There’s no denying that guest posting is a popular way to get “white hat” backlinks to your site. It’s also super time consuming if you’re doing it the right way. And when you don’t have a lot of time to do your own guest post outreach, what do you do?
Well, if you’re like most people then you use a guest post service and pay for those guest posts one by one. (Yes, another option is to hire a VA or someone who you can pay to do the outreach for you – but then you have to spend time training them.)
I think it’s fair to say that LoveToLink and Authority Builders are the most popular services right now for people who want to buy guest posts. And I’ve used both of them for a lot of links over the past 12 months or so.
But if you’re planning on using services like this, then you should know that there are some problems with them. (at least in my experience, and I do still use Authority Builders from time to time)
I don’t think that this is intentional, but I’ve seen a couple of instances where the exact same site was being offered by each service (and at a different cost). When you think about how most of these services seem to build up their inventory of sites, you see how easily this can happen.
One of my sites was actually outreached by LoveToLink, so I can tell you exactly how they approach sites – my site has a “write for us” type of page to attract real writers in the industry. I get tons of guest post requests from this page, including the outreach email below from LoveToLink.
Let’s assume that these services are scraping the web for sites with a ‘write for us’ or a ‘contribute’ page and then just mass sending out emails like this — it’s no wonder there is some crossover in the inventory that they offer.
That being said, I believe that both services now offer a way to blacklist sites that you’ve already gotten links from so that you don’t inadvertently buy a link on a site where you’ve already got on.
Surprise, It’s Really A Niche Edit Link!
Would you pay the same amount for a link in a guest post as you would for a link in an old post on the same site (aka a ‘niche edit’ link)?
Sure, I know that plenty of SEOs use niche edits with success. I also know some SEOs who got penalties from using them, so I don’t use them. And if I did, I’d expect them to be cheaper than a guest post on the same site since there is no cost for content creation.
In recent months I have had more than one order at Authority Builders come back where they ask if I’m okay with a link in an old post instead of a guest post on the site.
This is really annoying when I spend the time to pick out sites that have the metrics that I want for guest post link building, only to have the time be a complete waste since it was clearly never going to be a guest post link.
You Can End Up Paying For Shitty Links
The way two services that I’ve mentioned above work is that they have what basically amounts to a large online spreadsheet that includes all the sites that they work with, including their metrics.
But, you don’t get to see the URLs of the sites until you pay.
I don’t think either of these services intentionally include sites where you end up with shitty links. It’s just that they’re doing this at scale (and probably at least partially automated), so some things can slip through the cracks.
For example, last year I spent $159 on a link that turned out to be on designbuzz.com – I would never purposely by a link on that site after looking at it, but that’s how it goes with these services. Not too long after I bought that link, the site got penalized and is even more worthless now.
You May End Up On A Site That Looks Like A Link Farm
Think about it – if you have a site with decent metrics where you sell guest posts, then you could make a decently monthly income off just that – especially if you get listed on one of these services. And, if these guest post services have a lot of customers, then this could be not so great for link builders like you and me, right?
I’ve seen a few sites that these services offer where all the recent posts seem to be these paid guest posts.
Do these services rotate out their inventory so that this risk is minimized? I have no idea. And I don’t think that there’s any way to automate checking out this sort of thing. But I do know that I’ve seen sites with this problem.
One such site that I’ve seen on offer from more than one of these services is youramazingplaces.com (note: it was months ago when I saw this site, so it may be gone now) – all the recent posts look like they were sponsored posts based on the sites they link out to. This site has good traffic and great metrics, but I really wouldn’t want a link from there to my site since it looks like a link farm.
What’s sad is that I always shop based on traffic when I’m buying guest post links, and if I was delivered a link on youramazingplaces.com then I would be really upset. But things like this can happen when using guest post services.
You Can Do Your Own Outreach Cheaper
Based on my own experience buying from guest post services, it’s usually much cheaper to go the DIY route with your guest post link building. Of course, it is crazy time consuming between finding the sites, reaching out to them, and getting the content created for the guest post.
If you’re wondering just how much cheaper it is, then I might be able to shed a bit of light on that.
After buying some of these guest posts early on, I looked at the sites they were posted on to see how much the services paid for them.
|I Paid||DIY Cost|
One thing to keep in mind above is that my DIY cost does not include the content cost – that’s only the cost charged by the site owner to post your guest post.
How I Use These Services
Though I don’t use these services as much as I used to since I’ve managed to build my own outreach team, I can tell you how I use them when I do buy guest post links from services like these.
Right now, I’m really only using Authority Builders when I do use a guest post service. I like that I can sort their inventory by the most recent date they updated stats for the sites.
So, when I use this service, here is how I shop for links:
- Sort by most recently updated sites.
- Go through the list looking for high traffic sites that are niche relevant
That’s really it.
When I buy links from a guest post service like this, I want to make sure that my link ends up on a site with loads of traffic to reduce the chances that my link is on a site that gets penalized (like the designbuzz fiasco).
Once I bought a guest post link without paying attention to the date the stats were last updated. You can guess what happened. When my link went live and I plugged the site into Ahrefs, it’s traffic was below 1,000/month because it had been penalized. That’s why I now look only for sites where the stats were recently updated.
One thing to keep in mind is that these services aren’t the perfect solution for link building.
If you’re interested in how I’m building links to my sites right now, then you’re in luck. I’ll be sharing all the details in an upcoming post.
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