January 19


AdSense Challenge – Part 6

We’ve come a long way in the AdSense Challenge and I hope you’ve started seeing some good results. Today, I want to share a valuable resource with you (particularly if you didn’t get the AdSense 100K Blueprint yet) and talk about the “must-have” types of backlinks, for your off-page SEO to really have an effect. But first, let me talk about an asset that is far more important than any link-building tool or strategy could ever be.

Cause and Effect

The asset I’m talking about could be called “motivation”. It could also be called “discipline” or “tenacity”. Whatever the thing is that some people have, that keeps them going until they have a revenue-generating empire of AdSense sites, and other miss and therefore never see great results.

If you look back at the past weeks, think about how you felt about this new project when you joined the AdSense Challenge. And compare that to how you feel now.

My hope is that there’s not much difference, for you. My hope is that you are getting some good clicks already and are watching your site(s) rise in the search results. And I know that this is the case for some of you, on the Challenge.

But I’m pretty sure that some are also struggling to stick with it and aren’t seeing great results yet. The question is: If you aren’t seeing results, is it because “it’s not working” despite your efforts, or is it because you’re lacking motivation/discipline/tenacity?

All of that is only part of the equation, though. The other part is that you look for cause and effect, in all this.

If the Challenge is going well for you, look for the cause of that. What is it, exactly, that keeps you going? Whatever that is, remember it and try to replicate it for future projects.

And if it’s not going well, what is it that makes it difficult for you? Look for the cause and ask yourself how you can eliminate or change it. The biggest mistake you can make is to just blame yourself. “I’m just lazy” or “I’ll never make it” are not causes. There’s always an external cause that leads to lack of motivation. Find it and see what you can do about it.

This is not only important for what you are doing now, on the AdSense Challenge, but for anything you attempt to do from now on.

Reading Material

As you probably know, the AdSense Challenge started thanks to the AdSense 100K Blueprint guide. If, for some reason, you have not read that guide yet, then here’s a very good resource for you, that you can see for free:

Vita Vee’s AdSense Thread

It’s extremely detailed and likely to be the best summarization of everything you need to know about AdSense, without having to pay for it.


Cause and Effect
As discussed above, finding the causes for your motivation or lack of motivation is hugely valuable, even though it doesn’t have anything to do with AdSense directly. Grab a pen and paper and take a few minutes to write down what is keeping you going (and what you’ll do to get more of that) and what’s keeping you down (and what you’ll do to get rid of that).


“Must-Have” Backlink, Number 1
For a truly effective backlinking strategy, you need to have a certain “bulk” of backlinks, simply to signal to Google “hey, there’s something going on over here!”. I’m not talking about thousands upon thousands of backlinks (although those can definitely help) – just a good number of links coming in from many different sources. Examples of such links are links from RSS feeds, social bookmarks, blog comments (even if they’re no-follow and don’t have your target anchor text), no-follow links in general and non-reinforced forum profile links.

Where to get them:

The easiest ways to get some bulk backlinks going are:

  • Use OnlyWire to submit a bunch of bookmarks automatically (it’s free if you place an OnlyWire button on some random blog of yours.)
  • Grab your site’s RSS feed (your URL followed by /feed for any WordPress site) and submit it to a few RSS directories (warning: that list is old. not all directories will work anymore).
  • Hook up a ping.fm account with a bunch of micro-blogging services, free blogs etc. and submit a few updates with links through ping.fm.


“Must-Have” Backlink, Number 2
The next type of backlink you need is perhaps the backbone of most off-page SEO projects: links that aren’t low-quality, but aren’t great either. This means that they are links with your target anchor text and without a no-follow tag, but they may not sit on very authoritative sites. The reason these links are often the backbone is that they can usually be had in vast quantities, without too much work.

Where to get them:

Blog networks. I personally don’t know any better source for these medium-quality links than blog networks. My favourites are ArticleRanks and Authority Link Network.


“Must-Have” Backlink, Number 3
Finally, to really top off your backlink portfolio and give your competition a run for their money, add a few really high quality links to the mix. You don’t need a ton of these, since even just a handful of followed, anchor-text backlinks on pages with PageRank can make a huge difference. Unfortunately, links like this are pretty hard to come by.

Where to get them:

  • Guest posting is a favourite for these kinds of links. If you can find an authority blog in your niche and get to contribute a guest-post with your backlink, that’s potentially a lot of link-juice and a lot of traffic coming your way. The downside is that if you have a markedly mediocre AdSense site, that might be a problem for getting a guest-post accepted.
  • High-profile article marketing is a variation of guest blogging. In many niches, there are some high-quality sites that accept articles on a regular basis, even though they aren’t labeled as blogs or article directories. Do a search for “write for us” or “submit an article” plus your keyword to see if you can find some sites like this in your niche.
  • BuildMyRank is another favourite of mine, although the links are only barely high-quality links. I’d say they fall somewhere between mid and high quality. However you want to classify them, they definitely work.
  • Finally, you can “make your own” high quality backlinks by building a ton of backlinks to a page containing your backlink. We discussed that earlier in the AdSense Challenge and called it link reinforcement.

Your task is simply to take a look at your current backlink profile and make sure it contains a good dose of each of the three types of “must-have” backlinks. Then, go build more of the ones that are under-represented, so far.

All the best,

About  Shane Melaugh

I'm the founder of ActiveGrowth and Thrive Themes and over the last years, I've created and marketed a dozen different software, information and SaaS products. Apart from running my business, I spend most of my time reading, learning, developing skills and helping other people develop theirs. On ActiveGrowth, I want to help you become a better entrepreneur and product creator. Read more about my story here.

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  • Shane,

    Why “non-reinforced” forum profile links?

    Is there a reason you do not reinforce them?


    • When there are too many to reinforce. :)
      That’s the only reason. Especially concerning services and automation tools that can crank out these links by the thousands.


  • Hi Shane,

    Thanks for sharing these Must Have backlink tools. I’ll give it a try for sure.

    By the way, have you ever done a review on a backlink tool called SERPassist? If yes, please direct me to that page. If not, could you give me your opinion on that, if you’ve tried it before or are using it?

    The reason I ask about SERPassist is I think I can use 2 of the functions in SERPassist to semi-automate the linkbuilding process outlined in your Backlink Battle Plan.

    Let me know if that makes sense to you!



    • Yes, I did review SERPassist a while back: SERPassist review.

      Note that the software might have been updated since and I only tested it for about six weeks. So I can’t say how much of that review is still accurate.


  • Hi Shane, thanks again for the challenge.

    Regarding link building – Backlink Battleplan V’s Link Control.

    If I had a sum of money to invest now in link building, would I be better off spending my time using the Linkcontrol method and building high PR sites instead of the using the ‘free’ stuff in the battleplan?

    What are you thoughts here?

    Thanks a million,



    • Hi Andy,

      Well, investing in your own link network is definitely useful if you have the budget for it but I don’t think you can get good rankings from LinkControl style sites alone. They are basically type three links and without some type one and type two links to help along, they aren’t that useful.
      Well, they would be, but they’re too expensive to get by the hundreds…

      For me, the priorities with an SEO budget look like this:
      1. Automation tools
      2. Services
      3. Outsourcing
      4. Link network


      • Great stuff, thanks for the info.

        I’m at your stages 3 & 4 so will incorporate this into my sites now.

        Thanks again,


  • Hey Shane,

    What happened to your Youtube channel??

    Those videos were so incredibly helpful, I was very disappointed to see that your account was terminated.



    • It just got suspended for no apparent reason. But that’s one of the risks with any site or service that isn’t 100% in your own control.


  • Hi Shane,

    Thank you for the update. As of yet you haven’t mentioned of any sucesses you have had with the A100k blueprint. Also are you only following their outline for backlinking etc.. Or are you adding your spin onto that also?



  • For anyone has a dominant masculine essence, you need to follow suit with what Shane is promoting here.

    Masculine energy responds to challenge and when it doesn’t get it, or it shies away from it, it won’t flourish. It shrivels up like your nut sack does when you jump into cold water. Only when masculine energy is leaning into death, failure, challenge does it feel alive.

    Recently I’ve taken on a 90 day personal development challenge and after not really pushing myself for a year or so, I can tell you, the feeling is sublime. The feeling that I’m striving to be extraordinary. That I’m doing what other wussified people won’t and are scared to. It’s a wonderful feeling to say the least.

    Men, you may not follow this particular adsense challenge, but find some way to push yourself beyond what is normal. I guarantee you’ll be proud of yourself when you lean into and go through to the other side.

    Thank You Shane for being an inspiration to this community!!!


    • That must be one of the most interesting and unexpected comments I’ve ever received on this blog.

      And I agree: Challenges are awesome and I, for one, don’t feel alive unless I’m pushing myself, somehow.


  • Hi Shane. Great content as usual, and I’m trying to follow your backlink strategy for this. If a website has, lets say, 3 pages on it (each with its own keyword that you are aiming for), what do think about the validity of writing 3 separate ezine articles for each blog page (obviously creating a link to each specific blog page)? Then once the articles are published using the 3 different ezine article links to multiply further links. Is there any use in doing this, or would Google rather the articles just linked to the main blog home page? Any advices appreciated.


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