Don't be left out.

Josh MacDonald Certified Content Writers

I’ve worked with dozens of content providers. I have freelancers on Upwork who are each paid ~$75 per week to keep my sites up to date, and I have freelancers from Warrior Forum, Black Hat World, and Digital Point who do the rest of all of my content needs.

I generally break down my content into 3 tiers.

The first tier is the $5+ per 100 words price-point. This involves sales copy, viral content, and anything you know will be read by thousands of people in a specific industry. This content is where your brand is on the line and you need everything to be perfect and highly researched. These writers are generally full-time writers and can write whatever you need. They’ll give WSJ’s writers a run for their money.

The second tier is around the $3 per 100 words price-point. This involves money site content, but it’s not necessarily something you would find a huge amount of reader value in. You might get a few shares on the article, and the content is highly readable because they’re native English, but these writers are generally part-time writer who don’t have any education on writing.

The third tier is around the $1 per 100 words price-point. This content is readable and can be used as filler content. This content often appears on private blog networks and should only ever be used on money sites where this content won’t be read.

This is my list of writers I’ve used. I will be updating this list regularly. If you’re a writer and would like to get on this list, you must have a sales thread on Black Hat world or Warrior Forum.

Tier 1:

Jared255/Boston Hype: Jared has been my go-to provider in the $5+ per 100 words range. If you need content for your homepage of your money site or you need a guest post that is well researched and carefully crafted around a target website, Jared is your go to guy.

Tier 2:

Lemon: I’ve fired a lot of my writers in this range recently, and so I tried a couple new providers to replace this tier. Fortunately, I tried out Lemon’s service. He’s been around the forum for a while, but just started offering his services. If you are looking for a writer in the EST timezone, and you want a TAT with just a few hours, get ahold of him!

Tier 3:

redstone.1337: At $3 per 500 words, I really didn’t expect much. However, they followed my lengthy instructions to build the PBN content that I need. It’s decent PBN content for a dirt-cheap price. I am using this for some client sites, to rank for some really long tail, high OCI keywords. So technically this is on the money site, but on a deep inner page, where the user will be prompted to exit to a landing page.

Services I’ve tried and won’t use again:

These services are not bad. Some are just services that I have used and just won’t use again, neutrally. 

TextBoss: Okay service all around, but we got into some heated arguments in the past, so I’m avoiding this service for now. I’ve also been told a similar story from friends who ordered from him.

flc735: I have zero patience for long response times and ignored emails. He delivered an article after ignoring 2 emails, by then I already had a new writer. It was a big argument, and he then threatened to shit list me if I don’t pay for the late article that I no longer need. So I paid. Won’t be using again.

iPresence Business Solutions: Working with these guys is like working with the government. It’s marked up, so you don’t get what you pay for. They don’t have a BST thread, so they are not accountable to their work. A number of people such as him and him have had nasty experiences with him.

FuryKyle: I ordered an article back near the start of the year. It took 7 days or so to fulfill. I just can’t deal with these long TATs.

Blue World/MartysW0RLD: Probably some of the worst customer service. I paid for 24 TAT, their order form broke and they have no interest in fixing the problem. Screenshot of conversation here. More info on page 9 of the thread.

priyankanx: I tried this service for my tier 3 content and it was okay. Few mistakes but he offered to correct them and went offline.

keywordspot: This guy just can’t get the content right and follow the instructions. He messed up the first article, and offered to replacement, to only have the replacement article have the exact same issues reported in the first article. Waste of time.

 

Long, Keyword Injected Titles Still Work In 2016

Now, I’m thinking of doing a big data case study on this, just to confirm my claims here at scale. Tonight I was browsing some local SEO competition and what I found interesting was how many local businesses rank with low domain authority and link juice, purely due to stuffed keywords.

There’s a point where backlinks and link profile can only do so much, then it comes down to onsite factors. The results with the heavier backlink profile and the white hat on site SEO were sitting on page 2-4, while the keyword stuffers sit high on page 1.

Take a look at these search results. Notice the results that are local businesses, and then check the length of their titles. You’ll notice that out of 6 local businesses, 4 of them have titles that are too long because they inject their titles with keywords.

search engine results

SEO Case Study: Backlink Deletion Penalty Is Huge, Anchor Text Is Still Important

I accidentally ran a study a few weeks ago. Why or what I was doing isn’t the point, but what happened was I owned an EMD for a very low competition keyword. It ranks on the first page of Google with a very small GSA SER blast. The website contains really nothing but an h1 title and an image. It’s essentially an empty website.

So here we have an EMD domain ranking in the top 5 for a very low competition keyword.

I think took an aged web 2.0 profile, which didn’t have the keyword at all on the page. Yes, the keyword, nor any variations of it appeared on the page. I linked to this web 2.0 from the EMD with exact match anchor text. The website immediately shot up to the #1 result on Google.

Yes, by using an exact match anchor text, linking from a very relevant domain (keyword was in the domain, the h1 tag, the image alt text, etc), I was able to make a page, that didn’t have any onsite optimization for the keyword, rank #1 on Google.

I then removed the backlink from my EMD website. What happened? The website is now gone from the SERPs again, completely. I manually checked the first 5 pages of Google, and there was nothing.

There are 3 big take-aways from what happened:

Free Software To Bulk Check Trust Flow With Your Group Buy Account

Unlike Moz, Majestic doesn’t have a free API to check metrics. Moz has a free API that lets you query every 10 seconds, so that’s the reasoning behind why there are so many free domain authority checkers on the market. However, Majestic doesn’t offer these kinds of free services, and that’s why bulk trust flow checkers don’t exist free. The closest thing to free, is a group buy account. However, group buy accounts are usually maxed out on their bulk checkers, so I made this little tool to bulk check each URL, manually in Chrome. I use it, and a few of you might get use out of it too. Download link below, enjoy.

Free Software To Bulk Check TF With Your Group Buy Account
Watch this video on YouTube.

check urls bulk in majestic with group buy account

Download Link:

Bulk AddMeFast Tweet Adder: Index Any List of URLs

AddMeFast.com is a social media exchange service. As we know, tweets are one of the cheapest and easiest ways to index URLs. Instead of paying $20/month or whatever your favourite indexing service charges, people who are on a tight budget can simply earn free credits on AddMeFast or purchase an account with credits, then use those free credits to buy tweets spread across as many URLs as you want. The only problem is, if you have 500 URLs to index, that’s way too many URLs to add manually, so I made a tool for that. Every URL in the big textbox will be sent out as an individual tweet. All you need is an AddMeFast account that has credits on it, and this program will create all the tweet campaigns that you need to index your URLs.
Free Software GUI

 

Download link:

Blogs Are Letting Editorial Backlink Sales Ruin Their Content

I write for many blogs, as you know. I enjoy publishing content and sharing my insight. Occasionally it is deemed valuable and read by thousands of people. One of the niche blogs I wrote for, which many of you’ve heard of, has recently taken massive action against promotional backlinks.

If you read what I write, I generally out companies and bad services, and I also tend to even recommend some. Recently, I’ve been getting a lot of my content turned down with comments like:

  • “Please either remove the XYZ example or add 2-3 others with it so that it does not feel promotional. Thank you.”
  • “This feels a bit too promotional for XYZ. Since we don’t advocate sites like ABC, we’re also not completely comfortable with offering up a similar site to our audience. We are going to pass on this one. Thank you.”
  • “Prior to submitting this, please note that we do not advocate XYZ and so choose not to include any links to their site on our blog. Thank you.”
  • “Please offer some other options/links for organizations that offer free SSL certificates in addition to XYZ so that it doesn’t seem promotional for them.”

7 Reasons Why Fiverr Could Start to Die Off

Founded in 2010, Fiverr has built a multi-million dollar marketplace from selling $5 gigs. Due to their massive amount of success, a number of competitive marketplaces have popped up around the web and many have turned successful. One competitor, SEO Clerks, started in 2011 and no looks Fiverr in the eye when it comes to budget SEO services. SEO Clerks immediately allowed users to create offering from $1 to hundreds. It took Fiverr until Novemeber of 2015 to announce they would allow sellers to offer gigs at a higher price than $5. With technology moving as fast as it is, Fiverr cannot continue to take 4 years to adapt to features that other competitors offer. Let’s take a look at 7 problems Fiverr needs to face to stay competitive in 2016.

1. They cannot continue to take 20% fees on $100+ gigs.

Fiverr is the king of fees. Every and anything you do has a fee on it. If you’re selling a $250 service on Fiverr, you can expect Fiverr to take $50 immediately. If your margins are only 30%, there’s not much left. 20% fees is discouraging top vendors, and real agencies from offering their services. Instead, Fiverr has built itself a reputation of offering poor quality services simply because there are not enough quality vendors participating on the platform. The best vendors and agencies tend to stick to selling on industry forums.

2. They need to work on their gig requests system.

Gig requests are basically an opportunity for sellers to spam their gig to as many people as possible. Upwork, formerly oDesk, a freelance platform, also faced the exact same issue before they merged with Elance. Elance always had higher quality bids on jobs posted, because they gave users a credit system which restricted freelancers to the number of projects they could bid on in a day. This caused freelancers to switch from their shotgun approach of applying to jobs, to a sniper approach, where they had to accurately match their skills with a job post, and cater to the employer.

A similar credit system may not solve Fiverr’s spam problem, but the Fiverr executives need to sit down and face this problem immediately. Personally, I’ve tried requesting a gig many times, and I’ve received nothing but spam and unrelated gig offers, and have never successfully worked a deal doing so.

3. They need to fire their QA and bug testing team.

Okay, maybe not fire, but they have some work to do when it comes to user experience. For example, have you ever tried to search a decimal on Fiverr? Hopefully not, because it doesn’t work. So, if you’re looking for SEO services, you might search “web 2.0” but you’ll find that you can’t actually search for web 2.0 properties on Fiverr. These are simply irritating to a buyer, and a direct cause of frustration and loss of sales. This kind of stuff cannot be happening at this level.

4. They need to overhaul their review system.

There are 4 things Fiverr needs to look at in their review system. Fiverr needs to allow reviews to be sorted by length, or usefulness. For example, Amazon allows users to vote on helpful reviews. Looking at the top reviews for a gig on Fiverr, compared to the top reviews for a product on Amazon is very different.

Fiverr reviews

Most reviews on Fiverr say “outstanding experience!” and don’t actually offer any useful insight.

Secondly, the maximum word count needs to be expanded. If you’re dropping $50 on an SEO service, you certainly want to know what you’re getting, and the only way to find our what you’re getting is by looking at comprehensive reviews. Fiverr heavily restricts the length of reviews, so buyers cannot describe in great detail the quality of work they received.

Thirdly, seller ratings on buyers needs to be removed. This is counter productive to what Fiverr is trying to do with reviews. Fiverr is discouraging buyers from telling the truth and rating the gig honestly, by allowing the seller to respond with a star rating. Buyers, like anyone else, naturally want to get a good rating, so during a bad experience, the buyer gives the seller a fiver star, moves on and never uses him again. It is the most painless and most beneficial option to the buyer. Future buyers see the 5 star rating, and continue to buy. Sellers should be allowed to defend themselves and have their say against bad reviews, but the star system needs to be removed. It is discouraging to the buyer.

Fiverr negative reviews

Sellers always return a 1 star review to the buyer for every 1 star review they receive.

Lastly, they need to promote users to leave longer reviews. They need to inspire buyers to leave reviews by asking them a few questions before showing the text box to leave a review. Buyers just have no interest in sharing a solid review, and the team at Fiverr needs to find ways to change that like other marketplaces have.

5. They need an affiliate network.

Fiverr needs to open up an affiliate network to allow outsiders to recommend and promote gigs for a commission. There have already been other marketplaces who have recently jumped on this, so I assume Fiverr will eventually adapt and get their own affiliate system within the next 2 years.

6. They need to double their turn around time limit.

If Fiverr is going to allow $1000 gigs to be offered, they need to understand most gigs over $250 take time to deliver. If a seller has done all the work on a $500 service, and is waiting on third parties, it may take time. The last thing a seller wants to do is take 31 days to deliver a $500 gig and have the buyer opt for a refund, even though the services have already been performed.

Expanding the turn around time from 30 days to 45 or 60 days would open the doors to big business like digital marketing agencies who generally take a long time to deliver their work.

7. They need to implement instant messaging.

Buyers continuously try to exchange Skype handles in pursuit of talking to the seller in a live chat. Upwork recently implemented live chat which completely removed the need to switch the conversation on Skype. Their live message system allows freelancers and employers to conduct interviews in an organized and quick manor.

Conclusion

One advantage that marketplaces like SEO Clerks will always have over Fiverr is their lack of rules. Fiverr has endless rules on what can and cannot be offered on Fiverr. Chances are, if it’s not available for sale on Fiverr, it’s probably not allowed.

Easy Backlink Strategy For Retail Businesses

So you have a client that isn’t ranking where it should be. They’re sitting on page 2, and beating every competitor on page 1 by every SEO metrics there is. The client is TF30 and the competition is all under TF20. You have a blog with fresh, shared and engaging content and the competition doesn’t. Your design is top notch and the retention is high. What do you do? Keep building links? or launch Web 20 seo campaigns?

Unfortunately, once you get all the citations you can, where to go from there is sometimes tricky. Do you opt for editorial links or guest posts? Editorial links are pricey and guest posts are not always available in every industry.

Luckily, there are more citations you can get if your client has a store. Many stores, from automotive shops and family owned grocery stores to gas stations and apparel stores, often sell a number of different brand names in their stores. If you do not understand the impact of digital marketing on the automobile industry, I would recommend you click on the following read – Why the Automobile Industry Must Use Digital Marketing To Fuel Their Business Prospects?

Many of us have clients that are behind in the times. Their website is from 1998, but it hasn’t been updated much since. They have some of the fundamentals like a strong Facebook following, but they have forgotten one easy method to generating more traffic in the door, and more backlinks!

The thing is, most big brands have a spot on their map, usually an interactive map, search engine or directory where customers can “find a dealer.”

interactive map business directory

You can see from this dealer of Airhead tubes, they list all of their local dealers with a solid dofollow backlink. Getting on the list is as simple as emailing them and filling out a form. They’ll often send you a bunch of promotional products for free too, which they call a “marketing kit.”

These sites have massive domain authority and being listed here won’t only be good for SEO, but your business-oriented client will see immediate value in being found on that page. It will result in more phone calls, website hits and people through the door which is a clear win. Such domains are punctiliously culled by websites like Spamzilla to offer web developers the opportunity to develop their website.

Some of your clients will have a few links, but if you sit down and go through your distributor’s catalogue and all of the product on the shelf, you’ll have dozens, or maybe even hundreds of websites to contact. The best part about this is, you can usually have your client’s staff do this, and spend their downtime listing all of these. I did that for one clients. Two girls are consistently listing all of the products in the store and catalogue on the respective directory. This costs me nothing as an SEO specialist, but I do get credit for the boost in rankings and traffic when the client sees the monthly report.

Using this strategy, you will be able to double the backlink profile of some of your clients.

TeamViewer Enabled Hacker To Login And Install Ransomware

Generally I keep my blog strictly about marketing, but due to the spike in activity around TeamViewer in the past 48 hours, I’m going to share my story here. I wrote an article for a publication about 24 hours ago, discussing the TeamViewer website being completely offline and the dozens of hacked account claims on Reddit and Twitter.

“I did have 2-factor authentication [installed]. They got in my PC at4:50am MT, left at 8:31am. [They] bought about $3k in stuff with my PayPal.” explained one user in an interview with me.

“They also accessed and stripped all my toons in WoW and attempted a character transfer.” he explained. ‘Toons’ is another word for characters. The hackers attempted to take all of his in-game items, which can easily be sold for a large sum of money when the game is as popular as World of Warcraft.

After going live with the story, TeamViewer ignored my tweets reaching out to them and went directly to my publication, demanding that the article is to be changed. TeamViewer thought tweets and Reddit posts weren’t enough to mention in an article. My publication contacted me and I was told to change the article.

Since this is my blog, I can share what I know from dealing with TeamViewer for years, what I’ve learned from researching the story for hours, interviewing several victims and my past experiences with TeamViewer’s security.

I do believe that these people are entirely telling the truth and I do believe their story is to be believed.

As for the DDOS attack, it’s a common procedure for hackers to create distractions while they are hacking a website. This gives them more time to get done what they need. The attack doesn’t need to last long either. An hour or two of downtime is plenty to get in and out.

One morning I woke up to a “thank-you for using TeamViewer” session with my background changed to an image that contained a list of instructions. I was to download Tor to get instructions on what to do further. It walked me through a set of screens before being asked to send bitcoin to the hackers. All of my files were gone.

What the hackers had done was logged into my TeamViewer account, then encrypted all of my files on my computer, rending them useless. I was asked to pay an irreversible, anonymous lump sum of cash, in return for my files being unlocked. This virus is called ransomware.

I never paid the money, because in many cases like this, hackers don’t actually come through with their promise. You might send the few hundred dollars and get nothing in return.

This hacker had an upload form where you could send any 2 files and it would decrypt them for you, just to show you that they were able to do it. However when I tried, that function didn’t work. So I decided to move on. Files on DropBox were able to be recovered. Luckily, I’m not using my Windows machine much anymore, so most of my important files are on my Macbook, which is closed with no internet connection when I’m not on it.

My personal advice to those using TeamViewer.

  1. Make sure you have 2 factor authentication enabled so you have to have the Google Authentication app when logging in.
  2. Disconnect your computer from the internet when you’re not using it, if possible.
  3. Keep backups of your files.

How I Get The Best Niche Content For Next To Nothing

For all of you in local SEO, pay attention.

So you have a local client in a targeted niche and you need content for their blog. Not just filler garbage content, but content that will get read, shared and enjoyed.
My strategy is to offer customers of your client a gift card for in exchange for an article written by them!
It costs the client half the price because of their natural profit margins, and the customer loves it.
Some of the customers of the local business will be very passionate about the product/service and can offer some excellent insight. The type of insight writers cannot and do not have, by trade.
I had a customer write a 1700 word article, that got plenty of views from local customers and prospective customers, and then it only costed a $51 credit, on a 95% profit margin product! That’s $3 per word if it were cash, which is still a steal!
Doing this got me first of all, great content. I don’t mean their grammar and writing ability was great, but I mean their knowledge was spot on. Most writers don’t know everything about specific industries. If you run an automotive shop, it’s hard to generate content without someone very knowledgable. How about a free oil change for an article? Offer that to your top 3 customers who are very frugal. They’ll eat it up.
This obviously doesn’t work in some niches but it does work in many if you’re creative.
Try it out, offer a gift card or free service in exchange for an article by one of your most knowledgable customers. Another thing I should add, is they’ll know the area. In rural areas or small towns, it’s hard to earn backlinks and get a decent following compared to competition in the big city. However good content that talks about other top businesses in town will attract reciprocal links and will also gain you social signals.
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