Never ending long list posts with internet marketing tools continue to flood the web. Lots of them link to a
Desk for Distraction Free Blogging
In this blog post, we’ll tell you our tips for setting up a productive, distraction-free workspace for you or your child. Creating a special space for studying or work will set you and your family up for academic and professional success in the fall. Get your space set up now before school starts and life gets busy!
- Bad interior décor is good! You may be tempted to create a heavily decorated, brightly-colored space for yourself or your child. Consider however that these items can make for too much distraction and a crowded mind. Try setting up a plain space that has very little decorations. Do not put up a lot of pictures, posters or art on the walls. Paint the room white or grey. Be sparing with plants or other objects. Save your decorating skills for another room in the home. This will help minimize distractions in your space.
- Bye-bye books! Many people set up a study or workspace with a bookshelf and put all sorts of books and trinkets on it. This too can be distracting. Consider removing books from the space including that busy shelf. It will help to create a sense of calm, order, and cleanliness.
- Noise-reduction A quiet space is best, if possible. There are many ways to make the space quiet including investing in a good set of noise reduction or noise canceling headphones. You can even get headphones that produce white noise for added concentration assistance.
- Dedicated space It isn’t always possible but if you can, set up a study or work area that is dedicated to those tasks. This customized space will help you get down to business more efficiently. Add a plain desk, light, and a drawer with supplies. Do not overly decorate the space as previously mentioned in point one.
- Schedule set study or work hours Book time for yourself to study or work. Time slots should not be too long. With an end in sight, the time you spend studying or working will be much easier to take and much more productive. Make sure you give yourself and any children lots of breaks!
- Visual timer Forget that boring old clock. For people with conditions like Tourette, ADHD and learning challenges, use a visual timer. This type of time gives visual cues of how much time has passed and how much time is left. Set it and you can see your progress and work on time management too!
- Internet and phone are not your friends! When doing homework, studying or paid work at home, remember to temporarily un-friend your phone and if you can, disable your internet. Have someone else in the house be in charge of the in-case-of-emergency calls. This will help you focus better whether you are age 4 or 44.
- No clutterThis means having things in drawers not in open shelves or on top of the desk! Don’t have too much stuff either. A lot of stuff, even if it is neatly organized, can start to feel like clutter.
- Assistive tech There are lot of supplies out there that are designed to help adults and children with exceptional needs do their best work/studying. These include everything from a pad for your chair that allows you to wiggle, to a special pencil topper that you can chew without damaging the pencil itself. Don’t forget to build-in accommodations for tics. For example, have a designated cup on the desk for spitting tics. You can also add a small stress ball for sensory stimulation. Find a balance between objects that are needed and objects that just distract from the task at hand.
- Sit, stand, or hand-stand There is a reason that sit-stand or stand workstations are becoming popular in Canada. We often do our best work when we’re sitting, but sometimes we may need to stand, sit on a bean bag chair, kneel, rock back and forth etc. Build the study space to allow for some or all of these options.
I just purchased Desk. A Mac app made for blogging, notetaking, writing, and journaling. I was a bit hesitant as
The Hoth Review – Link Building Service
In this post, I will highlight my experience using a link building service called The Hoth (affiliate link), and the
As a niche website builder, one of the necessary evils that I’ve had to deal with is building links. Getting good links pointing to your sites is essential if you want to rank in Google for the good keywords. Over the last couple of years, I’ve tried it all. White hat. Grey hat. Black hat. You name it. Some methods work better than others and some methods carry more risk. But the fact remains that even after the multitude of updates to its algorithm – Google still relies heavily on backlinks as a main factor in determining it’s search engine rankings.
This post will mostly consist of my honest review and my experience using The Hoth to buy link building packages.
Here is what I will cover…
- the different types of Hoth link building packages available
- my experience and opinions about The Hoth
- my most recent purchase from The Hoth
- the exact process and what to expect
- my exact results with before & after screenshots
- will I continue to use The Hoth?
Note: There are a bunch of links within this post that lead to The Hoth. All of these are affiliate links and I will receive a commission if you choose to buy your own link building package from The Hoth after clicking through via one of these links. Thanks in advance if you choose to buy through one of my links!
What is The Hoth and What Do They Offer?
In a nutshell, The Hoth is a link building service. Rather than I try to explain it to you in writing, I’ll embed a short video which explains exactly what The Hoth is and what they do.
Note: it seems this video was created before The Hoth had all of their current service offerings. When I first learned about The Hoth, they only built links by building out Web 2.0 properties. They still offer that service and do a fantastic job with it – but now they also offer links on higher authority domains (PBN-type links).
Web 2.0 Property Links
If you don’t know what web 2.0’s are, I highly suggest you read this post that Doug Cunnington wrote for my blog awhile back – How to Use Web 2.0 Properties for Free Backlinks. Doug went into great detail explaining exactly what these are and how to properly use them.
Yes – you can build these types of properties yourself for free and get links pointing back to your money sites. But it takes a lot of time and works just to build out these sites. The Hoth will do it all for you at a reasonable price. But they don’t stop there. Included in that price they will build out an entire network of tiers that help add juice to your links.
Tiered Link Building Structure
The Hoth does a ridiculously great job at building out these types of properties for you. Not only do they build them and link back to your site per your specific instructions – but they also build up these properties by sending hundreds of social signals and bookmarks that point back to the web 2.0 properties that they created. This is what is known as tiered link building.
They do all of this AND they document all of it and send you a detailed report when they are done. Not only do you get the report, but they also give you login info for the sites that they created so that you can make changes if you wish! I don’t know of any other link-building service that gives you the login information like The Hoth does.
These web 2.0-type links from The Hoth probably won’t shoot you to the top of the rankings by themselves. But they definitely help. I have personally used The Hoth for this type of package a couple of different times. These links didn’t shoot me to #1 for my keywords. But they helped move me in that direction and they really added some nice diversity to my backlink profiles on the sites that I had The Hoth link to.
High Authority PBN-Type Links
I spent far too much time in 2014 building out my own Private Blog Network (PBN), only to realize that it takes far too much time and work to maintain a PBN. Even if I paid VA’s to manage everything for me – owning hundreds or even thousands of PBN-type sites is NOT something I want as part of my website portfolio.
There is one thing I did learn through – these types of high authority links work! If you want to get a boost in the rankings fast, these are the types of links that you want. You can either wait around for natural links or put in a TON of work to try to attract total white hat links. Or you can build out your own PBN and point these powerful links straight to your money sites.
Building out your own PBN takes a little bit of know-how and you definitely need to learn some tricks. I certainly wouldn’t suggest this strategy for a beginner. If done wrong, you run the risk of getting your site penalized by Google which results in the exact opposite of what your goal is. PBN’s can be risky – but very rewarding if done correctly.
Or you can just pay The Hoth to place links on high authority sites like these that point back to your money sites. I don’t know how they do it or where they got access to so many sites – but The Hoth has access to literally thousands and thousands of high authority sites in pretty much any related niche. All of these sites resemble a typical PBN site and they already have content on them.
When you order the Blitz package from The Hoth – they simply place links (with your specified anchor text) on their sites and point them to your specified money site. These are permanent homepage links – meaning they will always be there and they will always be on the homepage.
The Hoth is so confident in these links that they even offer a 100% money back guarantee! This is not a subscription service either. Most other services I’ve seen that offer links this powerful require you to sign up for a paid monthly subscription.
The Hoth also offers a service to help boost your local SEO rankings. I do not do local SEO and this is not a service offering that I have tried. Although I did briefly check it out and it seems top notch. If I were trying to rank a website for some local SEO search terms, I would seriously consider using Hoth Local.
My Latest Hoth Experience and Results
On January 31st – I decided to purchase a Hoth Blitz package. Previously, I had only used the regular Hoth service which built out the web 2.0-type properties for me. But I wanted to see just how effective these high DA links would be and how well they would work.
The Niche Site
Here is some background on the money site that I pointed links to for this experiment.
- domain purchased and the site started in June 2014
- not built around one main keyword – instead, I target several highly related keywords
- informational site monetized with a few Amazon products
- mostly informational posts with a few product review posts
- used SocialADR to point social-bookmarking links to posts after I published them
- purchased a Hoth Platinum package (tiered links) in August 2014
- manually pointed PBN links (maybe 10 or 15) to site over the next couple of months
- did nothing at all with the site for the last several months of 2014 and the beginning of 2015
Purchasing a Hoth Blitz Package
I admit – I was really leery about making this purchase. I didn’t want to spend the money. But I’ve already experienced first hand how well these types of powerful links work. And I had already spent enough time and money on this site that I had to do something to boost it up in the rankings and start earning some money from it.
After carefully reading through the FAQ’s on the Hoth Blitz page, I decided to try the 5 link package for $250. Ordering was really easy. For each of the 5 links that I was about to purchase, I chose…
- the general niche from a drop-down menu
- the URL I wanted the link to point to
- the exact anchor text (they call this the keyword in their form)
After that, you choose when you want the links to be placed…
- all at once
- every 3 days
- or weekly
I chose daily – meaning that my links would all be placed one day apart from each other. I hit the ‘Confirm and Place Order’ button then received a message stating that my order would be completed no later than February 10th. Again, I placed this order on January 31st.
Receiving My 5 Hoth Blitz Links
Sure enough, on February 10th, I received an email from The Hoth stating – “Matthew You’ve Got Links!” Attached to that email was a spreadsheet which contained all of the information for my order. Everything I requested was in the spreadsheet along with the URL’s where my links were placed and the Moz Domain Authority for each domain.
I was impressed! I visited each site and verified my links. All 5 sites looked very much like the same type of PBN sites that I had previously built. The Domain Authority for the 5 respective sites was: 31.6, 28.5, 30.4, 28.9 and 29. All very nice metrics and I would have killed to get domains like these when I was building my own PBN sites!
The one thing that I was most leery about was the fact that all of these links are sidebar links instead of in-content links. I knew this before I made the purchase because I carefully read the entire FAQ page. When I previously linked from my own PBN sites, I always used in-content links. I wasn’t sure how effective these sidebar links would be. Honestly – I thought they looked a little suspicious. But The Hoth knows what they are doing – so I trust that they are safe.
My Results From These 5 High DA Links
The following screenshots are taken from my ProRankTracker.com account – where I track all of my keyword rankings. These are 9 of the main keywords that I am tracking for this site. Rankings fluctuate daily, usually by just a few positions. But for the most part, this first screenshot shows what my rankings looked like for most of the last several months.
This next screenshot shows what my rankings looked like exactly 20 days after I purchased The Hoth Blitz package (10 days after the order was completed).
And this last screenshot shows what my rankings looked like exactly 28 days after I purchased The Hoth Blitz package (18 days after the order was completed).
As you can see, my rankings did increase pretty much across the board for these 9 keywords that I am tracking. A few terms that were stuck on pages 3 and 4 of Google have moved up to pages 2 and 3. And those 2 terms in the middle of my screenshots with the higher search volumes (12,100 and 1,900) previously weren’t ranking in the top 100 at all and are now ranking on pages 6 and 7 of Google.
Traffic to this site has not increased yet as a result. None of the terms shot to page one of Google – so I didn’t really expect a traffic increase.
Will I Use The Hoth Again?
The short answer is yes. I will definitely be using The Hoth again. I obviously have some unfinished business with the site I shared above. One or two more Hoth Blitz purchases should easily get some of those terms rankings on page 1 of Google and then I’ll start earning some commissions from Amazon sales on that site.
Is it worth it to buy links from The Hoth?
If moving up in search engine rankings is the goal – then yes it is worth it. But return on investment (ROI) is what I am after. Will my site make money once it starts to get significant traffic? I am very confident that this site will be a winner. I base my confidence on my success with another Amazon niche site. This site is very similar but with a higher priced product. When I get to page one of Google for several of these search terms this site is absolutely going to be a winner. Which means to me that, yes – it will have been worth it to buy links from The Hoth.
The other reason that it is worth it is that buying links from The Hoth saves me a LOT of time and hassle. Sure, I could build these types of links myself. But I’m tired of that kind of hassle and I would rather spend my time doing things that I enjoy more. The people over at The Hoth are the experts when it comes to link building. So I’m happy to pay them once in awhile to do that task for me.
Update: 3 Months Later
3 Months later and yes – I have still been using The Hoth to build links to my sites. It is still a little pricey and I still don’t like spending the money. But I am seeing results. If only I were one of that super-rich make money on the internet gurus – then I would have seemingly unlimited funds to buy link packages and get my niche sites ranked. But I’m not – so I’ve had to limit myself. I originally published this post at the end of February 2015. Here is what I have done since…
- February I did not purchase any Hoth packages
- March I purchased a Hoth Platinum package and pointed all of the links to a site other than the one shown in rankings screenshots in this post
- April I purchased 2 Hoth Blitz packages (10 links total) – I pointed 5 of them to the site featured in the screenshots above and the rest to other sites
Results from the last 5 Hoth Blitz links
The following screenshot shows what my rankings look like now, exactly 3 months after the previous screenshot. I’ve done absolutely nothing to the site and have done zero link building other than this recent purchase of 5 Hoth Blitz links.
A couple of my terms made it to the first page of Google! Sweet! The one that is currently in position 7 is a good buyers term too.
What really excites me though is that term with the monster search volume (12k local and 18k global). I never really expected to rank high for that term, but threw up the article anyway just to see what would happen. 3 months ago I was ranking in position 54. Last week I was all the way up to #13, and I’m now back at 20. If I can get that term up towards the top of page one, I’ll start getting some serious traffic to this site.
Have I Seen Any ROI Yet?
Traffic is slowly starting to climb. Averaging 20 visitors per day now. I was at about 10 per day 3 months ago. And I finally made a few sales! I’ll show you a screenshot for this months sale…
As you can see, this particular site features some higher priced items. This is why I’m optimistic about the future ROI of this site. I’m thinking I just need one or two more Hoth Blitz packages (5 or 10 more links) to strongly secure several terms within the top ten search results in Google. Then traffic and sales will really start to flow!
One More Update
It only took me 3 months to update this post. And I plan to update it at least one more time. Make sure you’re on my email list if you’re not already and if you wish to be notified when I do another update. I need to hit the Update button now and sign off so I can go buy some more Hoth Blitz links!
November Link Love, Tools and Thoughts
During the past month, I have stumbled upon some interesting posts and tools, all of which will be shared in
October is over and its been fairly quiet here at OnSynergy, but I have been busy behind the scene. In
Thoughts on the PBN Panic
A lot of things has happened over the past year, impacting people focused on SEO optimized sites, such as the
September is over, and I have been a bit more active here at OnSynergy in the previous month compared to
I am a bit of an addict when it comes to testing new tools and services. I love spending time
Niche Site Case Study #1
Read this post if you want to follow along from the beginning, as I build a new niche site from
From 0 to 200 Niche Sites (…and back down to around 20)
Read this if you want to learn a lesson about creating multiple niche sites simultaneously, and see why we have
How we build niche sites
[tr-shareit ]Let other people know how we create our Niche Sites[/tr-shareit] If you want to follow our niche site project,