Welcome to Authority Hacker!
Authority Hacker was founded by Gael Breton and Mark Webster in 2014 after realizing there was a gap in the internet marketing world between tactics that actually worked and people in the real world trying to learn the skills to create online businesses.
Authority Hacker was born of the need for real, actionable advice based on actual, real-time, up-to-date experience that would truly impact people’s online businesses in a concrete way: helping them make more money.
And we do it based on our own experience. Collectively, the Authority Hacker team has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and generated millions of dollars of revenue in our online marketing ventures.
We fancy ourselves experimenters. Tinkerers. Optimizers. We use ourselves as the guinea pigs and pass the results along to you.
In that spirit, these are our core beliefs.
The stuff we share is based on our own experience actually
practicing internet marketing every day on our own sites.
One of the primary reasons for founding Authority Hacker was the weird proliferation of internet marketing “gurus” blogging about theory without actually showing results or running real experiments or dissecting their own real failures. In particular, we noticed a conspicuous lack of results-based blogging.
We don’t do that.
We share tactics because we are using them. We run experiments because we are running them on our own sites. We write about tools because we have used them.
And, at the epicenter of everything is results.
We’re not supermen. Sometimes we fail. But we strongly believe that our results are what qualifies us to talk to you.
Action > Theory.
We strongly believe theory is useless if you can’t apply it to your business. Right now. Today.
We are not a philosophy blog. We help people make money.
You will find theory here, of course, since it’s often the basis for the tactics we write about. But focus of everything we share here is turning theory into practical tactics.
Step-by-step screenshots. Real-word examples. Video tutorials. Whatever form it needs to take, the engine of everything we do here is the practice of putting ideas into play in the real world.
ROI is Your North Star
Everything needs to be actionable, but to what end? ROI.
ROI is the singular goal of everything we do, teach, and write about. You can’t pay bills with links. You can’t pay bills with fans or repins. Traffic, outreach, and so on--none of it means anything if it doesn’t put more money in the bank than it costs to execute.
So beyond making things arbitrarily “actionable,” we write about things that are both actionable and helps generate a positive ROI. The idea for every post we write is: apply it today, make money tomorrow.
The Best Obsession is Optimization.
In the internet marketing world, people get obsessed about a lot of wacky stuff.
We believe the best obsession is optimization.
Optimization fuels everything else. A well-optimized link building campaign is 100x more actionable than a messy, untested one. An optimized funnel can generate orders of magnitude more revenue than one with no iterations.
We take tactics that work and optimize them to the moon and back.
We don’t just build links. We test and retest our systems until our cost per link is under $5. We don’t just build funnels. We tweak our funnels until we absolutely max out our revenue per visitor. We don’t just outsource content. We build systems that allow us to publish hundreds of articles per month.
And so on.
Lots of people are doing internet marketing, but we think very few are optimizing the way we are, and it’s our obsession with optimization that drives a lot of what we talk about here.
What happens when a couple of marketing dorks have a few too many beers. They become friends, move to Budapest together, and start a marketing agency, of course.
And that’s exactly what Gael and Mark did in 2011: they started an agency called HigherClick.
And it took off. It grows so fast, they eventually have to hire employees and get an office. Pretty soon, Higher Click has 85 clients and is gaining quite a bit of clout--enough clout that Gael is invited to speak at Oxford University, Harvard Business School, Wharton and General Assembly.
Here’s the thing, though: this was 2011, the glory days of grey hat SEO, and Higher Click was using grey hat tactics at scale. You can probably guess what happened next…
Half of Higher Click’s clients are gone overnight.
Gael and Mark set out to completely relearn their jobs, jumping into real marketing and gaining an understanding of what it means to build real, sustainable online properties that can survive nearly any Google update.
As they start to apply these new, powerful, sustainable tactics, they start to regain their clout, eventually landing some major clients, including 99designs, Macy's, Tripadvisor, Atari and Evite.
These tactics slowly start to coalesce into something they begin to call “the authority model.”
After seeing some good results for clients, Gael and Mark decided start their own sites with the authority model in mind--designed mostly as experiments at first--that quickly grew and started making money. More importantly, though, the sites not only survived every Google update that was thrown at them; they came out better than they were before, leading Gael and Mark to realize the full value of long-term web properties.
At this point, it’s 2014. The authority sites are all profitable, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors per month and are growing.
It’s then Gael and Mark realized a lot of people were stuck in the past--obsessed with “niche” sites and PBNs--and could be making a lot more money.
So they started this blog and haven’t looked back.
Gael Breton is the co-founder of AuthorityHacker.
He started his marketing career as an intern in college, was hired by the same before he graduated and was promoted to run the whole branch six weeks later.
He’s spoken at Oxford University, Harvard Business School, Wharton and General Assembly, and he’s appeared on countless podcasts and webinars on such reputable platforms as Ahrefs and SEMRush.
Acting as editor-in-chief, Gael is the mastermind behind both the blog and the training content, nearly as good of a teacher as he is a marketer. He also co-directs the market research, content and link-building efforts for all Authority Hacker’s authority websites.
Mark Webster is the co-founder of Authority Hacker.
He got his start in online marketing tinkering with AdSense campaigns and creating clickbank products.
Mark is a systems expert and possibly a robot. He takes the tactics developed through small-scale experimentation and scales them to an enterprise level.
In particular, Mark builds world-class, large-scale content creation and white hat link building systems for the authority sites under the Authority Hacker umbrella. He also oversees hiring, outsourcing, customer support and the Authority Hacker podcast.
In addition to his marketing duties, Mark oversees the business side of Authority Hacker and its related properties.
Perrin Carrell is a senior contributing editor at Authority Hacker.
Perrin got into internet marketing while desperately trying to escape his life as a cubicle slave at global communications consulting firm. He spent every night, weekend, and commute for a very long while teaching himself about SEO and failing at building sites.
With the help of a few good mentors, he had started having some success, and those successes started to snowball. Today, he’s built several successful sites from scratch, including one that went from a value of $0 to $200,000 in just under 20 months. He’s been blogging about internet marketing and sharing his case studies for nearly half a decade now.
At Authority Hacker, Perrin writes and edits for the blog, develops course content, podcasts, and answers questions in all of Authority Hacker’s various communities. He’s a contrarian by nature and prides himself on constantly innovating and testing new tactics to share.
Lewis is a contributor at AuthorityHacker.
He started his IM journey after trawling sites like The Warrior Forum and Black Hat World, adopting the worst kinds of marketing/link building tactics as a result. He managed to grow a site to over 30,000 uniques a month until he got slapped by Google.
After almost giving up, he started coming across sites like Backlinko and Authority Hacker, and they completely changed his perspective.
He taught himself sales copywriting, moved to Thailand and found clients on freelance platforms like Upwork. He was doing well but still couldn’t shake the idea of getting back in the trenches.
Eventually, he did start another site — thefreelanceeffect.com — to teach people how to break into online freelancing. Shortly after that, a job opportunity opened up at Authority Hacker, and he just couldn’t pass it up. The rest, as they say, is history.