SEO & Affiliate Marketing For Newbies, An Interview With Backlinks Expert Brian Dean

Nov 1 • SEO4 Comments

interview with Brian Dean of Backlinko

SEO is one of the most competitive fields you can be in online especially when applied to affiliate marketing campaigns. And for a newcomer, it can be really difficult to learn things and get ahead because most of the information available about the topic are either outdated or simply garbage.

So how does a newbie identify which ones are worth his time or money? If you’ve been in this business for some time, you probably have found out yourself that you’ll really have to do your own tests. Yes, it can be time consuming and it might require some money but the rewards can be life-changing!

A lot of successful SEO’s are already living their dreams but only a few of them share their secrets. One of these few is Brian Dean who started his blog, Backlinko.com last year where he shares his proven link building strategies. Since then, it has become so popular because of the quality of information in there and because he applied his ninja SEO techniques on it. Some of the pages on his site have the top rankings for highly competitive terms.  Again, proving how his strategies and techniques work.

Last week, I got the chance to interview Brian and pick his brains on SEO & affiliate marketing. I hope you’ll find the answers to some of your own questions in our conversation below. Here’s how it went:

Question:
In a lot of interviews, they usually start with how people began in the field where they are now successful. I wanna do the opposite of that and hopefully get my readers inspired and excited… so can you share with us where you are now with your goals in life and how did SEO and Affiliate Marketing help you get there? How many figures did you make last month?

Brian:
Although I have pretty ambitious goals, I’m pretty happy with where I’m at right now. I have a few different sources of income and am earning 5-figures per month. SEO and affiliate marketing helped me learn the skills (like content marketing and link building) that I’ve used to rank sites in a number of different industries (and monetize those sites with affiliate offers).

Question:
If there’s one thing you think most unsuccessful affiliate marketers are doing wrong, what is it and how can it be changed or avoided?

Brian:
The one thing they do wrong is think of themselves as “affiliate marketers” and create sites that are “affiliate sites”. I never had much success trying to create sites that didn’t add any value and were just there to make money.

Don’t let affiliate marketing define your site or what you do. Affiliate commissions are just a way to make money from a site. It shouldn’t define how you create and market your site.

Question:
What is the first thing an aspiring affiliate marketer should learn before doing anything else?

Brian:
That’s a good question. They should learn how to create and market content, like blog posts, guides and infographics. That’s a skill that can be used in almost any industry to generate traffic. So I’d look at what guys like Chris Brogan, Derek Halpern and Pat Flynn are doing and incorporate those things into your site’s marketing.

Question:
What kind of products or services do you promote? What niche do you find most profitable?

Brian:
I promote mostly CPA (cost per action) offers. But I’ve found the personal finance space to be the most lucrative.

Question:
One of the critical decisions a newbie affiliate marketer has to make is choosing what product or service to promote. How do you do it? What is your process of selecting products or services to promote to have the greatest chance of success?

Brian:
The first thing I’d recommend is to see what your target audience is interested in. 90% of your offer’s success will hinge on how well matched it is to your traffic.

Once you have that figured out by seeing what keywords people use to find or site or what pages they land on most often when searching in Google, I’d check out OfferVault and ClickBank to see if there’s a product that’s a good fit. If not, you may have to find other products that aren’t listed on these sites (for example, most SaaS products have internal affiliate programs).

Question:
How do you go about promoting your affiliate marketing campaigns? Do you mainly go for organic search traffic only or do you also run paid ads? What would you recommend to others, especially the newbies?

Brian:
Yes, I go mostly for SEO traffic. I’d recommend that newbies do the same because then you’ll learn how to market content (as I mentioned earlier in the interview).

Question:
If you were to start again on SEO from scratch with no money and no connections, how would you do it?

Brian:
The first thing I’d do is save some money. It’s almost impossible to compete in SEO without any cash on hand. You don’t need a lot, but even $1,000 will buy you things like a nice site design, fast hosting etc. that are important for success in SEO.

Then I’d look at the current landscape in my niche and see where I can beat them. Finally, I’d create one of the best sites in my industry and promote the heck out it.

Question:
Google has the biggest share in the search engine marketplace and they keep changing their algorithm, leaving a lot of webmasters broke with sudden losses of traffic. Do you have some advice to the SEO newbie that should work despite any update Google will release?

Brian:
As long as you build relevant, authority links and mix up your anchor text, you don’t really need to worry about updates. Updates tend to hit sites that are pushing the envelope or relying too much on one strategy.

Question:
What tools and services do you currently use for SEO and/or marketing and what do you use each of them for?

Brian:
Here are the tools I use at the moment:

BuzzStream: For link prospecting and outreach management.

Ahrefs: For backlink analysis.

ScrapeBox: For finding link opportunities.

Question:
If you are to create your own tool to make life easy for SEO’s and release it to the pubic, what would it be and why?

Brian:
Good question!

It would be a tool that could find link opportunities using search strings, grab their contact information and then send them personalized emails.

Question:
What are the link building strategies you use and what is your most recommended?

Brian:
I use dozens of strategies, so I can’t list them all here.

One that I’ve been having a lot of success with lately is curated content (here’s an example). The perceived value of curated content is really high because you’re saving people the hassle of finding good information on a given topic.

Question:
Glen of ViperChill said “people rarely know what they really want until you give it to them” and I agree with that. So if there’s one important thing about SEO and link building I should have asked that I didn’t, what is it and how would it impact our chances of success?

Brian:
I also agree with that (and pretty much everything Glen has to say).

The one thing I’d recommend is to spend as much as you can on a top notch design for your site and your content. It’s one of the best ways for you to stand out from the competition and generate links and traffic to your site.

Thanks a lot Brian for sharing your thoughts and recommendations! This gives us a peek into the real deal when it comes to SEO and internet marketing.

For more of Brian’s strategies, you can visit his site and/or sign up for his SEO That Works training program. It’s currently closed for new registrations but you can enter your email so you’ll be notified when he opens it again. Hope you’ve enjoyed this Q&A and got some important takeaways to apply on your own business.

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SEO & Affiliate Marketing For Newbies, An Interview With Backlinks Expert Brian Dean
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Successful SEO's are already living their dreams but only a few of them share their secrets. One of them is Brian Dean. Last week, I got the chance to interview him and pick his brains on SEO & internet marketing.

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  • http://www.mynoblecare.com/ Usama Ejaz

    An awesome interview with Brian Dean. Brian Dean’s backlinko is really great :)

    • http://nimrodflores.com/ Nimrod Flores

      Thanks, glad you liked it. :)

  • Brian Dean

    Thanks for having me, Nimrod. Great interview!

    • http://nimrodflores.com/ Nimrod Flores

      Yeah, thanks! It’s great to have you here :-)
      That example of content curation you’ve given is top notch!

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