Guest posting, or blog outreach, is a great way to build links to your website. When you do it right, you earn a regular stream of incoming links from a wide variety of sources, with different, natural anchor texts, and high quality sources. Doing it wrong, though, is an exercise in frustration. You face multiple rejections from sites that don’t want your content, your link, or your topic. You find your content edited and links removed. You end up with links on sites that don’t benefit you, and the whole thing ends up being more effort than its worth.
The trouble is, “doing it right” is a lot of work. You have to:
- Research a list of sites you want to get a guest post on.
- Look for hints that those sites accept guest posts.
- Categorize those sites into columns like “long shot” and “ideal target” and “not too valuable.”
- Search for and find contact information for the editors and submission guidelines.
- Figure out what kind of content fits with your business and jives with their site enough to work as a guest post.
- Actually create the high quality guest post.
- Submit the post and get it accepted, potentially through round after round of back-and-forth revisions.
All of that for a single link. Unless you’re aiming for your top-tier targets, individual links don’t even seem to be worth that amount of effort. It makes sense that you’d want to try to minimize the amount of effort you put in, but that carries risks of its own. The less effort you put in, the harder it is to get your guest posts accepted, and it just makes the whole system worse.
This is one area of business that you can outsource, surprisingly enough. There are people who have built an entire business model on creating content branded for other people, submitted as guest posts, made with links included.
Enter the Outsource
One such service is, as you might have guessed, FatJoe. FatJoe is a link building and content creation platform. You pay them and they build links for you, via content.
Now, this makes some webmasters squirm when I say it like that. After all, paid links are verboten according to Google. They don’t like it when someone takes a fundamental measure of organic trust, like links, and subverts it by adding money to the equation. However, that more or less only applies when you’re just paying for links. When you’re paying for outreach services, the links are organic; you’re not paying the destination of the link, just the person who makes the content and builds the link for you. Which is to say that you’re very unlikely to be penalized for using FatJoe.
However, before I continue, I will say that you should always use your own best judgment before going all-in on a service, like this or any other. For the first links you commission through FatJoe, monitor the internet and look where they appear. If they’re in a good location, you’ll be happy to ramp up your service. If they’re on a site you consider shady or don’t think is doing you any good, feel free to cancel. If the links are especially spammy, feel free to even disavow them. This paragraph is just a general warning, though; I’m not telling you about FatJoe specifically here.
What you’re looking for is a solid stream of reasonable volume, reasonable value links. You’re not likely to be getting high value links on industry giant sites from any outreach company. Most outreach companies maintain their own network of blogs and use those for most of their links. Some also have connections with unrelated blogs, friendships with editors or arrangements with publishers to get guest posts published regularly. Is this the case with FatJoe? Read on.
The answer is yes. Sorry, I didn’t play up the suspense. FatJoe has arrangements with a network of blogs they don’t own, throughout a variety of different industries. They have fashion, cosmetics, education, and other sorts of industries, pretty much anything that a standard company is going to want. If you’re in an extremely narrow niche or your business is considered problematic within your niche, you might find it harder to get decent placement, but what else is new there?
Again, FatJoe isn’t likely to get you a link on Forbes or something, but the links they build are solidly mid-range. They won’t boost up your SEO individually, but in aggregate they can be quite beneficial. They’re natural, not paid, and they’re permanent, so the longer you subscribe and the longer you continue your outreach program, the better off you’ll be. These sorts of links compound upon one another.
What Does FatJoe Offer?
FatJoe has three categories of service. One is link building, one is content creation, and one is free tools.
Under Free Tools, they have three items listed. One of them is an extension for Google Chrome that checks the “Fat rank” of a site you’re on. This is essentially a SERPS readout for a keyword you input. You go to a site, you plug in a keyword, and the extension tells you where that site ranks for that keyword. It’s more complex than that, with session reports and country-level insights, but that’s essentially what it does.
The second free tool is a blog title generator. I plugged in “blog marketing” and it came up with titles like “The 10 Scariest Things About Blog Marketing” and “10 Pinterest Accounts to Follow About Blog Marketing.” These aren’t bad titles! It also had “Blog Marketing Explained in Fewer than 140 Characters” which is a slightly more interesting title if you take a spin on it, but you certainly shouldn’t post a tweet-sized chunk of text as a full blog post. The tool generates 10 titles and allows you to continue to generate more for your keyword or change keywords. It’s unlimited, so feel free to use it as you like.
The third tool is a simple generator for the embed code for an infographic. It’s pretty basic, but if you don’t feel like doing it yourself, you can just plug in a couple URLs and take their code.
As far as Content Creation goes, FatJoe offers two types of content. One is content writing, which is pretty simple. You come up with a topic, you order a package, they send it to their team of writers, and you get it back. It’s much the same as using something like Textbroker, Writer Access, or UpWork, except you have them as a middleman with a much more curated team of writers, so you can guarantee a higher level of quality than what you might get from a mill. Pricing is $25 for 500 words, or $90 for 2,000 words, and includes either US or UK English at your preference. Turnaround is listed as starting at four days, so don’t use it if you have express needs.
They don’t just do blog posts either. Content can include educational articles, press releases, reviews, and website copy as well. It’s up to you to choose the kind of content you want. You can also work with them for revisions to your content. As with any sort of outsourced content, the more information you can give them, the more accurate to what you want the content will be.
The other type of content is infographic design. Their designs are whitelabel and, frankly, a heck of a lot cheaper than you might get paying a high-end graphic designer to do something freelance. Their “limit” is the number of stats included in the graphic, with the starter being up to 10 elements for $145. You can also have them do the research and copy for an additional $45, for up to 30 stats or facts. All of them give you the design files, including .AI, PSD, and PNG. You can see some examples here.
As for link building, they have four services. Blogger outreach, local citations, press release distribution, and infographic promotion are all on their list.
- Blogger outreach has a number of parameters depending on your requirements. The low tier is pages with DA10+ starting at $60 per link, with 500 words of content included. Middle tier is DA20+ and starts at $90 per link. High tier is DA30+ and runs $120 per link. Prices will vary, though, as bulk orders cheapen the individual link cost. You can also track your link status from their dashboard.
- Local citations is a submission service for local businesses. They submit your business to various local agencies, in hopes of updated business listings that will help your local SEO. This starts at 25 submissions for $60, with a maximum of 100 submissions per business.
- Press release distribution is, well, exactly what you think it is. You have news, they turn that news into a press release with links, search engine friendly, and submit it to a wide range of sites. They make no guarantees about the quality of the sites, but the volume is certain, as the basic plan is 50 submissions with 30 guaranteed placements, for $90.
- Infographic promotion works the same way as blogger outreach, except they don’t bundle creation of the infographic into the service. If you already have an infographic – particularly one they produced for you – they will submit and promote it on sites of variable DA and for varying costs. See the blogger outreach bullet point – or their service page – for the levels and prices.
Now, remember that domain authority is a scale from 1 to 100, and that a higher number is a better number. A site with a DA of 10 is really not that high up on the scale. At the same time, though, the scale is logarithmic. This means the amount of value it takes to go from DA 80 to 81 is much higher than from 30 to 31. A site at DA 10 and a site at DA 30 are going to be very different. I would recommend aiming for at least DA20, but feel free to experiment and see where your links actually end up.
When ordering links from FatJoe, they ask you what anchor text you want to use for your links. Be careful with this! Too many links using the same anchor text looks like fake link building and can get those links devalued by Google. At the same time, too few using similar keywords can hurt as well. You need natural distributions.
If you’re just buying 5-10 links, that’s fine, use whatever keywords you like. However, if you’re buying 10 per month, you should try to vary them up. You can even make some of the anchors something simple like your brand name or just “click here,” which is even more natural. Not every link needs to be hyper-optimized, after all. At the same time, you should also vary up the target URL, so you’re not spamming links to your homepage. Use landing pages, use blog posts, use infographics, and so forth.
As I mentioned, I highly recommend building a small handful of links at varying DA levels, to find out where they’re going and if they’re valuable. You should also make sure you’re using organic link building techniques as well as outreach through FatJoe; they alone won’t support you organically. You need variety above all else.
Don’t expect the links you get from FatJoe to rocket you up the list or to suddenly make you dominate your niche. For that matter, don’t expect them to give you a ton of referral traffic. Consider them filler links to fluff up your backlink profile.
That said, their infographic design is top notch. Their content creation is pretty good, though on par with the high end of various content mills and the low end of professional freelancers. The links might not be top quality, but they offer more than just links, so you can get what you need out of them.