Authority Website Income

Showing you how I build profitable authority sites!

I will show you everything but my password! This site is dedicated to providing you USEFUL posts on how to build profitable authority sites. I share the systems I have setup to produce great content and properly use expired domains and private blog networks to rank quality sites.

August Income Report

August was the type of month I like most where I felt like we were pushing hard on lots of fronts and risking more then we have been recently and the result was some big wins and some big failures!

As an old ski racing coach liked to say…

If you are not falling occasionally you aren’t trying to go fast enough!

Another month and another little canoe trip! 3 done this year and only 1 left.

Below is my income and business report for Aug…

Hopefully, this post will shed some light on how I build/operate my online business and gives you some useful insights. There are plenty of areas for improvement in my business and I try to highlight these as well!Continue reading

How to Make a Website That Makes You Money

In 2017 my team and I will each start and build a website that will make enough money to cover the cost of our mortgage and will show you everything we do here so you can join us! This page will grow into a MONSTER free course on how to make a website that makes you money! We will provide you with everything you need to build a website! Whether you are looking at how to start a blog or how to build a website for your business this detailed tutorial and support community will help! Want to Participate in a FREE Community to Build or Grow a Website That Makes you Money in 2017?

  • Step 1 – Signup Here
  • Step 2 – Join the Facebook Group HERE
  • Step 3 – See module #1 below and follow the Step by Step Video

If you think there are others that would benefit from participating in this challenge, PLEASE SHARE!   In this free training on how to make a website you will…

  1. Have access to videos/tutorials where you can build a website in 15 minutes (but that is just the start)
  2. See NO affiliate link to HostGator, BlueHost or other CRAPPY hosts that just pay a huge commission!
    1. NOTE – Other training that recommends Bluehost or HostGator is almost always only doing this because of how much $ the affiliate commission is and NOT because it is the best hosting solution for you!
  3. Get advanced training on all the aspects you need to be successful!
  4. Month by Month PLAN to achieve results!


Sections of Training

  • Module 1 – How to Select and Validate a Topic in 4 Steps
  • Module 2 – How to Make a Website (in under 5 minutes – seriously set a 5 minute timer for part 1 of this section!)
  • Module 3 – How to Grow Your Website (Easy Option and Advanced Option – Still Coming!)


Module 1 – How to Select and Validate a Topic in 4 Steps

“Do what you love BUT follow the money” Business Brilliant

Objective – Identify the topic and “blue-ocean” for your website topic Step 1Write Down a List of Problems/Passions/Knowledge Areas/Fears you have. If you are struggling to identify some of these aspects, look at your Internet History and your Amazon Shopping history. Pick 1-2 that jump out at you and continue working through the next modules until you have validated your idea. Expect this process to take a couple of iterations!

  • Personal Example –My case study “idea” (which still needs to be validated) is wanting to build a website around one of my staff’s passions… Nails and cool nail designs

Step 2 –Identify Similar Sites – In this step, find a list of sites that are along the lines of what you want to create.

 Step 3Define Your Blue Ocean – This step helps you define your unique “angle” where you combine 2-3 sites that show what your website will be about. In the book, “Made To Stick,” the authors talk about how pitching Hollywood movie ideas is done. For example, “think jaws in space” was for the movie, Aliens.

  • My Case Study Example – The site will be a combination of a beauty blogger, amazon associate site and consumer reports site specifically focused on the topic of nails.  

  Identifying the potential gap in the market was the central theme of the book Blue Ocean Strategy, in it the authors discussed case studies where entrepreneurs identified the under-served intersection of 2 existing markets. This strategy was described in the offline world but is just as applicable online. Step 4 (Optional) – Validate your idea with keyword research – At this point we don’t want you to spend TOO much time doing keyword research. It is more important to have a topic and blue ocean strategy then it is to have identified the “perfect” keyword but we do need to verify that people are also interested in the topic. If your goal is to build a website for profit then doing some basic keyword research will verify that there is a market.

  • Step 1 – use Ferzy (great free trial and easy to use!) to identify some potential keywords. We are looking to see keywords related to our topic with over 500 and ideally over 1,000 searches with SEO difficulty (a measure of how hard it will be to rank in Google) for

  • Step 2 – Identify some competitors and use SEMRush to verify that they are generating over 5,000 monthly visitors and the estimated cost of traffic which is just a measure of how valuable the traffic is is over $1,000. We don’t want to build a site in a space where no one has been able to be succesful and so seeing that both the keywords get some decent traffic AND there are succesful other sites in the space is a great sign we have a niche worth pursuing.

  Now that you have an idea of what your focus area is going to be it is time to identify a domain!  

Module 2 – How to make a website:

Over the last few years, I have been making websites, starting blogs from scratch and running them. I have come across different problems (Joomla, HTML, Shopify) and have had to find solutions on my own and systematize the process to maximize the chances of blogging success. I have decided to write this post to give beginners a fast, easy-to-follow guide to starting a website or blog, without having to learn HTML or waste your time reading long, boring tutorials. This step-by-step guide with videos will allow you how to setup a good site and get off on the right foot as well as avoid making expensive mistakes. Today, I am going to be taking you from start to end on creating a website which will work for your business and grow your online presence. The goal of this post is to not only help you grow your business but to do it the right way. I have had lots of experience and I’ve seen many people make mistakes when starting their blogs. I am here to help you so that does not happen. Take the time and read this post thoroughly. By the end, I hope you are confident in your ability to create a successful site. I am going to walk you through the entire process, one step at a time, so you get it right the first time. This is super easy for anyone to do. The process:

  1. Pick out and register your website address
  2. Getting started with WordPress
  3. Get your website online to be viewed by visitors on the internet

WordPress is used by millions of people all over the world including some of the biggest companies such as Forbes, Sony, Mashable, and many famous celebrities. You can easily grow your website using WordPress and in time, gain thousands of visitors. Why use WordPress?

  1. Highly Customizable
  2. Designed for everyone, not just developers
  3. Hundreds of themes and plugins to make your website the best
  4. It’s FREE for everyone to use.
  5. Safe and Secure

Before we get started with WordPress, we will have to pick out and register a website address (domain name).

Step 1: Pick out and register your website address

Choosing a domain name can be difficult, there is a lot to keep in mind;

1. Easy to Remember, type and pronounce

Don’t pick a domain that has lots of different symbols. You want something that people will remember; something that is brandable.

2. Trustworthy

Domain extensions like “.com”, “.org” or “.net” are the most popular, with “.com” being the one most people think of first. Try to avoid crazy or questionable extensions.

3. Unique and Descriptive

Choose brandable over generic. You want a name that reflects who you are and what you care about.

For finding a domain name – I recommend a very cool free tool from Shopify and their NameGenerator.

Here you can go to the site, enter a query that suits your business and it will generate ideas for you to use as a website domain.

What is Web Hosting and Why Do You Need it?

Web Hosting is the service that keeps your site available for all to see. It displays and stores all the files, images and content that your site has. You need a web host in order to use your own domain name and allow your visitors to access the site or blog. There are hundreds of different web hosting providers. They all offer you a similar service (domain + hosting) with a similar price, but after many years of experimenting and creating hundreds of sites, I definitely recommend using SiteGround as your web hosting provider. Once you have a set domain name for your site in mind, head to SiteGround to officially get started.

NOTE – I Highly recommend not using BlueHost or HostGator… these 2 hosts are most commonly recommended but the reason they are so prominently recommended is because of their affiliate commissions! They offer up to $200 affiliate commissions so be wary of those recommendations!

SiteGround support is great, price/value is the best and it is the EASIEST to get a site setup with! You can have a domain bought, account created and WordPress installed in under 5 minutes. Trust me… set a timer here for 5 min and go through the next steps!

The first thing you will have to do is choose a blog hosting plan. There is three to choose from…

  • StartUp
  • GrowBig
  • GoGeek

The StartUp plan is the best choice for one site, especially if you are new to website building however the other available options are good to if you want to have more then one site.

After choosing a plan, click “Get Started”. If you found a domain that interests you on NameGenerator then you can insert it and click “Register a New Domain”.

If you already have a domain and you are just looking to create a website you can click “I already have a Domain” and proceed. Once you have chosen your plan and found a name you like that’s available, you’ll need to register it by putting in your contact and billing information.

At Checkout, I recommend adding the Domain Privacy service so you know you are protected and all of your information is not posted to a public database.

The other Extra Services are not necessary.

Complete your registration and go to your email to verify your account and get started with the link.  You will also get an email that shares your login information, including an Admin URL. Software Installation will automatically create a WordPress site for you and have it installed. All of  your details are here, and your website is set. Login to your ‘Admin URL’ and get started. If you forget this URL, it’s simply (where “yourblog” is your domain name).

  • This is the easiest way to go. You are now done and WordPress is installed in no time at all! No need to worry about a download and having to find it in your files.

Did you do it? Were you able to setup your site in under 5 minutes?  

Step 2: Getting Started with WordPress

Congratulations! You have now set up your website and it is live on the internet. You have set up your site all on your own. As you can see, it was easy and straightforward to create a website from scratch.   You will first reach your WordPress dashboard in your web browser where you will have a toolbar on the left with lots of different options such as posts, pages, comments, appearance, plugins and settings. All of these will be useful and I will tell you how they work.

Step 3: General Site Set up

Here is a video walkthrough we had created to help you see over our shoulder as we setup a brand new website… Before you start adding content to your new site, you will want to create the infrastructure for your site in “General Settings”. In General Settings you will need to:

  1. Site Title: Enter the Title you want your site to be called (usually similar to the domain name).
  2. Tagline: Enter the tagline you want for your site (note this is usually not the same as it was in this case)
  3. Site Address (URL): 99% of the time keep this the same as WordPress Address URL
  4. Email Address: Contact email address; used for admin purposes
  5. Choose Site Language

Be sure to SAVE CHANGES before leaving General Settings to move onto the next step of building your site.  

Configuring your URL Structure

No one wants an ugly URL but sometimes WordPress will have a default that sets it so when you create a new Page or Post, the URL will include the date as well as the name of the post ( A much better way is to use: See the difference? One is filled with irrelevant date information and the other one is short, clean and neat. In order to change your links to a more cleaner look, click on the Settings > Permalinks and use the following settings:  

Step 4: Choosing a theme and logo for your blog

After installing WordPress, it comes with a default theme. From the dashboard, hover over the home icon at the top-left of the page and click view website. This is what your WordPress website looks like straight out of the box. We are going to transform this in the next steps.


Now you have to install your website theme. Your theme is the design of your website. I recommend using  ThriveThemes (or you can use the WordPress free themes) and getting the entire Thrive Membership. It has great themes and easy-to-use plugins to make your blog awesome. It is a very useful tool and can be the only paid tool you get for your site. Many of the tools that come with the membership will be invaluable to help grow your site/business! Again you can use a free theme but if you have the budget I strongly recommend getting setup with a ThriveThemes membership to access their awesome tool kit!

Here you will also find the Themes templates you can download and try different ones depending on the style you are aiming for. You may also use a free WordPress theme for your personal website. I recommend the Thrive templates because they work very well and look nice on all types of sites.

After downloading a theme you can add a “New Theme” on WordPress (Appearance > Themes) and choose the file to upload from your downloads. Click “Activate”, and it is ready to go.

I used the Thrive Theme “Luxe”. Now I am going to activate my theme and start making changes to Customize it. Simply click Appearance > Customize for these next steps.

Here you can change your font, the size, the colors of your site, the tag and many other things I will introduce. You can also change the background of your site to a color or pattern.

For an example, I will pick a pattern. Colors > Background pattern. “Save & Publish”.


You will need a custom logo created for your website. I recommend using Fiverr to get a good logo created for as cheap as $5. On Fiverr there are many prices and people to choose from that will accommodate to what you are looking for. I bought my logo off of Fiverr and they also provided me with 4 different logo options to choose from for my site.

To add your logo to your site, go to your Thrive Dashboard. Here, in “General Settings”, you can upload your logo and choose its position. Be sure to “Save All Changes” at the bottom before viewing your site.


In my Thrive settings here, I chose the “Side Of Menu” as my logo position but the “Top Of Menu” is a great location too. This is what my header looked like after uploading the picture and saving all changes.

Now I want to make it bigger. To do this, I am going to go back to Appearance > Customize > Header, and change the logo width to make it bigger. “Save & Publish”.

The theme is all setup and you have a logo. Now you are ready to start adding content and making it your own.

Step 5: Site Set up – Customizing & Adding Content

In this section, I will show you…

  • How to create a Page and Post
  • How to create a Menu for your site
  • How to write a post inside WordPress
  • How to add images, links and format text
  • Some quick tips and tricks for writing great content

Creating Pages (Pages > Add New)

In this video walkthrough and section we will show you how to create a new page!

  1. Title Area: This is where you write the title of your post.
  2. Content Area: This is where the body text of your post goes. Here, you can type or paste your content.
  3. Standard Editing Tools: Here are options like bold, italic, lists, paragraphs, and headlines.
  4. Publishing Tools: You can save your draft or publish your content live by using the Publishing tools on the far right menu of the page. You can even schedule the page to be published later – or make the page private so only certain people can see it.
  5. Featured Image: You can select an image to be the header of your content on your page or post.

First of all, we need to set up our Front Page so it is a static page.   To do this go to “Pages” and “Add New”.

You can name this page anything you want; something like ‘Home’ is fine. And click “Publish”.

Now go to Appearance > Customize > Static Front Page. Here we’re setting up our front page’s static to the front page we just created. Under “Front Page”, select ‘Home’ or whatever you named your page previously then click on “Save & Publish”.

These are the Pages I have created for my site.

You can start with creating a title for your Page and then add content when you are ready. With these pages we want to make a menu to be seen at the top of the site. Appearance > Menus. 

Name it anything you would like and then click “Create Menu”. Then you will chose the pages you want to be seen in the menu. For mine, I clicked “Select All”, to have Home, About, and Blog.


Now your menu will appear at the top of your site like this.

This menu consists of different Pages. There are also Posts you can create that will be in a Page. So for my Blog page I can create different Posts to be published on that page. 

Creating a Post (Posts > Add New)

Creating a post is the same process as creating a page. It is just the location of your content that is different. Your Posts are seen on a Page which you can choose and will see as you scroll down. A Page is on its own, visible in the menu bar (if you wish), and a post is the content that can be added to a page.

Once published, your new post can be found in the “All Posts” section of the “Posts” tab, so you can edit it at any time.

To add them to your Blog Page, go to Settings > Reading and select Blog for “Post Page”. Save Changes. Now, each time a new “Post” is created and published, it will appear on the Blog page.


Many people choose to write their own articles for their sites or personal blogs. Because I have so much on the go and many sites I am working on, I get my articles written for me. If you are also interested in doing this, I recommend using UpWork. On UpWork you will be able to post a job and find many qualified and talented writers from all over the world who will write for you while staying on a budget. I have been using UpWork for over 10 years and have come across lots of talent that has really helped my sites and grow my business.

Adding Headings

Headings help you structure your content and make it easier for people to read. Headings are best to add for titles and for each of your main points. To add a heading, scroll up to “Paragraph” drop-down menu. Select the heading you’d like to use. Note that the “Heading 1” is usually reserved for the post’s title and the others are all different sizes you can choose from for the body of your content.

Adding Images

To add an image to a post as a header, click “Set a Featured Image” on the right side of your screen, select or upload your image, and update post.    

Before: Plain and Boring.

After: Something to look at.

  You can also add an image to your post. Click the “Add Media” button under the Title of the post. Tip: Before you click “Add Media”, be sure you’ve left your cursor inside of your blog post where you want the image to show up. Otherwise, you’ll have to move it later on.

Next, click the “Upload Files” tab on the screen that pops up, then click “Select Files”.

Once you’ve found the file, double click it and WordPress will upload it automatically.

When the upload is finished, make sure the image you want is selected, then click the “Insert into post” button to add the image to the post you’re writing.


Adding a Link

To add a link to another website, highlight the word or phrase you want to link and click on the link icon in the toolbar.

You can paste the URL you want to link or search for it. In this case I will simply link to Google. I will type it in the box and the word will be linked so when it is clicked the person will be brought to that page.

Adding Widgets

If you are interested in adding a sidebar menu to your new site, go to Appearance > Widgets. Here you will have many options to choose from depending on what you would like your viewers to see. There are “Available Widgets” that can be dragged over and put in “Main Sidebar” (or you can create Footers if you wish). On my site, I decided to put Search and Recent Posts for now. I will also be adding a photo of myself (Image) and a summarized biography (Text).   Your site is looking great by now and hopefully, you’re feeling good up to this point. We have covered the basics and you can stop here if you are happy with your site. I will go a bit more into detail now in terms of what else can be added to your site to make it the best one out there. ADVANCED

Add Plugins

To add plugins simply click “Plugins” and “Add New” and Search. The Plugins I always add are

Analytics In order to use the Analytics plugin effectively, you will first have to sign your site up for analytics, and once you have the tracking ID, download this plugin and insert the tracking ID.

Install Now > Ok > Activate

Add a Contact Form

To add a contact form to your site you will need to add a new plugin. For this, search Contact Form 7. All contact form plugins are similar so it really does not matter what one you use however I am most familiar with this one.

“Install Now” and “Activate”.

You will now notice a Contact section in your sidebar.

Click it and open the contact form.

Here you are going to copy the shortcode and paste it into the page you want the Contact Form to appear on your site. “Update” changes.

Paste into Page text where you want it to appear. (Contact Page)

Thrive Architect Plugin

Thrive Architect (formely known as Thrive Content Builder) is a great tool to help build a site and make it look good. After you download it from your Thrive Member Dashboard simply go to Plugins > Add New > Upload File and select it from your computer files.

“Activate Plugin”

Now, when you view your site, there will be another option to edit the page in the top bar called “Edit with Thrive Content Builder”. When you click this, you will stay on the page but be able to edit it from there.

Add a Favicon

Adding a favicon is simple. Before you do it on WordPress, find an image you want to use (Clipart looks best) and save it so it is easily accessible.

Now in Appearance > Customize, you are going to go to the “Site Identity” section.


Under “Site Icon” you are going to “Select Image” and upload and crop the image of your choice. It will show you what your Favicon will look like. When you are happy with it, click “Save & Publish”.

This is how mine turned out:    And there you have it! Your site is done and it looks amazing. You can add more content and change your settings any time you want. Play around with what you have just learned and make your new website exactly how you want it.  


  • Content Creation
    • How to build a content plan
    • How to create GREAT content systematically
  • Monetization Strategies
  • Ongoing Promotion Strategies
    • Weekly printable checklist/tracking sheet

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July Income Report

Any month we are able to hit our targets is a good month.

July was a month where it felt like a couple businesses plateaued and a couple were able to break free from previous plateaus to new heights.

Summer is in full swing and I was able to get away a couple times for 2 canoe trips in July. On a conference call while in the middle of the woods was a fun time.

It was also the first time I was able to take my 4yr old son on a Canoe Trip and he had a blast!

I am in a constant battle for balancing speed and control… for some projects, I like to step on the gas while others need a little more infrastructure built up to handle the growth.

Thoughts on Team Building:

A VERY large amount of my time in July and Aug has been on thinking about building my team and when to hire locally or remotely.

One critical thing I have decided is…

Hire in house for culture fit / ambition / work ethic / raw intelligence AND pay for skill sets on the open marketplace. What I mean is I would rather have a hard working ambitious, intelligent great cultural fit who never heard of SEO then a poor fit that has all the skills. All the “skills” in this space can be purchased on UpWork.

Below is my income and business report for July…

Hopefully, this post will shed some light on how I build/operate my online business and gives you some useful insights. There are plenty of areas for improvement in my business and I try to highlight these as well!

Hope your summer is going well and your business is growing J

The Business “Divisions” For My Online Business:

  1. Money Site Portfolio
  2. AuthorityWebsiteIncome Blog
  3. Services – Web Development, Content Marketing & Link Building:
  4. Amazon FBA Business
    • Brands 1-6 – All have specific targets for 2017
    • ListingEagle – Amazon FBA Hijacking and Suppression Monitoring
  5. Put Outside Capital to Work Efficiently in the Online Asset Space


Key Successes

  1. Portfolio Earnings – There were a handful of sites that really showed substantial improvement in $/visitor.
  2. BrandBuilders – Continued product/market fit is evident and we are having a lot of fun helping the team Andrew has built grow the business.
  3. Content Plan – It has been too long but I finally have a solid content plan/schedule for

Key Failures

  1. High Potential Low Probability – There were a couple projects/deals I put some effort into that had great potential but ultimately nothing came of them.
  2. Facebook Ads – Similar to last month I had another failure trying to get some paid traffic working to one of my services. My thinking has shifted that I now just need to hire an agency or specialist to handle this for me. If you know anyone that is a killer with paid traffic please have them email me.


2017 Business Goals

Below is my businesses main goals for 2017…

Part 1 – Passive Authority & Niche Website Income Profit/Loss


3 Goals in 2016 for my Website Portfolio Business

  1. Everyone Win at the Mortgage Crushing Competition

July Update – It is tough to understand the performance of this site right now with the number of 301 building blocks I have applied to it plus some spikey articles.

  • Traffic = 15,071
  • Earnings = $97.53

  1. Buy 1 Site Per Month

July Update – One little AdSense site purchased and one small productized service business purchased. I will be talking more about the one soon enough (some people may have already received an email about that story).

  • GOAL = 1 New Website Purchased
  • ACTUAL = 2 New Website Purchased

If any readers are looking to sell their profitable site(s) VERY QUICKLY let me know by emailing me. I can let you know in 12hrs if I am interested and complete the purchase in 24-48hrs – Contact Me Here

I have found the right sellers are those…

  • Desire a simple/efficient/non-invasive sales process (no option is easier to sell to)
  • Looking to sell FAST (under 24hrs has been accomplished!) (shorter time for due diligence on my end increases risk for me)
  • Not wanting to spend a lot of time on the sales process (analytics and income proof is all I need)
  • SEO done to the site can be questionable and that increased risk will be reflected in the sales price
  • Understand that the benefits of the bullet points above means the sales multiple will be lower than if you went a more traditional route

If you have a profitable website you are looking to sell fast please let me know


  1. Scalable New Site Creation Strategy adds $5k to Portfolio

July Update – Although it doesn’t really show it there has been some good progress on increasing the earnings per visitor on several properties associated with this scalable new site creation effort for the year. Traffic continues to move in the right direction and I need to still substantially improve the earnings for several more properties.

  • Traffic – 53,202
  • Earnings – $276.52


July Update – The portfolio performance doesn’t look way better then other months but for the first time in about 6 months we had a month I was satisfied with in terms of our efforts showing clear results. Looking forward to continuing to improve the performance here!


Part 2 – Authority Website Income Blog Profit/Loss

3 Goals in 2015 for

  1. Post Once Per Week

July Update – A “perfect” month… no missed posts and me and my team put a lot of effort into trying to provide as valuable posts as possible!

  • Plan = 5
  • Actual = 5

  1. Systematic Promotion of my Content and Building of my List

July Update – No Progress

  1. Increased Intelligence with Email Automation

July Update – No Progress


May Update – 12,456 which is lower than I would like to see! Need to continue to push

Part 3 – Services Business Profit/Loss

  1. Systems First Focus

July Update – Seeing the team come up with procedures without me prompting them and it being fundamental in everything we do is starting to pay off. We are seeing a new problem where the rate of procedure creation and the organization of those SOPs is not where we need it to be.


  1. – Quality and Efficiency Improvements

July Update – This is moving into becoming a new offering that will open up natural link building to even more people! We are continuing to see great results for clients on both the Done For You PBN and UseMyPBN service.

Visit for Link Building Services!


  1. – 20k MRR by June & 40k MRR by End of Year

June Update – A weird billing nuance where anyone who signed up on the 31st got billed on the first showing up in July vs June has this number a few thousand less. CHURN is the enemy of any growing recurring subscription business! For us we were experiencing some awesome growth numbers but with a big push last month and then some normal/happy customer churn we have seen this growth slow.

  • Planned MRR = $23,313
  • Actual MRR = $27,919

Visit for Content Marketing Services!

  1. Structurally Well Setup & New Offering Launched

June Update – Achieved – The TurnKey affiliate sites ready in 24hrs are selling out in a handful of hours every time we launch!



Part 4 – Amazon FBA Business

  • Brand #1 – HG – Running Lean and Spinning off Cash
    • July Update – Distribution received – always a good month when we can do that!
  • Brand #2 – CF – Quarterly Dividends Ahead of Baseline
    • July Update – Continuing to perform well and need to setup for SOLID Q4!
  • Brand #3 – NT – Path To Strong Market Position and Successful Pillar Product
    • July Update – Waiting to sell out of stock and then kill entity (first failed FBA project)
  • Brand #4 – CK – Systematic Growth to $20k/month Profit
    • July Update – Performing okay… not where we want it!
  • Brand #5 – PC – Successful launch and $5k/month Business
    • July Update – Despite pushing heavy on this business and great reviews it seems to be SLOW to move!
  • Brand #6 – SE – 4X Value Expansion with Dream Team!
    • July Update – One more hail-marry attempt here coming up!
  • – Hijack and Listing Suppression Monitoring Service
    • July Update – Steady/boring SAAS business


Part 5 – Put Outside Capital to Work Efficiently

July Update – We are working on another larger deal at a discount. The Due Diligence for this one has a little more “hair” on it then we would like!

Overall Income Update

Original Monthly Net Income Target (original goal $15k/month reliable income by age 35)

  • Target Net Income = $11,450
  • Actual Net Income = $53,983
  • 2017 Average Net Income = $47,109

Gross revenue is a vanity number for my business and I do not share it.

Final Comments

July was a solid month… there continues to be a LOT of opportunities on the go and I am continuing to try to best balance everything that is in front of us.

The extra help from the co-ops this summer has been great and their contributions will be missed!

Definitive – Best Keyword Research Tool to Determine Keyword Competitiveness

My last post reviewed how effective MarketMuse was at predicting a piece of contents success in Google.

This post digs deeper into MANY keyword research tools to try and show what tools can help provide us an edge!

So… What is The Best Keyword Research Tool? What tool provides a keyword competition score that gives us the best ability to predict how well an article will do in Google?


Analysis Summary – What Tools Competition Score Correlated With a Higher Google Rank

The list below shows the scores correlated with a higher Google Ranking.

Comment 1 – The results surprised me with both Ahrefs and SEMRush underperforming my expectations and LongTail pro overperforming my expectations. I expected SECockpit to do terrible as the competition score it provides I never find to be a reliable analysis.

Comment 2 – The accuracy of this analysis essentially means those top 3 were tied. The margin of error would be larger than the difference between the results.

Based on this analysis I recommend using one of the top 3 tools when identifying keywords to create content for (it is now what we do at! 

This post is going to help with exactly that, giving you the ability to choose the right tool available to give you a competitive advantage in targeting keywords that you can then turn into successfully ranking articles.

There are so many different websites and companies that have or are starting to develop keyword difficulty or SEO difficulty tools. But once you input a phrase and determine the existing competition and window of opportunity what weight should the number or percentage that they provide actually hold.

Previously in “Rank in Google with Certainty” I only analyzed Ferzy, SEMRush, and SECockpit on a very basic level. For this article I expanded that research to include ahrefs, Long Tail Pro, and cognitiveSEO while also including search volume influence (based on feedback from you in my last article).

I have also analyzed competition domain authority, trust flow, headline click-through-rate, and more but look for that to be shared in another post!


Now for the Fun Stuff (if you are a data geek!)

Using some articles from my various money site portfolio and all of ‘Content Refined created content, I have been able to compile enough data points to provide some statistical insight into predicting the performance of ranking an article around a certain keyword.

I have broken the 6 different tools into two tiers as the results within the tiers are statistically indifferent.

So here are the results…

Worst Performing Group (Worst Ability to Predict)

  • SECockpit

SECockpit keyword difficulty tool uses a percentage system. Scoring below 30% and as close to 10% while maintaining a reasonable search volume is a typical metric we use. However, with only a moderate correlation of 17% SECockpit has the least predictive tendency of the tested tools.


  • Ahrefs

Ahrefs provides an absolute number score out of 100 to determine the difficulty you would encounter to rank for a searched keyword.  While it only held a statistical correlation relevance of 23%, I do like that it provides a suggested required number of backlinks to go with the score.

NOTE – I was surprised by this result, the guys at AuthorityHacker who do great work had found AHrefs tool to be the best when it came to Keyword Difficulty but we found it to not perform very well.


  • SEMRush

With SEMRush you get a percentage score out of 100 with being below 70-75% as a target. Still only holding a moderate 25% correlation, SEMRush is the best of the tools found in our 2nd tier.


Best Performing Group (Best Ability To Predict How an Article Will Rank)

  • Ferzy

Ferzy is a newer tool on the market and will provide an absolute score out of 100 with varying levels of ratings categories. At a 35% statistical correlation, it offers to be one of the strongest predictors of keyword difficulty and ability to rank of the tools tested.


  • cognitiveSEO

cognitiveSEO is new to me and recently came out with a new keyword difficulty and content analyzing tool. Both seem to work great and at a 37% correlation it compares and competes well with some of the more well known tools. The content analyzing tool offers a competitor to MarketMuse at a more reasonable price, but the effectiveness difference is still to be determined…(more to come on this in the future).


  • Long Tail Pro

Behold the Long Tail Pro, the final tool analyzed. Coming in with a statistical correlation of just under 40%, it is the most predictive tool but not by much. I was surprised by this as LongTailPro has been around for a long time and I would have thought one of the newer tools would have come out with a better predictor.


Question – What if we adjust for search volume?

Monthly Searches ahrefs cognitiveSEO Ferzy Long Tail Pro SECockpit SEMRush
ALL 23.07% 37.49% 35.71% 39.37% 17.31% 24.17%
< 1,000 8.5% 27.52% 28.07% 24.30% 0.57% 19.48%
> 1,000 24.59% 30.22% 30.65% 39.28% 10.43% 19.57%
> 2,500 31.48% 31.68% 35.58% 44.29% 1.27% 29.62%


When the varying search volumes for a keyword were separated the results varied little. The three successful tools reviewed before held their ground in being the most successful predictors.



In conclusion, the results shown offer that there is a significant competitive advantage available if you are using the right tool. Ensuring that you follow a strategy of 500-1000+ monthly searches and a low recommended score from the varying scoring systems from tier 1 tools, you can start your content creation process with a stronger chance of ranking well in the end!

But remember, when looking to rank there are so many factors involved that only one step of the process can only provide so much insight and competitive advantage. 

While it is necessary to find good keywords, the rest of the process must be completed at the same level of effort and quality to maintain the opportunity to rank. So combining a keyword difficulty tool with a content analyzer tool, backlink analyzer tool, and so on, is essential to maximize opportunities.

Look forward to an upcoming post where I will wrap up this round of statistical analysis by exploring additional tools and factors that help you rank like domain authority, trust flow, and headline score. Finding out that there may be an auxiliary tool for helping rank could be a difference maker.

Hope you are enjoying these more statistically driven posts!

If you have any questions or ways we could expand on this analysis please let me know!


UPDATE – Based on Popular Requests Two Additional Tools Added…

Mangool’s KWFinder had not been used by me or the team until it became the most popular suggested and asked-about tool in the comments. Based on the recommendations I have gone back and completed the analysis to wrap up assessing the various keyword difficulty tools.
KWFinder’s tool assess the keyword on a scale out of 100 while providing a very user-friendly dashboard that provides additional search volume and SERP charts.


In my short time using KWFinder thus far I am very impressed with the value. In our statistical analysis the overall correlation was 43% with keywords that have >1000+ monthly searches having a correlation of 41%. The tool provides to have the highest correlation of any tools researched and remains true across various search volumes.
The tool instantly becomes an intriguing option for any level of operation with its variable pricing and added SERP Tracking features. More time spent using the tool will provide more insight but this tool is the absolute leader of all analyzed.

Based on recommendations here is the statistical analysis for Term Explorer keyword analyzer difficulty. Term Explorer provides a score out of 10 to its users that determine the level of competition of the keyword in terms of using the keyword to rank. From our brief analysis, it appears a score below 2.00 is a good number to reference for researching and maintaining below.

Overall the correlation was 28.16% for Term Explorer. A moderate correlation that places the tool somewhere between the 1st and 2nd tiers. It’s ranking scale makes it an attractive tool to operate and its ability to maintain projects and track given keywords regularly.

Rank in Google With Certainty? – Market Muse Review Updated Data Analysis

The “holy grail” we are chasing with our data analysis is being able to predictably rank an article in Google with certainty!

Our vision is being able to say… given a number of metrics for the keyword and article we can produce an article that ranks well in Google!



If you don’t like data/statistics and geeking out on analysis I would recommend you skip this article!


I have previously talked about MarketMuse and it’s ability to suggest what keywords to focus on and which to use to add depth, all with the idea to create a better article that ranks predictably well in Google!Continue reading