How to Set Up a Personal Blog Network and Maximize Your SEO

By: Cynthia Johnson, Ipseity Media

March 27, 2017

A Personal Blog Network (PBN) is a network of sites that you control which are designed to direct links to a site that you’re monetizing.

If you have an existing PBN, or are building one up, you’re going to need to take steps to ensure your digital presence is effective, safe and secure.

But first, you need to start with the basics—domains. Search for an expired domain and look for something with a decent domain authority. And it’s important to check that backlink with tools such as Ahrefs or Open-site Explorer—you don’t want to invest in anything with a toxic link profile.

You can also purchase new domains. While these won’t be as valuable as authority domains, they’ll be cheaper and will add a nice variety to your link profile. Here are four more tips for setting up a PBN.

Stay Hidden

It’s actually pretty easy to blow out an Internet Protocol (IP). Once that happens, you’re going to have some problems—better to avoid that situation altogether. One of the essential ways to protect against that and keep your PBN off the map is to keep those domains apart. And the best way to do that is to mask your IP.

Fortunately, to mask an IP you can use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) and get an IP range. The gist is that these services are secure proxies that mask your origin servers. Not only does this protect you from a DDoS attack and help your website load much faster, it also has the added benefit of keeping your PBN on different IPs. You should probably be using a CDN anyway for the benefit of reducing latency and keeping your sites up and safe from attacks.

Who’s Next Door?

Just like in life, an unpleasant neighbor can drive down property values. In this case, that neighbor could be anything—porn, hate groups or any number of unsavory characters. Think about it: Would you want to host your websites in the same IP range as them? Probably not the best idea.

Ipseity Media, Cynthia Johnson, co-founder,

Cynthia Johnson, co-founder, Ipseity Media

It’s always good to check out the neighborhood before committing. There are a few tools online such as Incapsula that will show your IP neighbors if you want to check up on that.

Unfortunately, companies like Cloudflare don’t have a vetting process and being in a bad IP neighborhood could be your undoing. If you’re going to do the leg work of building a PBN, it’s probably because you’re concerned about controlling all parts of your link-building process and have goals of monetizing a site. Having that fall apart because your sites are sharing IPs with a spam network is a waste of time and resources.

Not many CDN services will ensure a healthy IP neighborhood, so make sure you do research before enrolling with a CDN provider.

Learn more about SEO at the The Social Shake-Up, which will be held May 22-24, 2017 in Atlanta. Brand communicators from Coca-Cola, Nissan, Microsoft, Arby’s and many more will speak on a breadth of topics from content marketing to measurement to Snapchat strategy.


You’re going to need some relevant content on these sites if you want to link back to your money site. If your money site is about coffee, then the content in your network is going to need to be about coffee too. You can write this yourself or find content writers online. It’s also great if it can link out to other authority sites besides your own.

Spinning a Web of Links

Each domain could link out to your money site, but only once. You’ll still need to vary the anchor texts to appear natural, but that’s now up to you. As stated earlier, these properties should already be linking to authority sites in your industry.

So, can a PBN work for you? Absolutely. In some cases, building the sites and the cost of content and hosting can be prohibitive. However, there are clear benefits to those links pointing toward a site you’re monetizing.


Cynthia Johnson is an entrepreneur, speaker, columnist and co-founder of Ipseity Media.  This article originally appeared on and was republished with permission.

Connect with Cynthia: @CynthiaLIVE 

At The Social Shake-Up