Welcome to Linkbuilding.tv, this is a little collaboration between myself (James Agate, Skyrocket SEO) and Garrett French (Citation Labs). The plan is to turn this place into a real hub of genuinely useful and hopefully entertaining videos centred around the acquisition of links. So whether that be a fireside chat format with a peer, a full tool review, process walkthrough or a review of the latest book.

The eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed that this is the very first video we’ve posted here. For Garrett and I, it’s the first video of this kind that we’ve done and it is also our first time using VodBurner so please bear with us.

The video is just over 30 minutes but we think there’s some value in there for you, it’s just a little rough around the edges. We’ll get more polished with time but for now enjoy the raw lo-fi feel to the video :-)

In this episode, Garrett and I discuss;

  • The process Skyrocket SEO uses to prospect for link opportunities
  • How the Link Prospector tool helps my team & how we stay ahead of the crowd when it comes to finding opportunities for our clients
  • How we manage a team of link prospectors that are based around the world (and how we’ve created a 24/7 operation)
  • An introduction to creating a team of happy, productive contractors to handle certain elements of the link building process

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Resources from the video

Join us again soon for more videos, something we both feel are somewhat currently lacking in the world of building links. You can expect interviews, tutorials, tool reviews and group sessions over the coming months and years. Oh and if we start to see some traction here, we PROMISE to put some more thought into making it look a little prettier around here ;-)

Leave your feedback in the comments!

21 Responses to “Episode #1 – James Agate & Garrett French talk link prospecting”

  1. Michael Forgie
    6 February 2013 at 6:51 pm #

    This is exactly the thorough video I have been looking for. Thank you very much for listing the resources. I am going to start using Link Prospector to promote my own site. Do you have a video tutorial for the most effective way to use it?

  2. Robert kirk
    6 February 2013 at 8:35 pm #

    Interesting video guys, i cant imagine the infrastructure and setup you must have in place to deal with over 1k guest posts, i struggle with 40-50 lol :) be nice to see you guys use the actual tools

    • James
      6 February 2013 at 8:59 pm #

      That gives me an idea for a future video then Robert – thanks for watching

  3. Michael
    6 February 2013 at 8:36 pm #

    I really admire how little waste there seems to be in your processes, as well as how transparent you are with it. Sounds like you’ve got it down to a T.

    Anyway, this is excellent, I really hope you manage to record more.

    • James
      6 February 2013 at 9:00 pm #

      I’m definitely going to try and record more, it seems to (so far) be a medium that people like… plus they can get slicker as I get into them more, I’m well aware this one is a little shonky and full of errrrrrrs in places :-)

  4. justin liles
    6 February 2013 at 8:40 pm #

    I’m glad you gentleman put this together. Thank you for sharing your process and helping the digital marketing world.

    • James
      6 February 2013 at 9:01 pm #

      Much appreciated Justin :-)

  5. seo consultant
    6 February 2013 at 10:10 pm #

    A very encouraging interview for us weary link builders. Thanks!

  6. Neil Hart
    6 February 2013 at 11:14 pm #

    Really enjoyed this, thanks guys.

    Citation Labs Link Prospector is one of a bunch of tools we’ve been trying out recently, so it’s fantastic to get some insight into how a well-respected agency like Skyrocket scales its use.

    We have also been building a very small workforce on oDesk, so I appreciate the sheer time it takes to recruit and develop just one team member, let alone a small army like yours.

    I’d love to know more about how you manage outreach once you have your refined and checked prospect lists. Do you use any tools like Buzzstream?

    • James
      7 February 2013 at 10:06 am #

      Hi Neil,

      Thanks for watching…

      Outreach is all managed in a series of well-oiled spreadsheets. We have used Buzzstream in the past and we have also found it to be useful in certain situations but to hit the numbers that we do, a spreadsheet just proves a little less cumbersome :-)

      Sadly there’s no magic tip I have for you there !!

      I will say though that if you have some specific challenges you could email me (just drop a note in the contact form here > http://skyrocketseo.co.uk/contact)

      highlighting some specific challenges and then I could look at either doing a blog post or a video on the subject – that’s if you don’t mind doing this in public of course :-)

      J

  7. Joel
    7 February 2013 at 1:58 am #

    Hi James
    This is uncanny – I am basically doing the same process as you but in a much more scaled back way – I just have one full time contractor working for me and far fewer clients but have found that the system works well.
    One tool that i think you will find useful is Buzzstream – I was using spreadsheets too until about 6 months ago when Garrett put me on to it – here’s the link: http://www.buzzstream.com/
    It saves time but also helps cut down on any embarrassing errors such as emailing someone twice form the same site.
    You can import list prospects in bulk from CSV’s, Link Prospector and from other link prospecting tools. I normally run research in Link Prospector, get it cleaned by the outsourcer and then upload to Buzzstream from a CSV and run the outreach from there.

    • James
      7 February 2013 at 10:03 am #

      Hi Joel,

      Thanks for watching.

      I like Buzzstream and if we were handling fewer projects then it would work really well for us however we have trialled the software and we just find spreadsheets to be more efficient for the way we work.

      It was a little cumbersome for our needs unfortunately.

      Paul May and his team have done an incredible job with the software but it just isn’t for us right now. :-)

      J

  8. Ivan
    7 February 2013 at 4:34 pm #

    This is gold. Thanks so much, I am following this and your site now.

    Thanks.

  9. Joe Robison
    7 February 2013 at 6:17 pm #

    Awesome video, good to hear the meat and bones of how the system works and reinforces my notion that well-managed oDesk prospectors can help a lot!

  10. Victor
    7 February 2013 at 8:02 pm #

    James, I am curious how you approach link prospects on behalf of your clients. Do you approach as an agency, as a made up person working with your client or how do you do it? I see some agencies say they make up “special” (aka fake) persons.

    • James
      7 February 2013 at 9:28 pm #

      It depends on the market and also what the client wants so…

      We sometimes contact as an agency
      We sometimes contact as if we are in-house at the client
      And we also sometimes contact as a persona/pen name.

      All have their uses.

      Thanks for watching :-)

      • Victor
        8 February 2013 at 8:08 pm #

        So I guess there are different response rates for each approach. Which one is performing best for you guys?

  11. Jamie Knop
    8 February 2013 at 10:28 am #

    Good listen as well as entertaining “patch of grass that hasn’t been shit on” made me laugh haha. Nice to see a local person as well (from Chester myself).

    You mention you build roughly a 1,000 guest posts month. Content wise is this outsourced also? Performing quality checks on so many pieces of content can’t be an easy job (time wise).

    Also with the actual outreaching a 1,000 a month seems impossible for one man to do. Do you have a team of people based in your office also?

    • James
      13 February 2013 at 1:30 pm #

      Hi Jamie,

      Yes we have in total 180 people involved with the process (research, outreach, quality control, content production and content editing) so I actually do very little of the outreach myself these days. I enjoy doing it though so I have been known to involve myself at a project level from time to time…

      Ah nice, someone else from Chester in the world of SEO!

      Thanks for watching!

      J

  12. Thomas Zickell
    22 February 2013 at 12:49 pm #

    James,
    awesome job man this is truly going to be a very big website. I would think of getting it out on Google+ hangouts that way everyone from industry can have a chat with you once. The site is going to get a lot of hits very soon.

    Your friend,
    Thomas