Do You Guarantee to Deliver X Number of Links per Month to Each Your Client Based on Their Niche?

Hi guys, for linkbuilding for clients do you promise x amount of links per month based on their retainer? E.g. for $2,000 retain they will get 5 guest post links. OR do you go you will get x hours dedicated to linkbuilding on a monthly basis.
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Depends on what kind of links you go for.
But it usually goes into either option A:
"Write and publish 4 guest posts for:
– Domain A (Ahrefs Domain Rating (DR) X, niche Y, good topical match, decent traffic)
– Domain B (Ahrefs DR X, niche Y, decent topical match, high traffic)
– Domain C (Ahrefs DR X, niche Y, decent topical match, decent traffic)
– Domain D (Ahrefs DR X, niche Y, low topical match, very high traffic)"
Option B:
"Spend 10 hours per month with the following time allocation:
– 30% (3 hrs) spent on researching relevant pages that might link to us
– 40-60% (4-6 hrs) spent on personalised outreach and follow up
– 0-20% on advising you (client) on linkable assets you should have on website
– 10% (1 hr) spent on reporting progress to you (client)"
Or option C:
"Spend 10 hours per month with the following time allocation:
– 40% research on forums (Reddit and similar) with topical relevance
– 40% on comment posting with link
– 10% on following up on threads we commented on
– 10% on reporting progress to you (client)"
And this is of course a simplified way of reporting. Best is to have a deck/data studio report o.s. to report through where you can present this in more detail.
Ammon Johns πŸŽ“
Every service I have is based on hours. If they ask for a per-project price I first calculate the hours and then quote on the hours for the project. By focusing on the hours the client can see why to avoid unnecessary project creep or time-wasting micro-managing.

Ammon Johns πŸŽ“
Further, I consider the very notion of counting the number of links as if they were a commodity, and all worth the same, to be the mark of a rank amateur. Most of the linkbuilding agencies out there that quote by numbers per month are building virtually worthless, zero-value links. One meaningful, important link is worth literally thousands of those cheap ones, or infinitely more.
Eric Β» Ammon Johns
If you have a good, repeatable process down from prospect to pitch to end I don't see it as amateurish at all to deliver a productized service. Selling hours is something that may work for some but certainly isn't the only way to deliver a quality, profitable product.
Ammon Johns πŸŽ“ Β» Eric
If you can predict the exact number of links per month, and churn them out like a production line, then those are the EXACT kind of links Google can easily build algorithms to ignore, (if they even need to given how utterly crappy the value of such links would be in most cases).
Obviously whether that is still a profitable product depends on who you are selling them to. There's a sucker born every minute, and if one can sell rocks to the gullible as 'healing crystals', it is certainly easy to sell something technical, virtual, and that most are a lot less familiar with than just rocks, as being more 'special' than they are.
Eric Β» Ammon Johns
It's not about predicting. Client budgets for 50 links over a period of 3 months. If you go over you don't bill for the extra, if you go under they get a refund. It's very simple and effective.
Selling hourly on standard linkbuilding campaigns (excluding much broader, multi-faceted Public Relations (PR) campaigns) is not necessary in order to deliver a product that get results for the client and provides a profitable channel for the vendor.
Sometimes the folks selling hourly are struggling with the ability to build business processes and/or they simply service any business that knocks on their door.
It's really not as black and white as you suggest.
Ammon Johns πŸŽ“ Β» Eric
The problem is that while the SEO may decide to sell links as a commodity, quantity over quality, that's not the way Google value them, and thus doesn't align with the actual goal of links for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
A million links may be worth nothing. One single link may be worth more than every other link you ever built or earned. There's no commodity value to links, and so they cannot be sold as a commodity except where the seller is a fool, or selling to those that are.
Eric Β» Ammon Johns
Pricing per link in and of itself does not make it a commodity any more or any less than pricing your time.
Your assumption that links sold in this way are inherently less valuable, without knowing anything else, is just as incorrect as someone assuming simply an hour of your time is worth the price you charge for it on its face.
Ammon Johns πŸŽ“ Β» Eric
My time *is* a commodity, and so can be priced as one.
It is a commodity because one hour is just as long as any other, not just in absolute terms, but also in regards to how many of them are available in a day, a week, a month, etc.
*I* am not a commodity. Not every other SEO brings the 26 years years of experience I have, and certainly not in the niches and markets I have. But my time, as *my* time, is.
If you are struggling to understand this, then realise it is about perspectives. To me, from my perspective, one hour of my time is much like any other hour of my time. So from my perspective it is a commodity, and I can sell it accordingly.
Whether someone can use that commodity for greater or lesser effect is also just like most commodities. You can buy a few ounces of gold and sell it at the commodity price, or you can buy a few ounces of gold, turn it into jewellery and charge much more.
This is not true of links. Neither to the buyer nor the seller, nor to Google, is any one link automatically like any other link. There is NO perspective where it is a commodity.
Eric Β» Ammon Johns
There's no struggle to understand. Your appeal to authority aside (your not the only one who's been around for awhile with success in competitive markets btw) a productized service does not make anything a worthless commodity.
You can call it whatever you'd like, you can insult people as "fools" all you like, but it does not change the fact that plenty of people and agencies do charge per link, do deliver results, and do have thriving businesses.
And that's really the bottom line, you are just simply wrong in practice (and in theory quite frankly) about pricing links as products. Maybe it's not the way you choose to do things because you'd rather sell hourly rates, but opinions are n/a in the face of on the ground evidence.
Ammon Johns πŸŽ“
Fair enough, Eric. You're not struggling, you're just flat out failing to understand.
If you want to have an 'alternate facts' opinion about the meaning of the word 'commodity', or 'commoditization', and can't grasp what it means, or how definitions work, it's no skin off my nose.
I see no real point in further discussion if we're not actually speaking the same language.
Commoditization – Wikipedia
Eric Β» Ammon
The disagreement isn't about the broad definition of a word applied in context it's about your categorization of the price per link model, which is what I replied to.
But yes, likely no further point in discussing as there is clear disagreement there.
Ammon Johns πŸŽ“ Β» Eric
The entire disagreement is based on you being somehow personally upset or hurt at my statement: "I consider the very notion of counting the number of links as if they were a commodity, and all worth the same, to be the mark of a rank amateur."
The only thing I said was 'the mark of a rank amateur' was the treating as a commodity.
So yeah, that word and what it means is the ENTIRE point. Because I didn't say a damn word about how I feel about links NOT sold as a commodity.
For the record, I have nothing at all against selling links *by value*, case by case. I've bought (or advised clients to buy) a great many over the years, mostly for the traffic, or to reach a very specific demographic. But I treat that as advertising, not SEO
That wasn't what I addressed. Mostly because that wasn't the question in the OP. The kind I evr bought or approved were priced on a link by link value basis, not a commodity basis. So obviously I wasn't talking about those, and was *very* specific about the exact kind of links I mean – those sold as a commodity. As if 5 links always had the same value as any other 5 links. THAT is amateur at best, outright idiocy at worst.
If you are arguing about something else, something never said, well, can't help you there. 🀣
Eric Β» Ammon Johns
Not personally upset or hurt, just disagree with your premise and reasoning.
Ammon Johns πŸŽ“ Β» Eric
Really? Because you seemed particularly upset about that one specific line about treating links as a commodity being amateur stuff, (enough that you specifically cited the line a couple of times if including the reply deleted and changed), and yet at the same time insist that it isn't about the one thing I said – i.e. commoditization…
If not down to upset, is the complete lack of logic or consistency to your argument simply that you're just arguing for the sake of it, like a sort of hobby?
Argument – Monty Python
Argument – Monty Python
Eric Β» Ammon Johns
Usually when someone disagrees with the point or two of a statement that is what they cite in their responses.
Yes, I had a longer reply but in the end decided that ongoing lengthly replies was not going to do much other than continue to have you talk in circles.
There's nothing inconsistent or illogical about my position.
Greene ✍️ » Ammon Johns
By going hourly don't you punish yourself as you become more efficient, which you will as you gain more experience?
Ammon Johns πŸŽ“ Β» Greene
Obviously that effect is mainly in the earlier years of a career, as the changes and efficiencies on someone already highly experienced are smaller and harder later on. And in those early years of a career, you tend to increase your prices based on experience (including efficiency). Whether you charge by the hour, or by the project, most SEO users and agencies I've known across the decades start out charging a lot less than they are charging say, 5 years later.

Using the number of links as a metric will usually lead to generating crap links to fulfill your contract. We do ours as part of our standard monthly retainer, which aligns with a bank of hours and make zero promises on quantity, ranking, etc. We are very blunt with clients that this is the long game (although, some still get twitchy). If they say they've got someone else that can get them X for less, etc., we say "Good luck!"


A Client is Asking for Target Numbers Involving Organic Keywords and Traffic within Few Months

A Client didn’t want to Spend on New Content nor Backlinks but Wanted a Ranking Plan ASAP!

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