Hear Bibi The Link Builder’s Origin Story
Link building is not something most SEOs enjoy.
There’s the prospecting (finding suitable sites).
Then there’s trying to find contact details of someone to email
There’s the outreach itself.
And the rejection that follows.
This is why many SEO agencies outsource aspects of their link building to link providers.
Bibi is one of these link providers, but unlike the majority of them, she does not use lists of past contacts. Instead, her business, Bibibuzz, focuses on bespoke and customized manual outreach.
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About Bibi Raven
Bibi is based in Amsterdam and is the founder and managing director of a link-building agency called Bibibuzz.
She has been published in Search Engine Journal – Don’t Be A Link Builder: 7 Deadly Link Building Sins Y’all Are Committing.
Take a few moments to read the article – it is seriously good stuff.
Flunking out of college, she fell into SEO by accident. In fact, she wasn’t even aware she was learning SEO at the time because all she wanted to do was make money online. Whether it was destiny or otherwise, Bibi has developed a knack for building backlinks – something that many SEOs are envious of.
How Bibi Became A Link Builder
Wanting to work from home, Bibi found a role in social media marketing for a company that sold secondhand trucks and commercial vehicles. During this period, she wanted to find out how she could make money online, so naturally, she Googled “how to make money online”.
She came across Pat Flynn’s passive income course – which she found not very actionable. She also found the Authority Hacker podcast and once per week, on her commute to work, she would learn from Gael and Mark.
At this stage, she hadn’t taken a lot of action until she saw an online internship opportunity and this was her foot in the door into affiliate marketing.
Through flipping websites, Bibi had found a system of earning links through content and this was the beginning of Bibi The Link Builder. In fact, she had her first client before starting her business and things just grew.
But with quick growth comes mistakes ..
On The Topic Of Failure
“Of course I have failures. I still have failures and its ok.”
A client asked her if she could build 10 links in one month – to which Bibi said yes. The client then asked if she could build 50 links per month, for 5 sites, for three consecutive months – to which, Bibi said yes, again.
However, as you may have guessed, she didn’t have the capacity to fulfill the order. As such, she avoided the client where possible.
So the failure wasn’t being unable to delivering on time, but rather, not being transparent with the client. That is, her reaction to doing something wrong was the failure.
What She Learned From Her Failures
- Filter clients – not all clients and their requirements are a good fit, no matter how lucrative the pay.
- Have a team to fill in your gaps – Bibi admits that she is quite chaotic so having a project manager on her team helps mitigate her weaknesses.
- When you fuck up, own up to your mistakes.
How She Hires Link Builders
Link-building is a task (or process) that many people dislike, especially when it comes to naturally looking backlinks from real businesses and media outlets. This is because there are many steps involved and the rejection rate is extremely high.
When it comes to cold outreach email, how likely are you to open an email from someone you do not know? For starters, cold email outreach is technically SPAM (depending on where in the world you are). Secondly, would you even take the time to respond?
And this is why link-building and outreach is such a grind in SEO.
Now, some people take the spray and pray approach in order achieve scale; blindly hoping that a 1-2% conversion rate will suffice. However, Bibi takes a very targeted approach. Instead of sending hundreds of emails per day, her team invests in building relationships with website owners, editors and gatekeepers, often relying on humor and memes.
Here’s the thing, Bibi deliberately avoids hiring or attracting people with an SEO background. This is because most people with some SEO background tend to have bad habits or require extensive re-education to unlearn things.
She hires people in the Philippines, not because they are cheap labor, but because many have been trained in customer service, writing, and research – and these are skills that Bibi looks for and she wants to attract long term full-time staff.
“Don’t be a link builder. Forget about the link!” – is something Bibi tells her team. “Of course, at some time, you have to get that link, but right now, focus on the other person.”
Questions From The Audience
Steve Toth (seonotebook.com) asks: How do you use humor to get links?
A: My team gets a lot of inspiration from pop culture, for example, lyrics, movies etc, and we try to align it with who we’re outreaching to. Dad jokes also work really well, in fact, the lamer the better. However, my tip is to have an editor to read the email prior to sending. That is, we have people who write emails and editors who make sure that the emails are appropriate.
Mikal Suski (SurferSEO) asks: Does Bibi optimize guest posts so they actually rank better?
A: It depends a little bit on the client, but overall, I let the writer write naturally. I feel that we started with this Internet thing and it was all content-based and was kind of natural then Google started making these rules and updating their algorithm and of course, marketers tried to game it – and the gaming is great but it became way more sophisticated, and automated – to which Google reacted and made even more rules. And we’re at the point where we have come full circle it ends up at common sense. That is, just make something that people like.
Shaurya Jain asks: Why does she love cat hats so much?
A: I’d love to live in an Alice In Wonderland world and I hate the black and grey of winter fashion. That’s why I started looking for cat hats and I just kept buying them!
Abdullah Khan: How to get links from sites like BBC and Forbes?
A: Sometimes I end up on big sites, but usually niched down. But in all honesty, I don’t think I have ever gotten a link from Forbes – so I don’t know how. I focus on really relevant sites that are specialized in certain topics.
How To Connect With Bibi
- Website: bibibuzz
- Twitter (apparently she isn’t very active): @bibibuzzcom
- Join The Proper SEO Group on Facebook – you’ll find Bibi there on most days.
People Mentioned In This Episode
If you enjoyed this episode of Make SEO Simple Again getting to know Bibi The Link Builder, the following video on how to earn guest posts should be of interest to you.
You’ll probably also enjoy fellow link-building agency co-founder Eric Carrell’s podcast interview.