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Income Report Roundup – Jan 2020

January is often a good month for online business owners. The holiday season is over and people are back into the routine. This often comes with an uptick in traffic, which online entrepreneurs enjoy. There are many ways to capitalize on this increase in online activity, as you will see through the work of the many successful entrepreneurs we outline below. 

The team internally has been pushing hard to set and achieve some BIG goals in Q1 2020. We have fully adopted an OkR goal-setting framework internally and we have seen some incredible benefits in terms of alignment!

There are a few growth opportunities the team is busy working away on and I am very excited about it! More on these will be revealed over the coming months. 

#1 Takeaway – Persistence – Several of the websites on our list saw revenue and traffic (expectedly) dip during the holiday season (if they aren’t in e-commerce). However, they spent this time investing in their future plans and goals. They were not complacent, and they capitalized when traffic rebounded in January. This shows the importance of staying persistent even when things aren’t going exactly to plan. Some lessons to be learned from this include: 

  • Live with Variability – One of the most important lessons to be learned from being an entrepreneur is that “consistency” is not always realistic. There will be ups and downs. What can be consistent is your reaction to these ups and downs. Stay focused on what you want, and use slower periods to plan and invest for more busy seasons. 
  • Specific Goals – This strategy is nothing without specific, achievable goals. Your plans shouldn’t purely rely on the market. You need to know what you are working toward, and you need to follow through on a specific action plan to make it happen. Many of these entrepreneurs made it through this slow period by simply staying focused on what they wanted out of their online business, and the plans that they had made. 

Quick January Update on my End:

  • Posts at AuthorityWebsiteIncome.com
    • Highlight – Purgatory Link Building – this is my new favorite link building strategy for a portfolio as it is scalable, repeatable and has so far been successful at always generating a few really high-quality links
  • LOTS of skiing this winter with the family
  • ContentSurge has been very well received… people are hungry for a content marketing solution that goes beyond just words to include strategy, great content and a link building strategy – Checkout ContentSurge here
  • MotionInvest is continuing to see a very large demand for its services and in February has launched a giveaway…be sure to signup and potentially receive a FREE website!
Income Report Roundup - Jan 2020

My Reason for This Round-Up:

When I started my online entrepreneurship journey I took a lot of inspiration from others that were sharing everything they did online. Seeing that people like me were making REAL money and that the opportunity to replace my day job was possible. 

It has been 3.5 years since I left my day job – https://authoritywebsiteincome.com/quit-my-job/

The more transparent the report the more I appreciated and was motivated by it. 

Over the years I have tried to be as transparent as possible sharing along the way my goals, business successes/failures and the ultimate results(profits). 

After years of sharing monthly income posts, I decided that it made sense to stop these… a decision I actually regret as I wish I had found a way to keep sharing some of what I was doing. 

My reason for stopping was my online world and “real” worlds became more connected and it was becoming very odd to share these numbers.  

Looking at many of the people that originally had an income round-up posts they have also stopped. Namely the most famous in the space Pat Flynn no longer does income round ups. 

In this post, I will cover…

  1. List of inspiring income report posts and how they earned their profits
  2. Recognize motivating people showing not just telling people the results they are achieving
  3. Learn from others – What the key learning is from the people
Income Report Roundup - Jan 2020

Last Month Profit – $23,776.17

Name – Ron Stefanski

Website – onehourprofessor.com

Business Model – Authority Affiliate Site      

Income Report – https://www.onehourprofessor.com/january-2020-monthly-income-report/

Key Lesson(s):

  • This was the best ever month in terms of revenue and also profit! 
  • Ron transitioned his focus majorly into his YouTube channel. 
  • Ron is happy to see that the effort he put into his YouTube channel is paying off, with more and more viewers and income. He plans to continue this focus in the future. 
  • He continues to focus on finding writers for his website and building his success that way.
  • Overall growth continues to be great, as evidenced by the graph below:            
Income Report Roundup - Jan 2020

Checkout the video I did with Ron and be sure to read his gripping story here!

Last Month Profit – $5,267

Name – Lidiya

Website – letsreachsuccess.com

Business Model – Blogging

Income Report – https://letsreachsuccess.com/made-5267-blogging-proof-blog-income/

Key Lesson(s):

  • Lidiya saw traffic return to normal this month after a slow couple of months. It was driven largely by Pinterest traffic. 
  • Lidiya reached an exciting milestone – 2500 email subscribers. 
  • She continues to focus on SEO tactics, including going through old posts to refresh and update them. 
  • Lidiya has created a lot of content by interviewing successful online business owners and entrepreneurs. 
Income Report Roundup - Jan 2020

Last Month Profit – no update this month

Name – Spencer Haws

Website – NichePursuits.com

Business Model – Authority Affiliate Site

Income Report – https://www.nichepursuits.com/get-ready-niche-site-project-4/

Key Lesson(s):

  • No income report published this month.
Income Report Roundup - Jan 2020

Last Month Profit – $6,920.54

Name – Johnny FD

Website – johnnyfd.com

Business Model – Mixed – Dropshipping & Investing

Income Report https://www.johnnyfd.com/2020/02/chiang-mai-intermittent-fasting-income.html

Key Lesson(s):

  • Johnny spent the month again in Thailand. He loves to spend winters there. 
  • Johnny enjoys Thailand because it is a great place to focus on his business, and cost of living is very low.  
  • Johnny saw income pick up as well. A few of his dropshipping stores had great months, and he sold a lot of lessons with his Udemy course. 
  • Johnny had a great month, which shows the advantages of diversifying your income streams. 
Income Report Roundup - Jan 2020

Last Month Profit – $32,700

Name – Jon Dykstra

Website – fatstacksblog.com

Business Model – Authority Website (display ads)

Income Report – https://fatstacksblog.com/income-report-january-2020/

Key Lesson(s):

  • Jon saw up and down traffic this month. One of his sites shot up in traffic, while a few went down. Overall, this shows the advantage of owning multiple sites.  
  • Jon tried AdThrive to monetize with ads. So far he is happy with it, but knows that it takes a few months to optimize on sites. 
  • Jon made investments into content once again, knowing that investing money into sites will pay off in the long run. 
  • Overall, he was happy with this month and anticipates excellent revenue this year. 
Income Report Roundup - Jan 2020

Ryan Robinson

Last Month Profit – $22,922.83

Name – Ryan Robinson

Website – ryrob.com

Business Model – Authority Website (affiliate earnings)

Income Report – https://www.ryrob.com/blog-income-report-january-2020/

Key Lesson(s):

  • Ryan had a solid month, which he attributes mostly to affiliate income and sign-ups from his course on how to start a blog. 
  • Ryan saw a steady month of traffic for January. 
  • Ryan had low expenses this month, as most of it was spent on his website redesign project. 
  • He projects an increase in blog income as a few of his revenue sources continue to grow. 

Create and Go

Last Month Profit – Dec Income over 120k (nothing updated for Jan 2020)

Name – Alex & Lauren

Website – createandgo.com

Business Model – Affiliate Blog & Online Course

Income Report – https://createandgo.com/blog-income-report/

Honorable Mentions:

Although they don’t do exactly income reports, there are a few reports that are worth mentioning and when they publish new reports I will be sure to include.

Am I missing any I should include? Please drop a message in the comment section below with anyone I should include next month!

Income Store 75 Million Ponzi Scheme? – What will this mean for the industry?

It has been a whirlwind over the last month when it comes to Income Store! I am going to go over what has happened and how it seems investors have been ripped off. Is it an old fashioned pyramid or ponzi scheme? was the moratorium on payments just a stall tactic?

UPDATE Feb 5, 2020 – With the receiver releasing the full list of sites me and my team did a deep dive reviewing the value of each. You can see the complete list and estimated value along with other interesting stats about the portfolio here. We hope this article will help website partners understand how much my website is worth.

UPDATE JAN 15, 2020 – The SEC has issued a press release alleging that Income Store operated as a PonziScheme with investor funds coming in used to pay off investor returns and personal expenses including mortgage and private school tuition.

UPDATE Jan 10, 2020 – A website for IncomeStore investors has been setup to share up to date information. http://incomestorereceivership.com/ It is not 100% clear who is behind the website but seems to have the most up to date information.

As it stands right now Income Store assets have been seized by the SEC and employees have been told not to come in. 

First – If you have been ripped off by this – as I know some of you have, I feel for you!  Very sorry to hear!

Second – I am not a lawyer, if you are involved in Income Store, I recommend discussing with one. 

If you are new to the industry and trying to make sense of the potential scam with Income Store, here is a buying and selling websites guide covers the industry and process in great detail!

In this post I will go over…

  1. What is (was) Income Store
  2. What has happened and how did we get here
  3. Share the information (mostly links) that people who have been involved with Income Store should be aware of. 
  4. What does this mean for the industry?
  5. My personal regret and 2 similar ticking time bombs in our industry. I don’t want to Monday Morning quarterback and not also provide some similar warnings.  

The situation is scary for many and as some write “This is the kind of money that ruins a retirement or changes life plans significantly.”

The best place to go right now for breaking news is the forums and Emilia Garner’s YouTube channel who is a lawyer and a website site owner/operator. 

Her combined legal and site experience along with some internet sleuthing is providing really great coverage! Thanks Emilia. 

I am going to aim to provide reference links and my thoughts on what this will mean to the industry over the next 1-3 yrs.

What is (was) Income Store?

Income Store would solicit an investment from a “Site Partner” with a minimum of $100k investment, buy a website and split the proceeds 50/50 with a guaranteed return of 15%.  

Their website is now offline but here is a recent video which is still live on their Vimeo page that summarizes their offering and the image below shows some of their stats:

From their Brag Sheet below they were a well established player with a lot of history of operating sites.

What Has Happened?

In the middle of December an email went out saying that no site partners would receive any money and contractors reported on forums they were not getting paid. 

Here is a video from Ken (the founder, CEO) communicating that they needed to seek a moratorium on payments to site partners. 

See this video https://vimeo.com/380803495/94b2cf1584

Since then, the SEC has seized the company’s assets and employees were told not to come in according to posts in this forum. Below is the breaking news from Jan 6, 2020

Re: Securities and Exchange Commission v. Today’s Growth Consultant, Inc (dba “The Income Store”) and Kenneth D. Courtright, III, United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Civil Action No. 1:19-CV-08454

Date: January 6, 2020

Attached is a Temporary Restraining Order Freezing Assets and Imposing Other Emergency Relief and Order Appointing Receiver that have been entered in the above referenced matter.

The Court has determined that the appointment of a receiver is necessary and appropriate for the purposes of marshaling and preserving the books and records and all assets of Today’s Growth Consultant, Inc.

Within the next few days a website will be established that will provide court documents and other information regarding the case that will answer many of your questions. For additional information, you may contact the office of the Receiver at (305) 542-4410 or [email protected]

Temporary Restraining Order (01792605x9E1D6).pdf

Order Appointing Receiver (01792604x9E1D6).pdf

How Did We Get Here?

Reading between the lines, it seems the business model imploded and attempts to save it failed.

This is all educated speculation but it seems like this was the most likely way that things played out…

It would appear that it all started out well with great profits from the content sites – but doubling down on whatever strategy was working resulted in exposure to Google penalties- which enacted their toll in 2016. 

This is a common death nail for portfolio managers when they have one set of strategies that they double down on across their entire portfolio. Leading people think they have diversified their risk but the reality is they have a single point of failure exposure with the same strategy used across all their properties. 

In 2017/2018 they went full throttle on ECommerce sites (specifically Shopify) building up 422 of them and at the start of the year Facebook paid traffic changes resulted in a significant negative impact on that business.

It is not clear in the end if they were still buying sites or taking peoples investment and then “building” a site and using that difference to continue the 15% guaranteed payments. 

Ultimately as the number of investments where they had to dip into the profits of other recently acquired businesses grew, they needed to keep raising money at a faster rate to bring on more sites/capital. Although based on the number of employees and knowing they were active in buying sites I may not go as far as calling it a ponzi scheme (although I am not convinced)- it had a similar failure mechanism. Once the money flowing in to acquire new sites was not enough to cover operating costs and payback investors their guaranteed 15% the model collapsed. 

Again the majority of the section above is pieced together speculation.

via GIPHY

Reference and Resource Information

Here are other links sourced from Emilia’s YouTube videos (seriously make sure you subscribe to get some really great coverage!)

What Does this Mean for the Industry?

Income Store is just a single operator in the wider online business world but a failure of this size in the industry is going to cast a long shadow! 

The impact will be tough to identify on its own- but there are a couple of predictions to take away…

  1. Investors will be more cautious of any passive operator model
  2. Additional fear may reduce the risk people are willing to take when it comes to debt financing and reduce multiples on businesses especially in the $200k+ range

My Personal Regret:

Although I never endorsed Income Store, I would privately share my reservations about a guaranteed 15%. The business model would look like a graph with the limit converging to zero as it scaled, but I was hesitant to share it more publicly or strongly. I regret this now and apologize to anyone who might have read a post on my thoughts and made a different decision. 

To that end I will be sharing a few thoughts I have been sharing with people more privately but not being outspoken enough on them. 

First though how will this impact the industry for buying and selling websites.

Operators (similar but smaller to Income Store):

The current operator model has some similar but smaller risks. Although there aren’t players as big as Income Store there are some risks I have shared privately but will do so here as well.

First let me show you what a typical website operator agreement looks like…

Typical Operator Agreement:

  • Give an operator $50k-$1,000k+ (for the purposes of this example lets say $100k)
  • They buy a $100k website making $2.8k/month in profit
  • They manage the website taking $1,000/month in management fees and 50% of any upside 
  • If the business stays flat and operating costs in growth efforts are lean at $800/month you receive $1k/month (or a 12% return)

Problems with This Model: (can’t let the losers be losers) 

Internet businesses are volatile, some will go down! When an operator has a portfolio of businesses all with different owners they are unable to cut their losses on the losers. 

This hurts both the losers and the winning sites. 

How does this hurt you if you have a loser?

If you have a site that is down- then the operator is a long way from seeing a return on their upside. So their incentive(whether they act on it or not) is to operate as efficiently as possible, ensuring they do just enough to not get fired. As a result, the squeaky wheel gets the grease analogy becomes applicable and time/resources are allocated to appeasing the site owners who have assets that are down and complain the most.  

How does this hurt you if you have a winner?

If you have a winner the operator will be distracted by dealing with the portion of the portfolio that is down which will reduce the total upside you would otherwise be able to capitalize on with your winner.

Either way the operator is limited in their ability to maximize the value of the sites they are managing. This is a problem that will only get worse with both time and the number of sites limiting the total scale that any operator is able to achieve without resorting to tactics that allowed Income Store to grow as big as it did and fail as dramatically as it has. 

SBA Loans or any other Personally Guaranteed debt is almost always mistake:

Taking on debt to finance the purchase of an online business can generate some phenomenal returns! Borrowing at 8% and generating a 30% return works out to some very incredible numbers. 

The appeal is very strong! If you have that same $100k mentioned above, you get an SBA loan to cover 80% of the purchase price you can end up buying an asset with earnings of $160k/yr! (before covering the interest costs). 

If this works out, the results are amazing, for $100k you can have an income replacing, financial freedom achieving online business! 

However, online businesses are volatile and SBA loans are personally guaranteed. This risk is real and the dangers of SBA loans to buy online businesses is only now starting to be felt. With the increase in SBA loans over the last 1-2 years the first people who have bought an online that had a decline are only now getting impacted. 

There are already some stories of people who have had a site decline and as a result lost their house/financial security for their family. 

I am fiscally conservative- so others will have a different view- but I do not see a scenario where I would take on debt that was personally guaranteed and risk my families financial security in a high risk attempt to achieve financial freedom. 

Talking with others in this space who also manage a portfolio or a single successful income producing website they agreed. 100% of the 5 people I asked all making over 10k/month from their portfolio and have been doing so for years(they know what they are doing) would not take on personally secured debt to buy a site if it meant risking their families financial security. 

Final Thoughts

Many people will wonder why I would write this article throwing some shade at the industry I am heavily involved in with MotionInvest.com among other projects like ContentRefined.com etc. 

Part of the reason is guilt that I didn’t speak up more publicly about my reservations with Income Store.

But more importantly, is the realization that I will certainly be in this industry for the next decade and ensuring an efficient marketplace with minimal booms/busts by trying to be a voice that brings euphoria or fear back to reality- seems like it won’t be a waste of time. 

Hopefully the largest implosion of the decade in this industry is now behind us only 0.19% of the way into it.

If you have any other thoughts on anything I shared please leave a comment below.

Miles Beckler – “Most Helpful Marketer in the World”

When it comes to finding success in our entrepreneurial journey, you will find that there is a lot of trial and error. In order to succeed, you have to fail, and, in those failures, you will learn and grow. 

Miles Beckler is a perfect example of this growth. Today we are going to walk through his journey toward success as he is being regarded by some as the most helpful marketer in the world.

The Beginning

In the beginning, Miles worked a regular job like most of us have to. He attended community college in 2003 and worked at the student-run radio station. In the midst of this regular job, Miles also began to dab in affiliate marketing on Myspace. 

However, this venture didn’t fail to have its own set of problems as he found links not working and the onslaught of scammers trying to trap everyone interested in making money online.

In 2009, he began a site in the meditation niche with his wife. This was when he began to journey into the world of content marketing. They successfully created an email list and began to amass quite the following. To this day, this site is still one of focus for his family business.

Miles was the behind the scenes guy with this venture. He didn’t care much for content marketing, so he took on the job of keyword research for the site, and his wife wrote the content. The site got its beginning with a simple blog on WordPress.

In 2016, he decided it was time to rebrand and wanted to teach others how they could also successfully grow and scale their own businesses. Instead of forcing himself to learn to love written content, he instead sought other ways he could communicate his message more effectively.

Miles jumped into YouTube and began to create videos to help other entrepreneurial hopefuls find their path to success along their own entrepreneurial journeys.

He made a video every day for 120 days. He grew frustrated by the vast amount of people online claiming to hold the secrets to success on these digital channels. The catch? You had to sing up and pay for their courses in order to learn the secrets of the trade.

After spending his own money on these courses and falling into the laps of some scams and rubbish, he decided he wanted to advertise how to be successful online for free. This was when he leapt into beginning the transition to a full-time position.

His Success

As part of his journey, he had to keep his regular day job but wanted to spend time working online to build his business. Miles would wake up every single day around 4:30 in the morning so he could work on this dream for a few hours before going to his job. He would then return home, take care of a few things, and work another few hours. The fear of failing and losing his money and having to move back into his parents’ home definitely played a role in his motivation. During this time, as he was building his business as well as his confidence, Miles also learned the wrong ways of doing things, which ultimately helped him succeed even more.

Personal Habits and Achievements

In just six months, Miles and his wife were able to replace one income. And after four years of juggling his own agency, Miles was able to pay off over $50,000 in student loan debt and credit card debt and proceeded to continue to grow his business.

Choosing a career in online marketing is definitely not an easy feat, and it is something that requires a fair amount of dedication and patience along with hard work and the right motivating factors to keep pushing you forward. 

Miles says to avoid any get rich schemes because that is not the way to a successful career in marketing. You can’t take shortcuts when looking for passive income and success.

Using his low points, frustrations, trials, and tribulations, Miles found a new gear and used this focus and the fear of having to move back in with his parents to motivate him to do more to succeed even more. 

Shifting Focus

When you learn to shift your focus from helping yourself to helping others, you may also find that this is even more motivation to continue moving forward. Personal habits may stay the same, but the shift has focused, and the reasons for moving forward may be different. 

Lightning in a bottle as he puts it. Miles continues to push forward, knowing that he has over 100,000 people waiting to see his videos and hear how he is doing and what he is doing to succeed. His audience fuels him each and every day. Dominating markets and changing lives is his new focus and motivation.

Risks and Concerns

When it comes to success, energy management is key. As you grow your business, you also have to consider how you are going to structure your team and gain more growth. This requires strategy. However, with this, you will find a wealth of opportunities to make money online. You can get started today, even with no team and a very limited budget. 

The Future

What is Miles Beckler’s angle as he moves forward in a positive direction in his career? He wants to be considered the most helpful marketer in the world. Not many are willing to share their experience and their success stories for free to help others better their lives. But this is exactly what Miles is working so hard to do.

When asked for advice or what he would say to his past self, Miles said that he would have started sooner. He would have found a way to tap into his stream of consciousness earlier. Instead of trying to force himself to blog, he would have instead focused on finding what was easier. He didn’t like written content but loved making videos. We should all follow his lead. 

Remember, you need to spend time falling down in order to learn how to walk. It is all just a part of the learning curve and is to be expected.

For more information on Miles Beckler and his story of entrepreneurial success or to gain access to his free course, then visit milesbeckler.com today and get instant access to helpful tips and advice to start your journey. 

You can also search for Miles Beckler on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

How to Use Page Optimizer Pro POP – Our Procedure

This step by step procedure is how we use Page Optimizer Pro or (POP) to achieve a 60% increase in organic traffic within 2 weeks.

This procedure was created by the team at ContentRefined who are always pushing the science of content marketing, testing new tools and finding ways to help ensure their clients win in Google.  

Step 1:

Go to POP, login and click create new project

How to Use Page Optimizer Pro POP

Step 2:

Go into the spreadsheet with the articles you’ll be optimizing, choose one of them and copy and paste URL of webpage/post.

How to Use Page Optimizer Pro POP

Step 3: 

Name the project after the title of the post, hit next 

How to Use Page Optimizer Pro POP

Step 4: 

Click on new page

Step 5:

Click on Express Report

Step 6:

Type in the keyword for that article (found on the Google sheet)

Hit Next

Step 7: 

copy paste the url of the post/page and name the page after the title

How to Use Page Optimizer Pro POP

Step 8: 

After a few minutes you’ll be redirected to a page that looks something like this. Click on Dashboard.

How to Use Page Optimizer Pro POP

Step 9: 

Take a screenshot of the Optimization Score and Adjusted Score to send to your editor later. 

Step 10: 

Download the report of the recommendations (should download as an Excel file). 

How to Use Page Optimizer Pro POP

Step 11: Click on Content Editor. 

How to Use Page Optimizer Pro POP

You’ll be taken to a page where the content of the article will be uploaded and available to be edited. You can make all edits/changes directly here. 

Step 12: 

Open the report you downloaded in Step 10. In the report, you’ll be given a number of changes/edits to be made to the post. They’ll be listed under different categories in each tab in the Excel sheet. The only tabs you’ll need to focus on are: Recommendations, Variations & LSI, Focus Recommendations, Max Recommendations, Adjusted Recommendations, and Page Structure. 

  • Recommendations/Focus Recommendations/Max Recommendations/Adjusted Recommendation: read through each of these tabs and the recommendations listed. Make as many changes as possible based on the recommendations without affecting the overall quality of the article. 
  • Variations & LSI. Add as many keywords as possible that are recommended without keyword stuffing and/or affecting the overall quality of the article. Adding sentences/paragraphs as needed is fine. 
  • Page Structure. If there are changes needed to the page structure, make the necessary changes/additions. 

Make all changes/edits directly in the Content Editor

Step 13: 

After you’ve made all the changes/edit/content additions that you can, click the Download Edited Code button in the bottom right corner of the screen. 

How to Use Page Optimizer Pro POP

This will download a webpage of the article with all the edits you’ve made. Save this file to send to your editor. 

Step 14: 

Now that you’ve made the edits and downloaded the new file, click Rerun with Edited Source. This will run another report with the new/edited/upgraded content. Hit “Leave everything as is” and run the new report. 

Take a screenshot of the new content score to send to your editor. 

Step 15: 

You’re finished!

Email the Content score screenshots, the recommendations report, and the file with all the changes made to it to your editor.

Page Optimizer Pro Review & Alternatives:

See the results when we compared Surfer SEO vs POP vs MarketMuse. Which tool resulted in the largest traffic increase?

How to Use Surfer SEO – Our Procedure

This step-by-step how to guide will show and explain how to use Surfer SEO to create better, more valuable and in-depth content for clients at ContentRefined.com

See the results when we compared Surfer SEO vs POP vs MarketMuse and the resulting traffic increase each tool was able to achieve. 

Step 1: 

Go to Surfer SEO

Click Login and sign in using the provided credentials

Step 2: 

Go to SERP analyzer at the top of the screen. Type in the keyword of the article/post that you are optimizing and hit “Create!”. The keyword will be provided by your editor in the Google Sheet.

Step 3: 

SurferSEO will take a couple of minutes to process the information for that keyword. After it has done so, you will see it pop up underneath the search bar. 

Click on the keyword below the search bar. 

Step 4: 

Copy and paste the URL of the article in the search bar below the graph and hit Compare. 

How to Use Surfer SEO

Step 5: 

This next part takes a bit of research and a judgment call on your end. The task is to go through the list of competitor sites below and weed out any sites/articles that are not direct competitors with our article. To remove these sites from the SERP analysis, click the eyeball icon beside each one so it’s greyed out. We want sites that are the most similar to your site selected.

How to Use Surfer SEO

Sites you’re looking to keep: articles, reviews, posts that talk about the same topic as our topic.

Sites that you’re looking to eliminate: Wikipedia, government sites, online store sites (amazon), news websites, etc. 

Our article is about an online degree program, so we’re definitely going to get some searches for Universities/colleges and government sites. We want to eliminate those and stick to reviews. You can see that I eliminated the #2 site which was a government site, the #4 site which was a college board website, and a few more below (which you can’t see in the screenshot). Some of the other ones I removed were college and university sites for application pages. These aren’t competitors to our articles informational intent. 

The ones I kept were articles that are third party sites reviewing the schools and programs for the keyword. 

To give you another quick example, if we were comparing an article we wrote on best dishwasher safe pans, the top 3 searches might be from Amazon, Home Depot, and Walmart. We would want to remove these, but then keep any sites that are third party review sites (if that is what your site is). The opposite recommendation is true if you are a HomeDepot competitor. 

Go through the top ~25 sites listed in the analysis and remove ones that don’t fit. 

Step 6: 

Once you’ve removed non-relevant sites, go back to the top and click the “Audit” button beside the site we are optimizing. 

How to Use Surfer SEO

This will give you all the recommendations that need to be made for optimizing the content. 

Step 7: 

Don’t worry about: backlinks, time to first byte, or Load time. But go through all of the other recommendations and without affecting the overall quality of the article, make the recommended changes to the article. 

For example, here it tells us we should add between 13-80 of the word “air” to the article. If it’s possible to do so (without keyword stuffing), add this word 13-80 times. 

How to Use Surfer SEO

Add content, keywords, paragraphs, headings, etc as recommended by the audit.

TIP – if you want to open this in a new page, click the “Share audit with anyone” button at the top and you’ll get a shareable link, which you can open in a new page. 

Step 8:

In order to make the edits, copy/paste the content of the article into a Google doc (share in folder with your editor), and make necessary changes in there. 

Step 9:

After you’ve optimized the article, go back to the SurferSEO main page and click on “Content Editor” at the top of the screen. 

How to Use Surfer SEO

Step 10: 

Type in the keyword of the article/post that you are optimizing and hit “Create!”.

How to Use Surfer SEO

Step 11: 

SurferSEO will take a couple of minutes to process the information for that keyword. After it has done so, you will see it pop up underneath the search bar. 

Click on the keyword below the search bar. 

How to Use Surfer SEO

Step 12: 

You’ll be sent to a page where you can alter the settings for the KW optimization. 

Be sure to select all the sites that are similar to you in the top 10 sites and hit “Save changes”:

Step 13:

Then scroll down and in the right hand corner, click “Finalize customization”.

Step 14: 

On the next page you’ll be able to input the content of the article/post (this should be the content you’ve already optimized). Simply copy and paste the content of the article into the space provided (make sure to remove any words that are in the space already). 

How to Use Surfer SEO

Step 15: 

Once the content is in there, you’ll be able to see the improvements that can be made to the article on the right-hand side of the page. 

NOTE: Please take a screenshot of this page to send to your editor at the end of this SOP. 

Here you’ll have a number of things to optimize:

  • The number of words
  • Number of headings
  • Number of paragraphs
  • Number of bold words
  • Number of images
  • Important terms to use and how many
  • Topics and questions to answer
  • Other relevant terms

If something has a checkmark beside it, it does not need to be changed. If it has an “x” beside it, then it needs to be changed based on the recommendations set out in SurferSEO. 

In this example we need to increase the word count and include a variety of keywords and terms. 

How to Use Surfer SEO

Step 16: 

This is going to be a judgment call on your end. Look at the suggested changes on the right side of the page and see if any of the recommended changes are needed. If for example, all of the changes are not highlighted in red and for the most part, the article seems up to par with SurferSEO, then don’t make any changes. 

If you see some minor changes that are easy to make, then go ahead. 

This is an additional step that will help you see how effective the first set of changes was. However, because this step does not remove the irrelevant sites (like you did in Step 5), it may give you inaccurate data. 

For example, you may have added 30 keywords for one of the suggested keywords, and then after you run it through the content editor, it asks you to add another 50 of that word. In this case, it’s probably not pulling accurate data and you should ignore this suggestion. 

Step 17: 

Once you’ve made all the necessary changes (if any were needed), copy and paste the edited content back into the Google doc. 

Step 18: 

Deliver the edited article back to your editor.

Surfer SEO Review and Alternatives:

There are several alternatives to SurferSEO. See our deep dive comparing SurferSEO alternatives in terms of performance, cost and ease of use.