12 min read

Outsource Link Building: The Key to Scaling in 2024

Dmytro Sokhach, CEO of Admix Global
Outsource Link Building

I've been involved in link building and SEO for over 16 years, starting from working in agencies, moving on to managing my own websites with the Amazon Affiliate program, and eventually establishing my own company.

Over this time, I've spent a considerable amount of money on various experiments and tests, and unfortunately, a significant portion of that money ended up being wasted.

One of the recent cases involved a message from a potential client who has been working with Agency X, paying $5000 per month for link building for over a year without seeing any results.

The details of the case can be found in my LinkedIn post.

Post about how potential client waste money on useless links

This article aims to protect you from budget drains and wasteful spending.

📌 The main points that I'll share in the article:

  • If you need to scale up your link building, outsourcing is the solution;
  • In some cases, it's a cost-effective solution;
  • How to choose the right link building tactic;
  • How to find a trusted link building partner;
  • How much does it cost in house vs outsourcing

What Is Outsourced Link Building?

One of the ways to improve the rating of your website on search engines is by outsourcing link building whereby you hire external experts to manage backlink campaigns.

External SEO experts offer long-term experience in web promotion and improve website positions in search engines.

For instance, I would like to mention the convenience of outsourcing link building to professionals (we have an article where you can read about how to hire a link-building specialist) and immediately start acquiring enough links needed.

That is because such agencies or contractors have already created their own processes for link building, so there would be no need for you to start from scratch (believe me, this process takes time from hiring experts to setting up processes. It took me four years to finish it.).

At my company, Editorial.link, we provide estimated timelines for obtaining the initial links, typically taking up to 30 days on average.

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    Best Time to Outsource Link Building?

    📌 If you find yourself in any of the following situations, it may be the right time to consider outsourcing.

    1. You want to scale your link building efforts

    If your business continues to grow, you will also need an extended link building strategy that is more effective. By outsourcing, you can leverage a group of experts that can expand your efforts and influence search engine rankings significantly.

    To illustrate, say you are currently amassing 10-15 high-quality backlinks per month and want to double or triple this number – in such case, the outsourced team is your best bet.

    The strong link builders team has the necessary resources for scaling: established relationships with journalists, experience in different niches, etc.

    Note: If you need backlinks for the Automotive niche, search for a company with case studies in this niche.

    On average, according to Authority Hackers’ Mark Webster, a seasoned link builder can normally make about 15 links per month as per the statistics.

    Link Acquisition Based on Experience

    2. You want to find a cost-effective solution

    Instead of hiring in-house specialists or expanding their teams, organizations can consider outsourcing link building as a cost-effective approach.

    This way, by aligning with a reliable agency or professional, you are able to pay only for what you want and avoid other expenses like training, salary, sick leaves, etc.

    📌 Remember: Time = Money

    It may amaze you that you can get a good company to outsource your link-building activities at between $2000 and $4000. Also, take time to read through the reviews and portfolio of the company.

    Instead of hiring a full-time employee, a reliable company can provide you with the necessary expertise at a fraction of the cost.

    3. You’re lacking resources

    When I come across such a problem and realize that it is something critical for my company’s well-being, I seek experts who could help me with outsourcing tasks.

    Just imagine yourself being an SEO agency with many clients and looking for effective link building while your internal resources are already depleted. In this situation, outsourcing link building could be considered to be one of the best solutions where you can maintain quality and scale without backing off.

    Sometimes less experienced link builders are not able to get links from top tier websites.

    Here is an example; one of our clients, Sitechecker tried getting a link from HubSpot using their in-house team but it did not work out.

    They contacted my agency Editorial.Link and with our assistance we were able to get them a link in a very popular article.

    example what backlinks we built for our clients

    Steps to Get Started with Outsourcing Link Building

    Are you ready to outsource link building? To ensure the desired outcomes, you have to be well-prepared and have a clear link building strategy in mind before contacting link building vendors.

    I’ll give simple steps to help you get started with the outsourcing process:

    Prepare Your Website for Link Building

    To ensure your website is ready for link building, follow these recommendations:

    • On-page SEO: Optimize your site's metadata, headings, and content for relevant keywords to make it search engine-friendly;
    • Correct indexing: Check that all pages are indexed correctly, making them accessible to search engines and users alike;
    • Run a blog: Regularly post high-quality content to build links, redirect link juice to target URLs through internal linking, and establish topical authority;
    mobile site takes longer than 3 sec
    • Improve site speed: Ensure your website loads quickly, as this positively impacts user experience and search engine rankings. Google says that 53% of mobile site visits are abandoned if pages take longer than three seconds to load.
    • Mobile-friendly design: Make certain that your site is responsive and displays correctly on various devices, as mobile-friendliness is a ranking factor;
    • Fix broken links: Identify and correct any broken links on your site to maintain a healthy link profile and enhance user experience;
    • Internal linking: Develop a robust internal linking strategy to distribute link juice effectively and guide users through your site.

    Note: “If something is missing, for example, your content isn’t ranking: If your website has abundant content that doesn’t rank within the top 100, it might indicate the necessity of enhancing your content before considering outsourcing link building.

    Review the content ranking for the keywords you aim to target and compare it with your own content to identify areas for improvement.

    Another potential problem might be the competitiveness of the keywords. Utilize an SEO tool to analyze the keyword difficulty and assess the authority of other ranking sites.”

    A quick insight from me:

    📌 We work quite extensively within Software Development, SaaS, and the IT sector, and very often we see instances where they produce 200-300 articles that don’t rank, and backlinks may not necessarily assist as the issue lies within the content itself.

    Define the Objectives for Link Building

    Before seeking the right partner, it's important to understand for yourself what goals you set and what you want to achieve from outsourcing link building.

    For example, these could be:

    • Rank your keywords higher 
    • Boost domain authority 
    • Build brand credibility
    • Strengthen relationships with industry influencers
    Define the Objectives for Link Building

    Select Link Building Strategies That Align with Your Main Objective

    I have tried numerous link building tactics (we also conducted a survey among more than 16 SEO specialists to identify the most effective tactics), and I can highlight several of the most effective ones in 2024:

    Editorial Link Building

    In a way, this is effective link building method.

    By using this option, you acquire links from the most authoritative sites. This method cannot be considered simple as it requires time and effort, yet it opens up opportunities to:

    • obtain links from top-tier websites like HubSpot, Forbes, NYT, Monday
    • such links can generate referral traffic
    • boost your brand awareness

    📌Note: Organic mentions of your content on reputable websites are also considered editorial link building.

    Editorial.Link earns corporate blog backlinks from Monday, WordStream, HubSpot, G2, Appsumo, and more. Contact our team to get samples.

    Blogger Outreach

    The use of blogger outreach technique actively reaches out to relevant websites and asks for their backlinks by providing high-quality content or a mutually beneficial partnership. Here are the main differences, though it sounds very much like editorial link building.

    • Outreach link building often involves making guest posts. You come up with high quality content for your own site that will not only attract links but also can be sent to the appropriate journalists.
    • Outreach link building poses a higher risk of appearing as spammy or unnatural if done wrongly leading to penalties from search engines while editorial link building is less risky, as such earned links are part of organic growth tied to quality content.

    Most link building providers like Editorial.Link offer a combination of outreach and editorial link building to have more control over link placements and cater link building strategies to the client’s needs.

    Broken Link Building (or Dead Link Building)

    Broken Link Building is when one gets backlinks by replacing dead links pointing to 404 pages with active links pointing to a specific target website.

    Not every reputable link building agency provides this service.

    This allows you to get links from top-tier sites. It is a difficult method and is complex, however, it works and many people do it.

    In this scenario, the focus revolves around identifying and swiftly addressing broken links on websites. By contacting website owners and proposing alternative links—ideally leading to your outstanding content—you not only contribute to improving their resources but also seize an opportunity to showcase your expertise.

    Brian Dean from Backlinko has provided detailed information about broken link building methods.

    Consider Your Budget

    The subsequent stage involves evaluating your budget. Link building outsourcing comes at a cost, particularly if you prioritize quality.

    However, there are numerous services accessible at various price ranges to accommodate different budgets.

    📍At Editorial.link monthly plans start at $1,750 for startups with 5 built links in total. The Pro plan comes with 10 links for $3,500/month. The Growth plan costs $7,000/month with 20 links.

    For enterprises, the link building package includes 50 links for $17,500/month. You can also contact our team and get a personal quote tailored to your needs.

    How much does it cost to build links in-house?

    Suppose you're planning to invest $7,000 in link building and expect to gain 15-20 high-quality backlinks per month. To set a realistic budget, you'll need to understand the average cost of hiring a link builder and the output you can expect from them.

    For example, the average salary of a link building specialist in the US is around $63,331 per year and can exceed $114,000, according to Glassdoor.

    How Much Does a Link Builder make?

    If you hired a full-time link builder, you could expect them to generate approximately 10-15 editorial backlinks per month, considering the time required for research, outreach, and content creation. With that, the cost of a link soars to $425–$730 for link placement.

    Add extra expenses for link building tools (in my last case, we paid more than $42k for Ahrefs subscription!!!), taxes, onboarding, benefits, vacation leaves, supervising, etc.

    What if outsourcing is a more cost-effective solution?

    How much does it cost to outsource link building?

    On the other hand, the average monthly retainer for outsourcing link building is about $10,000. Affordable packages may start at $5,000 per month. For this money, you can expect from 15 to 30 links per month. What’s more — you pay only for the end result.

    If for some reason, your vendor doesn’t deliver 15 links in X month, these links (or payment) move to the next month. This approach is wildly popular among all link building agencies, so rest assured you get what you pay for.

    How much does it cost to outsource link building?

    Find a Trusted Link Building Partner

    At this point, you should grasp the outsourcing process and have clarity on the specific service you require.

    The last phase involves selecting an agency or freelancer to handle your outsourced link building endeavors. There are several indicators that signify reliability in a business, along with numerous warning signs to be mindful of.

    Link Building Freelancer

    You can find freelancers on websites like Upwork, Fiverr, or other related platforms. These websites prove valuable as they display authentic reviews from individuals who have previously utilized the services.

    Each of these sites has its own pros and cons, but the main benefit is the price, which will likely be significantly cheaper than going through an agency.

    example of upwork pricing for link building

    However, there are also downsides.

    Let me explain what I mean.

    Many freelancers working on Upwork or Fiverr use black hat tactics, promising to provide high-quality links for a fairly low price.

    low cost link building

    Think about that for a minute, is it possible to pay $5-10 for high quality backlinks?

    For me, it's a red flag 🚩

    Link Building Agency

    The agency typically offers a variety of services, ranging from long-term link building to placing individual links.

    The main advantage of hiring an agency is the abundance of expertise available.

    Here, too, one must be cautious as not all agencies perform their work with quality.

    To choose an agency, you can pay attention to reviews on verified platforms such as Clutch or G2.

    Editorial.Link on G2

    Also, we have more then 50 positive reviews on Clutch.

    The drawback lies in the potential expense associated with hiring a link building agency, particularly when opting for an all-inclusive plan.

    For example, in our agency, you need to pay $3,500 for 10 high-quality links and $7,000 for 20 high quality links.

    📌 Yes, it's not cheap, but you will definitely get quality links for this price.

    What to Consider When Making a Decision to Outsource Link Building

    My list of tips for outsourcing link building:

    ✔️ Case Studies: Look at the case studies provided by the agency. If you see case studies that match your niche, it's a good sign that the company has the relevant expertise. Also, don't forget to use SEO tools to verify the authenticity of the case studies.

    Cases of Editorial.Link

    ✔️ Testimonials: You can find reviews on various platforms such as Clutch or G2. Additionally, you can find agency clients on LinkedIn and ask them if they liked the service and if they achieved the expected results.

    ✔️ What links the agency builds for itself. You can pay attention to the links an agency builds for itself. This may not always be considered a definitive factor, but it's worth noting.

    example of editorial link building

    Here are some red flags:

    🚩 Price: In my experience, it's highly unlikely to get quality and expertise for a cheap price.

    🚩 Quick Delivery: Constructing quality links requires time. If a service guarantees links within days, it's likely they're placing links on their own network of websites or using a link farm.

    🚩 Assurances: Link building doesn't come with guarantees. When an agency makes specific promises, it could indicate the possibility of them putting your link on a PBN site or a link farm.

    Last Steps: Outsource Link Building

    Should you wish to start the process, the next step would be to look for possible companies who you can outsource link building to.

    Afterward, make contact with them to learn more about how they can help improve your website’s authority, increase traffic, and build up your online brand.

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