Whether you are link build­ing for one web­site, or 100 web­sites, organ­i­sa­tion will make-or-break how suc­cess­ful you are in achiev­ing your pre­de­fined cam­paign objectives.

There is a cog­ni­tive limit to the num­ber of peo­ple with whom one can main­tain sta­ble relationships.

If you are try­ing to do this en masse, on behalf of what might be sev­eral web­sites at once, then it’s fair to say that you will have your work cut out.

Because it’s so dif­fi­cult, any tool that can help make link build­ing eas­ier and more effec­tive becomes extremely desirable.

These tools are always going to be akin to join­ing a gym: they’ll gives you the plat­form and inven­tory to achieve your objec­tive, but they ain’t gonna hit the Stair­Mas­ter for you.

The same is true with link build­ing CRM tool, Buz­zStream. If you think pay­ing the monthly fee is enough to bring instan­ta­neous suc­cess and trans­form your link build­ing cam­paigns, then think again.

If you are will­ing to put some work into main­tain­ing and uti­liz­ing Buz­zStream, then what you will end up is an incred­i­ble tool for research­ing, orga­niz­ing, scal­ing and con­duct­ing link building.

Here are a few ways I have found that help get the most out of Buz­zStream, in terms of its house-keeping and administration.

(There’s more you can do in terms of get­ting it to research your link prospects, but I’ll save that for another post.)

The ‘Lit­tle Black Book’

Justin Briggs, among oth­ers, has stressed the impor­tance of build­ing up a lit­tle black book of con­tacts that can be used when link building.

Essen­tially, this is what Buz­zStream allows you to do.

Before get­ting into its nuts and bolts, let’s expand on the lit­tle black book analogy.

If you think of a sin­gle person’s lit­tle black book, each of the entries will rep­re­sent a dif­fer­ent type of oppor­tu­nity that can be called upon in dif­fer­ent circumstances.

One entry might be a poten­tial mar­riage can­di­date, another might be some­one fun to hang out with on a Sat­ur­day night and another might be the one you call after 11 pm when you’re feel­ing just a bit…ahem…lonely.

It’s impor­tant that you — or any­one who picks up the book — can dif­fer­en­ti­ate which oppor­tu­nity is which.

If all you have is a name and a phone num­ber, the book’s not gonna be much good, espe­cially as the data grows. You need to differentiate.

The same is true with link build­ing. Each con­tact becomes an entry into the book and rep­re­sents a dif­fer­ent type of opportunity.

Some you will want to build a last­ing rela­tion­ship with and engage in con­ver­sa­tion; some, dare I say it, you will want to pay for.

With this in mind then, we can under­stand how we can achieve bet­ter link build­ing through Buz­zstream and the proper man­age­ment of this database.

Iden­ti­fy­ing Prospects

Let’s say then, you’ve caught the eye of a web­site you want to get a link from. For now, how you have come across it doesn’t mat­ter; the point is you want to iden­tify it as an oppor­tu­nity and add it to the black book.

For the sake of argu­ment, let’s use my per­sonal blog as the exam­ple. Pre­tend I’m link build­ing for an SEO agency and look­ing to secure guest posts, amongst any other oppor­tu­ni­ties that may be presented.

I come across this link build­ing blog and par­tic­u­larly, this post:



There are a few basic ques­tions every link builder needs to answer when qual­i­fy­ing a prospec­tive websites:

  • What are the oppor­tu­nity types?
  • What do the owner care about and how is this rel­e­vant to what I care about?

and most importantly..

  • How do I estab­lish contact?

The last point is most impor­tant because it makes or breaks whether or not you end up with a link. The process and research helps, but ulti­mately, it doesn’t push the needle.

With these ques­tions in mind, let’s add the prospect to Buz­zStream and see how it can improve the link build­ing process.

To add the prospect to Buz­zStream, sim­ply click the Buzzmarker in the Book­marks toolbar:

This will bring you up with a pop-up that con­firms adding the prospect, which is where you need to put in the hard yards and answer all of the ques­tions that are impor­tant when qual­i­fy­ing a prospect.

Firstly then…

What is the oppor­tu­nity type?

The first thing you will need to estab­lish is the oppor­tu­nity type pre­sented by the web­site. Here you can really make use of cus­tom fields and tags.



Although you can select the type of web­site you’re adding from a drop down, these don’t rep­re­sent the oppor­tu­nity that is pre­sented for how you will get a link.

For the sake of con­sis­tency, we have every­one who shares Buz­zStream work off the same mas­ter sheet of tags, which are:

Guest Post
Blog Con­ver­sa­tion / Com­ment, Social News Site

Niche Direc­tory
Gen­eral Direc­tory
Paid Text Link
Fea­tured Post
Prod­uct Review
Ven­dor List
Arti­cle Direc­tory

These are sub­ject to change and often, we’ll add cus­tom tags to projects depend­ing on the work we’re doing.

If you keep using this base­line though, it’ll make sort­ing through your black book so much eas­ier in the future.

In this exam­ple, we see there is an oppor­tu­nity to guest post on the blog. At the same time, there is a blog con­ver­sa­tion oppor­tu­nity and, depend­ing on the SEO agen­cies link­able assets, scope for a prod­uct review.

What does the owner care about and how is this rel­e­vant to what I care about?

Answer­ing this ques­tion is some­thing you grad­u­ally become more adept in the more you qual­ify and out­reach to people.

You learn to pick up on clues and allu­sions that are lit­tered all over the orig­i­nal web­site and the prospects var­i­ous social channels.

Built up a com­plete pro­file of the tar­get. Look at their most recent and most pop­u­lar blog posts, who they link to and who they fol­low on Twitter.

Look at their LinkedIn: where do they work, who do they know, what did they study at university?

Try to under­stand what makes them tick.

Under­stand what they care about and you can move this energy towards what you care about. This will help you cre­ate value for them in the link build­ing process.

All this infor­ma­tion needs to go in the notes sec­tion of the link prospect. Any­one on your team should be able to click on the tar­get and find out why this prospect has been added to the sys­tem, and what you had in mind to get a link from them.

Keep care­ful notes and, in the­ory, any­one should be able to pick up a con­tact armed with enough infor­ma­tion to move it forward.

How do I make contact?

When it comes to mak­ing con­tact, Buz­zStream does most of the hard work for you – where pos­si­ble it fills in the basic con­tact infor­ma­tion and sucks in the prospect’s avatar.

Buzzstream’s e-mail tem­plate tool can really cut down on time when you’re con­tact­ing sim­i­lar con­tacts en masse.

Paddy Moogan’s review of Buz­zStream did a great job of out­lin­ing how best to use the e-mail tem­plate tool.

The only thing I’d add here is that there is a quite an effec­tive for­mula for mak­ing that first con­tact with prospects.

Like most link build­ing, this isn’t an exact science.

How­ever, retweet­ing their post primes them for your con­tact, which tends to increase the chance of open­ing dia­logue with them in a pri­vate e-mail thread.

If you’re look­ing for a guest post, a good line to take in the per­sonal e-mail is to sug­gest a new angle on a recent post.

Using my blog again as the example:

‘Noticed your most recent post about link build­ing and pro­duc­tiv­ity. I think there’s another angle here that hasn’t been talked about enough.’

You may want to sug­gest you writ­ing the guest post now or, you may want to have a bit of dia­logue around the sub­ject before sug­gest­ing you write it.

A lit­tle trick here is to use Buz­zStream to stream­line the ‘follow-retweet-contact’ strategy.

BuzzStream’s Twit­ter inte­gra­tion means that retweets are auto­mat­i­cally added to the rel­e­vant contact.

Once a week, fil­ter on “Dates\Last Mod­i­fied = last 7 days”…


and then “Com­mu­ni­ca­tion History=Tweet”…



You can also use the ‘save fil­ter’ func­tion here to cut down on hav­ing to go to through this process each time:


This gives you a list of con­tacts that you’ve tweeted in the last week and thus, gives you your list of con­tacts that you need to fol­low up with.

Lever­ag­ing con­tacts again, and again

Peo­ple with agency expe­ri­ence will have found how often link prospects can be recy­cled as your client ros­ter chops and changes.

Often you find your­self say­ing; ‘Hey, you know, I think I could do some­thing that would make that old link prospect link to this new client.’

It also adds a new dimen­sion to your link build­ing. If you find your­self at a loose end, you can browse your data­base look­ing for tar­gets that will become the inspi­ra­tion for new link build­ing campaigns.

Buz­zStream makes this recy­cling process sim­ple if you are con­sis­tent with how you tag your link prospects, as we out­lined earlier.

Here’s how you can instantly bring up a list of guest post opportunities.

First, change the project name to ‘All Con­tacts’. This will bring every prospect you have ever added to BuzzStream.

Next, you need to fil­ter them by the oppor­tu­nity you need. This is where you’ll really see the ben­e­fit of using con­sis­tent tags.

Click the ‘Fil­ters’ but­ton and click ‘guest post’:


You’ve now got a list of warm guest post prospects that you can order by what­ever met­ric you want.

Sort them by PageR­ank and you could have a few quick-wins to keep things tick­ing over dur­ing quiet peri­ods, or to kick-start new campaigns.

Your job is to sift through them and see if there are new angles in which they can be worked and leveraged.

The peo­ple who respond best to Buz­zStream are those who know what it’s like to toil in an Excel labyrinth.

Once they see what it does, they imme­di­ately under­stand why it’s impor­tant and what they need to do to make sure it’s run­ning at full capacity.

Just like going to the gym, it’s easy to get sloppy with Buz­zStream, to miss a few ses­sions, to tell your­self you’ll make up for it next week. Put in the hard yards and over time your link build­ing will cer­tainly see the benefit.

If you work hard at main­tain­ing the data­base, then it becomes a pow­er­ful asset for any agency run­ning mul­ti­ple SEO cam­paigns; trans­form­ing how effi­ciently and effec­tively you build links.

Post By Michael Smith (31 Posts)

Michael works at 9xb Dig­i­tal Agency in Har­ro­gate, Mon­day to Fri­day. Click here to fol­low him on Twit­ter or have a look a his Google+ pro­file.

Web­site: →


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4 Responses to Better Link Building with BuzzStream

  1. Paul says:

    Great post mate — Buz­zStream is an awe­some tool and it makes build­ing rela­tion­ships a lot more manageable!

    Also, haven’t looked at fol­low­ing tweets using Buz­zStream yet, will have to give that a go.

    PS: (hav­ing looked through some of your other posts) I too pre­fer Pro Evo to FIFA and refuse to switch like every­one seems to have! :)


    • Michael says:

      Cheers Paul :)

      Yeah, it’s still def­i­nitely all about Pro Evo over FIFA — Why would you want to play with Man Utd. when you can play with Man­ches­ter Reds???


  2. S. Schultz says:

    Thanks, Michael!
    Finally some­body explained to me what Buz­zStream is all about, he-he.
    Any­way, looks like a great tool, prob­a­bly just the one I need for the lit­tle link clean-up I have to do.
    One ques­tion, though. Do you know if I’d be able to do a CSV export of my Web­meup back­links (with com­ments) to Buz­zstream?


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