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.
- In my first interview, Hayden shared how he was making 30,000 dollars a month with niche sites, post penguin.
- In my second interview, Hayden shared how to find valuable expired domains for just $9.
- In my third interview, he shared how to make money selling links with your own private blog network.
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
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
I 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!
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
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:
As 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.
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
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:
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.
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!