Today I will answer a few newbie questions on backlink building and article marketing that I received from my NuttieZine subscribers! I hope they help others as well! ;)
On to the Q’s and A’s:
Q1: How do I know how many backlinks I will need to outrank a certain page on Google? Exactly how much does PageRank count towards getting placed high for Google?
A1: The answer to your first question really depends on how competitive your niche is! If it is as competitive as say, the internet marketing niche, weight loss niche, or the dating niche, then you would need anything between 100-200 backlinks to gain decent rankings.
Personally, I would start by allotting 100 backlinks to each of these "competitive niche" sites, and then my check my rankings and earnings from the respective sites once I have finished building the given number of backlinks. If the earnings really justify it, I would build many more backlinks (preferably by outsourcing this task). If I don’t earn enough from my link building campaign, I would move on to the next site/project.
For smaller niche sites, 50-70 backlinks should be a good start. Note that these are all generic figures based on my experience with Angela’s backlinks (which are usually high in pagerank). I cannot give you exact figures because I don’t know your niche competition. You would first need to gauge your niche competition with the help of the free Google Keyword Tool, and only then you can estimate the number of backlinks you need to build!
You may also want to check the number of backlinks of your competitors’ sites (using the Yahoo Site Explorer tool) to give you a fair idea of the number of backlinks you should to build in order to "outrank" your competitors! :) Over time, you would become so efficient in it that it would come to you as easy as setting the price of a product!
I would not place too much emphasis on the Pagerank of MY websites; it would just stress the hell out of me if I think too much about it! I would leave it on Google to decide my website’s pagerank. I know it fully well that the pagerank (in spite of its rather misleading name) of my website is NOT what determines its rankings; rather, it is the COMBINED pagerank of ALL the websites I get backlinks from that determine my website’s SERP (search engine results page) position.
Also note that the quality of the backlinks is far more important than quantity! Notice I said earlier in this article that you can get started by building as few as 50-100 backlinks per site, depending on your niche competition; but I am saying this on the assumption that each of those backlinks are of high quality! Getting 10 links from PR6-PR9 sites is far better than 100 links from PR1-PR2 sites.
Q2: How do I find no-follow/do-follow tags once I find the platform to the backlink sites from Angela?
A2: Angela’s packets consist of only dofollow links, that is, as of the time of their compilation. With the passage of time however, some of the links become nofollow, so this is a good thing to check especially if you are starting late. The tool I use to check for nofollow links is a Firefox addon called Search status. Install the addon and turn on the "highlight nofollow links" option in it! I have explained in detail on how to use this addon (with screenshots, no less) here, so I am not going into all that again!
The links that are highlighted in red are nofollow links (i.e., NOT followed by search engines). You can test the addon by refreshing this article page. I can guarantee you would notice some "highlighted red links" here and there! ;)
Q3: Why is it getting harder to get traffic from Ezine Articles?
A3: When a site or person gets overexploited, the average performance of the site or person slows down. Let me give you a few examples:
a) An entrepreneur who has too much work to handle is basically overexploiting himself. His performance would slow down over time, if it has not already.
b) An employee who is given too much work at office is getting overexploited too, and the consequence would be the same: reduced performance.
c) If an actor signs up for too many movies, or a singer signs up for too many singing assignments, their performance would be reduced over time too, no matter how many vitamins or steroids they consume! ;)
d) If you watch too much TV, your health would deteriorate for sure :D (kidding)
e) In the same way, if a site is used by every Tom, Dick and Harry, then its value gets reduced because of overexploitation. That is something not only affecting Ezinearticles.com but also some of the most popular social bookmarking sites.
Here is what usually happens: a wannabe enters the make money niche and asks for advise, and a so-called "guru" jumps in and claims that he has made $xxxx from article marketing, that he uses only Ezinearticles.com along with social bookmarking, that Ezinearticles.com is the best article directory available, blah, blah, blah!
The result: the newbie takes the gurus’s advice word-for-word and starts his own article marketing campaign! Guess what, even though there are more than 5 quality article directories, it is difficult to divert his attention to them because that guru has firmly advised him not to move anywhere else since Ezinearticles.com is the only road to El Dorado! :D
START OF DIGRESSION
"But Arindam, everyone is focusing only on Ezinearticles.com. Why should I go elsewhere?"
If you merely "follow the herd", you are a follower, not a leader. Followers seldom make good entrepreneurs! Entrepreneurs are good leaders, who would rather make others follow them than following others. True entrepreneurs also innovate, test and think constantly! If you are in the make money niche just to earn a few bucks, then being a follower is alright. If you wish to build a lasting business, stop following this and that guru and start honing your leadership skills.
A skill is of course not developed overnight; it is developed with constant practice! A skilled worker who innovates constantly eventually becomes a successful business owner, or an entrepreneur!
A good book I recommend for all true entrepreneurs is: Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got: 21 Ways You Can Out-Think, Out-Perform, and Out-Earn the Competition (it is an affiliate link, btw).
It is written by someone who has made millionaires. I am not saying it would make you a millionaire though; if that would have been the case then I would have become a millionaire by now! ;) But it would offer some good starter skills to help you run your business; in fact, I can guarantee that this is one book which would serve your lifetime, no matter what your level of business experience is!
It is a must-read for gurus too, thought I highly doubt many of them read it! ;)
Remember that right knowledge, coupled with right mindset and right action brings in $$$ :D
You cannot become knowledgeable by buying every other IM ebook that hits the market, nor would you become a millionaire by buying a million such ebooks! It is the right action couple with right knowledge and mindset, which would determine your income level. Of course, luck plays an important part too; I cannot deny it! ;)
END OF DIGRESSION
So what about the rest of the article directories?
These are just a handful of the article directories available. New article directories are cropping up every now and then! In fact you can get a lot of such sites from Angela’s backlinks packets that accept content in the form of articles and are not as fussy as Ezinearticles.com!
Personally I cannot remember the last time I used Ezinearticles.com! Of course they still have a place in SEO, but if I can build 30 backlinks in 24 hours, then why waste time messing with Ezinearticles.com’s rules? But that is just me. I definitely recommend you use them, even though for once in a while.
You know, the more traffic you get, the merrier. You cannot expect the same amount of traffic from Ezinearticles.com as I used to get a couple of years back, but it is still worth publishing at least one article there once in a while, especially if you are just starting out! ;)
My recommendation is: focus 80% of your attention on non-Ezinearticles.com traffic and the rest 20% on Ezinearticles.com and other article directories!
Q4: Is it worthwhile to write exclusive articles for Associated Content?
A4: It depends on your end goal. AC is a revenue-sharing business model. As they say in one of their FAQs:
"We offer Upfront Payments ranging from $1 to $20 for certain types of content. All of the content you publish can earn you money via Performance Payments, which currently pays a baseline PPM™ rate of $1.50 for every one thousand page views it receives.
The amount of money you can make at Associated Content is unlimited. As you generate more page views, your Clout level rises – and your Performance Payments do too! Some Sources treat Associated Content as their primary source of income and live off their earnings, taking home hundreds in Performance Payments each month. There are many others who consider AC to be a great source of supplementary income."
Personally I don’t believe AC is worth paying much attention to. The little cents and pennies do not mean anything to me. I think they pay about $5-$6 per article to US residents though, so AC might be more worthwhile to US residents than non-US residents like me, who are paid on a "performance basis"-that is, based on the amount of traffic and pageviews I bring to them. How is that any different from writing content for my own website and putting Adsense ads around them? I would any day go for the latter option for two reasons:
a) I don’t want to send traffic to someone else’s website just to earn a few pennies!
b) I have more control over the money earned from my own site than a third party website. If I wish, tomorrow I may change replace the Adsense ads with Clickbank, Chitika or EBay ads!
It is interesting to note that AC is not the only website that shares its ad revenue with its authors. There are several sites working on the same revenue-sharing business model, some even older than AC! You can check:
http://www.triond.com/ (NOTE ABOUT TRIOND: When I checked with them, their rule was that the content you submit to them must be EXCLUSIVE; that is, it should not be published anywhere else, not even on your own site! You may publish the content to other places ONLY AFTER it is published on triond. I am not sure if that rule has changed, but from what I know, several revenue sharing sites demand "exclusive content", AssociatedContent.com being one exception.)
http://www.constant-content.com/ (NOTE ABOUT CONSTANT CONTENT: This is one unique site where you are free to set any price you want to your content, and HOPE to sell it! I say "HOPE" because in the current economic situation, your price would go a long way in determining your sales!
I am certainly not interested in getting paid in pennies and cents for all my hard work, and writing content is the hardest work for me; however, if you like it then fine. If you are an avid article writer, there are several other alternatives you can try out, such as:
a) Writing exclusive content for one or more clients (also known as ghostwriting). You may have to start with "bottom feeder" clients but once your reputation builds up, you can increase your prices. There are ghostwriters available for as little as $5 and as much as $35-$40 per article. You make the guess! ;)
b) Write articles as usual, but sell them with private label rights. The good thing about this plr business is that, unlike with ghostwriting, you get to build a solid business, with a list of subscribers who would buy each and every plr article package you come up with!
Your income is not dependent on the whims of Google or a company’s affiliate manager. You get to build YOUR own business, and best of all, you don’t have to keep writing forever! Once you start making enough money, you can outsource this job to others!
Contrary to the popular myth, outsourced content is not always cr*p. My plr content is mostly ghostwritten content, BUT you cannot say they are of poor quality (if not at the top of the ladder, either). It really depends on which writer you hire, the amount of money you are willing to pay, and the way you cooperate with your writers!
c) Last of all, there is the good old article marketing as well!
Now, will you please post a nice comment? :D (btw, you can also post your questions in the comments section below and I will try to answer them IF I have the answer ;) )