The 3 Laws Of Buying Guest Post Links (Plus A Few Price Negotiation Tactics)

When I started outreach worthy, I thought I can provide my clients with cheap, but high-quality links.

And I was able to deliver that.

Well, to some extent.

I’ve come to realize that there’s a rock-paper-scissors kind of law when it comes to earning outreach links.

Times are a-changin'...bloggers are more SEO-savvy and with the increase in the number of blogger outreach services, blog owners realize that there is money to be made my selling links. 

You Can’t Have Your Cake And Eat It Too

In some strange Utopia for SEOs, outreach link that satisfies all these criteria are plenty:

  • Cheap
  • High Quality (content + metrics)
  • Fast (TAT)

Unfortunately, we don’t live in paradise, so we have this relationship:

trinity of outreach

Or maybe this GIF explains it better...

Unfortunately, you can only pick two.

And this "law" is actually present in all types of service. Graphic designers, web development, content writing - you name it, this law applies to it.

1. If you want cheap outreach links with fast turnaround times, it’s not going to be good

Cheap blogs who can deliver live links quickly (in as little as 24 hours) are usually blogs with little to no traffic.

These are blogs who are mostly just starting out and are desperate to monetize their sites…they’ll accept any cheap offer you throw their way.

2. If you want cheap, high-quality links, it’s not going to be fast.

Mainly because you have to run a manual outreach campaign to secure free links.

How do you run a manual outreach campaign?

It’s going to take another article to explain, but the gist of it is you reach out to high-quality blogs and offer something of value - a really, really good article that’s relevant to their audience is one example. Honestly, unless you have a lot of time, it's too much of a hassle to do...

Most of the time, high-quality blogs know their worth so they’re either going to ask for payment (on average, our experience is about $100, but we also get emails asking upwards of GBP300), or reject your offer because they do “all their content in house”.

Since you want cheap links, you’ll have to skip paid opportunities which leads to, you guessed it – longer turnaround times.

Manual outreach campaigns take time to warm up too.

More often than not, you won't get the perfect email pitch on your first try. Internally, manual outreach starts ramping up in the 2nd month if it’s an easy niche we worked with before. It takes a few weeks to optimize the campaign that’s why there’s a slight lag time.

Unless you have a really, really, REALLY good hook – it’s going to take a while before you get your links.

3. If you want high-quality links with quick TATs, it’s not going to be cheap.

If you want the best of both worlds, be prepared to pay. 

As I’ve said earlier, high-quality blogs usually know their worth – they’ve spent resources, and taken the time and effort to grow their blog to the point that you want a link you better pay up!

Budget Constraints & Some Negotiation Tips

We want to pay for high quality links, sure, but how do you make sure that you’re paying within your budget?

Here are some tips:

If you don't have enough budget to pay for links, but have plenty of time (and motivation) to run a manual outreach campaign yourself we have a guide here.

1. Don't beat around the bush.

Just ask directly! 

Blogs are so used to guest post pitches that it doesn't matter how innocent-looking your email reads, their bullshit alarm will still go off.

Unless your website is hyper-relevant to theirs and your pitch is something that their audience will truly appreciate, just ask directly.

2. Make sure that you’re not over paying.

Bloggers are notorious for over charging for guest posts. It’s not hard to understand, most of them simply overestimate their blog, pretty much like how you think your dog is the goodest boi in the land.

Before you reach out to any blog, make sure you have a price upper limit in mind.

For example, say “I will not pay over $120 for anything less than DR 30, but I’m willing to pay $200 for a DR 50 link”.

3. Set the right expectations

Don’t expect a link from a DR 60, 50K monthly traffic blog when you only have a budget of $45 for each guest post. That’s setting yourself up for failure.

4. Negotiate In increments

Blogs are notorious for overcharging, but most of them are also open to negotiation.

Try to negotiate in $10, $15, and $20 increments.

We're fairly successful when we ask for $10 less.

Try to get a feel for your niche's "haggle-ability" (don't know the exact word for this). Try to ask for $10 less for the first 20 sites. If you have a 70% success rate, try asking for $15 less on the next 20 sites. 

Keep repeating until most of them are rejecting your offer. This gives you an idea on the *actual* prices of guest posts on your niche.

That being said, don’t ask for 50% off on the first ask, you’ll just piss off the bloggers.

Some bloggers know what Domain Rating (DR) or Domain Authority (DA) are. If they're asking for a price that's waaaay above their metric  - as I mentioned, some bloggers tend to overestimate their blogs - respectfully let them know that their DR 20, 2k traffic blog does not fetch a $250 price tag. They're more keen on agreeing to a  lower price once you tell them this.

5. Non-US, non-EU blogs are cheaper

I’ve had success asking for 30% to 50% discount on non-US and EU blogs. They could go as low as $20, depending on the country.

Wrapping Up

I hope this article sheds some light on our mentality and approach regarding outreach. I also shared some price negotiation tips that will hopefully be helpful when you decide to run your own outreach campaign.

As always, check out our homepage on how we can help your outreach campaigns.

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