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Sometimes the easier options of creative good quality backlinks is overlooked. Buying links or trying to email back and forth to only end up paying $500/mo. for one or two re-occuring links is way over rated. This kind of link building can run into the hundreds or thousands each month. In most cases, why bother?
For several months we've worked with a few clients to build their visibility and organic backlinks in other creative ways all while giving back to good open source communities. We've found several sweet spots with building and branding useful modules, plugins, and themes that we've contributed back to open source communities like Drupal, Joomla, WordPress, and others. The results have been a large number of good organic links and real useful solutions for many companies and webmasters looking for better quality sites and tools for their sites. In turn, this has helped out clients build their reputation and brand in open source communities and solidify their organic links from a lot of sources we've contacted or invited to links back to the contributed module's page or the client's website. We even toyed around with variations in the anchor texts on the contributed contributed themes every few weeks to get a little most variation and value for the client that relates to their module, theme, or plugins. This helps the effect of certain keywords relating the the module with good results so far.
Example of one recent client and the module we developed for them in one open source community for real estate sites:
This method of building themes, modules, and other contributions isn't designed for some industries unless you can be a bit creative ;-). But if there is a close fit between what's built and what's gained, then the value and ROI of these types of backlinks could easily outweigh paying for those higher priced links at hundreds or thousands of dollars cost each month, and in just days compared to weeks or months manual work.
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