How RankXL Got Me a Deal with Schwarzenegger’s Team, Plus Business Worth $100,000+

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This post is written by Rob Palmer, who I met when he joined my course Authority SEO.

This is the story of how I turned an investment of a few hundred dollars into over $100,000 of consultancy work – and got to work with one of the most famous people in the world as a result.

Before I get into the story, though, let me make it clear that I have no connection to Chris or RankXL except as a satisfied customer.

This is what happened…

It all started on the day that I purchased Chris’s RankXL course last year. It wasn’t a decision I took lightly. After all, I have been in the SEO game for a long time, and many online courses I buy turn out to be pretty much worthless.

But I had been following the RankXL blog for some time, and I liked Chris’s approach. In particular, I liked the idea of a white-hat strategy for building an authority site that Google loves. I could see how this could generate income for years to come, without crashing and burning.

So when the RankXL course opened up for enrolment, I pulled out my credit card and took the plunge. I wasn’t disappointed. The strategies were clearly laid out and carefully explained. I could see that RankXL gave me a solid footprint for building a blog into a sound business.

But there was only one way to find out if the strategies really worked, and that was to try them out on a brand new blog. So I began to plan and execute an SEO strategy based firmly on the RankXL principles.

Building the Blog

I decided to go into the body building niche, because SEMRush told me there were gazillions of keywords to rank for, and apart from the 800-pound gorilla of, the competition wasn’t super strong.

I built the blog, and then started adding content. I wrote the blog posts myself initially, but then decided I needed some extra help. So I tried iWriter, as suggested in RankXL. I tried five different writers, and four of them were awful – my dog could have written better. I scratched them off my list immediately.

But the fifth writer turned out to be a real gem. She writes with a style very similar to my own, and she can write well-researched and easy-to-read articles on any subject I give her. And all of this a ridiculously cheap rate. I still use her for content today, and this has saved me a fortune in content creation fees.

Starting My Link-Building Campaign

Soon the blog was full of great content which cost me next to nothing. I was ready to start generating links, using RankXL strategies. I decided that I didn’t just want to cold pitch people and beg for a link. I thought it would be better to have something to offer them, to build some rapport and create a relationship.

I figured that many bloggers in the bodybuilding niche would be bodybuilders first, and bloggers second. They probably had a lot to say about bodybuilding, but had limited knowledge of how to promote their blog.

So I spent some time writing a detailed guide on ‘How to Drive Traffic to Your Bodybuilding or Fitness Blog.’ I put a lot of effort into it, and made sure it was genuinely useful to fitness bloggers. Then I found someone on Fiverr to convert this into a stylish PDF.

When that was ready, I started contacting bloggers in the bodybuilding niche and offering them a copy of the report for free. Many people responded, and I was able to engage people and start a conversation. Once they had been suitably ‘warmed up,’ I pitched them a guest blog post, or secured a link another way.

This worked great, and I started picking up some good quality links. The traffic on the blog started to grow.

A Whole New World of Opportunity

But then I got an email that changed everything.

It arrived out of the blue from Dan, the owner of – the new home of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Arnold Classic Webcast. Dan and Arnie have been friends and business associates for decades, and this latest venture was a result of that partnership. had acquired exclusive rights to webcast the Arnold Classic bodybuilding events as they happened.

Dan had received an email from me via the website, and asked to see a copy of the free report. I sent it to him, and he loved the strategy (all based on RankXL principles, of course). He immediately shot me an email which simply said:


We arranged to chat on Skype later that day. As I live in Bangkok, and Dan is in Florida, this resulted in me having to stay up until 3.00am to make the call. But it was worth it!

On Skype, we spoke at length about SEO and online marketing. had just launched, and Dan needed to ramp up traffic ahead of the Arnold Classic Webcast, which Schwarzenegger himself would be involved in. After a while, we worked out a consultancy agreement, where I would become Chief Marketing Officer for, and work on search engine optimization for the site.

We had a deal:



Thanks for putting that together. It seems fair. Let’s begin with a 30 hour commitment for the initial first month. Depending on how things are progressing we can re-visit the time allocation prior to starting the second month.

If this is agreeable, let’s have one more follow up Skype call so I can explain certain parameters relating to content direction to ensure that the site content maintains the planned direction.

Over the next few months, I spent a lot of time working on the site and on incoming links, and we got great results. As a result, the Arnold Classic Webcast was a huge success, and both Dan and the Governator were delighted with the results.

From here, things started to snowball. The ‘Schwarzenegger connection’ started opening doors for me in the fitness world. Soon I started getting referrals and picking up more SEO contracts. Initially these were with bodybuilding blogs, but this soon widened into the broader market of health and fitness.

As of today, I have multiple 12-month SEO contracts in place. When you add them all up, the total value is over $100,000. Hopefully many of them will be renewed next year, which will increase the total value significantly. And all of this is a direct result of investing just a few hundred dollars in RankXL.

Quite simply, it’s the best investment I have ever made.

This chain of events occurred because RankXL offers a strategy that is easy to understand, simple to follow, and clearly designed to generate quality links. That’s what motivated Dan to hire me to implement this strategy, and also what led to the referrals and recommendations.

So if you are simply interested in building your own blogs, that’s fine – the RankXL strategy will certainly get results. But as I have discovered, there is also an opportunity to implement this strategy for others, and make an excellent consultancy income in the process.

Whichever way you do it, you can be sure an investment in RankXL’s SEO Course is money very well spent.

I’ve been so busy working on these lucrative SEO contracts that I’ve had no time to work on my own bodybuilding blog which started it all. But I intend to return to working on that soon.

As Arnie himself says:

“I’ll be back.”

Rob Palmer is a full-time blogger, online marketer and SEO consultant. Find out more at Go Freelance.


  • Reply
    Loz James
    December 13, 2016 at 10:56 am

    Rob & Chris

    I LOVE this success story – what an inspiring way to work hard and hustle your way to $100K. I’ve got the Rank XL course as well and I agree that’s it’s one of the best available online – in fact it’s up there in my favourite two courses with Brian Dean’s SEO That Works.



    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      December 14, 2016 at 1:40 pm

      Thanks a lot Loz!

  • Reply
    Aaron S.
    December 13, 2016 at 11:48 am

    Awesome and congrats. I can’t find a good content writer at a decent rate to save my life! I’ve used Iwriter as well with no luck. Any suggestions or who you use?

    I also have found that getting guest posts in my niche has been the most beneficial and my go-to. I haven’t managed to get a link by any other method in the guide yet, but that doesn’t mean they don’t work!

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      December 14, 2016 at 1:42 pm

      If you’re looking for higher quality writers, you can find them on upwork.

      That’s awesome, Aaron! Yeah, certain methods work better than others depending on your niche.

  • Reply
    Theodore Nwangene
    December 13, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    This is mind blowing Rob,

    A big congrats to you for this great achievement.

    No doubt, Chris course rocks, I’ve been implementing lately on a new site I’m building and, I’m sure I’ll come out with my own mouth watering success soon :).

    Everything boils down to taking massive action towards whatever you learn, not just learning and forgetting it.

    If I may ask, how about the site you’re building that brought about this success, has it started making you money?

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      December 14, 2016 at 1:42 pm

      Great to see you here, Theodore 🙂

  • Reply
    Imran Ghani
    December 13, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    Thanks really encouraging…..:)

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      December 14, 2016 at 1:43 pm

      Thanks for reading, Imran!

  • Reply
    December 13, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    Very nice test and Testimonial to your site and your course Cris, I just hope that reopening the course does not get too expensive. One more question, do you still take a large part of your earnings with Google Adsense or earn more by selling your own products?

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      December 14, 2016 at 1:43 pm

      Adsense is still a large part of it, but I’m definitely experimenting with creating products and implementing email funnels, and it’s been going very well so far 🙂

  • Reply
    December 13, 2016 at 7:50 pm


    Just another awesome and inspiring article, we’re all here to be successful at our own niche websites.

    Thanks again for a quality content, looking forward to purchasing the rankxl course since I heard nothing but good reviews for it.


    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      December 14, 2016 at 1:44 pm

      Thanks Jeremy!

  • Reply
    john paul
    December 13, 2016 at 11:25 pm

    thats inspiring

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      December 14, 2016 at 1:44 pm

      Thanks for reading, John Paul 🙂

  • Reply
    Faraz Jafari
    December 14, 2016 at 3:10 am

    This was a great read.

    But him not having the opportunity to work on his own site seemed like a big trade off, when you think long-term.

    However, it’s great to know such opportunities and can come from the course.


    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      December 14, 2016 at 1:46 pm

      I wouldn’t say it’s a big trade off.

      If you find something that works, then going all-in on it (especially in the beginning stages) is the smart thing to do.

      He can always go back to his sites later on 🙂

  • Reply
    December 14, 2016 at 3:23 am

    That’s an inspiring read. Congratulations and all the very best.
    May all the contracts get renewed and you get even more. 🙂

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      December 14, 2016 at 1:46 pm

      Thanks for reading, Shree 🙂

  • Reply
    December 14, 2016 at 11:41 pm

    Keep it coming.. Im making my return in 2017 more content like this will keep me focused!

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      December 15, 2016 at 3:20 am

      Great to hear from you Mike! Best wishes for 2017!

  • Reply
    December 16, 2016 at 12:50 am

    Thanks for another great post. That is very inspiring. I don’t have much luck with freelance writers so far. Just wonder if I can get the writer’s contact mentioned in the post? If so, please email it to me. Much appreciated.

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      December 16, 2016 at 6:09 pm

      An easy way would be to try upwork, be very specific with the writing style you’re looking for, and then ask for samples of their writing.

      It’ll take some time, but you should be able to find a good match.

  • Reply
    Jessica Parla
    December 17, 2016 at 11:36 pm

    If 4 of 5 writers you tried on iWriter were awful, that means there are no guarantees that you have better chance to find good writers on iWriter than on Fiverr. The bottom line is you need to consistently use your judgment and also check their work afterward.

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      December 25, 2016 at 9:52 pm

      You definitely need to read over their work first!

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    Awesome and congrats

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      January 12, 2017 at 3:42 pm


  • Reply
    Ivo Hubchev
    January 19, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    Chris, there are numerous studies that say that by 2019 80% of web traffic is going to be video. Isn’t there a risk long term that our purely text based niche sites will die off?


    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      January 24, 2017 at 8:09 pm

      80% of all web traffic? That’s kind of difficult to imagine.

  • Reply
    January 23, 2017 at 7:26 am

    That’s great achievement rob. Congrats. Hope one day i will get sucess.. like you did..

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      January 24, 2017 at 8:08 pm

      Thanks for sharing Jiya 🙂

  • Reply
    February 9, 2017 at 11:37 pm

    very inspiring story 🙂

    He said that he send PDF based on RankXL strategies. Is it okay ?

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      February 11, 2017 at 8:12 pm

      Yeah, it was just a pdf of his own strategy and what he would do for them. Not copy and pasting the course content.

  • Reply
    May 19, 2017 at 10:47 am

    Thank you very much for helping me, though only through a writing, but very useful what you write

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      May 19, 2017 at 10:05 pm

      Thanks for reading.

  • Reply
    November 22, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    hole sh***. i got body thrills just by reading post title and seeing szwarceneger photo. will read later. love your blog. i reached to you via email before and you helped.

    I followed a lot of blogs about seo but you gave me the most value

    no need to reply this

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      November 23, 2017 at 2:26 pm


  • Reply
    Ismail Blogger
    February 6, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    Hey Rob palmer,
    A huge success i would say,
    this happen when you are in love with . your work,, this happen when you wnat to build a profitable business instead of wasting hours on internet by surfing junks..
    your case study motivated me to work more hard on my Niche blogs.
    Special credit goes to Chris, so congrats chriss on this victory.


    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      February 12, 2019 at 2:12 pm

      Thanks Ismail!

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