What you will learn
It’s been a crazy journey.
We almost can’t believe we’ve made it this far.
But we have. We’ve reached 100 episodes!
To celebrate, Gael, Perrin and I are going to take a look back at over the past 5 years of Authority Hacker to celebrate some of our biggest successes, and some of our worst failures.
How It All Started
At the time we started Authority Hacker, Gael and I were in Singapore.
We’d not sold the agency yet, but we’d been working on Health Ambition for over a year already. Things were starting to go well with Health Ambition. Gael was really starting to do some more advanced marketing.
We wanted a way to document our processes for our team as the site grew. We also wanted to force ourselves to internalize any lessons we were learning throughout the process.
With the agency, we’d already been through the pain of doing things the gray hat way. In one day, almost all of our clients were penalized by Google. Since then, we’d decided to go white hat.
But there were no good resources online for white hats.
The gray hat and black hat communities has some great sites with really practical advice. You could read an article, then use that tactic for your own site.
The white hats blogs were all theory.
Basically, the idea was to create a white hat version of Matthew Woodward. Practical, white hat advice.
What Are We Most Proud Of?
Gael finds the internet marketing community can be quite hypocritical. They run blogs telling people how to make money online, but the only way is by telling people how to make money online.
They’re giving people tactics that just don’t make sense in any other niche.
We have a number of sites in different niches (including Health Ambition). We’re actually teaching people tactics that we have used, refined and we know they work.
He’s also proud that we only promote products we use ourselves. For example, we know BlueHost pays more than any other hosting platform. It would be easy to promote it. The problem is — BlueHost is s**t.
We’d rather get less revenue and promote something that works than sell out for the money.
For me, I’m proud that we’re building a real company that helps real people. Last summer, we flew the whole team into Budapest for a real life meet-up. It was the first time I’d met most of the team, and the first time they’d met each other.
It just made everything feel that little bit more real.
For Perrin, the main thing is TASS.
Our beginner course was painful to create. We’d created a whole bunch of material. Then, one day, Gael turned round to Perrin and told him we had to throw everything out and start again.
The whole point of Authority Hacker was to provide practical and actionable advice. The second iteration of TASS does this.
We put a lot of sweat into it.
Now, it’s great to see people in the Facebook group saying they’ve just earned their first dollar or they’ve quit their job and gone full time.
What Are We Most Ashamed Of?
I’d say we’ve had more successes than failures over the years, but some of the failures have been spectacular.
The blame for one of our biggest screw ups probably lays at my door. Recently, we merged a number of small Google Drive accounts into one master account. This meant the old Google accounts no longer existed.
The problem was, our YouTube channel was tied to one of those accounts. So, we lost all of our videos and 10k subscribers.
Not good! So, please go and subscribe to our new YouTube channel!
Perrin went through a difficult period after he published ‘We Field Tested 5 Popular Link Building Services’.
It was quite a scathing accident. It was critical of a number of companies, but there was an inaccuracy in there. There ended up being quite a bit of blowback on social media.
It kind of ruined his week off!
However, we all learned a lot from that. We’ve learned about some aspects of the editorial process that are important if you have a reach as broad as we do at the moment.
For Gael, the worst mistake was probably the TASS offer on Black Friday this year. After you bought TASS, there was a 1-click upsell for AH Pro.
Gael forgot to add the ‘No thanks’ button.
As you can imagine, this made people mad (and rightly so.)
There was also a whole bunch of problems with the latest AH Pro launch.
Oh yeah, and we thought it was a good idea to open another office.
What Does The Future Look Like?
In the coming year, we’re looking to sharpen everything that we’ve done.
There is a lot that needs to be brought into 2018 in both TASS and AH Pro.
We’re also looking to improve the tactics we’ve worked on in the past rather than come up with new tactics.
There’s a full redesign of the of the site in the works. We have a full-time designer working with us now. It’s time to work on the branding and make the site actually look good now.
Perrin has taken over control of content and the blog to allow Gael to focus on this. That looks like building a bigger writing team, and publishing more regularly.
Over the longer term, I’m interested in doing some kind of live event with Authority Hacker. I don’t know what form that will take, but I’m keen to do something in that arena.
Gael is looking at reorganizing AH Pro and the courses we sell. For example, we’re looking to create larger, more specialised courses, starting with an in0-depth, standalone link building course.
Each of these courses would probably be the size of AH Pro on their own.