I already have one authority site, and it performs really well for both SEO and revenue. And now I want to build another. So I'm setting myself a simple challenge for 2014, to build an authority site.
Authority sites contain a large amount of content, which usually isn't focused on a very small niche. Instead it targets a larger audience and doesn't just rely on search traffic from Google. Authority sites will usually have large social followings and the site's content will be shared a lot through social media. Building an authority site takes months of work, and there will be a period at the beginning where it will seem as though there is no point to all the work. You keep posting content, and Google isn't showing you any love. But if you persevere, and manage to create a site with a good pagerank and search traffic, it will deliver revenue for years to come.
So here is my template for an authority site:
- Niche – i'm choosing a general topic that I can easily write about: productivity. I've written countless articles on this topic in the past and I can easily create more content on my own.
- Content – I'll aim for the articles I write to be over 500 words each. They'll also all contain an image, which will help them get shared on social networks. I'm going to be producing content that I believe could go “viral”.
- Frequency – I'm aiming to post 1 new article per day. Anymore and I'll burn out. Any less and I don't think I'll succeed. I won't need to keep up this regimen after a few months where I can drop back to 1 post per week. Google does prefer fresh content.
- SEO – No backlink building. I'll be linking to my site from existing properties I own, just so that visitors can discover my new website. But that's pretty much all the off page SEO i'll be doing. I'm going to do lots of internal linking (something which I've never done enough of in the past).
- Monetization – Adsense. I'm only going to add the adsense code when I start seeing a regular influx of traffic. I don't bother adding ads on a site that isn't going to make at least $1 a day. It's not worth the hassle otherwise.
- Social – I'll try and build a large twitter following for the site. I've always found this challenging and social is my weak spot. I'm going to automate it as much as I can.
- Design – I've gone for a premium wordpress theme which I know how to monetize. I've seen it used on a friends site which generates 2k+ per month in adsense revenue. I'm going to use the same ad placements (when I start getting traffic).
- Hosting – I'm going to opt for some premium hosting, just so the site has some room to grow and I don't need to worry about moving it later on. Therefore i'm putting it on Mediatemple. MT is amazing hosting and much less spammy then Hostgator (which I also use).
- Marketing/Advertising – I've got a couple of ideas. I think I will try a couple of different forms of advertising and o some case studies. But to begin with I want growth to be organic, and I don't want to spend money until I've got lots of content created.
So that's about it. I'll keep you posted with a weekly update of how the site is progressing.
It seems that we think very much alike! I am also a fan of building authority websites as opposed to small niche blogs, and I also try to let backlinks come naturally to my sites (even though that does take a lot of time), while getting social traffic is too my weak spot. Good luck with your site!