Our core business is building links, either via social media or traditional means.
In order to produce the quantity and quality of links we need, we have to be able to train well and train fast. We have to be able to turn your average 20 year old, beer guzzling college student into a functioning link builder. The transition is not easy, but with a good plan it is achievable.
Step 1: Give them Tools
Initially your link builder will not know the difference between a good link and a rock, so you must give them tools to decipher quality links. Get them hooked up with a good SEO Toolbar. Then give them specific metrics you are looking for in links, so their is no confusion. I built a link metric worksheet for internal use that can help you shape yours.
Step 2: Give them Guidance
Before you even hire your first
link monkey link builder you need to have a full, step by step, guide created on how you expect them to find and achieve links. Don't spare any effort in putting together your guide. Imagine that this individual cannot read, add in pictures of your process. Take the guide to Kinkos, and have it bound and laminated, figuring your monkey will spill their Redbull on it at least twice.
Step 3: Give them Data
The key to effective linkbuilding is the ability to find links. If you just put your monkey in front of Google or Technorati, they will be spinning their wheels for days. You need to offer them data that will allow them to get their job done, while accounting for their low knowledge level. Majestic SEO is an incredible source of link data, and it always you to get a lot of great info that no other link product does. Blog finder tools that allow you to view PR and follow status can also be essential tools in your kit.
Step 4: Give them a management/reporting system
Setting up a management system is key to organizing link building. Finding a quality project management system can make or break your link building offering. We are currently using Zoho Projects, and are very happy with it. You have the ability to not only store all documents, task lists, and other basic PM concepts, but it also has a built in IM system, so your monkeys do not feel the need to roam onto IM. A good project management system also makes for easy reporting, since all data is in one place, and when one of your monkey's leaves, you can just slide the next one in.
These are basic steps, but surprisingly effective for training link building staff. If you get a good system in place, link building will become an afterthought rather than a worry.