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My Failed Attempt to Build a Private Blog Network Using Expired Domains and a Secret Project Revealed

My Failed Attempt to Build a Private Blog Network Using Expired Domains and a Secret Project Revealed

Ever since having Hayden Miyamoto on my podcast over a year ago, I've been attempting to implement alot of what he has said.  If you have been following along for a while, you will recall that I have had him on 3 different times.

After listening to these interviews, I got excited (along with many others) about the prospects of finding high value expired domains, building out a network, and then using it to build links to my niche sites.  I think it's important to note, that I would never use PBN links to my own blog here at NichePursuits that I've built – only my niche sites.  Well I quickly learned, that its not all fun and games.  Its a lot of hard work!

So in my post today, I want to cover why I feel like a failure when it comes to building my own private blog network and then a “secret” project that Hayden and I have been working on.

But first, let me just own my shortcomings…I failed at building a blog network!

My Attempts to Find Expired Domains

FindingexpireddomainsAfter learning how to find domains that had expired long ago and then hand register them (for $10 or less), I went out and began the process shared here.

This process involved using Xenu Link Sleuth, Scrapebox, OpenSiteExplorer, and some intuition.  I spent several hours getting everything set up and doing my best to learn the process.  Even with some additional coaching from Hayden that not everyone gets, its still was very time consuming and I felt like a total rookie!

After way too many hours, I think I found 3 domains worth purchasing.  And even these domains were not stellar.

I honestly didn't have time to spend so much time in hopes of finding a few decent domains, so I tried to take a shortcut.  This time I went over to ExpiredDomains.net which shows you tons of newly expired domains.

This service really is great, but it doesn't show domains that have expired a long time ago; only those dropped in the last month or so.  This means you will never find the domains that no one else is finding.

However, it got rid of all the time for me.  I hated Xenu link sleuth and the time spent with Scrapebox, etc; so I was willing to give it a shot.

Turns out I was able to find quite a few domains that met my criteria!  In particular, I was looking for domains that had at least a Moz PageAuthority of 30 or higher.  So, I had to do a lot of hunting a pecking.

And once I found those domains, I had to spam check them by looking at the links pointing to those expired domains!  So, I was only interested in the domain if it had a PA of 30 or higher and was free of spammy links.

I know I'm starting to sound lazy here, but I had a virtual assistant help me out, and even my brother helped me out as well (thanks Dave!).

As a result, I was able to find about 30 good domains!  I figured, “Phew, the hard part is finally over!”

Well, turns out this was just step one of a complicated process…

Hosting and Content Challenges

challengesI figured I could just slap up the domains on a couple of hosting accounts and be running in no time.  However, as I did some more research, I realized that all domains needed to by on their own separate C-class IP hosting account to provide maximum link benefits.

When you have 30+ domains, this can get complicated.  Its very doable, don't get me wrong…you just need to be meticulous about record keeping and not be afraid to spend a little money on setting everything up.

Here's a few other challenges or other issues I ran into:

  • Keeping a spreadsheet of what expired domains are linking to which money site can be time consuming
  • Managing dozens of hosting accounts is annoying
  • Domains should really be registered in different names to lessen footprint
  • Setting up an expired domain is very time consuming – its like creating a real site! Install a WordPress theme that displays content on the front page, plugins, about page, logo or header, and more…all before you even post content.  I had to do this 30 times before I even got started! (I didn't make it through all 30 domains by the way…)
  • A quality network should have real content that is both relevant to the expired domain AND the site you are linking to…means you need original content.
  • Once you have a great network, then you need to go build your niche sites!

Overall, its all very doable, but I got frustrated with how time consuming it was!  In fact, ideally you should populate your expired domains with 3 to 5 pieces of original content to make it into a real site. After that, you should write more original articles that actually contain links to your site.

When I was looking at this project, 30 domains x 5 articles just to get started, you can start to see why I began to fail. After all, I already have a full-time business and lots of projects where I needed to focus my attention.

I only ended up hosting about 10 to 15 of the domains on their own IP addresses, and only populated 7 or 8 domains with any content at all.  In fact, after the first few where I was doing it right, I finally said, “forget it!”, I'm just linking out to my sites.

As a result, I have a semi-authoritative network of 7 or 8 domains…but most of them only have 1 or 2 pieces of content.  So, in reality its not that amazing of a network.

I definitely failed to build out the powerhouse network that I kept hearing Hayden talk about!

Despite the Perfect Network, I Still Had Successes!

risefromashesEven though I didn't end up with what I had hoped for, I actually still had some small success with my blog network!

I did in fact link to a few of my niche sites to see what would happen.  One of those sites, I wrote a post about right here – a site that still performs well now almost a year later.  I've only built a few links to that site, most of them coming from my own blog network.

In addition, I wrote about how I used expired domains to “trade” links with someone on my first Niche Site Project.  In a nutshell, I contacted a webmaster that had a high authority blog about knives and asked them to link to BestSurvivalKnifeGuide.com.  In return, I got them a great link from a blog network site.  Both of us were very happy with the exchange!

So, I actually know that blog networks can work very well, but its just been too time consuming, costly, and difficult to manage for me to truly scale up and have success with.

All the while I stayed in touch with Hayden, and finally asked, “Hey, can I just have access to your network?”

A Secret Project Revealed

project1This question triggered several events which have led to a bigger joint project between Hayden and I.

Rather than just giving me access to his network, we decided that we wanted to build something even better.  About 8 or 9 months ago it started with a software idea to quickly and easily find expired domains that others were missing.

This software was built; but we all decided it was too powerful to let other people abuse.  So, this software has been kept private, and is how we found the domains for our domain auction that we did recently.

Finally, we settled back on the original idea of a blog network.  However, rather than just giving me access to an existing network, Hayden and his team to build a complete network from scratch with even higher quality domains.

If you don't know, Hayden has an army of interns or other people he works with that makes all of this possible.  In addition, we decided to built some complicated software that aids in the process of setting up domains, adding content, and more.

As a result of the years of experience that Hayden and his team have, along with some proprietary software, he is now able to set up high quality networks better and faster than ever before.

This is the secret joint-project that we have been working on for months.

This gives Hayden and his team the ability to quickly build out high quality link networks and expand their business selling links to SEO agencies, as discussed in the last podcast.

It also gives Hayden and me (yay!) the ability to link to our own niche websites from great domains. (And without all the headaches for me!)

How the Project Helps You

So, what does it mean for you?  Well, we have also decided to open up the blog network to some of you as well!

So, if you have experienced anything like my own failed attempts to build out a private blog network, this might be something of interest to you.

For more details about this, check out the webinar section below.  But be aware that the meat of the webinar is going to teach you how to build your own network…the right way (Hayden will be teaching this for obvious reasons 🙂 )

I Shared My Secret Project with Perrin

As you probably know, Perrin and I have been discussing link building in our past couple of coaching calls.  I've done my best to cover all the “base” types of links, and we also covered link bait and more.

But Perrin has been studying on his own outside of that, and has been asking me lots of questions about using expired domains links as well!  I basically have said this would be a “phase 3” of link building (with “base” links as phase 1 and “link bait” as phase 2).

However, I decided to let Perrin know about the new private blog network that Hayden and I have built.  I basically said, “you know, I can get you a few links from the network if you want”.

I told him that it was up to him though, if he wanted to stick with the original “phase 1” and “phase 2” type links to start, it would be cool.

He thought about it for a day, and came back and said he wanted to links.  As a result, I've given him access to the network and allowed him to post a few links to his site.

I also asked him to explain in his own words why he decided to give our private blog network a try.

Here's what Perrin said:

perrinAs many of your know, we've now moved into the linkbuilding and promotion phase of Niche Site Project 2.

If you've watched our last call, you know we'll be using lots of different strategies to build links. We'll be building a base of 100 simple links using blog comments, blog directories, logo directories and other methods. Plus, we'll be working to build relationships and produce highly linkable content.

However, I wanted to take it a step further. We all know a few super high-quality links are more valuable than thousands of crappy ones. We also know that private blog networks are a great way to create those links.

But…

Private blog networks are incredibly difficult to build. First, you have to find good expired domains, which takes dozens and dozens of hours assuming you know how to do it (I don't). Then, you have to set up each blog with a theme, individual C-Class IPs and original content (or the old content if you can find it and it's good enough quality).

It's just a lot of man-hours. Still, I wanted to use these kinds of links as part of my overall strategy.

Eventually, I decided to take Spencer's offer to join his network. It was a great solution. The blog networks were already there. All I had to do was provide guest posts.

Now, I did have a few reservations. First, many private blog networks have been taken down. Second, sometimes sites in private blog networks have spammy, spun or low-quality content

However, Spencer/Hayden's blog network addresses all of these.

Most importantly, in order to even have a post approved on this private network, it has to be high-quality and fit within the site its being posted on. This is important because it adds value to whatever reader stumbles across it. I don't have any ethical qualms with that at all. In fact, I think it's beneficial to everyone!

Plus, each network is silo'd and has limited seats. So the sites aren't super crowded, and if one network does happen to go down, the others won't, since they operate independently. This makes it safe to use.

All in all, it's a good solution for me. It took me about five hours to write the posts, and if I outsourced them, it'd take even less time. And I know both the links and the content are super high-quality.

What really swayed me, though, was my respect for the people who run it. I know Spencer personally, and I trust him, and, for me, that goes a really long way.

Webinar – How to Build a Quality Blog Network on Your Own

webinarWhen it comes right down to it, most people (including myself!) still don't know how to properly build out a high quality blog network.

However, Hayden does.  He's perfected the process and has been doing it for a long time.

There is also a TON of opportunity to building your own private blog network:

  • Increase the rankings of your own niche sites
  • Sell links to SEO agencies
  • Sell links to other niche site builders on your own blog, forums, and more

In addition, it's still probably one of the most discussed topics in the comments on my blog and emails I receive privately.

As a result, Hayden and I are holding a webinar on Tuesday November 12th at 5:30pm PST.

The webinar will play live on Livestream.com right here: https://new.livestream.com/accounts/5960680/building-private-content-networks .  So, feel free to add this to your calendar, share it, or whatever…just be sure to follow along at that location when the webinar starts.

If you are interested in the webinar, I ask that you register, so we can send you reminders and get an idea of how many people will be attending:

Click Here to Register for the Webinar!

What will we cover on the webinar?  The webinar will cover in detail how to build out your private blog network.  This will be a full hour of in-depth content on what's needed to get your very own successful network up and running.

Hayden will of course be teaching the entire process, and I will be there asking a few of my own questions and discussing some of the finer points with Hayden (I'm there to learn too!)

In addition, we will also have a live Q&A session after the full-hour presentation.

Finally, we will indeed make some spots available for those of you that want to just join the private blog network that Hayden and I have already built out.

However, most of the webinar will be focused on how you can get your own network up and running, and all the steps necessary to do it correctly.

If you have ever been curious about this subject, or even attempted to build out a network on your own (like me), this will be a super educational webinar that you should find interesting.

Join the Webinar Right Here

join-now

Your Comments or Questions

Even though I tried and “failed” to build out a great network on my first attempt, I've learned a lot.  In addition, I'm REALLY glad that Hayden has allowed me to join up with him and develop our “secret project” together.

I definitely feel relieved that I can get access to the links without having to put in all the leg work now.  Once I get the negative SEO links cleaned up from my first niche site project, I actually expect to use this network to build a few links to my survival knife site.

So, stayed tuned for more on that case study as well…its not over yet!

Overall, I would love to hear any thoughts or comments that you might have in regards to private blog networks, finding expired domains, or more.  I look forward to the discussion!

149 Comments for this Post

  1. Gabe

    Gabe

    Thanks Spencer, it’s nice to see that not everything you touch turns to gold.

    • Arwin Adriano

      Arwin Adriano

      I agree Dave, definitely Spencer is still human and human’s do get tired. Anyway, this is very inspiring thank you for sharing your insights.

  2. S.Saab

    S.Saab

    Thank you Spencer for the honest update, for me I started building my own PBN and so far I’m doing very well, I learned a lot from “no hat seo” and other ppl.

    So far I have few high quality sites and they helped me a lot to rank a new site monetized by Amazon “Spencer Way” 😉 I did about 500$ last month even it was my 2nd month since I start monetizing.

    Anyway wish you all the best in your future projects.

    S.Saab

    • Stefan

      Stefan

      Congratulations on your success in such a short timespan! 🙂

      How many sites do you use in your PBN and what PR / PA / DA range do they have? And what sort of search volumes/niche difficulties do you target with them?

      I’ve got 3 older sites that I’ve kept over the years that are PR4, DA 25+ and PA 35+. All ‘failed’ blog attempts that I just could never get off the ground. And found a whole list of new ones DA 25+ and PA 35+. Some have 50 – 100 links from 20 – 40 domains.

      I’m going to test Amazon S3 static sites for hosting purposes myself. Every region should get you a totally different IP range and I’m hoping there’ll even be different (C range) IPs within in one region. And it should be nice and cheap as long as the PBN sites stay small and don’t grow into proper sites. Should be able to get an answer to all of that this weekend. Can’t wait to get started. 😀

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Great job on your new site…that’s great!

  3. Jon

    Jon

    Goes to show if you’re going the private blog network route, you need to be fully committed to it. No half-measures. It’s a big job.

    You also need to ensure you’re in a market where top rankings will pay off big time because as you set out, creating the PBN is expensive and extremely time-consuming. It’s an investment, though, that when done right, can pay dividends for years.

    And then there’s the “no guarantee” risk. Even if you build out 30 sites, there’s no guarantee you’ll get $1 in return. This is where you need to very carefully research your competition to ensure you can rank in the search engines.

    It’s an attractive model in many respects, but has it’s pitfalls for sure.

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      I agree Jon. You do need to be fully committed. I just didn’t realize going in quite how much work it would be. I got half way through and just got overwhelmed with the work load and from other projects I was working on.

      • Kevin

        Kevin

        30 is a lot to build out at one time. I just started my private blog network too and bought 9 domains. Takes about 2-3 hours to set up each domain so that’s a little more manageable. Love the enthusiasm though!

        • Spencer Haws

          Spencer Haws

          Yep, lol…I may have overdone it to start.

      • Iain

        Iain

        A blog network definitely seems like something you need to be extremely focused in order to pull off.

        I know many people just don’t have that kind of resilience when it comes to that stuff.

        I know I couldn’t do it. Thanks for the honesty Spencer

  4. John Shea

    John Shea

    Thanks for sharing this, I’m looking to help a friend of mine boost his SEO results with his web hosting company and I’ve been thinking setting up a private blog network would be the solution.

    I would suggest for anyone reading to check out Jon Haver’s blog – AuthorityWebsiteIncome.com as he also provides private blog network services through his virtual assistants.

    I know this is a popular strategy and highly talked about as well by Alex Becker of Source-Wave.com

  5. Stefan

    Stefan

    This really isn’t meant to be bitchy, but it’d be awesome if Hayden could either get a new microphone, tweak his settings or move the mic away from his mouth (under the chin, to the side or nose level).

    I LOVE his content and am SO grateful that both Hayden and you share so much of what you do for us to follow. All his audio recordings both with Niche Pursuits and his own videos/audios seem to have this issue, but the last one on Niche Pursuits was downright painful to listen to with all the clipping and exhales being picked up causing audio spikes. 🙁

  6. Perrin

    Perrin

    Excellent post. I’ll definitely be tuning in for that webinar 🙂

  7. Goodnight Sam

    Goodnight Sam

    I’m new to SEO, but actually started out with expired domains in mind as part of my link building strategy. I have two thus far but since my sites are so new it’s hard to gauge how well they are helping my “money sites.” The process of looking for expired domains is SUPER time consuming (especially since I’m too cheap to pay for scrapebox), I spend a day or two each month doing nothing but looking for expired domains, I refer to them as my “treasure hunt” days but I actually do enjoy it a little though (at least when I find promising domains)….maybe I’m just weird though. I hope to be able to automate it much better though! Hopefully I’ll pick up a few more things from you and Hayden in the webinar!

    • Stefan

      Stefan

      I love treasure hunting days! I can spend weeks doing it. Scrapebox is definitely needed to make it more fun. And Mozcheck.com is very convenient as well.

      Just make a note of when you use a PBN link to your money site. I’ve found that 1 PBN linking to 3 niche sites doubled the niche site traffic for all three sites after two weeks. Rankings increased and solidified as well. More longtail and main keywords either went up one or two spots or were more steady if they were bouncing around before. Doing another test right now to see if it was a fluke or algo change, but it shouldn’t be as the three niche sites were owned by three different people with varying approaches and knowledge of SEO.

      On the other hand, I also linked to two authority sites that already had high rankings and loads of visitors a month and the homepage link from that single site didn’t seem to do anything for them, which makes sense as bigger sites have a lot more going on in all areas when it comes to rankings and traffic.

      • Stefan

        Stefan

        Just to clarify: niche sites going up one or two spots was for terms that had top 5 rankings. So they were very useful spots.

        • Goodnight Sam

          Goodnight Sam

          Nice! that does make sense that it would help the smaller sites more than the authority ones. How many sites do you have in your PBN, and what’s their page and domain authority? I’d love to know how you second test goes as well!

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Its is indeed like treasure hunting!

    • Dan Thompson

      Dan Thompson

      When I export the links to a spreadsheet, I always call the sheet “Digging for gold”. 😉

      I’m like you sam, I don’t mind the process. To geek out a little bit here, the process reminds me of when I was14 years old doing Mephisto runs in D2 to sell items on ebay.

      I wish it didn’t take me 10 years to get back into the online world for making money. Better late then never.

      If anybody is ever interested in link swapping fire me an email at dwthompson010 at gmail

  8. Sarah

    Sarah

    Hi Spencer – that webinar is way too late for me – something like 2am my time. Will it be available “offline” so to speak??

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Yes, we will try to record it and make it available.

  9. Jason

    Jason

    Definitely feel your pain on building out your own blog network.

    It’s a hassle, and it’s time consuming. After all, you’re trying to build REAL sites. So there will be a tradeoff of time spent building money sites or time spent building your PBN sites.

    IMO, if you plan to build niche sites at scale, then building a PBN is worth it. You can link out to all the new money sites you churn out whenever you want.

    But if you only have one (or a few) money sites, just buy the links. You’ll see a much faster return on your money, and you’ll only have to do it for a handful of sites.

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Yep, it definitely has its value…but very time consuming on your own.

  10. Sarah

    Sarah

    …and how do you get your profile pic to show up in these comments?!

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Go to Gravatar.com and register there. Then when you leave comments on ANY wordpress blogs (including this one), your image will show up in the comments.

  11. Stephen

    Stephen

    I started my own PBN after being inspired by your podcast. I only have about 5 domains in it at the moment but I have gotten quite a lot of value out of it already! I expect to keep growing it slowly =]

  12. new proxy

    new proxy

    great artilcle but the expired domaine with high PR are very expansive for the beginners like me 🙁

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Actually if you do it right, they are only $10. Listen to the previous podcasts with Hayden to see how to do that.

  13. Fred Owusu

    Fred Owusu

    This is great news. I have a few of my own private network of my own and I went through the same hassle in finding them and then figuring how to host it. Once you get the hang of it, it becomes second nature. Will be there for the webinar 🙂

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Great to hear Fred…yes, I agree that it could get easier with time…just a big learning curve.

  14. Lewis

    Lewis

    Looking forward to the Webinar Spencer, I’ve learnt a lot from Hayden, his blog and your interviews with him.

    This is the kind of content that gets me excited!!

  15. Lior

    Lior

    C-Class IP’s aren’t good enough anymore Spencer. It really is worth it to buy $1 hosting for every 1-3 domains, and move on. Google is cracking down on anyone else- according to Becker at least.

  16. Kashif

    Kashif

    I have 3 different networks up and running. I have traffic and subscribers on my email lists. However, I can’t seem to monetize the networks efficiently.

    All help welcome.

  17. Priyank

    Priyank

    Hey,

    I have a client in real estate niche. He has gone MAD post penguin 2.1. He wants me to build network of at least 200 sites because he as 10 sites to rank in google listings and organic. It’s going to be tough as hell for me to handle.

    However, rankwyz.com is a tool that would help. Anyone looking to manage giant blog networks, use tools like this. Yeah it has cost but it will save you lot of time which you can better spend to earn a lot.

    Thanks.

    • Steve wyman

      Steve wyman

      Hi

      I hope your not pointing web2.0 scrapped sites using rankwyz at money sites…!!!!!

      As a tool to back link the high pr blog network it might be ok. But way to dangerous up month sites

      Regards

  18. Quinton Hamp @ The Lost Cyclist

    Quinton Hamp @ The Lost Cyclist

    Good post, Spencer. Actionable. Raw.

    I know PBN’s are a pain, but if it wasn’t for their link juice, I wouldn’t be sitting at home with a full-time income from my blogs.

    Long Tail Pro + PBN = Money

    • Perrin

      Perrin

      Hey man,

      Just checked out your blog. It’s really inspirational! I sent you an email. 🙂

  19. Mark N.

    Mark N.

    Nice idea with the blog network, but I’m kind of disappointed with how things are turning out 🙁

    The whole idea behind the public niche site project was to show people how they too can build their own sites, without having access to any “privileges.” (Or at least that was my assumption). So far Perrin has:

    1. Used Spencer’s help to circumvent the Amazon Associates limitation he had, which is something the vast majority of newcomers won’t be able to do / wouldn’t even know how to do. So basically a real-life problem that many people might run into has been “circumvented” by access to solutions that many can’t access.

    2. For most people, the main problem with building websites is SEO. And again, rather than showing people how to do everything from scratch, blog network links are used, which is again something a huge number of people won’t have access to – and those who do might not feel comfortable using it at all (I know I wouldn’t be comfortable using any blog network that is open to “the public,” because it will be taken down sooner or later IMO).

    I really like Perrin’s site, but I feel the project itself is slowly starting to lose value , due to the need for the site to start earning ASAP (which isn’t the point of this project at all, if I’m not mistaken).

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      I hear you. I think any project that is done publicly loses some value in a way. There are just too many outside forces at work – my first project was a victim of negative SEO that would not have occurred normally. However, I actually think that content network links aren’t out of the reach of most people, there are places that these links can be purchased without having to set up your own network. But like I said, I hear you loud and clear…hopefully you and others still actually like seeing the public case study anyway.

      • Mark N.

        Mark N.

        Sure, I love reading about the project anyway, no matter what happens 🙂 The difference with Negative SEO and your first niche project is that this was actually a POSITIVE thing, from a value-oriented point of view – you experienced something that many run into and you talked about it in detail, explaining what it means and how to handle it. With the public blog network on the other hand, I’m not entirely sure what to think.

        At any rate, keep on sharing and thanks for all the great info.

      • Mia

        Mia

        We love seeing the public case study, at least I do.

        And I think Mark N. is mistaken: the point of every site is to start earning money ASAP. With Perrin’s site we just get to see the process of starting from scratch to making a lot of money per month and learn it as much as we can. There is always some ace up one expert’s sleeve, so as you go build your sites you’ll learn more things and have one too.

        P.S. Spencer when will you be publishing Octobers Income Report for bestsurvivalknifeguide.com? I ‘m expecting a little decrease in earnings becouse of the negative SEO, am I right? Those posts are very motivational and I can wait for the ones from Perrin’s site too.

        • Spencer Haws

          Spencer Haws

          Mia: Not sure when the report will come out, definite drop in earnings as expected, but still decent considering all that’s happened.

      • Matthew4500

        Matthew4500

        Hi, Spencer and Perrin—I have to respectfully echo Mark N.’s frustration… The niche project has been incredibly useful and provided your readers with a ton of valuable information, but the “Now we get links from Hayden” step doesn’t really add value.

        And from what you’ve written, it sounds like building a private blog network is a ton of work—if we wanted to buy one or two high-PA/DA, relevant links, what are the steps we could take to safely do that (other than buying them from Hayden)?

        Sorry to gripe—I’m a huge fan of NP and the NP community, and as I wrote, and overall, the project has provided tremendous value.

        • Spencer Haws

          Spencer Haws

          Its all good – I don’t mind the gripes. Perrin and I discussed this at length, and I ultimately left the decision up to him. In a nutshell, he wants to do what’s best for his site…in addition this is a realistic path for others to follow, they can indeed get the same access to Hayden’s network eventually.

          Feel free to gripe away; lets me know people at least care. Thanks!

        • Matthew4500

          Matthew4500

          I hear you—thank you for the reply. I imagine people care a lot—this is one of the best places to learn how to build a site. Can you give any direction on where we could go if we wanted to safely buy one or two high-PA/DA, relevant links, other than buying them from Hayden? I remember you wrote that you attended an event at PubCon about this. I (and I imagine your other readers) would like to hear more.

      • J

        J

        Thanks for the post. All other things being equal, is how high a site shows up on Google search results affected by whether the site is a .com, .net or. org?

        • Matthew4500

          Matthew4500

          Hi, J—I don’t think it matters too much, although the shared opinion is that .com is best, followed by .org, and then .net (although you don’t really see too many .nets). The real ranking value is determined by backlink relevance and authority, social signals, on-page SEO, and so on.

    • Perrin

      Perrin

      Hey Mark,

      I see where you’re coming from. 🙂

      This is actually something Spencer and I talk about quite a bit. It’s a really weird tightrope walk — balancing an (inherently slow) weekly series with the actual process of building a niche site.

      To address your two points above:

      1. If this were my own private site, I would have just monetized another way (probably with AdSense). It’s just that we’re kind of forced to use Amazon here because the project is public (and it’s obviously bad for business if everyone knows my AdSense ID, which is viewable in a page’s source code).

      However, Amazon Associates is certainly not the only way to monetize a site. In fact, for future sites, I’ll probably be focusing on AdSense and/or private affiliate offerings.

      2) As Spencer mentioned in his post above, his new PBN project isn’t just for me; it’ll be available to NP folks, too! So that’s a resource you’ll be able to take advantage of soon.

      Anyway, thanks for chiming in, and I hope you keep following along. 🙂

      • Mark N.

        Mark N.

        Hi Perrin

        1) Fair enough 🙂

        2) The problem I see is that a public blog network is going to be extremely risky, no matter what kind of precautions are taken. If it’s public, it means Google employees can definitely find it too (and which they have done many times in the past). So it’s not how the network is managed, it’s that it’s public that I have some issues with (ie. I think it would be even safer to privately contact webmasters and buy links [which we already know is risky], than it is to use any sort of public blog network, even if ran by someone as respected and honest as Spencer).

        I already have my own (private) blog network, even if small, and it works great (you can see my recent income report in the last few comments at the bottom of my Success Story here at NichePursuits – http://www.nichepursuits.com/success-story-profiting-from-niche-sites-after-only-2-months/), so I have no problems with blog networks in general and obviously think they are a great idea. It’s the “public” part that I find somewhat troubling.

        • Spencer Haws

          Spencer Haws

          Mark:
          That’s why Hayden and I are doing a webinar – to teach people how to build their own private blog networks. That’s exactly what we will be covering on Tuesday – how to build your own.

        • Iain

          Iain

          I’m happy to hear that you guys are doing this webinar.

          It’s going to be interesting to see how many people take action after the webinar to create their own blog network.

    • Blaine

      Blaine

      I agree with Mark. The whole premise of these case studies is so that others can learn along the way. Hayden is a bad ass, and I’m sure his links will be the same. There is no way each and everyone of us would have access to those types of links without a huge amount of struggle.

      Us normal people who won’t have access to Hayden’s links could spend years trying to make links as powerful as I am sure his are.

      Don’t get me wrong, it just makes sense for Perrin to take advantage of the opportunity to use them, but at the same time it takes away from the study in my opinion.

      If he were to use the information that will be provided in the webinar and has previously been recorded in the podcasts (which we all appreciate so much) and find his own domains, then it would be more along the lines of what we could all achieve.

      While it would be stupid for him not to take advantage of the opportunity, it is disappointing to know that those high pr links (which make such a huge difference) are going to be the one thing I cannot replicate.

      I will still follow along with the study because it still adds a lot of value, but it seems like this is going down the same route as Patt Flynn’s – unattainable for the little guy. I just hope that Glenn gets it right at viperchill.

      • Lenny

        Lenny

        Hi

        Loving the project so far guys and as usual it’s been full of valuable info but unfortunately I also agree with Mark, Blaine and others.

        For me I just would have liked to seen how the site ranked with the original seo tactics that were planned and the link bait ideas etc.

        In this way I could follow along with similar tactics on my own sites.

        Now I feel this will be hard to gauge properly because the links from the blog network will no doubt have a big effect on rankings and it will be hard to know what effect different seo tactics were having.

        I guess using Haydens blog service or someone else’s is perhaps not that much different than buying a link package from someone like layered links etc but just from my own point have view I would have preferred if Perrin hadn’t gone this route.

        At least not until the project had accomplished it’s initial goals.

        Either way,I do wish you guys well ,as always, with the project.

        It’s really cool and has been very helpful.

        Cheers

        Lenny

        • Kevin

          Kevin

          I have to agree with this. Following along up to this point we could all stay on nearly the same playing field, but this takes in up a notch. However, this seems to the way SEO is moving today so I can’t blame Perrin for doing whatever it takes to rank his site and earn money.

          I’ll still be following along for the duration! Good luck with it.

        • Alex

          Alex

          First time poster, and I would have to agree with Mark.

          The whole reason I am following is because I want to know if I can create a Niche site by myself… This case study allows for me to live through Perrim as a “test run” before I choose my own niche pursuit.

          By Perrim using Hayden’s PBN, i feel like the likelihood that I will have the confidence to explore my own pusuit of a niche site has gone down considerably.

          Just my thoughts

          – Alex

  20. Claudio

    Claudio

    Hi,

    You can use wordpress.com and point your domain for $13 a year. Same with other free blogs (keep a backup if possible).

    Use fcsnetworker to control everything, even you orwn wp blogs.

  21. Jon Haver

    Jon Haver

    Hayden’s stuff is always good!

    Management of PBNs is definitely a key to making the most of the domains. InfiniteWP, a team of VA’s and a bunch of standard operating documents seems to be the key to scaling.

    ExpiredDomains.net is ok but tough to find any decent domains there.

    • Perrin

      Perrin

      Oh man. Thanks for pointing me to InfiniteWP. That looks like a great tool. 🙂

  22. Greg

    Greg

    You’re not concerned that Matt C will catch on?

    • Steve wyman

      Steve wyman

      He already had years ago.

      The issue is two fold.

      1) how much effort would it take to kill all the private networks

      2) how much would it cost in people time ‘& $ or could that be better spent elsewhere?

      If they cold be bothered don’t you think nohatseo network would be targeted first. Etc

  23. Jye @ Full Volt

    Jye @ Full Volt

    I don’t have a PBN myself, however I have previously purchased high PR expired domains for various experiments and tests.
    Spencer, rather than writing custom content for each domain you purchase, it is a whole lot easier to just search that domain on Archive.org and grab the content that used to be on the site. Obviously there may be some domains where this may not work due to the old content not being relevant to the domain or niche, but it is much quicker than writing your own content.

    • Mark N.

      Mark N.

      This would be illegal though, as it would constitute copyright infringement.

  24. Adnan

    Adnan

    Hi Spencer,

    Awesome post as usual.

    I am trying to build a PBN as well and wondering if getting a domain via Godaddy auction is just as good as finding expired domain?

    I’ve gotten a number of high PA/DA domain from Godaddy auction. Although a bit more expensive than registering an expired domain, I find the process simpler.

    Also, the domains still shows its previous registration date such as 5 years ago etc as compared to newly registered expired domain.

    So my question is, is it just as good getting domain from Godaddy auction? or not advisable?

    Would love to get everyone’s opinion on this. Thanks!

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Yes, getting domains from a Godaddy auction is just fine. Its just more expensive.

  25. Matt

    Matt

    First, Spencer comes across as a wailing noob in his “failure”. Is it really that hard? Find domain. Private Whois. Get hosting. Set up WordPress. Throw on content. Add links. Done.

    Come on Spencer, you’re always talking about how you need to willing to put in the hard work if you want a pay day in this game and then you tell us that you were too lazy to do this?! No offence intended I just think it’s funny.

    I think what happened was that Spencer bit off more than he could chew too early. 30 domains way too much. Better to start with 5 or 6 then scale up to 10 later.

    Anyhow, this whole Xenu expired domain thing is really far more effort than it’s worth in my opinion. It has been seriously milked by Hayden and others and most of the domains you find these days are weak. I really think it’s a better ROI if you just pay a little more and grab something fresher from the GoDaddy auctions. Sure you’ll pay $50 or so more as you’re bidding with others but FAR easier to grab what you want.

    Anyhow, just my 2 cents.

    Keep on trucking Spencer 🙂

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      lol, yep…you read the post right then! That was kinda my point in writing the post…letting people know I do have bumps in the road and am not an expert in everything. I could pretend otherwise…but I think people like it when I write from the heart. I lay it out there, good or bad. Yep, I sounded like a “noob” and was “lazy”. Shame on me.

      I do disagree though that finding domains that have long expired using Xenu or other methods have been “milked”. There are MILLIONS of domains that have expired LONG ago that no one has touched. There’s way more opportunity there than in going with Godaddy auctions. Although auctions are quicker and easier…they are just more expensive.

      • Steve wyman

        Steve wyman

        Hey, I agree spencer. I find tons. But due to my niche most fail when looking at recent content and backlinks. Some Japanese crew has been wrecking thousand if aged pr domains in my niche.

        Buying at $7 or less is better than 50 any day 🙂

        What’s it like being called a noob!! Never thought that would happen lol

        • Matt

          Matt

          Yes the Chinese/Japanese have already had their paws on a lot of these and tainted them.

  26. Roy

    Roy

    I think what you are planning to do involves huge risk. Anyone can check the backlinks of Perrin’s niche site and find out the list of blogs in the blog network. They may then report the blog network to Google which may result in a penalty for all the sites that have been using the blog network for link building. Google is coming down heavily on blog networks and hence there is a high chance of the blog network as well as the sites that have used it for getting links, being penalized.

    • Chad

      Chad

      Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how to block all crawlers except the main search engines should you desire to do so. Backlink sites are at the mercy of the site providing the outbound link. Don’t forget that.

  27. Jason

    Jason

    You are rewarded with money in a capitalist system by providing value.

    Link building, private blog networks, and gaming (better said, trying to game) Google is not how you make money and have long term success.

    All this time wasted building links and engaging in gray and black hat activities would be much better spent creating great websites and providing value.

    And on top of that, the results are not measurable. So you spend 5 hours and $200 finding a great link. Did it work? Is your traffic due to interesting and valuable content that your audience wants to read, or is the traffic from a link? Who knows. I don’t want to waste my time and energy playing that kind of game.

    To me it is idiotic to cross Google and do exactly what they say not to do. This is incredible risky.

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      I agree…it IS risky…of course it is. But you are also rewarded in a capitalist system for taking risks. If the risk is too high for you (or anyone) don’t get involved in the practice…that’s just fine.

      • Ian

        Ian

        There’s a balance. I wanted to create more content for my website (which after abut a month isn’t even ranking yet in Google), but found myself writing a couple of guest post articles which may or may not even be accepted.

        I’m all for hard work, but with a full time job that requires 10 hours/day, a wife, and a 1 1/2 year old at home, my time is extremely important. Figuring out how to utilize that time is imperative.

        With that being said, some days I write a “guest post” and tell myself, you know what? This article is really high quality. Why am I giving it to someone else? Eventually someone will link to it because it’s that good.

        It just may be a bit slower on the uptake, but to creat 10 pages of content and then to build links just seems like it’s a full time job.

        Or if you’re like Perrin and have a coach walk you through the process, it certainly expedites the process. No offense to Perrin.

        And another note that irritates me a bit. The post says that we will all have access to this PBN and then you go to the “deal”…$130 a month…really? I don’t think that’s access to the readers of this blog at all and that’s where this NSP 2 loses me.

        While I understand it cannot be free, I feel like that’s extortion, especially for your readers who are literally trying to get going. But hey, I still love what you do and love the blog.

  28. Paul Hill

    Paul Hill

    Each to their own but PBNs are not for me – I don’t need / want links that badly…

  29. Joe Magnotti

    Joe Magnotti

    Spencer what about offering the expired domain software publicly or adding the functionality to LTP?

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      That was the original plan, but we decided against it. Decided to keep the software private.

  30. Donald W

    Donald W

    Spencer and Perrin,

    No matter what route you choose I still think this case study provides value. Also you are still providing valuable info on what works and what doesn’t. I have to say I agree with Mark N. on the whole public aspect of it but other than that good stuff! No matter what hat and what way you build links it’s all risky. As long as you know the risks and weigh it against the income and outcome it’s all relative.

    Thanks again for all that you do!!

  31. Brian

    Brian

    If you buy these high pr expired domains, how long does the PR stay high? Or do you just make sure theres enough good backlinks to keep them high?

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      As long as the existing backlinks remain in place, the PR should remain the same.

  32. Allen L

    Allen L

    Another excellent post, Spencer. I am registered for the webinar and look forward to learning as much as I can.

    I am curious? Any PBN links on the first niche site case study site? Are PBNs a “must” in order to rank? Is finding quality high PA sites in the link building process that difficult to justify the risk of linking from a PBN or buying links?

    Harver’s latest post talks about his site that he purchased. It had some purchased links and he ended up getting knocked down significantly on the Oct 4 Google update. So I will be listening closely during the webinar hoping that some of these issues will be addressed.

    Thanks, again, Spencer with sharing not only your successes but also your failures.

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      I only used PBNs for my 1st niche site case study as explained in the this post (“trading”). PBN links are not required, just can make it easier in some cases. Glad to have you on the webinar and bring your questions! We will have a live Q&A following the presentation (where we explain how to build your own private network).

  33. Nick

    Nick

    Now this public case study moved from a generic project to a special project where you use links from a special/ powerful PBN. It is not something that everyone get.

    I was very interested to see how this project gets traffic as it’s done by a newbie same as me, without any external help.

    But it all changed as Perrin used links from PBN of Hayden & Spencer. If you can use powerful links you can rank any site. The issue with newbies is that they can’t afford high quality links. I think anybody can rank their site if they get quality links like this.

    Spencer also used special links to rank his public site bestsurvivalknigeguid.

    Now it looks like to me that you must either have powerful back links or buy them in order to rank any site, that’s the only way.

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      You can get these links, that’s the only we allowed Perrin to do this. I think its a good case study of how people actually rank websites; its a pretty common practice.

  34. Mike M

    Mike M

    I created a spreadsheet to keep track of my PBN.

    I don’t know if this is appropriate, however does anyone want to swap some backlinks between our PBNs. I have some beauty sites…

    • Blaine

      Blaine

      If you give an email address

  35. Matthew Allen

    Matthew Allen

    I’ve struggled with building my own mini PBN as well. Your struggles, Spencer, sound exactly like mine except mine are on a slightly smaller scale. Heck, I’m trying to do all of this, create niche sites, blog about all of it, be a family man and hold down a full-time day job too! It is overwhelming – but the value of using expired domains is just too great to ignore. I’m currently working on ways to create income doing things that I like and am good at so that I can afford to outsource things like building out a PBN using expired domains…

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      I hear you! My issue is that I have about a half dozen other projects that I don’t share on my blog…and I’m a father of 3…so I just couldn’t keep up the blog network as well. Too much, too quickly…

  36. Marc Possoff

    Marc Possoff

    I’m not sure how I feel about you offering Perrin a couple of links. My first thought is most of us are at an unfair disadvantage. Maybe you should have waited until phrase 3 to announce this?

  37. Priyank

    Priyank

    Hello Everyone,

    Discussion in comments is as useful as main content itself.

    No doubt that PBN is most powerful linking method that you have control over.

    But, don’t get overwhelmed guys. If you are the one who cannot believe/trust/manage/afford/whatever private blog network, there is a solution.

    Spencer’s process to build sites is great and proven. The only part bothering people is SEO because he decided to use PBN for linking, which would have powerful effect on his rankings.

    Here is an overview you can use to rank a site:

    – Have content that stands out in your niche. No compromise here please.
    – Do manual social bookmarks if you are super careful about your SEO.
    – Once you have at least 5 pages/posts up for 15 days, start submitting you site to web directories (even if you think it won’t be accepted) and start blog commenting. Use this search query:

    “powered by wordpress” “dog training” inurl:”/dog-training” + intext:”dog training” “comments” + “says:” | “leave a comment”

    Replace ‘dog training’ with you keywords one by one. This will give you some nice wordpress blogs to comment on. These are highly relevant and powerful links.

    – Create some web 2.0s properties. Guys, I am not talking about spammed web 2.0s here. I am talking about web 2.0 with unique content, relevant image and video. Have about us, contacts and multiple pages. Because if they look spammy, they will be deleted over time.

    Squidoo, blogspot, wordpress and weebly are good places to start with. There are more than 50 with domain PR5 or more.

    – If you believe in your content, start outreach. There are few methods you can use.

    1. If you have few blogs in your niche with some authority, keep commenting on posts and build your reputation as an expert. And then outreach the owners with guest post request.

    2. Broken link method – Here you need to use a tool to find out broken links from blogs in your niche. Watch where they are linking to. Create something similar but more valuable and then contact them with request to get their links replaced. Believe me guys, if you have useful contents for their audience, they will link out to you. This is as powerful link as any PBN.

    3. http://backlinko.com/white-hat-seo

    4. Guys outreach is the best option for PBN. From my experience, if you reach out to 100 blogs, 10 of them will reply to your mail and you will succeed to get links on 2-3, which would cost you 100 bucks otherwise. Do you see the value?

    5. Articles directories that are hard to get approval on. They are useful because they have standards.

    This will be your tier 1 that directly links to your money site. You can very well hire someone to run tools like ultimate demon/GSA/magic submitter/SEnuke to get tier 2 and 3 links.

    One thing – Never use duplicate contents on tier 1 and tier 2. Post penguin 2.1, google is looking deep into your links to see footprints of bought/SEOed links. For tier 1, use 100% unique contents. For tier 2, you can use manual spun contents that is at least 70% unique.

    This may look lot of work, but this is great way to start SEO on niche sites if you want to stay away from PBN for any damn reasons.

    Reach out to me if you need further help/tutorials. And I am not advertising myself here. Will be giving away some cool tutorials for free.

    Thanks.

    • Allen L

      Allen L

      Priyank, Some excellent feedback and great review of options for those who are uncertain or risk averse to buying links/linking from networks.

      Thanks!

  38. Mayson

    Mayson

    I was all excited with strategies such as link bait,but lost interest when you involved PBNs into the equation.l am looking forward to Viperchill case studies

  39. Anton

    Anton

    Hi Spencer!

    I’d disagree a bit on the complexity of building PBN network. There are many ways to setup your PBN sites, just like many ways to setup and promote a general site.

    Hayden is awsome, but since he’s doing this on a huge scale and works with client sites, he’s probably playing it really safe with how domains are setup etc…

    I’ve been concentrating on the minimal effort enough to make PBNs work – that’s it.

    Tracking which PBN links to which money site – single spreadsheet in Excel – horisontally comes the list of money sites, vertically – the list of PBN domains. Checkmark means a link is made.

    I usually setup my backlinking schedule in a daily planner (my general one) so I just get up and add a post to pre-scheduled PBN site to link to a specific money site.

    FOr extra tracking, single notepad txt with anchor texts and corresponding urls.

    Next – domain setup. Easy as for contact, privacy, disclaimer, disclosure, terms pages I use a set of plugins (contact form 7, fast contact form or similar….), plus standard pages content.

    Just mixing up plugins for each PBN site – one site uses all-in-one, the other one uses platinum seo, the next one Yoast, next one is not using seo plugins…or ultimate seo..

    Same for other plugins, social – tons of plugins to vary, digg digg, sociable, addthis etc..

    about page – go to archive.org for the ideas 😉 or don’t add about page at all.

    Widgets – very these as well, posts, categories, archives, metas, some have these, some have other set..

    Posts content – I use iwriter.com to get articles done. All are unique and cheap.

    Posting takes under 5 minutes – add a post, get a youtube vid, embed, or get a pic, add some outbound authority (or skip this) – boom ! that’s it.

    Usually just post 1 first article and that’s enough for the start – embed youtube vid to get it indexed faster.

    I know people who don’t even care to do all of these, but still KILL it with rankings and bankings 😉

    Hosting management – yes this may be a bit of a headache, but so far I’m happy and all is working.

    Domains – expireddomains.net or registercompass are the goldmine – I just buy in bunches, like spend 2-3 hours on auctions and get those that I need. Filtering on registercompass saves tons of time and allows to filter out your needed metrics- age, moz scores, links, etc… All is clickable so you check indexing, link profile, theme and authority in a minute.

    I saw people ranking sites with aged domains even with low moz metrics, probably expired-buy now options cheap domains.

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      You make it sound so simple 🙂

      • Steve wyman

        Steve wyman

        Lol. With respect it really is easy.

        Once you have the domain it’s no more complex than building a mfa just keep adding pages

        Do other than finding a great domain I do see what’s hard?

        Outsource if you don’t have time or to gain experience etc as I have with Jon havers beta

      • Anton

        Anton

        Spencer,

        Probably my strong point? 😉 I do find PBNing a much simpler artivity than writing or outsourcing content, really. Tending to agonize over how to better write an article, which resources to use etc..

        That’s the weakest point that slows down my business personally, as in SEO the more sites we publish, the more income we can expect.

        But today I watched Perrin’s approach to writing articles and the main idea was to break down the process into small tasks!

        Spencer, I think your blog is worth the whole WF forum 😉

  40. Matt

    Matt

    Well, now that you have shared you’re blog network with Perrin folks will undoubtedly be able to trace back to your PBN sites and then do all sorts of damage. Risky business if you ask me.

    • Chad

      Chad

      Again, I said this up above, but the blog network should not appear on ANY backlink checking sites if done properly. htaccess is your friend.

      • Matt

        Matt

        How is this done Chad?

      • Matt

        Matt

        They can still be found by someone who is tech savvy and who really wants to find them. htaccess is a false sense of security.

      • Anton

        Anton

        Or a plugin like Spyder Spanker 😉

  41. MayaD

    MayaD

    Hi Spencer and Perrin!
    OK I get PBN are the way to go! No hiding from it.
    Please could you share some cheap hostings out there as that is where I am a bit stuck now. They all seem to want about $10 /month x30 sites = alot! I managed to catch a webinar on PBNs from Hayden about a week or so ago which was great but in the end the PBN link access was going for …. That is not something I am looking to spend on a monthly basis right now but I am glad that you have made it so obvious that anyone looking to rank will need to resort to PBNs. I needed that little convincing to move forward.
    Have a good one!
    Maya

  42. Greg

    Greg

    How real businesses build links.

    Amazon – 50 reviews, 49 five star reviews.

    http://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Guide-Link-Building-Credibility/dp/1599184427/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&tag=entbookstore-20&ie=UTF8&qid=1354563016&sr=1-1&keywords=Ultimate+Guide+to+Link+Building

    “ Eric follows the right link building approach. He’s interested in links that are given based on merit, and those are the links that stand the test of time” — Matt Cutts, Google
    ~ ~ ~
    “ Eric Ward is THE authority on links” — Danny Sullivan, SearchEngineLand

    Eric Ward pioneered the practice of link building as a marketing channel and continues to be among the thought leaders of the field. His expertise and hands-on experience are virtually unmatched, and I’d recommend his book to anyone who uses links to help grow their business.
    – Rand Fishkin, CEO of SEOmoz.org

    If you’re in SEO and take your job seriously, you know Eric and Garrett. When Eric and Garrett talk about link building, you listen. The only issue when they talk is— there’s too much genius to write it all down. So, when they do the writing down for you, you buy the book and read it. Twice. At least. You won’t regret it.
    -Joost de Valk, Founder and CEO of Yoast.com

  43. channarith

    channarith

    Private Blog Network is good one to build link but take a lot of time to build it . I prefer Guest Post rather than blog network.

  44. the rookie

    the rookie

    If your serious about blog networks you should consider using multiple platforms besides wordpress, and mixing in some web2.0’s . Its just natural.

    Consider getting together with a few people you trust and joining forces on mini blog networks that will create small blogs that contain more than a few pages. I did this heavily years ago with a couple guys, plus used senuke to manage the web2.0’s, now I use a version of drupal to manage the networks, several networks managed basically by a single backend site.

    I used and still do use drupal for all my sites, the partners used wordpress so we were able to mix things up easily. Any content we had on our main sites was our top stuff and anything that wasn’t a perfect fit went on one of the blog sites. Which sometimes pointed to our main sites and sometimes didn’t link at all. Shared networks work better because of the added content with least amount of effort. 5 partners 5 times more content. etc.

    I havent’ been super active online as my offline stuff has been so busy but the networks are still around and I still use them for a few projects. They just work and always will when done this way.

    Plus the setup I have with drupal allows me to one click add sites and themes to multiple servers using Aegir which is a drupal based deployment option. Then a modified version of open atrium for the management of all the sites.

    Just throwing some info out there for drupal users or anyone wanting other opions. Drupal is free like wordpress. (a little more complicated though)

  45. the rookie

    the rookie

    Just a little more on what I do, or mostly used to do anyyways. Fyi never did expireds like this just new domains, I would think using expireds would have been even better but eventually those will get penalized too especially if you don’t take the time to recreate some of the pages the old sites had keeping the links to the inner pages active. I have a feeling redirecting link juice will lose a ton of value soon so why not just recreate the pages (its just adding posts with the correct url).

    So I thought I better go a little deeper with the partners. I used groups of partners. One group of a few for one network one group of a 2 to 4 for another. I used 5 different groups, would have done more if I could get the people.. Each group is separated and have no ability to interact with other the other groups or sites. I was the only member in all the groups. everyone benefited in each group but I had even more of a benefit since I was in all the groups. They were kept separate intentionally, (the others might have had their own other networks going on but that wasn’t any of my business) With the exception of just a couple of the partners all the sites are still live (two guys aren’t online at all anymore for whatever reasons and their urls expired.

    There is so much benefit for partnering with other bloggers with so little risk. People contribute as much as they want growing the blogs. Rules have to be applied though. Such as how many posts to are allowed to link to a single site etc etc.

    Glad to see your going into some depth on this subject Spencer.

  46. Iain

    Iain

    I think it’s awesome that you went out and build a piece of software that helps you create a blog network more easily.

    I think you’re right though. Many people would surely abuse the software.

    With great power comes great responsibility right?

  47. Josh

    Josh

    Awesome! I can’t wait for the webinar, I am sure I will learn a lot. Building a PBN is a PAIN to keep up with. I am interested in the network you all will open up.

    What will the average PA be of the sites, price for links, how many links a month?

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      We’ll talk about it on the webinar.

  48. Kyle @ Whales and Business

    Kyle @ Whales and Business

    This is another great example of why focusing on high quality/authoritative sites, rather than low quality/”niche” sites is the way to go. The time it takes to build something that will last a long time is tremendous. So you might as well take that time to make something worthwhile.

    I have started to consult for a few companies regarding their SEO practices, and my message is always the same: stop worrying about SEO and start worrying about creating something incredible.

  49. Aaron

    Aaron

    I agree building a PBN is no one man’s job, you need a team of people to help you. Its all about good management systems- finding High DA domains, set up different IPs, adding content, start link building. Quite a high big chuck of investment you need to put ahead when setting up PBN, But if done right, the benefits of the PBN is massive!

  50. Nick Kellingley

    Nick Kellingley

    Hi Spencer,

    Thank you for sharing this. I find that you are one of the only IM “gurus” who actually has something useful to say.

    I don’t think I have the bandwidth to establish my own blog network at the moment… but it’s definitely something to consider and I like the shortcuts to gaining domain authority.

    Cheers,

    Nick

  51. Warren

    Warren

    Don’t take me wrong, I’m very thankful for what I have learn here, but now, one will have to wonder what else was done to get traffic. I was sold on the fact that finding high traffic low competition was the only way to go. Now, I’m wondering the whole SEO, Google, whatever you want to call it is all a sham. I’m noticing it take money, to make money. The bigger, commerce sites are taking over the net.

    Spencer,
    What if you start a third niche project, that uses methods that a poor man can afford, and uses white hat 100%. Slow and easy. Can you do it or not?

    This like playing poker with marked cards. Not a game I want in.

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Warren:
      When I started this project, I made it very clear that Perrin would be asked to invest $500 into his website. So, far he is still well below that investment…even including what it would cost to purchase these few links from our network. (The links he got cost less than $100) No, you don’t have to invest money, you can do all the work yourself. But spending $500 on this project was made very clear from the start of this project, and in fact was part of the application process. So, this isn’t out of line with the original project.

      • Warren

        Warren

        Good point Spencer. If Perrin can stay under that $500 even hiring VAs down the road would would be satisfactory.

        It just surprised some of us this turn was made so early in the game. It would be a better test or learning experience if we let it ride a couple of months then buy into a private network. This way the study of before and after could be compared. How much it benefited or not. I think you get the idea.

  52. Higgins

    Higgins

    seeing a lot of frustrated followers at the moment here..I understand that it’s allready tough enough for people bulding their first or second website and trying to link build them with the old methods, now you’ve got to learn about expired domains as well?? Yep, i’m afraid so….You just need to realise that these PBN’s are the way to go now. In the future it might change, who knows what comes next. Even Trent Dyrsmid gave up about a year ago because of the penguins, pandas and what not. I think, if you want to have a shot at this you need to do whats necessary at that given moment in time and keep in mind that it can all change tommorow. If you cant handle that,… give up just my 2 cents…

    Lookin forward to the webinar……

  53. Higgins

    Higgins

    Not saying that it’s not possible to do well without PBN’s btw eh.

    I have a website that i considered a failure because i used keywords that we’re way to difficult to rank for.. gave up on it and totaly forgot about it too,… just recently because of all the hosting changes i had to make with my own PBN i was forced to either let the domainname go or move it to another host. I decided to check analytics to see if it was getting any visitors and to my surprise the long tail keyword phrases like the ones Spencer and Perrin are using are attracting over 200 visitors a day. This convinced me even more of the fact that these pages with really easy to rank for keywords, even though low in search volume can make a site profitable,…. the pages that are bringing in the traffic have 0 links pointing to them… it’s def possible to rank for those weak competion keywords with out expired domains,…. Just create a website with a gazillion of those pages You wont be ranking very high but you’ll attract lots of visitors..

  54. Stew @ NinjaGorilla

    Stew @ NinjaGorilla

    Hi Spencer,

    This had been a great niche site project so far, the video calls are just so informative.

    I can see readers frustration though. For many, building a private blog network is both technically and cost prohibitive. However, if your read all the IM/SEO blogs, it is the way to rank these days, and that’s the reality.

    Hopefully the webinar will provide some insights and tips on building PBNs.

    Keep up the great work.

  55. Winston

    Winston

    Spencer,

    I remember you mentioning in an earlier post that one bad site (or was it spammy site) in your portfolio of niche sites affected the rankings of the other sites in the host. Please correct me if I recall incorrectly.

    I don’t remember what the reason was why that site was penalized (which later affected the rankings of the others).

    Anyway, my question is somewhat related to that. You mentioned these tactics are risky. In your experience if Google finds one site with ‘bad’ links or links that they don’t like does it only penalize that site’s rankings or does it also hit the other sites in that same hosting account?

    Thanks.

  56. wholesalers

    wholesalers

    Thanks for share, i also built my own network blog, most is wordpress, about 50 blogs, some domain is expired domain, PR 3-5, some is new domain, keywords related, the content, i wrote some and bought some, those blog has several month, i used it to promot my main business website, the problem is, how to built links for those blog, if i do it mannual for every one, find related link and built it, that will send to much time, cannot do it by myself, if i use tools to do it, i care about it create spam link, if i buy kinds of link for all blog, that also will take much money, if no link, the blog effect will not good, do you have any good idea?

    How to built link for more than 50 private blog?

  57. William

    William

    Hi there,

    Thanks for the post, very inspiring!

    Do you have any recommendations on how to host a private blog network?

    You mentioned that each site should be on a separate subnet. Do you know of a company that provides such a service, or do you recommend finding 20/30 hosting companies around the world?

    Your input would be greatly appreciated

    Cheers

    • Stew @ NinjaGorilla

      Stew @ NinjaGorilla

      @William

      I would avoid using any “seo hosting” provider as this will be a red flag to Google (if not now, then in the future).

      Go onto webhostingtalk.com forum and you will find lots of $1 hosting providers.

      You just need a good system to manage them all!

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      William, we will be discussing this on the webinar. Short answer is that using lots of different hosts/large variety of types is a good idea.

      • William

        William

        Thanks Stew And Spencer,

        I agree with you, I am personally not sold by the idea of an “seo Hosting company”.

        After contacting a few of them, I found that most of them only have 1 datacenter. So even though they offer C Class IPs they will becoming from the same city or region + are most likely sequential.

        So out of the blue our niche sites will have + 30 high PR links from Dallas and only Dallas!!! I don’t think so…

        I would like to see a greater variation in the IP addresses (different states and countries).

        That’s my opinion, but I am afraid I can not confirm the validity of it 🙂

  58. Big Dave

    Big Dave

    Spencer, man, I appreciate your honesty and transparency with your business. It’s easy to “spread the news” when one succeeds, but difficult as hell to deliver the “polar opposite”.

  59. toni

    toni

    “This software was built; but we all decided it was too powerful to let other people abuse. So, this software has been kept private, and is how we found the domains for our domain auction that we did recently.”

    Until a day that you will sell like WSO, and monetize like all your other products…

    Well done, without us, this could not be possible.

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      This domain finding software won’t be sold. If you create a quality product that people like and sell it, it benefits the buyer and seller – that’s how business works. Maybe you should try creating a great product and selling it Toni…you might make alot of people happy like I’ve done with Long Tail Pro and more…

  60. Sarah

    Sarah

    Just looked at the pricing for RankHero as I thought I might get onboard, but…WOW – that is expensive, don’t you think?

    $197 a month for 5 posts?

    Have you seen Fightbacknetworks? Does exactly the same thing for a lot less money…..! A lot more posts, for $47 a month.

    Love all your stuff, and am an avid follower, but was surprised at that pricing, I think it will price a lot of people out.

    P.S. I know you’re going to say it’s worth it for high quality links….but you already have one established competitor (FBN) charging A LOT less.

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Sarah:
      Its fine if the price is too high for some people, we don’t want a flood of customers. We really are concerned with the quality of the network, and therefore price it in a way that people that are also concerned with high PageAuthority sites can have access to them.

      Other networks are not the same, and certainly not the one you mentioned. In fact, that one requires you to submit your own site and I highly doubt its near the quality. People can compare other options on their own, but most are not even close to what we are offering in terms of ranking power.

      FBN (or other competitors) can be the low price/low quality provider, that’s okay. But that’s not our target market. Again, everyone can choose for themselves. If its not a good fit for you Sarah, that’s fine!

  61. Dave

    Dave

    Is the method that is been taucht in the podcast still working these days? Great webinair btw

  62. David

    David

    Are you at all concerned with Google putting the hammer down on Rank Hero in the future like BMR and so many others that have followed?

  63. Higgins

    Higgins

    questions concerning Rankhero,

    Links and the posts are permanent but will drop off the homepage within a month rendering them useless or at least not powerfull enough to keep you at your current serp position,… right?
    That would mean that its necessary to keep coming up with about 10 new posts every month and pay the $297 for as long as you want to maintain your current postion, plus if the posts only stay as strong as they are on the homepage for about a month, you can never have more than 10 solid posts with links outthere at any given moment in time since your limited to 10 credits/posts a month. ( by the time you submitt new posts with links the old ones drop off) just thinking out loud Spencer,.. i’d like you to correct me if im wrong.

    Price seems a bit steep,
    IMO this would only work if your site’s estimated earnings exceed $400 a month cause that about the point where you would break even with hosting , outsourcing articles and this rankhero package.

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Great questions, I believe Hayden covered this exact question in the webinar. Yes, we keep 10 posts on homepage…but there are 25 sites in the network. So, I see no reason why you couldn’t have more than 10 posts/mth on a homepage. Also, once its off the homepage, the link is still good – its providing value. In many cases, 10 links will be enough to push a niche site to the first page of Google; once on the first page of Google, sites tend to get more natural links. Anyway, a couple of months of links should definitely get some nice results (or less in lower competition keywords). And finally, this network would only make sense if you expect your site to make more than $400 (your number) OR if you have several smaller niche sites that only need a few links to help them move up…

  64. Matt B.

    Matt B.

    Hi Spencer,

    Long time visitor, but my first comment.

    I just wanted to thank you SO much for the webinar you guys put on about blog networks. I just caught the replay.

    I’ve already spent about $1500 on my network so far (over the last several months), but I imagine I could have lost it all had a not had the opportunity to listen to you and your team share your “best practices” regarding building quality PBN sites. Huge take away #1 for me.

    Huge take away #2 – The whole positioning discussion was AWESOME. I got a ton of value from it, and it really opened up my eyes to possibilities for my own PBN.

    I spent the whole night revamping all of my PBN sites, and I have to say that though I once viewed them simply as tools, I’m actually pretty fond of several of them now.

    This is a major point of differentiation between you and other SEOs/IMs, since many just set-up PBN sites focusing on doing the bare minimum.

    Best Wishes!
    -Matt

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Thank you Matt for the comment! So glad you found value in the webinar. I’m finding that those that have actually dabbled around with expired domains or trying to build their own PBN are the ones that this info is clicking with most. If you haven’t tried it on your own, you don’t REALLY get how difficult the process can be to do properly. Thanks again!

  65. John

    John

    “Private networks are difficult to built” stop mentioning this. Few months ago you were pushing people to build one. Now your just building up hype to push rankhero.co.

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      I could have said, “Private networks are easy to build”…but that would not be truthful. What I shared in this blogpost is exactly what happened during my attempt to build a private network. Maybe its simple for you to build a PBN, but in my experience it was quite difficult. I still think people should try to build one because its hugely beneficial! If you can do it on your own without Rank Hero, that would be BETTER!

  66. Phuong Le

    Phuong Le

    I do not know why people takes it so non-serious.Google is always the major source for generating traffic to site why we risk our site if this is our own site and on our business.
    open link tier are still popular but Google will surely find out ways to kill them also so kindly try to build links safe way.

  67. NicheIdeaOfTheDay

    NicheIdeaOfTheDay

    I’ve seen the power that can be had from getting just one high PR backlink. It happened to one of my niche sites a couple of years ago when a daily newspaper linked to the site.

    If you write USEFUL content then these links can appear out of nowhere, and they can transform your site’s fortunes.

    If you want them, then build useful, uniquely interesting stuff. Then who cares about building blog networks blah, blah…

    • Dave

      Dave

      That never happens, that you get high PR links out of nowhere, you have more changes of winning the lotery.

  68. expired domains « Intellehost

    expired domains « Intellehost

    […] My Failed Attempt to Build a Private Blog Network Using Expired … http://www.nichepursuits.com/My Failed Attempt to Build a Private Blog Network Using Expired Domains and a Secret Project Revealed | My Niche Websites & Business Ideas. […]

  69. How to Build Your Own Private Blog Network Webinar Replay and Rank Hero Introduction! | Niche Pursuits

    How to Build Your Own Private Blog Network Webinar Replay and Rank Hero Introduction! | Niche Pursuits

    […] tried to build out my own link network and mostly failed as shared here.  But Rank Hero is perfect for someone like me that wants access to a great network, without all […]

  70. TinHinse

    TinHinse

    Hi there, I just noticed that sometimes this website renders a 404 server error message. I thought that you would be keen to know. Regards

  71. PrIyAnGsHu

    PrIyAnGsHu

    I’m just starting up to create a private blog network of my own using some of my old Pageranked domains with some really good backlinks. Let’s see how it goes, it’s time consuming and involves a lot of work, I must say.

  72. Carlo

    Carlo

    I think I’m going to take this route too. I think I can manage to do some hard work if it is for success sake.

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