BCIS 26: Interview With Brian Dean from Backlinko.com

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Blogging Cage Interview Series is coming back on track and this time I am going to introduce many great bloggers/webmasters/internet marketers in this series.

We all have witnessed big changes in SEO and doing our best to perform well in search engines, but there are still some people in this BlogoSphere who are making Google happy every time with their quality content.

Brian Dean is one of the guys I found via reading other blogs. His writing skills and awesome case studies are so awesome that every time you will learn something new after going through his blog posts. On his blog Backlinko (very catchy name ;)) he is sharing world-class tips to do better SEO for your blog and teaching how to survive in this changing SEO algorithms.

His article about Google’s 200 Ranking Factors is so informative that you must go through this article once.

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Let’s start this interview and read more about his as well as the success of this awesome blog.

1. First of all most welcome on Blogging Cage and thanks for coming on this interview.

Thanks for having me. Really happy to be here :-)

2. Brian, please introduce yourself and tell us more about you. How much ambitious you were in your childhood and how did you start internet marketing?

Sure. I’m a regular guy that happened to stumble upon internet marketing after reading the book, The Four Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferris.

I actually wasn’t very ambitious as a child. I hated school and my teachers so I was always getting into trouble.

3. How do you manage your tasks? I am personally having too much projects running at my end so managing them all together is one of the biggest tasks for me, so please shares your suggestions to get more in less time.

I actually juggle a lot of tasks myself.

One thing that’s really helped me is to not check email in the morning. I find that once I check my email my brain sort of shuts off and it’s really hard to get going again.

Other than that, I really don’t do any ninja productivity stuff. I literally just write a to-do list on a piece of paper and focus on those.

4. If you would have given $2000 to do experiment on SEO then where would you like to spend this money and what are the new things which you will explore?

Good question!

I’d actually launch a new site to use as a test site (you don’t want to test on your own site!).

It would take some of the $2,000 to set up. Otherwise, I’d actually test different on-page strategies to see how far I could push the limit in terms of keyword stuffing before getting hit.

In terms of link building, I honestly don’t think there’s too much left to explore. SEO right now is about getting links from authoritative, relevant sites in your niche. The hardest part about SEO today isn’t figuring out the algorithm, it’s figuring out how to get those links.

So I’d probably spend the rest of the $2,000 on PR so I can learn how the results you get from PR (links, brand signals, media mentions etc.) influences rankings and search traffic.

5. You are a six figure affiliate marketer and doing great in this field. My question is; how did you start and what were the difficulties which as a newbie you faced? I personally feel, we cannot start affiliate marketing if we don’t have basic skills and money in hand. What are your thoughts on it?

I started out launching my own information product. So I wasn’t an affiliate right away. Only later on did I get into affiliate marketing by building niche sites.

That didn’t work well for me at all. I simply launched too many sites and wasn’t able to focus on them. Once I focused on ONE site, I started to see a lot more success.

I agree with you: you need some skills and money to do well in affiliate marketing. The skills come from trial and error. The money is a different story, but I usually recommend that people save some money before they get into SEO or affiliate marketing so they have a budget on day 1.

6. Selecting any product for affiliate marketing is very tough task. What are the things which you always keep in mind while selecting any product?

The first thing I look at is whether or not it’s a good fit for my site’s audience.

I usually take a look at products before launching a site to make sure that there’s a number of good fits out there.

Next, I look at commissions. If it looks decent enough to test, I then look to see whether or not my traffic would be interested in it. For example, if I ran a site about personal finance, I KNOW that my readers would be more interested in credit card CPA offers than an e-book on saving money. So that’s what I’d promote.

7. What are the best affiliate marketing techniques which are working for you?

The best technique is to honestly not create sites that look like affiliate sites. In other words, don’t market your site like the other affiliate marketers out there.

Instead, create an AWESOME site and promote the heck out of it.

8. We all have witnessed that SEO is changing rapidly. Techniques which were working 1 year back are no more working now, like making many backlinks, article submission, commenting etc. According to you which are the biggest changes we can predict and how can we protect us from being a victim?

The biggest change might apply to guest posting because so many people in SEO are going overboard with it.

The best way to avoid becoming a victim is to limit the number of guest post links you create. If guest post links make up more than 50% of your link profile, you’re running the risk of those links getting suddenly devalued and your site dropping like a stone.

Here’s a guide I put together and published at SocialMouths that will help you avoid that situation.

9. I have learnt a lot from articles on your blog, as most of the times you write real case studies and results of awesome experiments. According to you, can we survive by writing normal stuff on our blog or not?

To be honest, normal stuff isn’t going to work anymore.

With more and more sites churning out more and more content (there are over 2 million blog posts published every day!), you can’t just publish normal content and expect to get results.

Your stuff really needs to take your industry’s content to the next level.

10. If we talk about SEO then what are the best techniques which you are using for link building and how great they are working for you?

The two best techniques that are working for me are the Skyscraper Technique and broken link building.

11. Brian, I have started one niche site where I am targeting a big keyword and I am already ranking in top 30 now. Can you please suggest what are the ways which we can use to retain that ranking for long time?

Good work :-)

The best way to maintain and improve that ranking would be to promote that content as much as you can. As I mentioned, broken link building would be a link building strategy to consider.

12. Question related to my last question – Building niche site vs building authority site. What do you prefer personally and what are the pros and cons of both of them?

I personally prefer authority sites. The only con of authority sites is that they take more time and effort to create than niche sites.

But in terms of long-term ROI, authority sites blow niche sites out of the water.

13. Internet marketing has emerged as a big source of making money in recent years. According to you what is the future of internet marketing.

That’s a tough one.

The future of internet marketing is that it will be more integrated with marketing in general. Just look at SEO: you can’t talk about SEO anymore without mentioning branding, site design, user experience etc.

Already we’re seeing big brands integrate offline marketing with their online efforts and seeing incredible results. This is definitely the future.

14. Which are your favorite tools to do SEO and affiliate marketing?

My favorite tools are ahrefs, BuzzStream, Authority Labs, SEMRush and Google Analytics.

15. What are some great ways to get quality backlinks?

As I had mentioned, it’s hard to beat content creation and promotion. There are so many strategies out there, but I’ve had the most success with that 1-2 punch.

16. What are your future plans and how are you going to execute them?

I actually started a new video series called Backlinko TV, the first of which goes live this week. Otherwise I’m going to focus on producing and promoting quality content as much as I possibly can :-)

Final words

This interview was filled with lots of information and new SEO techniques so let’s discuss in comment section if you want to ask any particular questions.

Share this interview with your blogger friends so that they can learn more awesome stuff and make their blog a great identity.

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Comments

  1. says

    I discovered backlinko recently, and though he have very limited posts in his blog, but whatever content he have in his blog is mind blowing those are some proven techniques. I also love all the info graphics from his blog. Thanks for posting this interview, loved it!

  2. says

    Kulwant,

    I read this from A to Z and hey, crazy stuff mate! Great share about the broken list method and of course, I read Brian’s SkyScraper technique like 5 times or so. Still had it bookmarked.

    I love the part he share about authority vs niche site. That’s sweet.

    Thanks for sharing mate and keep it up!

    • says

      Thanks for joining hands here Reginald.

      There is no doubt about his tips and techniques. His writing is just killer. ;) Glad to hear that you have already gone through his SkyScraper techniques. :) Good going..

  3. says

    Hi.. Kulwant Bro.
    First of all Congrats for this interview.

    I’m glad to see this Person here, he is earning 6 Figure $$$$$$ in Affiliate marketing ?? How ?

    Wow! Dear and thanks to Share this Interview :)

  4. says

    Thanks Man
    This Interview led me to a very Good Blog and learned a lot new things over there… BackLinko is really great one for Backlinking strategies…

  5. says

    Hello,

    Indeed an awesome interview! To be honest here i haven’t checked his blog yet but just checked now and I think Brian Dean is doing awesome work at his blog. I’ve learned lot of new things today.

    Thanks Kulwant for amazing interview!

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