Link Building Pricing

cost of link building - link building pricing in 2022

How much does link building cost?

(Originally written in 2020 and updated in Feb. 2022 with current pricing data)

This has to be one of the most common questions we hear at Stellar SEO.

While the question is the same, it can mean a few different things such as:

  • Do you have link building packages? If so, what is included for each price?
  • How many links do I need to be building each month to be competitive in my space?
  • How much do you charge per link or do you guarantee any certain number of links?
  • Should I outsource link building or keep it in-house to keep costs down?

Today, we are going to look at both a typical cost per link and talk about custom link building, which isn’t typically priced per link. We are also going to look at the costs associated with in-house vs. outsourced link building so that you have an idea of how they compare.

If your version of “how much does link building cost” actually means “how many links should I be building,” stop and read through our link building guide first so that you can get a better sense of volume in your niche.

chapter5_illustrationNew to Link Building or Looking for a Refresher? Be Sure to Check Out The Definitive {Process-Driven} Guide to Building Links

What to Consider Before Buying Links or Building Links

Before we get into costs, it is important to understand that high-quality backlinks are not a commodity, and buying on price alone can be a recipe for disaster. When you are in the market for a link building service, consider the following points before you make your final decision.


A Single Metric Doesn’t Make a Link Good or Bad

Metrics such as Domain Authority are commonly used to sell links with a price-per-link model. A high DA does not guarantee a link will be high-quality. A lower DA does not mean a link will have no value.

When comparing prices between agencies, you should look for average pricing and eliminate companies that fall way below average costs. This is usually a sign that they are selling based solely upon DA, with little regard for the actual safety or quality of a placement.


Local SEO Link Building is Different Than Link Building for National Sites

When it comes to link building for local SEO, there are going to be some key differences.

For example: If you have a pet supply store in a small city and you are able to get links from local pet shelters, veterinary clinics, and local newspapers, your campaign is going well! These sites may have low traffic, Domain Rating, or Domain Authority, but the strong Geo-relevance makes them great links anyway.

On the other hand, if you are trying to rank for “pet supplies” nationally, those same types of links are not going to get the job done. This is because the Google algorithm for local SEO has some components that differ from the standard organic search algorithm. This means that not all tactics are right for every project, which makes strategy a very important addition to a link building campaign.

This can make a site with a low Domain Authority end up being a high-quality link for you.

Link Building Isn’t Just About the Links

If two companies with identical on and off-page SEO acquired the same 5 links through a new link building campaign, their results would differ.

Google has done a great job of making algorithms complex, so nobody is 100% sure about exactly how they work. Fortunately, we do have a very good idea of the main ranking factors which include optimized blog posts and other content along with trusted links.

When you pay for links, you aren’t just paying for “links.” Remember: if something is easy for you to obtain, then it’s easy for others to obtain as well. If “everyone” can obtain something, the value of that thing drops significantly. This is basic macro/microeconomics.

On that note, it’s important to remember that when you pay for link building, you’re mostly paying for the work that goes into generating a high-quality backlink. This includes:

  • Research. Keyword and quality research (evaluating the quality of another website) takes time. They just…DO. There are no shortcuts–and if there were, you can bet that would drive down the value of what you’re getting. You’re also paying for the research and high-level strategy that goes into building a campaign customized for your business.
  • Content. By now you probably know “content is king” and you realize that quality content is much more effective than its low-quality, often spammy counterparts. That said, working those researched keywords and links to your site into quality content in a way that provides information to your readers and hits their pain points without the appearance of some over-the-top agenda to throw your links in their face…takes work. Not to mention, the behind-the-scenes work that goes into all excellent content creation—such as drafting, revising, editing, rewriting, editing again, and quality assurance—also takes time. At Stellar, we have a content team made up of writers and editors who have decades of experience combined. Our team knows quality, and we put our best foot forward in every piece of content we create for you as part of your custom link building campaign.
  • Relationships. Generally speaking, the more authoritative a website is, the harder it’s going to be to get your guest posts published on their site. If you’ve ever worked in PR, you know that creating an amazing piece of content is only about ⅓ of the battle. Having that piece of content published in a high-quality and authoritative publication is another ⅓. How do you do that? The other ⅓: content marketing relationships. Our link building agency has spent years growing and nurturing our publisher relationships so that we’re able to get the content we’ve created published in their domain.
  • Follow-through. Consider this a combination of piggybacking off our relationships coupled with having the tools to conduct proper data analysis. Following up with our partners to ensure the piece is published and reaching out quickly in the event something is misprinted or isn’t working works well for us because of the relationships we’ve built. Additionally, our team has access to data analysis tools that expedite our ability to track down any tech-related issues that can arise from another platform publishing content. This goes a long way in our link building efforts. In other words, we get things done–FAST.

Beyond just having trusted links, there are subsets of information that we also know Google takes into consideration when deciding how to rank a site. The anchor text that you use when building a link and even the location of your link on the page can make a difference in how Google views and rewards you for having obtained it.

Besides just building links, good link building agencies understand those factors and put in time and research to craft the most effective campaign possible, based upon that data. Simply put, a link from the exact same site can have more or less impact, depending upon how well it is planned and placed.

This means that sometimes getting a link for less will cost you more than it saved.


How “Good” Do You Need Your Links to Be?

This may sound like a loaded question, but the reality is, each company has an internal definition of what a “good” link looks like.

To paraphrase, the willingness to be flexible will allow for more creativity in content production, in turn driving down the cost per link. Inversely, a brand with very strict requirements must ensure they stay within those parameters, which can drive up the cost per link.

You also have to take into account whether your links will come from manual outreach or from content marketing efforts. Here is what Siege Media found to be the typical range for manually procured links. We dive into current pricing data below as well, so keep reading!

link cost range



To put it simply, a “good” link can be defined differently from one company to another. When you have strict requirements, a custom link building strategy is usually a better fit than per link pricing, to ensure you build a plan to get links that meet your internal expectations.


At Stellar SEO, we evaluate the link quality using the principles discussed in The A.R.T of Link Building guide.


If your requirements are less rigid, you can often decrease your cost per link, and a pay-per-link pricing model might be a good fit.

While there are many things to consider, the points above are a great starting point.

Since you came here to learn about the cost of link building, let’s get to it.


How Much Does Link Building Cost At Stellar SEO?

Since we know exactly what and how we charge, why not start with our own pricing? Not to worry though, we are going to look at averages as well, just keep reading.

We have two pricing models, allowing us to service our white label clients and direct clients with an approach suited to their needs.

Price-Per-Link Link Building Services

Our a la carte services, which are typically best suited for resellers, include 3 link building tactics:

  • Guest Posting: $297 to $600 per link
  • Blogger Outreach: $297 to $600 per link
  • Niche Edits: $225 per link

Our custom link building service is billed hourly, but we will come back to that below.


Guest Posting & Blogger Outreach Link Building Pricing

Guest posting and blogger outreach are the same. We have both because of how people search for it. (Good ole keyword-targeted

Anyway, on Blogger Outreach and Guest Posting, we offer per link pricing that ranges from $297 to $600 per link.


We do offer some pricing discounts if you order 10+ or 50+ links in a single order.


How Much Does Blogger Outreach Cost In General?

I am sure you are wondering how that compares to other links services, not to worry, here you go (includes 2019 & 2022 pricing data):

Source: Growista

In 2019, Growista pulled together this comparison chart, showing pricing averages for paid links by Domain Authority and for a “general link”, which are links that are not priced by Domain Authority.

To summarize the findings from 2019:

  • A DA 20+ Link Ranges from $69 to $287
  • A DA 30+ Link Ranges from $94 to $400
  • A DA 40+ Link Ranges from $199 to $627
  • A DA 50+ Link Ranges from $300 to $600, but data was only reported from 5 of the 31 sites on the list.
  • A “general link”, not based upon DA ranges from $150 to $500 per link.


Blogger Outreach Pricing In 2022

In February 2022, we pulled current pricing data for similar services, and here is what we have found.

  • A DA 30+ Link Ranges from $135 to $450
  • A DA 40+ Link Ranges from $220 to $627
  • A DA 50+ Link Ranges from $375 to $750
  • A DA (or DR) 70+ Link Ranges from $750-$1000

As you can see, the typical cost per link is up across the board. This is from inflation and rising publisher costs.

Our pricing for DA-based paid links (blogger outreach and guest posting) comes in about the middle of the pack.

We do not up-charge for content over 500 words, which many other companies do. We also have minimum traffic, Domain Rating, and site quality checks that a site must also pass in order to be considered for an outsourced link building campaign by our team.

The pricing for a “general” link is a little vague as it could come from a service like niche edits or it could be an outreach link earned by creating and promoting linkable content assets.


Niche Edit Link Building Pricing

Our niche edits service is popular for affiliate sites and local businesses. We charge $225 per link placement. This service isn’t based upon domain rating but rather focused upon finding relevant, placement opportunities for high-quality links on sites we have a pre-existing relationship with.

Word of Warning On Niche Edits: There are a lot of very low-quality, downright shady companies offering niche edit link building. Some of these services charge $20-$30 per link placement.

If you are not familiar with what this tactic is, I suggest reading “What Are Niche Edits” to get a better sense of what they are and what to look out for when buying them.


Final Thoughts on Fixed Price Link Building

In the right circumstance, this type of link building and pricing can be the ideal fit. If you are a reseller, knowing metrics and the exact number of links you will get for a set price makes it easy to bundle and include alongside your other marketing offers.

If you run an affiliate or advertising site and have a good plan already in place, this type of link building is a cost-effective way to supplement your broader strategy.


But remember…


This pricing model isn’t the right service for every project. Brands with stringent guidelines, seeking collaboration instead of a “done for you” type of service, and those who desire increased control of the process, content, and message are often better served by a more customized link outreach plan.

The other benefit of custom link building is the ability to select link building tactics based upon underlying goals.

For example, if you are trying to gain brand recognition quickly or capture referral traffic, media mentions are a great tactic.

When you need a goal-driven strategy and a custom approach, we can help you. That is where our signature service comes in.


Custom Link Building Campaigns

Custom Link Building is our signature service. It combines research, strategy development, and outreach into a custom link building plan.

Our custom link building campaign consists of the following phases:

  1. Intake Meeting & Detailed Marketing Questionnaire Completion
  2. Content Assets Review
  3. Link & Anchor Text Profile Review
  4. Competitor Link Prospecting & Segmentation
  5. Competitor Link & Anchor Gap Analysis
  6. Initial Prospect List Built & Segmented
  7. Strategy & Tactics Finalized
  8. Outreach Begins
  9. Tracking, Reporting, & Adjusting As Needed

As mentioned earlier, link building isn’t just about the links. This service is meant for those looking for precise, goal-driven link building strategies.

So… How Much Does Custom Link Building Cost?

Since custom outreach involves research, planning, content development, content marketing, and outreach, the price per link becomes a little less clear. Because custom link outreach is process-driven, the most common pricing models are:

  • Retainer Pricing
  • Hourly Pricing
  • Hybrid Pricing


How Much is Stellar SEO’s Custom Link Building?

Our custom link building campaigns start at $2,500 per month and more typically average around $5000 per month for a standard campaign. Our hourly billing rate is $125 per hour.

The number of links secured for this budget varies based on your goals and resources. While our custom link building plans are most commonly billed hourly, we do offer hybrid pricing in some cases.

For example, let’s say that you needed the research and planning, but we knew upfront that blogger outreach one be one tactic used as part of your overall strategy. In cases like that, we would offer per-link pricing on the blogger outreach links and hourly billing for the other elements.

The best way to address which works is by booking a consultation so that we can learn more about your business and help you weigh the options.


How Much Does Custom Link Building Cost in General?

When it comes to custom link outreach campaigns, the costs can vary significantly, based upon the quality of the company you hire and the scale of your campaign.

In order to help you get a better sense of link building costs, we are going to look at the starting prices for some other reputable companies, then talk about average pricing among good link building companies.

Let’s take a look at the price points for the following companies (updated Feb 2022):

Page One Power -According to link building agency Page One Power, a typical link building campaign for them costs $3,700 per month but varies by project.

Link Fish Media – According to Link Fish Media, their most basic campaign will produce about 3 links and costs $1050. Their website states that their average client campaign is $5,000 per month.

Webris – According to Webris, they work from the retainer model and bill $250 per hour, plus any costs associated with placed links such as content writing and sponsored post costs. – According to their website, offers three price points ranging from $2,999 to $9,999 per month for custom link building.

Screaming Frog$3392 to $16,960 is the price range, based upon how involved your campaign is. They use a “day rate” model.

uSERP – This service has a few set options with prices ranging from $6,000 to $16,000 per month. For the 6K price point, you can expect about 7 links per month.$800 to $10,780 per month, for a range of 5 to 27 links per month, with differing DA levels.

Outreach Mama$1092-$7530 per month. The price range varies by volume and authority of links needed.

So to summarize – You can expect to pay between $125-$250 per hour or $3,000 – $10,000 per month on average to link building vendors.

Now that you know the costs of working with link building agencies, let’s look at in-house link building prices.


The Cost of In-House Link Building

Building links is a time-consuming task, so at minimum, you would want to have at least one person doing outreach and one person to produce content. You are also going to need to provide tools and training to your team.

Depending upon the size of your company, you may opt for an SEO analyst and a content writer or a Public Relations Manager and a content writer. We are going to look at both options below.

Obviously, some areas will fall below these prices, and others will be well above. For the sake of simplicity, we are looking at the U.S average.


Content Writer Average Salary in the U.S.


SEO Analyst – Average Salary in the U.S.


Public Relations Manager – Average Salary in the U.S.


Content Writer + SEO Analyst Cost

  • $99,363 Per Year
  • $8,280.25 Per Month

If you opt for the combination of a content writer and SEO analyst (so you can get some on-page work done as well), the total yearly cost would be $99,363. This equates to $8,280.25 per month.


Content Writer + Public Relations Manager 

  • $121,082 Per Year
  • $10,090.17 Per Month

The combination of public relations manager and content writer is more expensive, coming in at $121,082 per year or $10,090.17 per month.

The totals above are in addition to any tools or training that you may provide. Here are a few basic tools you would likely need as well.

Tools And Training for Your In-House Team

The sky’s the limit when it comes to tools and training options, but we are going to keep it simple with just a few basic tools to help you boost your organic traffic.

Ahrefs – To find link opportunities and do competitor link and anchor text analysis. The base price is $399 per month for more than one person to use the tool. – To find email addresses for link prospects. The base price is $49 per month.

Link Building Training/SEO Training – There are a few options here, but here is some pricing to consider.

  • – $4,999 fee for access, plus $499 to access the project management suite
  • ClickMinded – $997 (lifetime access for 1 person), $4,997 (lifetime access for your team)
  • Market Motive – $599 (self-paced learning, 180-day access), $999 (online bootcamp, 90-day access)

As a rough average, let’s say you spend a modest $250 per month on training and tools subscriptions. That is another $3000 per year to boost organic traffic.

At this point that would put your total yearly cost somewhere between roughly $98,000 and $117,000 per year.




There is another cost to consider as well. The cost of links.

If you are one of the many businesses that are open to sponsored posts, you need to include the added costs for that as well.

A 2016 study conducted by Ahrefs indicated that the average cost to buy a backlink (or sponsored post) from a website was $352.92

In 2018 their updated study showed an increased cost per link average of $361.44 per link.

Since not all site owners are willing to pay for posts, and even those who are won’t spend the exact same amount per month, we won’t add this to the costs.

However, unless you are not willing to do any paid links, I would imagine at least $1,000 per month should be added to your estimates.

Excluding the cost of sponsored posts, the monthly cost of a two person in-house link building team with basic tools ranges between $8500-10,500 per month.

If you have extremely strict guidelines, an in-house team could be a good option. Otherwise, the cost is roughly double that of hiring an agency for an “average” campaign.


So, How Much Does Link Building Cost?

Nothing if you do it right.

The thing you have to keep in mind is that link building is a tool that should be used to help you achieve your business goals.

If you have a clear goal, a sound strategy, and a reputable link building agency helping you secure quality links, the payoff is going to far outweigh the cost.

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