The other day I was talking to my friend about how to make passive income with niche sites. I told him about the Income School’s Project 24 course, of which I’ve been a member for the last year. In this in-depth Project 24 review, I’m going to give you an overview of what it is, how you can benefit from it, and whether or not it is worth your time and money.
So, what is Income School’s Project 24? It is a 60-step online course that teaches you, in great detail, how to build a profitable niche site. During the course, you will learn how to choose a good niche and turn it into passive income.
Overall verdict: Although there are some improvements I would like to see in the course, I highly recommend this course for those who want to build a passive income site. Keep in mind that if you are looking for easy money but are not willing to do some hard work, then this course is not for you.
More information about the course can be found here.
In this review, I will tell you all about the courses included in this membership and will give you a sneak peek inside the Project 24 dashboard. Having this background info will equip you with better knowledge about what you are going to get for your money. Keep reading.
What Is Income School’s Project 24?
It is an extensive online audio and video training course that shows you how to build a niche website from beginning to end. Course creators Jim Harmer and Ricky Kesler will give you all the information you need, so don’t worry if you have no prior knowledge about web development, social media marketing, SEO, or other related topics. They will teach you how to write useful and meaningful posts, even if you haven’t written anything longer than a hundred words in your life.
What I like most about the course is Jim’s and Ricky’s no-bulls**t approach and explicit teaching methods. If you are not familiar with them, take a look at their YouTube channel.
At the time of writing this review (September 2019), Project 24 contains 15 different courses (which I will introduce you to a bit later) with more than 110 videos and 140 lessons. All of them are well-structured and easy to follow, even if you are a total beginner.
Jim’s course introduction video can be found here.
In addition, there is a podcast wherein Jim and Ricky speak about various topics. For example: In season 1, you can follow along as Ricky and Jim take CamperReport.com from $2,000 a month in income and boost it up to $8,000 a month by making smart changes to the monetization of the website.
At the start of season 2, Ricky and Jim theorize on what could be possible if they got a physical office space and mass-produced websites with employed writers. At the end of season 2, this concept becomes a reality.
Since the community is quite large, Project 24 also has a discussion board where you can get help from other course members or communicate with Jim and Ricky, who usually reply to members daily.
Project 24 also has a vlog wherein the course creators send quick, in-the-moment tips as they’re learning them.
The course creators add new content regularly. Here are some recent additions:
- May 2020 – Snippet Optimization course added. This course explains the results of their research and what they are doing to win as many Snippets as possible.
- April 2020 – The Battleship Method course added
- March 2020 – 60 Steps to Success on Youtube course added
- January 2020 – E-A-T for SEO course added. This course outlines the essential steps that need to be taken to ensure you are building Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness.
- September 16, 2019 – No Nonsense SEO Course Overhauled.
- August 15, 2019 – Course on Pinterest. A new course teaching the Income School approach to Pinterest, including interviews with 5 bloggers successfully using Pinterest.
- June 27, 2019 – The YouTube Course has launched!
- June 20, 2019 – New vlog posted about E-A-T. If you’re outsourcing and scaling and not writing the content yourself anymore, then you REALLY need to watch this video. It highlights some problems we’re having at scaling what works as an individual writer.
- May 9, 2019 – All new approach to Ads. Updating the old “Monetize Your Site With Ads” course to replace outdated content and provide latest and greatest recommendations.
- April 30, 2019 – New videos added to the Improve and Speed Up Your Writing course. Watch as real articles submitted by P24 members are reviewed.
- April 2, 2019 – Added a digital form for submitting and tracking member milestones.
- February 28, 2019 – Search Analysis course added to Project 24.
- February 25, 2019 – 60 steps update to reflect changes in their recommendation for stock images and how they recommend resizing and optimizing images for your site.
- February 12, 2019 – Jim explains the “Buffet Title” technique in a new vlog.
- February 1, 2019 – Season 4 of the Project 24 podcast kicks off! Listen in for helpful insights on the Content Warrior Challenge and how to proceed with YouTube channels.
- January 23, 2019 – Bonus Episode for the Project 24 Podcast released.
- January 17, 2019 – New vlog post with the first Project 24 finisher to earn a full-time income!
- December 28, 2018 – New vlog about 2019 changes and what to expect.
- December 5, 2018– List of freelance writers that Jim and Ricky personally recommend.
- November 7, 2018 – New vlog about finding strong domain names.
- October 30, 2018 – Jim’s talk from the Boise Summit on the Success Mindset.
- October 23, 2018– New course on monetizing your site with ads.
What they could improve:
- I would like lessons to have an option to add comments below the content. Lots of users have questions about topics covered in these lessons, so I think comment sections would add more value.
How Much Does Project 24 Cost?It costs $449 for the first year. Later you can decide if you wish to cancel or continue with the course. If you choose to stay, each successive year costs $199.
Who Is This Course Meant For?I think of myself as an advanced blogger and intermediate marketer. I have been blogging for the last twelve years and have been marketing my services over the last eight years. Also, I have a small website construction company that caters to clients with little or no marketing experience, so I know a thing or two about blogging and marketing. Nevertheless, I was surprised to see that this course offered me a bunch of ideas about how to structure posts in a better way than I have done so far. So, is it for beginners? For sure. Is it for advanced bloggers or marketers? Yes. Even if there are some parts you already know, you will most likely discover new ideas and ways in which you can make your site better (not only traffic-wise). All Project 24-related FAQs can be found at the end of this page.
What Kind of Courses Can You Participate in on Project 24?
In this part of the Project 24 review, I am going to take a closer look at the course content.
Although you’re purchasing one course about building a profitable niche site, keep in mind that you actually get 15 courses that cover every angle and every tactic regarding site development.
What makes this course especially helpful is that most of the topics are covered in video tutorials and screencast videos. During these tutorials, you will learn the mistakes Jim and Ricky made along the way and how to avoid most of them.
Word of caution:
If you’re thinking, “Oh, nice! After I complete this course, I’m going to make some clicks and copy posts from other sites, and then money will be flowing,” then this course is not for you. What Jim and Ricky will teach you is how to make a niche site by working hard. If you follow their 60-step action plan, then success will be more probable (but not guaranteed).
What they could improve:
- More written summaries about the content of the videos. Some videos have excellent outlines that tell you exactly what’s going to be discussed and when.
Course #1: 60 Steps to a Successful Site
This is likely the most crucial of the courses in Project 24. As the name says, there are 60 lessons and it contains a 60-step action plan, which will lead you through the jungle of website building, writing, SEO, and site promotion.
Main topics you will cover during this course:
- How to choose a good niche site
- How to install and set up WordPress
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and everything you should know about it
- How to research keywords
- How to create an article hit list (articles that create traffic)
- How to create posts that are well-written and SEO-optimized
- How to create helpful resource pages
- How to promote your site on different channels (e.g., YouTube, Pinterest, Facebook)
- How to record YouTube videos
- How to record screencast videos
- How to monetize your site
- How to set up Amazon associates on your site
This is a short list of the main topics of this 60-step action plan. The course itself is comprehensive and easy to understand.
For example: After setting up your site, there is a lesson called “Write a Response Post,” which teaches you how to nail it in a way that you’ll have a good spot on Google rankings.
What they could improve:
- There is no lesson about how to use Google Analytics. Since most of the content is about how to get traffic to your site, I find it a bit weird that there is nothing about Google Analytics.
- They recommend Bluehost web hosting, but I would like to see some other recommendations. A couple of years ago, I used Bluehost for one of my sites, but since my experience over there wasn’t good, I migrated to SiteGround.
Course #2: Search Analysis
Perhaps the most important course in Project 24, because this course teaches you the Income School approach to finding topics for articles. Search Analysis is a whole new mindset and approach to creating a hit list of topics for your income site.
Main topics you will cover during this course:
- Brand planning
- Keyword selection
- How to create a successful hitlist
Course #3: Picking Profitable Niches
Although it may seem like picking a niche is an easy task, I can tell you that it can be a pain in the rear end. I have been in a situation where I thought I found a gold mine, but after researching it and discussing the pros and cons with others, it was clear that my chosen niche wasn’t as good as it first seemed.
This course contains a 50-minute-long video where Jim and Ricky explain how to pick a good topic or niche for your website.
Also, they provide you with an Excel spreadsheet with over 350 niche site ideas that are ranked from 100 points (most promising) to 23 points (least promising). This list has a high value and gives you an opportunity to start on the right foot.
Course #4: No-Nonsense SEO
Perhaps you are a beginner and haven’t heard of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) or how it can benefit you. Here is a quick reminder from Wikipedia:
“Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the online visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine’s unpaid results—often referred to as ‘natural’, ‘organic’, or ‘earned’ results.”
The course summary itself says: “This course is deceptively simple. If you’ve been around the block with internet marketing, you could be tempted to think it’s basic, but the truth is it’s totally different from what most SEO gurus teach. Forget everything else you knew and follow this proven method. We could impress you with clever SEO tips if you want, but instead we included just exactly what you need to know to succeed.”
To be clear: I knew a lot about SEO and marketing before joining this course, so I figured there wasn’t much that Jim and Ricky could add to my knowledge. Well, they proved me wrong. I picked up some ideas that improved my rank and brought more traffic to my sites.
This course contains a 50-minute-long video where Jim and Ricky explain the approach to SEO that outlives every Google Algorithm change. What I especially enjoyed was their direct approach and simple-to-use tactics that you can implement on your site.
P.S. If you think that this course teaches you some dirty black-hat SEO tricks (backlink manipulating etc.), fortunately, nothing like that is discussed.
What they could improve:
- They could present some real-life case studies as well as real-life statistics and results.
Course #5: Web Traffic Snowball
When promoting your website on different social media channels, it may seem that the “I’m going to post on Facebook” approach is the best to bring traffic to your site. Well, Jim and Ricky will teach you during this course that it’s like milking the bull: you think that it’s a good idea, but the results might surprise you unpleasantly.
This course contains a video where Jim and Ricky explain how to promote your site and how to gain traffic quickly and consistently without wasting time on ineffective social media channels.
Course #6: Email Marketing 101
This seven-part course teaches you when, why, and how you should start an email list on your site.
E-mail marketing 101 course contains the following topics:
- Why you might or might not want to have an email list for your site
- How to get started with a free email list and scale up from there
- How to use the email list to engage your readers and turn them into customers
Course #7: Mythbusting
This course contains a video about Keyword Golden Ratio (KGR) and whether you should worry about it. Since this topic involves some confrontational views, you may find yourself disagreeing with Jim and Ricky.
Nevertheless, this lesson covers KGR-related questions very well, so everyone can learn about it, test it, and draw their own conclusions.
What they could improve:
- They could dive into similar topics like SEO myths and marketing myths. At the moment, this video seems a bit short to present it as a separate course.
Course #8: How To Find and Train Writers
Humans are as lazy as you let them be, and I’m no different. A couple of years ago, I was in a position where I had no time to write excellent and well-researched blog posts, so I hired a writer who could do the job for me.
Well, actually, I had to let him go after one article (which I did not publish since it was utter crap). The writer I really liked was not the first one I hired. I think it was the fourth person I hired who wrote in a style that was acceptable and suitable for my liking.
This five-part course has helped me a lot because it includes a training video for your writers, teaching them about the different post types and showing them how to log in and write a post in WordPress.
In addition, you’ll get the resources Jim and Ricky use for hiring and working with writers. This includes a written contract as well as all of their recommendations for job boards, tools, and plugins.
What they could improve:
- Overviews about sites that offer text-writing services (e.g., Textbroker, Upwork, WriterAccess). At the moment, this side of the course is uncovered, and for the beginner, it is a bit hard to figure out where to find good content writers.
Course #9: Professional Photography
Aside from launching Project 24, Jim Harmer is also a well-known photographer. Since photography is a valuable skill for many internet marketers, this course will teach you how to take great photos for your sites.
Therefore this professional photography course contains lessons that are likely carried over from Jim’s Improved Photography site. If this is something you are really interested in, then it is an excellent bonus course with 22 different lessons, including lighting landscapes, close-up photography, aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.
Course #10: Site Reviews
Jim and Ricky reviewed and gave feedback for several Project 24 sites. At the moment there are 11 sites that are being reviewed during this course. Those reviews are mostly 12-16 minutes long, and there’s a lot you can learn from other people’s successes and failures.
What they could improve:
- It seems that lately, they have not been adding new videos.
- It would be nice to see and hear comments about successful niche sites that were built by non-Project 24 members.
Course #11: How To Improve and Speed Up Your Writing
The main course (60-step action plan) already has this topic covered, but this lesson will guide you through the post recipe step by step.
It will show you how to pick a topic from your article hit list and write a fantastic article following the post recipe. The structure of the post they are introducing is simple to follow and allows you to increase your writing speed.
The course has nine lessons with each one dedicated to a different part of the post.
Course #12: Monetizing with Ads
Monetizing a website early on can be dangerous because it can shift your focus from creating great content to pushing a product; however, tactful usage of ads is one way you can monetize every page on your site without having to push products, and early monetization could be the thing that motivates you to keep going! In this course, Jim and Ricky teach you how to make the best use of ads.
During this three-piece course, they will show you how to get the best ads on your site and optimize them, giving you the highest income while not detracting from the user experience.
Course #13: The Success Mindset
This one is a bonus course and contains a video recording of a talk Jim gave at the summit in Boise, Idaho, in October 2018.
The course introduction says, “It’s easy to feel like success is only something other people experience. I’ll never achieve these outcomes. I won’t be able to leave the job I hate, or generate a passive income to sustain me in retirement. That kind of thing only happens to other people. The fact is, success doesn’t happen to anyone. It’s something you have to make happen.”
Course #14 Build an Internet Marketing Business with YouTube
This is a second learning track for those interested in building an internet marketing business with YouTube.
This course will be a huge benefit to those using YouTube to promote their blog, as well as serving as a separate track for those interested in using YouTube in lieu of blogging.
Course #15 Pinterest Results – How to get Traffic
A course teaching the Income School approach to Pinterest, including interviews with 5 bloggers successfully using Pinterest.
Pinterest can be a great medium for attracting viewers to your blog. But it’s not perfect for all sites. There’s a lot to Pinterest and how to make it work in your favor. In this course, you’ll learn about when you should use Pinterest, and how you can use it to drive traffic to your site.
The community in Project 24: How Beneficial Is It?
First, when I read that Project 24 has a community board, and the course authors promised that it has lots of activity, I was a bit skeptical. Since I have participated in many online courses (and even created a couple of them myself), I have seen that most community boards are like ghost towns where no activity is observed.
I am glad to tell you that the community board is beneficial and active. Every day (yes, even during holidays), I see 30-40 topics raised and answered by members and by Jim and Ricky. What is also good is that the community is from all over the world, so there is no quiet hour.
So, if you have finished your website and published the first couple of posts and need feedback, then you can open a topic on the discussion board and let members give you feedback. Whether you have technical issues or questions about themes or writing, the community board is the quickest way to get you back on track.
Sometimes you get answers to your questions instantly; other times, it takes a couple of hours. Mostly it depends on the question that is being asked.
Since the discussion board, they use on Project 24 is Discourse Hub, you can download a mobile app that lets you keep an eye on everything that’s going on.
Here is a screenshot from today.
Testimonials from the community members can be found here.
Download center on the site contains the following:
- Excel spreadsheet with over 350 niche site ideas that are ranked from 100 points (most promising) to 23 points (least promising). It will make finding your niche a bit easier.
- Project 24 timeline. This Project 24 plan is merely a roadmap for goals in creating niche sites and a recipe for what has worked for Income School creators in the past.
- The post recipe template. A short infographic that will remind you what to do while writing a post.
- Search analysis and the brand plan – The Brand Plan lays the groundwork for the entire site. Starting out with a vision for what the site could someday become will make creating a hit list for your first articles so much easier!
- Project 24 monetization plugin. This is an affiliate Income Plugin by Income School developed for Project 24 students. This plugin allows you to grab any regular link to Amazon.com and link normally in your blog posts, and then the plugin automatically adds your Amazon affiliate link and implements your Amazon OneLink code so users in the US go to the US Amazon store, and users in other countries go to their corresponding Amazon store. It’ll ensure that any Amazon link on your site contains the right code.
User Interface and User Experience
I like clean sites where it is impossible to get lost and anything can be found within 2-3 clicks. Project 24 almost delivers this, but some improvements could be made:
- There is no search option. Well, there is, but it only searches from public blog posts. The search option does not include courses, which means you have to remember where courses are located; otherwise, you may not be able to find it later.
- The podcast is available on the website only, so listening to it is a bit cumbersome. I understand that it is meant just for paid customers, but I am sure there is a way to make it work with your smartphone podcast app.
- On iPad Pro, the 10.5-inch version Welcome menu is hidden behind the logo.
Is Success Guaranteed If You Join Project 24?
Nope. Nothing is guaranteed except death and taxes.
If you want to succeed, then you have to work hard. Even then, nothing is guaranteed. Nevertheless, it is motivating to read reports from community members regarding their current status, ranking, and income.
There are lots of members who report about success, some who are waiting (because they are in the middle of the process), and some who have failed.
Summary: Is Income School’s Project 24 Worth Your Time and Money?
It depends. If you are looking for easy money, then you should find a supplementary project. To start with it, you need time, passion, and even money.
The good news is that Jim and Ricky are very transparent and hold nothing back. You will get access to basically everything they know, like how to choose the right niche, how to write excellent articles, how to get traffic to your site, and how to monetize with ads. As I have said, it is going to take time, and time is one of our most valuable assets.
During this journey, you might find yourself feeling unmotivated or stressed because you are behind schedule or things are not happening as fast as you expected. Remember that this is normal. Things take time and success doesn’t happen overnight.
If you have followed Jim’s and Ricky’s 60-step action plan, you’ll have more time to concentrate on other stuff (your next niche site, for example). But if you are interested in building a passive income niche site and looking for good instructions, then Project 24 is definitely worth your time and money.
I hope this review gave you enough information to decide whether or not it is something from which you can benefit.
For more information on the course, click here.
* Disclaimer: some links on this page are affiliate links (I receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you click on the link and make a purchase). I only recommend products I’ve used myselg and love unless stated otherwise.