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10 Step Guide to Hiring Link Builders That DON'T Suck!!

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by t0mmy, Jun 5, 2015.

  1. t0mmy

    t0mmy Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    10 Step Guide to Hiring Link Builders That Don’t Suck!!

    Ok, so first a bit of a rant…

    I have been trying to do my part by posting some helpful guides over the past few months in order to liven up BHW. Anyone that has been around the forum for a few years should notice that the place is a bit slower than it was in the past.

    There are very few methods being shared and it’s more of a troll fest these days than anything else around here. How many of the old contributors still share here? They don’t. It’s pretty sad really so I wanted to start to bring some life back.

    I know there are people out there reading that find it helpful.. the PM’s and feedback I receive on my threads are what keeps me doing this.

    But...

    I got an anonymous email the other day that sort of pissed me off. This person claimed that I didn’t share any SEO help because I wanted people to buy my services and said that I was milking free advertising.

    This is LOL for three main reasons:

    1. While writing these don’t necessarily cost me money since I’m doing the writing they do take my time.. time that could be spent working, building new sites, making money, etc.

    2. I HAVE shared MANY SEO related posts over the past few months.
    . smh

    3. I pay a lot to advertise heavily here on BHW - I have no need to be posting these threads for advertising purposes.

    The same jackass that was pissing on me then asked if I would help him because he wanted to hire a VA from us and teach that person how to build links. After laughing so much and nearly pissing myself I decided to write this post..

    So, for those of you that want to hire link builders, by all means here you go..

    If you are beyond just having a single site and have a full army of sites that you are ranking then it might be time to hire some link builders. Don’t listen to all the SEO circle jerkers around here lately.. link building is not dead. You need links if you want to have any chance at ranking. You aren’t going to find a link building pro willing to work for crumbs either.. so more times than none you will need to hire a rookie and turn them into a pro!


    Use these 10 steps to get someone worthy…


    1. Make sure they are a salesperson

    We are talking about building links that are helpful.. links that require emailing webmasters and talking to bloggers and writers. Any monkey can fire up GSA or another link building tool and fire them away. Your link builder needs to be a sales person.. because they are going to need to convince other websites that they should publish your guest post or link to your content.. or they need to be able to sell a deal for a paid post and link.

    No matter what the objective one thing is certain…it requires a salesperson mentality. I’m not going to talk about where to post ads to hire them.. you can use Craigslist, forums, freelancer sites.. you know the main sources. But I will give you this one tip.. make prior sales experience a requirement for applying. It doesn’t matter if they were selling cell phones, sneakers, cars.. anything. Hiring someone that understands how to sell is going to have a much easier time convincing sites to give them links.

    [​IMG]


    2. Give them a test to make sure they are good communicators

    You have to make sure that any potential link builder is going to be able to follow very specific instructions. One of the most frustrating parts of hiring link builders is they don’t listen and they fuck up and do it wrong. This can cause a ton of problems down the road so I make everyone do a test without even telling them it’s a test.

    When I create my job advertisement I put very detailed instructions in it. They will usually require the person to apply following instructions similar to this:

    1. Create your resume in Word and then convert it to a PDF and upload it to a file sharing website.

    2. Create a 30 second video telling me why I should hire you and upload it to YouTube.

    3. Create a simple about.me page and link to your resume and the video you created.

    This is such easy shit, but it will automatically eliminate 90% of the retards that were going to apply because they won’t follow all of the instructions. Look at those requirements – they are so basic. Would you want to hire anyone that couldn’t even follow those simple steps!?

    This tip alone probably saves me the most time during the hiring process. Also, if they can whip up a quick about.me page and upload their video and PDF then you know they have at least enough technical skill to turn them into a decent link builder!


    3. Grill them over the phone to see how they communicate

    You can learn a lot about someone when you speak to them over the phone. Take 5 minutes to talk to them on the phone. Don’t let them know it’s any sort of test. Just tell them you want to jump on a quick call to go over the job. Use this call to determine how aggressive they are and if they are shy and reserved.

    People that have been around the forum for a bit know I don’t hold back. I work better with more outgoing types.. so I make sure that I hear confidence in their voice. Link building isn’t easy.. you need aggressive people if you expect decent results.


    4. Test their grammar and make sure they won’t come off as a dumb ass

    If they pass the first test and apply correctly and if you get a good feeling over the phone you need to see how well they can write. Give them a hard niche and tell them to write a 1,000 word article on a specific topic. This is a good way to determine if they can write content that will have any chance of being published on other websites.

    Don’t worry about “SEO content” and all that crap now.. just make sure they can write. It’s simple to turn a good writer into a “SEO” writer.. but it’s impossible to take a shitty writer and convert them.. you have to have the basics down. Look for complete sentences, well put together paragraphs and grammar.

    Don’t ask for samples.. too many people will steal content from the net and try to pass it off on their own. Give them some random topic that's out there and see what they can put together.


    5. Make sure they have strong skin

    If you have ever tried to build any links manually you know it can be a complete pain in the ass. For every 50 bloggers and websites you talk to you might get one link. Not only does this require someone that doesn’t work at a snails pace, but they also have to have tough skin. They will get emails back telling them to fuck off, eat shit and just NO!

    There are some people that can’t handle rejection well and all the no’s will slow their enthusiasm down. It’s important that you are honest with them in the beginning. Let them know 95% of their communication with websites and bloggers is going to be rejection. Make sure that doesn’t bother them. If someone says “I don’t give a shit” then you know they are right for it. Look for someone that sees it as a challenge and the denials will make them actually work harder. Some people just can’t stand to lose.. even at link building.. you want that attitude.

    [​IMG]


    6. Test their common sense

    Common sense is one thing that many people lack. It doesn’t matter if you are hiring link builders for your own projects or for client SEO.. you need them to do the work correctly the first time. There are no do over when it comes to building links.. simple things like the correct anchor text and linking to the right page of a website might seem so basic to me and you but to someone else that lacks common sense it might puzzle them.

    I have put together a simple link building guide that I give a possible new hire that explains things like how to identify niche specific link opportunities and how to determine if a website has enough authority to go after. This involves tools like Moz, and Ahrefs.. simple stuff. Someone needs to be able to read through it and then do what I ask.. I give them a simple task of identifying 3 good link opportunities for a specific niche.

    This is where common sense comes into play. My guide explains that some sites are next to impossible to get on without paying them.. so if someone comes back with 3 suggestions that include Forbes, Inc and the New York Post they obviously didn’t pay attention. Someone that comes back with 3 websites that are DA50-60 and there is a good chance of securing a link then they get picked. They have demonstrated common sense without knowing I was testing them for it.


    7. Make sure they have a good home office setup

    I ask everyone to send me pictures of where they are going to be working. I do this for many reasons. I have gone through all the previous steps with people and then we get to here and they tell me they are going to be working from a coffee shop. They are done at that point. I’m not interested in anyone that is going to be setting up shop at a fucking café. It’s impossible to be totally organized when you are working in a space like that.

    I require any person I hire to have a home office. That isn’t asking too much I don’t think. I know how much organization and concentration it takes to build links. No link builder is going to be productive in a coffee shop with all those distractions.

    I also look at their work space setup to make sure I feel they are organized. If it's a cluttered mess in the pictures they send me I assume that it’s even messier in real life. If someone can’t clean up their work area before they send me pictures they aren’t taking it seriously and I have no interest in hiring them.


    8. Test their ability to make decisions on their own

    Link building requires a lot of on the fly adjustments.. you find new opportunities, you make connections, etc.. all of this requires someone that is always on their toes and able to make quick decisions to help to get what we are after.. LINKS!

    At this point you have people left that show serious promise. Get them back on the phone and run them through some scenarios that you have faced.. and see how they would react. This is entirely up to you to figure out.. personally, I just throw some nonsense out there and see how quickly they can spit back a solution to me. It isn’t about the actual situation.. it’s about how fast they can come up with a work around. You want someone that can adapt to anything.


    9. Determine if they are the type to ask for help when needed

    Let’s get real for a minute.. you aren’t going to get experienced link builders.. you are going to get people with potential to be groomed into link builders. They are going to have questions.. or at least they should.. they should actually have a ton of questions and you need to make sure they aren’t going to be too shy or scared to ask you.

    When speaking to them through the process you should only want to hire those that asked questions. Think about it.. if someone has NO questions when interviewing isn’t that a red flag? That is going to cause problems down the road, I promise you. Someone that is asking a lot of questions is someone that is interested in learning and isn’t going to be afraid to ask you things.. with the intention of becoming a great link builder.


    10. Sure you can deal with working with this person?

    This is a big one. This isn’t a job that you can just oversee with little communication. You will be speaking to your link builders all the time.. every day. If you don’t get along with the person or if you have two different personalities you are going to be miserable. I always hire based on the fact that I like the employee as a person.. if I am going to have to deal with them daily you bet it is going to be someone I enjoy speaking with.

    [​IMG]

    Remember…don’t be afraid to FIRE!

    Never be afraid to fire someone.. you can replace them so don’t put up with bullshit. Some reasons I will fire a link builder quickly:


    • They miss days of work.. just because this is a online/work from home job it doesn’t mean attendance can slack. If an employee is going to be trouble you will see patterns quickly.. don't be a sucker and give them many chances. You need them to understand this is a job and not a “work when I feel like it” opportunity.

    • You have to tell them shit 100 times before they get it. Some people will ace the interview with flying colors but then suck big time when it comes time to get to work. If you have to keep repeating yourself fire them and put someone in that role that will hear it once and get the job done. You don’t have time to babysit.

    • If they just suck at building links. Link building isn’t easy at all.. it is hard. You are going to hire people that just end up sucking at building links. It happens.. if you sense they aren’t going to get the hang of it just fire them. Don’t waste too much time and money on someone if they obviously suck.


    Well there you have it amigos.. hopefully this can help some people.. even the cunt that emailed me and sparked this post! :D

    As always I hope you all enjoyed the read. Until next time.. Ciao for now!

    PS – if you want me to write about a specific topic that you are having trouble with let me know.. I always welcome suggestions!
     
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    Last edited: Jun 6, 2015
  2. antichrist

    antichrist Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    This reminds me of 4 monitors full of spread sheets and thousands of emails. Not a fun time, not a fun time at all.
     
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  3. SkyrocketSEO

    SkyrocketSEO Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I think I would fail on most of these. No.9 pass...everything else, I dont know...fail cause it is really hard to please anyone and everyone. So, at the very beginning I say to potential clients that they need to trust me or I wont work with them.

    You say that link building is hard, and I agree here, that's why I don't want to chit-chat with clients. Takes a lot of time to get one great link.
     
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  4. sergey007

    sergey007 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Hiring people at Odesk (Upwork) has always been a headache for me. Out of 40 people who try to apply for a position, only a few freelancers can do the job. Anyway, thanks for the tips.
     
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  5. asap1

    asap1 BANNED BANNED

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    Another great post :)
     
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  6. riktubrs

    riktubrs Regular Member

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    Way to go for taking the time and writing great posts like this to liven up BHW. You rule man.
     
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  7. Keyboarding

    Keyboarding Regular Member

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    couldn't have came at a better time. Appreciate it all t0mmy. If I ever meet you in public I'll let you sharpie your name on the nearest baby's forehead for me.
     
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  8. t0mmy

    t0mmy Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    Thanks for the feedback guys.

    @SkyrocketSEO: For sure.. although I doubt you need worry about any of it at this stage.. you already have quality links nailed down from what I've seen.
     
  9. Machkiavelli

    Machkiavelli Junior Member

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    That's a very interesting reading but don't you think it's a bit tough? Have you ever found a person that passed all 10 points? I'd probably fall at ~5 of them but that doesn't mean I wouldn't be able to do the job.

    Anyways, everything you wrote makes a lot of sense. If I find a person who passes 5 points, I'll hire :D
     
  10. SkyrocketSEO

    SkyrocketSEO Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Each client has its niche, which makes it harder for me. If all clients were in fashion it would be easier cause I would get a lot of contacts in that niche. But one client is in fashion, the next one tech, third one travel....not all sites except all links.

    The good thing is that I need to deliver 10 links (smallest package) each month. The bad thing is, these links are not cheap and not easy to find.

    Re office setup. - I work from home, nothing special, just a big desk with hardware. Just got an order today from a HUGE tech company for one link placement. I am sure all black hatters heard about them. Big companies dont care about these things, they just expect a report with link placements.
     
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  11. t0mmy

    t0mmy Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    It may sound complicated but honestly its not.. its a solid check list that most places outside of SEO would be expecting from their employees.. few additions there to check their compatibility for a link building role granted.. but if you want quality link placements then you may as well get quality employees!

    Keep in mind here the current situation in the job markets world wide is still VERY grim! You can afford to be selective and get the best.. you will get people from all walks of life applying.. guys that in normal circumstances would be over qualified for the job.. because frankly there is no work out there and they are desperate.

    Yeah I hear ya.. as with all things in life anything worth having never comes cheap.

    I work from home myself now man so I totally agree, I've turned one of our spare rooms in to an office.. not a thing wrong with it and actually its one of the fundamental beauties of working online having the freedom to that.. lately I've been working from the back yard at night as the weather here is great now - not many other "jobs" would give you the freedom to do that. Employees can work from home too but I'm not after some dude stealing WiFi from McDonalds a few hours a day lol
     
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    Last edited: Jun 5, 2015
  12. Machkiavelli

    Machkiavelli Junior Member

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    I agree on that! However I have a really hard time working with many people from BHW, for example. If i'd do such a test, I'd have 0 (zero) skype contacts :D
    Yet, your post teaches how you as an employer should think. which is very important. +you'll get rid of any person wanting to scam you in the process
     
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    Last edited: Jun 5, 2015
  13. givensia

    givensia Regular Member

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    Lol at the mcdonalds wifi. Yeah this is a good guide and I was thinking of hiring myself a couple of these link builders more than once before... however I just have that "if you want it done right do it yourself" mentality and I just feel like I'd get too pissed when the mistakes start pouring in .
     
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  14. SkyrocketSEO

    SkyrocketSEO Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Totally.Booked a Greece, going there in a week so cant wait to answer Emails from the beach, enjoying the sounds of waves and sunsets.
     
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  15. t0mmy

    t0mmy Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    It's the classic "living the dream" work/life combination. South of Spain here, it's been getting hotter each day - around 31 degrees now on average daily.
     
  16. archon10

    archon10 BANNED BANNED

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    This is interesting. I really like that you aren't selling the crap junk you see on here about link building.

    One thing I noticed also is that you need to hire someone who understands the culture you're selling to. They don't have to be from the US, but not many Indian and Pakistani spammers understand how to sell to Americans. This is what gets me with these link buyers who then wonder why they have shit links. They hire someone who barely speaks English. What did you expect to get?

    I'd lose out on your workplace image. I live on the water, so I'm happy. Just not willing to show pics. :)

    I'm with Skyrocket on the Skype thing. I don't do Skype either. You get too many people trying to talk to you. It's a time waster. You want to talk to me, email me and I'll bet back to you pretty much the same day. I find that a good way to organize your time is to respond to people in batches. Can't do that on Skype.

    For big jobs, I'll chat on the phone with people. Usually, that phone call is enough to sell them. It gives customers some confidence that I'm not really a man behind a fake profile and they can feel some kind of connection.
     
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  17. t0mmy

    t0mmy Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    Spot on man.. people don't think like that though - they want cheap and cheerful then expect the world. Agreed Skype is a major time waster I don't use it myself apart from a select few people on my team I actually work with.. always email between me and any clients.. hence why we train other people to do the grunt work on Skype.
     
  18. V

    V Elite Member

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    Another nice share, mate :) I learned quite a new things about the hiring process, thanks to you. Please keep sharing valuable stuff like this whenever you get some time. Remember there are people who really appreciate what you're doing for the community, and I am one of them. :)
    Thanks
     
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  19. Michaelbkk

    Michaelbkk Newbie

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    Hi, t0mmy, really awesome post and helpful, even tough i don't always use every method shared, but i always do read your posts they are always amazing. But i do have request for you for the next post/topic if you would consider, i was thinking about if you could write about keyword research.?
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2015
  20. zubidoo

    zubidoo Regular Member

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    Excellent share Tommy! How much do you recommend paying the link builder on an hourly basis?