A Sneak Peek at My Two Authority Sites

As you’ve probably noticed, I’ve written quite a bit lately about authority sites. It’s not a coincidence that authority sites have been my focus ever since Penguin hit my niche sites (which were already nearly worthless after losing my AdSense account).

Although I’ve written a lot about authority sites lately, I haven’t really divulged a ton of information specifically about my own authority sites.

I wanted to write this post to give you a little insight into what I’ve been working on (without revealing actual URLs), but here’s a little teaser: at some point in the next few weeks, I will be revealing the actual URL for one of these sites, along with a fun challenge that you may be able to get in on.

I still consider both of these authority sites to be in their early stages, but both are fairly well developed already, from a content standpoint. My strategy and plan for each site is very different, which I will touch on below.

Authority Site #1: The Jobs/Career Niche

This is a fairly saturated niche, but it’s one that I’m interested in, given my career experience in recruiting (although it only lasted a year). There are a lot of topics to write about where I can weave in my own opinions and expertise, and I like knowing that I can positively impact someone’s career.

Domain & Target Keyword Searches

One of the challenges with this site, in my opinion, is the fact that it’s on a .ME domain. From a branding perspective, the .ME actually works quite well, and makes the site sound a bit more memorable.  My fear though is that it doesn’t have the same ranking power as a .COM/.NET/.ORG – at least, it may require more backlinks and overall stronger SEO.  Using a .ME domain, however, allowed me to grab an exact match keyword domain.

My primary target keyword has 18,100 exact local searches per month, but as of right now, I’m nowhere near page 1 on Google for that keyword.  I may not necessarily ever get to page 1, and honestly, that’s okay.  As you may know, long tail keyword searches are often where the real traffic is at (Pat Flynn wrote about this recently).

Content Strategy

It’s always good to formulate some kind of content strategy as you build any content-driven website.  Even if you have to change it over time (and trust me, you will), having the plan in place gives you the framework to take action.

For this site, I try to post an article at least once per week.  The nice thing is (from a passive standpoint) that I don’t write a lot of the articles myself (I previously wrote about how I do this for free).

In the future, I would like the site to be a resource for learning about all types of jobs (possible career paths, salary potential, etc.), but this is probably a project I would need to outsource to one person, and I’d expect it to be costly.  This would likely be in its own “section” on the site – not part of the main blog content.

Monetization Strategy

There are a few ways I’m currently monetizing the site:

1) Media.net ads

2) Job search engine embedded onto my site (via Indeed.com)

3) Other random affiliate links, including those to Amazon.com

However, I am also working on building an e-mail list (and currently offer a free eBook as my “magnet” for subscribers).  This has been a slow process and I’m still testing some different things.

I tried a small amount of PPC advertising to a landing page for the eBook (on both Facebook and LinkedIn) – after spending $50, I ended up with approximately 25 subscribers. At $2 a subscriber, I decided this probably isn’t a profitable strategy, at least not until I can monetize the list and really see the true value of each subscriber.  I probably could’ve gotten better conversions and lower CPC with more testing, but I’ll experiment with that later, if I decide to revisit paid traffic.

Further down the road, if traffic picks up the way I hope it will, I plan on creating my own products to sell – possibly a Kindle book (or at the very least, a PDF eBook).  There is also the potential to offer other services (such as resume reviews or career coaching, which are both obviously not passive).

Current Traffic & Income Levels

This is the authority site that I write about in my monthly income reports, so you may have seen that it has been earning around $10-15/month.  Given the fact that the site still only receives 20-30 unique visits a day, the earnings aren’t bad.

I’ve been churning out a lot of good content, and am surprised at how the long tail search traffic doesn’t seem to be there.  Again, I think the .ME domain puts me at a disadvantage for SEO, but this is pure speculation on my part.  I started this site several months ago (well before the Penguin update), and I’m wondering if I have issues with “over optimization” as far as backlinks go.

Income Goals

Although more income would be better (obviously), I’m aiming to make around $50 per day with this site, at least for the short-term.  I’d love to turn this into a real business (with some of the services I mentioned above) and earn a “full-time income” with it, but time will tell if that’s possible.

Authority Site #2: The Diet/Food Niche

I know what you’re thinking: That’s super competitive!You’re absolutely right.  I do, however, believe that I’ve carved out a sub-niche for myself that will be worth pursuing.  This authority site is much newer than the one I discussed above.

I’m not going to go into much detail right now on this authority site, because I will soon be revealing everything about this site.  A new challenge is brewing, and I’m excited to be a part of it.

Stay tuned.

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email
Connect with Eric Gati on Google+.

37 Responses to “A Sneak Peek at My Two Authority Sites”

  1. Your comment about .me domain struck me. My best producing niche site is a .info.

    Couldn’t rank at all before the recent Google shenanagins. Now I’m #1 for many search terms.

    Go figure.

    Point is, don’t sweat the .me, it’ll work.

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks SS, it’s good to hear that. I’m definitely not going to give up on the .ME, and I’m glad to see that a .info is working very well for you.

    [Reply]

  2. Hey mate,

    Have you read Chris Guthrie’s update on niche sites? >http://www.makemoneyontheinternet.com/how-to-buy-websites-and-profit-in-less-than-12-months/

    His main income is through Vibrant Media, and Adense comes in second. This is for a crafts and arts site but I obviously don’t know what your sites are about.

    There are various ways to make money (as you know) but even with a free model and then try to monetize that (see my latest blog)

    Keep at it mate :) Keywords are important even if you aren’t at number 1..
    Ralph | Niche Websites recently posted… How The This American Life Podcast Makes Money

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Hey Ralph – Yes, I actually did read that post before. It’s a great story how he was able to take a relatively low earning site and turn it into a winner by trying new monetization methods (and it helped a lot that the traffic was already there).

    [Reply]

  3. Looking forward to finding out more about the challenge. I’m working on a few new niche and authority sites also, so keen to stay connected!
    Greg recently posted… I Traded in Watching Football and Look What I Got!

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    There will be more information soon – and most likely, you will be able to get in on the challenge if you want to.

    [Reply]

  4. good stuff Eric

    yes, my gut instinct was the same – very competitive – but I know you will carve a place for yourself.

    we only need a small percentage of a very large pie.

    can’t wait for the challenge :)
    Sunil l Expediting Wealth Through Extra Income recently posted… Cost Study: Site Build It (SBI) Vs. Building Your Own Site or Blog

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Very true, even a small % of a large pie can still be worthwhile. And yes, the challenge will be a good one!

    [Reply]

  5. Hey Eric,

    In terms of you Job/Career Niche website, I have a similar website but along with offering an embedded job search (I use Monster) I also offer an embedded school search.
    The school search is really awesome because leads for people filling out a form can be anywhere from $7 to $45 each. If you get the right amount of traffic you could make a killing.
    It took me a really long time to find a good 3rd party that offered this kind of service (I don’t know why? Maybe because I’m a noob), so if it applies to your niche at all let me know.

    -Liz

    P.S. I was wondering if I could have a quick link-building chat with you, as the established strategy (niche site duel, Flynn/Shum/Unique Article Wizard etc) isn’t working anymore for me. I wonder if it’s something I’m doing.
    Liz Seda recently posted… Why it’s OK that your life is all about YOU.

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Hey Liz,

    That’s really interesting. Where do you get the school search from? That’s definitely something I could add to my site, and it would be relevant.

    Shoot me an e-mail via my contact form, and we can chat about it (as well as your link building issue).

    [Reply]

  6. Interesting to read about your new sites.

    I am in the process of getting two new authority sties of my own started.

    For the main one I was planning to write one new post a day but I see you are going to add one a week. Does this mean it will have about 52 pages after a year? Do you think this is enough to make your target of $50 p/d ($1500 p/m)?

    I’ve so far not managed to meet my target of one post a day consistently and have been beating myself up about it!

    I too was expecting a bit more long tail traffic as most of my articles are 1000 – 2000 words long but its not really coming. Getting traffic from Google image search though but that doesn’t convert.

    I’ve not done any backlinks apart from Facebook and Pinterest.
    Joe recently posted… Monthly Round-up: June 2012

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Something I’ve noticed is that, although authority sites tend to have more content, you still need to find the balance between quality and quantity.

    I would rather post 4 amazing articles per month than 25-30 mediocre ones. I’m not saying you are writing mediocre articles, but it is difficult to churn out HIGH quality content that frequently.

    You’re better off spending more time on “pillar content” and publishing less frequently. These are the types of posts that will attract those ever-elusive “natural” backlinks that everyone talks about. It’s also the type of content that will help you stand out as a true authority.

    Of course, the type of niche you are in matters too. If you’re running a news-type site, then yes, I would expect you to have much more frequent (but shorter) articles.

    I think this is one of those things where we just have to keep at it for awhile and see what happens. If after 6-12 months the site doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, it may be time to reevaluate your plan. There’s no shame in putting a potentially failed project on the back burner while you start something else.

    And if you find the so-called “failed” site starts picking up traffic while you let it sit and age, you can always go back to it and continue building it again. The key is that you don’t give up too soon, however.

    [Reply]

    James Reply:

    Hey Guys -

    Funny you mention frequency of posts/articles added to an authority website as I’ve been struggling with this as well. I figured the same as Joe in that I would create one article per day and eventually I’ll have enough articles on my authority site to pull in a lot of longtail keyword traffic.

    See for me I am in a not very competitive niche for my authority site but the main guy I am competing with has over 4000 pages on his site. So I figure if I produce articles that are equal or greater quality to his then I should be doing alright. So what I’ve been doing to start is producing as many articles as possible and then going back to them later and adding in pictures, doing grammar checks, and SEO’ing the articles. I figured for right now the most important thing is to build content and get it indexed in Google.

    Don’t get me wrong though as my articles are DEFINITELY better quality than my highest competitor too. So if I can compete with him in a size of his website and better quality content hopefully I will be golden.

    What do you think Eric? Am I on the wrong path here with my model for my authority site?
    James recently posted… List Of Awesome People Making Fantastic Money Online

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    James, I think that’s a good model to follow, provided you can continue pumping out content that often and maintain the good quality.

    To be a real authority, you have to write content that truly makes people want to stick around your site longer (i.e. visit multiple pages), revisit your site in the future, and happily share your content with others (via Facebook, Twitter, etc.).

    SEO and organic traffic is huge too, and you’re right, more content will generally draw more organic traffic. The thing is, when you look at the REALLY popular authority sites (or at least those that reveal their traffic sources), you find that Google isn’t the #1 source. You’re likely to see a few referral sources (usually social media sites and other related sites in the niche) before you see Google/organic traffic, in terms of the % of traffic they amount to.

    There’s so much competition out there – and I’m not just talking about on page 1 of Google. You’re competing indirectly with YouTube videos, television, and other content that maybe doesn’t target the same keywords as you. You’re competing for people’s attention.

    Therefore, I would rather have 10 AMAZING pieces of content than 50 or 100 “pretty good” pieces. Granted, it does depend on your niche. Some niches are better suited for frequent, shorter posts that aren’t anything spectacular (think about celebrity gossip sites). But when I look at a site like http://www.viperchill.com, I see a blogger who doesn’t update frequently, but when he does update, it’s epic content that gets linked to over and over, and consequently, his blog is super popular.

    Anyway, I’ve rambled long enough…I hope that answered your question. :P

  7. Really funny to note that my approach is similar to yours. And what I particularly like is to follow you at the beginning of many trials. It’s real and it’s very cool. We often read bloggers who have already attained some success. It’s refreshing to read a blogger at an earlier stage. Good luck!

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Daniel – yes, it’s one thing to read about someone’s past success compared to following someone from the very beginning (when they aren’t successful, like me. :) )

    [Reply]

  8. Can’t wait to hear more about your authority sites Eric! How has media.net been working out for you? For me, it’s only made 1/2 or less of what AdSense used to make. However, I think you’ll have a lot more potential for affiliate sales with these sites. Plus, I think you’ll find it more rewarding, especially with the job board on your employment site. Pat Flynn is always saying that one of the things he has satisfied with the most is that people are actually using the job board affiliate program on his security guard training site to actually find a job and change their lives for the better. Hopefully you’ll get the same experience! Best of luck!

    Thomas
    Thomas @ Mobile App Tycoon recently posted… Making Money with Magical Apps: An Interview with Andy Weekes – Developer of The Night Sky

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Media.net hasn’t been all that great so far. For my jobs/career site mentioned above, I’ve probably been earning $5-10/month from Media.net. This is slightly less than what the site was earning with AdSense, but then again, back when I had AdSense on it, the site had less traffic. I don’t have the EPM figures handy, to compare the two.

    I do really like the job board feature, as I think (aside from the content) it adds real value to people who visit the site and leave to look at actual job postings that they found from my site.

    [Reply]

  9. I love to explore the idea of creating authority sites, and my eyes are looking to create a travel site. Your authority sites are good though, especially the job market niche!
    Sandra recently posted… http://centersforbodyenhancement.com

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the comment, Sandra, and good luck with whatever type of authority site you pursue!

    [Reply]

  10. I’m really excited for your transition into authority sites. It looks like authority sites will be the way to go from now on out in Google.

    I love the $50 a day goal. Ambitious- which is great. Best of luck!

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks David! Soon enough, I will be posting more detailed updates, so you’ll see exactly what’s working and what isn’t.

    [Reply]

  11. I think the authority website model is really the thing now, especially that Google just likes to roll out updates every minute!

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    I agree! :)

    [Reply]

  12. How timely, I was thinking the other day what authority niche site is good for newbie like me. Thanks for the tips.
    Becca recently posted… Carpet Cleaning Woodbridge

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    No problem, thanks for the comment Becca!

    [Reply]

  13. You might want to login to google webmaster tools and set language and country for your .me domain.

    Not sure but might help a little.
    kev recently posted… Forgotten Domains- Lists for Sale

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Kev, I never knew there was a setting for that. Just made the change now…hopefully it helps!

    [Reply]

  14. Thanks for sharing. I am currently exploring making a living online as a 24 month project. I find that it takes a while for things to get moving with websites especially when one has only 2hrs daily. I am encouraged by your blog and I will continue to follow your progress as a source of insight and encouragement.
    Ade recently posted… My First Affiliate Sale on EPI!

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Ade, and good luck with your 24 month challenge!

    [Reply]

  15. Hi Eric,

    I too am still learning with respect to managing sites. In fact, we learn every day. I was moved by your modest way of writing your experiences. Such posts always boost the spirits of all those who have failed or could not achieve the expected amount of success.I love that never-say-die attitude.

    Thanks a lot,
    Sanjib Kumar Saha
    Sanjib Kumar Saha recently posted… Tutorial: How to Upgrade Samsung Galaxy S GT-I9000 to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the support, Sanjib. You really do have to have a positive attitude to make it in this business. If nothing else, it motivates you to keep moving forward despite failures along the way.

    [Reply]

  16. Hi Eric,

    This is my first time to your site and I must say you have some really great Ideas.
    There is so much for us new bloggers to learn and i wish you much success with your new project.

    My site had the 1. Birthday tomorrow and i must learn soooooooooo many things for having success.

    with best greetings from germany

    Jonas
    Jonas recently posted… Dating Glück auf der Fan Meile

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Jonas, and welcome to my blog. Glad to see you found some helpful information. There’s a lot to learn in blogging – it’s easy to start a blog or website, but making it successful can be a great challenge. Best of luck to you.

    [Reply]

  17. Love the fact you are sharing real info with us, so many people don’t really tell us what they are doing. Lately I am beginning to think that going for smaller segments of large niches is better, especially if you plan to build a list.
    Jon, Rat 9 recently posted… Rat 9 Coolest Gaming Mouse Around

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    I’m all for tackling narrow segments of popular niches – it allows you to compete in an otherwise very difficult area.

    [Reply]

  18. Thanks Eric.

    I see what you are saying here overall. I think I still need to pump out content though because in my authority site there is TON’s of information and it isn’t useful unless I have all of it on my website. I guess for now I’ll try this model and see how it works out for me and if it doesn’t I’ll try a different strategy.

    Thanks for the advice.

    [Reply]

Leave a Reply

*

CommentLuv badge

Subscribe to my awesome newsletter and receive The Ultimate Backlink Tracker for free! (Don't worry, I'll respect your privacy.)



The owner of this website, Eric, is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking http://www.my4hrworkweek.com to Amazon properties including, but not limited to, amazon.com, endless.com, myhabit.com, smallparts.com, or amazonwireless.com.

Loading...
Get my blog posts delivered straight to your e-mail >>
(I'll respect your privacy, don't worry.)