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April 27, 2015
I can't really say it any better than Gator did.
Collecting links is a time-consuming task and can become very maddening when you've sent out 50 requests and you only got 4 responses and you're trying to figure out which ones to re-send the request and so on...
But perseverance pays off. By my experience it averages about 1 hour invested per link acquired.
The really crucial thing is to make sure that you're only pursuing (and accepting) link exchanges with reputable sites. In particular, you should pay attention to making sure you get a link that's close in value to the one you're providing. There are plenty of sites out there with poorly constructed pages, or with their link page virtually impossible to find - and they'll give you very little value. Whereas if your links page is easily found (say from a link in the footer of the homepage) then your link page will be giving more value than it's getting in return.
For the most part, you should avoid hiring any of the link acquisition firms. Almost always you'll get the kind of links you should avoid, unless you pay a fortune. Keep in mind the average of 1 hour per link. Are you willing to pay that much per link? Because good links take time and no one who's any good at finding reputable links is going to work cheaply.
You should also avoid automated linking schemes or anything of that nature. Treat your links page as though it's a true list of references that you're willing to provide. If you can't honestly say you'd be proud to refer someone to a particular site, then you shouldn't be linking to them.
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