Authority Hacker Review 2020 – Our Honest Reviews of The Authority Site System & Authority Hacker Pro
Authority Hacker is in the business of teaching people how to build high-quality affiliate marketing websites that are built to last. The founders of Authority Hacker, Gael Breton, and Mark Webster, put together their flagship course for beginners, The Authority Site System, and an advanced course called Authority Hacker Pro. Both deal with scaling affiliate site businesses with a focus on white hat SEO methods. Read our Authority Hacker review article to know exactly what you're getting into.
What Is Authority Hacker?
Authority Hacker, a popular site that helps people succeed in online business, was founded in 2014. The two men behind Authority Hacker are SEO industry leaders Mark Webster and Gael Breton.
If you’ve been researching how to make money by creating an affiliate site, you might’ve run into one of their blog posts or their Authority Hacker Podcast (highly recommended by SEOs – subscribe to the podcast here).
Before the founders started Authority Hacker, they ran a client-facing SEO agency and practiced gray and white hat SEO.
After getting penalized by Google during the Penguin update and the fatigue of building up other people’s businesses, they started building their first authority site.
Having the knowledge and good (and bad) experiences from their previous endeavors, they created Health Ambition, which at its peak reached over 150,000 monthly visitors from Google alone.
They were able to grow Health Ambition (and other authority sites) via SEO, creating systems that allowed them to scale, and this all eventually led them to create their blog on building authority sites.
That was their story in a nutshell.
AuthorityHacker.com teaches people how to have the same success they did with their authority site content and their two courses: The Authority Site System (TASS) and Authority Hacker Pro (AH Pro – aka. AHP) – both deal with affiliate marketing sites that have become known as “authority websites” to the internet marketing world.
In this Authority Hacker review, we'll be covering both The Authority Site System and Authority Hacker Pro.
The Authority Site System vs Authority Hacker Pro – What's the Difference?
Keeping things simple, The Authority Site System is Authority Hacker’s course made for beginners who are just starting out.
The course is capable of taking newbies from zero to one to five thousand dollars per month – a job replacing income for most people.
Their second course is Authority Hacker Pro is for intermediates to advanced affiliates who are ready to scale their authority sites beyond five grand per month.
It’s a collection of online courses on advanced SEO tactics and other internet marketing strategies that can help an online business scale.
Authority Hacker Course Pricing
Authority Hacker’s main course, The Authority Site System, costs $997. However, our readers can get a 40% off discount with this link.
Authority Hacker Pro costs $1,997 and is recommended once you’ve had success with The Authority Site System. We’ll cover more details about Authority Hacker Pro as we progress with this review.
Is There a Discount or Coupon Code Available for The Authority Site System?
I can understand the cost of the courses above can be shocking for any newbie entering the affiliate marketing course market.
Having spent thousands of dollars on multiple affiliate course products in my time (#noshame), I’ve not come across an affiliate marketing course that I’d recommend that costs less than $500-$1,000.
That said, we were able to secure a 40% OFF discount for The Authority Site System course!
What The Authority Site System Course Teaches
Authority Hacker’s base course, The Authority Site System, gives members a blueprint for achieving a Stage 1 authority website (aka. V1 site). It teaches the process of building an affiliate site that makes passive income.
Although they don’t make money claims such as you’ll earn $x, xxx per month, the goal of this course is to help beginners launch a new website to the $1,000-$5,000 per month range (this is considered a stage one site) and profit every month.
The following are The Authority Site System course modules:
- Module 1: The Authority Site Business Model 101
- Module 2: Niche Research & Content Planning
- Module 3: Site Setup
- Module 4: Content Production & Outsourcing
- Module 5: Intense Link Building
The course structure is meant to be done in order. I found Module 2 to be one of the most essential and thorough modules of the entire course.
Below are the pros and cons that I noted about the course:
- Beginner-friendly: from picking a domain name to setting up hosting & more, you'll get high-quality over-the-shoulder video tutorials.
- An extensive keyword research process for building a profitable authority website using one of the best keyword research tools.
- The Authority Hacker course by Mark & Gael follows the authority site model, which means your content marketing and SEO efforts will result in a profitable authority site that shows up at the top of the search results.
- A beautifully designed course that has video content lessons along with written lessons for every site module.
- A long-term approach to building affiliate sites that leads to highly-profitable business.
- Lessons on how to create an excellent looking affiliate site you can be proud of (home page building, blog post templates, etc.).
- Excellent copy and paste templates for writing or outsourcing content creation.
- An active Facebook group community and offline community
- Positions your website for a 30-40x plus exit (see the flipping case study here).
- NEW: Affiliate programs outside of Amazon are now discussed in TASS 3.0!
- A long-term approach to affiliate authority sites means it’ll take slightly longer to see a profit (a con to some).
- Link building tool recommendation is a monthly subscription so expect budgeting your site expenses (however, you can get most of what you need from it during their free trial period) .
As you can see, the pros far outweigh the cons. FYI, there is a learning curve for some of the marketing tools and concepts you'll learn in The Authority Site System if this is your first time building an authority site!
However, if you want to learn more about The Authority Site System, you can watch their free webinar (this one has a 40% off discount at the end).
It might be a free webinar, but it could be a mini info product to other webinars.
The Authority Site System Noteworthy Features
Having taken many courses when I first started in the affiliate marketing world, Authority Hacker’s courses have distinctive features compared to their competitors (we’ll cover them towards the end of this article).
Whether you want to create a website that pays the bills or build authority websites that can provide the lifestyle you want, or flip your website for a 30-45x multiple down the line…
Authority Hacker students who've followed The Authority Site System training start with an unshakable foundation and are making money in the manners I described above.
Gael and Mark don’t mess around with short-term strategies and are only concerned with teaching students who are in it for the long haul.
120+ Video Lessons
Every year Authority Hacker adds more video tutorials to The Authority Site System/TASS course. The overview videos range from short to medium and are to the point.
The main training videos are longer but are consumable in bite-size pieces. If you’re planning on getting through this entire course in one round… good luck – there is a LOT of applicable video training!
Training for Beginners, Intermediates, and Pros
Authority Hacker has two affiliate marketing courses: The Authority Site System and Authority Hacker Pro.
As an overall online marketing business, the pros behind Authority Hacker have structured these two courses beautifully for them as a business and their customers.
The Authority Site System is Authority Hacker’s flagship course and is for beginners aiming to achieve a website that makes one to five thousand dollars per month.
Authority Hacker Pro is the continuation course. Its goal is to get student’s websites to the $5,000 to $10,000 per month mark.
The final “level” of Authority Hacker training is Authority Hacker Pro Platinum. This is for internet marketers who want to take their authority sites to the $10,000 to $100,000 per month level.
The world of online marketing changes quickly, and thankfully Gael & Mark have consistently updated their courses.
All the updates are free once you purchase the course (some courses have you pay yearly for updates…).
REAL Affiliate Site Case Studies
One of the most distinctive aspects of TASS is the affiliate case study site Gael & Mark show.
Each course update includes a dedicated website that only members of the course get to see.
For instance, in the first version of the course, the example website was in a specific niche. In the most recent release, Authority Hacker created a brand new website to update the course content (an eye-opening perspective for affiliate marketing newbies).
Not many affiliate courses are willing to create an affiliate marketing website just to create a course with example authority sites, let alone update a course.
The course creators don’t just teach how to create sites that make money; they’re in the affiliate trenches creating sites and, at times, flipping websites.
They recently sold one of their websites for a mid-six-figure flip. You can read more about that flip case study here.
An Active Facebook Group Community
Depending on which course you get (TASS or AHP), you’ll have access to said corresponding Facebook group.
Each private Facebook group is active; however, the Pro course is a bit more active in my experience than the base course group.
Mark and Gael update and respond in either Facebook group communities.
A Step-By-Step Training Course and Useful Templates
Authority Hacker has a step by step guide for creating an authority site, including premium training on narrowing down your niche ideas and beneficial course material like the content templates.
The content templates you get access to in TASS are great for writing great content yourself or outsourcing them to paid freelance writers.
Authority Hacker Pro has even more copy/paste templates in multiple disciplines of online marketing.
Q&A Webinars (Platinum Members Only)
Aside from the occasional Facebook group posts/comments and their course teachings, it’s challenging to get a direct response from Gael & Mark because they’re busy updating their course, creating content for their brand, etc.
For those who’d like their questions answered by Gael and/or Mark, Authority Hacker Pro’s only upsell AH Pro Platinum is available. This is as close you can get to a mastermind group with Authority Hacker.
I’m not a part of these Q&A webinars yet, but eventually, I will be as I can see the value of getting access to and picking the brains of these two experts. As Platinum members, you also get access to all prior Q&A sessions.
Bonus Course Offer
Since The Authority Site System is an expensive course for anyone who's just starting, I've decided to add a few bonuses if you choose to buy either of the two courses from the links/buttons on this page.
Here are the bonuses I'm offering that are not covered in the course:
- 2 Platforms I Use & Recommend for Outsourcing Content
- Surfer On-Page Outsourcing Template Guide
- A Key Amazon Metric that Gives You a Competitive Advantage During Niche Research & Content Planning
The above are supplemental strategies for the AH courses that have helped me be successful. If you'd like these along with your purchase of The Authority Site System, buy the Authority Hacker course using the button below!
(These online course bonuses will be delivered to your email inbox)
Important Note: The Authority Hacker bonuses will be delivered to your email address and the AH success page. To ensure you get your bonuses, please make sure to clear your browser's cookies before buying through our affiliate link and visiting AH sales page, & buy through the same device.
Before I get started with my Authority Hacker Pro review, here are some Authority Hacker customer reviews.
Authority Hacker Student Reviews
“I thought I had great marketing ideas until I met Gael. Pay attention to these guys. Real gold in their knowledge.” – Noah Kagan
It’s always a good sign when an internet marketing course has reviews on their sales page. It’s especially good when student video testimonials are included that describe their success stories!
And it gets even better when leaders in the SEO industry take your course and praise the approach said course teaches.
Below, I’ve compiled what people who've built successful authority sites, from beginners to pros, have said about the Authority Hacker courses.
Bizhan Zahidi Review
22 Year Old College Drop Out
Jiangpeng Zhang Review
Take a look at more Authority Hacker student success rate, case studies, & results here.
Authority Hacker Pro Review
Last year, after applying The Authority Site System to this blog and a couple of Amazon niche authority websites, I decided to invest in Authority Hacker Pro.
Although I didn’t think I was ready for it, I purchased it anyway as it only launches once per year, and I was going to need it.
It turns out that buying Authority Hacker Pro was perfect timing, as a lot of what’s taught was needed to level up my business.
You see, with The Authority Site System course and as a beginner affiliate (even intermediates) in general, you’re going to be running the micro-business processes that eat up some of your ever-increasing valuable time.
Things such as uploading content from a Google Doc to the WordPress/page-builder editor, optimizing and adding images to content, interlinking, link outreach, and more.
And even though I didn’t mind doing these activities, I knew it wasn’t time well spent deep down inside.
My time (and yours) is better spent planning out a new affiliate website, learning how to invest in other business models, expanding your brand with an omnichannel marketing approach… you get the picture.
Authority Hacker Pro is about getting away from these tedious tasks, taking your skills to the next level, and ultimately scaling your website(s) potential.
Who Is the Authority Hacker Pro Course For?
Take a look inside the authority affiliate marketing course. Watch our Authority Hacker Pro review video we recently recorded.
The Authority Hacker Pro course is not intended for beginners but rather for affiliates who have at least attained a Stage 1 authority site. AHP is when Stage 1 authority sites graduate to Stage 2 and 3.
That said, if you’re reading this Authority Hacker Pro review while Authority Hacker is launching this course, and you haven’t purchased The Authority Site System yet, it might be a sound idea for you to get Pro.
The reason being that The Authority Site System comes included in Authority Hacker Pro, and you can get all the advanced blueprints you’ll need to scale your authority site while saving money in the process.
What You Get In the Authority Hacker Pro Course
I thought The Authority Site System was great when I first bought it and didn’t think Gael and Mark could outdo themselves by much, but they did.
Here’s what you get when you purchase Authority Hacker Pro:
Editorial System Blueprint
The Editorial System Blueprint is taught by Gael Breton and teaches you how to create a competent team of people who'll help you produce quality content on your site(s) like clockwork.
Although it takes time to set up the editorial system and go through the 11 module blueprint, your team will be doing the work of content creation for you based on task automation once it's set up.
The editorial system is built around Authority Hacker's recommended project management software (a free version is available) which makes communicating with your team and publishing content much better.
This is a game-changer blueprint that can get you away from being a “solopreneur” and to a real entrepreneur leading team members to publish content pieces consistently.
Members of this content creation system include:
- SEOs to build a content keyword list per silo/hub
- Content writers
- Content uploaders
- Link builders and more
Each marketing teammate will know how to plan content writing and put together & publish roundup reviews, question posts, money pages, info content, and other types of blog content.
Building a high-quality content team is a next-level process of getting more than one profitable website.
Building Your Content Team Blueprint
Building your content team can be a tricky business, but how pros, like the guys behind Authority Hacker, can make money online at scale every month.
In this 14 lesson blueprint, Mark Webster teaches you the step-by-step process to hire a content writer (or writers), editors, and content uploaders.
From where to hire them, how to screen applicants, interviewing, deciding, onboarding, and management – it's all thoroughly explained!
The Keyword Research Blueprint
Course creator Gael Breton teaches this advanced keyword research blueprint. With 4 modules (19 video lessons), I thought this would be more of the same keyword research & niche research that he initially taught in TASS, but I was wrong.
He didn't phone it in here and teaches how to document your site's existing and target keywords into a template database (Google Sheet provided), competitor analysis, and seven advanced keyword research methods.
The Guest Posting Blueprint
This is an advanced guest posting blueprint taught by Mark Webster that has 5 modules that teach you how to attain guest posts via outreach.
The Guest Posting Blueprint is a classic, yet advanced, white-hat link building technique that contributes to ranking better and building successful authority sites.
Topics covered include email prospecting, sending email via automation outreach software, editorial fulfillment, and tracking. Guest posts are great to rank inner pages and increase the domain authority of your authority websites.
Editorial Links With HARO Blueprint
HARO stands for Help A Reporter Out, and it’s a great way to get links from high authority websites (like the NY Times, the Huffington Post, Reuters, etc.), but as Mark says, “the devil is in the details.”
If you’ve consumed any SEO content in the last few years, you might’ve heard that HARO is a great opportunity for link building, yet no one explains precisely how to get these links, step by step (or how to outsource this process to your team).
The HARO blueprint training gives you access to an A-Z guide on how to acquire these high DR links from reporters via initial outreach.
The beauty of this tactic is that it powers up your home page with linking root domains (a page that often gets neglected when it comes to white hat link building).
The Shotgun Skyscraper Blueprint
The Shotgun Skyscraper Blueprint is a training course Authority Hacker released in 2019 and has now been included in Authority Hacker Pro.
After years of developing the Shotgun Skyscraper blueprint link building strategy and proving it time and again, the content, and course materials, you get in this blueprint alone is gold.
This strategy can make a new site jump from a low domain rank to a respectable one in less than 6 months. And is one of the many white hat techniques Mark Webster and Gael Breton teach.
Some students have even built their own link agencies based on the results shotgun skyscraper produces.
Site Speed Blueprint (NEW)
This is one of the latest blueprint released, and it's a topic that's a little nerdy but needed.
Having just gone through it, I like that Gael provides 3 solutions for speeding up WordPress websites: free, decent, and an expensive option.
Growth Tips and Tricks (NEW)
This blueprint is where Mark and Gael continue to add more lessons to improve your internet marketing biz (they're outstanding about this).
These lessons range from affiliate marketing tips to keyword research, onpage SEO, content, e-mail marketing, link building, WordPress, Social Media Marketing, Display Ads (just added), Miscellaneous tips, Finding an Alternative Affiliate Program for Your Niche Aside from Amazon), and other marketing best practices.
One of the latest “tips” added to this blueprint was Negotiating for Higher Affiliate Commissions:
These guys continue to go above and beyond what I've seen other internet marketing industry courses do. Other students and I appreciate the effort.
The Other Blueprints
There are still more internet marketing training blueprints we couldn't fit into this Authority Hacker review article…
The following are the remaining online courses & training modules in Authority Hacker Pro (their names are a bit more self-explanatory):
- Evergreen Funnel Blueprint
- Creating Info Products Blueprint
- Selling Your Site Blueprint (a big money-maker)
- Lead Magnet Creation Blueprint
- Giveaways Blueprint
- Content Promotion Blueprint
- Affiliate Marketing Blueprint
- Email Marketing Blueprint (great for affiliate email marketing campaigns)
These were some of the first blueprints Gael Breton and Mark Webster created for this course.
The “Sell Your Site Blueprint” is taught by the guys at Empire Flippers. And I enjoyed watching the course creation blueprint as it's yet another income stream any affiliate can add to their portfolio (not to mention it increases your flipping value).
The Lead Magnet teaches you how to capture email subscribers from your target audience, provides email templates, explains email marketing 101, and how to create follow-ups.
As you can see, they cover almost everything you need to take your Stage 1 authority website, taught in the base course, and transition it into a lucrative online business.
Authority Hacker Pro Price
Authority Hacker Pro only launches once a year and costs $1,997 with a monthly payment plan option of $197/month for 12 months.
If you’re reading this while Authority Hacker Pro is not on sale, you can still get The Authority Site System, and the AH team will let you know via email when it’s released!
Is AH Pro Worth the Cost?
If you’re starting, I recommend sticking with The Authority Site System course until your first authority site gets to $1,000/month.
Even though Authority Hacker Pro only launches once per year, understand that building authority sites, with SEO being the primary traffic source, takes time.
The Authority Site System is more than capable of delivering you results if you put in the work. You can check out The Authority Site System here.
Yet, if you know you’re ALL IN and the Authority Hacker Pro course is on sale while you’re reading this review article, you might as well get AH Pro because it includes The Authority Site System in it.
And if you’ve already had an authority site that’s making more than $1,000/month, get started with Authority Hacker Pro when it’s on sale!
Authority Hacker Review Conclusion
Picking a good affiliate marketing course in a sea of gurus fighting for your attention can be a tricky business.
My goal with this review was to:
- Give you an honest review of the Authority Hacker courses.
- Give you insights on what it takes to build an authority site.
- Provide extra value to you by providing supplemental bonuses.
- And to let you know that the Authority Hacker courses are legitimate.
Like any business, you’ll get from it what you put in.
These guys have done a great job putting together a guide to creating profitable passive income authority sites, yet they, and I, will let you know the process is long and may require mental stamina if it’s your first time creating an online asset.
Whether you’re brand new or are have dabbled in other internet marketing courses that promised you the world & get-rich quick promises but left you with little to show for it, I can highly recommend the Authority Hacker courses.
I only wish I had gotten and implemented the lessons sooner, as authority sites require time to take off even with the invaluable video lessons in The Authority Site System.
If you haven’t watched the Authority Hacker webinar, it's one of the better ones that actually teach you useful concepts plus the business model, highly consider watching it.
You can watch it here (40% off discount included in the end). Gael and Mark are transparent and will let you know they have a course pitch (The Authority Site System) at the end.
To conclude, the best day to start creating a successful authority site was yesterday, but once you know how to make these affiliate sites, you’ll also be able to “hack authority,” and get results too.
Authority Hacker Alternatives
Although Authority Hacker’s The Affiliate Site System course ranks among one of the top affiliate marketing courses in the market as of 2020, I wanted to include this section to make you aware of their competitors and how they compare to them.
I’ve gone through each of the courses below, and each one brings something unique to the table (there’s a bit here for everyone… you’ll see what I mean as you read about the competing courses below).
The Affiliate Lab vs Authority Hacker
The Affiliate Lab course by Matt Diggity is a solid alternative to TASS.
Matt is one of the leading experts in the SEO world who not only created this affiliate course but also runs Diggitymarketing.com, Authority Builders (a white-hat link building service), Lead Spring (affiliate marketing agency), Search Initiative (client-agency), and is the host of the yearly Chiang Mai SEO Conference.
Like The Authority Site System, Matt teaches how to build authority sites and smaller affiliate niche sites with two key differences.
Difference #1: Website Phases Are Mapped Out For You
In the Affiliate Lab (TAL), the journey of your website is explained in Phases. Phase 1, 2, and 3.
Phase 1 is the Sandbox Phase, which is the period of time when Google doesn’t trust your site and won’t rank it no matter what you do.
Affiliate Lab has a dedicated module explaining all of the phases and what to do to get out of the Google sandbox in a few months versus 5+ months.
Difference #2: Off-Page Gold
Which brings me to the second key difference between these two courses: grey hat SEO.
Matt’s course teaches mainly white-hat techniques and mixes in optional grey hat SEO tactics such as using PBNs. (If you want to learn about how to use PBNs along with guest posting and other whitehat link building tactics, this is a good course).
Having taken both The Affiliate Lab and TASS, and knowing students who’ve taken both courses, I recommend both courses.
TASS students can learn a lot from TAL and vice versa. Even if TASS students never get into grey hat links, it’s worth knowing the reality of SEO (at some point, you’ll come across a competitor that will outrank you for a keyword-based on grey hat link building tactics).
One last thing I’ll mention about Matt’s course is it has great lessons on Off-Page SEO. Analyzing anchor text for competitor’s individual pages with the spreadsheet template he provides is gold. I’ve used these lessons in both Client and Affiliate SEO.
I recommend both TASS and TAL if you have the budget for it (or eventually get TAL too) as they’ve both helped me out equally.
Both courses have produced six-figure affiliate marketer & beyond, have legit case studies, and are consistently updated.
You can read more about Diggity’s course in our Affiliate Lab review.
Income School Project 24 vs Authority Hacker
Have you heard of the popular SEO YouTube channel Income School? If you’ve been surfing the web for affiliate SEO topics, chances are you’ve seen one of Ricky Kesler and Jim Harmer’s videos.
Like Authority Hacker, these guys have a loyal army of fans and have created their own affiliate marketing course called Project 24. Income School, in my opinion, is a direct competitor, but their approach to websites is very different.
Out of the TASS alternative courses in this section, Project 24 is the purest white-hat course you'll find.
The course’s focus is on content creation and monetizing blogs with affiliate links and display ads with little emphasis on link building strategies.
So, which is the better course?
First, I want to say I gave Income School a fair shot and purchased their course after warming up to them on YouTube. I see how their students have success (I was a little hesitant about their content initially ). However, them not paying attention to search volume or white hat link building was odd to me.
However, when you compare TASS students to Project 24 students, based on my learning and 4+ years of experience in online marketing, I can say that the TASS student will get a quicker return on investment and profit.
This is just my two cents on Income School's training program. Both are quality courses that teach market research, content creation, and how to get great traffic potential via great content.
You can learn more about Income School’s course in our Project 24 review (link coming soon).
SEO Affiliate Domination vs Authority H.
SEO Affiliate Domination is an affiliate course, unlike the other ones on this list.
This course teaches you how to make affiliate sites that can produce cash flow quickly using gray and black hat techniques. However, don’t be mistaken; even gray/black hat SEO takes work.
I only recommend this course to self-aware beginners who can understand that the course's strategies are for short-term gains and not a long-term business.
That said, it’s a decent avenue of making money online with websites, and the instructor is good at teaching the darker sides of SEO.
If you’re in the business of creating long-term assets from the get-go, I recommend The Authority Site System base version course and skipping out on SEO Affiliate Domination.
Editor's Note: the SEOAD affiliate marketing course is now enrolling new students.
Wealthy Affiliate vs Authority H.
Wealthy Affiliate (WA) is an affiliate marketing course beginners often come across when they first start searching for ways to make money online (it was the first course I took on affiliate marketing when I still had my office job… they got me…).
The course itself teaches affiliate marketing, provides website hosting and their own “SEO tools.” Because of this, Wealthy Affiliate costs a monthly fee to be a member.
Being brutally honest, this affiliate marketing course hasn't been updated in years (I checked the video lessons the other day, and they were suitable when I took the course, but now you can tell the age of the course and strategies).
Their marketing education may have been relevant in the past, but not in 2020.
Lastly, I don't particularly appreciate that many WA members promote it to the point where they lie about legitimate courses and information products…
Some of these fake reviewers claimed that Authority Hacker's support was “slow” just to try and sell Wealthy Affiliate.
This isn't true at all, as I've had my questions answered within 24 hours and sometimes less than 4 hours. The team at Authority Hacker take their customer service seriously and monitor their support metrics very well.
Fake reviews and comparisons like these have gone rampant for years and don't seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
I included this comparison in this section because it's a popular beginner course. If I can save one of my readers' time and recommend going with a better course, like The Authority Site System, it'll be worth including. There is no contest when you compare them to each other.
A Criteria for Choosing Good Affiliate Marketing Courses
Still unsure about this course? It would be best to understand and have a baseline standard of what good affiliate marketing training courses teach.
That is – courses that teach how to create websites that make money through affiliate marketing as an online business model. Sites that can produce full-time incomes.
You might be wondering (and/or commenting), “who cares… and why is this important?”
Feel free to skip this section if you’d like, but skeptical beginners should know that not every online business course is a scam and that some teach invaluable online marketing skills and first-class marketing education.
Past the hazy fog of guru internet marketers flashing Lamborghinis, money, and claiming how easy building an authority site is and how easy getting affiliate income can be… there are helpful courses that have helped people escape the 9-5 rat race.
The following are the affiliate marketing 101 core topics to look for when shopping for a legit affiliate course that teaches how to create affiliate marketing websites.
#1. Niche Selection, Keyword Research & Site Planning
It's crucial you pick a course with an instructor(s) that's honest with you about the importance of niche selection. This is undoubtedly a struggle for some people, but a course can help immensely if proper keyword research tactics are explained.
Once you've picked your niche authority website's topic, a course should have training modules on content site planning.
If you're planning on writing product reviews and list posts (or other content types) for affiliate earnings in your niche, you don't want to start writing on topics willy-nilly based on your own content ideas or content keyword list.
You want to come to this game with searchers' intent in mind while at the same time understanding your limitations the search engines (like Google) will place on your site.
An excellent course will show how to do that with keyword tools. This is how proper content marketing and site planning should start.
#2. Website Structure
Affiliate marketing business courses should give you an overall plan, example, and guide on how to build a WordPress website from scratch.
The course creators don’t have to be pro web developers, but they should recommend tools you need to get such as site themes, page builder tools, and other plugins essential for making a high converting affiliate site.
Additional topics include a dialog session on organizing your quality content via category pages or parent pages.
#3. Content Creation Based on Market Research
Gone are the days where you can write poorly written content and focus on getting links to individual pages and having them rank on Google. Those “content marketing” days are history.
Whether you’re going to be writing the content yourself or outsource content creation, a good course will teach you how to write engaging, high-quality content.
As you continue your content marketing efforts, you'll find that getting ready for a link building campaign (see #5) gets a lot easier.
It’s a bonus when a course provides content templates for different types of blog posts as it makes publishing content easier.
#4. On-Page SEO
On-page SEO is what you do to an article (aka. page or blog post) once it’s been published on your website.
This includes but isn’t limited to the following ranking factors: title tag, header tags, URL slug, keyword density, and other internal linking strategies.
This, in a nutshell, is what can be considered the first half of SEO 101 and is a collective ranking factor.
#5. Off-Page SEO
The next fundamental modules/lessons that should be included in a good course are what’s known as off-page SEO lessons because it helps your site build a credible presence (in the eyes of Google), which helps you rank for hard keywords.
Off-page SEO is the process of acquiring external links from other websites. In other words, hyperlinks on other web properties that point back to your home page or a specific page(s) on your site.
In 2020, links to your site are still a big ranking factor!
Having this included in an affiliate course is always a good sign (especially if there are multiple strategies presented on doing this).
That said, you should know there are “natural ways” or “white-hat” methods of getting backlinks to your site(s).
Such video training would include guest posting and shotgun skyscraper as methods of acquiring links.
Some courses teach “gray hat” means of acquiring links to your site that can move the needle for you quicker but are riskier than white-hat.
As long as the instructor(s) let you know about the potential risk, the ball’s in your court.
And there are black hat techniques in the link building world, but they don't work well and should have no place an affiliate's link profile in 2020. Stay away from black-hat shenanigans!
#6. The Cost of Tools You May Need
It’s important to remember that you’re creating a business and not a hobby.
Business owners have expenses, and so does an online marketing business that consists of creating a profitable website that generates sales from search engine traffic. A course that doesn’t require an expense budget is most likely a get-rich-quick scheme.
For affiliate SEO courses, most of the time, you’ll be recommended a keyword research tool (usually to start keyword research from a seed keyword and to get an understanding of keyword difficulty) and an off-page tool(s) at a minimum.
Everything else is usually “nice-to-have” extra expenses in my experience. To make sure what additional expenses are included, email the course's support.
Extras to Consider
A few extra things to consider before you get started but are not “make or break” when purchasing an affiliate course are as follows.
Social Media Marketing
A course that teaches you how to get traffic beyond Google search traffic, like social media marketing, is good but it can be a double-edged sword.
Social media traffic sources like Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube are excellent sources for website visitors, but creating content on those channels can also take time.
I usually recommend a focus of one to two sources of traffic maximum when you’re starting, so you’re not overwhelmed. That plan tends to work well for beginners. You can always add social media later.
This is an excellent way for affiliates to scale their affiliate websites. Beginner affiliates usually only care about making money online from selling products when a visitor views their content.
Advanced affiliates create content that captures visitors’ email addresses and build an email list that will pay off as these new “leads” continue down what's known as the “email funnel.”
The best courses I’ve taken on this topic include a section for building an email list with lead magnets and on the best and latest email tactics.
Before you get started and buy a course, you should see if there’s an active community behind it.
Signs of community are usually on sales pages and come in the form of Facebook group or course forum access.
Other signs of a strong community are a big podcast or YouTube following or the course instructor(s) being well-known experts in their industry.
The #1 Obstacle Beginners Face When Creating An Authority Site
You might be thinking, “it’s too late for me,” “this might work for some people, but not me,” or “there are too many competitors now… I’m too late…” about affiliate websites. I’ve been there.
I remember being on vacation (still working at my day job) a few years ago, having these very thoughts. Want to know the truth about these thoughts?
Truth: Most successful affiliate marketers who’ve created successful affiliate websites also had at least one of these thoughts when they were first starting.
I'd bet even Mark and Gael Breton came to this conclusion too.
Every year there are hundreds of people who get results and make money online with affiliate sites.
The #1 obstacle people need to overcome to get started in this business is the belief that building a successful authority site is possible.
Without belief, it'll be challenging to continue working on your site on month 3 while you're still not seeing results. Yet, it's the path past affiliates have walked before (sites like mine or others you've seen didn't come overnight).
Making money through affiliate marketing commissions, based on websites you can create, is possible.
With the right amount of time and effort, just about anyone can be successful in profiting from an affiliate website.
The 2nd obstacle is finding the right affiliate marketing training from successful affiliates that have outlined their success.
You’ve already done well going into “research mode” on the Authority Hacker course.
Start your affiliate marketing journey with The Authority Hacker affiliate marketing course. I highly recommend getting it ASAP.
You have nothing to lose except time deliberating. Time that can be better used to build authority websites! Worst case scenario, you get a refund with their money-back guarantee!
If you have any questions about the authority site model or the courses, feel free to contact me!