Link building remains a critical SEO ranking factor for search engines.

As an agency or consultant, it’s difficult to price out link building services.

This article will cover my 3 recommended ways to charge for link building services.

  • Selling per link
  • Retainer fees
  • Outsourcing

Let’s dive into each of them.

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1. Using the pay per link method

If you’re spending $1000/month on labor to generate links, you want to find out your cost per link.

For example:

  • If you spend $1000/month (on prospecting, outreach and project management);
  • And you generate 5 new links;
  • Your cost per link would be $200

With your cost per link in mind, you can simply tack on your desired margin on top of your costs.

The type of links you’re acquiring will impact how much you can charge. Guest posts will be a lot cheaper (can be sold anywhere from $150 – 200), whereas if you’re doing resource page or PR style link building, you can charge upwards of $500 – 1000 for really good links.

2. Charging monthly retainer fees

To charge a retainer, you first need to know how much time goes into acquiring each link so you can then turn that into a retainer fee (a monthly fee).

Then we upsell the client and tell them that they really need links. To charge them for links, we charge them an “expense fee” on top of their retainer.

This is because as you do outreach, a lot of links will come with an additional cost. These costs can come from guest posts, writing fees, sponsored post fees, etc.

I would simply charge a flat fee of anywhere from $80 – 100 per link on top of the link building retainer.

You’re going to want to include a link building strategy (i.e., a backlink audit) within that retainer just to let them know that you’re going to do a link building service.

Alternatively, you can charge them an expense fee as they accrue (send the links in bulk).

3. Outsourcing your link building entirely

As opposed to having link building in-house, you can work with vendors and sell links higher than what they’re charging.

For example, if the vendor is charging $150/link, you can sell links for $200/link.

The key is finding a vendor that can:

  • Deliver real links, NOT private blog networks or cheap guest posts
  • Deliver consistent links in multiple verticals
  • Reasonably priced to allow you to tack on an upsell margin

Personally, I use NO-BS Links. They’re not the cheapest option, but their links are high quality and consistent.


Everything will vary from client to client. It’ll depend on the amount of links they currently have, how many links that they need, the type of links that will be available, etc.

For any questions that are still unanswered, drop them in the comments below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.