Before starting a blog, I never knew anything about link building.
Guess it’s because I was never intentional about getting organic traffic from Google in my previous online businesses.
I got to know about link building when I was searching for what it takes to rank on Google.
It was surprising to see that people do link building as a full-time business while others offer it as a side gig.
Freelance Link builders on Upwork
In this post, I’m going to teach you how you can make money as a link builder (Help internet business owners build links and get paid for it)
You can decide to start as an agency or offer it as a side gig but it’d be better if you start with the latter as it lets you gain practical experience before recruiting others to join you.
Who can become a Link Builder?
No college degree or previous experience is often required to become a link builder but some skills must be inherent if you want to make money as a link builder. They are-
- Ability to research. You’ll need to find websites that you are likely to get links from.
- Excellent written communication and ability to write persuasively: Your ability to convince a site owner will determine whether you get a link from them or not.
- Basic knowledge of sending emails: All your outreach will mostly be done via email so a basic knowledge of how sending a professional email works is a bonus
- Ability to handle rejection: You’ll not always be given a link no matter how good your outreach copy is. Getting a “No” should be something you won’t have to take personally.
- Ability to build relationships: You stand a better chance of getting a link when you have established some level of relationship with a site owner. That’s why building relationships is part of the skill required for this job.
Note: The ability to research and write persuasively are very important skills to have for this job. Other things can be learned along the way. If you are working under a company, you’ll likely be trained on sending emails and other things.
What is link building?
Link building is a popular term in the field of search engine optimization (SEO) and it’s the process of getting other websites to link to yours for the purpose of increasing the site authority, thereby ranking higher on Google.
All these might seem alien to someone who is not familiar with SEO so I’m going to break it down in simple language.
Link building explained in simple language
If you look at the image above, you’ll see that I linked to Upwork. Meaning that I didn’t just mention Upwork but I linked to the page where I found the “Freelance Link builder profiles”. That’s what Link building is about.
But Why Link Building? You may be wondering, why would anyone pay you to build links for them.
Well, there are many benefits of link building for online business owners. Below are some of them.
Benefits of Link Building For Internet Business Owners
Link building is only beneficial to internet business owners. Meaning that people who do not have a website do not have any business with link building.
That’s why as a link builder, your ideal clients are bloggers, business owners with websites, link building agencies. etc.
1. It increases a site’s authority: There’s something known as Domain Authority (DA). A site’s authority is usually measured by how many links from quality sites are linking to it. And this is usually rated from 0-100.
Sites without links or low-quality links have low domain authority while sites with lots of quality links have higher domain authority.
The image below is my site zaramignites.com. As of when I wrote this post, the site was a month and 2 days old and I haven’t started implementing any link-building strategy because I was waiting to have more published content before getting started.
You can see that the domain authority is still at 1. This means the site is still a low-quality site.
But take a look at this site ryrob.com.
You’ll see that the site’s domain authority is 57 with over 5.9k links amassed over 10 years. (I got to know the age of the site by looking it up on who.is)
This site is considered a high-quality site because of the many links it has garnered over the years. That is one importance of link building.
2. Link is a ranking factor for Google. Even though Google hasn’t outrightly admitted it, sites with more backlinks tend to rank higher on Google. (Ranking means making it to the first page of Google search).
It takes a site that is considered an authority to rank for a search query
3. Increase in revenue: As I said in point 2, sites with more backlinks tend to rank higher on Google, and ranking on Google means an increase in traffic which in turn leads to an increase in revenue for a business.
To increase revenue is the ultimate goal behind every link-building strategy.
See why people would be willing to pay you to build links for them?
Link Building Strategy
There are different link building strategies to deploy as a link builder but the common ones are
1. Turn mentions to links: Many times, people will mention a brand or site without actually linking to them.
in this screenshot below, notice that I mention Elementor and Namecheap in this post without linking to them?
If a link builder for these companies sees these mentions using a tool like Mention, they can decide to reach out to me and ask that I link to them (If they consider my site an authority site)
If I agree to link to them, I”ll then need to change Elementor to Elementor. Noticed the difference? Good!
Once this happens, you’ve successfully secured a link for your client and you get paid whatever amount that was agreed upon.
2. Replace broken links with your link: You can get backlinks by replacing links that lead to 404 pages. Remember those “This page cannot be found” errors? They are known as broken links. A link is broken when it has been moved or deleted by the owner.
As a link builder, you can replace broken links with a link to your client’s page. (Note that the content of the broken link needs to correlate with what your page is about) Read more about building broken links here
A tool like siteliner helps you find broken links on any website
3. Find similar articles and ask for links: This strategy means looking out for pages that are similar to your client’s page and asking them to link to them.
In this post, I have linked to more than 5 pages relating to link building without being asked. (This type of link building is known as earned links, they earned it because they have quality content on the subject matter) but you can still get these types of links by simply asking.
Meaning that a link builder for a website that has great content on “Link building” can reach out to me to link to their page and I’ll oblige if I choose to.
Have in mind that people will likely agree to link to your client’s site if the content is good enough. If your client has shallow content, the odds will be slim.
5. Link stealing 😂… Ok, maybe I didn’t use the right word but let’s leave it at “STEALING” for now. If you’ve got great content, you can steal links from sites with inferior content.
For instance, if any of the pages I linked to on this post has low-quality content, someone with better content might reach out to me and ask that I replace the link with theirs and I’ll possibly agree.
This subtle act of stealing is acceptable and doesn’t have any penalty 😂. Got it?
Link Builder Job description
A link builder’s job is pretty straightforward.
There are 3 things involved actually
- Find a website where you wish to get a link from
- Reach out to the site owner politely requesting a backlink
- Follow up with the site owner until you get the link or get a No.
- Get paid when you secure a link. You can charge anything between $10-$500 per link depending on the quality of the link. (Site authority)
You’ll most likely reach out to a site owner via email, asking them to link to your client’s site. That’s why link builders are also known as Email outreach representatives.
How to Get Started as Link builder
There are two ways to get started as a link builder.
It’s either you work as a freelancer or a full-time employee for an agency/company.
Here are a few steps to find a full-time link-building job.
- A site like Recruiter Mill hires link builders for third-party companies and the pay is between $800-$1000/m. This isn’t based on how many links you secure per month. Securing more links can earn you higher though.
- Visit remote jobs websites to see if you’ll find something.
- You can also search for Link Builder or email outreach Jobs on Google.
- Another option is to check on the career page of link-building companies like Stellar SEO, Fatjoe, Sure Oak, userp, highervisibility to see if there’s an opening. Look out for job titles like Outreach specialist, outreach agent, outreach representative, outreach manager. etc.
Current Job opening for outreach specialist at Fatjoe
If you want to work as a freelance link builder, you’ll need to reach out to bloggers and business owners struggling with SEO.
As a beginner, you have a better chance of landing a gig if you reach out to sites with low domain authority. Anything from 20-40 DA.
To see a sites’ DA, use the free Moz Link explorer
There are thousands if not millions of sites in this category. It means that the potential of making consistent money as a link builder is enormous.
For your email outreach, here are some templates to use.
Remember your job as a link builder is to research the website, reach out to the site owners and follow up till you get the link.
Here are a few email outreach examples of the emails you’ll be sending out as a link builder.
Ready to get started?
Start by getting basic SEO knowledge. This youtube video by Simplilearn is enough to get you rooted in what SEO is about.
You can prepare yourself to start this side business in less than a week if you want. Take two days to watch the SEO tutorial and use another 2 days to read up about email marketing.
And start applying…
If you are not confident to start with a paid gig, consider helping a struggling site for free to gain some experience.
Have any questions? Please ask in the comment section.