I don't need to tell you that white hat SEO is the only viable option for businesses that want long-term traffic from Google.

In fact, Rand Fishkin said it best in his post: "White Hat SEO: It F@$#ing Works ".

The downside of white hat SEO -- and the reason that so many people turn to "the Dark Side" -- is that white hate SEO is also F@$#ing time consuming!

That's why I've put together this guide to help you squeeze more high quality backlinks from your link building campaigns.

Guest Posting

I personally know an agency owner that publishes more than 500 guest posts every single month for his clients. How can he possibly keep up that ridiculous output month after month?

Well, he does a few things to radically reduce the time it takes to find guest post targets, get content written and get his articles published:

  • First, he targets sites that openly accept guest posts. You can occasionally get lucky and convince someone to publish your post as the site's first guest post, but there's usually A LOT back-and-forth involved. When you target sites with "write for us" pages, you know these sites have systems in place for screening and accepting content...which means your article gets published fast. Sometimes they even have submission forms where you simply submit your content and receive word when your article has been published.
  • Use guest blog "dating sites" like My Blog Guest and Post Runner. These sites feature blogs that don't just openly accept guest posts, but are actually advertising that fact to the SEO community:
My Blog Guest

That means they usually accept just about anything without a lot of fuss. Although 90% of the sites at My Blog Guest and other guest blog dating sites aren't worth your time, there are a few diamonds in the rough that make them worthwhile. In fact, I once landed a nice .edu backlink from My Blog Guest.

  • Outsource some -- or all -- of your guest posting to a guest posting service. This isn't just for the time-saving benefit (although that's nice). The reason you may want to outsource guest posting is that that providers that specialize in guest posting often have connections with bloggers that can get you perks like expedited publishing and contextual links.
One thing to keep in mind is that -- although your goal is to be efficient -- you want to make sure that you're publishing high quality, Penguin-safe guest posts, and not the type of low-quality "large-scale guest posting" that Google has warned webmasters about.


Infographics are an awesome way to generate backlinks, referral traffic and brand exposure on the cheap. However, unlike a blog post, there are a lot of moving parts when you create and promote and infographic.

At the bare minimum you need to:
  • Find a topic that your target audience cares about
  • Figure out if that topic will work as an infographic
  • Find data to support the infographic's topic
  • Create a wire frame design
  • Create several drafts of the actual design
  • Publish the infographic on your site
  • Promote the infographic to bloggers in your niche
Here's how you can make the infographic marketing process significantly more efficient:

  • Include infographics as part of your content topic brainstorming sessions. When you -- or someone on your team -- comes up with a topic, ask yourself "would this work better as an infographic?".
  • Reverse engineer other people's infographic paper trails. Find out where marketers in your industry find data and publish their work. There's no need to reinvent the wheel every time you publish an infographic.
  • Work with a design team that gets it right the first time. You'll usually need to spend a bit more, but you'll save time having to micromanage a designer who "just doesn't get it".

Blogger Outreach

It's not too much of a stretch to say that today's white hat SEO techniques are variations of a) great content b) paired with targeted outreach.

However, as many white hat SEO practitioners have found, outreach is extremely time-consuming. Sure, if you simply spam the bloggers in your niche with generic email templates, you can probably get through 50 or more outreach emails in an hour.

But if you want to personalize each one -- which is what makes outreach actually work -- you'll need to dedicate a lot of time to make it happen.

Here's how to cut down on that time commitment:
  • Use short and sweet templates. You obviously don't want your emails to look like a template, but templates help you bang out emails much faster.
  • Use low-skilled labor to find the contact's email, name etc. You can use a service like Amazon TURK to get this done for pennies on the dollar.
  • Use a program like GroupHigh to manage and streamline your outreach efforts. GroupHigh has a database of blogger contact information that you can find within seconds.
Who said white hat SEO techniques had to be time-sucking nightmares? With these strategies you'll spend less time building links...giving you more time to work on your business.
October 4, 2013

Brian Dean is the link building expert behind Backlinko, a growing hub for link builders and SEO pros. There he posts expert insights, powerful link building strategies, and exclusive case studies to help business owners and SEOs get more search engine traffic. He's been knee deep in SEO since 2008. Since then he's launched a number of profitable authority sites and consulted for businesses of all shapes and sizes. When he's not link building for his sites or for his clients he's usually backbacking through Asia or Europe. If you want to read cutting edge SEO content you should follow him on Twitter.


Thanks Brian for the tips, I've tried MyBlogGuest but didn't want to pay the $50 up front and it looked a bit sloppy, so I'll try out PostRunner next! Any other services you recommend? Do you actually use both of these yourself on a daily basis?

Thanks Joe. You can actually use most of MyBlogGuest's features with a free account. If you want to use their Article Gallery (which is pretty good), you can upgrade later. I'd also recommend hiring people from sites like Elance, ODesk etc. that have established relationships with bloggers. I can't say I use these services on a daily basis, but I use them all the time.

Thanks for the interesting article. It had a lot of great points, however, I would argue that guest blogging isn't necessarily a real "white hat" technique anymore and heads more into the grey hat area.

Why? More and more quality Blogs want money in return for accepting Guest Blogs. The fact that this happening is normal in my opinion as many bloggers get an overload of spam sent into their inbox.

Many "Guest Blogging Services" openly admit that they pay to get their article published, others might not be as open about it. Paying to get your article online isn't necessarily negative if the quality of both the article and the blog itself is there.

In either case, Google will probably never know if the article is paid or not.

Just my two cents. Brian, keep up the good work. Cheers

It means Guest blogging will going to be spammy as the People start earning from paid posting after a time.

Hi Brian,

Thank you for the advice! I will give these a go!

In relation to this I have seen a growing number of companies adopting black-hat techniques, however they generally have their website hit the first page, top positions within weeks, they remain their for 3 to 6 months before being de-indexed and then start the process again with a similar url. Certainly not advisable by any stretch of the imagination however extremely cunning and cost effective. I wonder if/how Google will deal with this type process!?

Thanks for your comment, Brian. You're 100% right: most guest posting isn't white hat.

But I'm really picky about the guest posting providers that I choose to ensure that I'm getting links from high quality sites. Do they pay to get published? Maybe. I don't actually care. As you said, it's impossible for Google to know.

It may not BE white hat...but it certainly LOOKS white hat (which is what ultimately matters).

With the way most SEO agencies approach guest blogging, it already is spammy, Mike But it depends on how you do it. It's certainly possible to do white hat guest posting.

Thanks for reading, Nic. You're right: I've seen a lot more people adopting the churn and burn style of SEO myself.

In fact, they even time their site "launches" with updates to maximize the time they sit on the first page.

The best way for Google to stop them is to diversify their ranking signals as much as possible. It's really hard to spam your way to the first page if you need to develop quality links, social signals, brand signals AND UX signals.

Thx for the article. Ive really been trying to find effective ways to get my article to work for me. I do quite a lot of short posts in the area of photography and editing, and some also include YouTube video's of software tutorials. I will definitely check out My Guest Blogger and Post Runner.

I got my site on the 1st page within 3 months for 4 of my keywords, but I dont even know if what I did was black hat or not? (I optimized my home page as much as possible - not knowing if what I did is allowed and then bought links through linklicious.com ... Is there a guide for what is Black and what is White?

Glad you enjoyed it, Warren. There's no guide to what's black hat and white hat (it's very subjective), but I personally don't consider paid links white hat. Let me know how the guest post sites I discussed in the post work out for you.

Pretty good intro. One area that I've been trying to focus on more lately is infographics. It's great content and it helps to get more involved with the graphics team over the long-term!

Thanks Eric. Infographics are amazing when done right. Let me know if you have any questions about the process.

A very insightful article. Finding out more about blogger outreach is always useful when working in the field. I actually had a great experience with my last infographic. Someone liked it so much that they included it, in their weekly digital newspaper and so I got lots of traffic and tweets from that. And I didn't even ask the guy, he simply loved it and added it to his recommendations. It's great when you find so many helpful people.

That is absolutely ridiculous Brian. But perhaps that agency has at least 10 brilliant and talented content writers with them. Aside from guest blogging, one lucrative strategy is submitting to document sharing sites, like scribd and slideshare. What do you think?

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Search Engine Guide > Brian Dean > How to Streamline Time-Consuming White Hat SEO Techniques