Hey future affiliate marketer! Welcome to The Authority Site System review by me, Drew.
This is one of the courses that has helped me get to the 6 figure mark in affiliate marketing. I've bought many courses over the last decade and can spot scams from legit training. So yea, I know a little somethin' somethin'. 😀
After investing in the course and becoming a fully-fledged member, I spent more than 20 hours going through the content, grasping all that it had to offer.
I'll give you my honest opinion including:
Strap in and let's go!
What is Authority Hacker?
Authority Hacker is a website and brand run by Gael Breton and Mark Webster. They also have a podcast and Youtube Channel to help beginners and even advanced marketers with internet marketing education.
The goal is to help people build profitable authority sites.
Seated here is Mark Webster on the left and Gael Breton on the right.
Oh and here's Gael's cute dog Cookie. If you're lucky enough, he might make an appearance on their Youtube channel!
Authority Hacker practices what they preach. They have created and sold many authority websites over the last 10 years.
Here's just a handful of students that benefitted from their training:
To date, they have helped over 9000 students. They don't just teach this stuff - they do this stuff!
Who is Mark Webster?
Mark Webster hails from Aberdeen, Scotland. He got his first taste of being an entrepreneur at the age of 13.
He used his mother's credit card to buy Japanese Pokeman cards and traded them for much higher valued cards. He got inspired by this experience and things just grew from there.
Mark is the co-founder of Authority Hacker. He teaches alongside Gael in the Authority Site System course.
His first profitable website was built back in 2008. He quickly understood how to build efficient processes and systems when it came to websites.
Mark met Gael just a couple of years after that, in 2010.
Learn more about Mark in this interview:
Who is Gael Breton?
Gael Breton comes from Normandy, France. He's the co-founder of Authority Hacker. Gael also teaches in The Authority Site System along with Mark.
Gael got his start in building and growing authority websites over 10 years ago. He has also worked for clients as an agency owner but switched to building affiliate websites because he was tired of dealing with clients.
Gael has also lectured at Wharton, Harvard and Oxford University.
Below is a clip of him at Harvard back when he ran an agency:
Authority Hacker Pro VS The Authority Site System
There is a lot if confusion between these two with all the Authority Hacker reviews out there. Let me explain...
Authority Hacker is the name of Gael and Mark's Brand
Authority Hacker Pro is a course that includes a set of "blueprints" like keyword research, guest posting, lead magnets, content production, and more.
It's normally only available for a couple of weeks at a time, and a few times a year. I will update this space when it becomes available.
The Authority Site System, also known as TASS, for short, is one of those blueprints which is included if you buy Authority Hacker Pro.
But, unlike the other blueprints, The Authority Site System 3.0 is available separately. That is the focus of my Authority Hacker course review here, not on Authority Hacker Pro but on TASS.
Why is The Authority Site System Sold Separately but Not the other Blueprints in Authority Hacker?
Authority Hacker Pro was created as an advanced course before The Authority Site System existed.
The Authority Site System was created because many people who joined AH Pro couldn't make things work right. This was because they didn't have the fundamentals to create a well-functioning website.
Because The Authority Site System module became so popular, it was then introduced as a standalone course.
What is an Authority Site?
An authority site is a website written by an individual or a team that is considered an expert in its field and is respected for its knowledge.
These sites are typically known for their high-quality content and extensive research. Authority sites are often cited by other websites as a source of information, and they can be trusted to provide accurate information.
Because authority sites are so reliable, they are often used as a resource by businesses and individuals looking for information about specific topics.
In addition, authority sites can be beneficial to SEO (search engine optimization) efforts, as they are more likely to rank high in search engine results pages.
There are several factors that contribute to a website becoming an authority site.
Some of the most important include having high-quality content, being frequently updated, and receiving positive feedback from users.
Why create one? Because it can make a lot of money. This is usually done through ad placements but more of the money is made with affiliate income through affiliate links. Over time, the site generates passive income 24/7.
What Sets The Authority Site System Apart From Other Courses?
The Authority Site System stands out from other affiliate marketing training for a few reasons.
They are highly respected by other internet marketers, they practice what they preach, their students are successful and they are excellent at creating replicable systems.
I've bought a lot of affiliate marketing training courses over the years. Through all the training I've received I could see first-hand what works and what doesn't work.
When I first heard of Authority Hacker, I jumped on their webinar out of curiosity. I was expecting to hear nothing more than an empty sales pitch.
Boy, was I wrong. Gael hosted the webinar and his approach to building authority sites was like mine. But, he went into so much more detail and I actually learned some new things from that free webinar alone.
I was so intrigued that I wanted to learn more. I was in Thailand at the time doing the digital nomad thing and put everything on hold. Shortly after that, I joined Authority Hacker, which included The Authority Site System.
Here's how Authority Hacker and TASS set themselves apart from other affiliate marketing courses in detail:
1. Highly respected by other internet marketers:
It's not just students that have their respect, but other big names in the IM space. Guys like Tim Soulo from Ahrefs, Noah Kagan from Sumo.com, and Digital Marketing Youtuber Miles Beckler all speak highly of them.
2. Practice what they preach:
Mark and Gael don't just teach building authority sites. They've built their own and have even revealed one of their sites they recently sold. This site sold for mid 6 figures and took just 18 months to build.
3. Their Students are successful
You could say the measure of a good course depends on how successful the students are. The authority site system has many students making 6 figures and more as a direct result of their training. Many other courses are not able to make this claim.
4. Great at creating replicable systems
The guys at Authority Hacker lay out the training in a very easy-to-understand, replicable format. You simply follow along with what they do. No guessing is involved.
Nowadays if I review a new affiliate marketing course, I can't avoid comparing it to The Authority Site System. It sets the benchmark for how other courses are judged, in my opinion.
One of those was the Wealthy Affiliate. I almost want to scream at people for even thinking of joining WA over TASS.
There's just no comparison. More on that later.
The course also includes things that I have not seen with many other affiliate marketing courses.
Some of these are:
The Authority Site System 3.0 Review
The Authority Site System is dubbed by the Authority Hacker guys as their main starter program. The course has been designed for beginners but intermediate users will also benefit due to the advanced strategies taught to build successful authority sites.
There are over 125 "over-the-shoulder" type videos of training with frequent updates and an exclusive community to join for support.
Who is the Authority Site System For?
The Authority Site System is for those who have never made a website before and want to make enough money through online marketing to gain freedom and financial independence.
It's also for those who haven't made at least $1000 a month with their website and also those that want to "scale up" their site.
It is designed with beginners in mind. You don't need to have any knowledge or website-building skills.
Below is what you'll see on their sales page that expands on this.
Who is the Authority Site System Not For?
If you are looking to make a quick buck, not put time and effort into creating content, or looking for an easy push-button solution, this course is NOT for you.
The following people should NOT buy The Authority Site System:
People looking to "get rich quick"
The Authority Hacker course is not designed to get you rolling in dollar bills quickly. Authority Hacker makes it very clear that it will take you several months to make your first $1000.
People afraid of hard work
Even though everything is laid out for you, every site is unique. This means you need to put in the work. If you can't dedicate 10+ hours a week to your online business, then it's not for you.
People that want to do affiliate marketing with paid ads, social media, etc.
TASS does not teach the above. It deals 100% with search engine organic traffic so you aren't going to learn paid traffic methods or anything outside of SEO.
People that aren't resourceful.
While TASS has all the framework laid out for you, there are going to be things that are out of scope from the core training. You should be resourceful by simply "Googling it" rather than relying on support.
People with no patience
Ranking a website takes time. Many people give up after the first month due to frustration. If you're the impatient type, you might want to do something different.
People with a lack of budget
If buying the course drains your bank account, you might want to reconsider getting this course. To make money online you have to spend some money, and there are going to be additional expenses.
How much does the Authority Site System Cost?
The Authority Site System at its regular price will cost you $1499.
But if you use this link here you can get it for only $749. There's also a payment plan option (see below)
That's a savings of $750!
Don't believe me? Here's what it looks like without the discount you're getting from me.
If you're looking for an Authority Site System coupon code, there actually aren't any.
However, the discount is built in this link so just click and enjoy $750 off right now 😀
That's a 50% discount off the regular price.
Yes! There is a payment plan.
If you don't go through the discount link above, you'll have to pay $330 a month for 6 months.
If you click the discount link, you'll get it for $164.89 a month for 6 months.
That's for a total of $989.34. If you pay just the one-time fee of $749, you'll be saving yourself $240.34 over a period of 6 months.
The better deal is the one-time payment. But you do have the monthly plan available if you wish. $164.89 a month is really not that bad. Much less than a car payment and cars don't make you money!
Authority Hacker offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on ALL their products including the Authority Site System.
You should be pleased to know that this is a "no-questions-asked" refund. You don't need to prove you've done anything and still get a refund.
All they ask is for a little feedback, so they can make things better.
I think that's fair enough.
So how do you get a refund?
It's simple. You just fill out this form on their website and click submit.
It's that easy.
A Summary of the Training Modules
The Authority Site System 3.0 is the latest version of the course.
There are 15 modules with at the time of this writing just under 200 videos. More lessons are added when new information becomes available.
Here's a sneak peek in the member's area after I've logged in:
Here are the 15 modules with a brief description of what you'll learn in each.
This is taken from the TASS home page.
Module 1: Internet Marketing 101
This module is essentially a crash course on internet marketing and authority sites.
The goal of this module is to help you understand the BUSINESS MODEL of authority sites.
This is where all you newbies can breathe a sigh of relief because it will bring your understanding up to speed - FAST.
The training here is based on two decades of experience from both Gael and Mark where they started, ran and grew massive authority sites.
This REAL WORLD EXPERIENCE is what separates these guys from the other fake guru's that don't walk the walk.
These guys ACTUALLY BUILD authority sites and you are going to learn how to do it in this training.
Covered in this module:
What an authority site is
- See real examples of successful authority sites (so you can learn what makes them a success)
- Learn how websites get traffic
- How websites make money (display ads, affiliate marketing, selling your own products)
- How MODERN websites are built (note - you don't need technical or coding experience to build it)
- You'll also learn about the basics of affiliate marketing
- Learn how search engine optimization works
There are 6 lessons totalling 17 minutes and 41 seconds. The longest lesson is 21:30 minutes long and the shortest is 5:57.
Key Takeaways of Module 1
If you're an ultra-newbie, this is going to be a very important lesson for you because it teaches the basics of affiliate marketing, how websites are built, make money and how they work.
The knowledge you will gain from this module will give you the momentum to move forward with the course.
It paints a very clear picture and is easy to understand.
The information presented was effective, even citing examples of successful websites.
Module 2: Brainstorming Niches
Finding a niche is probably one of the HARDEST things you can do. It is NOT an easy process.
Have no fear because Gael is going to walk you through the process of finding a niche in this module. Even if you have no idea right now.
He is actually going to use this niche as a case study throughout the course so you can learn from example.
That's the best way to learn in my opinion.
You're going to get a mental framework on selecting a niche. This means you'll get spreadsheets to fill out.
In your research you'll be able to determine how valuable the list of niches you gather are.
Why is this section so valuable?
Because most people don't spend enough time to look at a niche properly. They don't evaluate the business opportunites. And, they don't plan.
This module is going to teach all that and it's done in great detail.
Which means - you are going to have a huge edge over your competition and be in a better position in the long term.
Here are the lessons in this module:
There are 11 lessons totalling 92 minutes and 26 seconds.
The longest lesson is 19:16 and the shortest is 1:28.
Key Takeaway of Module 2
This module is arugably the most important of the new and improved Authority Site System 3.0.
This is because a lot of work was put into choosing a niche.
Just imagine for a second what the implications are of choosing the wrong niche.
Imagine writing 25 blog posts, whether you write them yourself or not, invest time and money building your site, spending on tools, etc. - then realize you're in the wrong niche.
Once you're done this module, you will have a good understanding of the many different types of niches and have a good idea what to dive into.
Module 3: Qualifying Niches
The goal of this module is pretty simple.
You are going to pick your niche for your website. So, it essentially builds on all the brainstorming you did in the previous module.
You are going to find a winner here.
This is accomplished by running all the niches in the previous exercise that you found through a battery of mini-tests.
This will determine if they are worth it or not. This will save you a TON of time and a TON of money!
The module will teach you when choosing a niche you have to look at things like
- affiliate programs
- & many other factors
Keep in mind this is not going to be an easy task.
What Gael teaches you here is going to take you a few days.
You heard that right. Days... not hours. But... it will be worth it in the end.
Remember that this is a crucial step. Choose the wrong niche and you are screwed. ?
And this is where Ahrefs comes into play.
You are going to need it for the research. Remember you only really need it for the first couple of months, then you can cancel if you wish.
What's really cool here is that you are going to watch Gael pick the niche for the case study website.
Seeing this in action and how and why he chose that niche really makes the training on niche selection extremely valuable.
Here's a screenshot of the members area for Module 3.
There are a total of 223 minutes or 3.7 hours of training in this module.
The longest video is just over 30 minutes and the shortest under a couple minutes.
What will take time though is executing.
As I mentioned before, finding the right niche is extremely important.
Gael will make this process not exactly easy for you, but at least you know you are headed in the right direction.
Hopefully you now understand the importance of niche selection and why this module is very in-depth and does require some work on your end.
Module 4: Planning Your Site
So if you do end up buying the course by this time you will have qualified and picked a niche.
Now you can start building your site! ?
Here you will learn how your site is going to look like, what the different sections and categories will be, etc.
This module also keeps you "in check" by making sure that you stick to the plan.
You will be taught how to create a SITE MAP of your website which he refers to as the V1 of your site. This will be your base website.
Yes, it's not over yet. You've been taught some research already but it's not enough if you are going to plan your site correctly.
So module 4 is going to take care of that. It allows you to put the plan together for your site.
So what's the module all about?
- You will map out all your competitors including the major players and also the lower authority sites. You'll use these for inspiration and to get some quick success.
- Next, you'll learn how to make money from your content
- Expand your keyword list to find the best keywords in your niche. This will get you the best results early on.
Once that is done, you'll have a complete site map set up.
Exciting stuff, right?
Here's the specifics for Module 4:
This module is 150 minutes and 71 seconds long, or 2,52 hours. The longest video is 35:52 and the shortest is 9:33.
Key Takeaway of Module 4
I don't think i've seen a course that goes into so much detail with competitor research, site planning, keyword planning, etc.
It was a lot to take in and most of this is familiar to me but for those that are new may see this module as a challenge.
This module was recently updated. The older version required that you had to upgrade to a higher tier of Ahrefs but with this new update you no longer have to. The re-worked the entire process so you don't have to pay more. That's a plus!
Module 5: Setting up Your Site
You can now put away the spread sheets and start building your site!
Gael explains that the battle is won during the planning stage and I totally agree with him.
But now this module is going to show you how to set up your site after all that work!
In this module you are going to:
- pick up a domain (learn how to do this and what to avoid)
- register it and obtain hosting
- build your live site using wordpress
- install wordpress theme & plugins
- install Google Search Console & Analytics
- optimize your site for SEO
- optimize your site for page speed
- build a site that does well for Google search and for visitors as well
- email setup using GSuite
There is no need to worry about tech in this module because you simply follow along what Gael is doing for each step.
Here are the lessons in Module 5:
There are 12 lessons in total in module 5.
The total duration is 68 minutes and 41 seconds. The longest video is 12:45 and the shortest is 2:52.
These are mostly setup videos so there will be a lot of pausing but at least you'll get through them quick.
Key Takeaway of Module 5
If you have experience with Wordpress and buying a domain, a lot of the training here might feel redundant to you but I still suggest going through it.
You might pick up something that you haven't learned before.
For example I don't use the RankMath plugin which they suggest, so i'll look into this more from the training.
They also recently updated this lesson with a newly shot update of walking you through Siteground's interface. Siteground is a hosting platform but you can choose any you wish.
Also updated is the Google Analytics lesson. Google Analytics has changed so this new video shoot will show you how to use the new and updated version.
Module 6: Branding Your Site
Now that all the technical aspects of your site is done, this module is going to help you give it an identity.
The core components of this module is branding preparation and research.
The goal is simple.
You want a brand that:
- makes sense for your industry
- is proud to show off
- trustworthy - allowing people to WANT to work with you
What I really like about this module is that Gael will teach you how to make a brand that is better than 99% out there using free tools.
There are some inexpensive paid options Gael shows you as well.
You will watch him build his brand for his own case study website where you'll see how he makes decisions, what you should look for and what you should avoid.
If you are the creative type - you will LOVE this module.
If not - do not worry as Gael will take you through all the steps to create an awesome brand.
Here are the lessons in Module 6:
Of the 6 lessons, the total time is 65 minutes and 32 seconds.
The longest video is 17:46 and the shortest 3:12.
Key Takeaway from Module 6
Branding was never one of my strengths but after going through this module I am definitely going to give some love to all the branding I have across my own sites.
Gael does a great job explaining how branding is going to help you with your business. It helps with TRUST which is massive.
Would you trust a site that has horrible branding? Probably not.
Module 7: Setting up Posts & Pages
In this module you are going to take everything you did & learned in the branding & site setup module and bring it all together.
More importantly, this module is going to take you into a deep dive with the Elementor and Wordpress interfaces.
So again for the newbies with site design - do not worry. You are covered and will learn everything step by step.
This module will cover 3 major steps.
- Step 1 - Build out the structure of your site
- Step 2 - Site design inspiration. Use other authority websites to get ideas from
- Step 3 - Build out your elements including the header, footer, page template, post templates, hub pages, contact & disclaimers, about page and home page.
If you love site design, you'll have fun with this module. Again if you're the terribly uncreative type - don't worry. You're covered as well.
Gael uses his case study website to show you how it's all done so you simply follow along.
Here are the lessons in Module 7:
Module 7 has a total of 11 lessons. The total training time is 153 minutes and 21 seconds or 2.6 hours.
The longest video is 28:36 and the shortest is 1:48.
Key Takeaways from Module 7
What I like most about this module is that Gael uses his case study website to show you how everything is done.
The only downside is that you will need to have a subscription to Elementor.
I personally prefer to use Thrive Suite instead, specifically Thrive Architect but Elementor is perfectly ok.
If you're new, just go with Elementor because that is what you'll be trained with.
Elementor is an add on to Wordpress that just makes it easier to build a website and all the pages involved.
It's just $49 a year for the basic plan which is all you need really.
You're halfway done. Or have I lost you yet?
Take a break and listen to Charlie.
It's a quick 5 minute video on how he used the training here to go from zero to over $6000 a month using what he learned with The Authority Site System
Will YOU be the next Charlie?
Module 8: Preparing Info Content
In module 8, Mark takes over from Gael for the next few modules.
There's two types of content taught in this course. Info content and commercial content.
Info content is what provides value and is also the easiest to write. This is what you are going to focus on first.
It's also the content you are going to use when writing articles to get skyscraper links. Getting links is what helps you rank. Ranking means money.
Creating info content also gives a great impression to writers and especially to those running affiliate programs.
It sets the bar high for your site and really makes your site look like an authority site.
Mark teaches a fine balance of content here. He teaches content that is going to be appealing to both users and Google.
You need both.
If the users don't like it they will bounce. If Google doesn't like it - you won't rank.
Here are the lessons in Module 8:
Module 8 has a total of 9 lessons. Total training is just over 63 minutes. The longest video is 10:15 and the shortest is 3:21.
These are pretty short & snappy and easy to get through.
Key Takeaways from Module 8
Mark gives really good advice in this module for writing info content.
He stresses things like showing your personality, using short sentences and paragraphs, no passive language or "salesy" language, etc.
This is just an example of what is taught in this module and I myself have picked up a lot of pointers to use going forward.
If you're not a writer, don't worry because he lays out a great guide here. At worst, you could just outsource the writing if you really don't want to do it.
You get content templates as well that help guide you to write that perfect post effortlessly. Or, you could just give these to your writer.
Module 9: Writing Content
This is where the practical stuff starts!
Mark will teach you how to research, plan and edit your first article.
What I like here again is that he is going to show you how he writes the first article for their case study site.
By the way, this is a live site - i'm just not going to give it away here. Not sure if they'd like that!
The training is done in smaller "manageable chunks" where you'll be able to choose the article to write, what type of article to write as well as how long it should be.
There is still some research and planning here, but all is broken down in small actionable steps.
You are also going to learn how to edit the article so it's perfect.
So if you're not a writer - again, don't worry. All is broken down for you in a very easy to learn manner.
Here are the lessons in Module 9:
There are 14 lessons in Module 9. The total training time is 137 minutes and 37 seconds or 2.3 hours.
Key Takeaways from Module 9
This module has really covered all the bases for writing articles.
Things like writing the body of the article first, properly labeling headings with the right tags, and looking to places like reddit for research are just some of the things that you'll benefit from.
The message here is that once you have a format to follow and understand how an article should be written, you can do this over and over without difficulty.
Module 10: Uploading & Optimizing Content
In short, this module is going to teach you everything you need to know to take your written article then optimize and publish it live.
This is where you are going to optimize your article for SEO purposes.
Mark is going to show you 7 different technique on how to do this.
- Meta Titles
- Article Titles
- Social Titles
- URL & Wordpress Categories
- Optimizing Images
- Internal & External Linking
Here are the lessons in Module 10:
Key Takeaways from Module 10
For someone completely new to on-page SEO, this module is going to help.
You'll learn why certain things are done such as tags, writing titles, formatting, proper keyword insertion & more.
What makes it easy to learn is the practical examples of using their case study site to show you how it's done.
Module 11: Initial Link Building
Most top SEO's will admit that link building is the number one factor to get your site ranked in Google.
Since the Authority Site System teaches you to build a site that will be found in the search engines (aka Google) then this is a step you cannot miss.
Your site depends on it for its success.
Link building is hard, but Mark breaks this down for you in this module.
There are 3 main link building strategies taught in this module.
- 1. Haro - Help a Reporter Out - This is where you help a reporter by answering their questions in exchange for getting a link bank from their article.
- 2. Guest Posting - This is where you reach out to other sites and ask if you can contribule a post as a guest blogger. You'll get a link back here as well.
- 3. Skyscraper Link Building - This is where you find articles that have a lot of links pointing to them. You would then write a better article, then contact these sites to link to your article.
Here are the lessons in Module 11:
Module 11 is the biggest module in terms of lesson count.
There's a whopping 23 of them. The image above doesn't include all of them such as "Finding emails manually" and "Crossniching - the most important concept in link building."
The total training time for these videos is 191 minutes and 74 second or 3.2 hours long. The longest video is 18:14 and the shortest is 2:07.
Key Takeaways from Module 11
Authority Hacker is known for only recommending white hat links which is what they have done here. It can still be debated whether "guest posting" is white hat but still, much safer than using PBN's.
A PBN refers to a "Private Blog Network" that you or someone would own. That's black hat stuff which isn't taught in this course.
The links here aren't exactly easy to get, but with the training provided you should not have that much difficulty.
Haro links should be pretty easy to get once your site is built and you've got a lot of good articles posted.
If you remember previously, branding helps and it certainly does here.
These methods taught in the link buidling module are definitely going to move your site up in Google - as long as you follow the training to a T!
Module 12: Affiliate Monetization Setup
Your site is live and you've built links to it. Now it's time to start making some money! ?
Mark teaches you all the tips and tricks that he's had running affiliate sites for the last 12 years.
In this module you are going to learn:
- how affiliate programs really work - a deep dive
- how to sign up for affiliate programs and not get screwed
- manage affiliate links with a plugin to make things easy on yourself
- Amazon has a separate set of rules so an entire lesson will be based on this
- how to get paid and even (yuck) taxes
Here are the lessons in Module 12:
There are 9 lessons in module 12
The total training is 74 minutes and 95 seconds or 1.25 hours. The longest video is 16:05 and the short is 2:39.
Key Takeaways from Module 12
For those that already understand the affiliate marketing model, you might not get too much from this module.
However, ther are some interesting topics such as how to treat the Amazon Associates program. Hint - screw that up and you'll get banned!
So you'll want to go over that lesson.
One thing I didn't like was that they use the plugin Thirsty Affiliates.
I personally prefer Pretty Links as I found Thirsty Affiliates buggy at times.
Oh and you only need the free option with Pretty Links. So that's zero cost for you!
The good news is that they aren't much different so switching won't be a problem.
Apart from that, it's a great module for beginners that have very little knowledge about the affiliate marketing model and will get you off to a great start.
Module 13: Commercial Content
Commercial content is what makes you MONEY!
Mark walks you through all the steps required for your authority site to start ranking in Google and making money from these commercial content pages.
This is done by:
- Making sure the commercial content you create ranks on page one of Google for the search terms intended.
- Making sure that when people come to your article they click on your affiliate links so you make money!
This module is a complete revamp from the previous version of The Authority Site System.
It incorporates a brand new way to creating content.
This includes new templates, new ways of writing, new content types and also new ways of publishing.
How the module is structured:
- How commercial content fits into your site
- Learn about the 4 different types of commercial content. This includes single product reviews, roundup reviews, "VS" type articles where you pitch 2 or more products against each other and also "alternative" type articles. This is where you offer a different product.
- You'll also learn how to structure and research commercial content
- Lastly, how to upload and publish your content properly
Module 13 has 14 lessons with a total watch time of 157.1 minutes or 2.6 hours. The longest video is 18:07 and the shortest 2:54.
Key Takeaways from Module 13
This module has been on-point with discussing the various types of commercial content pieces you can write.
The review types mentioned like roundup reviews, "VS" reviews and "alternative" reviews can be very powerful if done correctly.
Mark does a great job explaining how these work and how it is going to help you get affiliate commissions from these type of reviews.
All the additional info on how to describe products, creating the right intro and outtro for your commercial content is going to really make it easy for you to come up with some great content.
The templates really help as well. These templates will give you the structure in an easy to follow format.
Keep in mind you can save a lot of money by writing commercial content yourself or you can outsource.
Either way, you've got the tools to carry out this on your own or to give to your writer.
Module 14: Advanced Tactics
The purpose of this module is to introduce to you a number of advanced tactics and strategies to help grow your authority site.
What's unique about this module is that you don't need to incorporate all the strategies taught.
You can simply pick and choose what you want.
Some of these are going to cost you a bit of money. Some of them are not suitable for beginners.
You won't need any of these until you've built your site, and some you won't need until you're actually ranking and making money.
Here are the lessons in Module 14:
Module 14 has 9 lessons. The total watch time is 124 minutes or 2 hours and 4 minutes.
The longest video is 25:43 and the shortest 3:52.
Key Takeaways from Module 14
As mentioned before, you likely won't be putting all of these strategies into effect.
And, at least not right away.
One thing to remember is that most of these strategies will cost some money.
For example the Surfer membership which is about $50 a month, then there's the outsourcing content, hiring writers, display ads, etc.
The point is these tactics are here for you to use when and if you need them.
Module 15: Becoming an Authority
If you have made it this far in this ridiculously long review - congrats.
As a member of the Authority Site Sytem 3.0. by the time you get to this module you are done.
Well, not exactly.
Mark explains that this is just the beginning of your journey. This is because you are going to be tracking your site's progress.
This is a quick module. You are provided a template that you will use for tracking.
Some of these are:
- Search Impressions
- Organic Traffic
- Affiliate Clicks
- Affiliate Earnings
- Links Built and more
There are just two videos in this module so it's a quickie.
How is The Authority Site System 3.0 Different from the Older Version?
With the recent rewrite of The Authority Site System, version 3.0 is now live.
What's special about the new version is that Authority Hacker recently started a new website in their portfolio. They have recorded every step of the way including:
So the new and improved Authority Site System 3.0 doesn't just tell you what you should do, but you simply just do what they do.
Obviously, you'll pick a different niche other than their case study- or you could build it in the same niche if you want.
No other course that I know of teaches by using a real case study, so the training here is very unique.
It's a great way to learn and you get to see first-hand exactly how they build an authority site from scratch.
So that's how the Authority Site System training works. You simply just replicate what they do with your own website. It's a much better way to learn because it takes on a systematic approach.
The Authority Site System Mastermind Facebook Community
When you join The Authority Site System, you get access to the members-only Facebook Mastermind Community. Here, you can get answers to questions and get feedback. Mark, Gael, the Authority Hacker team, and all members of the community are very active here.
To sum up the group, this is what it says right from the Tass sales page:
I logged in just to see how active it is and I've seen quite a few posts today already.
Here's a few:
This third comment illustrates how quickly and willing people are there to help (including Gael and Mark of course)
Here. this person asked a question and within 19 hours of me seeing the question he had 5 responses in the private facebook group.
The Authority Site System Praise (The Pros)
The Authority Site System really is a "set of systems" to help you learn how to create an authority site step by step.
They go one further by providing you a link to drop into Notion, which is a free tool. With this, it makes it easy to complete tasks.
Once you are set up on Notion, you can import the to-do lists for all the lessons in TASS. Here's an example from Module 5 - Site Setup.
Have you ever been overwhelmed with training that requires you to do a set of steps but find it challenging following along in a video?
Here, each step required for each lesson links to resources that you need without having to save all this during training.
In short, you're guaranteed to never miss a step and be 100% thorough.
Their Case Study Makes it Easy to Learn
While I can't reveal the case study website (I could but Mark and Gael might get mad at me 😄) what I can tell you is that it makes it so much easier to learn.
Have you ever had someone tell you a list of steps to do, only to be totally overwhelmed? We are all visual learners for the most part. Seeing them carry out the steps you need to do on a real website is so beneficial.
You'll never need to second guess anything. You just replicate what they do in the training on your own site.
It's not a stretch to say that they have revolutionized training with this method.
Speed and Video Quality Adjustments
With each video in the course, you can adjust the speed at which it plays.
Just like on Youtube, you can either watch at regular speed or slow it down to 0.5X or watch it as fast as 2X.
This is great for those that want to either buzz through the content or really let it sink in by playing it slow.
Closed Captioning for the Hearing Impaired
One of the questions I get a lot from my readers is if a particular course has closed captioning. I can tell you that most courses do not. The Authority Site System is different because they have included it with each video.
Currently, it's only available in English and I'm not sure if other languages become available.
Here's a screenshot from one of the videos showing closed captioning. I can verify that it's very accurate and mimics exactly what both Gael and Mark are speaking.
Supplementary Text For Each Video
Authority Hacker structures its training not only in over-the-shoulder video lessons but also has a supplementary text summary after each video.
If you've ever bought a course with videos only, sometimes it's a bit frustrating to go back and watch a whole video just to find one bit of information.
Here, you'll be able to get a really good summary of each video so instead of having to watch the video again, you can just skim the text for what you are looking for. Very handy!
Here's an example from one of the videos in the Authority Site System. Below is the supporting text. There's a lot more in this example, but I had to cut it off:
Helpful Templates to Speed up Processes
The Authority Site System provides you with templates for the following in link building, research & site Setup, and content creation. This allows you to work smarter and not harder. Currently there are 21 templates available and more get added as needed/requested.
Here's a screenshot of the niche research template that you'll use to find potential niches. Don't worry, all is explained.
Here's another one (only partially captured) on a writing guidelines template:
And one on how to write a "list post" type of article template. *partially displayed
Mark and Gael are Highly Respected
Don't just take their student's praise, take a look at these two industry professionals that rave about Mark and Gael at Authority Hacker.
First up, Tim Soulo from AHREFS:
Noah Kagan from Appsumo also speaks highly of Authority Hacker:
On top of this, people love their podcasts found on Apple, Soundcloud, and Google.
Even on the comments section in Youtube (we all know how toxic Youtube comments can be!) people speak highly of them. And this was their FREE training!
Notice how Mark even replied to a post. Go Mark!
Many Student Success Stories
Many students are getting results from the training in The Authority Site System and have provided feedback on their own successful authority site.
Many other success stories are found on the Tass home page.
This guy is making $30,000 - $40,000 a month on a site that he only built a year and a half ago:
This brand new student posted a question in the Facebook group and go many answers. Here's one of them:
Here's a student that started her website 18 months ago and is now making $5000 a month. This one really stood out to me because it only has 50 articles. She basically wrote an average 2.7 articles a month. Anyone can do that!
Another student is well on her way to making job-replacing income!
Authority Hacker proves they have results by building authority sites from scratch and making them profitable. One of these is a site they sold for 6 figures in just 18 months.
To imagine that this site originated from a domain they bought for 10 bucks and sold it for six figures (they can't legally divulge the exact figure) is astounding.
Here's a screenshot of the money transfer:
Why did it sell for so much?
The site sold for mid-six figures because of the money it was generating with affiliate sales.
To understand what an affiliate site is worth, the standard formula is monthly income x 33.
Based on that, you can guess what the site sold for using the graph below
Another thing Authority Hacker has proven results in is white hat link building. They don't pay for links but get them through either their shotgun skyscraper technique or from manual outreach.
Here's a graph showing the links they built over time from another site they have sold in their portfolio:
Student success in my opinion is the best way to prove their worth. You've seen just a handful of them above.
Even the case study site (DFH) built for TASS is making job-replacing income. Again, sorry I can't tell you the name of the site... abbreviation only, 😉
Straight to the Point and "Fluff Free"
Authority Hacker prides itself on being "fluff free" on all it's training programs, not just with TASS.
In fact the only occasional fluff you might find is on their YouTube Channel where Mark and Gael joke around a bit at times and talk about unrelated stuff. But hey it keeps your attention which is the point.
But to understand how "to the point" and "fluff free" the training is, you need to get it first.
Like this member:
Does Not "Recruit" Members to Sell the Course
The guys at Authority Hacker don't make all their money from selling their courses. Their entire business success doesn't hinge on course sales.
So, they don't try to rabidly recruit you as an affiliate to promote their course. That's the business model of some other courses like **cough** 😉 Wealthy Affiliate which makes all their money on course sales.
Don't be a part of that cult community. Be a part of a community that builds real businesess.
Free Updates Included
When I first got the course back in 2019, I can tell you it's changed a lot since then. And, I didn't have to pay a dime for the updates.
You can probably find my original Authority Site System review on archive.org to see how different it looked.
The current 3.0 version gets regular updates and there's even an "update log" section within the course.
Gael and Mark are always on top of things and if something changes in the industry, you can be sure they will make appropriate updates. Mark attests to this below with a post in the Facebook Mastermind Group:
Some of the recent updates I found to be noteworthy include:
- Revising a lesson on using Ahrefs without having to subscribe to the higher priced tier.
- How to use the new Google Analytics 4
- Ad Content - Learn how to set up display ads, research ad content using Ahrefs & Lowfruits,
- Learn how to set up FAQ Schema
- Newly created templates available for download for users of the GeneratePress Wordpress theme.
- The E-E-A-T Blueprint - Protect yourself from Google core updates! Learn how to establish E=E=A=T (Expertise, Experience, Authority, Trust) with your website so you can continue to compete with the big sites!
Authority Site System Critiques (The Cons)
No course is perfect, so there are some things you should be aware of which we'll get into below
Expensive for Some
I can't really categorize this as a critique because I don't think The Authority Site System is expensive. It's worth what your're paying. However some people might be critical of the price.
$750 with the discount is very reasonable but those on a tighter budget might want to consider the 6 month plan to lower the initial investment.
The Limited Time Discount Offer
The limited-time offer that The Authority Site System has on their sales page has been causing quite the stir.
You'll notice that while on the TASS sales page you'll see a timer at the bottom that looks like this:
In this case, it looks like you've only got 2 days, 7 hours, 2 minutes, and 50 seconds to get the discount before it expires.
In reality, if the timer does expire, the discount WILL be gone.
This is probably the most complex scarcity timer I have seen. With others, you can simply open another browser, clear your cache & cookies or open an incognito window to beat it.
This timer seems to work on reading both your IP and browser cookies and won't present the same offer again if it expires.
Some have said they've been able to "beat it" and that's because they've used an alternate device, changed their IP with a VPN, cleared cookies, and so on.
There is a Need for Premium Tools
In order to conduct the research that The Authority Site System teaches, you are going to need ahrefs.
This is an expense that many people might not expect and it starts at $99.
However, the main purpose of the tool is to do niche, keyword, and competition research. You could just pay for Ahrefs for one month.
During that time you can follow along with the training to find your niche and keywords, take a look at your competitor's keywords, pages being ranked, and backlinks. Then cancel when you don't need it anymore!
You could then extract all that data and be reasonably prepared to start your authority site. Of course, this is not ideal, but for those on a budget, you could make this work if you were to hussle.
Once you start making money, you could always get a full subscription.
Is this tool necessary?
Some affiliate marking courses will tell you that you don't need to do any keyword research tool or use tools for competition research.
The reality is, your site is going to take less time to rank using Authority Hacker's methods, rather than just letting a site sit for a couple of years and hope for the best.
Newbies Might Find it Challenging
Although the site is designed with beginners in mind, newbies may still the training overwhelming.
If you have never done anything like on-page and off-page SEO, keyword research, competition analysis, and research you might find it to be a challenge.
On top of that, you'll have to learn how to use page builders - in this case, Authority Hacker uses Elementor.
WordPress is the platform you'll be using (because you shouldn't use anything else) and if you've never used it before, it might take you some time to get up to speed.
Although Mark says in the intro video of the course that "You don't need ANY technical or coding knowledge to build a website these days" might be true, having that knowledge certainly gives you a head start.
If you're the type that picks up things quick or at least willing to work at it, after reviewing the course, I see no issues for people like this.
Those that lack patience or give up easy, you're going to have difficulty.
Training only Done on Elementor and Gutenberg
Those that have experience with page builders but not with Elementor, are going to be disappointed.
Elementor is a popular page builder but not everyone uses it. For example, I prefer Thrive Architect, by Thrive Themes.
So with someone new, this probably would not matter.
The other issue is that Elementor tends to be a little bloated, which can cause your site to load slower than with a page builder like Gutenberg which is native to WordPress.
The case study site within The Authority Site System was completely built with Elementor. But, because Authority Hacker understood that page speed is now a ranking factor according to Google's Core Web Vitals, they knew they had to do something.
So the case study site which I won't name, 🐶(If you buy the course the emoji will make sense) is now also built using the Gutenberg editor with Generateblocks. It's faster, but it's also more difficult to build.
At least you have a choice, but you're still limited between these two. However, this is not a bad thing.
Gael sums the differences up here:
Frequently Asked Questions
These are some common questions that I get asked quite often about the course.
How much money will i have to spend before I make any money?
Mark explains there are two ways to go about this and includes a budgeting spreadsheet.
This spreadsheet includes budgeting for your site build, content creation and link building.
There are some costs that can't be avoided, while others are optional.
- Option 1 - Invest MORE time, spend LESS money.
This is where you would write the articles yourself. You're spending more time but also saving money.
- Option 2 - Invest LESS time, spend MORE money
The cost per word is anywhere from 3 to 6 cents on average or $30-$60 per article based on 1000 words.
You can get this cheaper on freelance sites like iWriter but will need to vet a few writers till you find a good one.
There are some things that you will absolutely need that can't be avoided.
For link building, which will be a couple months away after you have your site content set up, you will need:
Google Workplace (Gsuite) - $6 a month
The Authority Site System teaches 3 different types of link building.
For one of them, which is called the "Shotgun Skycraper", you will need one of these plans. Remember - this is only if you are doing these kind of links:
Hunter.io Starter Plan - $60/month or the Growth plan @ $121.27/month.
This type of linking is optional so you wont need this tool is you don't do it.
How LONG will it take before I start making some money?
Short answer - that's entirely up to you. Your success depends on how much work you put into it.
Typically though, it is going to take a few months before you start seeing some commissions roll in.
After a few months, your commission should steadily grow bigger and bigger.
As you grow your blog, the income increases over time.
Is there support available?
Yes, support is determined by what type of help you need.
Account Support: This is strictly for admin stuff like access problems, password resets and any tech-related issues with the course. You can reach them by email. I've always gotten a response within 24 hours.
Community Support: This is where the majority of questions are asked. Mark, Gael, and his team are VERY active in the group. I've never seen a question unanswered. Pro tip - before you post a question, just search for it in the group. It may have been answered already.
Elementor/Hosting Support: This is 3rd party support contact info provided for both Elementor and a couple of the recommended hosting solutions.
Do I need to know how to build websites?
It helps, but it's not essential.
You don't need to learn how to code to build a website. You will however be using the WordPress platform within the Authority Site System to build your site.
Gael will be building the case study site in WordPress from scratch. Everything will be recorded. Every detail, every move. You just follow along to build yours.
Do I need to be good at writing?
It helps, but there are plenty of students who have English as a second language and do quite well. Besides, tools like Grammarly can fix your botched English.
Inspiration can be had from existing articles on the web. You'll likely be competing with other web pages so do something in a similar format, just don't ever copy!
If you really don't want to write, you can use tools like Jasper which is an AI tool that can write for you based on inputs. Or, you can just hire a writer on many different article services found online.
Is Niche selection covered?
Authority Hacker knows this is a HUGE pain point with many people. As a response to that, the Authority Site System 3.0 dedicates modules 2 and 3 to help find you the perfect niche.
However, not all niches are created equally. What I mean is, someone might have a great deal of knowledge of a particular niche than someone else. This will definitely give that person an edge.
While you don't have to be an expert in a niche, that doesn't mean you can't BECOME one. As long as you have an interest in a certain niche, you'll become more and more knowledgeable on the topic than most people.
You'll want to stay away from certain niches though, especially the YMYL - Your Money Your Life niche. Google will likely know you're not an expert and you'll have a hard time ranking.
Keeping it short - just follow the niche training and you'll find yours.
Will TASS work in different languages?
Yes. When you go through the Niche selection process, you'll find out if you can enter a niche based on a different language.
Once qualified, then all the other training needs to be followed.
Are there any success stories with Authority Site System?
Oh yes, there are! You can either check out the TASS home page or click here to scroll up and read a few.
Who should take this training?
Anyone that is looking for a legitimate opportunity to make money online. When you run your own authority site, you're running a business. It has the potential to make job replacing income.
As discussed before, it's for those that have patience, because it does take time. This is no get-rich-quick scheme.
Alternatives to The Authority Site System
Another great course which is similar to TASS is The Affiliate Lab by Matt Diggity. This course also focuses on SEO for traffic and is on par with TASS in regards to quality of training.
Perhaps you would rather have a choice of different traffic methods for your blog other than SEO such as paid traffic on Facebook & Google? In that case, I suggest you check out Savage Affiliates. You can read my review here for more details.
Finally, if you want to see other alternatives, I suggest you check out my article on the best affiliate marketing courses.
The Authority Site System Review Conclusion
The Authority Site System is one of the best courses you can buy to help you build an authority site in almost any niche.
Geared towards beginners, it still produces training that even advanced affiliate marketers can benefit from.
I have learned a lot from the course myself and have implemented the tactics taught with my collection of authority sites.
I can honestly recommend this course in very high regard as it's one of the best I have seen.
The 3.0 version has really "stepped up" from the former course.
It's set up to prepare you for the best chance to succeed.
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