I just started to get my first affiliate sales as a result of my SEO efforts. I have made a plan which I follow with every site and is working well so far, still early days though. I've been reading a very brilliant threads on here that got me thinking. A lot of them talk about making blog networks with unique content. As a starter, I thought, like f*k I can afford that. Some of these threads talk about "you must do X, you must have Y" etc. but that is in an ideal scenario. Most people who are just starting out in BH SEO blow their money on the necessary tools and cannot afford SEO hosting just for a link network or a team of writers to constantly put up unique content. Or if you are making the link network content yourself, who is going to harvest for you? Who is going to make your actual money sites for you? Who's going to do keyword research, etc.? A line from one of these great threads stuck with me, I don't remember it exactly but I remember it as an idea, because I've been doing the same myself. The goal is not to find some xrumer style, 100% automated SEO process, it is simply to develop a system which is far more efficient than competitors, i.e. quick and cheap enough to be scalable. Because scaling is almost assumed to make large amounts. Scaling in my eyes has always been the goal. If I can do it once, I can do it again, but each time I do it, does it cost me too much in time and money? If it does, then I need a new system. In an ideal world, I would have my own unique C class IP blog network filled with dozens of 100% unique (not just heavily spun, I mean each written from scratch) articles, full of images and videos, premium templates. They would all have high quality incoming links with no spammy links in sight. In an ideal world, for each article I submit to directories, it would be completely unique, written from scratch. In an ideal world, all my money sites would contain dozens of high quality, unique articles in addition to the money making product reviews. You know, in an ideal world, I wouldn't use Xrumer at all. For the guys who would revert to me and say this: "You're not being efficient enough, you can do the above quite cheaply and quickly" etc. etc., I would argue that I have over these past few months streamlined my method to be simple, nothing new, as automated as possible so that I, one man, cash poor yet time rich, can scale my basic (but 100% unique) sites to the top. I alone create the sites, I alone perform all SEO on them. I even fill in CAPTCHAs manually in Xrumer, because its OCR doesn't support the CMSs that I post to. I alone write the articles for article marketing, which means I simply cannot create hundreds of articles from scratch - I must use spinning despite the large risks the articles will be detected as duplicate. I do my best with sentence level, then word level spinning, and I rewrite the title a few dozen times. I select low competition keywords because even with the relatively large amount of places I can post links automatically, I do want to keep my money sites as 'white hat' as possible. I would only rely on blatant automated spam if for whatever reason a particular site is refusing to rank. I have done my best with the few resources I have left. For any other newbie reading this, you can't always blow shitloads of time and cash on one site, because it's just not efficient when you want to scale it up. Buying tools is fine (and necessary), but general services costs per site you have to keep to a minimum. It's definitely not perfect and while many SEO experts on here would scoff at the simplicity and often crude, cheap nature of the way I do things, it is by far the most economical way if you are starting out, and it always keeps in mind SCALING. There is no way in hell I have time for/could afford doing everything the "ideal" way. Most of the time, I know EXACTLY when I am not doing things as they "should" be done. For example, I "should" create a unique article for every directory I submit to, I "should" create fantastic unique C class IP blogs for high quality backlinks every time, I "should" have a team working for me because there is no way I can do things the "ideal" way all on my own -- hell, I "should" put each of my money sites on a different hosting account instead of grouping 5 on 1. But NONE of this is economical. Develop a plan that gives a balance between efficacy and economy. This is because, if your plan were the most powerful it could be, it would not be economical to scale it up unless you've found a CPA offer which pays $300 per lead. On the other hand, if you go cheap to the extreme, e.g. you buy a co.cc domain and free hosting, then rip all your product descriptions from the manufacturer's site and auto spin it, well, that is just pure shit. My system is *quite* shit, but not pure shit, I have designed it to be *just* good enough. Anything too good and I could be doing less i.e. taking that excess and devoting it to making and SEOing new sites, anything too shit and none of my sites will succeed. The moral of the story is, for any new guys, please don't think BH SEO is some magic button that you press and blast your way to riches. I have learned the hard way, it is not. Like anything it involves hard work but the tools simply automate SOME parts of it that would cost you a lot of money/time to do it manually. Automate everything that you can while maintaining as much quality as you can (i.e. work with G, not against it, to get as good links as your budget/scaling allows). I just looked at a site of an indian SEO company that took $10,000 from me for services that didn't even get me anywhere near the first page, for impossible keywords. There were so many things done wrong that I can't even begin. I looked at their packages e.g. they charged $1000 for some packages that I can do in about 2-3 days on my own, except that I can actually get results. I appreciate some quality posts by high ranking members on this board, but often, a lot of them are not geared to the poor guy just starting out. You've got to start slow and work your way up the ladder. The more money you make, the more leverage you will have to scale things up and eventually make your own blog network and buy shitloads of new articles for every site. Check out the thread by Scritty, "Poor Man's Power Linking" in which he says that he has about $50 per month to spend on backlinking. The only things I spend money on are hosting and domains ($30 a month total) plus 2 VPS with xsserver. ($70). So I am even double that but all these are ESSENTIAL. Starting out there are going to be loads of services pulling on you left right and centre, trying to get you to part with your cash. And when you spend, you think you are 'getting somewhere', when in fact most stuff is shit. The basic tools of Scrapebox (swiss army knife), Xrumer (machete), AMR, Spinnerchief (which is free), Traffic Travis (again, free) will suffice. Anything else is probably not necessary. The only subscriptions you really need are your rent (unless you can live at a parent's house, ideally), your broadband, your domains, your hosting and a VPS. Make your own system so that you can be self reliant - don't depend on external services unless it saves you a LOT of time/money/effort. The only external SEO related services I use are proxygo's public proxies and DeathbyCAPTCHA. For every 1 guy boasting about 10k+ per month income online, there are a dozen guys who are broke and trying to get a foot in in SEO. I wish some of those super SEOs could offer practical advice that a poor guy trying to make it could take - their reality is often not constrained as much by cost as when you are just starting out, so it's hard to think twice about recommending a team of workers or unique C class hosting for each parasite and so on. So I hope this helps some of you guys coming up.