Building an authority site is a lot of fun.
But it also takes a lot of work.
Wouldn’t it be cool if you could just pay somebody else to build an affiliate site for you?
There are lots of companies offering this exact service.
So we decided to put one of them through the Authority Hacker grinder.
Let’s see how they got on.
So… who was the lucky victi…I mean participant?
Alpha Investors – you’ve probably heard of them before today.
If you’re familiar with my review style you’ll know it’s blunt.
I don’t pull any punches.
So it was a brave move for Andrej Ilsin – the guy behind Alpha Investors – to reach out and ask for a review of their authority site-building service.
I do need to be completely transparent about one thing – we did not pay for this site
It was provided for review, free of charge.
But it was one of their ‘Alpha’ packages, which normally cost US$5,299 each.
So they didn’t cut any corners.
Don’t worry – I’ll reveal the domain name later on.
That way you can run it through Ahrefs to check metrics.
But you’ll also see exactly what you get when you buy a site from Alpha Investors.
So, let’s take a look at their sales page to see what your cash buys you:
‘Omega, their cheapest package costs US$899, while their most expensive one – the ‘Alpha’ package – comes in at US$5,299.
They gave us ‘Alpha’ package.
These sites come with a whole list of goodies such as:
- Domain name
- Niche and keyword research DFY
- 50,000 words of content
- 12 months of WPX hosting
- Premium WP theme
- On-page and off-page SEO DFY
- 3 x infographics
- A lead magnet for email marketing
- A unique site persona
- SOPS and training
Obviously, their cheapest package isn’t as feature-rich.
You do get 8,000 words of content…but link building and on-page SEO aren’t included.
So there will be additional costs (time and/or money) for you in developing an ‘Omega’ site.
There’s another important difference between the different packages.
And it’s how well the pages are optimized for the search engines.
These are similar to Surfer SEO in that your content will include the keywords Google expects to find on a top-ranking page.
Note: The ‘Omega’ package doesn’t include this feature.
You also get a lead magnet for email marketing and 3 infographics to use for outreach link building.
Link building, however, is only included with their two most expensive packages.
You’ll get my brutally honest opinion on these later in this review.
How long does it take for your site to go live?
Depending on the package you choose, you can expect to receive the login details for your completed site between 21 and 40 days later.
When I build a site with TASS it usually takes me a lot longer than 40 days.
So that was impressive.
Getting a site published in 5-ish weeks is no mean feat.
Especially if you’re managing multiple 50,000-word sites at the same time.
But…what actually happened after I placed the “order”?
The discovery process
This part of the process was really interesting because it showed me how they approach building their sites.
I received a questionnaire asking if I wanted them to pick a niche, or if I had some ideas of my own.
I’ve always liked the software niche, so told them that.
But I deliberately kept my response vague because I wanted to see their niche selection process in action.
So I asked them to pick a niche for me.
What did they come up with?
Patience is a virtue.
They also asked for the URLs of some affiliate sites that I like.
Andrej then sent me a huge PDF with hundreds of niches to choose from.
But he also said that his team could do custom niche research if I couldn’t find a niche that I liked.
Home renovation stuck out because I recently renovated the apartment I currently live in.
The problem was I still wanted to see if he could find something in the software niche.
Because the commissions in that niche can be huge.
That’s when he let me know I had a $500 budget for a dropped domain…if I wanted one.
That would give the site a head start thanks to the existing links and authority.
So I took him up on that offer…and waited to see what happened next.
Three 3 days later an email listing 5 software niches hit my inbox.
And then sub-niches listed within those, like “best voice changer software” and “best payroll software”.
But I still had no numbers or metrics to use in my decision making.
Basically, I could have done this research myself in a few minutes in Ahrefs:
..and presented the data in a less amateurish way.
That aside, what concerned me was imagining myself as a newbie affiliate marketer.
Because this is exactly where I’d get confused.
I might even think I kind of “have to” pick one of the suggested niches.
Something else that bugged me was that some of the suggested niches were totally unrealistic.
Like “design software”.
You’d need to be at least an amateur designer to compete here – the SERPs are dominated by tutorials created by expert designers.
And you’d also need to be willing to put up with a ton of competition and not very much traffic.
Or you’d have to rely on PBN (Private Blog Network) links to actually rank.
Long story short, I wasn’t impressed with Alpha Investor’s take on custom niche research.
So I asked Andrej and his team to look at the home renovation niche again.
A little bit of back and forth later and I receive an email with these potential sub-niches:
While these niches all do really well for lead generation they wouldn’t be my first choice for an affiliate site.
And again, I had no data to work on – just a list of ideas.
A 1-page report on each niche would have been really useful at this point.
So, after checking Ahrefs I picked the bathroom remodeling niche.
I knew the subject matter pretty well because of my recent home renovation project.
The domain name
They then came back to me with three dropped domains to choose from.
This was a DR16 site with some worthwhile backlinks, including several that are DR80+.
Obviously, the DR has grown a little bit since then:
So I knew that – all things being equal – the site could get a head start in the SERPs.
You do get a real-time dashboard so you can see how your site is progressing.
Which I spent absolutely no time looking at.
I was too busy with other stuff.
So, I basically told Alpha Investors to take care of the keyword research for the site, etc.
The Finished Product
Fast forward several weeks and I receive the login for a site with 23-pages of content on a DR16 domain.
The first thing that stuck out was that 18 of the 23 pages were informational content.
So that only left 5 pages of roundup review content to monetize the site with.
But let’s look at how good (or bad) both types of content actually were.
We’ll start with the bad news – the keyword research used for the informational posts wasn’t great.
“How to install a urinal” is one example of that.
It’s not a terrible keyword.
But the SERP for it is dominated by DR40+ sites.
At face value, it looked like we’d have to build additional links to the page to get it to rank.
Google is a fickle beast though, so we wound up ranking at #4 by…well…doing nothing:
That was a nice surprise.
The bigger problem is that the keywords picked by Alpha Investors lack the popularity/volume to be used for link outreach.
There’s just not enough traffic potential:
Basically, I can’t use them as the basis for a shotgun skyscraper campaign to pass link juice back to the commercial pages of content.
So that sucks.
The content also doesn’t yield a ton of traffic despite the unexpected rankings
Now let’s look at the good news – the quality of the content.
It was just as good as the stuff we would get from the content agencies.
Each page is made up of short sentences, uses relevant images, and uses the right type of structure for visitors to breeze through it.
The internal linking was also done pretty well.
It’s just a real shame that they didn’t do all of the above for a better selection of keywords.
The keywords selected for the commercial content was a lot better.
Here’s what we got:
- Best flushing toilets
- Best bathroom exhaust fan
- Best bathroom mirror
- Best bathroom cabinet
- Best bathroom dehumidifier
And I know we can rank on page #1 because of the number of low DR pages in the SERPs:
They’re still not perfect keywords though – far from it.
Search volume figures are almost totally unreliable…but a KD11 keyword with 10/pm searches is the best they could find?
A bit of research on my part turned up keywords that had more volume and would have been just as easy/easier to rank for.
Here are a few examples:
But I’m sure their researchers were just following their SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures).
The commercial content however was much better than the informational content.
It used the same sentence structure, contained relevant images, etc.
Each page also has those oh-so-important comparison tables, created with the AAWP plugin:
So this was a good overall effort at commercial content
But again it’s a shame the keyword selection didn’t match the quality of the content.
They obviously looked at the sites I mentioned in the questionnaire and mimicked some of what they found on Modern Castle:
They weren’t just wasting time asking those questions:
So what I actually got was a well-designed site, one that also loads in under 2-seconds:
And I actually like the design – it features elements that I tend to use in our affiliate sites.
It also uses many of the same plugins we install, such as:
Overall, the site is built on a sound technical foundation, and they did a good job at branding it.
What about the stuff I didn’t like?
The infographics look like something you’d get on Fiverr…and only pay $10 for.
There’s just nothing “Wow” about them, so they won’t work for either link bait or link outreach.
The email lead magnet was also a disappointment.
A “bathroom remodeling checklist” is just bland:
“10 secrets of top bathroom renovation experts revealed!” would attract more eyeballs.
As would not burying the lead magnet in a sidebar.
We’ve had zero subscribers in the last 4 months…so that’s pretty telling.
Anyways, so what I like about the site is:
- Site tech
And what wasn’t so hot:
- Niche selection
- Keyword selection
- Email marketing elements
My biggest gripe is the keyword selection – I know the site would have done better in the SERPs if I simply told them what keywords to use.
You live and learn, right?
Bomisch.com has been live for several months now…so am I writing this while sitting on a tropical beach sipping a cocktail from all the money it made me?
Because that’s not how this business works.
A lot of the pages now rank around the middle or bottom of page two.
Although we do have 55 “Top 3” rankings.
Rankings are improving, but we’re not seeing a lot of traffic – maybe like 800 impressions per month.
But we’d need to give Bomisch a full six months to settle into the SERPs before we give it a “Yay” or “Nay”.
Experience tells me that I’d need to do extra work to make a decent ROI on this site.
Are you disappointed that you can’t just hand Alpha Investors $5k and get an affiliate site that cranks out cash from day one?
If it was that easy everyone would do it.
So is a site from Alpha Investors worth the money or not?
Overall, it’s a “Yes”.
You get 50,000 words of content, 12 months of hosting, premium domain, on-page SEO, link building, etc.
So it’s actually well priced.
Plus, you have to factor in the hundreds of hours you will not have to spend working on the site.
And it only took them 45 days to complete the whole thing for me.
My only real regret is that I wish I’d done the keyword research for them.
Got plenty of money but not very much time?
Here’s an interesting way to use Alpha Investors.
When I find an interesting niche I don’t have time for, I register a domain, upload 5 – 10 posts and add some links to the site.
Then I leave it alone to mature for a few years until I have time to work on it.
This is something we call “seeding domains”.
Using Alpha Investors means I could build several “seeding domains” with absolutely no effort on my part except for a few emails.
I’d bypass the sandbox period by default and have an entire portfolio of sites ready to flip within a few years.
Will AIpha Investors build you a retirement-money website for a few thousand dollars?
But they can do most of the heavy lifting involved in starting a site for you.
Which is ideal if you have more money than time.
I would just stick to getting them to do content, links, and sourcing a dropped domain for you.
That’s what they do really well.
Do the keyword and niche research yourself.
I’m usually super-skeptical of “DFY affiliate site” services.
But my experience with Alpha Investors went way better than I expected.
Even with all the shortcomings listed above.