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The 3 Tiers Of Internet Marketing

Justin Cooke Updated on February 29, 2020

The 3 Tiers Of Internet Marketing

With so much content on the web it’s easy to feel a bit of information overload. I seem to find myself sliding up and down the scale between input and output, but more recently I’ve taken quite a bit more in than I’ve put out. When I start to feel a bit guilty about the consumption I have to remind myself that some of my best output is borrowed from or inspired by those people who I think provide true value and actionable information.  This will be a very subjective post, of course, but thought I’d share with you my thoughts on other blogs and how I view the content they put out.

With so many bloggers/authors/podcasters out there, it seems that you have to step through quite a bit of shit to get to the good stuff. Keeping that in mind, I’ve come up with a simple classification system I use to help separate the “wheat from the chaff” so to speak and wanted to share that classification system and method I use to determine which of the categories the content should fit in. I originally wasn’t planning to name any names or include some of the most popular blogs, but I thought it might be important to share that as well so that you can see exactly where I’m coming from. I should add that their Tier is in no way determined by how much money they’re making, how many readers they have, etc. as you’ll see below.  I’ll also mention that it’s specific pieces of content that are technically in each tier, but based on the overall content the person puts out I assign a general category to that person.

Tier 3 Marketers: Always Be Closing

Definition:  These are what I consider the “weakest” forms of content or marketers. Their content can range from gobblety-goop stuffed with affiliate links to even more well-known marketers that put out a bit of content, but ultimately stand to hammer you until you buy something from them. The newer guys and girls are those that read some free eBook extoling the riches that can be found online by simply putting some content up with links and decided to run with it. Those that have been in IM a while probably found some success with their method and look to expand their reach into the new or gullible by continuing the process, not trusting that there might be a better way for them to do things and not having tried to do it differently. Most of their fan or reader base consists of those they network with to promote products together.  These blogs don’t tend to be very popular or, if they are, tend to have a focus on people new to IM.

How To Spot:  The lowest forms of content in this tier are relatively easy to spot and, if you’re reading this post, you can probably classify that content within 5 seconds of checking it out. The upper levels of Tier 3 might take a bit longer to catch, but there are some general guidelines you can follow:

  • No Meat On The Bones – You’ll find that their posts are quite general and might explain the benefits of something without getting into how to actually get it accomplished.
  • Heavy Sales Push On Their Email List – They’re constantly promoting products to you in emails, using list swaps to help others sell products, etc.
  • Silly Comments – They’re less likely to have real discussions or questions in their comments (or many comments at all) so they tend to accept somewhat spammy comments or short replies from those they know.
  • “Fake It Till You Make It” Mentality – While I don’t necessarily disagree with parts of this philosophy, these are the marketers that will do everything they can to make it seem like they’re killing it online while pushing info product after info product on you. They’re generally not very up-front about their intentions, either.

Examples:  Time to call some people out! I’ve mentioned the lower level content on this Tier is pretty easy to spot, so I don’t need to describe that in too much detail, I think, but sites like makemoneyfreemoney dot com and makemoneyinlife dot com should give you a pretty good idea as to what I’m talking about. Towards the middle of this spectrum you have sites like adsensemakemoneyonline dot com that aren’t cluttered with advertisements, AdSense, etc. but don’t provide any real meat behind their posts. On the upper-end of this Tier I’d mention sites like 2createawebsite dot com. This site is quite popular and gets a ton of traffic. I hesitated to put this site in Tier 3, because it does provide some useful content for beginners, but the promotional nature of the content ad-nauseum would classify the site in the top of Tier 3, I think.

Tier 2 Marketers: Balancing Content And Profit

Definition:  Tier 2 covers quite a wide range of good content online. These marketers either trade off between useful content and promotional content or they provide useful content and fit in promotional offers when and where they can. They’re usually up-front about their approach, telling you what products are theirs, which they’re promoting for financial gain, etc. The problem with Tier 2 is that you often have to dig a bit through their information to find the really good stuff. They typically have a few fanatical readers or followers with the rest fitting into the casual reader category, although this varies due to the wide range found in Tier 2.

How To Spot:  Unlike Tier 3, I find it’s a bit more difficult to classify content as Tier 2. You’ll also find some Tier 1 content that’s been provided by these marketers, usually in the form of pillar posts or those that have obviously had more time spent on them than others. These marketers may show flashes of Tier 1(or Tier 3, depending where on the spectrum they lie) and do include blogs I read on a regular basis.

  • Varied Quality Of Content – You might find a few posts, podcasts, videos etc. that you found to be exceptional, with others falling into the “filler” or promotional category.
  • Product Reviews – You’ll find reviews ranging from somewhat useful/promotional to excellent. These reviews are typically honest, but the promotional intent is evident. If it’s TOO salesly, it might be a Tier 3 post from a Tier 2 marketer.
  • Useful Comments – You’ll find a few true fans that post on a regular basis. Many more comments than Tier 3 marketers, but you might find less debate or thought-provoking points made.
  • “Honesty Is The Best Policy” Mentality – Tier 2 marketers will usually be very upfront about how they’re making their money by letting you know which are affiliate links, providing income reports, etc.

Examples:  At the lower end of this spectrum, you’ll find sites like Michael’s or Trent’s Both of these sites bounce around a bit in the value provided in their content, but provide good value overall with some useful information and are upfront about how they’re making their money, even if they’re a bit more promotional than others. In the middle of Tier 2 I would place sites like Chris’s and (surprisingly) Tim’s (While I feel Tim’s book the 4HWW was definitely a game changer and Tier 1 material, his site would be a wildly popular example of your average Tier 2 site, I think) In the upper tier, you might find sites like Pat’s, Spencer’s, or the site. These guys are providing high-level content on a regular basis, offering extremely useful reviews and posts, and offer their own products or services in a much more passive way. I’d also put forums like the WarriorForum in Tier 2, although probably at the lower end of the spectrum, overall. Alternatively, the Dynamite Circle would be classified as a high Tier 2 (or possibly low Tier 1?) forum.

Tier 1 Marketers: Thought Provoking And Game Changing

Definition:  These guys and girls are at the top of their game, providing mind-blowing content on a regular basis. They’re so passionate about what they’re doing that they don’t even have to bother being upfront about their intentions and the content is so good you WANT to give them your money so that they can continue their work/mission. Typically, they find a way to explain a story or situation in such a way that, even though it might apply to their particular niche, it speaks volumes to you in yours as well and has broader appeal. Their content is the type you can get lost in and it’s important to intake in bite-sized chunks so that you can have a chance to digest it and implement in your work or life.

How To Spot:  It’s easier to find these people that have already become quite well known, but I’ve found secret pleasure in trying to discover them before they reach the point at which they go mainstream and start running popular blogs. (Probably similar to those who are really into music love digging through the Indy singers and bands and finding the diamonds before they become “famous”) Often, their content comes out without any obvious promotional intent that’s noticeable at all…they might have written or produced it simply because they had the need to make their point or to help others.

  • Sometimes Less Actionable, More Philosophical – If I’m looking for more information about how to setup and distribute a podcast, I’m more likely to look for a high-end Tier 2 to help me. If I’m dealing with a problem like determining the best point for me to fold on a project or to pivot/change strategy, I’m looking for a Tier 1.
  • Strategy Reviews – They typically don’t focus so much on particular products, but more on your overall strategy or approach to business.
  • Debate/Discussion In Comments – Some of their writing would be considered quite controversial and you might see some pretty high-level debate or discussion going on between the readers or with the author in the comment section. (If they leave comments open at all)
  • “Change The World” Mentality – Typically, their vision goes way beyond affiliate or book sales and they have a laser-like focus on getting out their message. (Although the subject of their message may change over time.) They may consider taking their best content and providing it on their blog or through videos for FREE, simply because selling it may have less of an effect as it won’t be distributed enough to truly make a difference.

Examples:  I would mention Jonathan Fields and Eric Ries at the lower end of the Tier 1 spectrum. Some of the more famous or well-known Tier 1 marketers would include Seth Godin, Derek Sivers, or Paul Graham. A great way to find some Tier 1 content is to go to TED Talks and research some of the speakers, as they have a very high quality-to-noise ratio there.

This tiering structure helps me make sure that I’m going to the right places and people to get the information I need. I find that Tier 2 provides more of the actionable content required while I rely more on the Tier 1 content for strategy, business ideas, inspiration, etc. In case anyone was wondering, I’d classify AdSenseFlippers as a mid-Tier 2 resource (with flashes of upper Tier 2, I hope?) but, if I’m being honest, I really wish I was regularly producing content at the upper Tier 2 or lower Tier 1 level. I’d classify our niche sites as low Tier 3 resources, although I’m hoping with time we can be more in the upper Tier 3 or low Tier 2 range with them as well.

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  • aziz haida says:

    Great classifications, i feel like confused which type to classify my blog, im not too promotional but believe the content is still low, will try to move to tier 2 if you could point a content strategy will be great.

    • Greg Elfrink says:

      Hey Aziz,

      I would recommend picking up some books on content marketing like Content Machine or Web Copy that Sells. Both of these are great books to get you started in the right direction with content marketing.

  • home lan says:

    Jerman Adalah Tim Yang Sangat Kuat Dan Bisa Ke Final Ungkap Cafu

    Berita Olah Raga Terbaru dari Agen Bola Cityholidaybet – Cafu mantan Kapten timnas Brasil memprediksi bahwa Jerman adalah sebagi tim kuat dan bakal melaju ke final bertemu tim samba.

    Pemain yang pernah membawa Brasil menjuarai Piala Dunia 2002 ini juga mengatakan bahwa tim Jerman di bangun dengan baik sehingga menjadikan timnya kuat.

    “Jerman adalah tim yang sangat-sangat kuat. Mereka memiliki profil yang tinggi [di Brasil]. Tim Jerman dibangun dengan sangat baik,” tutur Cafu.

    “Kami [Brasil] percaya akan melakoni partai final kontra Jeman. Mereka pasti akan sampai ke partai puncak,” pungkasnya.

  • homeland says:

    Di Maria Di Cintai Madrid Ungkap Ancelotti

    Berita Olah Raga Terbaru dari Agen Bola Cityholidaybet – Carlo Ancelotti Sang Arsitek Real Madrid dirinya mengungkapkan bahwa pendukung dan publik Madrid sangat mencintai Angel Di Maria.

    Sperti di ketahui di pertengahan musim 2013/2014 Di Maria sempat menjadi cemoohan di tribun Santiago Bernabeu, namun wingers Los Blanco itu membalas dengan sikap positif.

    Pasca ejekan tersebut pemain asal Argentina itu mulai memperbaiki performanya dengan baik , alhasil di penampilanya Di Maria mulai menanjak sehingga membantu membawa Madrid meraih gelar Champion yang kesepuluhnya, sehingga public dan fans kembali mendukungnya.

    “Saya pikir Di Maria tahu semua orang di Madrid mencintainya, mulai dari petinggi klub hingga fans,” kata Ancelotti.

  • home lan says:

    Di Maria: Saya Sangat Gembira Bermain Di Timnas Argentina

    Berita Olah Raga Terbaru dari Agen Bola Cityholidaybet – Angel Di Maria gelandang milik Real Madrid ini mengungkapkan bahwa dirinya sangat bahagia bermain di tim nasioanl Argentina.

    Bahkan mantan manajer MU,David Moyes memberikan pujian terhadap sang pelatih The Red tersebut:

    Di Maria juga menyakini bahwa Argentina tidak hanya ikut berpartisipasi saja di Piala Dunia 2014 Brasil, namun timnya tersebut juga bisa meraih kemenangan di pagelaran ajang bergengsi empat tahunan itu.

    Tim Tango memang di pandang sebagai tim favorit, tapi sejak kemenagan Piala Dunia tahun 1986 hingga saat Argentina belum pernah merasakan juara lagi.

    “Berada di tim nasional membuat saya sangat gembira,” ujar Di Maria seperti yang dilansir Inside Spanish Football.

    “Ini juga benar bahwa kami bermain bersama selama bertahun-tahun dan mungkin itu membuat saya merasa lebih nyaman di tim. Jalan di kualifikasi cukup panjang, terutama hingga pertandingan melawan Kolombia. Kami berjuang, tetapi kami menemukan jalan dan menyadari kami bisa melakukannya.

    “Tetapi kami tidak akan puas dengan itu. Kami sangat antusias masuk ke Piala Dunia. Kami percaya pada diri kami sebagai tim, karena itulah siapa kami: tim.”

  • vea rak says:

    Yaya Toure Sudah Bisa Merumput Pekan Ini

    Berita terbaru dan terkini dari agen bola City Holiday – Kabar baik untuk Manchester City terkait perkembangan kondisi Yaya Toure.

    agen bola City Holiday Terpercaya – Yaya Toure yang kian membaik dan disebut sudah siap bermain melawan Crystal Palace akhir pekan ini.

    Pemain internasional Pantai Gading itu diperkirakan sudah bisa main saat Citizens tandang ke Selhurst Park melawan Palace, Minggu 27 April besok.

    “Soal Yaya, saya pikir dia sudah bisa bermain lagi di laga selanjutnya (kontra Crystal Palace),” tutur manajer City Manuel Pellegrini seperti dilansir Soccernet.

    Yaya begitu penting perannya musim ini dengan menjadi topskorer tim di liga dengan 18 gol, hanya kalah dari Luis Suarez dan Daniel Sturridge yang total sudah bikin 50 gol untuk The Reds.


  • Martinez Ingin Maksimalkan Enam Laga Tersisa

    Berita terbaru dan terkini dari agen bolaEverton sukses menggulung Arsenal 3-0 di Goodison Park, Minggu (6/4/2014) malam WIB. Kemenangan ini memberikan dorongan besar untuk The Toffees dalam memburu tiket Liga Champions.

    Agen bolacity holiday Terpercaya – Meski belum beranjak dari posisi lima Premier League, tapi kini mereka cuma berjarak satu poin dari Arsenal di tangga keempat dengan masih menyimpan satu laga di tangan.

    “Kami sudah tahu jika mendapatkan tiga poin hari ini maka kami bakal punya 63 poin, tapi kami masih punya 18 poin lain yang bisa dimainkan. Jika mulai sekarang kami tidak memetik poin, maka kami tidak akan meraih target,” katanya di BBC.

    “Ya, ini adalah sebuah kemenangan besar dan sebuah dorongan psikologis yang luar biasa, Tapi hari ini adalah sebuah kenangan bagus untuk Everton dan kami sangat bangga atas performa itu,” tutup manajer asal Spanyol ini.


  • sokly says:

    Mourinho Ingin Enjoy

    Berita terbaru dan terkini dari agen bola -Untuk lolos ke babak semifinal, The Blues harus bisa mengalahkan PSG dengan skor 2-0 atau jika kebobolan, maka dibutuhkan selisih tiga gol saat berduel di Stamford Bridge, Rabu (9/3/2014) dinihari WIB.

    Agen bolacity holiday Terpercaya – Syarat yang memang tidak mudah bagi Chelsea. Namun begitu, ‘Si Biru’ telah memperoleh suntikan moral usai membungkam Stoke City 3-0 sebagai respons atas dua kekalahan yang diderita sebelumnya.

    “Kekalahan ketiga akan sangat buruk untuk kepercayaan diri kami terkait dengan pertandingan hari Selasa,” ujar manajer Chelsea Jose Mourinho di Sky Sports.

    “Jika kami kebobolan satu gol atau sebuah clean sheet maka kami masih ada kesempatan. Jika kebobolan dua gol dan kami harus mencetak lima gol, kami akan gagal. Makanya penting bertahan dengan baik melawan Paris,” tutup manajer kontroversial asal Portugal itu.


  • riththear says:

    Drama-drama di Derby Manchester

    Berita terbaru dan terkini Bola Soccer dari Agen Bola Indo11 –Derby Manchester akan kembali digelar. Dari sekian banyak duel mereka, inilah pertarungan Manchester United kontra Manchester City yang melahirkan sejumlah drama.

    Laga antara MU dengan City merupakan salah satu derby yang paling dinantikan dalam sepakbola Inggris. Antusiasme penonton pun semakin besar.

    Terlebih lagi, pada lima tahun belakangan ini di mana tensi semakin meninggi seiring dengan sukses The Citizens mulai perlahan bisa mengganggu dominasi ‘Setan Merah’.

    Agen Bola Indo11 Terpercaya –Musim ini, MU sedang terpuruk dan terlempar di papan tengah klasemen dan nyaris bisa dipastikan akan gagal lolos ke Liga Champions musim depan. Gengsi menjadi motivasi besar bagi Wayne Rooney dkk. untuk mengagalkan City meraih hat-trick kemenangan.

    Sedangkan City butuh kemenangan untuk terus berada dalam persaingan gelar juara, dan menjaga jaraknya dengan Arsenal yang ada di bawahnya.

    Derby Manchester jilid II di 2013-14 di Old Trafford nanti malam akan menjadi pertemuan yang ke-167 di antara MU dengan City. Berikut daftar pertarungan kedua klub yang paling menarik seperti yang diwartakan Independent.


  • riththear says:

    Di Kandang Sendiri, ‘Setan Merah’ Tetap Tak Diunggulkan

    Berita terbaru dan terkini Bola Soccer dari Agen Bola Indo11 –Manchester – Kendati main di kandang sendiri kontra Manchester City, nyatanya itu tak banyak membantu Manchester United di sejumlah rumah taruhan Eropa.The Citizens dijagokan menaklukkan ‘Setan Merah’.

    Derby Manchester bakal digelar di Old Trafford, Rabu (26/3/2014) dinihari WIB nanti. Pertarungan ini disebut-sebut bakal tetap sengit karena mempertaruhkan gengsi, walaupun MU dan City terpisah cukup jauh di papan klasemen.

    Agen Bola Indo11 Terpercaya –City sementara menempati posisi tiga klasemen dengan nilai 63 dari 28 pertandingan. Meski berjarak enam angka dari Chelsea di posisi puncak, tapi anak asuh Manuel Pellegrini masih punya tiga laga di tangan. Oleh karena itu laga derby ini punya arti lebih untuk mereka.

    Sementara MU tercecer di urutan tujuh klasemen dengan koleksi 51 angka dari 30 pertandingan. Sepanjang musim ini mereka memang tampil konsisten, di mana penampilan kandangnya tak segarang musim-musim sebelumnya.


  • bon tong says:

    Kiper Chelsea menyebut City lebih favorit juara

    Berita terbaru dan terkini Bola Soccer dari Agen Bola Indo11 – Chelsea sedang kukuh di puncak klasemen hingga pekan ke-28 Premier League. Namun, penjaga gawang Chelsea, Peter Cech tak jemawa menyebut timnya favorit juara karena Manchester City bisa melewati mereka kapan saja.

    Agen Bola Indo11 Terpercaya – Chelsea menguasai papan klasemen liga Inggris dengan nilai 63. Mereka meninggalkan Liverpool yang ada di urutan kedua dengan jarak empat poin. Arsenal mengintai di peringkat ketiga dengan nilai 59.

    Sementara itu, Manchester City saat ini masih bertengger di posisi empat dengan nilai 57. Namun, The Citizens baru memainkan 26 pertandingan. Nah, perbedaan frekuensi bermain itu membuat Cech berhati-hati menghitung peluang juara.

    Itu artinya jika City berhasil memenangi dua pertandingan sisa miliknya maka mereka akan punya poin sama dengan The Blues. Apalagi City mempunyai surplus gol lebih banyak dengan 42 gol dan Chelsea hanya 30 gol.

    “Kami ada di puncak klasemen karena Manchester City belum memainkan dua pertandingan. Jika mereka menang (pada dua pertandingan), maka merekalah yang akan melompati kami dengan jumlah memasukkan gol lebih banyak. ” jelas Cech.


  • Eko Dinda says:

    A-League: Sydney 2 Brisbane Roar 5

    Agen Bola terpercaya reported,Dimitri Petratos scored a hat-trick against his former club to secure a 5-2 victory for Brisbane Roar against Sydney.
    Despite going behind to a brilliant early Alessandro Del Piero free-kick, the Roar had too much class and firepower and set up the easy win with three goals before the break in front of almost 18,000 fans at a wet Allianz Stadium.
    Thomas Broich, playing in a central striking role in place of the injured Besart Berisha, got the equaliser before Petratos came back to haunt his former club.
    The 21-year-old, who had a messy split with Sydney last year before leaving for Malaysia, converted a penalty in each half and also finished off a sublime team move to complete his first senior treble before Ivan Franjic and the hosts’ Richard Garcia both scored in stoppage reported by Indo Eleven.
    The victory sees the Roar become the first side in the competition to notch 100 A-League wins and ensures Mike Mulvey’s side head into 2014 on top of the table.
    Sydney have now lost three of their last four games and their horror show was compounded when Del Piero was forced off at half-time through injury.

  • routna says:

    Dibalik kepindahan Bale ke Madrid ada Beckham

    Berita terbaru dan terkini Bola Soccerdari Agen Bola Indo11 – Gareth Bale mengaku mendapatkan saran dari beberapa pihak sebelum memutuskan pindah ke Real Madrid. David Beckham merupakan salah satu di antara pemberi saran itu.

    Agen Bola Indo11 Terpercaya – Selain Beckham yang pernah berlatih bersama Spurs beberapa waktu lalu, Jonathan Woodgate dan Steve McManaman, juga disebut Bale memberikan saran.

    “Semua dari mereka. David Beckham mengirim pesan untuk mendoakan saya beruntung dan memberikan beberapa saran. Itu sangat menyenangkan dan saya mengapresiasi hal itu. Dia berlatih beberapa saat berlatih di Tottenham bersama saya, jadi saya sedikit tahu mengenai dia dan itu sangat baik dia mengirimkan pesan dan menelpon.” kenang Bale.

    “Saya tahu Jonathan Woodgate saat membela Tottenham, jadi saya berbincamg lagi dengannya. Saya bertemu dengan Steve McManaman saat saya melakukan wawancara dan kami sedikit melakukan perbincangan.” tutupnya.


  • routna says:

    Ungkapkan Tantangan Terbesar Bale di Madrid

    Berita Terpanas dan Terbaru Bola
    dari Agen Bola Indo11
    – Mantan pelatih Tottenham Hotspurs, Harry Redknapp membicarakan soal Gareth
    Bale di biografi berjudul Always Managing. Dalam buku itu, Redknapp yang
    pernah melatih Bale mengaku sudah mengetahui
    bakat besar yang dimiliki oleh pemain asal Wales tersebut.

    Dia juga membicarakan soal
    tantangan yang harus dihadapi Bale di Madrid yaitu keluar dari bayang-bayang
    Cristiano Ronaldo. Dan menurutnya hal itu tidak akan mudah.

    Dari hasil rangkuman Agen Bola Indo11,
    Ronaldo merupakan bintang besar di Madrid. Dan dia mungkin ingin mengambil sembilan
    dari sepuluh tendangan bebas Madrid.

    Jadi, Bale harus berani
    menunjukkan gaya permainannya sendiri dan dia harus fokus serta mulai berpikir layaknya
    pemain dengan banderol 95 juta pounds. Bale juga harus tampil sesuai harga
    tersebut dimana dia harus berani mengambil bola dan memaksimalkan kesempatan.

    Soal bakat besar Bale, Redknapp
    menceritakan kisahnya yang memang sudah memprediksikan kalau Bale bakal menjadi
    Ronaldo baru. Dia bukan sekadar bek atau winger kiri biasa dan jika saja
    dia memilih menjadi bek kiri maka dia akan menjadi bek kiri terbaik di dunia.

    Intinya, Bale mampu bermain
    dimanapun dan Redknapp menegaskan kalau Carlo Ancelotti juga akan berpikiran
    sama. Bale layaknya pemain yang bebas dan tidak terikat dengan satu posisi, hanya
    saja Bale harus siap untuk mengambil tembakan dan peluang saat Ronaldo buntu.
    Redknapp mengungkapkan kalau gaji Bale itu gila dan luar biasa besar.
    Hubungannya dengan Ronaldo juga bakal menjadi kunci kesuksesan Bale.


  • Sdfkn says:

    honesty. in im.

  • Blake G. says:

    Hey Justin Great Post. I really like that you “ranked everyone” definitely a move that should get some traffic I am thinking ! What do you think about ? I put him in a top tier 2 site since he seems to give all of his material away and is so in depth with his reply’s to his audience. One of the same reasons I love your content. I can not connect with any blogger that is representing himself as an expert in the field and will not answer any questions that the readers have.

    Excited to go check out a few of the sites I have never heard of before that I just found in your comment section.

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Awesome, Blake…thanks!

      Joseph Archibald seems like a straight-shooter with strong content. He has some fanatical readers, which is pretty cool to see. I haven’t read a ton of stuff on his blog, but I did like what I read. Someone was “calling us out” on one of the comments on his blog and I responded…turned into a pretty interesting conversation…I love blogs where that happens, hehe.

  • David Ledoux says:

    Justin, well done. I like the self-analysis especially. That’s often harder than rating a friend’s blog.

    Congrats on having a big 2011, good luck in 2012!

  • Ziga Milek says:

    Wow, Justin great stuff! I’m shocked I haven’t found this site until now. I came here through link on SmartPassiveIncome.

    At first I was surprised to not see copyblogger or problogger on the list. I always regarded them as authorities in the field. Justin, is there a reason why you don’t read them? Were you reading them at first, but later decided they’re not worth it?

    Well, after reading the comment from Lis it became clear to me that that’s exactly what they’ve become – a guest-posting machine (well, copyblogger less so, since they have sort of a team of regular writers). Given their authority and tremendous reach, I suppose everyone wants to guest post there. Which gives the owners more time to focus on their side business.

    Of course this comes at a cost, the once respectable blogs start to lose their shine. I’m sure CB and PB were great to read 4 or 5 years ago when they only had one author.

    I suppose it’s hard not to give in to all the guest posts requests when your blog has 150k+ subscribers. What are your thoughts on that, Justin? It’ll be interesting to see if e.g. Pat Flynn (chose him based on the number of subscribers) remains a “one-man band” or sometime in the future decides to go the Copyblogger route.

    Anyway, are you familiar with Glen Allsopp from ViperChill? If so, where would you put him in your classification?

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey Ziga…thanks for the great comment!

      I’ve read some random articles on Copyblogger and Problogger but don’t follow them regularly. I thought Lis’s comment was quite interesting and on the mark.

      I think guest posts can be useful as they provide a different perspective, but they shouldn’t make up the majority of your content and should be particularly useful/valuable…not a link tool for the author.

      Vaguely familiar with Glen and ViperChill. I don’t read the blog (probably should) but several people I largely respect read it regularly, so I really should check it out.

  • Interesting, and useful classification. One group that you haven’t mentioned are the ones that end up with pretty much just guest posts unless they want to sell something then they jump in with a “real” post – copyblogger does it all the time. I’d put that approach firmly in tier 3 – but many would disagree with me I suspect!

    Also I do take exception to you calling WarriorForum anything but a dangerous cess-pit for the beginners. Given their policy of deleting all negative comments on WSO’s is a prime spot for the un-scrupulous to prey on the naive and beginners

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey Lis,

      I don’t read copyblogger, but based on your description…yes, probably high Tier 3 for me. Keep in mind that this is very subjective and will be unique to each person!

      You might be right about the WF…but there IS some really good information there…you just have to wade through so much to get to it! I don’t necessarily mind deleting negative comments (personal attacks, people who haven’t purchased the product, etc.) I view that section as an advertising section, not true product reviews anyway…but I see how that could be quite confusing to someone that’s new there…

  • stevewyman says:


    VBl well that’s fine i guess but i don’t see any original content in smartpassive that justifies a differential over the others.

    Niche pursuits certainly deserves a higher slot that SPI.

    in the interests of calling people out. can’t put trent in tier 2. its recycled content with little or no original work. Unless you classify the “ill teach you how to do this shit” which i think is tier 3 at best.

    My only other issue (do i have to many?) is that your tier sites whilst i see where your going are really a very different type of site to the top of the tier2.

    I think NichePursuits, VBL, adsenseflippers have a very very important place in our market and I’d hate to see them become more theoretical and less practical..

    Spencer or Justin doing a sebastianmarshall.. Please no just keep growing with in your own niche spaces we all have along journey still to take 🙂

    And for the record Id vote adsenseflippers inline with Nichepusruits 

    Great post again Justin and very thoguht full. Qudos

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey Steve, thanks for the comment!

      Keep in mind this is extremely subjective…my opinion as to where they rank is not definitive…it’s just where they rank for me.

      I think Trent’s site is better than your average Tier 3, but I hear what you’re saying, for sure.

      I think SPI has some case studies and interviews that (for me at least) have had a major effect on how I do business, so I hold them in a pretty high regard…maybe biased?

      Yeah, I guess I can’t see AdSenseFlippers (or Niche Pursuits for that matter) turning into more theoretical blogs…they’re based around actionable content. Still, I’d like to have a Tier 1 blog/site someday…and maybe mix in some of that content (if I can get to that level) here as well.

      Thanks for the vote of confidence, Steve…appreciate it!

  • Where would you classify the guys whose unique selling proposition seems to be “I’m not like those gurus”?

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey Charleen,

      I guess it depends on how close to those gurus they actually are? 🙂 I don’t like the title of guru…but title or not, I try to look through the salesy stuff and see if they actually have any business sense and good approach/methodology. If they are then sharing that information with me, I think that’s useful.

  • Phil Jensen says:

    It’s so easy to get sucked into “hard sellling” when your site begins to gain some momentum. I’ve struggled with this in the past and now I find myself “checking myself” every time I “cross that line”.

    I guess the lesson here is……provide value, value and then more value to your readers and you can’t go wrong. Also, try not to promote anything that you wouldn’t use yourself.

    Justin, if you see me slipping from tier 2 to tier 3 please call me out!!! lol

    Great post!

  • Johan Woods says:

    Really interesting take and categorization. Haven’t even come across any Tier 1 sites before you mentioned them here. Probably a good thing!

    I’d love to be a Tier 2 one day. More attainable than Tier 1, maybe.

    But for that to happen, I’d need to actually start blogging or something, lol.

    A bit too busy for that at the moment.

    3 of the 10 sites I’ve created so far are pushing 1st and 2nd page in Google, much higher in bing without any linkbuilding efforts. Not sure if that’s good or bad. But no adsense cents rolling in just yet!

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Cool, Johan…weird no $$ yet though…still pretty early though, eh? Get on the first page for good keywords and you’ll see the clicks start rolling in, for sure.

  • Kate says:

    Yes Justin, that was what I was thinking… I’ve been resisting using WP cuz it take a longer time to set up everything right and the transfer process is more complicated. But I guess if my plan is to flip the sites then WP is the way to go.

    • JustinWCooke says:


      Our next podcast will be all about buying websites…should be recording it now and have it out in a few days…will mention that, I think…thanks for bringing it up!

  • Kate says:

    As always, great post! I have a question though regarding selling small niche sites on Flippa. I’ve always use Xsitepro to build my small niche sites and they rank just as well. But for flipping, do you think I would need to start building them on WordPress rather than Xsitepro? (html, static sites). Not sure if having static sites will dampen sales on Flippa… any advice on this?

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey Kate,

      Great question! While you do want to differentiate yourself by selling sites that are up, earning, etc…you DON’T want to turn people away because they don’t think they’ll be able to run/manage the sites after they’ve purchased them. Due to the fact that the use of WordPress is so widespread and relatively easy to use, your buyer pool is much broader than simply using static html sites. While there are some that might prefer that to WordPress…a large majority would not and it would actually keep some potential buyers from bidding on your sites, if that makes sense.

  • That right there is a nice bit of philosophizing! Working your way up to Tier 1 material dudes! 😀

  • Dan says:

    PS, thanks for the HUGE shout. I like this and now it will infect my brain: how the hell can I push it to tier 1. I actually would put you guys in my Tier 1 because your content is so USEFUL to me right now which is so very rare to find… so it’s tough to put it in the middle of the pack for me… that said, I dig where you are heading here… i think the road you guys are on lands you in Tier one.. thats exciting stuff.

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Awesome, Dan. Funny…we feel similarly about your content. Some of the stuff you’re working on is just amazing and easy to get passionate about…we definitely get it and are excited to see where it leads.

  • Dan says:

    Justin, would you indulge us: any tier 1 marketers you have recently discovered that aren’t mainstream yet?

    • JustinWCooke says:

      I think Sebastian Marshall is up there with some of his latest stuff…just gut-wrenching and quite controversial, but I find myself rooting for him and it feels like he has a message, audience be damned…but you know about him already, of course!

      I think Penelope Trunk is up there Probably low-end Tier 1 content for the most part with some Tier 2 mixed in? Some of it’s mind-blowing, though. But…she’s pretty mainstream.

      Here’s one you probably haven’t heard of, Smart-Ass Cripple I first heard of this blog through a TED talk by Roger Ebert who found some comfort in connecting with this guy with the problems he was going through. I get less out of this for business, but connect with it personally and think he has some interesting insights and is awfully funny.

      I’d definitely recommend checking out Phil’s He’s a relatively unknown Tier 2 that’s getting it done…I really like his style…I think he’s on his way, for sure.

      I’ll have to get back to you on some more!

  • Sud.Lamiran says:


    In case I’ll get LTPro from your aff link:
    1. What is your aff id?
    2. What do the bonus/es you provide if any? 🙂


    • JustinWCooke says:

      Yeah…a little less-proud about our pushing LTP in the podcast. I mean, we do LIKE it and use it now…but it felt a little more promotional than I usually feel comfortable with. I do believe it came with some useful information (interview with the creator, video showing how to use the competition section, etc.) which puts us squarely in Tier 2, I think.

    • Phil Jensen says:

      LTPro is awesome…highly recommended. Just be careful…it’s addictive, once you start using the program you won’t want to stop. I now have too many ideas…….if that’s even possible.


  • aldovargas says:

    I agree with you, sometimes some bloggers forget that people will know when they are trying to help others and when they are just trying to look like helping others but their main goal is to promote or talk about a product to promote.

    I have i blog but i hadnt updated it since long time and the main reason is because i would like to provide real and killing stuff that works right now. I could go from keyword research to duplicate content but i think is not the time yet for that.

    My advice for those people is that please just to from their experience and testing themself so they dont become the next guru which have webinars every week with new top technique for making money online and they eve ndont have a clue if this works or not… , most of the type all that webinars are trash content.

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey, Aldo. Yes, I do think there’s a different between how the 3 tiers treat their readers…that’s a great point.

      Tier 3: Generally treat their readers as if they’re suckers or gullible, playing to their fears or their ignorance.
      Tier 2: Generally treat their readers well…as if they can decide for themselves whether they want to buy from you.
      Tier 1: Don’t seem to give a shit, necessarily, about their readers…they’re much more interested in the message. Agree or disagree…your choice.

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