If you are unfamiliar with them, then you must be asking yourself the question – “What is an authority site?”
An authority site is a very high quality website that is respected by knowledgeable people in its industry. It is a website that has content on it that is so good and makes the site so useful that people are actually glad they landed on it and want to share it with their friends. Authority sites publish trustworthy information and link to other trustworthy places on the web.
The style of authority sites that I recommend building are blog style, information based websites that exist to teach and inform website visitors. You have the ability to monetize the site, but when building out your website, your primary focus is on delivering exactly what the visitor is hoping for. These kinds of sites are centered around one core topic that is usually very focused and very specific. They cover their topic thoroughly.
Once I started building these kinds of websites, my income went up drastically, I was getting more results with less work and my business became far more enjoyable.
Here is a basic outline of how I build these kinds of websites:
Ted’s Authority Site Business Model
1) Produce a high quality site to the best of your ability no matter what ability level that might be. Just do the best that you can do.
2) Build a site that benefits a very specific target audience.
3) Build a site that visitors trust and are really happy with.
5) Focus on two sources of traffic:
- free traffic from search engines using SEO
- referral traffic from site visitors telling their friends
6) Monetize the site in the most passive and most profitable way possible while not being offensive to the target audience.
7) Sharpen the saw over time by revisiting your core pages, homepage, etc. and improving how well they target your specific audience. Make small improvements that increase the value of your site in the eyes of that target audience.
I explain each one of these steps thoroughly in my Authority Blog Starter Kit that you can download for free. Check it out.
What Makes Authority Sites Easy, Profitable and Fun To Build?
Authority sites are actually easy sites to build because you are focusing on helping a specific type of person. I promise you that focusing on helping one specific type of person makes it ten times easier to build the site.
You have a very focused highly specific targeted audience whom you are trying to help accomplish something, help educate about something or help solve some dilemma. That is as easy as having a conversation with a friend of yours who asks you about something you are very knowledgeable about. You can do that can’t you? You like talking with your friends about things that interest you; don’t you? That is what it is like when you build authority sites according to my business model.
Authority sites are profitable if you are choosing the right topic and the right monetization method. Matching the right monetization model with the right topic is one part of the equation that does actually take some time to learn how to do well. In fact, it is a never ending learning process. Even though I have built a bunch of these sites, I still have to experiment and make adjustments in order to increase the earnings of my sites. But how is that different from any business? I don’t care what you are doing to make money. It takes a while to get good at it.
The great thing about authority sites is that you are almost guaranteed to earn more than you would otherwise. You might not know how much that is going to be at first. But, you are far more likely to earn more money doing this than you are going to earn with some generic hobby blog or some blog where you just write about blogging.
My method of building authority sites is actually quite fun. Wait till you try it. It is so much fun, in fact, that it is kind of addicting. Do you want to become addicted to doing things that make you money? That isn’t such a bad thing. Is it?
Here is some history about why internet marketers and bloggers are switching over to this type of website and this type of business model.
Authority Sites Evolved From Lower Quality Niche Sites
For years it was common practice for internet marketers to build websites with a primary focus of making them as profitable as possible while somewhat disregarding the needs and desires of site visitors. In fact, some niche marketers would build MFA (made for Adsense) sites that were intentionally uninformative so that website visitors would be even more inclined to click away to leave the site. The goal was to get those people to click on advertisements in order to leave the site.
Authority sites don’t operate that way. An authority site would be a higher quality site than that. In order for a site to really be considered an authority, it must be a site that actually delivers (to a large extent) what the searcher was looking for when they landed on that site. In fact, these kinds of high quality sites are often times the single best source of information about their specific topic that you are going to find anywhere on the internet. If the site is made to be intentionally annoying to visitors, then I wouldn’t call that site a true authority. It would be considered a low quality site even if there was good information on it.
Authority sites began gaining popularity as Google kept improving their ability to weed out low quality websites whose only purpose was to skim money from advertisers or affiliates while disregarding the desires of site visitors. Slowly but surely, internet marketers began realizing that if you want to build sites that are going to last over the long run, you really should be focusing on building high quality authority sites instead of really low quality old-school niche sites.
Authority Sites Are Usually Information Hubs
People use search engines to find detailed information. Most authority sites exist to help search engine users find answers to those detailed questions. The entire site might be built around the concept of answering even just one specific question for one very specific type of person. In their effort to answer that one question, the site owner will usually have to explain many other related questions, concepts and topics. So, the searcher gets a well rounded understanding of the answer to the original question he was seeking.
These kinds of websites usually have two specific goals. Their first goal is to become the single most authoritative source of information online (or at least close to it) about their topic. Their second goal is to deliver that information in such a way that the target audience will love the site and be very happy that they came across the website. If you can accomplish that, then generating traffic and publicity for your blog becomes a whole lot easier.
There Are No Strict Rules For The Number Of Pages Required For An Authority Website
You don’t need to have at least a hundred pages or fifty pages or even ten pages. Some people think that in order for a site to be an authority site, it has to be a minimum number of pages. That really isn’t true. It can be any number of pages so long as the site accomplishes the goal of trying to be the single most useful source of that information, about that topic, on the internet. Your site might not become the single most useful source of that information, but that is still the goal for an aspiring authority site.
In general, most authoritative websites will have at least a dozen pages closely related to one topic because it usually takes that many pages to thoroughly cover all of the closely related material. However, if you are writing 3,000 word articles for each page about your topic, then it is entirely possibly that your website could have very few pages and still be one of the single most useful websites about that topic on the internet.
Why Build An Authority Site Instead of A Traditional Niche Website
There are lots of reasons you may prefer authority sites to building old fashioned niche websites:
- Search engines actually want to rank authority sites high and therefore it makes your job of SEO and getting free traffic for your site that much easier.
- People willingly share information that is published on high quality authority sites. This boosts traffic, diversifies traffic sources and also makes your SEO work that much easier.
- Building these kinds of sites is more personally rewarding because deep down you know that you are really helping people.
- These sites are actually easier to build in many cases because your goal with the site is so clearly defined that each next step to take during the course of the whole project becomes obvious.
- Authority sites have more long term earning potential. Because both visitors and search engines like them, they are easier to keep ranked highly over the long run.
- Authority sites monetized with Google Adsense are unlikely to get your Adsense account banned because they don’t look like websites that were intentionally made for Adsense (MFA).
- Getting links that stick long term for this kind of site is much easier than getting links for the old style niche sites because people will recognize that your authority site has real value and therefore will allow links to stay rather than removing them.
- A truly great website can actually earn some completely natural links. That doesn’t happen with low quality niche websites.
- I really can’t think of one good reason to build the old fashioned niche website instead of an authority site. The old fashioned niche site is an outdated business model in my opinion. Authority sites are easier to build, more fun to build and make more money.
Do you need more convincing? If you aren’t sure if building these kinds of sites is a good idea or not then read my article about why you should build authority sites instead of other kinds of websites. That might help convince you.