I Bought 35 Blogger Outreach Links from FatJoe (And I Won't Do It Again) UPDATED • Skipblast

I Bought 35 Blogger Outreach Links from FatJoe (And I Won’t Do It Again) UPDATED

Doing outreach for sites is a lot of work. And when you have multiple sites like I do, it takes time away from creating content (unless, of course, you use a VA for your outreach). So, since I’m always looking for the best ROI in terms of time spent to acquire links, I decided to test out FatJoe’s Blogger Outreach service over the span of a few months to determine if they’re a good source of outreach links for my sites. After all, they do promise to do genuine outreach and get your links on genuine websites. What could go wrong?

fatjoe blooger outreach

Before I share with you the types of sites that my links ended up on, let’s take a moment to consider the definition of “genuine websites” and “genuine outreach.” I don’t know about you, but those claims lead me to believe that I’d be getting links from sites owned by random bloggers – sites that get traffic, thus being genuine sites. It may be foolish for to me think that the team at FatJoe is spending time looking for active (genuine) sites on the web and reaching out to them with a “hey guy, cool blog, interested in a guest/sponsored post?” but that is exactly what it seems they are selling. The low prices should be enough to banish such foolish thoughts, especially when places like Gotch SEO charge SO much more for a similar service.

Disclaimer: I don’t know anyone who works at FatJoe and have no idea if any of the sites they use are from real people or not. This post just shares my experiences and opinions after using the service several times.

The Sites My Links Ended Up On

Instead of sharing all my thoughts about the sites where my 35 links ended up, why don’t I just show you the metrics of all those sites? It’s the best way for me to show you what I got and what you might end up with if you use FatJoe’s Blogger Outreach Service.

DA 10+ Sites

First up, let’s look at the metrics for all 21 of the DA10+ sites that I got links on – and pay attention to the organic traffic numbers for each domain…

So, the organic traffic numbers aren’t the best, including a few zero traffic sites in the bunch. But I suppose you can’t really expect a ton of traffic for DA 10+ sites.

DA 20+ Sites

Next up are the DA 20+ sites. I only have five of these, but it should still give you a decent enough idea of what you get for the money.

With the exception of that last site, this is the type of traffic that I would expect to see from a “genuine” site.

DA 30+ Sites

And last, are the nine DA 30+ sites.

Like with the DA20+ sites, some of these seem to be on sites with real traffic and others not so much.

My Thoughts On FatJoe Links

The first thing that you need to know about using FatJoe is that they don’t drip the links out. In fact, I had them send 14 links on the SAME DAY to one site. I was stunned when I saw this in my report and immediately wanted to send them this meme…

Instead, I emailed to let them know I was unhappy about it. Below is the reply I got (click to enlarge).

Should’ve sent the meme.

Anyways, based on my analysis of the sites where my links were placed, at least 20% of the links seem to be on PBN sites. (Note: I didn’t check them all, just a sample of them.)  The question though is this – are the PBN sites managed by FatJoe or did they get duped by another SEO who bought the expired domains and setup the current version of the site? I honestly don’t know. It was easy for me to discover that some of the sites had past lives thanks to the Wayback Machine, so I’d think they could’ve looked the same as I did.

For example, that last DA 30+ link up above is currently a travel blog but has a past life as a special food event website. And of the last 10 posts on the site, 8 of them appear to have paid links in the posts (and a 9th I suspect but can’t be certain). The OBLs range from a personal injury lawyer site to a kids coloring book app to a Welsh vacation cottage rental site.

Personally, I have no problem using PBN links on my sites. However, I don’t want to use public PBN networks due to there being more risk.

So, let’s assume that the team over at FatJoe are oblivious to the fact that some of these sites are PBN sites. On a per-link cost, these are reasonably priced for PBN links. I know it certainly costs me more to do my own PBN sites. But – I get to control the OBLs on my own PBN sites so that there isn’t a dilution of the link juice.

Let’s face it, these links are relatively inexpensive and I actually have gotten some positive movement in the SERPs from these links. But if you end up on sites that are PBNs, then the risk factor is high. So, is the possible risk worth the low cost? That’s a question only you can answer.

If you’re looking for legit outreach backlinks for your sites, I do not recommend using FatJoe. If you want links that may be part of a semi-private PBN, then these links are priced well enough for them to be worthwhile.

Update – Response From FatJoe

When I wrote about my experience, I wasn’t expecting to hear anything from FatJoe. But today (April 11th) I actually got an email from them, which I give them massive amounts of credit for doing. They wanted to let me know that they do not control any of the sites that their links come from, which is good news for anyone who buys links from them! And next week I’ll take time out to share the sites that I think are PBNs with them, so that they can hopefully make some improvements to their service. You can see the email they sent me below (click to enlarge).

I’m really impressed that they took this step. And I hope it’s because they want to make their service better overall and that this isn’t just an attempt to make one random SEO feel better about their service.

And in case you’re wondering, I don’t want any of the links they gave me replaced or removed. I’ve been in this game long enough to know that buying links always presents a risk, both for yourself and for clients. But I’d really love for what they offer to be even better so that I’d have an awesome service to use for links for my sites and client sites.

The fact remains that FatJoe is probably the most affordable “outreach” service where you get real movement for the links. And if there was less risk, then their links would likely be the #1 choice among most SEOs.

Shawna

Hey, I'm Shawna. I make a living working from my laptop in places like London, Sydney, Dubai, Rome, Oslo, Bangkok and (currently) Las Vegas. I share how I do some of that on this website.

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49 thoughts on “I Bought 35 Blogger Outreach Links from FatJoe (And I Won’t Do It Again) UPDATED”

  1. Based on your post, and the fact that they’ve been around town for a while, I’m going to give fatjoe a go.

    Little at a time.

    Thanks for the detailed review!

    • No worries. I think you’ll get the best results from DA30+ links, even if your budget means less links for the money. Feel free to update me on how it turns out for you 🙂

      • I will definitely keep you updated.

        I’m looking at my competition, and it’s laughable to see their site have over 900,000 backlinks, and only two out of their 900,000 backlinks are DA40 and four are DA30+ backlinks.

        Judging from their backlink profile, I know they spammed their way to the top. They’ve survived like this since 2012.

        I rank JUST under them on the first page of Google for about everything, yet I only have 1.4K backlinks, all of which were obtained naturally. Funny enough, there are some things I rank above them for, which goes to show how weak their backlink profile is.

        This is my first time ever doing something like this, just to see what results will ensue.

        My traffic has slowly dropped about 40% when their site started ranking above mine for everything and showing up in featured snippets.

        Ah, featured snippets.

        This is what scared me into creating my site in 2012, as at this time, Google was rolling this out those ubiquitous answer boxes we’ve all become familiar with.

        My fear – I thought their highly trained monkeys to write out this content, but in my niche, they’re just linking to the content. That’s a relief.

        Less than 1% of my content shows up in featured snippets, while my competitor’s site seemingly has most of the rest. Phooey!

        Given my small backlink profile, and given how close I am at the very top, I wonder if my $600 investment will be enough to nudge all of my content up 1-2 spots in Google. I purchased four DA30 backlinks, two DA20s and a DA10 just because lol.

        A DA40 would be sweet, but may be unnecessary so I’ll wait.

        I also contacted some of my competition’s backlinkers to see if I can secure a link on their site. I know it’s a longshot, but hopefully I can convince them that my content is original and theirs isn’t.

        That’s the baffling part.

        My competition ranks for scraped, unhelpful content. If you only witnessed who I’m losing to, you would wonder why Google hasn’t bumped these guys out of their search results.

        The good news is that I can sustain just fine without featured snippets, but I’m jealous that they get them hand over fist and I don’t, knowing my content is heaps better.

        Which goes to show, Google is run by a bunch of robots, and how they rank content will always be dependent on robots, and SOME highly trained monkeys.

        When you get ignored by Google and can’t get a human to see what I’m seeing, sometimes backlink intervention is a must.

        Will keep you in the loop!

  2. Thanks for the review. I’ve been considering using a guest posting service for a while as I’ve got more money than time at the moment.

    Do you have any other guest posting services that you use? You mentioned Gotch SEO. Are they any good? Any others you’d recommend trying?

    Thanks!

    • I’m currently testing out https://loveto.link but haven’t had all of my orders filled yet. From what has been completed, it looks legit. Once I have more data, I’ll share my experience. Other than that though, I haven’t found anything that I can recommend.

      I have not tried the Gotch service, but it’s priced similar to what Doug Cunnington charged back when he used to offer the service. Knowing that, I’d assume that it is 100% real outreach, but I haven’t yet tested it to be certain. If you test it before I do, I’d love to know your thoughts.

      • Hey Shawna!

        Great article, as I’m just about to try some of these sites’ services. What’s your verdict for Loveto, did the batch turn out fine?

        I think I’ll give FatJoe a try anyways, but having 2 sources of backlinks is always better than 1. Complements my manual outreach perfectly.

        Thanks 🙂

        • I’ve only gotten 8 links from L2L so far and in terms of price, they are a bit cheaper than FatJoe, but in terms of quality I’m not yet convinced that they are really any better. Of course, 8 links is a very small sample size, so I can’t make any definitive statements. I will say that they customer service is really good so far. If you give a try, feel free to let me know what you think!

  3. Hey Shawna! Great post! I’ve been considering using FatJoe’s so you’ve definitely given me cause for pause.

    Quick question: You said that “at least 20% of the links seem to be on PBN sites.”

    How do you know the sites you’re referring to are PBNs?

    • There’s a few different ways to tell. You can pull up the site in the Wayback Machine and see how the site has changed in recent years (i.e. did the site used to be an events blog and suddenly it’s a kitchen blog). A lot of SEOs buy expired domains and then just restore the old site via Wayback Machine though, so it isn’t always obvious. When it’s not obvious, you can check the social media accounts – if they were on the old version of the site and active but now they’re not, then you likely have a PBN site. Also pay attention to the site owner’s photo. Just recently I had a link delivered on a site with a photo of a gray-haired lady as the site owner, but the Wayback Machine showed a MUCH younger woman using the same name – so, clearly a PBN. And finally, a lot of really crappy PBNs have links out to sites in almost every single recent post. While this itself isn’t indicative, it is if the links are super random like a link to an Australian pest control company in one and a US law firm in another – linking out like that just doesn’t make sense for most real blogs. You’ll also want to see if the site gets any real traffic – not getting traffic is a good sign of a PBN.

      I’ve also recently noticed that FatJoe seems to use a lot of the same sites over and over again. I’ve been checking out the backlinks of some sites in a niche I just entered and I can immediately recognize that a few of the sites used FatJoe cause they all have links on the same five DA30 sites that I got links on. Over time, that become problematic since it becomes a footprint.

      • Hey Shawna,
        Thanks so much for the very quick and very detailed reply!

        This might be a silly question but I’m shameless when it comes to learning about SEO, etc so I’ll ask it anyhow. LOL:

        When you said that you’d been checking out the backlinks in a niche you just entered and found that FatJoe must be using the same sites over and over, is the new niche you’ve just entered the same niche as the niche you’ve already bought FatJoe links for?

        Just wondering about relevance. Unless both your niches are the same or very closely related, I don’t see how they could post your links on the same sites for 2 different niches?

        Thanks Shawna!

        • I was researching for a niche that I haven’t worked in before (so the links were on a site that was not niche specific to either of us). And from what I can tell, FatJoe has a pool of sites that they use, so getting niche relevance is almost impossible on the site level. Say you have a site about kayaks, well they might give you a link on an article for “preparing for a kayaking trip” on a site that is a general blog that covers all topics. This is the way that most of the link-selling places operate. Some, like LoveToLink, allow you to view their inventory and select your links by topic/niche of the site. Whereas the more expensive services ($200+ per link) do outreach to topically relevant sites in your niche most of the time.

          Knowing which to target – topical relevance versus domain authority/power – is a common conundrum for link builders. When it comes to PBNs, I find that I get more benefit from topically relevant sites that might have a lower authority vs a link on a general or non-topically relevant high authority site. However, what works in this industry is constantly changing, so who knows how long that will be the case!

          Apologies if I’ve given you too much info to think about 🙂

          • Hey Shawna,
            You make some excellent points and the relevance vs authority conundrum can be front and center to a neophyte link builder such as myself. So it’s always good to know what things have worked for experienced SEOers like you, even if what works is short lived!

            Thanks so much!

    • Hi Brian,

      I haven’t tried Gotch’s service yet, though I did notice he’s been running a May discount offer on it. I’ll update once I do test it.

      Shawna

  4. Hey Shawna,

    Great review, I appreciate your time you put into this.

    Here’s the real question… Did you see any movement from the links they placed?

    • From some orders, yes, but from others, not so much. Better results with the higher DA options, which isn’t surprising 🙂

  5. Hi Shawna,

    I totally agree with what you’ve said: “I’ve been in this game long enough to know that buying links always presents a risk, both for yourself and for clients.” And I think people should be aware of this fact before trying out any link building service.

    Though links indeed matter, building links is not the only way to get links. I know you would agree that creating quality content can build you more links in the long run.

    The information you have in this post is a good example of a quality content.

  6. Hi Shawna,
    Great post !
    I have a new website with no links and would like to know which link sites you would recommend I look at for quality links. After reading others posts it’s become obvious to me that my site won’t get any further up the google ranks unless I have links. I have looked at numerous sites for example fatjoes, rank crew, lovetolink, outreach links and the list goes on and I’m still unsure who to go with, any recommendations would be gratefully appreciated.
    Thank You
    Steve

    • Honestly, I’d ask for my money back and for all of these links to be removed if I’d order these links for a site. Have you looked in Ahrefs at the traffic stats for these blogs? Only http://momblogsociety.com/ has decent traffic at around ~2,000 and some of these sites are showing under 10 for the traffic!

      After noticing that http://momblogsociety.com/ was the only site with real traffic, I looked to see if the posts before and after yours seem to be sponsored posts as well — they do. And that’s why I’d not want this link either.

      If you’re buying links on sites with minimal/no traffic, then I’d suggest PBN links since it will be cheaper and likely more effective.

      For sites with real traffic, I’d suggest LoveToLink. I don’t have any affiliation with them other than being happy with their service. You can sort their sites by traffic https://loveto.link/sites-pricing/ to make sure you’re getting on a real site. When I use their service, I sort by traffic and then look for sites with a high number of referring domains (RD) and Ahrefs DR.

    • Ouch, sorry to hear that! I’d suggest LoveToLink and look for links on sites with good traffic and high Ahrefs DR rating for the best results. And, of course, niche relevance is always a good idea. Authority.Builders is a similar service, though prices seem slightly higher overall. I’m waiting on my first order to be delivered, so I can’t attest to quality of links but it does seem similar to L2L.

      • Bought and received 5 from LovetoLink and they’re garbage, no traffic… magazine sites that look like they have been rebuilt, have super weird names too and one of them is the same domain I got from another outreach service lol… so weird.

        Not horrible if you can risk the site, but I wouldn’t use these for clients or for my bread and butter sites.

        • Wow, that’s surprising. I’ve bought around 50 links from them now and the first few were not that great — they were the cheapest ones and one of the agency 5-link packages — but then I started sorting their list by traffic and looking for topically relevant sites based on traffic and I’ve had great results since. I also tend to avoid the sites with an older site age (regardless of traffic) because I suspect they are auction domains.

          I bought one link from PBN Butler’s guest post service a few months back – the traffic of the site was “3” and it was a site also used by FatJoe – but they ended up replacing that with a better link when I asked.

  7. Hey Shawna, GREAT article thank you for all the informative information. I’m looking to get some quality links for my vape website, looking at loveto.link I was thinking to go for the health related sites, do you think that would be good? I see from above DA40+ would probably be best right? Any other advice would be great!

    • DA, like the other site authority rankings by the other SEO tools, isn’t really something I’d base a decision on. You can use it as part of the decision, but DA is easy to manipulate. I like to focus on topical relevance and also look for sites with high traffic, since it signals a real site where you might actually get some referral traffic.

  8. Interesting post Shawana.
    As someone that only does bespoke manual outreach I’m always suspicious of services like Fat Joes.
    Although I have a list of sites that I know ‘may’ be interested in a Guest Post there is no way I could guarantee placement.
    Manual outreach is hard, it takes time and ingenuity, thats why Nathan Gotch (and people like me) charge what we do.
    If there is no relevance and traffic links are boiled down to ranking factors alone.
    Jason

  9. One more review about outreach service. This time about outreachmama. Their blog seemed so promising, so i decided to hire them.

    They sent me examples. There were several websites with no traffic or with traffic not related to the niche of target website. And when i asked them several questions about this, the answer was rather rude and they ignored the questions about their prices and guarantees.

    The “premium” examaples they sent me contained “premium” websites
    tgdaily $520
    wn.com $999

    While these can be purchased at fiverr for ~$50.

    • Oh wow, I can’t believe those prices for tgdaily and wn.com! I see those being advertised in SEO groups all the time for around $50, like you mentioned. It’s really frustrating that so many services are selling shitty links like this. Thanks for sharing what you learned about them!

  10. Hi Shawna – This has been really helpful. Can you share a bit about the distinction you see between Fat Joe and LTL, where it appears that Fat Joe provides ghost blogging (posts ostensibly by the blog owner) vs LTL providing guest posts? Any thoughts on value, safety, etc. would be great.

  11. Hey Shawna,
    how do you know if a website has traffic or not ?
    Check it on SEMRush ? if yes, I thought that this metric could be manipulated too.
    Thanks for any insight on this

  12. Hey,

    I loved reading your post from the other point of view and I start a job in SEO in July.

    Fat Joe have contacted me to work with me to host content but I am unsure whether I should do this . I worked with another company which I am pretty sure stole my credit card details which is being investigated at the moment as they stole thousands (luckily covered) so I am a bit skeptical working with companies now.

    Morgan

  13. Hi Shawna, I realize it has been a while since this post, but have you ran into other similar outreach services you recommend? Have you tried outreachmama? I’m just very skeptical about these services, and this post made that feeling even worse (lol)!

    • Hi Rod, I have not tried OutreachMamma but several readers who have used it have told me that it’s also not worth the money.

  14. It is difficult and time consuming to do the SEO link building outreach on your own but it’s worth it. So many times do I browse these ‘reseller’ websites only to realize I can do it all on my own for a quarter of the price. Search engines’ algorithms are getting so smart and it’s quite scary when you’re not 100% sure about their methodologies. White Hat or not?

    • Hi Stephen, I agree that the DIY route is very time consuming, but you do often get better links that way. And based on my experience using these middlemen services, they seem to at least double the cost of what most of these sites charge for posts. So, the DIY route cuts costs by around 50%, assuming that you’re finding the same sites that charge a posting fee or a sponsored post fee. Of course, the best sites for your links are the ones that don’t charge and that these services aren’t using….but that’s the time consuming part – actually finding them 🙂

  15. Hey there,

    Nice to read your blog post and happy to see that still some bloggers are telling truth. While many professionals are just referring services for money.

    Hope you will do more best 🙂

    Regards!

  16. I’ve been approached by FatJoe today to ask if I’m interested in hosting guest posts on my own blog. My DA is only 14, I know very little about SEO and I don’t get a lot of traffic, but I have a massive social media following and I’m broke so I’m going to take them up on it. I found this review because I wanted to check it wasn’t a scam.

    • Hi Shaz, I don’t think you’ll have a problem getting paid by them. I’ve heard from a few blog owners in the past who have gotten a similar email and had no issues working with them. Good luck!

  17. We have just orders a press release through FatJoe, it is interesting to hear your experience. I did suspect some of the blogs would be part of a PBN for the price they are charging. Did you use their content on the blogger outreach service, if so what was the content like?

    • Hi Tony,

      I’ve never paid FatJoe for any content. When I ordered the links from them, the content was included but the quality of it was never really something that I worried about. I hope your press release turned out okay.

      Thanks,
      Shawna

  18. Hi Shawna,

    Came across this article when looking into FatJoe and read some of the comments, I too have used Loveto.link, the links seem OK but quite often the post gets rejected.

    Out of interest, is there anyone you’d recommend?

    Thanks
    Mike

  19. Interestingly I came across your article as I am researching and I was 50/50 on Fat Joe as some bloggers were showing success at income through using them. I’m talking about £100 maybe over a quarter. This is within a group of bloggers that have just started out and have found it easy to get to DA 10 by interlinking between each others domains. Many get rich courses for new bloggers are promoting Fat Joe as a quick buck as so many new bloggers who are just chucking any info into the web abyss are applying for Fat Joe accounts. The tactic between them is to have the links on hidden categories so not to confuse the audience that they are aiming for with their random content. I can see this diluting the traffic reports and Fat Joe moving DA limit up to 20+ soon.

    • Hey Sarah! I had no idea that newbie bloggers were using Fat Joe as an income stream. Sounds like that is resulting in an even worse product offering on their part.

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