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Third Tribe Marketing and Keyword Academy Reviewed – Can Membership Sites Help?

I recently posted a Third Tribe Review and I’ve made no secret that I am a fan and a member of The Keyword Academy – both are membership sites which cost less than $50/month and claim to help you make money online – one I thoroughly recommend – one I don’t why?

First off lets be clear: do you want a work at home job or a business built on passive income? Personally I have no more desire to be at the beck and call of clients than I liked answering to a boss. In fact I could see it could conceivably worse. I am looking to make income online which keeps happening even while I am not there.

Third Tribe Marketing

Hmmm guys you might want to take a second look at your copy –  and fix up some of the missing elements such as Privacy Policy, contact details etc, etc Andy Beard has pointed them out here : Agressive Hype and Obnoxious Tactics. According to Chris Brogan they are about Internet marketing not making money online – that’s pretty confusing cause I thought the whole point of marketing was to make sales and sales are supposed to make your money surely?

Cost: Currently $27 a month- but the price will be rising next week to $47/month. No free or reduced cost first month – but you cancel at any time via Paypal. Apparently you can get a refund of the first month – but you have to request it – I’d suggest using the forums if you can’t find the contact form …

Core Content:. Doesn’t seem to be a defined core course – maybe that will evolve…From what I can gather the theory is that you if you hang with enough like-minded people money will evolve itself into your bank account – call me anal but I’d rather have a business plan. Obviously this is a membership on the Teaching Sells model – so you may well learn something on WHAT they do not what they SAY they are doing.  If I am spending money for a forum I want to know what the defined benefits are from it.

Questions and Answers Sessions: Twice a month is planned

Forum: Nothing that special that I can see – could easily become a wonderful hand holding environment – which is unlikely to be of any use except for networking.  One of the longest threads at the moment is about what it is to be a “cool blogger” …

Who Would I recommend the Third Tribe to

  • Its extremely hard to recommend a product which has no clear definition of what it is they are selling and whom they are selling it to…
  • Seriously if you want to watch WHAT they do not what they SAY they do – this is a very interesting in offering not very much and making people happy to pay for it – the bit that is missing is whether people will stay subscribed – or whether they will have to keep on getting new fodder into the pipeline.

Update on Thrid Tribe Affiliate Program

Along with the price rise there is now the expected announcement of an affiliate program. Of coure Brian Clark is doing it because everyone insisted on it – yeah right – so reluctantly he’s offering 33% of sale price – recurring – so that’s $15.50/month per a sign-up. Expect to see a flood of “second tribe” type gushing reviews of Third Tribe coming to a blog near you.

The Keyword Academy:

The concept is so simple it fits on  a one page  diagram:

Cost: $33 /month(premium) $29/month $29 (basic). First month $1 – you can cancel at any time via Paypal and that’s the most you will pay. (In fact if you sign up through my link and decide not to continue after the first month drop me a message via the contact form and I will refund your $1 to your paypal account). The price has been the same since the launched in April 09 – there is no threat that it will go up soon as far as I know. Other costs involved will including domains and hosting.

Core Content:10 videos with transcripts describing in detail how to make money using the above model. Plus at least previous 6 monthly webinars  are available.

Question and Answer Sessions – 3 times a month including one for European time zone members and one for advanced members. All Q&A’s are recorded and available for download.(premium only)

Content Webinar. There is a content webinar each month – topics include everything from new developments with the Google algorithm to new developments at The Keyword Academy site itself. Available for download (premium only).

Forum (premium only) a forum with a twist. No sigs allowed and mamembers can only sell to other members in one specific area. However members can apply for badges which reflect their online earnings (as verified by management) – which gives an idea to newcomer as to who is walking the talk and who is not.

Who Would I recommend the Keyword Academy to

  • Anyone who wants to develop a passive online business where they get paid for work they did years or months ago;
  • Anyone who wants more traffic to their site – maybe you are tired of the social blogging “write great content and they will come” – its not an either or, I think I write competently here – but the site gets most of its visitors from search engines and that’s all about keywords and backlinks and TKA will teach you both.
  • If you are more experienced and are looking for cost effective access to some useful link building resources – sign up and check it out. You may be pleasently surprised. As an affiliate I’ve been surprised just how “sticky” this membership is – people stay long after they’ve learnt the basics – because of the value add.
  • If you want to develop a work at home job – be it a freelance writer or something else – check out the TKA anyways – first off there are always members looking for writers and second you will understand how to really write SEO copy- and no its not necessary to go to the dark side (hint this site is fairly well optimised SEO copy).

Who Would I NOT recommend the Keyword Academy to:

  • Anyone who thinks they will be making thousands or even hundreds in their first month without doing much work – get a job – its one of the easiest  ways to make fast reliable cash 🙂 ;
  • Anyone who is dreaming about starting a business – this is about WORKING;
  • Anyone who can genuinely not afford the cash – there is enough free information here and over at Grizz’s free blog to get you earning.

Look I’ve been called cynical and rude (and that’s my friends) – but I really, really don’t like people getting ripped off – and just because they may feel good about being ripped off doesn’t mean that they aren’t being so. Even if the people who are running the rip-off scheme (and sorry, bottom-line that’s my opinion of Third Tribe Marketing) – there an awful lot of ernst, good people out there under the illusion that they can make money about blogging about their passions. The bottom line is that most of them won’t make a cent profit.

Membership sites are a fantastic way to make money online – if people keep renewing you make great cash and its an ongoing fairly stable income – that’s the holy grail online I can assure you. But it has to be providing excellent value to the customer as well in my view.

From what I have seen so far from Third Tribe Marketing -this site is an  online cocktail hour for the cool dudes – after all business people having been paying through the nose for networking events off-line for years – so why not online? Doesn’t make it any more likely that  joiningill make a  beginner money though.

If you are a beginner and you are trying to make money online, you have no special skills, no cool tribe to hang out with but you aren’t afraid of a bit of hard work then, I believe that the Keyword Academy should more than pay for its self within several months. Maybe it will 3 months or, 6 months – but from the details provided in the program and the details provided by members in the forum most who stick around seem to hit at least $200/month within 6 months. That’s not a fortune – but it seems a typical result – that’s called no bullshite marketing as far as I am concerned.

51 replies on “Third Tribe Marketing and Keyword Academy Reviewed – Can Membership Sites Help?”

I have been hearing a lot about the new 3rd Tribe site, but when I went their I just got confused with what they were actually planning to do. I am heading over to check keyword academy now!


I can’t agree with you more regarding the Keyword Academy. I was only a member for a month during the $1 trial, but it was the best $1 I ever spent.


It seems bizarre to launch a product without even having basic privacy, terms & contact pages on your site. Even the yellow highlighter brigade normally use those! It creates an untrustworthy impression, which is kind of ironic too, considering that one of their main premises seems to be the need to create trust by being honest and open with your readers.

I don’t like the way they create a false dichotomy with the “IM scumbag who rakes it in vs the saintly blogger who never makes a bean” thing. I know they admit to generalising to make a point over on the sales page, but they still don’t seem to get that there are plenty of IMers who make money by providing high quality, high value content, but who prefer to focus on SEO and aren’t interested in the whole social community-building thing, or in putting themselves out there in a personal way. In fact, I noticed a lot of hostility in the comments over at Copyblogger to those who stay anonymous & use pen names. They’d certainly kick me out, as I never use my real name – not because I’m ripping people off, or have something to hide, but because I value my privacy – some people don’t seem to get that though! I think the quality of the information on a site is far more important than knowing about the person who is writing it. And that’s an example of what bothers me about this whole notion of being in a ‘tribe’ – there’s this impression of forced conformity – that you’re either on their side, in agreement with their whole philosopy, or not. There doesn’t seem to be much room for picking and choosing useful strategies from a variety of sources (even if those people aren’t whiter than white in every respect – why not just pass over the dodgy stuff), and forging your own unique path.

Anyhow, I don’t mean to bitch, as I’m sure they’re all genuine people who have put a lot of effort into their site, and I hope that those who join up get the results they’re looking for. I just think it’s a shame that they tar all IMers with the same brush, and seem to have quite a narrow minded view, when in fact there are so many different ways to position yourself online and make money (or not) – not just the three that they talk about.

@cat – this whole instinctive feel that if its a tribe I need to start running in the oposite direction – that’s me too! I don’t get it I really don’t – I’m glad you understand cause reading thru the comments on problogger I had decided I was the only weird one. The very first reaction I had to the salescopy – was outrage that they were separating the whole world into 2 groups and then forming a 3rd to which I was being invited. I didn’t play that up in the review cause it seem so irrational – but I think I might do another post cause its obviously a psychological thing … If someone says you “have” to do something for no good reason do you immediately do the opposite of what they want – so many people assumed that my partner and I would marry that after 12 years we are not LOL

Hey Lis,

What a passionate review for both membership sites. I haven’t tried either and probably won’t, but once in a while I do get curious about these products.

People need to be able to realize what might be helpful to them: anything that promises thousands in t he firs tmonth or two? Probably a scam.

Your review will probably anger a good number of people, but it takes balls to be honest. G’luck!

@Moon – I think its well worth winding up the Internet from time to time – oddly for such a global phenonmen – people get stuck in their own little corner all too easily!

Actually, I think people are smarter now and they won’t fall for these get quick rich scams. However, the line they feed is that you have to grow your readership, be patient and provide valuable content and network crap. All the while they are sucking in your monthly fees. I prefer the keyword academy where they say here are your steps, and if you didn’t do them, no wonder you’re failing.

This whole aimless networking group with no course outline is just ludicrous.

It reminds me of financial advisors saying your portfolio is underperforming due to the bad market. Stay the course, etc. Um, I thought that was the reason I was paying you, to make money even in bad times.

The trouble is Mariam when you get desparate – you start clutching at straws. Don’t talk to me about financial advisors – its one of the reason I’ve always preferred property – I pay fees sure to solicitors, valuers who ever – but they don’t keep taking fees year after year – regadless – my property manager only gets paid if he finds me a tenant – pity they don’t pay stock brokers the same way!

This is a great double review – what I really like about this post Lis is that you reviewed one product (membership), and then you offered an alternate but again with the same laser sharp scrutiny.

Thank you for insight.


I think that you have made it clear which you feel has the better value and content. I agree that running head-long into a project like this without having a clear path is a mistake and a recipe for disaster. Once again thank you for your honest opinion and well laid out review.

You saw it first here folks – I can not only do SEO – I can wake Griz from hibernation – and that’s really tough!

Being fairly new at this, I signed up for most of the A-lists offers. It was soon evident when a new product came out the swarm of emails started. One after another pushing the same product.

As big as the Internet is the circle of A listers became obvious and the repetitiveness of the offers became annoying. It’s almost a sin how they pray on the innocence of people in need just to see who the #1 affiliate will be.

Even if you saved one person a few bucks by taking the time to write this, it’s worth it…….

I find it incredibly irritating – its not even the money – though it is for some people – but its the repeated loss of hope which is much more damaging in the long run

hey again,

So here is my question –

I use ezine articles, blogger sites, and things like digg, mybloglog, amd blog catalog to get my hubs indexed along with my sites as well. Is this the right thing to be doing? Or are there other great place to get white hat back links?

Also – Is it me or does it seem like we all work hard and the results dont come for a month or two later? 8)

And how exactly did you get griz to help you out? I mean – I know that you give griz some links as well. It just seems like it would be hard to get into that little group (you know splork, vic and the others).

Anyways one last question. What I have been doing lately is creating a blog, then creating a few more linking to it and then linking even more to those three – Is this the basic jist of how to dominate?

Thanks for the Input 8)

I personally don’t bother with digg or mybloglog – I probably should bother with blogcatag – I see them in the listings quite a lot. I find blogger sites take FOREVER to get indexed but once they are 6 months old they are good – I use sometimes but they are very quick to shut your blog down if the smell “commercial” – be careful there. I have access to lots of blogs for backlinks from inside the keyword academy and some of them work well. Other article directories I like include and also olive directory I use infobarrel from time to time too.

Casey I didn’t ask Grizz to help me out with my current Third Tribe project. In fact I knew he was in the midst of moving from out of the Candian Arctic so I didn’t expect him to surface until March or so. Grizz has a standing statement though that he will link to stuff he finds interesting. You do something for Grizz – he reciprocates its really that simple. When he published his post that you refer to there was no “related reading” at the bottom – in it he’s added – some of those are old friends but Rob Shellon isn’t as he said in his comment “My first comment here too, been a reader for a while though. ” In fact its a very easy group to get into start handing out useful links to people and find how quickly real Internet Marketers will become “friends” – they probably won’t tweet you and facebook you – but they probably iwll provide links when required. In fact Grizz has a whole post about it over here at niche support

Blogs linking to blogs – certainly works – but cover your tracks a little and mix it up – I’m not very good at being systematic – but a natural linking profile for a site is a bit random if its natural…

Oh yeah its a totally huge amount of work – and you might do it all day every day for months before you see any results – thats why most people fail – or more accurately quit before they succeed – because either they get the wrong advice (aka The Tribe) or they do th right thing but forget you don’t need just content and links – you need time for Google to trust you – and that takes a while – anything I post here is indexed in google inside 20 minutes – 1/2 hour on a slow day – but I have other sites it takes over a week …

Good luck iwth it – you are asking the right questions – keep on asking and doing!

Casey – you need help – just ask. We are all just normal folk. And Lis didn’t “get me” to do anything. I did it because I wanted to. Post something that I can dig in to and I’ll be happy to give you a hand as well. Or anyone else for that matter. Don’t lump me in with all those elite snotty A Listers… brrrrr! 🙂

LOL Griz you too fast at the moment – this time zone seems to work with Canada quite well! I was writing the reply to Casey while you replied – so Casey I hadn’t seen this before I wrote mine – honest – trust me I’m an Internet Marketer 🙂

Lis, you sure know how to jump into things with both feet. Been following this whole Tribe crap around for the last hour.

Sorry I have not been around lately. Been off making money and have not had time to keep up with some of my favorite people. Plus for some reason I am not getting your updates in my email. I’ll re-subscribe and see what happens.

As usual you got things stirred up again. Good for you. Winters are pretty long and boring here.

Thanks for the info and particularly for making me laugh out loud today.

Laughing is always good Denise – glad to help you on out on that! But seriously the kudos should go to Darren and Third Tribe Marketing guys- I couldn’t have thought up this scheme if my life depended on it!


Well, I need some help I just didnt know it was that simple. I have read your blog for hours and hours and hours and I think Im getting the hang of it. Been following and learning for about 5 months now and studying at college at the same time.I getting a nursing degree (make nurse lol) but I would 10x rather do this stuff. I’ve been getting about three hours of sleep per night working on this stuff because Its addicting. Sure would be nice ot get some links but I dont know if my sites are worthy – 8)

I am thinking about joining the keyword academy.

I will take any advice or help I can get – just let me know

Thanks for the help everybody

(ps I about fell out of my chair “the Griz” actually mentioned my name – lol)

*male nurse* my bad – everybody always talks about how hard it is> I know this stuff is hard, but studying for anatomy and physiology 60 hours for a test in hard in its own rite.

Good stuff Lis, it’ll be interesting to hear any updates on Third Tribe a few weeks or months doesn’t the line, as now they have over 2,000 members they will start delivering some goods I’m sure. Defining benefits being one of them I would hope!

Yes I would hope so too Joel – but I do indeed wonder what their retention rate is gonna be – if they are claiming 2000 members – assuming most of them are on the $27/month offer that around $54,000 revenue a month – you’d think for that could offer something more than some forums and the odd webinar – I know the keyword academy certainly does!

Frankly I doubt it – I mean their copy is llegal in the US jursdicition (no privacy policy no contanct details) and Brian Clark – one of the “experts” is busy telling me that ezinearticles don’t count – right – that’s why my ezine article is ranking page 1 for third tribe marketing I suppose …

Yes, sounds pretty good money to me. I’m definitely interested in the content and value side of things though, I’m all for paying for something if it’s worth it of course.

The difference is that the Keyword Academy promises to teach you something, whereas the Third Tribe promised to let you pick the brains of big named bloggers.
Honestly, if I wanted to pick the brains of big named bloggers, i would just read their blogs and follow them on twitter, and that is free.

Here in the Chicago data center, you are ranked #2 and #3 (double listing) for the key phrase “third tribe marketing”
nice work !!

Like Lissie, I wasted a year getting bad advice before finding Griz, Vic, and the Keyword Academy. I can’t even begin to assign a value to the time I lost that first year. It goes far beyond the time I wasted actually doing the work I was told to do. It delayed me a year in setting up my sites (which take about a year to start performing). There’s the interest on my student loans that I could used the money I’m making now to pay down a year earlier. There’s the fact that every year the internet gets more competitive, so starting in 2008 would have been a lot easier than starting in 2009.

I want to address something at the bottom of the previous post, where a Clarke fan is incredulous that we SEO style internet marketers don’t cater to repeat traffic, and how a high bounce rate means we have an unsustainable business. Dude, the idea that people (well, adults, anyway) have all kinds of time to spend online being part of some kind of community is soooooo 2006. It also shows a certain amount of “the-world-is-like-me” arrogance. I do a lot of volunteer work with colleagues who are bright, educated, fairly tech-savvy people. For years I’ve tried to get them interested in using the blog and discussion group I’ve set up for them (Teaching Sells, right?), to no avail. Bryan would say I just need to improve it by following his course. I disagree–I think the whole model is flawed, because normal people don’t want to hang around online having long, detailed conversations with people they can’t see. Sure, we do it, but we’re not normal. Normal people don’t like sitting around in front of the computer all day.

Like Lissie said, the average internet user wants to get their problem solved and get out so they can go have a life. If they want more information on the same subject later, it’s a hell of a lot easier for them to find your site with a Google search than it is to bookmark you and find the bookmark again from a drop-down list of thousands. They don’t care what your name is–whoever is closest to the top of page 1 of the SERPs with information they want will get the click.

There’s exactly one online community that’s succeeded in getting normal people to use it repeatedly–it’s called Facebook. Basically it’s a complex version of Twitter plus Flickr–short, superficial, mostly useless words plus all the photos you can upload. It’s also very palm device friendly. I read just a few days ago that a survey showed that teenagers think blogging is for old fogies–they’re all on Facebook. The adults are too–but they’re not reading “Five Tips for Growing Roses,” or “How to Restore a Canvas Canoe.” They’re reading, “I did all the dishes last night because my wife is coming back from Florida.”

In other words (dare I say it?), if you have repeat visitors and an online community, you’re a social blogger, by definition. There might be a third way, but it ain’t what Clarke is teaching.

Keep telling it like it is, Lissie. Your first post on the Tribe was the best thing you’ve ever written, and that’s high praise.

Well put Loreecee – I can’t get anyone of my real friends to even read this blog – its just a too weird thing for most people – who as you say have better things to do than surf the web when they aren’t at work. I also think the “probloggers” don’t get that most of my traffic to my money making blogs are surfing during work hours – they havent time (and probably don’t have permission to) login to twitter and facebook – but they can swing by the top site in Google for their search term – works for me …

Yeah facebook is weird eh? I’ve got a bit active on it because its a good way to keep in contact with overses friends – but I don’t bother to put the FB badge on my blog!

Thanks for the loooong comment and the complement !

I am so glad that one day last year I came across Griz’s blog and then yours as well. I was one of those that followed people like Darren Rowse and even read his book and thought, “wow, I can make thousands of dollars from blogging.” Thank goodness I saw the light. I joined Keyword Academy a few months and haven’t had that much time yet to get my sites up and running but I learned more in the first 3 videos at KA than I did reading a 200 page book from Darren. I don’t know about others but I’m sticking with what works even though it does cost $33 a month rather than farting around with nothing but fluff. I feel sorry for the people who join Third Tribe and end up wasting money and seeing no profit at all, but then again that leaves more money for me! lol

Tiffany stop commenting and get working on those sies – but nice to see you here anywasy 🙂

Hey Griz–life’s better all the time :-), and I can thank you and Lissie for that. I see you wrote something similar on MMOFB about how 3rd Tribe is just social blogging dressed up in outlaw gear. Great minds and all that…

In my datacenter you’re on page 2 for ‘the third tribe’ without quotes (Griz is bottom of page 1), and you also have a double entry on page 2 for ‘third tribe’. Plus you’re both on page 1 for ‘third tribe review’ – you’re in positions 1 and 2! So at least anyone looking for info about the program will get some varied opinions & be able to a make a more informed decision.

btw, how do i get a picture by my comment?

Must admit I didn’t really focus on “the third tribe” the other 2 are deliberate – there is a book recently published called The Third Tribe (nothing to do with the IM thing we are talking about here) – so I imagine the book review sites will continue to dominate that. yeah its all about giving great content so the customer gets what they want (I trad that on a blogging blog somewhere …) 🙂

The pics by the comments are coutesy of – associate the pic you want with the email address you use when commenting – and yes you can have a selection (of pics and emails ..)

Hey there

Is ok to put random pictures on your hubpage from google images?
I see all the ohter people oding it, buit I do not ahve legal rights to those pics –


No its not – its the same as steal words – use creative commons at flickr with attribtuion or or any photo you have the rights to

i haven’t heard of third tribe marketing, i really don’t know what to say about that, for these past couple of years theres alot of internet marketing sites and passive income sites that pop up like mushrooms that has alot of hidden agendas. As beginer like me on internet marketing it is nice to know that theirs alot of people out there who writes good reviews about internet marketing, PP, affiliate marketing. dfinitely straighten outs the broken arrow. since you recommended keyword academy i wil take your word for it since i notice that you really know what you are doing.

Great reviews, thanks for the information. I so see a lot of positive reviews for TKA, which makes me wonder about THEIR affiliate program. Are you a TKA affiliate? And if yes, what is the commission you earn? I’m not saying they aren’t a great site and worth the investment, just want to get a full picture and understand the info sources.

Lucinda (singlwithluggage)

Yes I am a TKA affiliate – I make 33% on any money spent with them- i.e. you spend $1 for the trial – I get 33cents – you renew at $33/month – I get $11. Its a good affiliate program frankly because people keep renewing – but the reason the renew is nothing to do with making me a few dollars – its the value of the program.

I can see however that looks really suspicious! The non-catch is that you really can check it out for a $1 – I really will refund the $1 (via paypal) if you don’t like it – and I haven’t had to pay out the $1 yet!

Nice post and helpful advice. I would like also to share of an effective tool to drive traffic to your website. That is offline advertising. It’s like I’ve had great luck with postcards, display ads, classified ads and recently radio advertising, which I am finding very interesting for driving qualified leads to my business.

Thank you, you have provided a very detailed information that I really need. However, it is really important not to fully trust some internet marketing salesletter. Especially when all the product say is all about who you would be after purchasing the products… those are mostly scams! cheers

You hit the nail on the head – my goal is to be making money online 24/7, even while I sleep! And it’s definitely possible if you know the “in’s” and “out’s” that they Keyword Academy so nicely outlines above. Thanks for the great information!

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