST PROFITABLE venture I am doing. That combination can really eat up your free time and will not put food on the table if you need it in a hurry. Affiliate marketing is an industry everyone can get into, and no matter how competitive, I know people who can compete if they have passion. Start with small niche sites and move your way up to larger web properties.
How did you get into understanding the ‘anatomy’ of link building?
Trial and error. Effective link building is not "rocket science," but it certainly isn't something people understand right off the bat. The tricky part of link building is finding untapped link targets as well as websites that give external links without even realizing what an external link is. These links are from juicy authority sites and will stand the test of time. Luckily for everyone, I share a lot of these publicly on my blog.
What are your top 5 link effective link building strategies and why?
Well, I have a lot of effective link building strategies that cannot be posted on my blog because of the sheer number of visitors who would abuse them, and these would all fit in my top 5. On my blog, there really is no "top 5" as all tips are helpful and to utilize every method of gaining links together far exceeds any one link method, however good ones to read are:
> Unique Article Wizard - this costs $67 per month but gives the best links out there for its price
> CSS Galleries - lots of strongs links if your site looks good
> Crawling the internet for your name - a very good way to get legitimate links that didn't convert the first time
Interviews and guest posts like this certainly help out as well. :-)
** Eds note: Yes they sure do! In fact, at the bottom you’ll see a ‘Share This’ widget – just in case ;-)
If you could pick only ONE free effective link building tool what would it be?
The only "tool" I use is a software called Unique Article Wizard (my review link is above), but it costs $67 per month! I guess the closest thing for a free tool I use would be a dofollow blog comment search engine like commenthunt.com (A post about it is in my link building section).
Do you consider the importance of PageRank as particularly significant anymore?
Yes and no. PageRank can give you a quick indicator of how authoritative a website or page is, but there are a lot of factors that go into it. Getting PR0 or PRN/A links can be twice as good if they are relevant and will grow in PageRank when Google finds them... and that’s just one quick (bad) example haha.
Who do you look up to most in the world of internet marketing?
That is a tough call. My industry (link building) is dominated by old folk and super expensive giant companies... I don't really have anyone else doing what I am doing (at least when I started). However, John Chow’s
income and growth inspires me. Aaron Wall's knowledge in SEO and effective link building is equally inspiring. He runs SEObook amongst other things.
What is your most popular content on your website?
By traffic volume, it is an ancient post I optimized for social media:
>>> Top 10 Reasons This List Will Be Popular on Digg
It received hundreds of thousands of uniques in under 72 hours after it raged the Digg.com frontpage. However, aside from that one spike of unrelated (crap) traffic, the link building cookbook is the largest feature on my blog.
What would you consider to be the single biggest reason for your success online?
Perseverance and experience. I believe it takes a certain mindset to be an entrepreneur, especially in the online world. Some people have what it takes to make sure they never need to work another 9am to 5pm job again, and some people need to be told what to do in return for their paycheck. As far as experience, I have made tons and lost tons, you just need to NEVER STOP LEARNING. Here is a great inspirational video that backs my point:
Thanks to Colin Lahay for taking the time to answer these questions. I encourage you to all check out his blog and try his
one way link building