As more and more of us are turning to blogging or influencing as a means of paying the bills, we find ourselves wondering what the going rate is for various products and services. One such question that I see many bloggers ask, is ‘how much should I charge for a ‘do-follow’ link?’
For those of you who know me, you will know that I regularly undertake academic research as part of my role as a University Lecturer. I also enjoy writing my blog. Bridging the two together, I recently undertook a project to investigate travel influencers: ‘The Travel Influencer: The First Research of Its Kind’. Within this project I look at income from influencing. This is the topic that I will focus on in today’s post – ‘how much can I charge for a ‘do-follow’ link?
How can I make money from a ‘do-follow’ link?
A ‘do-follow’ link is link that search engines crawl and count as votes of quality (according to an article by Raven Tools). Authors of websites like ‘do-follow’ links because it helps to increase their domain authority, in turn ranking them higher in search engine results.
Search engines, Google in particular, try to keep an open playing field for Internet content. They do this by allowing the best websites to work their way to the top, and the worst to fall towards the bottom. But many companies try to play the system. They play the system by paying to have their links added to various websites, often in return for money!
You might also be interested in my post- ‘Travel Influencer income: How much can I earn per month?‘
Whether or not you should place links on your site for a fee is a heavily contested topic. There are claims that bloggers and website owners have been penalised by Google as a result of hosting such links. In effect, Google has lowered their page rankings and subsequently decreased their online presence. Other bloggers live off the money that they make from hosting ‘do-follow’ links on their sites.
You may have received requests for a guest post or sponsored post that includes a ‘do-follow’ link. These generally come from marketing agencies, or from individuals who are looking to obtain more ‘link juice’ to their website. Beware of companies offering to provide you with ‘free content’ but not offering adequate compensation. I have seen some bloggers accept as low as $5 for a sponsored post! If this is you I would advise you to be VERY careful as this could have a detrimental impact on your DA score. Read on for more info…
How does a ‘do-follow’ link relate to DA score?
According to Moz, domain authority (DA) is a search engine ranking score which predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages. Domain Authority scores range from one to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater ability to rank. The more ‘do-follow’ links that there are to your website, the higher your DA score.
When placing a ‘do-follow’ link onto a website, the DA score of the host website will determine how much influence the new ‘do-follow’ link will have on the website which is being linked to. In other words, the higher the DA score, the more improvement it will have on the DA score of the website being linked to.
Given this fact, it seems pretty obvious that websites with higher DA scores are more valuable to those wanting to sell links than those with low DA scores.
You might also be interested in my post- How to earn £30,000 per month as an influencer | Influencer Income
How much should I charge for a ‘do-follow’ link?
In my research, I found that almost half of all travel influencers charge for ‘do-follow’ links. The fee charged ranged from £15-£750, with the average being £190.
My data demonstrated that there was a clear correlation between the fee charged for a ‘do-follow’ link and a blogger’s DA score. As the DA score increased, the fee increased.
Now there is no hard and fast rule for how much you should charge for a ‘do-follow’ link on your website, if indeed you decide to charge at all. But I appreciate that it is important to have some guidance to work from. So I put together this fee sheet, demonstrating the average ‘do-follow’ link fees charged by influencers according to their DA score.
As you can see, those who are just starting out or who have a small blog with a low DA score, do not generally charge a very high fee for a ‘do-follow’ link. The amount charged does increase quickly though! It seems that the sky is no limit when it comes to fees for ‘do-follow’ links, with the highest charge being £750 by a blogger with a DA score in the high 40s.
In my experience, companies will try to entice influencers to include ‘do-follow’ links for free or for very little compensation. Given that the impact could be a decrease in your own online presence, I would personally recommend that you don’t sell yourself short. Charge a reasonable amount or turn the business away. It also benefits the whole influencer community by not driving down fees.
How can I increase my DA score?
If you want to charge more for a do-follow link, the obvious thing is to increase your DA. The best way to do this is to write useful content that your readers and other bloggers will naturally link to and share. Whilst there are other methods such as link swaps and social media sharing groups, Google is very clever and the bots have their methods of detecting this type of activity.
Personally, I would recommend that you work on your business plan. To do this, focus on some of the techniques employed by successful bloggers and influencers. These methods are tried and tested – it is always a good idea to learn from the best!
My first recommendation is Nomadic Matt’s Superstar Blogging. Matt has a super successful travel blog and has lots of tips and advice that he can teach us. I am actually still working my way through this 10 week course! Superstar Blogging is a comprehensive course that walks you through all of the stages of turning your blog into a successful business. It is perfect for beginners and more established bloggers (like me). Matt provides lots of details about his course with student reviews etc here- Superstar Blogging.
You might also be interested in my post- ‘What is a Travel Influencer? Travel influencer Defined‘
Ready Set Blog for Traffic
Elna’s course called Ready Set Blog for Traffic is also super useful. This course is shorter in length and costs less than Matt’s course but it does have a totally different focus. It teaches you more about two main areas – SEO (search engine optimisation) and Pinterest. These are two fantastic ways of driving traffic to your website. I have doubled my traffic in the past few weeks since starting Elna’s course! The course is pretty generic so it is suitable for any type of influencer, whatever your niche may be. You can read more about her course here- Ready Set Blog Traffic.
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
My final recommendation is the book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. This gives an excellent overview of the methods that you can use to influence. It is highly recommended amongst many successful influencers! You can find the book on Amazon here.
For more data on fees charged, average DA scores, social media following and more, you can download a full copy of the research data here.