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: Mar 31, 2020
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 (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 130+ 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 1,700 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.

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:

lesson layout

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, but I can tell you it’s in a widely-known niche and is already profitable with the bare minimum level of content.)

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 130 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.

At the time of this review, this is currently version 2.0 of the Authority Site System.  This version was a complete revamp of the original course and the current case study site is actually the second one they’ve built.

So you can expect TASS to evolve over time as well.

A Look Inside the Authority Site System

The Authority Site System is broken up into 6 core modules.

In this section, I’ll cover exactly what’s included in each module and how it ties in with the rest of the course material, as well as my thoughts on the content along the way.

Module #0: Preliminary Lessons

module 0

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:

  • Consistency & Expectations
  • Using the New Site Todo System
  • Budgeting Your Site

Module #1: The Authority Site Model & IM 101

module 1

This module moves away from mindset and expectations, and instead focuses on the questions surrounding authority sites as a whole, including what they are, how they work, and they make money.

More than that, Gael goes into the basics of affiliate marketing and SEO (search engine optimization) so that you have a clear understanding of how each aspect of your soon-to-be site comes together.

This is a short but important module for anyone with limited knowledge on this business model, and even a good refresher for someone who has been out of the game for a long time. For anyone else, it might be one to skip over.

Lessons included in this module:

  • What Is an Authority Site
  • How Authority Sites Get Traffic
  • How Authority Sites Make Money
  • Affiliate Marketing 101
  • SEO 101

Module #2: Niche Research & Site Planning

module 2

This is where the work really starts taking place. Nothing makes or breaks your success like niche selection, so getting this wrong could easily cost you thousands of potential dollars down the line.

The module kicks off by introducing you to some broad niches that are already proven, so those who don’t feel confident in their research abilities can play it somewhat safe. From there, you’ll be shown how to brainstorm other niches and dig into the market research.

This includes assessing traffic, monetization methods, seasonality, link building, and a few other factors to make sure it’s a niche worth pursuing. From there, you’ll see how to plan the site, its structure and its keywords based on the research you’ve already done.

Lessons included in this module:

  • Niches That Work Well
  • Brainstorming Niches
  • Getting Started With Market Research
  • Market Research (10 Lessons)
  • Planning Your V1 Site
  • Expanding Your Commercial Keyword List
  • Expanding Your Info Content Keyword List
  • Planning Your V1 Site Structure

Module #3: Site Setup

module 3

The third module (excluding the preliminary) is where you begin to shift from planning to execution, and the bulk of it includes setting up the foundations of a website, creating the branding, and building out your core pages.

For many people looking to start an online business for the first time, this is where they’ll likely find a ton of value in the course as it directly tackles much of the technical challenges that come along with starting a site that has the potential to make consistent income.

Continuing with their underlying style of training, Gael and Mark break this website creation process down into manageable steps so you can essentially mimic the same decisions they make.

Make no mistake, having experienced site builders tell you exactly what hosting company to go with, what CMS to use, what theme to install, what plugins to pick and countless other migraine-inducing decisions is invaluable.

Lessons included in this module:

  • Picking a Domain Name
  • WordPress & Hosting Setup
  • WordPress Basic Settings
  • Picking a WordPress Theme
  • Establishing a Basic Branding
  • Branding Your Theme
  • Analytics & SEO Setup
  • G Suite Email Setup
  • Misc Plugins Setup
  • Contact Page Setup
  • Privacy Policy Page Setup
  • About Page Setup
  • Home Page Building
  • Custom Category Pages Setup

Module #4: Content Creation

module 4

At this point in the course, you’ll be well aware that building an affiliate site that relies on organic traffic (referred to as a “stage 1 site”) requires content in order to work. And lots of it.

This module wastes no time getting into the nitty-gritty of content creation, starting with various content templates for structure and guidance, as well as writing and publishing the initial articles with proper formatting.

If you’re thinking, “well… how hard can it be to write and publish some text?”, you better believe that your ability to gain exposure in Google search results and ultimately generate organic traffic is largely dependent on the SEO nuances of this process.

To top off the module, you’ll get a masterclass on hiring writing in order to outsource content creation that allows for scaling up. This is a pivotal step for those who have more money than time and want results fast.

Lessons included in this module:

  • Introduction to Content Templates
  • [Template] Roundup Review
  • [Template] Single Review
  • [Template] Info Content
  • Writing Your First Articles
  • Setting up the Amazon Associates Program
  • Uploading & Publishing Content
  • Outsourcing Content Creation

Module #5: Link Building

module 5

Link building remains a controversial topic in some SEO circles, and some industry leaders claim that building links isn’t even necessary for success. A good example of this is Income School.

As someone who’s repeatedly seen HUGE boosts in traffic off the back of link building campaigns, I can tell you from experience that links matter, and this module will help you build them very quickly, and very efficiently.

Using an outreach-based approach, Mark shows you how to leverage certain tools and resources to scale email outreach in an easy, efficient, and cost-effective way. This includes building a prospecting list, drafting outreach scripts and negotiating placements.

For me, the reason there are so many success stories coming out of TASS is that it doesn’t shy away from an otherwise difficult sell when it comes to link building. Instead, they built a link acquisition system that anyone can replicate.

Lessons included in this module:

  • Preparing for Outreach
  • Target Selection
  • Initial Outreach & Follow Up
  • Negotiation & Link Placement
  • Link Tracking & Blacklist

Module #6: Once You’re Done

module 6

The last module is supposed to give you some direction on what to do next, assuming that you’ve watched and implemented all the training up until this point.

Unfortunately, the course refresh was released almost a year ago and this module has yet to contain any content. While you don’t expect much more than a pep-talk and upsell, it’s a bit of a disappointing end to what is otherwise a very attentive experience.

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.