If you’re doing SEO, you’re always on the lookout for possible link-sources, and not just any old link-sources, either. As I have discussed in a previous post, not all backlinks are equal and ideally, the links pointing to your site should be coming from diverse sources, have a targeted anchor text and come from within site content (rather than from comments or sidebars).
In terms of these requirements, blog networks may just be the perfect link-building tool. In this article, I explain what blog networks are, how they work and what their benefits and drawbacks tend to be.
What is a Blog Network?
As the name implies, it’s a network of blogs. These blogs are all connected to one central hub, your “blog network provider”, if you will. This is usually a paid service that you need to sign up for (more on that, later).
What the blog network does for you is that it allows you to publish articles to lots and lots of blogs.
It usually goes like this: You log in and submit a new article, after picking an appropriate category, entering some tags and inserting a few links into the article body. This article is then sent out to and published on lots of blogs that match the subject of your article (i.e. a health-related article is posted to health-related blogs).
You might conclude that using a blog network for link building is a bit like article marketing using free article directories, then. Except that it’s way better.
Benefits of Blog Networks
Here are the major advantages that blog networks offer over other kinds of link-building and article marketing:
- Full Control Over Anchor Texts
You get to choose the desired anchor text and link location and you can also set up different variations of the anchor text (using spinning syntax) to make your link profile look more natural.
- Fewer Restrictions
Many article directories are very strict about what kind of content they allow. They also usually don’t let you place links within the article body and are restrictive about what you’re allowed to put in your author box, where links are allowed. On blog networks, there are also rules about what you are allowed to post, but they’re rarely as restrictive or picky as article directories tend to be.
- More Links
Submit your article to an article directory and you get one, maybe two links from the resource box. Submit an article to a blog network and you will see your article published to dozens, if not hundreds of sites, receiving new backlinks every time.
The Receiving End
You might be wondering where all those blogs in the network are coming from. The answer is simple: Each blog network allows you to “plug in” your own sites as well, to receive content from other blog network members.
The benefit of doing this is that the sites you plug into the network will have lots of new content posted to them, all of it relevant to the subject of the sites. In other words, it’s a form of auto-blogging. Of course, those posts contain links to other people’s sites, but you can still monetize the surroundings of the post contents (with AdSense, banners,…). This way, you can conceivably set up a few dozen auto-blogs that will eventually generate some passive income thanks to the constant influx of fresh content.
Downsides of this System?
From a publisher’s point of view, the main problem with blog networks is a lack of quality. By and large, the content you’ll receive from these networks is really just a placeholder for the links inside it. Content can range from half-decent to barely readable garbage. Whatever you do, don’t plug a blog you really care about into a blog network. Even moderating every post that comes along isn’t a good strategy, since it’s just a waste of time.
From the link-builder’s perspective, blog networks are much more interesting. You get good, in-content backlinks from many different sites and IP addresses. However, the quality problems affect everyone. Since generally, the content is rubbish, you won’t get any publishes on truly high-quality sites and especially if the network lacks good moderation, your links can be extremely low-quality.
In short: you can get bad content and decent backlinks, but don’t expect any miracles.
Blog networks provide a powerful way to build backlinks and as long as the quality of the network is good. And even if the quality is bad, the backlinks will still help your site rank.