• David

    Glad to see respected and trusted people like yourselves are addressing this issue. I’m more of an inbound marketer, and what I do is pay bloggers in my specific niche/demographic/market to blog/Tweet/FB things they are passionate about.

    For example, I give them a story to share, a video or some other content that’s on our company site. It’s only stuff they are intensely interested in and stuff they generally blog about anyway.

    Bottom line, they blog/Tweet/FB their own unique version of the story or video in their own words and they use anchor text for keywords that I suggest.

    I compensate them for this. In essence, they are doing a job, performing a service and doing work. So they deserve to be compensated for their efforts. I benefit by getting links. There’s a little more complexity to this, but that’s basically how I do it.

  • Brett

    @David – Thanks for sharing some of your strategy! The nice thing about strategies like these is that, as you mentioned, they cater to content that is already relevant and appropriate for the blogger. There’s also the personal level which is another great way to engage with your community and build not only links but also relationships with the thought leaders in the space.

    Thanks again!

  • Terry Van Horne

    Yeah… much of what you describe…. is illegal according to the FTC…is deceptive to users who should always know what is a “pitch” and what was said with no influence. I would also add that if ya wanna link like this just seek memberships and associations. #jusSayin

  • Wil Reynolds

    Terry, I agree that was the MAJOR caveat I had with the post is that according to the FTC you would need to remind these people to clearly state that they are receiving compensation in some capacity, 100% agree with you on that. Memberships and associations….hmmm, I’m about to get busy! :) Thanks dude.

  • Tim Harrah

    @David, I’d be very interested in how you find these bloggers, and what your offer email looks like.

    Could you share a sample?

  • David

    @Tim. I’d be glad to. I’m swapped with projects today, but tomorrow I will post the initial email I send, and some more detail on how I make this work (i.e. finding them, compensating them, etc.).

  • David

    @Tim. Here’s the backstory on this link building strategy – we’re in the higher ed space. Our students are mostly self-directed learners (homeschoolers, adult learners). We customize their higher education based on their personality, learning style, and longterm life goals. Through us, they earn their bachelor’s (fully accredited) in about 3 years, with nearly zero debt, blah blah blah.

    In the homeschool world there are thousands of active bloggers. It’s a rapidly growing market. I compensate these bloggers to write original content, on their blog, about our students or products/services. I do not write the content for them, I simply present them with the story, some keywords to include, and some must-have anchor text.

    I have a tiered compensation plan — if they just blog about the story and link to the page I want them to link to they get $50. If they share a link to their specific blog post on Twitter and FB, they get $60. I encourage them not to write in salesy, promotional, gimmicky style, but from their heart.

    The following email is what I send to reach out to them. This is a relatively new strategy for me, it’s working well so far, but can definitely use refinement. Hope this helps, feel free to ask questions.

    The email:


    Hi. I discovered your blog through a Google alert, and really connected with you because we share the same passion for education and self-directed learning.

    Recently, I formed a group for active bloggers from within the education and self-directed learning community.

    So the question is, would you like to join the group and monetize your blog by telling stories about people who are taking control of their education and doing amazing things?

    In essence, through this group, you can get paid to do what you love, and you will have the power to inform and inspire people to rethink education by telling powerful, real-life stories.

    Your writing is compelling, and based on your blog’s dedicated following, people listen to you. They trust what you have to say.

    If you’d like to accept this personal invitation, I need to hear back from you by May 6th. If you have any specific questions about how this works, please call me at 866.989.5432 ext. 310, or send me an email.

    Getting paid to do what you love is a beautiful thing. I hope you can join us.