The Authority Site System Review: How To Build A High Ranking Authority Site

There is no doubt, that building an authority site is challenging.

Whether you are building a site from scratch or trying to improve an existing site, there’s a lot of work that needs to be done to get your site noticed by Google.

But it is possible… with some direction and hard work.

And if you take specific steps and create some easy to follow systems then you can make the process a whole lot simpler for yourself.

The Authority Site System Review

Last updated: Jan 16, 2021
Initially published on: Mar 31, 2020
Product rating: 4.7 / 5.0

tl;dr Summary
The Authority Site System is the definitive guide and case study to building your own profitable authority sites.

Visit the website

As someone who previously worked for Authority Hacker for over a year, fully embraced their philosophy for building authority sites and went on to build my own profitable site based largely on the training inside The Authority Site System…

Well, I feel there are few better-qualified people who are able to give a deep and honest review of the product as a whole.


The Authority Site System Review

Here is what I am going to cover:

What Is The Authority Site System?

The Authority Site System 3.0 (TASS), is a complete, step-by-step authority site-building system from the guys behind Authority Hacker, Gael Breton and Mark Webster.

The course, which is filled with over 200+ lessons, is designed to help you start and grow what they refer to as a stage 1 authority site or simply a site that relies exclusively on affiliate revenue and organic traffic.

This is because a stage 1 authority site tends to be the easiest, most efficient way to earn job-replacing income from a website, simply because it allows you to concentrate on one traffic source and one revenue source.

TASS takes you through the beginning planning stages of a brand new authority site, the specific steps in creating the website and all the relevant components, and then teaches you how to start building backlinks to fuel your organic rankings.

The course also comes bundled with written lessons to accompany videos, various supporting files, and resources—including a Trello checklist and access to the Facebook community group of over 2,000 members.

Note: The Authority Site System is not to be confused with their advanced course, Authority Hacker Pro, which instead focuses on building and growing stage 2 and 3 authority sites.

What’s New In TASS 3.0?

What’s new In TASS 3.0?

The third iteration of The Authority Site System is around 50% bigger than its predecessor, which was already considered a hefty training course.

Bigger doesn’t always mean better, but when it comes to something as deep and complex as building an authority site that’s destined to replace your salary, every last detail matters.

So what exactly did they change?

Well, this is a complete revamp of the previous version, with every module restructured, every lesson reshot from the ground up, and every template updated to reflect the current SEO and content landscape.

This includes dozens of new tactics, tools, and spreadsheets to really cement the course as one of the industry-leading training products on the market, if not the leading product in its category.

Who Is The Authority Site System Meant For?

This course is primarily for anyone who’s interested in starting a content-driven affiliate website with the goal of getting it to produce job-replacing income within the span of 9-12 months.

Regardless of whether you’re brand new to online marketing or you’ve tried and failed countless times to get one of these sites off the ground, the system starts from the ground up.

Unlike some other SEO courses, Gael and Mark are very open about the financial commitments you will need to make going in, starting from around a few hundred dollars if you’re writing all the content yourself, to several thousands of dollars if you plan on outsourcing everything.

As for time, you’ll be expected to dedicate at least 1 hour per day up to the first year in order to give yourself the best chance of success, though more time input will definitely get you faster results.

Interestingly, The Authority Site System will also appeal to many of those who already have a successful affiliate website, but don’t currently have a well-documented, repeatable system to scale up their operation. (I personally know people who enrolled for this purpose.)

What Are Some Of My Favorite Things About The Authority Site System

Awesome thing #1: It really is a step-by-step system

The task of building a website isn’t for the faint-hearted. It requires hours of input, a spark of creativity, some technical know-how and, of course, a small budget.

Getting that website to start earning significant money? Pfft… that’s something very few people on the planet are able to pull off without a step-by-step process to follow.

Fortunately, that’s exactly (and I mean exactly) what The Authority Site System is; a “do this, then that” approach to building a profitable authority site.

If you look at the course dashboard, you can clearly see progressional structure in how the content is organized:

Blueprint content

Not only is the course laid out in a very logical way, but the depth of content found in each module means that virtually every possible nuance is covered along the way.

For example, niche research doesn’t just tackle the potential profitability of a niche as you might expect, but also the nature of it. This includes seasonality, monetization avenues, link building opportunities and more.

So if you’ve ever taken a course and somehow felt as though you skipped a lesson (but didn’t), you don’t have to worry about that happening here.

Awesome thing #2: You actually watch them build a case-study site

Let’s face it, most courses these days are glorified PowerPoint presentations. Too much theory, not enough actionable steps.

Well, Gael and Mark know too well that telling someone how to do something and showing them how to do it are two entirely different things — and this is absolutely reflected in The Authority Site System.

More than just showing you how to do the individual steps, like creating a spreadsheet or formatting a blog post, they actually demonstrate how to tie everything together to build the finished product.

Yep, they build a real, income-generating authority site from scratch, and you get to watch over the shoulder as it unfolds.

I won’t reveal the site here as that’s classified for members.

What I can tell you, however, is that the TASS 3.0 site doesn’t rely on Amazon Associates to generate affiliate income, which is something that many new site builders will appreciate after several relentless commission cuts from Amazon.

This has two huge benefits to it:

  1. You have a working example to model, so you can see what the end-goal looks like before you even get started.
  2. You can literally copy everything they do throughout the course, click for click, and end up with a profitable authority site at the end of it.

If you’re someone who prefers a practical approach to learning, this one has your name written all over it.

Awesome thing #3: Gael and Mark each bring something unique

gael and mark

If you read the Authority Hacker blog or listen to the podcast, you’ll quickly get a sense that Gael and Mark complement each other well.

No… I don’t mean they say nice things to each other, I mean they have a balanced business partnership that accommodates different skill sets, ways of thinking and overall approach.

Gael is the visionary; the creative thinker. He comes up with new marketing ideas and unique angles that you won’t find anywhere else.

Mark is the systems man; the logical thinker. He builds scalable systems around those ideas that allow for much faster and more controlled growth.

While there is obviously some crossover between the two, this blend is evident throughout most of their content and especially throughout The Authority Site System.

Each module has been assigned, developed and presented by the appropriate partner and it works exceptionally well.

What Are The Not-So-Good Things About The Authority Site System?

Bad Part #1: It might be overwhelming for some

I won’t sugarcoat it. There’s a ton of content to get through in this course.

We’re talking more than 200 recorded videos each with accompanying text, resources, supporting files, tools and an interactive checklist to top it all off. More than a few cups of coffee worth.

More importantly, you have to actually stop after each lesson and implement what you just learned, and that’s almost always more time consuming than the lesson itself.

Am I saying it’s not worth it? No, not at all.

What I’m saying is, you need to be able to commit a good number of hours to this thing on a consistent basis. If you can’t do that, then you are not going to see a return on your investment.

Of course, this isn’t necessarily a drawback of the course itself, you simply can’t build a profitable and sustainable online business in a night. Any training that says otherwise is just unrealistic.

Bad Part #2: Course material will eventually become outdated

Online marketing can change drastically from one year to the next. Not just the different tools, tactics and techniques that emerge seemingly on a weekly basis, but even the principles of online marketing — and specifically search engine optimization (SEO).

Anyone who’s been in the SEO game long enough knows it’s just the nature of the beast. Sometimes you have to make big changes in your business to reflect the current landscape, or you die.

The problem, of course, is that keeping a course the size and depth of The Authority Site System in line with the current landscape is no easy feat, especially when each lesson builds off the last.

Because of this, there may be cases where a slightly less efficient tool is being recommended, a less effective technique is being demonstrated, or perhaps an older interface is being shown.

With all that being said, Gael and Mark are committed to keeping the course up-to-date.

This is shown by the very recent reshooting of the course and release of TASS 3.0, which should take us well beyond 2021 before any questions can be raised about the reliability of the information.

A Look Inside the Authority Site System

The Authority Site System is broken up into 15 core modules.

It kicks off with the very basics of starting an online business, before going into the exact model used in the system and how much income you can expect to generate from it.

It then gets into the planning and setup stages of a site, with a large emphasis on finding and validating a niche in order to set yourself up with the highest chance of success.

Finally, it goes deep into content creation for both informational and commercial queries, various monetization techniques and a dedicated module on the most common stumbling block – link building.

Let’s cover each module in more detail.

Module #0: Preliminary Lessons

Preliminary lessons

This is the module you expect to see in every course, as it walks you through the things you absolutely need to know and understand before diving into the actual, step-by-step course material.

In this case, Gael talks you through why most people have the wrong expectations when it comes to building authority sites, how to access and work through the TASS checklist, and how much you’ll need to invest to get your site off the ground.

Lessons included in this module:

  • How To Use The Members Area
  • How To Succeed With The Course
  • To Do List
  • Budget And Expectations
  • Glossary

Module #1: Internet Marketing 101

Internet Marketing 101

This is the foundation of the entire course.

If you’re still not quite sure what an authority site is, how they get traffic (through search engine optimization) and ultimately how they make money from that traffic, this is an important module.

Mark and Gael explore the inner-workings of a profitable authority site and explain how each of the very subtle elements of it come together to create a business.

Lessons included in this module:

  • What Is An Authority Site?
  • How Authority Sites Get Traffic
  • How Authority Sites Make Money
  • How Modern Websites Are Built
  • Affiliate Marketing 101
  • Search Engine Optimization 101

Module #2: Brainstorming Niches

Brainstorming niches

Previously, the niche research module was just that… a single module. In TASS 3.0, the niche selection process spans two modules, with brainstorming being the first.

Here, Gael talks you through the concept of starting with a list of potential niches that aren’t based on any rules or criteria, but instead act as more of a “wish list” which you can later narrow down.

You’ll do this by identifying your own passions and interests, as well as sifting through online directories and marketplaces for inspiration. It does end with a quick round of shortlisting, however.

Some of the lessons included in this module:

  • What Makes A Good Niche
  • Introducing The Niche Research Spreadsheet
  • Website Marketplaces
  • Content Marketplaces
  • Affiliate Networks
  • [Advanced] Affiliate Tracking Domains
  • Shortlisting Your Niches (Round 1)

Module #3: Qualifying Niches

Qualifying niches

This is where you get access to the deep research spreadsheet, which is designed to help you narrow down (or qualify) your list of potential niches using string criteria across several categories.

Make no mistake, you will be scrutinizing every detail of every niche—from low competition keywords to seasonality and even niche credibility—to make sure you don’t choose the wrong one.

The process can take several hours to several days depending on how many niches you have from the previous module, but that should be expected as this is really the most crucial aspect of the entire training.

Note: If you took the course before, this is now much more than simple box ticking exercise, but instead a fully personalized niche audit.

Some of the lessons included in this module:

  • Finding Sites With High Organic Traffic
  • Finding Low DR Sites Ranking
  • Shortlisting – Round 2
  • Finding Affiliate Programs
  • Finding Info Products
  • Shortlisting – Round 3
  • Seasonality And Growth
  • Finding Link Opportunities
  • Shortlisting – Round 4
  • Picking Your Final Niche

Module #4: Planning Your Site

Planning your site

This module assumes you have qualified a niche and are ready to move forward with planning the first version of the site.

Interestingly, though, Gael does explain that starting over during this module is an option if you decide you’re no longer happy with your niche selection. This is probably as far as you want to take it before starting over, however.

Planning your site includes finding more competitors and going deeper into their keywords and methods of monetization, as well as planning pillar articles for later outreach and deciding on “hubs” (categories) for your site content.

Some of the lessons included in this module:

  • Expanding Your Competitor List
  • Expanding Your Monetization Research
  • Expanding Commercial Keywords
  • Expanding Your Skyscraper Content
  • Building Your Sitemap

Module #5: Setting Up Your Site

Setting up your site

Module 5 is where things start to get interesting, as you begin to implement your plan during the site setup phase.

This is the part most new site builders like to rush to, but it’s important to resist that temptation as the detailed planning stages give you the best possible chance at success before even buying a domain name. (This is also what separates TASS from alternative courses, in my opinion).

Here, you’ll learn how to set up the basic shell of a website, including installing and configuring WordPress, choosing and installing a theme, and using design tools like Elementor Pro to begin piecing together your site.

Some of the lessons included in this module:

  • Picking The Domain Name
  • Hosting Setup
  • Basic Wordpress Settings
  • Installing A Theme
  • Installing Elementor Pro
  • Google Analytics Setup
  • Google Search Console Setup
  • Site Speed

Module #6: Branding Your Site

Branding your site

Design and branding aren’t nearly as important as most people like to think, yet a well-designed site will have a small but positive ripple effect as you continue to grow and market your site.

In this module, Gael covers some basic design principles along with a few tools that will help the non-designers (let’s be honest, that’s most people) come up with a professional-looking design without spending a penny.

This process includes choosing a complementary color palette, picking the right font combination, creating a great looking logo, and even some tips on branded images to embed on your site.

Lessons included in this module:

  • Picking Brand Colors
  • Picking Brand Fonts
  • Creating A Logo In Canva
  • Creating Your Favicon
  • Creating Branded Images
  • Applying Your Branding

Module #7: Setting Up Posts and Pages

Setting up posts & Pages

If you’re familiar with WordPress, you’ll understand the concept of using posts and pages to create different types of content.

In this module, Gael takes you through the nuances of posts and pages, what they each allow in terms of site architecture, and the benefits and drawbacks of each.

There’s a lot here on silo structure too, especially when it comes to the debate between soft silos and hard silos, or those that are very difficult to change later without risking a significant loss in rankings and traffic.

Overall, this is a rather technical module but one that is explored in great detail, giving you all the facts but ultimately leaving some of the tough decisions to you as the site builder.

Some of the lessons included in this module:

  • Building Site Structure
  • Inspirations For Web Design
  • Header Building
  • Footer Building
  • Hub Pages – Hard Silos
  • Privacy Policy & Disclaimer
  • About Page Creation

Module #8: Preparing Info Content

Preparing info content

TASS 3.0 saw the content module ripped into several modules, with informational content coming in as the first installment.

This is where you start filling up your site with content that will (hopefully) rank and garner traffic, and for most authority sites, a large majority of that content will be informational in nature — including question and list-post type content.

Here, Mark showcases a number of content templates to help you nail the structure of your articles, as well as writing and publishing your first few articles with the correct formatting for SEO purposes.

As of the course refresh, they also take a slightly new approach to structuring content using an “inverted pyramid” approach, but I won’t spoil that.

Some of the lessons included in this module:

  • Creating Content For Web Users
  • Creating Content For Google
  • Types Of Info Content
  • Using Content Templates
  • Question Posts
  • List Posts
  • Writing Guidelines

Module #9: Writing Content

Writing content

Easily one of the most important modules in the course, writing content goes over the fundamentals principles of producing content that not only ranks, but also ranks long-term.

In this one, Mark explains search intent, choosing an appropriate content type, researching content through various channels, and writing each individual section of a perfectly constructed article.

And it doesn’t matter if you’re a complete beginner or veteran content writer, as each aspect of the article creation process is broken down so you can replicate the same result.

Some of the lessons included in this module:

  • Choosing An Article Type
  • Article Length
  • How To Research Content
  • Planning Your Article
  • Writing The Body
  • Writing The Intro
  • Writing The Outro
  • Editing Your Content

Module #10: Uploading and Optimizing Content

Uploading & Optimizing content

Who would’ve thought something as simple as publishing content to a WordPress site could deserve an entire module?

Well, it turns out, there’s a lot that can go wrong during this process.

Mark takes a generous amount of time going through the basics of moving an article in Google Docs over to WordPress, maintaining proper formatting, and applying some fundamental SEO optimizations.

These optimizations include choosing a permalink, writing an effective meta title, adding external and internal links, and sorting your content into the relevant categories.

Some of the lessons included in this module:

  • Uploading Content
  • Meta Title
  • Article Title
  • Adding Images
  • Meta Descriptions
  • Internal Linking
  • External Linking
  • Index Your Site

Module #11: Initial Link Building

Initial link building

Link building remains the hottest and perhaps most controversial topic of building an authority site.

Whatever way you slice it, links still matter when it comes to ranking, and proactively building links to your website is one of the few controllable things you can do to get a real jump on your competition.

In this module, Mark shows you how to tackle three of the current most effective link building strategies in town; The Skyscraper Method, Guest Posting, and HARO (Help A Reporter Out).

There are also tutorials on how to use numerous tools, covering everything from finding prospects to collecting email addresses and even automating the outreach part. This alone will save you countless hours.

Some of the lessons included in this module:

  • The Anatomy Of A Link
  • HARO – Introduction & Setup
  • HARO – Prospecting
  • Guest Posting – Introduction
  • Guest Posting – Prospecting
  • Skyscraper – Introduction
  • Skyscraper – Prospecting
  • Email Deliverability

Module #12: Affiliate Monetization Setup

Affiliate monetization setup

This is where the course starts talking about making money with your site, which is the whole point, right?

The go-to method for almost any authority site is affiliate marketing, so this module breaks it down how to find affiliate programs in your niche, improving your chances of getting approved, and the whole deal with using Amazon Associates despite their relentless commission cuts.

It’s also important to note that Mark explicitly instructs you to keep writing and publishing content as well as maintain your link building efforts while working on monetization.

Some of the lessons included in this module:

  • How Affiliate Programs Work
  • Affiliate Program Signups
  • Using Amazon Associates
  • Affiliate Rules
  • Affiliate Disclosure
  • Affiliate Payouts

Module #13: Commercial Content

Commercial content

The previous content modules cover most of the underlying principles you’ll need when it comes to producing informational content, and while most of that carries over to commercial content, there are some nuances.

Most of this module is going over the various commercial content layouts, such as roundup posts, single product review posts, and product versus posts — as well as strategically adding product sections to your post.

For many, these articles will bring in the majority of income for their authority sites, particularly for a ‘stage 1’ authority site.

Some of the lessons included in this module:

  • How Commercial Content Fits With Your Site
  • Types Of Commercial Content
  • Structuring Your Commercial Content
  • Researching Commercial Content
  • Commercial Content Intros
  • Commercial Content Outros
  • Uploading And Publishing Commercial Content

Module #14: Advanced Tactics

Advanced tactics

This module is an optional one for all the things that didn’t quite fit into the other modules, but is still worth considering as you grow your site.

This includes a mixed bag of different topics like adding sticky promos bars, and ways to improve your writing speed.

Also, for those who have money to throw at their site, there are several lessons here on finding capable writers, outsourcing content creation, and scaling up this type of content at a much faster rate.

Note: This module is actively being expanded, so there may be more lessons if you ultimately decide to sign up.

Lessons included in this module:

  • Sticky Headers For High Paying Affiliate Offers
  • Getting Faster At Writing
  • Hiring Writers
  • Managing Writers
  • Outsourcing Content

Module #15: Becoming an Authority

Becoming an authority

The final module is really about tracking and keeping yourself accountable throughout the process.

In it, Mark explains the metrics you should be focusing on (and which to ignore), and how to properly keep a record of these metrics using the provided tracking sheet, ensuring you’re always moving in the right direction.

This is also where the course concludes, giving some wise advice about growth expectations and hinting at their more advanced course for established sites; Authority Hacker Pro.

Lessons included in this module:

  • Monthly Tracking Sheet
  • What To Do Next

The Authority Site System Pricing

At $997, the Authority Site System is not a cheap course for sure.  But it is a one-time payment and you do get lifetime updates.

There are no Authority Site System discounts that I know of, but you can actually get access to TASS for free if you invest in Gael & Mark’s flagship Authority Hacker Pro course.

Plus there is a full 30-day money-back guarantee.

As I’ve mentioned in parts of the review though, there are other tools you will need to invest in to be able to implement what’s taught.  So keep that in mind as well if you are on a budget.

Final Thoughts

I get asked a lot by people how to build their own authority site.

And it’s always been a question that’s difficult for me to answer in a detailed way because the topic is so vast.

That’s why instead, I always refer people to The Authority Site System.

Because I trust Gael and Mark and it’s such a thorough and detailed course that systemizing everything so you or even a VA can help you implement everything.

While there are no shortcuts in the world of SEO, this is pretty much the next best thing.

So if you are looking to create an authority site, I highly recommend you grab this course.

And even if you are not ready to invest yet, I still encourage people to take the free training webinar using the link below.  I guarantee you will get something out of it even if you don’t invest in the full course.

Create Your Next Authority Site Today

Affiliate Disclaimer: I hope you enjoyed this Authority Site System review comparison post. Please note that any links inside this article may be affiliate links for the Authority Site System. That means that if you click on one of the links and sign up, I may be compensated for it. If you do happen to click, thanks! Any money we make keeps this site running and allows us to keep producing high-quality reviews.
About Lewis Parrott

Lewis is a writer and SEO nerd based out of Southeast Asia. He spends most of his day churning out internet marketing related content from his laptop. Believe it or not, he also has a girlfriend.