If you’re not familiar with the concept of Bum Marketing, it works something like this: you have no website, no money, and no nothing except a computer, an Internet connection, and a basic understanding of the English language. You go out and find a product that has an affiliate program and an article directory that will allow you to post affiliate links. You write articles about the product, include your affiliate links, and post them.
At some point, someone reads your article, follows your affiliate link, and buys the product. You make money. It’s article writing and distribution at it’s most primal and unpolished.
The thing about Bum Marketing is that it actually works for some people. To figure out how this relates to SEO, we have to look at which people it works for — and more specifically what they do to make it work.
What they do is simple: they write a strong article. Then, they spin it on both the sentence and the word levels. Then they take the spun articles and they distribute them across hundreds of article directories. They link all of the spins to one ‘main’ article, and then they attach their affiliate link to the ‘main’ article.
This works, and it works well — because not only are they weaving a wide sales funnel to guide visitors down, but the linking structure makes that ‘main’ article look very nice to the search engines, so it’ll get maximum natural traffic and exposure.
We SEO nerds would do well to look at this humble, grassroots practice when we build our backlinks. If we take the time to identify the best pieces of off-page content and build link structures around them, we could end up benefiting our clients even more in the long run than if we had simply built those structures around the parent site.
It might run contrary to some people’s ideas of SEO, because those secondary links obviously don’t help the main page achieve first page placement. On the other hand, if the off-page content is good enough to drive traffic and get conversions, will the client really be that upset that there was an extra step between Google and his pocketbook?