Back after a year off, the podcast series returns with an interview with Jacob King. Jacob’s a self-employed internet marketer from New York, who builds and promotes his own affiliate websites (more on that in the interview). He was also smart enough to name his son Ian.
In this Interview, Jacob Reveals…
How he made $15,000 in one day , how he sets up his link building campaigns, and the most important items he’s managed to automate (among other things).
Links from this Interview
Questions in this Interview
— nick eubanks (@nick_eubanks) September 5, 2013
— nick eubanks (@nick_eubanks) September 5, 2013
— Jamie Knop (@JamieKnop) September 6, 2013
— Todd Butcher (@ToddTheButcher) September 6, 2013
— barrie moran (@barriemoran) September 5, 2013
Ian: Hey, guys. Ian Howells Halo18.com podcast episode number nine. So back after an entire year plus a couple of weeks off. The last podcast interview was with Ross Hudgens, that was all the way back in August 2012. A lot went on in the last year. We’ve moved from Philly down to North Carolina. Started a new job, bought a house. Basically, for the last 12 or 13 months, blogging about SEO has just been the way bottom priority for me.
Actually, doing SEO shockingly enough, was the main focus for me for the last year plus all the other stuff that I had going on. So, finally now I feel like it’s at a point where I think I can reasonably commit to updating the site on a fairly consistent schedule.
When I was thinking about doing it I needed to make sure I had a good reason. The last thing the Internet needs is more blog posts or articles about how to write a title tag correctly. Any of the other shit that just gets regurgitated over and over.
So I’m going to try and stay away completely from all of that. Taking all that stuff off the table and trying to figure out what can I actually add in terms of value and a point for me having a site first just kind of hanging back letting other people log in, whatever.
Kind of landed on two things. I feel like part of the problem right now is content overload, right? I think the one way that I can help try and alleviate a little bit of that over a bunch of content is by acting as a filter and doing really purposeful, carefully selected interviews with people that I think have a lot of value add and that people could really learn a lot from. I’m going to focus on two things primarily going forward. One of them being interviews, that’s what we’re doing today. And then the second one being reviews of tools, and hosting providers, and software subscriptions and stuff like that.
Basically there’s a ton of tools out there that can make your life easier. But it can really get really expensive if you want to try and give every one of them a shot yourself. It’ll take a bunch of money, it’ll take a lot of time. I tend to be testing a lot of this stuff anyway so I might as well document all that.
And post all those up and hopefully that should be helpful to other people to not have to waste time kind of going down a path that ultimately isn’t going to work out, because the tool that they’re trying to learn how to use essentially is a piece of shit. Those are the two things that I’m want to focus on.
I’m hoping that they can primarily benefit people who are looking for a way to make the transition from working the full-time 9-to-5 gig into working for themselves. By learning how to do this stuff in the kind of quote, unquote Gray Hat arena.
Doing stuff that’s automated or semi-automated so that it is a workload that they’re actually able to juggle while working full-time. I know some people like Pat Flynn will do interviews with people. And it seems like a lot of the folks who made the jump to being able to be an entrepreneur and run their own business on the web ended up happening a lot like Pat Flynn himself where he got laid off from a job and that’s really what pushed him in.
I would like to be able to make a resource for people who want to be able to make that leap without quitting their job right away. Or without having to get laid off – to be able to make that step happen. So hopefully between filtering down all of the content that exists in the SEO space to people that I think are really worth listening to and paying attention to. Plus then reviewing tool sets so you don’t waste a lot of time or a lot of money. Hopefully, the combination of those two things will help people out. For the first podcast coming back, don’t know that I could have really gotten a better guest right now. Jacob King has written some really good pieces over the last couple of weeks. His Link Building Empire post is phenomenal. I picked up a few nuggets from there and a hosting provider recommendation from there. As well as his more recent ultimate guide to Springbok which has everything about Springbok, which is also phenomenal.
Yes, that’s it. I’ll quit blabbering and let you guys listen to Jacob King drop some nuggets about how he’s made 15 grand in the day. How he sets up and manages all of his different virtual assistants and content teams. He even gives some level of detail on the industries that he plays in, that he’s been able to really do well in. So, here we go, episode nine, Jacob King.
Ian: Hey, Jacob, how’s it going?
Jacob: Good, good how are you?
Ian: Good, good. Thanks for taking some time out of your Saturday to chat with me here.
Jacob: Yeah, no problem.
Ian: We have a decent amount of questions that came through. I was happy that the first podcast, the first interview, I decided to do again in a year. My last one was with Ross Hudgens and that was last August. I was a little worried when I threw that out, it’s like, ‘Oh, shit! What if nobody asks any questions. That’s going to be super awkward.’ But we got a few really good ones, so I’m definitely looking forward to seeing the answers to some of these.
I think we’ll jump in with the two questions that Nick Eubanks asked. His first one was, to the extent that he can was his greatest wins and losses using scraping and automated link building? So Nick is looking for kind of the best or worst horror story you’ve got.
Jacob: Yeah, yeah. Well first off, I appreciate the Nick’s question — it’s right to the point. Yeah, beforehand I thought about this question, and I have some examples –there’s a lot of examples. But I wanted to present two that were really good. The first one is before Penguin, I had a lot of sites that were really, really propped up on blog networks links. And honestly thought I was King of the castle – that I could be touched. I had the other shit that people were doing, I was building web 2.0 networks, tiered link building itself.
But in the background I had a blog network that was one of the ones that were outed. I was using Build My Rank 2, but the other one I was using was really awesome. It was called Linkvana, and I wouldn’t recommend messing around with the nowadays.
I don’t even want to throw the name out there. But just in case you just want to look it up for history. And I basically could rank for anything that I wanted. Anything? I mean, it was like shooting fish in a barrel because I would queue up, say, 150 post on a network, and I would set them to drip out, like, say one to three per day.
I consistently had one to three really solid links that I would be hitting up homepage every single day dripping out. On top of whatever else I was doing, myself with diverse link set. It was crazy, I would rank one, two, three, four, and five just to tell everybody to back off and get out of here because it’s a wrap. So at its pinnacle in January, I has so many sites ranking that at one point, I was actually at an affiliate summit and I was in Vegas just getting blasted, not going to the conference at all.
I was probably at the conference for three hours, and I didn’t check my affiliate commissions for three days. It’s probably the first time in three years I had done that. I finally, hung over as hell, like, 3:00 in the morning and I go grab my laptop and I sit down I checked my commissions for the previous day, and I’d hit $15,000 that day – in one day. We’re talking all sales, they’re all from organic search. Like all! There was nothing else besides gained rankings from all blog network links. I felt like a king! I literally yelled, I was like, ‘Yeaaah!’
Someone goes, ‘Did you hit a big one?’ And my exact response was, ‘ No, actually, I just lost three grand in the last two days.’ And they’re like, ‘What?’ Because obviously, it wasn’t from gambling, it was from all of this affiliate shit.
So that was awesome. One of the niches that I was in was kind of cyclical and January was a really big time for it so that month was huge. I think I brought in $175,000 grand that month.
Ian: Got it!
Jacob: I was on top of the world. I was like, ‘Oh my god, dude! That’s a lot of money, that adds up.’ So April rolled around and pretty much obsessively I kind of checked rankings and little too much. Tried to back it off. I can remember this just like it’s yesterday. Before bed, I’m looking at the rankings and stuff, then I go to bed, and I wake up, and bad habit – the first thing, I check…
Ian: Oh, man.
Jacob: . . . my rankings, right? And they’re not there for the big money keywords that I brought in like, $10,000 of 15 that day, or $12,000. A huge chunk of it – they’re gone. Immediately I’m scrambling. It was Penguin, they got smashed from those networks links. It was really a combination of two things.
One, I was slamming really heavy anchors because why the fuck not – it working. Why wouldn’t I slam heavy anchors? That was part of it. It was over optimized on that level. The other part was those network links became outed. I’m not exactly sure, but there’s either two things that happened. There was a penalty from those domains linking, or they just all fell off. So basically you have 200 links and then overnight, when they de-index those networks, you’ve just lost all those links.
Jacob: It could either be you just lost a shipload of links, or whatever. I’d lost a ton of shit, and I had gotten greedy, and I hate used those links for practically everything that I owned. It was a wake-up call. So moving forward from there, that’s my greatest win, I guess, and my greatest loss all rolled up into one. I feel like the kind of covers it. I had a lot of little wins that I’ve done and weird sneaky shit that I’ve come up with that’s made really good money, good stuff like that. But I figure that’s pretty good. And I’ve never been able to tell that story – I’ve always really wanted to.
Ian: It’s definitely a good story to have in your head waiting to be told. I had assumed that as soon as you said you did 15 in a day, I was like, ‘OK. That’s got to be Black Friday or Cyber Monday.’ It’s got to be one of those two days or one of the days leading up to Valentine’s Day. Like, one of the last shit days to get flowers on time.
Jacob: Actually, you know what, I’ll tell you what it was, it was textbooks. It wasn’t a Black Friday or anything like that. It’s just with textbooks, kids go back to school, and that whole month you can just bang. I mean, it’s like insane, the sales that jump up in that month. So that’s what it was. I had a ton of sites and textbooks and they were dominating.
Ian: That’s crazy.
Jacob: Yeah, this was going on for a while, man, so it’s not like a one-off shot. In December, I would crush, in August I would crush, in January I would crush – for years running. Actually, I’ve just built back up and I just had another huge month last month, finally. I got my standing back in textbooks.
Jacob: That’s good shit.
Ian: Yeah, it’s funny, how doing this shit is so big, there’s no real end to the industries that you can get into. You can get 20 people in a room and you’ll overlap on health and whatever if you take the niche that we’re on. A bunch of people would raise their hands and be like, ‘Yeah, I do health stuff.’ Within that, I don’t know, it’s just amazing that there’s so many different things that you can go after and bank off of. You’ve got to be guarded to an extent, but the people that act like if they say anything about the way that they work, people are going to immediately try and take the rankings from them.
I’ve always just been very much of the mind that there’s more keywords that I find that I can make money on than I will ever build anything to rank for. There’s just not that much time in the day to be able to actually go after all of them. In the last couple weeks, I’ve randomly been digging through and found decent keywords and just shopped them to friends and I’m like, ‘Hey man, I ran across this. It looks like it could be worth $800 bucks a month without too much work. I know I’m never going to make the time to do it. So, here’s the keyword and here’s the domain that’s available.’ It’s like, ‘There you go. Do it.’
Jacob: Yeah, there’s so much out there to eat. There’s so much. Especially with any sort of Gray Hats stuff too. People get all paranoid about it and shit. Think about the biggest rhinoceros in the fucking planet, and a little tiny, little flea is biting at that, you know what I mean? That’s like, the enormity of the search space . . .
Jacob: . . . and those few SERP that you’re Black Hatting. It’s like, ‘Oh, yeah, Matt Cutts is definitely spending his day on a here, like, a few different sites.’ Yeah, there’s so much out there to eat. That’s why I like connecting with people that think like I do. I used to think like that when I first got into this. It was like this war almost and you couldn’t tell people shit and it was like, you should read Sun Tsu and just freaking dominate.
Then I met some people, and they’re like, ‘ Nah, man. SEOs, we’ve got to stick together, bro. The people that see this, the way that we do, we need to stick together.’ So It’s good.
Ian: Yeah, it’s definitely been great. It’s funny as the pendulum kind of swung over post Penguin. For all the people that went into like, ‘Oh, I’m an inbound marketer now. I just do content marketing now.’ The people that stayed in the, ‘I’m going to do Gray Hat shit. I’m going to automate as much as I can.’ It feels like it shrunk, but people have gotten more open and willing to talk about what they do because everybody got their asses kicked last year.
Jacob: Yeah, yeah. Definitely. Yeah, I got my ass kicked and coincidentally I was going on a trip to the Bahamas the day of Penguin. The day that it hit, and I was just in a state of shock. I get down to the Bahamas, and I was with the buddy that I was working with at the time. I’m just floating around in the water like, ‘What the fuck am I going to do now? Like goddamn!’ It wasn’t that big of a change. What I going to do now is stop blasting blog networks on the first [inaudible 0:16:43]. It was interesting. From there, actually, what we did was, (inaudible 0:16:49] that whole weekend what I realized was I had a lot of Squidoo pages and other parasites properties. Like, blog spots and shoot like that. They didn’t get hit from the same tactics, so I just figured, ‘Well, shit if they’re still ranking it’s still making money, so let’s make more.’ That’s what it did for a while, but that kind of backfired on me, actually.
Ian: So second half of Nick’s first question was kind of more around scraping.
Jacob: Oh, yeah! OK, scraping, yeah, I have something for that too. The biggest thing with scraping is hands-down running software, you’ve got to have an awesome site list. If you don’t find good sites to submit to, it’s worthless. It’s literally worthless. Because the sites that are defined in [SCU], or Ultimate Demon, or GSA SERP. What you’re going to find in there, people are going to be beating the shit out of those, and they’re [going to be] garbage. What I really spend a lot of focus on is just finding every single possible site that I can that’s out there. And knowing my competition hasn’t gone through these links to have tons of sites with PR. Real quality stuff that haven’t been blasted super hard. So, yeah, running ScrapeBox for days on end, and building footprint, after footprint. And just coming up with new ways, and new operators. The real handy thing with ScrapeBox is the Dupe Remove add-on.
Jacob: I’ve covered it briefly in my guide, but it’s a wonder because you can let ScrapeBox run for three days. And depending on your proxy connection, let’s say you get 25 batch files, and each one of those use a million URLs in there. It can get a million URLs per round, basically in its harvester stream. After it exceeds that, it saves that to these batch files. Those just keep saving and stacking, and stacking, and stacking. You merge them together with the Dupe Remove program. It’s free, it takes like two second. Works clean as hell, and then you can remove the dupes, and go cram them into whatever software you’re using. That’s what I’ve done, and I’ve also ran multiple copies of the software, so I can scan, like, tons of URLs and find tons of new sites, and still have my copies running and shit like that. That’s a big win with scraping, I guess. Whatever else, like, any prospect that someone is looking for. Like, ‘ Oh, I’m looking for dominations or guest hosting.’ I’ll go harvest that shit. I’ll make a huge compilation of footprints and then I’ll merge in tons of dictionary words, and random words and whatever else – whatever else I can do to scrape big. So you take a query that’s got, I don’t know, 50 million results. You’re going to have to go hard to get damn near all of those results. You’ll have to merge in a ton of shit.
Jacob: So, yeah, that’s kind of a big window. If someone didn’t use ScrapeBox and you’re trying to dig that deep – it’s crazy, you’re never going to get anywhere.
Ian: Yeah, I’ve got to say I feel like you’ve just set a goal for me, because I don’t think I’ve ever hit a million roles in one run on ScrapeBox.
Jacob: Oh, shit, I’ve had to turn that think off after, like, 5:00. Because when you merge multiple things in, say you have an end URL operator, then have a footprint that’s powered by blah, blah, blah.
Jacob: Then you have dictionary lists. Then you have other random merged stuff. It can get really big, you can have a really huge keyword list.
Ian: Definitely. Yeah. That will be fun. A new goal.
Ian: To get over a million in one run. It will be like, 80 or 90,000. And I was like, ‘All right. That’s enough for me to do this thing that I want to do today.’ That was kind of how I operated. Let me scrape some shit the next hour and 45 minutes to get to whatever I’m going to do today.
Jacob: Yeah, I got you. I got you. The next question, this is a big one man. It’s going to be like all of this podcast.
Ian: So Nick’s second question, the big one, is: What are the top five processes that you’ve automated that create the most value in descending order? Nick even wants them in order. You shouldn’t have [inaudible 0:21:21] . . .
Jacob: I feel like I’m in school. All right, cool. So I’m not going to go crazy on this because we’ll be here all day. I can go into each one of these, but I have five things. Starting with the first one, is Tiered Link Building Automation. Over the last year I’ve managed to finally have a system where I have content spinners. That content in spun, it’s received, it’s processed by VA. She gets everything ready for the software. She inputs it into the software, she runs everything, she monitors everything, she collects links. She checks links, she sets up Tier 2 links, she sets up Tier 3 links. She’s an absolute boss. But that’s taken me a shitload of work. A long time to find the right people, and just stay dedicated with this one person who actually runs, basically, the whole show. You know, I saw a glimmer of what she could be when we first started working with her, and it’s been a grind. I kept up with her, I kept up with her, and she’s really blossomed to the point where she could probably out link-build most SEOs. She understands software really, really well. So, yeah.
Ian: You just look for somebody that you thought kind of had the ability to learn everything and then just basically spend a shitload of time teaching them everything that they needed to know?
Jacob: Yeah, yeah. I’ve worked with a lot of Vas, so I really hit it off with this one. We’re basically friends, she’s really great. Actually, she lives in Kenya. Most are in the Philippines, I’m always recommending to go to the Philippines. I don’t know how the hell I found her, but she’s amazing. I saw her talent and I knew she could understand it. She’s got the mind for all of the repetition of just taking spun articles and freakin’ spinning them together, and spinning in images, and videos, and spinning in the anchors – the shit that drive me crazy, to be honest with you. I know I’ve got a get it done.
Jacob: So I just kept grinding, and I kept grinding. We chat every day. We did chat every day for like a couple of hours sometimes. Just messaging and me critiquing her. To get to the point where I wanted to be, where I can literally say to my spinning team, ‘Water filters.’ And they’re like, ‘OK.’ And they spin a monstrous batch of content covering different aspects of the topic. Writing titles and descriptions for bookmarks and directory submissions. Like, the whole nine. Everything I need. Every piece of content so I don’t have to spin goddamned thing because I hate that. Yeah, and then have that ready, and then have it go to her. And what I’m really going to get into in a second that I’m proud of, is just training her on anchor text and being able to really mix it up and being able to tell her exactly what I want. I’m like, ‘Check it out. I want a rank for water filters. I want to do a 5% exact match on our anchor distribution. I want to hit 20% on partials, URLs.’ You know what I’m saying?
Jacob: Being able to tell her exactly what I want and get that. That was probably one of the biggest challenges — to train somebody to understand and to spin that. Because it’s difficult. It’s difficult to take a huge block and spin together a huge block of partial anchors, and then your exact anchors. And get it to the right percentage and not fuck it up. It’s tough.
Ian: Yes. So did you focus on teaching her the technical, this is how, step-by-step you’re going to do this? Or did you go into, ‘This is exactly why I’m telling you to do it this way.’?
Jacob: Good question. The reversal of what you would logically think to do. I taught her theory after I taught her process. So I taught her process. I really always try to make things so it’s replicable, it’s listed out step-by-step. Sometimes you don’t want that, you want to randomize it. You know, you want to get drunk with it. You don’t want to be doing the same exact scheme every single time.
Jacob: So I built those mechanisms in, but putting together, say I want her to prepare a web 2.0 blast. And I wanted to grab images, videos, and spin in the anchors – I have all of the steps listed out real, real exact in a PDF. Then I also have a video that accompanies it, and has everything so she can reference that. After I pounded those things into her head, I realized, ‘Damn, she knows these things and she’s like a master of these processes.’ Then I started teaching her theory, and that’s just been reward because now she’s starting to understand theory behind everything she’s doing and it’s all kind of coming full circle. Looking back I think it’s kind of a good way because to tell somebody, ‘All right. I’m going to teach you automated link building. It links websites.’ It’s overwhelming – it was for me in the beginning. So that’s how I did it.
Ian: Very cool. So that was number one most value. What’s number two?
Jacob: Number two was, I guess, streamlining content creation for money pages, and having a VA, another VA, who’s in charge of creating good websites. When I say good websites I mean, they look good, they have videos, they have outbound links, everything’s formatted nice – it’s a full-blown site. Their social profile’s fully pimped out. Basically, I found a really good content mill. Not a very big one most people don’t know about it. Price was expensive, but to pay for it and not think about it was cool. Just line out a site, say you want to build a site, come up with the keywords that I want to target. A little boilerplate, maybe. Outsource the content, I put all the shit in. I even had my VA to the point where she will login, she would sometimes submit stuff – she would even outsource it herself. She would receive it. I’ve even had VAs [paying] themselves. I mean, why not? If you trust them, let them do it. My one main VA, she handles all that.
Ian: That’s awesome.
Jacob: So yeah, the content comes in, and then she receives the articles, she takes them, she goes and puts everything up, launches the WordPress, gets the site all money. Meanwhile, the content spinning team is spinning content is spinning content. It’s staggered, but it comes in at the right time. And then BOOM, you know, you’ve got the little moneymaking machines. That’s what we did for a while, but recently I’ve kind of slowed it down because it’s just hectic, man. It’s just stressful to be building all those sites all the time and doing all this shit.
Ian: How many sites total are you running at any given time?
Jacob: I say about a hundred. About a hundred.
Ian: And that’s a hundred, like, a hundred money sites?
Jacob: Yeah, yeah. We’ll get into a little later, but I have some sites in there that I really love and they’re just like my babies and I’m just incorporating in there too. That’s including parent sites too, like, Squidoo and stuff like that, that are money page quality. I might have HubPages and Squidoos, all over the place, but when I have one primo one that I’m trying to rank, I guess I’ll count that too.
Ian: Cool. So the top two were Tier Link Building Automation and kind of money page or money site creation. Having that process automated. What’s number three?
Jacob: Number three was anchor text, I guess. I already pretty much went over that. I was training my VA on understanding on how to spin out anchor text. It gets complex. Let’s say we’re going to run multiple tasks that have multiple spinners. After you add it all up, what is the exact percentage where things are going to fall? You’ve got to take that into account when you’re spinning. If I have 5% anchors coming out on one spinner and then I run another task and I have 10% anchors coming out, my total anchors are going to be screwed up. So training her to understand that and just using Spintax in advanced ways – that was pretty cool. Another thing I developed that I was going to talk about was basically a template. Most people would say, ‘Oh, you can’t use a template for anchor text.’ And you really can’t, but I had a sale template that kind of randomized values and shook shit up. What we were doing, we were building coupon anchors – we were trying to rank for coupons. It would automatically spit out a huge fucking block that would be the perfect anchor text percentage too. I would hit the coupon at maybe like 5% range, and I had that randomizing too. But then it would spit out coupons, coupon codes, promo codes, discounts – every single possible variation along with some generics. It would just pop it out for her. You would hit a button and it would just be like, bloww! All you did was type in a brand, so if the brand was Walmart, you type in Walmart and that was just like, poof! Give you a spun anchor for coupons.
Ian: That’s awesome.
Jacob: Yes. That’s was cool. Then next thing, I guess, with niche link dropping. Yeah. The next thing then, that I’m proud of, I’ve automated is what I call niche link dropping. What this is, is basically a process of you take your niche, you take your keyword that you’re trying to rank for your site. You basically go scanning with ScrapeBox for places to drop a link on already indexed pages. Now this might be a blog, this might be a forum, it might be a web 2.0 site. Whatever it is, whatever she can comment or link drop on – I never do that. So you can basically saturate a niche. Anything that’s possibly available. Say you’re trying to rank for dog grooming. Say there’s another keyword like dog grooming tables, and there’s [inaudible 0:31:36] it ranks, like, number five. Say it ranks on the first page – it’s totally a valuable place to go drop a link. And if you do it right then you’ll get it to stick. I also have her trained in that. But basically, she uses ScrapeBox, and she’ll bring up all of our related SERPs, and we’ll run a series of page analyzer runs that will analyze the code of all of those pages. It’ll identify vbulletin, all of the different forum platforms, all of the different commenting platforms. Then she’ll take the time to hustle and get links from all of those places.
Ian: OK, so for the niche link dropping, that’s stuff that you have her do by hand. Not lists that she’s building to then pump into software to automatically come into whatever.
Jacob: Yeah, not with that. I have her do some automated commenting too, which is pretty cool. I’ve automated in the sense, I don’t have to deal with it, and I can tell her, like, ‘Listen. Here’s our site, here’s what we’re trying to rank for. Go saturate that shit.’
Ian: Cool. Drumroll. Last one’s number five.
Jacob: Ha! All right, keyword research. Yeah, I’ve come up with kind of a cool process that I can take that off my shoulders if I want to generate some good related keywords. The way that I do that, if sometimes, say you have a site and you say, ‘God, I need some more content. I’ve got to send the kids some content, get some articles up.’ Well, what keywords are we going to use? It’s endless what keywords you could use. So, the process we’ve come up with, that I wanted to come up with, is just be able to say is ‘Listen, here’s the affiliate niche I’m in. Come up with a list of keywords for me that I can easily bang.’ What I came up with is we used SEMrush. This is a really juicy tactic and I wasn’t planning on saying that, but I’m feeling giving, so [I'm giving up.] We assess the rush and we’ll take the affiliate program that we’re trying to fucking dominate, and we’ll put that actual website. It doesn’t work all the time, but usually it does. We’ll take their website and we’ll put it into SEMrush and we’ll look at their paid advertising. Follow me here. We have an affiliate program we’re trying to monetize, we go look at their website, we see what they’re currently paying for to advertise. Then we take all those keywords and we export that shit into a CSV, and then we slam it into ScrapeBox, and then we’ll run a Google exact match check on those. Then we’ll get kind of a quick and dirty look at all of their ad words, keywords, that we are pretty sure that we can [confidently] say that they’re probably profitable keywords that will drive sales for this specific affiliate product. Considering it’s their freakin’ affiliate site.
Jacob: And then we’ll get a raw number on how many, end quotes, exact match results there are. She’ll sort those down to the lowest possible ones. Oftentimes, we’ll fine that, like, say there is a keyword that got zero matches. There will be a bunch with zero matches. So she’ll sort all those out, and then she’ll pop those and sort their keyword volume. What I have her do is sort out the keywords that have results 0 to 20. She’ll take those, she’ll pop them into the keyword volume. Then she’ll bring that data back in, [truck] that back in, and then she’ll go through and just manually look at the keywords and pick the ones that would be good – that could basically support a 500 word article. We’ll stay away from something stupid. You’ll see keywords that just, it’s not a really good keyword to write an article – it doesn’t flow grammatically.
Jacob: So she’ll fill up the list, and I’ll be like, ‘Yo, come up with 25 keywords.’ BOOM! Twenty-five keywords and they’re money. So if I want to build out some properties, then I’ll build them out around those, I’ll rank them, I’ll get traffic, and I’ll get the links used. You know, double the bang for my buck kind of thing.
Ian: Do you have a cutoff for keywords that are at this level or below? They’re going to go on to something like a HubPages or a Squidoo, but anything above this level, it’s got to go on one of my sites?
Jacob: Not really, I guess. I basically try and say ideally if there’s a ton of keywords that come back and have zero exact matches in that volume she’s going to snipe all those. She’s kind of got a start from the best and work her way down. That’s the way I have it set up and I really don’t worry about it that much. And from what I’m targeting, I don’t really worry about it that much. It’s just like the best kind of raw note. I mean, you don’t really have much to work with, so it gives you something. Some of those numbers are going to be misleading – they’re going to be kind of off. But overall, you’re going to do better on this end. What’s the alternative? Just searching for the keyword volume and just sorting them by the highest volume? You’re not going to rank for any of the shit.
Ian: Right, right.
Ian: That’s a pretty solid list of five.
Jacob: Ha! Take that to the bank Nick Eubank.
Ian: Did you ever meet Nick?
Jacob: No, but that was totally – Eubank. I didn’t think of that. That was good. (Inaudible) I appreciate the question, man. That was a challenging said there.
Ian: Yeah, Nick’s a good dude. He’s got more energy than anybody I’ve ever met. It makes me feel super, super lazy when I run into the dude at 2:30 in the morning at a bar at MozCon [SP], and he’s like wide fucking awake. He’s like, ‘All right, drinks! Who needs drinks?’ [That sounds like me.] It’s like, Jesus Christ! It’s a quarter to three! Where is this energy coming from? And then you’ll see him at 7:00 And I’ll be like, ‘How do you feel? I’m kind of, I’m dragging ass because we were out.’ He’s like, ‘Oh, dude I’m good! I got up at 5:30, we did a 3 mile run through Seattle. I was down by the water and shit.’ He went home, slept for two hours, got up, ran 3 miles and then came to breakfast, and I’m like, scraping myself out of bed trying to make it for breakfast or an early session. It’s like, god, I hate you.
Jacob: Ha! That sounds like me, dude.
Ian: I can’t do that shit. I can’t not sleep and still be alert and functional. I would never get up and go for a run after going out drinking all night, sleeping for two and a half hours and then getting up. There’s zero chance. You couldn’t pay me to get up and run 3 miles after a night like that.
Jacob: Ha! Hell yeah. I’ll do that and I’ll jump in the ocean dude. [I'm from] the great outdoors.
Ian: Our next question came from Jaime Knocks [SP]. He took a crack at what your VA and kind of VPS tool set set up looked like. The basis of his question was, what kind of automation setup do you run? Which we already kind of had a little bit with the VAs, but can you talk us through as specifically as you want? What your set up looks like from, I guess, a tech standpoint?
Jacob: Yes, definitely. I’ve three VPS – now it confuses me. I don’t know how you say that. Three VPI or whatever, and they’re all on the same server cluster, so it’s pretty cool. They end in 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3. So we refer to them as VPS 1, VPS 2, VPS 3. And they all have their role in the tier link building process setup. So VPS 1 is does our Tier 1 stuff, VPS 2 traditionally 2 , VPS 3 Tier 3. We run Ultimate Demon a lot for our Tier 1 stuff. I also run GSA Search Engine Ranker for Tier 1 stuff also – love that tool. She does a majority of the work for Tier 2 as well. Then we have ScrapeBox running on each VPS. About four full-time spinners, so they’re running the content spinning. Then I have my VA that I’ve talked a lot about, that handles all of the processing. And then another VA that does the on page shit – builds stuff and does whatever. If I want some outreach, if I want her to go sign up for affiliate programs, like, – just whatever. Whatever I’ve got on the table, please do this. I have my go-to VA, and then I have my go-to the link building VA.
Ian: That’s awesome. How much time do you think total it took you to arrive at the team of six people between the two VAs and the four spinners?
Jacob: A year, I guess. For a long time I did most of the work myself and I would just outsource the content and content spinning.
Jacob: That’s what was working for me, but then I wanted to take it big time, and so I started hiring my own team in training in-house.
Ian: Cool. Did you have it mentally set out that whenever it gets to this point that’s when I need to start moving to full-time people? Or did you just kind of play it by ear and it felt like that was the time to start bringing dedicated people on?
Jacob: Well, we kind of just acted on it as a group. I started like one VA, 20 hours a week, and then one spinner. One thing I’ve learned about the hiring process is that full time is key. If you want a really good VA or a really good spinner, you’ve got to man up and you’ve got to get them on full-time. You can hire them on and tell them it’s going to be full-time. If they don’t perform, kick them to the curb. But the thing is, if they’re focused 100% on it, that’s what you want. You don’t want them doing other shit. Working 20 hours a week, writing a bunch of crap for other people.
Jacob: What I did is, it just kind of stacked on. I found this one great VA, and I found another great VA. Then the goal became, basically, what can they do all within a week that will be a system I could run on a continuous basis. Basically, I realized I needed four spinners to handle my system. Because if I only had one spinners or two spinners, then we wouldn’t have enough spun articles and my VA, she would only have 20 hours of work. I kind of [inaudible 0:42:40] it around her and her 40 hour work week because she’s at the heart of it all. That’s kind of how I got it to where it is.
Ian: When you started taking on additional spinners, as an example, did you start from scratch and train that person by yourself? Or did you use your first spanner to help train your second one?
Jacob: From scratch on each one of them pretty much. I’ve thought about that, definitely having somebody train the next one. But each one pretty much had, grooming for each one, it’s kind of like a process. You get their writing down. Hopefully, they’re a good writer out of the box. Then you start grooming them with the sentence rewrites, and compound rewrites. And then the final thing is spinning on the word and phrase level, which takes a lot of focus and to maintain consistency is key. So we also have some cool quality control stuff that we occasionally check to make sure no one’s slacking. All of a sudden your spun article drops down to 1500 words instead of the traditional 3000 or whatever it is – it wakes you up.
Ian: Got it. So when you’ve got basically six full-time people doing stuff for you on an ongoing basis, how much of your individual time is spent managing the process? Of all the moving pieces that need to happen with those six [versus] everything else that you need to do business-wise?
Jacob: Well, once you can get things going the best that you can, not a terrible amount. You know, what I’ve really tried to do a lot is I try to make everything kind of chained together. Let’s say I tell my first VA, ‘I want you to build this site and I want it to be around these keywords.’ OK? Well, after she’s done, she can drop in to Dropbox where we have an Excel file. She can drop in there where the content spinners need to start writing. She can line out the content spinners and then I don’t have to worry about that. It’s not something I have to do every week. I also keep that on the schedule, assignments are always available at a certain time and there’s always deadlines and things to keep everything running right. Then from there, when that content is finished and completed, I’ll have that go to a Dropbox which is then shared with the next VA that’s in the line with production. So she’ll be immediately notified and they will use IFTTT or whatever. Then that hard to say, to email notify her. So she’ll know, ‘Oh shit! Content’s ready.’ She’ll go check it and she’ll do some quality control if I have that built-in. She’ll make sure everything looks good, she’ll check the uniqueness on the outputs. And then from there it’s running. The only thing is when I need to step in and say, ‘Oh, the proxies are not working today. Or VPS is running slow. Or what’s wrong with this shit?’ I’ll say, ‘All right.’ I’ll get on there and I’ll login and say, ‘All right. This is what’s up.’ Or I want to just step in and look at the outputs and make sure that the links look good and everything’s in sync with what I want.
Ian: Got it. So what would you say you spend the most of your time on?
Jacob: I jump around a lot, man. I’ll search on things. I’ll be like, ‘Ah, I’m going to come off of this sick link prospecting method. Or I’m going to write this ScrapeBox guide.’ But as far as this whole thing being in the glory zone, where I’m at now, of being done with all this shit of getting it to go, say maybe an hour or two every other day working through some stuff with my main VA. We want to keep pushing the limit, we want to keep trying new shit. She’s not going to think like, ‘Oh, maybe I should try different shit so I can see how the algo’s working.’
Jacob: I have to actually guide her through that and say, ‘Yo, let’s get super aggressive with this site. That’s blast out freakin’ 500 links in three days, you know? Let’s try some shit. That’s go heavy on anchors. Let’s do this, blah, blah, blah.’
Ian: Cool. So most of your time is spent kind of brainstorming and stuff like that. Figuring out where to push and where to stay safe and consistent. Kind of separating all of that out.
Jacob: Yeah, you know, planning for what’s coming. A lot of time recently, not recently, but maybe over the last year, prospecting domains. Trying to buy domains, trying to find new niches for us to go into. Doing on page stuff myself – just going around building links myself – wherever I want to throw my time. Just starting the day jotting down, like, I want to jump on this site and tweak the on page and make sure it’s ranking better. [inaudible 0:47:35] five things and I’ll just run through them for the day and do whatever else comes to mind.
Ian: Cool. The next questions came from Todd Butcher [SP] The first question from Todd is wanting to know how much you love Open Site Explorer?
Jacob: I don’t really love it that much. I [inaudible 0:47:57]) necessary, like, what is it even for? Because I really don’t know what it’s for, because when I look at the href and I’ve just blasted out 500 links, and I see all of them are indexed and they’re in href. And I don’t see one, not one in Open Site Explorer. And I’m talking like a month after I’ve already done it. It’s a little perplexing to me, but nonetheless I have their service because I like their API. It’s got some cool features, so I’m forced into having that shit around.
Ian: It’s funny how the Moz domain authority and page authority stats kind of became the barometer now. When you see shit on Flippa, it’s a PR whatever, but it’s a DA45. That’s kind of what people are starting to hold up as this is the measure of how good this site is. Or when people are selling links, they’ll be like, ‘Well, DA 30 to 40 is this much, but DA40 to 50 is twice that.
Jacob: Yeah. I like those metrics because it’s a quick and dirty metric for me, you know what I’m saying? If I’m trying to sort out big data, I can’t scrutinize the shit out of everyone.
Jacob: Basically, with that metric, I don’t know that it’s going to be good, but I know that it’s at least up in that range. I like to use it with domain prospecting a lot.
Jacob: I’ll look in the domain and I’ll be like, ‘Oh, it’s a piece of shit.’ Or I’ll be like, ‘Holy shit, this is amazing!’ What tipped me off to it was the DA or whatever.
Ian: So second part of Todd’s question is asking about filthy link blasting, which we talked about a little bit.
Jacob: Yeah, I never do any hacks or injections like that. I don’t like that type of stuff. I don’t want to screw up anybody’s site. I’ve had my sites riddled with payday loans in the pisses me off. I don’t know how the fuck they did it because they do some weird ass shit sometimes. You can’t even find it in the code – it’s crazy. It’s coming up on Google and I can find [laughs] it in the code anywhere. Yeah, he wants to talk about filthy link building, I figure that, just throwing this out there, I love GSA. It’s a sweet program, I almost don’t even like talking about it because that’s how good it is. If anyone wants to check it out, my link building post on my blog – Link Building Empire – JacobKing.com, I guess. We should probably talk about that.
Ian: I’ll throw a link to the Link Building Empire post, the ScrapeBox guide, and anything else that we’ve talked about specifically. I’ll throw the links in underneath the podcast player in the post.
Jacob: Yeah, cool, cool. Well, yeah, depending on the filters you’re using on that software, you can build a couple hundred links per minute. There are guys that run 20 servers. I’m not joking. Twenty servers. And they’re making a shitload of money otherwise they wouldn’t be spending . . .
Ian: Right, right.
Jacob: . . . on 20 servers. Now let’s just do the math on that. You’ve got 200 links per minute times 20. You’re building 4000 links per minute. That’s pretty filthy.
Ian: [inaudible 0:51:27])
Jacob: Yeah. So that’s GSA. Let’s take it to the next level, let’s use XRumer. I don’t use XRumer, but I know that it has the capability of building on a fast server, 1,000 links per minute. What if you’re running 10 copies of XRumer? You’re just pillaging the Internet. Shit!
Ian: I’m pretty sure that’s the point where you’ve built all links. There’s no more left to be built – you’ve built them all.
Jacob: Yeah, it can get pretty crazy.
Ian: On GSA, you mentioned that you also have GSA hit your Tier 1. So that’s just all purely based on, given its super straight filters to stay within?
Jacob: Yeah, yeah. Definitely. There’s some really great filters on there. There’s the only post the site that has your keyword present filter. It’ll pop a warning message up and they’ll say, ‘Oh, you’re not going to get very many links.’ Well, you don’t want very many links, you want good ones.
Jacob: So that’ll try and find you niche places to drop them. And then there’s also a PR filter and there’s an outbound link filter. We even do Tier 1 blog commenting – it’s fucking great. We’ll set it to PR1s and above, and outbound links, only 15 or less. So it’ll only drop on blogs that are not spammed to hell. They have page rank. And you can even set it so it only tries to do,’Do Follow’ links. A lot of people run into the problem with GSA where it’s building shit tons of `No Follow’ links. If you point that out, like, a WordPress or Squidoo, they take the shit down because they have filters for that.
Jacob: If WordPress takes the shit down, how do you think Google’s going to look at it? You can really get specific with GSA and build some good contextual links. You’ve especially got to use manually spun content if you’re going to do it on the first tier. But I’ve actually ranked sites, like WordPress sites and parasites which is nothing but scraped shit and GSA – just to try it. And it works. It works. They don’t stay there forever. Sometimes they do. But you can literally scrape content and still rank with auto spun shit that makes no sense. So, if you’re listening and you doubt me, that’s cool.
Ian: No, no that’s fun. Don’t try it.
Jacob: Yeah, don’t try it — just stay out of this.
Ian: Does it really matter if it’s all running by itself? But I was curious about one what kind of stick rate you would see if you’re doing Tier 1 blog comments. You’re only going after sites or pages that have PR 1 or 2 or above with less than 15 outbound links. So you’re already filtering down to pages that are not spammed up. I was initially wondering could you even get away with a spun blog comment on that? Because I would kind of assume out of the gate that if the page was able to be hit with automated spun comments, it will have more than 15 outbound links. So this would be a list that you have to queue up and send to a DA and have them do manual comments on them.
Jacob: Yeah, yeah. I mean, your thought process is spot on with that. But what we’re doing is we’re manually spinning a really solid niche based comment. So it’ll get by manual approval quite often. That’s how we’re getting it done. That’s something cool I just kind of came up with. I wouldn’t mind blogging about it, it’s kind of fun.
Ian: That’s some serious spinning. If you’re passing actual review for a blog owner and they’re letting that comment in, your spun stuff has to be pretty pristine.
Jacob: Well, we keep it simple, and we have a few different angles, so we’ll spin at five different angles. And I have little names for them just to make it fun. But they’re stupid, like, asking you a questions about the post. And since is niche relevant, we can keep it. That comment will be along the lines, but it will be more general — it won’t be specific. There’s a trick I’ve seen guys use and I know it works freakin’ wonders. You can pull the author name from the post. You can say, ‘Hey, Jacob King, I really love this post on ScrapeBox. This is great stuff!’ That’ll get approved [a lot]. You’re only throwing it out to say, blog posts only on ScrapeBox. They have to keyword ScrapeBox present. And the comment is like, ‘Man, ScrapeBox is a really underrated tool. SEOs shouldn’t neglected.’ And you spin the hell out of that. You’ll get some good stick rates with it. Not a ton. I’m not looking for a ton of links.
Ian: Right, right. But I can automated and just get them like that, then that’s half the battle for me. Let’s say I get 25 or 50. Somewhere in that region for like an hour or whatever, of my VA’s time. It’s worth it for me.
Jacob: Cool. Yeah, one of the other really interesting comments spin things I’ve seen folks do is scraping the page, finding sites that show somebody’s full name. The themes themselves are super rare, but some themes will show the email address of the person leaving a comment if they put one in. Otherwise, they’ll just look for common footprints. If I leave a comment as Ian, and that links to Halo18.com, somebody would scrape that page and then say, ‘OK, I’m going to automatically drop a comment using name as whatever keyword they’re going after.’ But then this dude Ian from Halo18.com posted a comment that got approved. Insert the email as [email protected] And if that’s the email that I’ve put in and that blog is set to auto approve from people that have had approved comments already, their comment will automatically go in if they guess what email I used correctly on the try. It’ll skip right through moderation because the system thinks it’s me leaving a comment again even though it’s notes.
Jacob: Wow! That’s dirty. I like that. Yeah, there’s some cool shit. One thing is replying to other people. See we have one of those, that’s like, ‘This is a great point.’ You have one of those little arrows that points up to it, it’s kind of like a nested comment. People do that shit. They do some intricate Xrumer stuff where they sign-up, and they’ll go engage and reply to three or four different threads. Then it will wait for five days and then it’ll come back and do it again. Then it’ll go drop links where it wants. I’ve read that guys get crazy stick rates, like, over 50%, over 75%. The guy that I read about that was doing it, was doing it on prominent SEO forums and shit. It was like, look at this. If anybody’s going to catch this. . .
Jacob: . . . it’ll be something like an SEO moderator would.
Ian: Awesome. So last questions before we get into the couple that I threw in there. A question from Barry. A little bit less of a technical question here. He basically just wants to know what kind of music you listen to when you are working? Or when you need to cheer yourself up with something explodes? Proxies go down, sites go down?
Jacob: Well, you know, I make it up. Normally, I go on binges. I’ll be on reggae a one day, I’ll be one rock the next day. I like to scrape to whatever. I normally like to scrape to nothing because I’ll set it up and I’ll leave. But I like to link blasted classical sometimes. It makes me feel good.
Ian: Yeah, I found stuff without anything, anything without words is way easier for me to work to. If it’s got words I get distracted.
Jacob: No, I never thought about that. I listen to whatever – the words don’t bother me.
Ian: Too easily distracted, I guess. Some of the questions that I threw in, these may have been part of questions to start off with. Do you do in the client to work? Or is it strictly your own affiliate sites?
Jacob: No, I have no client work at all. I’ve done a couple of sites that are just friends. I’ve never been able to kind of work out how to price it, how to incorporate it into my business. I never realized, I didn’t think good SEOs even did client work. I thought that we were just like a bunch of gunslingers that no one can hire or tame because we would just ran for whatever. But recently I met a lot of cool people and I realize there is a lot of value there and there’s a ton of money to be made too. It’s kind of, I guess ignorant to shy it off like there is not big money there. There is. And there’s good value too, personally. Working with people and helping somebody make a shitload of money and then they pay you too. I can see that being fun for me. I just know all of the affiliate stuff. Yeah, all affiliate stuff. You asked me if I did any lead gen or CPA. No, I haven’t. I haven’t done any of that because I have one really simple model. I rank for coupons and I close – that’s all I do. I discovered that early, really early in this game. The whole marketing side of it really, was just kind of taken out of the equation for me. And my whole focus, since I got into the business in 2009, I think it was, is just a SEO, rank, rank, rank. That’s all I think about. That’s all I focus on. That’s all I read on. Because if I can rank for these terms, there’s a lot of them out there. There are way more verticals than just this.
Jacob: You can rank for them, that’s it. You don’t need to put together a beautiful landing page sure gathering email list, or build an audience, and have Google plus circle jerks. You just rank and you make money. So that’s what I focus on and that’s pretty much where, I don’t know, 80% of my portfolio probably is. But then I have some other site that are like, they rank for terms like, How To Build A Shed and then they sell you a guide on how to build a shed. That’s the more traditional affiliate marketing type shit. But it’s tougher and the conversions are – you have to work, you how to optimize for conversion. If someone’s searching for free shipping, and I come up number one, it’s basically like, ‘Here you go. Here’s a cookie. Why don’t you eat this?’ And get a really stupid conversion rate . That’s what I’ve been stuck on. I’m not sure it’s the best thing, but that’s what I’ve done, and that’s what I’m going to keep doing.
Ian: How hard get your ears perk up when you heard about SwellShark Media buying FatWallet for a ridiculous amount of money?
Jacob: Dude, yeah. I’ve been battling those fuckers, Retailmenot.
Ian: Yeah, I’ve been battling . . .
Ian: Yeah, it was Retailmenot, not FatWallet.
Jacob: Yeah, FatWallet’s still out there. Fat Wallet, they’re struggling. I watch all those guys. I watch them all. But I beat them up on a SERP by SERP basis. They can rank for a ton of shit, which is awesome. I envy the hundreds of millions of dollars that they’re making. But I’ll take one coupon and I’ll just hone in on that shit and I’ll get it. I might not even outrank them, but if I can rank two, then I’m going with it, you know what I’m saying?
Ian: Yes. It was amazing coming from the agency space and working at a place that did all e-commerce brands. Seeing how much stuff like, Retailmenot, and CouponCabin, and some of the other big ones, they’re able to charge $4,000 or $5,000 just to be one of the three featured coupon spots on a category page. Homepage is $12 or $13 G’s to have your coupon on the home page of their site on Black Friday. Plus, all the commission that they’re going to get from having you there on the front line, I was fucking blown away by how much money these people are able to command from agencies who are managing affiliate programs for the retailers. They’re going to just shell out money because they build on a percent of the amount of money that flows through the affiliate program. So 12 grand to do a Black Friday placement does not matter. They’re going to make that back tenfold. So these sites are able to just rake in the dough during the holiday shopping season just selling featured spots, and highlighting the coupon. Or showing it in a separate section above all the normal listings. That blew my mind when I started seeing a little bit more about how that business works and how they’re able to leverage and further monetize even more. On top of and beyond the tons of money they’re already making by taking a commission on all the sales.
Jacob: Yeah, wow. I’ve never even thought about that, man. Wow, that’s crazy dude. I just think about the organic traffic they’re getting. It’s literally like a slot machine. Retailmenot probably has in their corporate office, a ticker number that’s just like [makes noise]. Their [inaudible 1:06:08] must be insane! Yeah, if it wasn’t valued so freaking high I might buy some of the stock. But that’s the other podcast.
Ian: So we’ve covered what kind of sites to run. I was surprised when you said you didn’t do in the lead gen or CPA. Because typically the people that I’ve run into that bang really hard in the affiliate space always end up going into like, ‘Yeah, I did a bunch of diet pills. I did [Verotel] teeth whitening, green tea extract, blah, blah, blah.’ Like, all of the $40 or $50 CPA offers.
Jacob: Yeah, I’m interested in that stuff. Like I said, this is work for me so I turn now to coupon sites. I make super cool sites that can rank for coupons on the backend. I have a few different approaches to it. I’ve just been kind of refining my approach and hopefully one day launching a really sick site that differentiates from Retailmenot and stomps them out. But probably impossible because Google fucking owns them.
Ian: Yeah, that’s a tough one to work against. When Google invests in a company, it’s hard to believe that they’re ever going to hit a day where they start performing really poorly.
Jacob: Yeah, well, definitely. I’ll rank number two for every coupon, I’ll be going with that. Actually, I’ve seen Coupons.com – they took a huge jump and actually beat Retailmenot on a bunch of SERPs. I was like, ‘Damn! I’m glad that post that I wrote went viral before anyone actually dug into it and realized I was just blowing smoke, really.’
Ian: I guess the one thing needs you just mention there, building a really sick site that could do battles against a FatWallet level. My last question for you is, do you run clean White Hat quote, unquote, type sites too? Or is it all kind of gray hat, automate the link building, down the funnel and blast away?
Jacob: Yeah, good question. Well, I definitely have some really, really White Hat sites that literally, ran in cuts, they would be proud of them. They would be like, ‘Damn, dude, this is some good stuff you’re doing here.’ I considered them by babies that I groomed. I do all the traditional shit — I don’t want to taint those. I’m trying to build some big brands. I want to build a big brand, that the combination of the brand and the content. I feel like Black Hatters, they do want to give in to this. They’re like, ‘Oh, man. Good content.’ That’s a sour, more like a sore note. But let’s say, great brand and great content that’ll just do the work for me and then I can sell it. That’s what I want. I’m not going to pop some coupon site up on a bunch of spamming links and enclose a huge deal on it. And if I did, I probably feel like shit. So yeah, I have a few sites that I really tried to take the traditional route with them. One site that comes to mind, obviously I can’t talk about them.
Ian: Right, right.
Jacob: One site that’s just awesome. I love to talk about it, but it’s an expired domain that I snagged that was a former brand. Overnight it was getting like 200, 250 visits and people looking. There was a forum at one point. So they’re looking for the forum, they literally had to just throw up this forum and say, ‘Hey, we’re back.’
We generated a shit ton of sweet content and it’s been awesome. It’s at the tipping point where we have so many top rankings, and it’s on natural too, hardly any link building, that we generate more links. I’ve seen this start to take affect and I’ve never experienced this before. But people will write articles and big publications, and they’ll go to Google to look for things in this niche. And they’ll find us and we’ll get more links, so it’s kind of like a snowball effect in the sense. I mean, it’s really hard to beat that once you have that role.
Yeah, I believe them both approaches. I believe in having a crowded portfolio. Why not build a Blogspot way WordPress, only PMD and have some fun and blast that? It’s not everything, you know? It’s a way to learn how Google works and how you can push it.
Maybe you do want to incorporate some of that stuff with your quote, unquote White Hat stuff. But, yeah, that’s kind of how I play it. The thing that was going to close with, is that you can still get away with some kind of Gray Hat stuff with a really clean campaign. It’s just, basically, you just move out a tier. Traditional Gray Hat link building, you’re spinning content and you’re pointing links at your site with that spun content. Well if you want to take it to the next level and you want to do all white hat stuff – guest posting, good content outreach. Just whatever kind of link acquisitions you can do that’s just natural and it’s going to kill on really, really sick sites.
Well, then you just push out that tier and you start blasting those if you’d like to pump them up. And I’ve seen it. It works like a charm because you basically taking content that will almost probably rank the site by itself.
But to be 100% safe, you know, let’s keep all of our links naturally placed. Surrounded by grammatically correct content and no signs of any footprint whatsoever. Then take what would normally be our Tier 1 and move it out to a Tier 2.
The example that I gave when I emailed you was, say a client has an iTunes app or an iPhone app, and then there is that Apple.com page with that link. Well, that’s fair game. Blasted with like 20 or 30 super dope links and then tier out from there and then expand that out. Let’s say they have 30 or so pages that are baller links – really good shit. They’ve got some good publications, some links that are an iTunes page, maybe crunch-based profile – shit like that. Then run a campaign on those and juice those up. You could even build three tiers from there, to four tiers. So the spun content is never even touching your site – it’s on the second tier. Usually, people are building manually spun on the first tier and then just scrape shit on the second tier. So that’s scraped shit becomes your third tier.
Ian: Right. So you basically create tier zero that sits on top of the normal peer amid, or funnel, or however you want to visualize tier link building. And that’s the quote, unquote legit link building and then everything’s pretty much the same underneath that.
Jacob: Yeah, yeah. Exactly.
Ian: You mentioned in your email just make a shitty iPhone app and you’ve got a page. I read that and laughed and I was thinking, ‘ Or you could do a podcast.’
Jacob: Yeah, that too.
Ian: Not that that’s what I did anything, but that’s basically the easiest fucking recipe for Rep Management ever. I’d mentioned before we started recording there is another Ian Howells that owns IanHowells.com. There’s another one who owns, he’s like a CMO, I think. Like a cloud storage company. So that was a bunch of shit about him in the SERP when you look for my name. I was like, ‘All right, I need to push, basically, all of this stuff off.’ And it’s not hard at all for your name. It’s fucking crunch based profile for a person’s YouTube page. It’s super easy and you could really easily translate that from Ret Management to here’s 10, 15, 20 really good links that you can then juice up, like you were talking about with tiered link building underneath it.
Jacob: Yeah, yeah, totally. But I mean, on the Ret Management side, oh my god, you’d be crushed with this. I’ve been tempted to get in that space because I’m really good at ranking parasites, that’s all you do. I would take a client and I would rank a frickin’ press release. You know, a Blogspot that I would make about their site – just whatever I could like that. And I would just push all the bad shit down. Maybe even blasted links with the bad shit — get it to fucking dip off. Whatever.
Ian: Yeah, people pay a lot of fucking Ret Management – it’s kind of amazing.
Jacob: Yeah, and excuse my language. I don’t know who’s listening but hopefully you get me.
Ian: Oh, no, I don’t think . . . I’m pretty sure I burned that bridge a long time ago.
Jacob: Ok, cool. It’s been fun. Hopefully it’s been informative, but I feel like I’ve rambled a lot.
Ian: No, I think it was great. We’re a little bit over the hour, but whatever. It’s totally worth it.
Jacob: Sweet, well thanks for having me, Ian. Great name, by the way. That’s my son’s name.
Ian: That’s funny. How old is your son?
Jacob: Three. I can’t imagine having a kid and still having enough time to juggle all of this stuff.
Jacob: Yeah, dude, I stay up late. I burn the midnight oil man until I get it.
Ian: Cool. Well, Jacob, thank you for your time it was great talking to you. I’m sure there will be a lot of questions that people probably trend bomb your way in the comments. But show notes will be up. Output a link to everything that we’ve kind of referenced – your link building, Empire guide, ScrapeBox guide. I’ll make sure it all gets linked up so everybody can find it and kind of read the background info and know fully what we were talking about through this if they are kind of new to this stuff.
Jacob: Sweet. Yeah, and subscribe because I’ve worked hard on that stuff.
Ian: All right. Anything else that you want to plug before we finish up?
Jacob: Nothing really, well, I’ve got one thing in the works. It’s going to be a WordPress plug-in and it’s going to kind of help you guys make money the way that I do it with this coupon thing that I’m talking about. And reviews kind of targeting end buying cycle customers. So keep a heads up for that, I’ll probably do some cool posts about it when we launch it. It should be done in the next few weeks, actually.
Ian: Cool. Well, thanks Jacob, it was great talking to you.
Jacob: Yeah, and good talking to you to. It was fun.
Ian: So guys there you have it, episode nine Jacob King in the books. Hopefully you guys learned a bunch from him. I know I picked up stuff on specifically how Jacob’s managed to slowly grow up to a team of having six full-time people working for him 40 hours a week. So when you look at somebody like Jacob King and how he’s able to retain
$15 grand in one day on submissions, I know that sounds phenomenal and something that you would like to be at.
But I hope through the course of the conversation it came to light that it’s something that doesn’t happen easily, it doesn’t happen overnight. It took a year for him working with his the VA team to get everybody up to the level where they’re able to run pretty autonomously rather efficiently and able to crank out work for him. Even if he doesn’t do anything, he’s got 240 human hours of effort going into building and ranking his sites every week. Never mind all the time saved by automated tools like ScrapeBox and Ultimate Demon, and GSA cranking out links for his various tiers. Hopefully you found a bunch. We should be back in a couple of weeks with another interview with a couple of potential people. I don’t know who exactly the very next one will be. But between now and then, should be able to expect a tool review as well.
Probably another link building tool or potentially a host. I’ve been trying a couple of those out lately, so we should have a review worked up for one of them. So yeah, that’s it. Episode 9, Jacob King. I hope you guys liked it, see you soon.