With Google’s Panda and Penguin updates it has become increasingly important to build links in quality content on quality sites. This article will walk you through a step-by-step process on how to do exactly that using SponsoredReviews.com.
As an example for this article, we are going to demonstrate how a travel website owner can build 10 quality blog posts to their site.
What is needed:
- 10 quality articles related to travel
- A SponsoredReviews account utilizing the multiple content repost function
- 30 minutes of time
Step 1 – Write, or have written, 10 articles about travel related topics
If you have an in-house writer this shouldn’t be a problem. If you don’t we suggest using a content marketplace such a textbroker.com or writeraccess.com to buy quality articles for $10-$20 each, or less if you are willing to forego some quality.
We recommend that your writers create articles related to your target keywords, but not over-optimized. In other words, the articles should not be “fluff” and keyword stuffed, instead articles that have real value.
For example, if one of the keywords you are trying to rank for is “Cheap Caribbean Cruises,” you can ask your writers to come up with articles such as “5 tips for traveling the Caribbean” or “Aruba, the least know Caribbean island”.
Step 2 – Create a Content Repost opportunity in SponsoredReviews.com
As an Advertiser you have several Post Type options, one of them is Content Repost. When you create an opportunity with Content Repost as your Post Type, you can upload an unlimited number of articles to assign to bloggers for “re”posting on their blogs. You can also assign which anchor text and URLs you want the bloggers to use. This is the best way to control the quality of the content being posted.
Step 3 – Upload Content and Required Links into the Opportunity
- In Step 3 (Links & Content) while creating an opportunity, you will be asked to add the LinkSets and Content. A LinkSet is a set of up to 3 URLs and anchor text to be used in your post. The content is whatever content you would like to repost (from step 1).
- You can define as many LinkSets and upload as many unique pieces of content you desire. Each piece of content can be syndicated to as many blogs as you wish using the “# of posts” field. We recommend syndicating your content to as few places as possible. Duplicating content on numerous sites is not optimal and looks unnatural.
- For URLs and link text we recommend using different variations in each piece of content so your link building efforts look natural and do not raise flags with the search engines. In addition to using the keywords you are trying to rank for we recommend using long tail keywords, branded and generic link text. For more information about proper anchor text optimization, check out this post.
Step 4 – Find Quality Blogs to Post your Content
Once you have created your Opportunity there are two different ways to find bloggers willing to post your content. You can look for blogs in the “Find Bloggers” section of our website and/or you can publish your Opportunity to our marketplace to receive bids. In this article we are going to focus on finding and approaching bloggers directly, as this is the best way to track down the highest quality blogs.
SponsoredReviews provides over a dozen different filters. Here are a few we suggest using to find the highest quality sites:
- Category/Keyword Search: For this specific job you can start by selecting blogs that fall under the category of “Travel”. You can also use the Keyword Search Field, which will look for whatever keyword you search in the title, description and URL of the blog. We especially like using the “Title + URL Only” option to find blogs whose site URL is joestravelblog.com etc.
- PageRank – Most people are familiar with PageRank. It is Google’s rating of a sites link popularity ranging from 1 to 10, 10 being the best.
- Backlinks – The more backlinks a site has the better. Backlink data is pulled from MajesticSEO.
- LinkSpamScore: LinkSpamScore is a rating of 1-10 with 10 being the highest score. LinkSpamScore analyzes the outbound linking practices of each site in SponsoredReviews. Sites that link out to a lot of other sites using commercial keyword anchor text get a high score. This is important because sites that link to any and everyone willing to pay them money tend to be the lowest quality and most likely to be de-indexed in Google. We suggest focusing on sites with a LinkSpamScore of 7 or less. The lower the number the better.
- Alexa Ranking – Use this to find sites that have better traffic. The lower the number the better.
- Blogger IP Location - This will allow you to select bloggers located in a certain country (based on the IP address of their computer). We suggest focusing on bloggers located in English speaking countries since they tend to have the highest quality blogs. Bloggers located in Indonesia, India etc. can be a source of cheap links, but the content quality on those sites tend to be low.
- Blog Network Exclusions – You can filter out blogs on free hosting accounts such as joesblog.wordpress.com. These sites tend to be lower quality since the hosting is free. Higher quality bloggers typically have a unique domain name.
These are only a few key filters to help you find higher quality sites. We suggest you experiment and change the filters to see what sites meet your specific requirements.
Alternatively, we suggest contacting our sister company TextLinkBrokers.com who can perform this entire process for you.
By now most of you have some knowledge of the recent Google Penguin update that was released several months ago, this algorithm basically attempts to detect unnatural links and linking patterns. This update was built mainly to seek out the artificial linking patterns advertisers have been using for years. The main thing you should be concerned with, as an advertiser, is to make your anchor text profile look as natural as possible. That is the key.
This information is nothing new when it comes to the link building, the goal should always be to make a well balanced profile with the most natural backlinks. There is that word again, “Natural”.
Natural looking anchor text profiles should contain ALL of the following:
· A decent amount of the anchor text should be aimed at the Brand Name, URL, or Brand Keyword.
· The use of Exact match commercial keywords should be used strategically these are great to use but they can trigger automated filters and penalties so you should be careful of using them too often.
· Using Phrase, random, and “other” anchor text types will read as the most natural anchor text profiles so you definitely want to incorporate these into your anchor text profile.
· Using a large variety of different anchor text is going to help you further mix up your results. Applying a large portion of your links to any one anchor text is not natural and eventually will raise some red flags. So using a wide variety is the safest way to keeping your links natural.
There are certainly no cut and dry answers or a perfect way to build the perfect anchor text profile, however, remembering that variety is key is the best way to start your new approach to coming up with a new anchor text strategy.
Our LinkSets feature is available to make it quick and painless to auto rotate through your links:
A tool many of you are familiar with but may not understand how to use it to its full potential is our LinkSets feature. This feature makes it so easy for you to rotate your anchor text and it literally takes no effort on your part. It’s quick, easy, and very useful. Check out our detailed tutorial on how the LinkSets system will automatically go through all of your defined LinkSets and assign them as you purchase reviews.
Whether you are a website/blog owner looking for content to place on your own website, or a marketer looking for content that can be syndicated through SponsoredReviews’ 50,000+ bloggers (Assuming you are using our content syndication functionality) you are likely confronted with the same problem; Finding affordable quality writers.
TextBroker.com is one of the many websites available today that connect writers with buyers; what makes TextBroker.com stand out is the sheer scale of their marketplace and the easy to use functionality… not to mention pricing starting at as little as 1.2 cents per word. Higher quality professional writing is still an affordable 6.7 cents per word.
TextBroker.com is also the only content marketplace that provides tools such as a wordpress plugin for easily ordering and posting content purchased through their system. It’s also refreshing that they automatically run all content through copyscape to insure its uniqueness.
Some examples of how you might use TextBroker.com:
SponsoredReviews.com Advertisers might use TextBroker.com to generate articles that they could then syndicate through our large blogger pool, or they may just want to build fresh content for their own sites..
SponsoredReviews.com Bloggers may want to use TextBroker.com to outsource their writing jobs, or they may be interested in signing up to obtain additional writing jobs.
Finding quality bloggers just got much easier!
We are pleased to announce our latest feature which allows advertisers to filter blogs based on the quality of their grammar. We have created a rating system where we rate completed posts using a 1 through 5 point scale. 1 being unreadable and 5 being editorial quality. We recommend setting your filter to 3 by default.
In order for the ratings to be consistent, we do not allow advertisers to rate posts, instead our in-house team does all of the ratings. As of today we have already rated over 15,000 posts.
We would also like to remind advertisers that we have a filter to exclude bloggers who have done adult/rx/gambling posts through our system. Most high quality bloggers will not do these sorts of posts so its a great way to easily filter out the lower quality blogs. Combining the new grammar filter with the adult/rx/gambling filter is an excellent way to find the best of the best.
This message is to notify you about important changes we have made at SponsoredReviews.com. Due to the newly released “Revised
Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising” (.pdf) by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), we have updated our system to allow advertisers to require in-post disclosures on all of their paid posts. With this option selected, our system will automatically look for our in-post disclosure badges upon the blogger submitting a completed post.
Advertisers who are concerned about the revised guidelines should utilize the in-post disclosure system to insure compliance (If you are concerned about the search engines using the disclosure badges to track down your paid posts, please read below about how our badges our signature free). However it is important to note that in-post disclosure is not required by the FTC. Bloggers can also include a Site Wide disclosure that clearly states that they do paid posts. In addition the guidelines only refer to endorsements/testimonials, articles that do not make endorsements should not raise any flags, for that reason we now have new “Post Type” options for Advertisers. We highly recommend utilizing the “Article” or “Content Rewrite” options and asking bloggers to write an article about a subject related to your industry versus asking them to write a “review”.
New Disclosure Options
- No Preference
It is up to the blogger to decide how they disclose, the advertiser does not have a preference.
- In-Post Required
Blogger must use the disclosure badge/image selected by the advertiser in their post. Our system will check for the disclosure badge upon the blogger submitting the completed post.
- Site Wide Only
Advertiser does not want In-Post disclosure but having a site wide disclosure on the blogger’s site is acceptable. A Site wide disclosure is a written statement that the blogger accepts compensation to write reviews.
- No Disclosure Needed – Not a Review
If the post is not a review and will not endorse the advertiser than the advertiser can request non in post disclosure. As always the blogger’s still have the option to do Sitewide disclosures on their blogs.
New Post Types
For a long time we have had Advertisers requesting the ability to select what type of post they want the Blogger to write. Many advertisers do not want reviews they simply want an article about a particular topic (containing their links), or they want a blogger to simply repost content (Such as a Press Release) exactly as they have it written. The great thing about articles is that if they are not an endorsement of your company/service/website but are simply educational than there arent as many concerns about FTC rules and disclosures methods, although we would still suggest requiring in-post disclosure if you have any concerns about the new FTC regulations. Read below to learn about how our disclosure badges are “Signature Free” and will not allow search engines to automatically devalue your paid posts.
Here are a list of the new post types:
If you choose “article” as your post type you are asking the blogger to write an article about whatever subject you request. For example you could ask bloggers to write an article about a keyword/subject related to your business. Articles are a great option for those concerned about FTC regulations regarding endorsements in blog posts. Instead of writing a review about your company they are simply writing an article about a particular subject and including links to your site (without endorsing your company/website).
- Content Rewrite
A content rewrite is where you provide an article (or some other type of content) that you want the blogger to rewrite and post on their blog. The advantage of having a blogger rewrite a piece of content versus writing it from scratch is that you will get higher quality articles since the blogger is given better direction. It is much easier for a blogger to rewrite an article then it is to write one from scratch, especially for topics that they may not be familiar with.
- Content Repost
A content repost is where you provide an Article/Press Release/Advertisement (or some other type of content) that you want the blogger to repost on their blogs exactly as it was written (Make sure that the content contains your required links). This is especially good for distributing press releases or promotions where it is important that the content be worded correctly. It however is not recommended for SEO link building since duplicating content on every blog that re-posts your content will reduce the effectiveness of the links coming from those posts.
Questions and Answers
Q: Do I have to require In-Post Disclosure Badges on all of my paid posts.
A: No, You do not have to require In-Post Disclosures via our system. Bloggers can do site wide disclosures at their descretion. In addition, if you are selecting a post type such as “Article” and you are not asking the blogger to endorse your website there shouldnt be any issues with FTC rules.
Q: Wont the disclosure badges make it easy for the search engines and/or my competitors to track down my paid posts?
A: Our disclosure badges use a random source URL created by TinyURL. The src url of the image is different for every paid post it is used on, so there are no signatures left that can be used to track down your posts.
It’s never been easier to purchase posts on over 31,000 blogs with our newest release. Thousands of advertisers have purchased hundreds of thousands of posts from relevant blogs since our last major update.
This release (Version 2.5) includes the following major upgrades… and lots of small ones:
* Filter templates in â€œincoming bids:” and â€œfind bloggersâ€ screens.
o Allows you to save your filters for later use.
* Language Filtering
o All blogs have had their languages updated
o Allows advertisers to find blogs in specific languages
* Streamlined search interfaces for “find bloggers” and “incoming bid” screens
o Now its easier than ever to find blogs
* New pre-filtering for bids (in opportunities) by Pagerank (To reduce number of unneeded bids)
* In-Line Blog rejections via Ajax (Requested by many advertisers to make it easier to sort through and purchase reviews)
* Rotating Help Tips system (Gives Help tips on key pages)
There are lots of great features coming up in the next version, if there is a feature you need please contact us via our webform and put “Feature Request” in the subject.
We are happy to announce the launch of our newest feature LinkSets
LinkSets allow you to create an unlimited number of URL/Link Text combinations inside of your opportunities. The LinkSets system will then automatically handle assigning those links to bloggers as you purchase reviews.
LinkSets will allow you to do the following:
- Easily Build Links to Dozens/Hundreds of URL’s on your site
- Easily rotate though Link Text in order to focus on more keywords
- Build a specific number of Links to a given URL or Link Text automatically
Click here for additional instructions and FAQ’s
If you haven’t used our system in a while your missing out. We have been busy adding new features and tons of new bloggers.
- Over 23,000 Registered Bloggers ready to Link to your Sites!
- New Filters to Quickly find the Best Bloggers, including: Google Pagerank, Google Cache, Compete Estimated Traffic, Yahoo Backlinks, Country etc.. etc..
- New Favoriting and Tagging system Helps you find your favorite bloggers quickly.
- Over 10,000 user ratings to help you find the best blogs
Apart from being descriptive, images will make your posts live and more appealing to readers. This will improve your traffic and the user experience. Advertisers might also get encouraged to order a sponsored review on your blog if they know that you will include pictures and examples from the product.
So far so good. Extracting images from the web and adding them smoothly to posts without making your site look like MySpace is not a simple task, however. Below you will find tips and resources for this purpose.
Good Ol’ Printscreen
This is the most basic method. It will not produce outstanding results, but it might be helpful if you are using the Internet from another terminal or if somehow you are not able to access other tools.
Most personal computers come with a â€œPrtScâ€ key on the upper right part of the keyboard. Whenever you press that key your computer will save a digital copy of your screen on the cache.
The next step is to open an image editing software (Paint will suffice) and paste the copy of the screen. Just edit the image properly, save it as a new file and you are done.
Notice that you can also â€œprintâ€ only the active window on your screen by holding Alt while you use the â€œPrtScâ€ key.
The Paid Software
Snagit is the standard when it comes to screen capturing software. It allows you to take screenshots of specific regions and scrolling web pages. It also includes several advanced features like video capture, special effects and image editing.
You can try the software for 30 days, and if you like it you will need to spend $39 for a single user license. Is it worth it, you might ask? Yes if you have a professional website or if you are planning to make money via your blog. If you blog for hobby probably you can get away with free tools.
The Free Alternative
I can’t blame you if you don’t want to spend 40 bucks for an image capturing software. While a free alternative will not provide all the features you would find inside Snagit, it will probably get the job done anyway.
Screen Hunter 5 is a screen capturing software that comes in three versions: Pro, Plus and Free. The first one costs $29, the second $19 and the third one, as you probably guessed, costs nothing.
Notice that the free version is not a trial one like Snagit. You can use unlimitedly both for personal and business uses. The only drawback is that it does not come with advanced features.
The software allows you to capture rectangular areas, active windows or full screens. It also comes with extra tools like color picker and delayed captures.
Trademark & Copyright Issues
Suppose you are writing a post about a certain company. Can you use that company’s logo in your article? Most of the times, yes.
Trademarks protect companies from people or organizations that use their logo in order to deceive customers. For example, an SEO consultant can not use Google’s logo on it is webpage because it would lead visitors to think that somehow he is involved with Google.
If you are writing a post about Google, however, you have the right to use its logo for the purpose of criticism, comment or news reporting. This is called “nominative fair use.”
The same does not apply to images within the website of companies, though. These are protected by copyright, and you can only use them under explicit permission from the author or owner.
The law is not clear about screenshots. Some people argue that you should be able to take screenshots or software and websites without infringing copyright, as long as it is for the purpose of criticism, comment or news reporting. The argument states that such usage would fall under the “fair use” principle.
When in doubt, seek legal advice from an attorney.
Finding Images on the Internet
Some times you will need to find images for your posts through out the Internet. Fortunately there are several websites that stock royalty free and images and photographies. Below you will find links to some useful ones.
Positioning the Images
Now you have the tools and the resources for getting images. What about placing them efficiently on your posts? There are basically two methods for positioning images within blog posts: using CSS and using HMTL attributes.
CSS formatting offers more flexibility, and it is the preferred method. In order to align an image via CSS you will need to create a special class on your CSS file. WordPress users usually have this file names stylesheet.css. Once you located the file just add something like this:
border:1px solid #999999;
This code will create the class for all your images that are supposed to be aligned on the right. As you can see we have added both padding and a solid border (you can customize this elements as needed). Whenever you want to align an image using that format you just need to call the class within the img tag, which will look like this:
<img class="alignright" src="http://www.domain.com/testimage.gif" />
The second option involves HTML attributes, but it should be considered only if you are not able to use CSS because the align=”right” and align=”left” attributes will be deprecated from XHTML markup.
In order to use these attributes, just add them inside the img tag:
<img align="right" src="http://www.domain.com/testimage.gif" />
Finally, remember that images above the fold will give more visibility to your posts. A catchy image might convince an otherwise reluctant reader to investigate the rest of your content.
There is nothing worse than an otherwise witty blog post marked by several spelling errors (especially if you are getting paid to write it…). Sure, people will still be able to understand the overall meaning of your words, but your credibility might get damaged along the way.
Luckily, technology comes at our aid. Below you will find a list of resources and tools that can be used to spell check your articles, emails, websites and more.
- Firefox 2.0: Ever posted a comment on a blog only to find out that you had written â€œembarasmentâ€ instead of â€œembarrassment?â€ The latest release of the Mozilla house comes with an in-built spell checker that works inside web forms; very useful for active Internet users.
- Firefox 1.5: If you have a fetish with Firefox 1.5 and are reluctant to upgrade it to the newest version, no worries! There is an extension called SpellBound that will add the spell checking functionality to your browser.
- Internet Explorer: There is no reason to use Internet Explorer. Firefox is faster, more flexible and more reliable. But this is not the central topic of this article, so if you (still) are an Internet Explorer user, you can use an extension called IESpell.
- SpellChecker.net: The site is not so fast, but it gets the job done when it comes to spell checking. The service also includes a â€œGrammar Checker,â€ but I am not sure how reliable it is considering that it did not correct sentences like â€œHe are my friendâ€ and â€œI go there last year.â€
- Orangoo: The site is pretty fast and the corrections are done in the same window (as opposed to being displayed in pop-ups like with SpellChecker.net). Another advantage is that it supports 28 different languages.
Website Spell Checkers
- Spell checking your website could be a good idea. If you don’t have time or patience to carry it out on your own, you can use an online service.TextTrust.com is a company that will spell check your website for you. It offers a free trial version where results are emailed to you within one business day. Additional services are charged.
Open Source Software
- OpenOffice.org: Microsoft Word comes with a nice spell checker, but this certainly doesn’t justify the hundred bucks that you’ll need to spend for it. OpenOffice.org is one of the best alternatives around. While the spreadsheet utility might not be as good as Excel, the word processor offers virtually all the features you’ll ever need.
- AbiWord: If you want to use only a word processor and not the complete Office suite you can try AbiWord. It is a light software, and apart from the spell checker it also comes with a grammar checker.
- LanguageTool: This is an open source grammar checker. Basically it will catch grammar errors that would pass the spell checker, like repeating two words or using â€œaâ€ before a word starting with a vowel sound. The interesting thing is that you can add custom â€œrulesâ€ for special mistakes that you are looking for.
- As-U-Type: This spell checker apparently works at Operational System level, meaning that once you install it you will be able to use it inside all applications. Apart from functioning as a real time spell checker, the software will also learn your typing habits and automatically correct common mistakes. There is a free trial version which works for 30 days, and the full software costs $39.
Bottom line: Do not forget that running that spell checker is not enough, you will still need to proofread your work!
I think that Conan O’Brien’s skit “if they mated” is one of the most genius pieces of entertainment available for your late night viewing pleasure. I couldn’t help but think… what if SEO’s mated. So I went on a flavorful trip full of adventure, candy cains and lolly pops to find out what this would entail. See below for a glimpse into the life of future couples in SEO and their offspring! I just want to point out this is strictly for fun!!
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