Vagabond Marketing Lessons: A Fresh Perspective on SEO, Link Building and Business Automation

by Guest on September 19, 2011

vagabond seo marketing lessons

This is a guest post from Adam Costa. Read his full bio at the end of this awesome article.

I travel. A lot.

And frankly, it’s opened my eyes to marketing in a whole new way.

One that doesn’t follow any so-called “proven” formulas or other such nonsense…

… but rather, a marketing model that is leaner, more efficient and speaks directly to the market.

Ready to learn how? OK, let’s agree on one thing which is…

SEO is Not About Building Links!

Nor is it about on-page optimization, keyword density, forum profiles, article spinning, blog networks…

Ugh. You get the point.

SEO is about one thing: exposure.

Good Exposure can help you Streak ahead of the SEO Competition

Good Exposure can help you Streak ahead of the SEO Competition

Let’s take two websites. The first uses the aforementioned methods. They spend hundreds, maybe even thousands of dollars outsourcing mediocre content, and blasting them through distribution networks like UAW or Article Marketing Robot.

The result? Hundreds of low quality links with no authority and zero referral traffic. Woo-hoo.

The second website writes ten DYNAMITE pieces of content. They write a press release and submit to PRWeb. Then they find highly respected blogs (like this one) who accept guest posts… and… write great content for them.

Which do you think matters more? Which will:

  • Receive more traffic?
  • Gain more market share?
  • Get higher quality links?
  • Move up in the search results?
  • Last for years?

Obviously, the site which provides the most value will… in their own content and its marketing materials.

Link Building: It Takes A Village…

The Village People are no good at SEO (I assume)

There's a lot of people in a village! Here's some...

Forget low-quality links blasted across the Internet. Yes, it works… for now. But it doesn’t build your brand, or get eyeballs to your site. It just bumps you up in the search engines… for now.
The key is find where you market is online, and stick your product, value proposition and/or brand in front of them.

Here a few interesting ways you can add value to other people’s sites:

  • leave thoughtful comments
  • guest post
  • help with any technical  issues (if you can)
  • write an eBook
  • recommend that site on your own

And as you create content for human-consumption (gasp!), you’ll want to efficiently spread it across as many distribution channels as possible. How? Read Alex’s tips on re-purposing existing content.

The key is to create unique, valuable content. Unlike this schmuck.

Another lesson I’ve learned from travel is…

Business Automation Works (for Smart People)

business automation for smart peopleInternet connection can be hard to come by. Small Indonesian islands apparently aren’t worried about wifi. Neither is most of India (surprising, but true). So all this downtime forced me to automate everything I possibly could.

Now please don’t let the 4 Hour Work Week mentality think you can automate everything. You can’t.
In fact, you can’t automate the really important things like creating content, distributing content, building relationships, and developing joint ventures.

But you can scale those efforts. Which is a very different – but useful – form of automation.

For example, you could use…

  • Aweber to send one email out to 15,000 subscribers (and future ones)
  • Link Assistant to contact 100 joint venture partners instead of one
  • PRWeb to distribute your press release to 10,000 different websites
  • SENuke to bookmark your content, then submit those RSS feeds to feed directories
  • MyBlogGuest to let bloggers fight for the right to publish your post (instead of prospecting)

None of these are “magic buttons” designed to make you rich. But they do let you do the work once, and multiply it by an impressive factor. That, my friends, is automation for smart people.

So in conclusion, SEO – and online marketing in general – is about three simple steps: create value, distribute it widely, and repeat. Follow this mantra and you’ll be off to the races.

Now get to work!

About the Author: Adam Costa is the author of Business In A Backpack. He now works as a marketing consultant, and helps small and midsize firms create quality marketing materials, including sell sheets and brochures.


Steve Scott September 19, 2011 at 2:27 PM


Funny stuff man…but also so true. I see you are channeling your inner Alex Whalley.

Real Content> Creating a ton of Internet Chaff. Love it!


sam @ goa carnival September 19, 2011 at 2:39 PM

Nice post,

Great sharing regarding how we can get Backlinks and how we can convert lots of traffic with the help of SEO services really SEO services is one of the great option to take for Internet marketing as well as for achieve good PR in Google.

Murray Lunn September 19, 2011 at 5:20 PM

Now that’s how to do it yo!

I was always surprised to see companies ready and willing to spend thousands of dollars on article blasts and profile link building rather than hiring a team of copywriters and content creators to develop amazing content.

Sure, you’re going to get some links from profile blasting but it’s not going to get you exposure as if you wrote for a local newspaper or got picked up by the WSJ. Aim big and you’ll get big SEO results.

Tom September 19, 2011 at 8:02 PM

Hey Adam,

Good post. If you can find an existing market in your niche (i.e. established blogs) to tap into, then you use that as your primary method of building traffic and exposing your blog. In the long run, great content and quality exposure beats average content and grey/black hat SEO techniques all day long.



sanjay September 20, 2011 at 12:15 AM

Great article! I do believe that great content and finding ways to expose your blog will beat those crappy sites that uses gray / black hat SEO method. Nice read!

Ana | lead conversion September 21, 2011 at 9:48 PM

Nothing worse than those sites, Sanjay. I love the tips in this post, Adam.

Loralee Hutton September 20, 2011 at 5:21 AM

Thanks Alex! This is exactly what I needed to read this morning, after an exhausting first 3 weeks working & traveling. I was truly feeling alone while trying to be online as much as possible, maintaining the same level of customer service and interaction with clients and prospective clients.

And, thanks for reminding me that many others have gone before me & that there are systems I can implement. The ones I used in my home office simply don’t work while on the road with limited internet time. I’m off to check out PRWeb, SENuke and MyBlogGuest in a moment.

pete September 20, 2011 at 5:58 AM

Yup – pretty much on the dollar with this one.

G does place huge value in the amount of traffic in their algorithms so exposure to real people is a must. I have all the SEO tools I think I need yet I still find it hard to rank for every keyword i go after.

I am almost at the point of outsourcing the menial SEO tasks and concentrating on producing great press releases for real people to go with the content I produce on my other niche site.

Its a difficult game….

Duy Nguyen September 20, 2011 at 3:10 PM

Hi Adam, nice post and I respect your point of view.

Here is mine. But don’t take it seriously, it’s just mine :)

First, give me example of how “mediocre” and “dynamite” content look like. A piece of content might be mediocre to some, but with other people, they might be very useful. Just let a doctor read a general article about health tips and he would say it’s not that informative. But the same article goes to someone else that needs some tips on improving his life, he would appreciate it. I’m not talking about spammy articles that tell nothing but bulls*** They are too obvious to spot on.

Second, it’s too easy to give examples. We can make it up, right? What we need is real things. And how to do so. It’s easy to say you write killer press release and submit them to PRWeb. Then get hordes of traffic to your site. But it’s just you (in case you did that). What about others who just feared to death when it comes to writing?

Third, “SEO is not about building links!” Really? So what’s the purpose of getting high quality links? Of submitting your press release to PRWeb so it distributes it to 10,000 different sites? What about submitting RSS feed to inform the SEs about your links? If you said so then I think you’re not in SEO (again, just my thoughts).

OK, I might sound offensive today (believe me it’s not my nature). But I still want to point out this. I believe in the traditional formula of SEO:

“Useful content on your sites + Lots of links = Profits!”

It worked in the past, is working now, and will continue to work for a very long time. Why? Because it’s like the foundation of this whole SEO thing.

After the Panda update, I see countless number of people say that some kinds of link building don’t work anymore. But did they give me solid evidence? You bet it, they didn’t. They just guess. That’s why I don’t listen to anyone blindly, and I tend to try things out. And guess what, all of those link building still work, and they help me get top results for many long tail keywords. That’s what I count on. And it might be enough for me to make money with niche sites.

OK, I will stop here. Again, the above statements are just my opinion and what practice and taking actions give me. Don’t take it too seriously. I will welcome other’s opinion on this subject.

Have a nice day.


WordPress Hosting September 21, 2011 at 7:33 AM

Guest posting will help a lot and a great reminder on that schmuck. :)

st. petersburg realtor September 22, 2011 at 8:36 PM


Well done on your guest post! My first time here but I feel like I can trust the author and anyone on this blog :) Many are recommending link building and here you are opposing it! But I get your point and you’re right. Many have spent a lot of money on those strategies but really having less in return, or worse, none. Great tips!

Extreme John September 25, 2011 at 10:55 PM

I’ve been there and done those things and I totally agree with what you recommend. Creating great, competent, and reliable content is way better than spending lots of time and money creating low quality contents and spreading them like wildfire in article directories. The most practical and sureball way to a successful marketing is valuable content as what you have already mentioned.

MaxMonic October 2, 2011 at 4:48 PM

That’s so true.
I’ve experienced it myself.
Just one quality guest post moved a keyword from page 2 to page 1 in one week.
And still on page 1 till today.
That’s just one guest post.. how about if I distribute more?
And the keyword is a high competition keyword too.

Mith@AutoTransport October 4, 2011 at 9:22 PM

Your content is good but the images are screwed.
The facts you told about SEO and Marketing are really helpful.There are some points which can be contradicted but i think manual Seo share no specific technique for all.
Your way is different still the value of your work is good.

Corporate Gifts October 5, 2011 at 5:27 PM

You could also send out certificates for a free large session that you set up specially for new people who want to check it out – like an open house.

Freelancer Diary October 6, 2011 at 4:40 AM

KISS – Keep it simple stupid. I appreciate how you have broken down the process into 3 simple steps: Create value, distribute it, repeat!

Sometimes we use 10 different resources to break down the whole process, but forget what we are trying to achieve at the end of it! Thanks, was good to absorbo this info!

Managed WordPress November 23, 2011 at 1:11 PM

This info has definitely provided a great insight.

Peter March 27, 2012 at 8:59 PM


So, UAW is persona non-grata but SENuke is OK, wight? Sweet :)
Then at least please don’t forget to update your previous posts where you tell ppl to buy UAW.

Alex April 2, 2012 at 11:24 AM

no worries, sorry about the contradictory info – you know how fast this interweb goes! LOL

Godward M February 25, 2013 at 5:53 PM

I agree with your post. This is indeed interesting, simple and clear. This is worth the share.

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