Disclaimer: Nothing in this thread is promotional. I automate a lot of manual work but I'm not into selling to the IM niche. That said if you have a good automation idea (SEO only at the moment) drop me a message I'm happy to give you the source code or plug a front end control into my server if the idea is worth building. The Budget I actually found a $2400 unpaid balance in my Amazon account yesterday. Oops. So I sorted the payout for that and that'll be the budget for this project. A little arbitrary but it turned up on the day I started working on these sites so I'll go with it. The Sites Site 1: This is an interesting one. Weird niche with maybe 15-20k searches a month if I remember rightly. The cool bit is the design. Built entirely as a funnel instead of a normal "blog" which would probably rank easier but I think the conversion rate would be worth the potential hit in traffic. My custom keyword tool found the niche a few months ago. The competition is a joke forum posts and junk on the first page. I put together a site on a half decent domain and left it sitting. It's page 1 for a few longtails and generates hops to the affiliate link but page 2-3 for the main keywords. I haven't built a link to it for the niche but the domain itself has some generic anchors. Site 2: And to go on the opposite direction this is a much bigger affiliate site. Fairly standard build been sitting fairly dormant for about 2 years now I've never really worked on it. It makes about $100 a month mostly from long tails bouncing around the first page but the main keywords are mostly page 2 and some potential bigger keywords are further back. The Plan To be clear this isn't exactly a case study. They're in different niches, with different histories, different design structures and they'll be getting different types of links. But I am going to be testing a few things here. I don't normally like buying public link packs. For sites I intend to keep I'd not touch them. I like having control over my links but I see a lot of hubub over using crappy links to balance out the usual PBN links. Site 1 I'm not overly attached to. I think the niche has potential but if the domain got burned it wouldn't matter. In fact if I take a churn and burn strategy to smaller niches with this design it might mean a good ROI. I've ordered about $200 in link packages which will drip in over the next few weeks. A mix of public PBN posts (I don't care that they claim to be private they're being sold to the public which makes them, by definition, public) and some tiered links. The kind of packages which post some stuff to a 2.0 then nuke those with spammy links etc... I don't normally use those kinds of links any more. Even on tier 2 properties. But as a test if it ranks in this small niche and lasts long enough it would be easy to scale into other niches. So that'll be a few weeks to show any changes most likely. I might order another package for it and *maybe* the site design will change if the links don't make a difference. Site 2 is a different story. It's a bigger site, with a domain I like in an actual competitive niche. If it took top spots for the main keywords it would be well into three figure days even as an affiliate site. I've tried just having better content than my competitors but we all know how that story goes outside of the Moz blog. So I'll not exactly be playing by the rules but I will be behaving a little more with it. It has a couple of links already. Just junk ones mostly picked up over time some some people linking to it in forum posts etc... not exactly authority links but not the worst base. The work on this site is going to be a lot more involved for the next few weeks. I've a few domains sitting about and I'll be setting up a number of others. Aiming for a PBN of about 20 domains to start with. The niche makes money so it'll still be a decent ROI if I have to go bigger. Goal is to have them decent looking and niche orientated. I know the niche well enough but I might outsource some of the content here. I just finished up a script to automate a part of link building which I usually ignore because it takes a lot of manual work. That said when it works it means potentially good, very legit looking links. It's a complete numbers game but with a few thousand proxies and about a hundred threads running on the server I'll see how it goes. I need something to balance out these heavier links. I want to balance out the anchor and homepage link density without going too overboard and sticking out like obvious spam. First step here is building some quality third party properties. Decent enough that they'll carry some weight and be worth writing (or outsourcing) content for. Not so decent that I don't mind using them for deep linking. I've had some good success with this in the past and I'm retooling some existing pages from dead projects over the next couple of days. After that I'll be working on a script to automate a lot of the work. It might take a couple of days to put together but it'll be worth it since I tend to replicate this work in most link building campaigns. So for quality and control we're looking good so far for site 2. But I suspect I'll still need to water down those links a little more. I'm looking at using GSA in moderation. Not going completely nuts with a bunch of spam but just a small mix of the different sources a few dozen profiles and directories and maybe a couple of guestbooks and wikis. The other thing I'm really keen to test is doing something I haven't ever done before. Building links to the second tiers. So the decent third party properties and PBN sites I use I tend to throw them up and the only changes I make are onsite. But in theory if I use anchors to focus these properties more specifically on the niche it might help. I'm not a fan of manual work however. So the current plan is to get the PBN and properties setup (a chunk of which should be done over the next week or so but I'll spread out the rest) and then start running relatively small GSA campaigns pointed at them. Still not going for obviously spun articles or anything which screams 100% SEO spam but something like a profile which could arguably be made by the owner of that site. So that's the plan and my thought process behind it. Follow along if you're interested. Feel free to ask questions. I have some links to build and some code to write so it'll likely be a few days before anything changes.