Bootstrappin’ The Hell Out Of Hell (When You Don’t Have A Near Nothin’ Budget!!@#$)!!!@#$!

Let’s lay it alllllllllllll out on the table: the last year and a half have been quite the struggle for me. But really, with those struggles, for the most part, I am proud of the person that I am becoming and how far along I have come.

My 34th birthday is coming around the corner and last year, I set a goal of creating a revenue generating Amazon affiliate site that I would rank for a handful of keyphrases, with the end goal being to sell it.

So, how is that goal coming along? Where I am with all of this?

Let’s Get Person-al, Person-al

Get it? Like Olivia Newton-John’s “Let’s Get Physical, Physical”… well, lemme get person-al, person-al… okay, now I’m snorting:

lets get

But in all seriousness, personally, 2015 has been one of the most challenging years of my life and 2016 is proving to be equally the same. I could delve into the really personal stuff but I am not afforded that frank luxury at this point in my life, so I’ll keep those things to myself.

Just KNOW, that I understand what struggling means on every level. So when you throw at me: “how do I rank without a budget?”, really, what it comes down to, if you dig deeper, is “how do I give myself this leverage, create this edge, give myself the best shot I can towards success?”

Before you roll your eyes, you need to let that sink in.

And believe me, I understand!

Last year was so tough that there were days I could not get myself to be productive. The outside world wouldn’t know this, of course; when I left the house, I’d make sure to paste a smile and give the best I had. When I returned home, all the anger and sadness would take several forms, and mostly, the form of not wanting to get up and begin the day. And it wasn’t about the “not wanting”; I just… couldn’t. As much as I loathe having to describe it this way, perhaps I was depressed and it still rears its ugly little head here and there. But I think people who know me at a personal level also realize that… maybe it’s normal with all the things going on around me.

But eventually, you have to come to this essential point in your life where you realize that you, as an entity, are responsible for yourself. How cliche to say: You are indeed responsible for your own success and for your own failures. Perhaps not when you were a child, not when you were a teenager (this can all be debated), but at some point, you must come into your own.

At some point, you learn to cry, feel sad, down, eat a few Ben & Jerry’s, then hit the gym hard, go hiking for hours… but you learn to get the hell up and keep moving.

… and if you’re the kind of tenacious fucker who can get up, look at yourself in the mirror despite being knee deep in debt, going through a divorce, hell with your family, then you are the kind of person that will never give up. And that’s the best kind of human there can be!

Because, now, guess what? You can apply all of these hard lessons to your online business 🙂

Here’s what I accomplished in the last 4.5 months:

  • Decent income from the services I provide
  • Partnership with another SEO for PBNs
  • Connections with other well established SEOs who I can turn to for advice

Hell yes, Broskiz!

kitty high five

That doesn’t seem like a lot but it happened after a whole year of struggling. Sure, I wanted to build a serious PBN for my own Amazon affiliate niche site and while a few hundred dollars doesn’t seem like much, right now, for me with the bills and all, it IS quite a lot.

So, what happened? Another SEO who I had connected with on FB offered me a PBN partnership/affiliation of sorts. That generated a bit of income. Not a whole lot, but this allowed me to start offering services and playing with copywriting and ads.

Next, I started playing with not just web 2.0s, but expired ones that could be available for registration with some PA (page authority) behind them, meaning with some juice behind them. Sure, one could consider these low end PBN type of things but the more I played with them, the more results I received.

After I started seeing results, I started offering Tumblr packages with PA behind them. I sold Tumblr links and now am selling Over-Blog and Weebly links as well. I just got done offering some Blogspot links too!

I made mistakes along the way. I offered some packages for too cheap and became overloaded. I also hit some sweet points where I didn’t sell a lot of packages but made as much as the previous month where I did become overloaded, in fact. But through it all, guess what? All of my clients have been happy with the services and understood that since I do the work myself, manually, there can often be a delay.

They have been pretty cool with that.

Through it all though, I have sweated bullets as other sources of income dried up. However, my services have taken off through lots of trial and error and while I’m not comfortable revealing numbers, they help me pay my bills.

But Moon, What About Your Amazon Niche Site Rankings?

Remember the partnership/affiliation for PBN links? I struck a deal to place my own links on those. I also placed my links on web 2.0s with decent page authority such as Blogspot, Tumblr, Weebly, and Over-Blog.

The results? A handful of keyphrases are now teasing me on the very bottom of page 1 dancing over to page 2 and back and forth!

God, I’m so hungry for the top positions now!

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If you want more in-depth case studies, go read this 😀 Do Expired Web 2.0s Really Work?

Because I have learned to NOT give up & had to be resourceful, I started experimenting with expired web 2.0s. I figured out how to pay my bills using my SEO related skills without compromising my values. I’ve also used those skills for my own site and now, I feel like I have a damn good chance.

Pretty cool, y’all. I can feel myself edging there, but so much resistance sometimes!

Now, I know I don’t have the budget to build out 5-10 PBN sites within 1-2 months. So, what’s the next best thing? Rent or buy additional permanent links.

Sure, there are risks to this, so I have to look at all the services out there in detail. BUT then again, there is a possibility as well, that you could play by the rules and STILL have the search engines screw you over.

This month is essential for me as my birthday is coming up and so, if I cannot directly hit my goal, here is what I need to accomplish:

  • Hit my goal of monthly income from providing SEO services
  • Work on my business, not die from working IN IT (& retain quality!)
  • Purchase effective PBN links
  • Unleash another blast of high PA Tumblrs, Weeblys, Over-Blogs, and Blogspot links

When you are managing client work and your own, and doing most of it with white/grey hat methods, it can take up some time. In the background, I have started playing with Facebook Ads. I am learning about brand exposure, the audience I can appeal to at a low cost per click, and just having fun growing my email list. Today, I started my second Facebook ad campaign with the tiniest of budgets ever, but guess what? I don’t have a choice and have to make do with this tiniest of budgets and see what kind of results I can garner. Keep tweaking and adjusting.

So, the question becomes for both you and me: what will YOU do better or smarter or quicker than the guy next to you? Will you train yourself for endurance? Can you keep getting back up, punch after punch? Are you going to be the guy who stays down and doesn’t get up?

Take a good look at your challengers in life and your competition in SEO. As much as more tools and budget can HELP, they are not a necessity to your success; in fact, they can be quite the distraction. Do you think a set of Nikes will make a runner? Or do you think a true athlete who eats right, learns his/her body, sticks to a running regimen on the daily, will make a great, successful runner?

Do you need $500 in SEO tools to rank? Nah. It’s difficult but you don’t NEED it.

Create your own fucking opportunity because, guess what? We’re all in the same boat and no ONE gives a FUCK about you, really. Get your shit together.

Not before you watch this video though, heh:

Using Tumblr Links For Ultimate Rankings

Don’t know what Tumblr is? Well, Bro, hello to mid-to-late 2015 search engine optimization! “So, Moon, if it’s so 2015, why are you telling me about it now?”

Because. Moon was ignorant and let me tell you, Bro: I’ve been selling Tumblr packages for months now after testing them with my own keyphrases, long-tail and all, on my own projects… with pretty good results!

This is no joke. Of course, in the world of SEO, nothing is cut and dry. You can’t just rely on one strategy for long term success. You always have to experiment. I have been playing with PBNs as well with positive results (still waiting for the big shove upwards) and now mixing in a few Weeblys, Tumblrs, and soon, social signals from Facebook and Twitter (but more on that later).

Let’s start with:

What’s Tumblr, Bro?

Okay, so if you’re social media savvy, it won’t take long until you understand how Tumblr works. Go ahead, open up an account and mess around. Now, let me go ahead and be specific here: this post is not about how to build up one or two Tumblr accounts for brand presence; rather, it’s about using the power of multiple Tumblr accounts to imitate the “viral content effect” and to give your site a shove up in search engine rankings.

In essence, Tumblr is a fun little “social” platform that allows you to share your own posts, other people’s link and videos, like their content, and to re-post or “reblog” them in an extremely easy way. It’s literally a matter of click, click, reblog, share, click… to your heart’s content.

tumblr

So, how can we, as SEOs, use Tumblr to our advantage?

How Can I Use Tumblr For SEO Purposes?

Let’s break things down a bit. Multiple sources have now quoted that social signals more than ever, play a significant role in increasing rankings.

Think about it: when a piece of content goes viral, that URL/content/link gets shared on all sorts of sites such as news related sites, Facebook likes and shares, Twitter shares, and lastly, Tumblr shares.

Right? This makes sense.

First thing I do is check Facebook. Any major news or anything in the new feed that I connect with, I tend “like” or “share”. When I check Tumblr, same thing with viral content. It’ll have tons or hundreds or thousands of notes!

So, as an SEO, what does this mean? This means we have to imitate the “viral strategy”. What can we do? Create backlinks on PBNs, get tons of Tumblr shares going, throw some FB shares in there for a healthy dose, and a straight up mix of web 2.0s alongside social bookmarking.

Whoa. Hold on there now. Remember, that’s the huge, complete picture and, today, it’s all about them Tumblrs, Bros!

In a recent FB forum, (by the way, join these SEO forums, they are extremely informative!), a member showed his own ranking improvement just by using 40 Tumblrs and removing any doubts link juice from the redirect changes that Tumblr has recently made. In other words: badass!

roy_1

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Okay, that’s the affect of 40 Tumblr shares from 40 different accounts. Let me reiterate that:

THAT’S ONLY 40 TUMBLR LINKS!!!

Can you imagine what a hundred or two hundred Tumblr shares could do for your content?

How Many Tumblr Links Do I Really Need?

If you have to ask that question, you’re not a true SEO maestro yet. The answer is, no one fucking knows! You gotta experiment, Bro!

I started off with 20 accounts, dripping them over a week or so. Then I added another 20 and another 20. Tomorrow and Friday, I will stop drip feeding and target an inner page with 50ish Tumblr links, targeting long-tail variations of a product.

If you have a long tail, experiment with a good 30-50 Tumblr links. If you are afraid, drip feed them over a few days or a week. Whatever.

It will all depend on the competitiveness of your keyphrase. You may or may not experience miracles. Remember, this is the world of SEO and sometimes, a small number is enough, sometimes you need tons more, and sometimes, well, ya gotta mix ‘n match that shizzles. Remember that overall picture, Bro.

Results can be experienced anywhere from a couple of weeks to six weeks later (so far).

Here is what a client had to say:

client_links

In the above case, he happened to purchase PBN links as well as a few sets of Tumblrs from me. It is really cool seeing shifts in the right direction and knowing my properties are helping him move up the search engine… ahem, Google 😉

Neat!

This makes me feel good, knowing that my PBN links and Tumblrs are paying off for clients.

Here are a couple of other keyphrases I have been tracking:

tumblr_rankings

This keyphrase has been sitting on page 2 for a while. Keeps dropping to page 3. This is the closest it has gotten to page 1. I am getting ready to shove more Tumblr, Weebly, and possibly Pinterest links at it.

I try to be careful. For every 20 links, I’ll create about 8 targeting my main keyphrase, 5 brand ones, 5 inner and main URL links, 2 long tail keyphrases.

Don’t over complicate things. You can play it a bit safer or be a bit riskier. Ah, as SEOs, we are always at risk, right? Here is the progress of another keyphrase:

tumblr_rankings_2

It probably settled into #25. But check it out… on 2/11, the ranking sits around #52; then all of a sudden, a nice jump on 2/26 to #26.

This one, I didn’t even create too many Tumblr links to! I believe it was more like 7. There are at least a ton more yet it’s past midnight on a Friday while I sit here and finish this article.

I have just placed links on Tumblr accounts with PA of 31-36; I’m pretty confident that I will continue to see a rise in rankings (I’ll report within the month). It’s a matter of dripping 3-5 links a day for a couple of weeks. Nice and easy. This time around, I’ll be adding a couple of Weebly links, one Pinterest, and perhaps a blogspot link (PA ~27).

Time to kick it up a notch.

The main concern seems to be those of re-directs. What I’m showcasing here has been tracked over the last month and you can see the results from the redirects yourself! Furthermore, Frank from Online Dimes has published this article: Did Tumblr Just Kill Our Backlink Juice? (Case Study) where he conducts his own fine little case study.

Yep, they still work.

Another concern seems to be what type of links these Tumblrs have & so on. Sure, you can place your links on Tumblrs that have every stat you’d ever want… as long as you have the budget.

If you don’t, you have to settle for other stats. Maybe my Tumblrs aren’t as “decked out” but go back to the first graph. It’s pushing my stubborn page 2 and 3 keyphrases to tip of page 1. I couldn’t be more grateful that I can accomplish such good results (hell, this is with 20-30 links) for a little bit of time and $$.

Like I said, next, I’m getting ready for the next shove….

See you on the other side, Bros!