10 Months, 7 Keywords, & $42K Later: How We Link Built Our Way to Page 1 on Google

Let's cut through the noise.

Landing on Google's first page for any high-demand keyword? It's a beast. No two ways about it.

Given that Google throws curveballs with core updates every quarter, and everyone and their dog is fighting for a spot, all while funds are drying up, many reckon getting a newbie site to rank in a year's time is a dream.

They'd be wrong.

OnlyOutreach came into existence just 10 months back.

At the get-go? We were basically infants in the online world: no history, no links, no content, no brand recognition.

Flash forward to now, we're swinging big. We’ve nabbed a spot on the first page for 7 big-time keywords and even clinched top 3 for four of those.

And because of all that, we're earning $42,000/month!

Look, this isn't some fairy tale or me playing pin the tail on the donkey and somehow winning. No smoke and mirrors here.

It all boiled down to a no-nonsense, structured link-building game plan, distilled into three pillars. That's the whole shebang.

I won't sugarcoat it – this journey needs grit. It's methodical, and patience isn't just a virtue; it's a necessity. But I tell you, if you're up for the challenge and give it your all, the payoff is real. Heck, you might even outpace your own expectations.

So, here's the plan for today. I'm gonna give you a backstage pass to our rise. I'm breaking down our monthly moves, painting a picture of how we clinched that enviable rank. And because sharing is caring, I'll drop some gold nuggets for you to recreate our magic. Sound good? Let's dive in.

The Not-So-Complicated 3-Part Strategy for Speedy Link Building

1. Link Insertions

Being in the outreach game, we're pretty cozy with a bunch of bloggers. And guess what? They actually like getting emails from us. Why? Because instead of being the annoying, needy type, we give them something valuable in return. That whole "scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" thing. This isn’t rocket science. Through genuine relationship-building, we've snagged some pretty impressive links. A big chunk of our backlinks? Those are link insertions.

2. Guest Posts and Editorial Placements

There's something satisfying about seeing your name pop up in fresh content, especially if you're the newbie in town. That’s where guest posting comes into play.

Here's the drill:

  • Find blogs in your field that are buzzing
  • Pitch 'em something they haven't seen a million times
  • Write with some flair. Think... "If Tarantino did link building."

3. Digital PR

Digital PR is the shiny toy everyone's after right now. From offering juicy data tidbits to journalists to mingling with the big guns in your sector, it's all about making waves. And our favorite move? Think of it as link insertions and guest posting on steroids, but refined and tailored to what high end blog managers really want.

Got all that?

Alright, recap time.

If you're hoping to shoot your website up to the big leagues (I'm talking Google's first page for [Your Dream Keyword]), then this is the playbook:

  • Stay consistent with your blogging/link building
  • Craft some killer content that outshines the rest
  • Cozy up with other bloggers, and, you know, ask them for links

Sounds too good? Think I'm pulling your leg?

Well, strap in. I'm about to spill the beans on an 10-month journey, diving deep into the how's and the wows of our success.

1st 3 Months: The Hustle, The Strategy, The Results

Alright, let's get real.

Before you zone out with all this SEO talk, let's simplify: For 9 months, while others were diving into every metric known to man, we had a single focus: keyword rankings.

Sure, we didn't totally ignore other indicators like organic traffic. But, in the grand scheme, keyword rankings were the North Star.

Let's hop in the time machine to October 2022.

Those first few months? We hustled. 51 links, DR of 65, and a respectable 4k in traffic.

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Of those, 14 were labeled 'Branded EAT'. For the uninitiated, EAT stands for expertise, authoritativeness, trust. Instead of waiting around, we took a shortcut with Parasite EAT Link Insertion.

Our strategy was simple:

  • Identify the big-win keywords.
  • Spot relevant listicles.
  • Convince them to link to us (money, favors, or the classic "you scratch my back").
  • Drop them a line.

By the end of month three, we were rolling with 14 solid links. Most leads from this time period said they found us on one of those lists.

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But those other 37 links? That's the Niche Networking magic. 

Niche Networking: Essentially, it's making connections with others in our field who manage blogs similar to yours. And trust me, in the world of SEO, these connections matter.

Our Objective?: Secure those valuable backlinks. But not in the straightforward, “I give you one, you give me one” way. See, direct link exchanges are pretty transparent to the big G (Google). And they're not too fond of it.

Here’s the play-by-play:

  • The Three-Way Link Tango: You link to Bob's site. Bob doesn't link back to you (because that’s too obvious). Instead, Bob links to Alice's site, and Alice, who has no direct connection to Bob in this little triangle, links back to you. This way, everyone gets a link, but it's indirect – more of a circle than a two-way street. Sneaky, but smart.
  • Guest Posting and Its Magic: Now, this is where the fun begins. By writing for other sites (let's call it guest posting), you’re essentially staking your claim in various parts of the web. The more territories you have, the more you can direct where links from these territories point to.

So, imagine you're doing a link swap with Bob. Bob wants a link, but not directly from you. Since you've guest-posted on, say, 10 other sites, you can offer a link from one of those sites to Bob. This keeps the linking indirect, and with it, you effectively unlock the safest form of three-way swaps. It's like having multiple chess pieces on the board; you've got more moves and strategies at your disposal.

By weaving together these tactics, you're not just accumulating links; you're constructing an interconnected web of relationships and resources. It’s more than just a numbers game; it’s strategic networking.

Now, the fruits of our labor: Mixing in those fresh blog posts with the links got our site flirting with page 3-10 rankings. Our blogger outreach service keyword was chilling at a respectable position 39 by the end of the third month.

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And our DR was steadily increasing.

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2nd 3 Months - The Rise, The Roar, The Rewards

Yea, We Hit Page 1

So, someone's uncle's neighbor once muttered, "Kid, SEO's a long game, takes 6-12 months to see a glimmer." Four months in? We're lounging on the first page for "blogger outreach service" and “guest posting service”. Maybe that neighbor needed a new pair of glasses.

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We continued putting our energy into this thing called Niche Networking. Picture this: every morning, coffee in one hand, we'd fire off 50 emails. Some were cheeky link insertion pitches, others guest post invites. 

We were clocking in about 4 killer links every week. It was like the team had downed an espresso shot of ambition—pulling in links that had an average DR of 70 and traffic that's, well, a lot.fZnxElEyVj8l7yF42 3Nm97szM H OYOtFh U gqzJ U0PHrcpXIrEDEdJh4SALwksJsPShS 6QP

We even got nods from the big players—Powr, Tidio, Majestic, Flippa, Close, Design Hill. Not too shabby, huh?

Now, our traffic wasn’t exactly turning the internet on its head with about 12 clicks a day. 

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But here's the kicker—three out of every four of those clicks were from folks ready to pull out their credit cards. High-quality leads rolled in, and our cash register was singing a happy tune.

Stay with me, because April, May, and June? That's an entirely different ballgame.

3rd 3 Months - SEO Heartbreak, But We're Not Crying

Alright, class. Time to get real about the world of search engine rankings.

First, the bruising news: We were having a great run, with our rankings on "guest posting service" and "blogger outreach service" cozying up nicely on page 1. But the SEO Gods decided to shake things up a bit, and we found ourselves slipping to page 2, and for a while, "blogger outreach service" took a more dramatic tumble to page 6 before pulling itself back up.

It’s easy to think we messed up somewhere or wonder if we made a pact with the wrong SEO deity. But there's a little bit of insider knowledge to sprinkle here.

Ever heard of the "Google dance"? No, it's not a new TikTok trend. It's a name some of us webmasters and SEO junkies throw around. The idea? Google, in all its wisdom, might play around with your site's rankings — give it a little jiggle here and there — to see how you react. Why, you ask? Well, folks who engage in shady SEO tactics might panic and make some rash moves. And Google? It's watching. Always watching. Like that strict teacher from third grade.

If these black-hat practitioners start tweaking things in a sketchy manner, reacting to these deliberate ranking fluctuations, they give themselves away. And Google's got a one-way ticket for them to the SEO doghouse.

Now, What Were We Up To?

During this seismic shift, we stayed the course. Kept our heads down, noses clean, and continued networking with our niche marketers. We reeled in a nice 10 links each month. We transitioned from a breakneck pace to a more sustainable rhythm of 2.5 top-notch links every week. And we made sure each link was worth its weight in gold.qeqxj g6A m3dDt5 ZWd1T euireeIN46U5RVD bSZTsJOEu0b26eQVaHxUYdY7WXct86DBixTfDMvtLxhZm28nSU4AXb8jo3BMneJsKcFlUnGHcJH1abQs8UyD5Gxdw6OkC6tGEjW2PKKcLl sr dw

Why the Drop then?

It's like this: If you're trying to make a mark in the world of SEO, Google’s gonna test your mettle. It’s especially evident for a site like ours with content that's still growing. For the SEO rookies out there, it's a little freaky. Heck, even seasoned pros might get a bit jittery. But remember the golden rule: Keep calm and SEO on. Publish content, nurture those links, and above all, remember that it's a marathon, not a sprint.

Month 10: The Big Comeback and Lessons Learned

Strap in. If you've been following our journey so far, you know we've been on a bit of a rollercoaster. But month 10? That's when the magic happened. We made a roaring comeback with our "Blogger outreach services" and "Guest Posting services" keywords. Not just that, we had several other money-making keywords, with all the right jargons like "outreach," "link building," "agency," and "company" shining right up there on page 1. The cherry on top? A whopping 63 leads and an income milestone that'd make anyone do a little happy dance: $48,000 per month. All from our inbound efforts.

The 3-Month Snapshot:

Here's a little nugget to wrap your head around: Even after the Google dance that got our nerves all jumbled, we managed to claw our way back. And how we did that in 3 months is something worth digging into.3Mlf K z CA 7FhoaMCrcfw1ioAXrGe6On77Qfxkz2u8WdXnSegPhdWEWHeOY0HiY4vHK0g1Rtxkm3mLsxswa8uY9NMGGgqtfrWK6J7RW D70w OPGA1q 9atNTnk0Wv8MRrq76Pd6UOF6qkYD9bFyA

A Ten-Month Zoom-Out:

To get the full picture, let's roll back and see how our star keywords "blogger outreach services" and "guest posting services" fared over the last 10 months. It’s like watching a drama series with its highs and lows.c3KqXUacR5F9MZ7UlOn3IrYLg0pCbXQzMNjPYdiVH6DOVn9CzHBrUzQ1V zFednY8hG83XGvLXxlpUVyE0r0TmBJN7HTklPjXsVslCN5IaGstQ4oDge2C2sQrJ2Gh9SKzyUWO T2ReYZqz8jtPbFto

Linking the Dots:

Every campaign, no matter how meticulously planned, has its hiccups. Looking back, I'm pretty chuffed about our page targeting diversity. As of now, our link distribution looks something like this:YUy6mRjGtJ OnYkuVYj4FW m9G5D65NwryxOor9 P3jc5jLX3M3wFO3nxECFJ02bA zZYxn7oTLlFc2cYSwLSlf96DQ7VbdD5G3OG2

And here's a silver lining: about 30% of the links we've built are nestled in places with some organic traffic. Think of these as the SEO world's swanky neighborhoods.JNww6zVoZozUXdygv AlGFGiTNo3ZAzVLFOQ9b7bYfwIzDwX9v7r3J6 9fbBoFwLMelFtyyVOBLkSOFjZhcHKglAFVyJLjanjSfKcAxNrPxUMQFZGJLYC9

A Glance Back and Ahead:

If I had a time machine, would I change things? Maybe. Like, I'd probably have pushed out content more consistently. But hindsight's 20/20, right? Now, as I'm penning this down, I'm in the thick of a rebranding phase. I'm gearing up to shift this site over to a snazzier, more memorable domain and will be merging it with my Linkio site, which is sitting pretty with a DR of 67 and a sweet 10k monthly traffic.

Hold onto your hats, because the next phase? It's going to be a wild one.

Ajay Paghdal
Outreach Labs Founder
🕒 7 mins read
Oct 11, 2022

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Article by
Ajay Paghdal
Outreach Labs Founder
Ajay enjoys tinkering with new link building strategies, building teams and processes around it and in general, has enjoyed being a part of the industry for the past decade.

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