#27 | One Bad Decision

I thought I was going to throw up.

I’d spent over 3 years building my first niche site from scratch.

I was getting up early, and staying up late.

I was publishing non-stop.

I was GRINDING – doing things the “right” way.

And it was working.

I had a cash-flow machine, and a 7+ figure asset on my hands.

Then I very nearly threw it all away.

Life can be brutal.

Make 1000 good decisions in a row, followed by a single bad decision, and it can set you back for years.

Forever, in some cases.

About 3 years into working on my blog I was getting 780,000 pageviews, and earning over $40,000 a month.

Everything was going great.

Better than great – even in my wildest dreams I never envisioned earning that kind of money from a blog.

A blog about tech troubleshooting, no less.

But fear and doubt had started to creep in.

What if this all goes away?

New sites were popping up in my niche every week.

What if they start to outrank me?

Some already had.

At the time, my site didn’t have a lot of authority – I had a handful of strong backlinks from some relevant, top publications that my site attracted organically, but besides that my backlink profile was pretty weak.

Then it dawned on me – I should be reinvesting some of my earnings into building better links.

Up until that point I had never “built” a single link – I just did great keyword research, and wrote helpful content.

But now I felt like I had to build links if I wanted to keep pace.

I was in a dog fight.

So I did a bit of research and found what seemed like a credible link building service.

After just 25 days I got an email from them saying they landed me my first 10 links.

10 links?!

In less than a month?!

Suspicious, I start looking into things.

Oh no.


The links were all garbage.


I demanded they remove the links immediately and issue me a full refund.

They did, but the damage was done.

A short while later I was hit with a penalty from Google for “Unnatural links to my site”.

manual penalty from google

And this all happened while I was in the MIDDLE of try to sell my site for 7 figures.

Over the coming months my traffic declined, and unsurprisingly the sale fell through.

It was an incredibly painful, and expensive lesson.

I told myself never again.

Flash forward nearly a year later and I met Chris and Nick at Linkifi.

Chris DM’d me and asked if I’d be willing to chat about him building HARO links for me.

That was Nov 6, 2022.

I ignored him 😂.

Then he DM’d me again 5 months later.

I like a persistent long follow-up play so I said sure, I’d talk. No harm in talking.

We chat on Twitter. Then we jump on a Zoom call.

I like Chris.

He says, “If you decide to go with us, don’t expect anything for the first month or more.”

INSTANT trust earned on my end.

Good links are hard to get! They should take time.

They were using HARO (Help A Reporter Out) and pitching stories on behalf of bloggers to journalists. If a journalist liked their contribution, they would include it in their piece (hopefully with a link back to your site!)

This sounded much more legit.

Ok I’m in.

Since that initial conversation Chris, Nick and team have consistently delivered high quality links for Niche Twins and Stay New England from the likes of Yahoo, The Sun, Nasdaq, USA Today, ZDNet, etc.

Getting real, quality, authoritative backlinks isn’t cheap.

And I am proof that you don’t need to buy links, or pay for a linking building service (I didn’t, and ended up selling my site for high six figures earlier this year).

BUT, if you have the capital, paying for highly relevant, high quality links is a cheat code.

And speaking from experience, if you’re going to spend that kind of money, you want to have confidence it’s being put to good use.

Linkifi is now the only link building service we recommend, and they are taking on new clients.

–> Linkifi <–

Have a great weekend!



mike keith always be publishing

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