Welcome to the Authority Blogging Business (ABB) case study!
This series will give you a detailed look at how to build a profitable online business from the ground up.
Unlike other case studies I’ve done before, this will show you the process of taking a new website and turn it into a long-term property that has real-world value.
In other words, this is not about building a small niche site that generates $500 – $1000 a month through Amazon affiliate or Adsense, but building a real business asset that can thrive years after years.
Let me get started by sharing with you the reason behind this project.
Why Building An Authority Blog?
An authority blog or website, whatever you want to call it, targets a specific market or group of like-minded individuals. It differs from a niche site because it’s designed to be the ultimate resource for that topic. Its primary goal isn’t to make an instant sale. Instead the site is used to educate the user in order to establish a long-term (but profitable) relationship.
Authority blogs often come from passion about a particular topic.
Instead of building dozen of low-value niche websites, you focus on building one big website that people will love. These websites often provide more value and have more commercial potential than small niche sites.
2 Examples of Authority Blogs
- Cloud Living – Yes, Cloud Living is an authority blog about building niche websites. Sound weird, huh? It’s now getting 10,000+ visitors a month with me building a single backlink. Currently it’s generating $500 a month through affiliate links. I know it’s not much but I haven’t really put much effort into monetizing the blog.
- Nerd Fitness – This is one of the best online resources about fitness with millions of visitors a month. I don’t know the real numbers but I’m sure it’s generating six or even seven figures for Steve Kamb through the training membership and live events.
- Digital Photography School – This is a huge huge website started over 8 years ago by Darren Rowse from Problogger (it’s also an authority blog).
Authority Blogs Vs Niche Websites
The biggest difference is that niche websites focus on ranking keywords, while authority blogs focus on building an audience and solving their problems.
While niche websites worked really well in the past, due to recent changes, it’s now much harder to build a 10-page website, throw in a bunch of backlinks, and get it rank quickly for dozen of keywords on Google.
Even if you have a strong private blog network (PBN), the new Google sandbox wouldn’t let your website rank high until it’s at least 5-6 months old.
And there’s also a high risk of getting penalized by utilizing PBN which is unnatural and against the rules of Google.
In contrast, authority blogs are not too dependent on Google. Yes, Google traffic is valuable and any website can get penalized. But your focus with authority blogs is to create high quality content that get links and building real relationships with people so they can send you traffic directly through their blogs.
And as Neil Patel once said “Write about what people want. Search engines will eventually catch up.”, I’ve never built any unnatural backlinks to Cloud Living, but Google still accounts for 51.67% of the total traffic.
Conclusion: It’s time to stop building small niche websites and getting links from private blog networks. Build an authority blog, grow an audience, serve them well, and you will do fine for years.
The Authority Blogging Business Model
When it comes to building an authority blog, your greatest advantage is that it can be monetized in a variety of ways.
Remember your ultimate goal is not to generate a few nickels from first-time visitors. Instead, we will primarily focus on building a valuable, life-long asset which is an email list.
Then we can begin to collect data about the subscribers, find out what their problems are, then giving them the solutions in exchange for their money (or affiliate commission).
These are the five income strategies I’m planning:
- Affiliate marketing
- Information Products
- Kindle Books
- Physical Products
- Coaching & Consulting
The Development Process
There will be three phases for any new blog:
Phase 1 – Building The Foundation
This will be pretty much like building a niche site. I will do basic stuff like:
- Choosing domain and hosting.
- Setting up website.
- Keyword research and content planning.
- Create publishing schedule
- Hiring writers.
- Creating cornerstone content.
- Creating email offers.
Phase 2 – Authority Building
This phase will focus on creating massively valuable content that attract shares and links naturally. I will also start reaching out to bloggers and developing relationships with them.
Creating content consistently is also a MUST for this phase. Building an authority blog is like a marathon, not a sprint.
Phase 3 – Monetize
Although I start monetizing the site from day one with affiliate reviews, I’d also begin to create my own products. Probably I will first start with information products or Kindle books.
I’ve never done this before so this is gonna be a great learning experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Till It’s Profitable? – I’d not expect any significant income for the first year or two. Again, authority sites need time to grow and we have to be patient
How Much Work Is Involved In Building An Authority Site – It depends on your skill level. But I’d say it’s a lot of work. Building a successful business is not easy!
Did You Really Give Up On Niche Websites? – Yes, no more niche websites. This will be my only website project for this year.
No More PBN? – Yes, I don’t want to get my website penalized again. That’s a hard feeling!
Where else can I learn more about authority sites? – Check out my friend Gael from Authority Hacker. It’s a new blog but he already demonstrated his authority and knowledge on the topic. I highly recommend you to check out his blog.
How The Case Study Works?
First, I will reveal the website. Actually, I want to get it in front of as many people as possible.
Second, I will share everything but the income generated. Why? I want to protect my business as it’s gonna be my bread and butter.
I will try to make at least 1 update a month with detailed stats to keep you updated on my progress.
When Will The Fun Start?
I’m already working on the project now as I’ve chosen a niche. It’ll be a few weeks before I do a follow-up post to this article. Till then, a lot will be happening behind-the-scenes. So stay tuned
Now it’s YOUR turn.
The #1 goal of this case study is to provide a learning environment for building a large-scale authority blogging business. I can’t do this without your feedback. So I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you’d like to learn.
Please feel free to submit any questions or comments you have about this project below.