This article will review the Income School course that Ricky Kesler & Jim Harmer created.
Project 24 was previously known as "Niche Site School" in an earlier version.
We will discuss why the course is now called Project 24 and what its goal is. Finally, we'll see if it still exists in 2021.
Who are Rickey Kesler and Jim Harmer?
Jim and Ricky hail from Idaho. They started making niche websites in 2010 and launched Income School in 2015.
Their YouTube Channel has tons of videos about SEO and online marketing.
Jim was broke when he began listening to podcasts about how to make money online. He began to learn about niche websites and started his own website about photography.
His photography ebook, which taught the basics of photography, was very popular and helped to launch the website.
He was so well-known that he was listed among the top 40 photographers in the world.
He was a millionaire because of his niche website.
Ricky, father of four children, was previously a manager at HP for several years before he joined Jim and began working with him on Income school.
Jim and Ricky's expertise in advanced SEO has been challenged and some have called them out, claiming that many of their followers are beginner-level online marketers.
This is a small excerpt from a Reddit thread which contains some very strong opinions.
Despite the inevitable criticisms, the duo has a large and loyal audience on Youtube.
What you'll learn in the Project 24 Course?
This course teaches you how to create your own websites, leverage them to make money and then turn those websites into passive income through affiliate links.
Project 24 is a collection of courses that are continually being updated. 60 steps to a successful site is the flagship course, which I will be covering more in detail.
There are a few ten additional courses that include Picking Profitable Niche, Email Marketing, and Traffic Online.
These guys have it all covered.
This review will take a look at the details and answer your questions...
This platform may discourage others who have difficulty reading large amounts of content.
Monetization is also available at the very end of all modules.
Jim and Ricky are a very likable, entertaining couple that explain everything in their videos clearly.
Many extras are offered in the course, which can add value but could cause some students to lose focus.
The course has been broken down into 60 steps to make it easier for you to follow.
Let's jump right into the review.
The 60 Step Checklist
Jim and Ricky have created a 60-step checklist that makes it easy for anyone to learn about blogging and content-creation.
You can't go wrong with this!
Below is a breakdown of their 60-step checklist, organized by subject
The Very First Actions Steps 1 & 2:
Jim and Ricky start the course exactly where it should be: by choosing a niche you will stay with until your site is a source for income.
You will be provided with a list with 1011 (yes, 1k+!) potential niches, along with comments next to each one about the strengths and pitfalls.
To be truthful, I have never seen such an exhaustive list. I was stunned.
To give you an idea of what you can do, I will only mention 15 of the many niches that start with A.
These guys are very thorough in their research:
These core ideas are what the duo emphasizes when you choose a niche for your blog.
Select something that interests you:
Jim and Ricky go over the components of a profitable niche to make sure you make the right decision.
- Search for the volume: Do you know of any magazines that cover the subject? Is there more than one YT channel that covers the subject? If yes, you are good to go!
- It is important to focus on a topic, not a product. A site that focuses on a product quickly becomes outdated.
- Beware of artificial distinctions when you narrow your niche. You may think that niche-related topics will be of interest to you, but they don't show up in Google search.
- To be on the rise in Google Trends, you need to have the future proof of your niche.
- Google encourages YMYL sites less: YMYL is your money, life, and it's about subjects that could cause harm to readers of your blog. Financial advice, heart surgery, and mental health...
- Diverse Monetization Opportunities. Will traffic to your blog bring you money? Are you able to monetize your blog with affiliate marketing or ads?
WordPress (Steps 3 - 6)
You have now identified your niche.
Make your ideas come to life online.
These steps will help you create and set up your WordPress blog.
These are the steps:
1. Register for Hosting and install WordPress.
2. To brand your site, get a logo
3. Sort Your Plugins and Themes
4. Check Your WordPress Settings
Although signing up for a host is not something to be excited about, Jim & Ricky's opinions on the selection of your logo are interesting.
They offer more options than that.
Next is the selection of the theme. The first was designed specifically for Project 24 students who were just starting out. It's therefore recommended that you choose this one:
- 1Acabado - Acabado isn’t the most customizable WordPress theme. However, it is the fastest and easiest WordPress theme.
- 2XTheme - It can be used with tons of plugins. Cornerstone, a visual builder that you can use to create great web pages once you get used to it, is included. It also has a lot built-in shortcodes which make it simple to add buttons and boxes, accordions, maps and many other features.
- 3Divi - Divi has been a hugely popular theme in recent years. It's actually the theme that Income School uses right now. Their page builders are easy to use and drag-and-drop. Although most of our content is created in posts, we don't create many visually-rich pages. It's still great to be able build pages quickly in this way.
Jim & Ricky say is good enough to use with any one of the 3.
Plug ins are a more serious matter for the guys.
You don't want to have WordPress slow down because of all the plugins you have installed.
These are the basics:
- Shortpixel Image Optimizer: This plugin can speed up your website 10x faster than any other. This plugin does a great job at compressing images.
- Google Analytics: This plugin allows you to easily paste your Google Analytics code into this plugin to track visitors to your website.
- Anti Spam by CreativeMotion: Spam comments are a common problem in WordPress. This plugin can help. Jim and Ricky simply disable comments to eliminate the need for moderating or spamming.
- All-In-One SEO Pack by Michael Torbert: This plugin will perform a few basic SEO tasks on your site. But the most important thing about it is that you can modify your meta description.
- Really Easy SSL by Rogier Langkhorst: This encrypts all traffic to ensure that your site is secure. After you have installed SSL on your website, activate this plugin.
After you have installed your plugins, and made some simple adjustments to your settings, you are nearly ready to begin writing content on your blog!
SEO Steps (Steps 7 - 9)
Jim and Ricky studied SEO to determine what factors make a post rank on Google's first page. They discovered that longer posts are more likely to rank higher than shorter ones.
This is not due to length alone. However, ideally, if a lengthy post has been posted, it has been more researched and curated and Google therefore finds more value in it.
J&R believes that the main factors for ranking blog posts highly are:
- The length of the post
But is it really?
J&R focuses on six specific points in order to improve the SEO of their blog posts and get them ranked on the first page on Google.
These 6 simple rules will help beginners get good SEO results.
J&R move on to Search Analysis. They consider this the most important aspect in Project 24.
What are your preferred topics? What search analysis will you use?
J&R claims that keyword research has become obsolete because the volumes of research are incorrect and because different phrasings could yield similar results.
Are they insane? Is it logical? Let's continue reading.
This was the section that got me thinking...
Although I have always agreed with the lessons these guys have taught me, we do have different opinions about keywords and backlinks.
Backlinks are a way to increase your website's rank, which I have seen from my own experience building websites since 2014.
It is the most crucial factor when a site has been built and you want it to rank. I do everything I can to make sure that the content I create ranks on page 1.
You can easily learn this skill if you have the right training and know what you are doing.
And believe me, my sites do rank. My lead generation biz allows me to rank local sites on Google's first page much quicker than J&R.
The sites I am referring to have only 3-4 pages of content.
Jim claims that keywords and backlinks were "so 1995", but it's funny because they have worked wonders for me since I started my company.
Response posts (Steps 10-19).
Steps 10 through 19 focus on implementation and how to create the perfect response post.
Recall that a reply post is one that answers a question that someone searching for your niche might type into Google.
J&R states, "We recently audited a niche site and found that 73% of articles (some with very competitive topics), were ranked #1 Google. This is an incredible stat, and it's 100% due to the quality of responses posts.
Income School also offers a post-recipe course, which you can take to improve your chances of success!
You should consider these things when you are posting your first response post:
Your website's future will be a lot brighter if you have great response posts. According to J&R they are the foundations of a blog. Answering questions that will always be asked is the best method to build this foundation.
Pictures and Legal Misc. (Steps 21-22)
These are only 2 small, insignificant steps to resize photos and to add legal disclaimers to your blog.
Very little information and very random placements.
Resource pages (Steps 23 to 26)
To avoid overcrowding your article with affiliate hyperlinks, you will want to create a resource page. You can keep all your product recommendations there to keep Google away.
The link to mentions of your products will now be possible on normal posts. However, the link will only be internal within your blog and not be sent to affiliate sites such as Amazon or ClickBank.
When creating pages on WordPress, it is important to remember that you should use pages instead of posts.
The URL can then be customized and other little things.
After creating your resource page, all you need to do is update it frequently.
You should be careful what you do and don't do.
- The commission is sufficient to make sure that the buyers aren't hesitant about buying affiliate products in the $200 range.
- Ask private companies in your industry if they have an affiliate program.
Step 27: How to Use Acabado?
This is a brief tutorial about how to use the J&R theme for students.
There is not much to see.
Staple Posts (Steps 27-37)
Staple posts are the second of the three types of posts J&R teaches you how to write after the shorter response posts.
These are the bread-and- butter of all content creators and make up the bulk of blog posts.
These are the characteristics of staple posts:
Promoting via YouTube (Steps 38-43)
Promotion is a must to drive traffic to your brand spankin new website.
Each step is up to you, and promotion is no exception.
Avoid these pitfalls, especially when using Social Media:
What should I do?
J&R suggests that you use Pinterest or YouTube instead. This is because you upload your videos and pins, and then wait for people to see them!
YouTube is the best of both and our two gurus share their secrets to making YouTube a success.
J&R's videos are now very well-known on YouTube. They suggest that you follow their style guide:
Pillar Posts (Steps 44-54)
Pillar postings are, after the response posts or the staple posts, the third type of writing that you will be doing on your blog.
A pillar article is going to be one of the foundations of your website. It will be more detailed and longer than any other staple post.
- You have the opportunity to expand your search into other keywords.
- These are posts that take longer to rank but will bring in more traffic.
- They have a 0% chance of being outranked.
- Sometimes have additional value, such as downloadable infographics or cheat-sheets that all readers can use.
Your pillar posts will be your most prominent content. You should do the research and give the reader something they don't have.
It's okay to go overboard, but the organization and quality in the writing, as well as the selection of images that accompany it, must be impeccable.
Scouting the competition can be a good idea as well. You can learn how to rank them by content quality (most pillar posts are between 4k and 6k in length).
Step 54 is another section randomly placed on how to promote your website on Pinterest.
There is very little new material and nothing of value.
Promoting via YouTube 2 (Steps 55-59)
Jim and Ricky return to YT Promotion and Competitive Analysis in the final stretch of the 60-steps.
It's important to remember that YT makes it easier to identify what's working in your niche and which niches are saturated.
This is because you can see all the views and subscribers for each video, which gives you great opportunities to position yourself in your market.
You should be looking for YT posts with viral on channels that have a low subscribe count so you can base your videos on them from the beginning, even if you have few subscribers.
The duo shows how to make pillar videos, resource videos and staple videos in the exact same way as blog posts.
- A list video is the best type of video. You shorten a post on your blog by half and then you refer viewers to your blog for the remaining 50%. This is a great way to generate traffic to your blog. The vid doesn’t have to be too long.
- As you can see, the pillar video should last between 30 and 45 minutes. It should establish you as an authority within your niche. The pillar video should be something that your niche will refer to over the years. It should look more like a webinar than your average post.
- You need to spice up your blog posts for resource and gear videos. A 'best of' is not enough. You should explain why this gear is your favorite, and add interest to make the viewer want to watch your video instead of one of thousands of other similar videos.
Create Amazon Associates (Step 60).
Jim and Ricky conclude the video with a brief video that reminds you to create your Amazon Associates account.
This video is all there is to it, except that it caps an impressive and comprehensive set of instructions that anyone who wants to start a blog must follow.
You can find many courses within the Project 24 Bundle. But I felt it was important to start with the main course. It really gives you everything you need to get started in the first two months (60 days).
All other items are complementary.
SEO is a scam
The No Nonsense SEO Course is available. It's all included in your price.
Are you a terrible writer?
A dedicated course will teach you how to outsource material.
It's a great place to be, because there's something for everyone.
The Verdict: The Good and the Bad
They claim that the website brings them 7 figures per year.
Project 24 offers a lot of value and you may be able to make passive income streams 24 months later if you follow their steps.
You should be aware that nothing is possible overnight. Therefore, you should thoroughly research any course that will require time and money.
Let's look back at the review and answer the questions we asked at the beginning.
Project 24's bundle of courses is remarkable.
With a solid website, you can make a lot of passive income.
It is up to you how much, but it delivers a lot.
Shiny object syndrome sufferers can be distracted by too many things. However, having these courses and an active Facebook group will help you to have a great experience.
These guys aren't scammers.
They have been doing this for nearly 20 years and make 7-figure income just from their websites. One of them was recognized by his blog as one of the top 40 photographers worldwide.
This is a sign of something.
Do you need more evidence?
How you write, what you do with your writing, and the affiliate resources that you sell will all play a major role in whether you succeed or not.
You can start by following the 60-step process. J&R will be there to help you, but you'll soon find yourself on your own.
It's almost like having training wheels.
As with every venture, you reap what your sow.
The course is $449 the first year, and $199 each subsequent years. This allows you to remain in the FB group and take part in all new courses that have been added free of charge.
If that's your real desire, that's a heck offer.
Project 24 is a great way to market your products and start a blog.
However, I do not recommend building a blog as J&R is teaching.
Lead Generation is a superior way to monetize your talents.
Let me explain, keep reading...
Why I don't do niche blogs... Lead generation proved to be a much better business model, here's why...
My $50K per Month lead generation company, but all my leads come from free traffic or SEO.
It's basically passive income. I don't need to worry about how ads perform.
The website that I created ranks on the first page in Google's so-called map pack. Leads just start coming in.
It's passive income so I don't need to worry about how my blog performs.
My site is ranked once it has been ranked. It generally maintains its rank with little to no maintenance.
You can still make money writing posts for niche blogs, but that's not the only problem.
It's possible to fix things if they go wrong by choosing a new niche, or trying a completely different approach.
It is for this reason that I recommend lead generation.
Income School's project 24 course was well-executed. everything teaches you how to build a blog and grow it in two years.
Let me tell ya, there are niches for this method. But, the problem is that there are many niches which struggle.
You don't have to settle for niche blogs. If you know how generate free traffic and lead generation, you can enter any niche and produce amazing results for your clients.
This is how 90% of my multi-million dollar 6 figure income comes from. It's passive income, I should add. Free traffic never stops.
Even during Covid-19 2020, I will continue to build lead gen websites and write at least one blog post per day for this site. These are high-income earning activities that increase my monthly free traffic.
This site is not niche. I spend thousands of dollars per month to ensure that each post has backlinks which make them rank first in Google.
Their concept of SEO is so strange, I don't know where it came from.
My blog, which is heavily backlinked, and my lead gen websites are what make me multiple six-figure income.
It is much quicker than writing hundreds of articles on a single niche topic that may rank or not.
It's also much simpler and much more affordable to get started!
To learn more about our coaching program, click here. We've coached over 5000 people on how to quit their job by ranking local websites.