I've been keeping a secret from you. Shhh! Don't tell anyone else, but I've been working on creating a premium WordPress plugin (one I plan to charge money for) behind your back.
I'm not launching anything today, that's still a ways off. However, I wanted to give you a behind the scenes look at what I've been working on for the past few months and what goes into creating a WordPress plugin when you are not a programmer.
I'm just at the point where I'm starting to get a few beta testers and I am genuinely excited to start using my software tool on my own websites. I'm fulfilling my own needs and that is a strategy that worked extremely well for Long Tail Pro (my first software product) and so I'm hopeful for the potential of this new tool.
However, when I look out at the marketplace, I don't see anything quite like what I'm building. And that makes me both excited and scared…
Will Anyone Want This Thing?
Drumroll please… For the first time ever, I will mention the name of my brand new WordPress plugin.
Yep, Link Whisper. Hope you like it.
Link Whisper is a WordPress plugin that will help you quickly and easily add smart and beneficial internal links throughout your site. I truly believe that Link Whisper will revolutionize the way that internal links are built.
I'll dive into exactly what it does in a minute. However, I've yet to find any tools that really do what I'm envisioning and that makes me a little nervous. After all, if no one has built it yet, that might mean that no one would buy it.
The most common internal linking plugins right now and very simple and require your input. They mostly work like this: you input a keyword or phrase that you want links built for, then the plugin scans your site for every time that keyword or phrase is mentioned and adds the link for those keywords.
Maybe there is a good use case for doing something like that, but those types of links sound like a great way to penalize yourself for over-optimized anchor text. I personally would never use a tool like that.
However, what if a plugin was smart enough to read your content and not only suggest what articles you should be linking to, but also suggests what anchor text you should use? And what if all you had to do was make your selections and hit update and it automatically added all those relevant internal links to your content?
That's exactly what Link Whisper hopes to achieve.
Where Did the Idea Come From?
I initially came up with this idea about a year ago. I've always known the importance of building internal links to articles on my site. However, building good internal links often has 2 problems:
- It's time-consuming. Even though I know it needs to be done, I don't want to spend the time doing it.
- If I've hired an author to write for my site, they don't really know the hundreds of other articles on my site and so it becomes even MORE time consuming for them to build internal links. (i.e. it's expensive for me to pay for their time).
Whenever I would build an extra 5 or 10 internal links to a new article, it was not uncommon for me to see my Google rankings for those articles improve. However, the process of searching for what articles to build links from, going into each article one at a time, finding the right sentence, and manually adding the link over the proper anchor text takes time.
I found that to do it right, I was spending an extra 15 or 20 minutes per article to add internal links. When I was looking at my site (NichePursuits.com) that has over 600 articles, it hurt my head to think about how much time it would take me to build all the internal links I know I probably should.
That's when the lightbulb went on for me and I decided I needed to build a software tool that was smart enough to do all of this for me.
I hired a developer on Upwork to build the initial version. I explained exactly what I wanted and after about 2 months of going back and forth, I got something that kinda sorta resembled what I had in my mind.
The only problem? Its link suggestions weren't very good.
I blame myself. I made the mistake of hiring a cheap developer and when I tried to help him come up with better link suggestion logic, he just couldn't make it work.
I knew I couldn't release something that didn't work how I had envisioned, so I closed the project and let it sit on the shelf for about 8 months.
Then about 4 months ago, I was going through the same internal link pains and decided I needed to try hiring a better developer (i.e. more expensive) and start the project from scratch.
Boy am I glad I did! This new developer (also found on Upwork) is MUCH better and has delivered exactly what I was hoping for. So, for close to 4 months I've been working with this developer to get Link Whisper to what I'm about to show you below.
What Does it Do?
First of all, be nice. This product is in very early beta with only 4 or 5 users and I have done ZERO design on the plugin. (Actually, I did pay someone on Fiverr to create a logo for me…but that's it).
I want to get everything working how I want it first, then I'll tackle making it look a bit more polished.
Overall, Link Whisper has 3 functions:
- Link Whisper automatically suggests internal links (with anchor text) FROM articles you are editing or have written previously to other articles on your site (Outbound internal links).
- Link Whisper automatically suggests internal links (with anchor text) TO a specific article that you more links pointing to (Inbound internal links).
- Link Whisper provides a comprehensive Linking Report that how many internal and external links each of your articles have.
Outbound Internal Links: Here's an animated GIF showing how easy it is to add internal links FROM an article you are editing.
5 relevant, in-content, internal links added in about 30 seconds. My only job was to select some boxes and click update. Sweet.
Inbound Internal Links: Here's a GIF showing how easy it is to build internal links TO an article that you want to have more links.
I was able to add 3 new inbound links in less than 30 seconds. As you might be able to see in the top right-hand corner, Link Whisper has found 287 possible link opportunities, so I could have easily added many more.
And finally, here is a GIF showing the Link Whisper Reporting page
I love the reports view! This allows me to quickly see which articles don't have any (or very few) internal links. I consider these “low hanging fruit”. I've often seen ranking improvements by just adding a few new internal links to existing content.
Join the Waitlist
Now that I've shared what I've been working on, you can join the waitlist to be one of the first to access Link Whisper right here.
I don't have anything to sell today and I don't know exactly when it will be ready for the public. However, I can now say that I'm confident that Link Whisper will be a tool that I'm proud of and it's only going to get better. (I was not proud of my first attempt at building an internal linking tool a year ago, so building software is not easy).
I expect that I will continue beta testing with a small group of users over the next 2 to 6 weeks. Then I'm hopeful that I can release the initial version publicly in the next 1 to 2 months.
In the meantime, please join the Link Whisper Waitlist Here.
Now that I've shared what I'm working on, what are your thoughts? Sharing what I'm working on publicly is always a little nerve-wracking. After all, will someone steal my idea? Will no one even be interested in this type of WordPress plugin?
If nothing else, I'm very excited to use Link Whisper on my own sites because I know it will save me a ton of time.
Overall, I'd love to hear your thoughts below!