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Keyword Academy 2.0 Review – TKA 2.0 Review: Scam or Legit

UPDATED January 2012. The Keyword Academy drives me insane sometimes! If we could just get Mark to dot some “i’s” and “t’s” it would be so much easier! 

Its been a long time since I did my first Keyword Academy review – nearly 3 years  in fact. So is the Keyword Academy still working in 2012?  Yes it is but some of wish Mark would hurry up and update his bloody sale’s page from time-to-time – like once every couple of years OK! 

Google is always changing the game, and in 2011, in response to changes in Google (known as “”Panda-monium” by those of low humour standards) – so-called TKA2.0 was released.  The core lessons were updated, changed from video format (really hard to update) to written form, some tools had to be retired because they just didn’t work with anymore with the changes to Google’s programming feed.

But now the buzz is that The Keyword Academy 2.0 is out and I’ve had emails asking – is this program still good to go – is it worth it could you please update your Keyword Academy review? What’s changed – will it still work for me? Does Keyword Academy work in a post-Panda SEO world and as always – is it a scam or legit ?

Quick Summary of Keyword Academy 2.0  for the Attention Challenged Reader

  • Yes TKA 2.0 still works
  • The Keyword Academy is not a Scam
  • No I don’t know whether you can earn $2000/month in the next year from online marketing (but I know that I do ).
  • You will need to put serious work in to make money – but your work ethic is far more important than spending a whole lot of money up front.
  • Yes I really do use the program to make me money – and not just from the commission I get if you sign up NOW .
  • Yes I will get a commission if you do – but there is no real hurry so keep on reading, hang around, think about it – and remember if you cancel in the first 30 days you will pay nothing.

The Longer Version for the Procrastinators and For the Long-Tail Searches (thanks Google)

Lissie hard at it doing more research for you!

First is TKA2.0 a marketing ploy? Any of you who have been around the Internet Marketing/ Make Money Online world for more than a year or two will have seen how programs are always being updated and changed, usually accompanied by a price hike. The reason is usually pure marketing – make it new – make people buy now – before time runs out, hike the price while you’re at it.

That’s never been TKA’s style – lets face it they are yet to get around to creating some decent images for us poor old affiliates to use!

So why a new TKA now?

Does the change in TKA mean that the old approach of niche sites doesn’t work anymore? Did Panda (Google’s 2011 update in March and April) – ravage niche sites developed using the TKA method? Well my sites have been just fine – some have gone up, some down, but no I didn’t wake up one day and discover they are all gone. 

Its true though that some people on the forums did see some of their sites dropping. From what I’ve seen I’ve seen no real pattern – though newer sites, as always, are more vulnerable to bounces up and down the search results. From my moderately successful point of view – nothing much has changed – Google still counts backlinks, Google still can’t read or appreciate the finer points of English usage – but Google can find a keyword and related terms – just as well as ever.

What is changing is that competition is getting heavier and nastier. Google can’t tell very easily whether a site is purely a made for Adsense (or affiliate) income – but your competitors can – and its very easy for them to report you. That’s when you need to have a legit site – a site with real readers and which offers more to the web than the chance to click an ad.

So What is The New Keyword Academy Method
Basically its not a change of direction – more a change of emphasis. The emphasis is on fewer larger sites – emphasizing more personal experience and insight.

Ahh the cynics amongst you might say, well I did, like SBI or blogging – make a name for yourself, write your passion, the visitors will come and then you parlay that into a career as a speaker, writer, or (my own personal definition of Hell) a public speaker. Build your list, sell to your list retire to a pleasant beach bungalow on a Thai beach (for which you get a heavily discounted rate in return for a glowing review on your site).

Nope the heart of the Keyword Academy method is still keywords. That’s the key difference between The Keyword Academy and the  “the blog it and they will come approach”. Rather TKA combines finding something you are interested in – then finding some related keywords – writing about them and promoting them. This is not about acquiring 100,000 twitter followers or 1779  Facebook likes.

What Does TKA Offer in 2012 And Beyond

  1. A clear and precise set of instructions on how to start your online business – instructions on how to choose a topic for your sites, how to setup your sites, how to write, monetize and build traffic. 
  2. Postrunner – I’ve described a detailed case study about how I use Postrunner for real in my business. Postrunner is the easiest way on the planet to get guest posts and backlinks for your sites. In fact Postrunner even makes me some of my income as I (and you if you join) can have sites within the system. 
  3. Forum. The one thing I find that is huge with working on-line  is the loneliness and isolation.  Not one of my real life friends and family understand what I do online to make a living – they just kinda hope its legal!  Having a forum for bouncing ideas around in, is sanity saving! Its so much better than talking to yourself about it – trust me on this one! 
  4. Webinars. Mark does a weekly webinar – I dont’ always make it live – but still, after 2.5 years I make a point of listening to each and everyone (they are recorded). Mark really is an awesome trainer/coach – he should get out and do this in person – but maybe not as he’s in the US and I’m not I probably wouldn’t get to hear him in person! 

Which brings me to my final point – and I think the most important development for the Keyword Academy for 2011 and beyond. Mark Butler has done the hardest thing of all – and realised that he can’t do it all by himself. I don’t know why, but most entrepeneurs I have met are control freaks, they can’t delegate to save themselves, or their businesses. Its a character flaw which basically means their businesses grow to a certain level and no further. Mark has managed to get past this though and has partnered with a couple of new teachers to greatly expand the core lessons and basic support. He’s also opening up the Academy to other members who may have their own unique methods of making money online to add their 2c as well.

And that to me means that the Keyword Academy will continue to prosper in 2011 and beyond. So for those of you who skipped to the bottom of the page looking for the quick solution to making money online – sorry don’t have one.

If you want to learn how to build a genuine business online though – feel free to check out the Keyword Academy through my HONKING BIG AFFILIATE  link – free for the first 30 days and then billed at $33/month – you cancel via Paypal at any time.

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Keyword Academy Case Study: Does Postrunner Work?

OK this is my last Keyword Academy Case Study post – its a review of where I got a new site to in the rankings by solely using Postrunner for back links and some thoughts about the quality of the Postrunner system.

Wellington Harbour Entrance - looking towards Pencarrow
Wellington Harbour Entrance - in a good Southerly

As of  27 September – my postrunner promoted site had the following statistics:

Rankings on 27 September  (2 August, 2 June | 30 April ,14 April 2010 in brackets | 8 April 2010)

  • 15 pages indexed in Google (18, 24, 26, 15 |13 pages)
  • 23  backlink recognized in yahoo (15, 13,13 ,6,1, 0)
  • domain name exact match long-tail: 5 (8, 12, 14, 17 | 17)
  • main keyword: 9 (14, 21, 17, 34 | 61)
  • main keyword singular: 1 (12, 19 ,19 , 31 | 61)
  • 4 other cousins are on page 1 and the other 2 are on page 2.

A qualified success I think – but only qualified. Why only qualified? I have published 69 posts in Postrunner to support this site the most recent went live on the 23 August 2010. However of those 69 fully 22 are not indexed.  Now each and every one of those posts went to a different site in Postrunner – so I downloaded the list of backlinked articles and looked at each and everyone of them – this is what I found:

  • one site had moved every post over to a new domain – and left a message on the old domain- friendly but useless for SEO – my post isn’t indexed and it wouldn’t be unless I put some effort it;
  • one site had completely deleted all of the Postrunner articles it had and had become a Bulgarian ecommerce site (I think – my Bulgarian is rubbish);
  • 3 or 4 sites had decided to change their permalink structure and then redirect the original post to the top level domain – thanks for nothing guys – I think this should be against the TOS (though I don’t think it is at the moment);
  • one site seems to have removed my article entirely (or maybe they just screwed up the permalink structure as above – anyway it was indexed so I couldn’t find it on a site search);
  • several sites that are or have been in Postrunner are now selling links on a popular link selling forum
  • in several cases my post wasn’t indexed but the content was indexed on category, author and tag pages – good for the site owner – useless for me;
  • although I only link once in an article (I could do it twice) – and I always link in the first paragraph – some owners still manage to get links in above my link – that’s mean spirited in my view.

Now I was about to embark on a campaign of bookmarking to get these other links indexed – but  frankly some of them are going to be difficult – once the content is indexed on other pages on the site is going to be quite hard to “correct” Google.

Of  the 47  backlinked articles which are indexed – Yahoo is only counting 23 – so I looked harder at those 23. They were an interesting set:

  • one was a scrapper site which had taken one of the other blog’s content – it was indexed with a do-follow link – don’t tell me that duplicate content doesn’t work 🙂 ;
  • in 10 cases the link counted wasn’t to the post – but to tags, categories etc, As most people use excerpts on these pages I’m not really getting a do-follow link that counts;
  • in several cases the post wasn’t indexed in Google but was being counted as a link in Yahoo. Because all any of care about is rankings in Google this means these links are probably not really in the count either.

What’s Good About Postrunner

  • There is a wide diversity of hosting and IP addresses.
  • Diversity of ownership of the sites in Postrunner.
  • If ALL you got for your Keyword Academy membership was Postrunner – it would be the cheapest deal I know for access to this amount of link diversity.
  • Unique content – duplicate content can rank – but it takes more effort – usually.

What’s Not So Good About Postrunner

  • I get no notification when articles are removed – this I think would be relatively easy to program and should be done ASAP.
  • I have to manually check whether links are indexed or not. If they aren’t indexed I have to do something about it.
  • Most owners don’t understand how to avoid diluting the power of links (read Leo’s blog on this) – I think that so few of even the indexed links are being counted relfect this.
  • Some of the site’s owners don’t know what they are doing – mucking  with the permalink structures is the obvious one.
  • Quite a number of the PR3 or higher sites are pre-owned domains which will likely lose their PR when the next update comes along (due anytime now actually).  These sites particularly likely to disappear from the system with your post, or just not get indexed at all (partly because so many posts are being approved on them). I’ve had better luck with PR0 and PR1 sites.

Do I still recommend Postrunner? Yes I do for $33/month its pretty low cost – but I am investigating another similar scheme which may be more effective – stay tuned. And if you are using Postrunner – do a periodic check of your articles and follow up the ones that have disappeared (by getting them returned via support) and those that aren’t indexed (by building more links to get them indexed).

I’d be interested in knowing  similar stats people have for Postrunner or similar program which involve the publication of unique content.

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The Keyword Academy Video Course – A Scam?

Another update – in 2011 The Keyword Academy have released version two: check out my most recent  Keyword Academy review.

UPDATE: A year later this post still gets traffic and sign ups so I thought it might be time to update it! Short answer is that TKA just keeps on getting better – that’s why I am still subscribed to it! Updates in bold below

Now I can teach you some stuff but I prefer to send you on to an expert – and my experts were letting me down!

I have two main mentors that I have mentioned over and over. Grizz provides great information for free – but even he admits that his sites are designed to bring in search traffic – not necessarily with sound coaching and teaching principles in mind! The information is there but you have to dig – and some people don’t learn like that. UNFORTUNATELY GRIZ NO LONGER POSTS BUT HIS ARCHIVES ARE WELL WORTH READING

Vic – is not everyone’s cup of tea – some people can’t get past the foul-mouthed persona – which is really their problem not mine or his. But more importantly Vic has closed is private forum until further notice as he is busy on a new business venture – which meant I couldn’t refer people to the place I get a lot of my information from.

Now – today – finally- I have a solution. The third person who has provided me decent, quality information is Courtney Tuttle. He started off with a free site – discovered that people don’t appreciate free and went to a coaching/mentoring pricing monitoring. Now to be honest mentoring is not really for me – I just don’t learn that way very well, and of course the time zone difference didn’t make life any easier. Mark Butler, Court’s business partner, now runs the Keyword Academy.

Now Court has, I am pretty sure, a background in consulting and/or coaching in the real world, and he and his partner Mark take a much more formalised approach to teaching the business of making passive income online than either Griz or Vic.

But, and this is the important thing, they are all basically telling the beginner the same thing in terms of doing keyword research, setting up websites, building back links and making money. Its all very professionally laid out, there is no bad language involved, and more importantly the information is good.

The Keyword Academy Membership Site

Court and his partner Mark have launched a new payment membership site: Keyword Crash Course Video Series . The site is new and the main information currently available are 10 videos taking the beginner step by step from doing keyword research, setting up a site with WordPress, adding content, getting backlinks, article marketing, Adsense setup and statistical analysis of your site visitors. Each video is around 40 minutes long. There is also Q+A associated with each video and a full transcript so you can find the bit you want again!

Now this set of videos by themselves could easily be sold for hundreds of dollars. But they aren’t charging hundreds of dollars, or even $100 dollars.  Now its free for the first month – insane!

UPDATE: When TKA launched that was all there was – a course and a forum – but over the next year they added a tool to further automate the finding of keywords (NicheRefinary) and a way to make Guest Posting waaaay easier (Postrunner)

What’s the Catch?

Is there a catch – of course there is! After the first month you get charged an ongoing rate of $33/ month (premium includes access to the forums – only way to go in my opinion). Ahhh you say – so how many months does it take to get access to the videos – 3, 6 or 9? No the initial 10 videos are available to you immediately – as  soon as you confirm your subscription – yup you have full access for 30 days before you pay anything!

What about the subscription – yes you sign up for an ongoing subscription – can you cancel it? Yes as soon as you gain access if you want – though I wouldn’t recommend it. If you use paypal to subscribe all you do is go to Paypal and cancel the subscription – you don’t have to contact Court and Mark at all.

Why do I say you shouldn’t cancel immediately? Well because the Internet is a dynamic place – the business model that worked 5 years ago or even one year ago may not work now – having access to updated information and support is one of the most important things you need to have to go forward in this business. What I do say – is leave yourself a note and evaluate whether the product is working for you after 25 days and decide whether to continue on with the subscription.

Ahh you say, having been scammed one to many times, you can’t follow the videos without the fancy software right? No, really, the main software used in the videos are:

Keyword research: Google’s free adwords tool

Excel – but you can use OpenOffice – its free

Competitor analysis – SEO for Firefox – free

Statistical analysis of visitors to your site – Statcounter – free and highly recommended by me!

Setting up the site: you will need hosting and your own domain name using the Keyword Academy approach, you can do it for free – but if you are completely new to this I’d advise not to mix and match.

Hosting Hostgator $5/month if you only want one site, $8/month for unlimited.

WordPress – free, recommended themes and plugins – free

Domain name: $0.99c for an info $7.49 for a .com (from godaddy) -cost per a year.

Link building. They mention a bunch of free methods but also recommend that you use Unique Article Wizard  for article distribution – this costs $67/month.

With the addition of Postrunner – the additional UWA product is no longer really needed

Will Keyword Academy Work For Me?

I don’t know where to start – I don’t know how to create a website – will Keyword Academy work for me?

If you are a beginner looking for a step-by-step approach to building an online business, if you are prepared to put the work in (Court recommends 8-10 hours /week) – then this will work for you.  The program will teach you how to develop sites optimized for Adsense.

I have information over-load – I don’t know where to start – I need to start reading and take action.

Know how you feel – if you are looking for a step-by-step program – check this out and ignore all the other sites for a month or two.  Don’t just watch the videos do your homework and create your first site, or first money-making one, and move forward.

I don’t do Google Adsense – I want to sell affiliate products or my own products – is there any value here for me?

Regardless of what you want to sell you need organic traffic to your site. The Keyword Academy will teach you how to do keyword research which will work regardless of your monetization method.

I’m an experienced Internet Marketer – will I learn anything?

Grizz, Vic, Court all have slightly different approaches to making money online – but all work for them. What works for you may be an exact copy of one their models- or a mash-up of your own – but these guys won’t put you wrong.

I learnt several things that were either new to me or I had been muddled on by skipping through the videos. The final video on how to flip websites was all new to me and well worth the $1  in my opinion!

Anyway you are already probably paying for link distribution services – TKA will probably save you money with the Postrunner system!

Bottom Line: Is Keyword Academy a Scam?

No its not. You are committing nothing to signing up for the video marketing course.

Try the videos and forums for a month- you may find they don’t work for you, you don’t want to make money this way, you don’t have the time – whatever  – you have lost nothing. Sign up for the forums options so that you can ask questions for a month – you may not like the answers – you can can cancel it cost you  nothing.

Will following the videos guarantee that you will make money – no it won’t! Nothing in life is free – and free money doesn’t exist. You will have to do some work. Most of us value our time so this is going to cost you some time. It is going to cost you some money for domains and hosting. But if you are flat broke you could still try this out by developing a site on for fre e…

Why Am I Recommending Keyword Academy Video Series and Membership Site

  1. It will work for people who want a structured learning environment -the cost is reasonable, there is no long-term contract the pricing model is transparent and fair.
  2. The principles taught make me money – they work.
  3. They will make you money if you put the effort in.  I am strongly recommending that you sign up with the premium version because most people need access to a forum for on-going support.
  4. There is an affiliate program – if you click on a link to sign up with the Keyword Crash Course Video Series for free I will get a commission. I will happily take Mark”s money for introducing you.  Oh and you already have to be a member to be approved as an affiliate so anyone promoting the product has seen what they are selling.