Questioning Rick and Craig

Couple of good, tough, challenging questions today about advice and recommendations given by Rick Porter and myself. But first, a reader asks about what books I’m reading right now…

Question: Thank you for your top 10 book list. Some of those are new to me. What book are you reading right now and will you really be able to read 50 books this year? – Mary

Answer: Hey Mary, thanks for your question. Because I spend a lot of time on airplanes, I get a lot of reading time. My book reading goes in spurts, and here’s what I’ve read this year – in order. Recommended books have the word (recommended) beside them.

1.     Albert Lasker: The Man Who Sold America
2.     Brave New War – John Robb
3.     Switch – Chip & Dan Heath (highly recommended)
4.     4th Turning – Strauss & Howe
5.     The Trick to Money is Having Some – Stuart Wilde (recommended)
6.     Empowered – Bernoff
7.     Sales & Persuasion – Belfort
8.     A Man in Full – Wolfe
9.     Winning Investment Habits of Warren Buffet and George Soros – Mark Tier (recommended)
10.     Bed of Procrustes – Taleb
11.     How to Disappear –
12.     How to Vanish –
13.     Everybody Loves You When You’re Dead – Neil Strauss
14.     Internet Laws – Mike Youngs (recommended)
15.     How to Be Invisible – JJ Luna
16.     Conquer the Chaos – Mask & Martineau
17.     Profiting From The World’s Economic Crises – Bud Conrad
18.     The Ultimate Sales Letter – Dan Kennedy (recommended)
19.     7 Years to 7 Figures – Michael Masterson (recommended)
20.     How to Get the Life You Want – Dr. Richard Bandler
21.     Your First 100 Million – Dan Pena
22.     ? – Frank Kern
23.     Emergency – Strauss
24.     Beyond Wealth – Green
25.     The Gap – Dan Sullivan (recommended)
26.     What Got You Here Won’t Get You There – Marshall Goldsmith (recommended)
27.     Evil Plans – Hugh McLeod (recommended)
28.     Y-Size Your business – Dorsey
29.     Sham – Salerno
The next book on my list is, “Get Off Your But” by Sean Stephenson.

Question: How does one justify a $1997.00 investment for an unproven startup? I realize the concept is proven (information businesses), but the specific business idea is unproven. I feel that the pricing is too high for this type of market.

If someone has enough money to purchase this, they are not really a startup.

I would love to buy it,  but I do not have the money. I am working on an idea that would benefit from this material, but it is impossible for me to purchase the program because my capital is being deployed in the business (and to feed my children). The budget does not accommodate these type of purchases.

Answer: Fair question.

For me, I started with a $97 manual called, “Info Millions” by Bob Serling. That book made me several thousand dollars the first three to four times i read it.

That said, you can’t let your beliefs limit what others are willing to invest in their business.

I’ve had numerous people go directly to a $10K – $19K Mastermind group as the first investment in their start-up website business.

My most famous student, Isabel De Los Rios, joined my Mastermind group in the spring of 2008. Back then it was $10,000 per year, and she later told me she joined even though she didn’t have the money.

She borrowed it from a family member. But Isabel was one of those people with great confidence in her idea, work ethic, and perseverance.

Her program, “The Diet Solution” now often sells over $10,000 per DAY.

How did she justify it? I can’t really answer that for certain, but I knew from our first phone coaching call that she was going to succeed. She had that, “come he__ or high water, nothing’s going to stop me” attitude.

On the other hand, I was a little cheaper and conservative, and I started slowly. Everyone’s different.

But when you believe in yourself and your business, the right teacher will come along when the student is ready.

At the very least, the content given by Eben in his free videos and the content Rick and I give out here three times per week will help you build your business until you can afford the right teacher when you are ready.

By the way, I just put up a 75 minute teaching video on one of my other websites here:


That video teaches you the $100K in 12 months system in greater detail, and shows you how I beat one of the biggest obstacles in the way of my success.

There’s no opt-in required…I’m not selling anything…it’s just pure content. Enjoy it and take action on it.

Question: I signed up for Rick’s 21 day Free E-Course and the first thing he writes is:

“-if all your on-page factors are in order and if you just get one backlink for your website, then you have everything that might take you to #1 on Google.”

This is contradictory to SO many other SEO experts. I had signed up for a course from another expert who quoted numbers like 60 to 80% of your SEO should be spent on off site optimization, and the importance of high quality authoritative backlinks from aged sites and so on. That argument was convincing as well. Why such a big discrepancy from experts in the same area of expertise?

Answer from Rick Porter: Both statements are actually true depending on the context in which they are being used.

If you re-read my quote it states:

“-if all your on-page factors are in order and if you just get one backlink for your website, then you have everything that might take you to #1 on Google.”

You have everything you need for page 1 if there are no other competitors – what I’m trying to emphasize in this statement is that you can get page 1 rankings just by a well optimized article.

That isn’t a bucket statement for every keyword in the world though. A competitive keyword then comes down to who has the most backlinks. But unless you have your onsite factors in place it won’t matter how many backlinks you get because the person with the most optimized site and the most backlinks will win every single time.

To prove this point in a very ridiculous way I once took a PLR article on how to replace a roof and then changed the title to “Should I go on a diet while replacing my roof”.

I then got 1 backlink to get it indexed, and in 12 hours I was ranked
#1 for the longtail keyword ‘should I go on a diet while replacing my roof’ – I had the most optimized article, plus there just doesn’t seem to be much competition in the weight loss/roofing niche.

There are currently thousands of keywords you can get on page 1 with just a single optimized article. You have to know how to find them and then know what to do with them once you have them

Question: Craig and Rick, Thanks for sharing such awesome content!

I am still very much an SEO newb and since right now I have more time than money I am trying to become better at building my website correctly.

So this question is for Rick (I am sorry if you already answered this question on a previous post and I missed it). I notice on your Auto Link Juicer example “rule” that the URL and your website examples, including this blog, all use the title for the permalink.

I started my blog for fun and had no idea what I was doing when I started, so I just used the WordPress default setting (for you others out there like me, it is a number). It has only been the last few months that I have started to venture into ways to monetize my blog. I have a couple of years of backlinks that were created naturally and now through a more concerted effort on my part.

So finally to the actual question…in the long run is it best to change my permalink structure and lose the backlinks? Or do I just leave it as is and know how better to setup websites in the future?

Answer from Rick Porter: You can change the permalinks and WordPress should do an automatic redirect to the post with the new permalink. Just do a quick test on your site to make sure the redirections are working properly.

Change the permalink, save the updated post, then type the old permalink into your browser window to make sure it redirects to the new URL.


Alright, good session. Lots of great questions on the blog this week.

Ask yours here:


This weekend I’m off to an interesting business meeting with Justin Bieber’s best friend, where I’ll be helping them set up the website for a new clothing design company.

I’ve already saved a few of the emails I’ve sent them and I’ll share those with you next week in addition to what I teach them this weekend.

It’s really interesting stuff.

Have a great weekend,

Craig Ballantyne

“The road to success is paved with accelerated failures.” – Michael Masterson