Income School Project 24 Review - Updated September 2020
Updates 6 Aug 2020: I just realized IncomeSchool sold ImprovePhotography.com too. I checked many of their sold sites and it is interesting how they end up after the purchase (CabinFreedom just got renamed to OutdoorTroop, PontoonGuide under BetterBoat). They also recently shared more on the Youtube projects
- "BackFire" gun Youtube channel that Ricky and Jim seem to be inside
- Margin channel to talk about business
- Vid School
- WP School
Updates 15 September 2020: Income School created an awesome video from the buyers showing how great their sites were after 6 months. It reinforced my belief that you can just do great content and get great results.
Updates 7 Apr 2020: Added Youtube video from IncomeSchool about writing content, covering Income School response post and staple post. FYI, IncomeSchool had sold off all their sites (exclude ImprovePhotography.com which isn't part of IncomeSchool) to focus on helping sellers, like creating 50 steps for Youtube and improve their WordPress theme, Acabado.
You read about IncomeSchool and thinking whether to invest $449 on their Project 24 course to replace your income in 24 months?
I spent many days watching reviews by students from RealReviewHub, ServeAndVolleyTennis, and also all the videos from the official Incomeschool Youtube channel (please watch it) to share what I learned. BlackHatSEO also had a student who linked the monthly expected visitors and income (link is from the post).
I will share why I didn’t buy it (I still haven’t bought a single course online) and who we strongly recommend it for. If anyone from income school felt I shared too much vital information, please let me know and I will gladly remove some of it as I really respect and admire the work done.
Firstly, this is not a get rich superfast way (like people promoting dropshipping, Facebook ads from Internet marketing). It is also not a guaranteed get rich scheme too (you can fail if you find the wrong niche too). But it is a very focused method to build multiple ways on creating consistent traffic to your sites. Basically they promote on creating niche or authority sites.
What is Income School?
I came across IncomeSchool while watching an SEO video by Ruan Marinho interviewing both Ricky and Jim, who started a network of websites full-time, shared them with no secrets. Jim is from Law school too.
They basically plant the seed, creating content in a short time. They explained it was really passive. It was entertaining as usual and I learned a few stunning insights from the interview only.Watch My First Video of IncomeSchool here
- #1 is there is no link building. This point on link building was very useful as I know it is a ranking signal for Google but I find links building a grey-hat method in most form and case.
- I also hate link building as I know it is really hard (I had sent thousands of emails in the past trying to promote my products) and got almost zero results before. It is definitely something I dislike and I am happy to hear success story without needing to do it.
- #2 transparency of websites built. Jim and Ricky shared with everyone the websites they have. Here’s the problem if you don't know about sharing your website. Anytime you shared a link on your money making site is opening up your site to competition and usually it will die off eventually. Many people who sold courses only shared one of their site when you paid to be a member but Ricky and Jim shared all, except new incubation site.
So what did I do after that? I went to their websites IncomeSchool, Dirtbikeplanet, and Camperreport (eventually Improvephotography too). They were legit sites, ranking well and producing deep, useful content. I also look at their self-declared failed site, DIYHouseSecurity.com and they did not do anything tricky too and stay true to their methodology.
I also found that they really didn't do link building from checking AHrefs. I was seeing links from how-to sites and nothing powerful and unnatural (of course, there were scraper sites too). Therefore, I believed in their method works. Next up was YouTube videos.
In their videos, they shared several concepts such as
- Keyword Research using Google Autocomplete ABC and forums
- writing to a ghost town in your early months. This is to ensure you build the right expectation and many people quit too early and grew impatient. I would like to share that having the right expectation was also mentioned in Amazon 2018 annual letter by Jeff Bezos.
- hockey stick growth. This refers to the exponential growth experienced in your page views in Google analytics which looks like a flipped hockey stick. Will describe more about hockey stick growth in this post.
- Post mix and recipes. 10 response posts, 10 staple posts, and finally 10 pillar posts. With no prior writing experience or framework, this was a great idea on how to start your website. They also had so many experience and their member sharing experience that it works. I think it also warm up your writing experience as to date, writing 1,200 words alone is a daunting task for me.
- Response posts are short but still 1200 words long answering an unanswered question or incomplete answer to your user. This builds trust and are low hanging fruit.
- Staple post and pillar posts were not described in their videos but I am guessing it is basically longer post format not narrowly scoped to a question.
- Not wasting a single cents on any tools except hosting and a good theme. They went through how incorrect the silver bullet tools are, eg understating zero searches for a term which had some traffic. I think it is an important concept again as entrepreneur loves to chase the next tool but end up not focusing on the core tasks which is creating a valuable website to your target users
- Working on an authority site than a niche site. The problem of writing and not link building or advertising is that you will grow very very slowly as evident by hockey stick growth. Therefore, the solution to optimize your time is to do one full site by the 3rd month and shift your focus on a 2nd site for the next 3 months. This will make use of your attention on creating content instead of doing unproductive checking your analytics or visitors on your main site. It also allows you time off to think about something else as after writing so much for the first site you might be burned out. It can also give time to scale up both sites while waiting.
- There are alternatives to Adsense which make your site income much better. Amazon Affiliate Program is said to be not the best choice too, and info products can be great too once you are an authority.
- Find another channel to get your visitors back. Browser notification is still great and valuable as a traffic source. I always disabled them and wonder who will even allow such notifications. Seem like I was thinking too much about what I will do than the usual readers.
- Snippet optimization is possible (though I never get it yet. Answering above the fold in 320 characters). This is probably the next big thing as voice search is coming. Guess what would Google use as a reply during voice search? My bet is the snippet.
- AMP is not important yet or worth switching yet. I think it is assuring that success without AMP is possible. AMP pages seem to be rank so highly that I am worried too but Google mentioned several times they won’t rank AMP pages higher, just that AMP sites are ranked based on their AMP site.
- Bounce Rate above 80% is normal. Even with their experience, the bounce rate is higher than one would expect. Putting related posts at the bottom also didn’t help much. I didn’t know that and realized it is not really important to optimize the bounce rate as people really come and go.
- Go really deep and specific in your post. They don’t just answer a simple question, they will find a very narrow niche or audience to answer question, and this is evident in their website. As long as Google autocompletes, even if there is zero searches, go for it.
- InfoProduct is a great source of income. Selling digital goods is high margin and you can refund people back if they don't like it. People will buy because they trust and like you, not because of your content. Something like Gary Vee jab jab jab right hook.. I still don't have the traffic (probably 30k) before I am comfortable in making digital goods.
- Email marketing is a good thing to do early on. There is no value at the start but as search algorithm impact your traffic, having a loyal email readers is important. You can use it to promote info product or affiliate program.
Why I did not buy the course?
The reasons I didn’t buy the course were mainly just me:-
- I learned (too much) from their YouTube videos and decided I won't gain much for the price I will be paying. This post is the only way I will repay them and hope you find their Project 24 matching your needs.
- The setup on WordPress won’t suit me as I don’t like WordPress site. In RealReviewHub’s review, he also said his 3rd site got hacked. I preferred the choice of Shopify, as it is maintained by them and there is always an option of selling products. I did have a few sales from FB Ads online marketing with social media and might always try again if it becomes viable
- Most importantly, I don’t like a step-by-step approach to things. I like to try things and figure it out myself. I got more or less the idea and it is just gonna be great content creation. Content is King.
What to do before buying the course
The course costs $349 and $199/year thereafter. Instead of buying it immediately, I suggest sitting down a day and thinking at least 2-3 website you want to focus your next 2 years on. This really help as most people are asking for profitable niche but end up quitting after writing a few articles. You need to have at least interest to find 30 articles for each website and it isn't easy for some people. I have lots of difficulties in some areas I am not proficient in (i.e. fashion, real estate or even drones). After writing a few articles, I basically slowed down and couldn't find much motivation. Therefore, pick something you know that most of your friends don't.
I hope you find my review useful and learnt something from Ricky and Jim. They are really good in their website creation and I will begin my journey too. I hope to succeed like they do, earning passive income while earning more time to do what I like.