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My New Authority Site Revealed: The Authority Site Duel is Underway

Over the last few weeks I have written quite a bit about the shift in direction of search engine behavior and how I am shifting my strategy from niche sites to a larger, authority site.

CPA Requirements

Subsequently I previewed the authority site I have been working on.

And then last week the Authority Site Duel portal was published.

You can read the rules of the challenge here.

It is important to establish a baseline so we can clearly follow the progress of this site.

Since I will be experimenting with various strategies in growing this new business, I want us all to be able to see what works and how and what doesn’t.

So in the spirit of baselining, I want to reveal what this authority site is and where it currently stands.

I’ve named this new business The CPA Requirements Portal with the following domain / URL:

As I wrote about in my preview earlier, I bought the domain of this website earlier this year, but have not had any time to do anything with it until just a couple months or so ago.

Right now the site has roughly 80 pages, with another 70 or so in the works (topic ideas) that I need to write and schedule for release over time the next few weeks.

The site is currently generating all of its visitors from organic search traffic. There are no ads displayed on the site, public or private.

Here is a snapshot of the site’s current traffic:

CPA Requirements Traffic

Few interesting details to note right off the bat:

  • 2.71 pages viewed per visit is higher than what any one of my young sites typically generates
  • Average time on site is over 5 minutes – I have never experienced that before for a new site. I think that shows authority.
  • A Bounce rate of roughly 50% is also lower than my new sites typically experience, albeit higher than what I’d like to see in the long run
  • Over 70% of the site’s visitors are new, mostly coming from search engine search queries

Needless to say I am happy with the way things have started off.

I chose the domain I did for the least dilution impact to my target keyword. More on this when I discuss keyword research and how I came up with this topic for my new business. You can read more about choosing the best domain for your website here.

This new business meets all the criteria laid out in the rules for the Authority Site Duel – the need for knowledge and expertise, undying passion, the genuine ability to help/enhance someone’s life, etc.

I have done it repeatedly in the offline world, so I am confident that I can do so online as well with much more scaleability. I have some very high aspirations for this business. You can read all about them here.

Here are just some of the subsequent posts I have planned to get you caught up to this point and then move forward together on this journey:

  • How to generate solid ideas (topic) for an online business – How I did it
  • Keyword research to determine what keywords to target
  • Building the site step by step – domain, hosting, WordPress theme selection and installation, etc.
  • Content and SEO
  • Initial marketing/link building
  • Readership growth and engagement through an email list
  • Monetization

I am looking forward to going through this journey together. I know it will be a lot of fun.

So there you have it; my new online business.

Over to you now…

What do you think I need to do/add to this website to make it the go to resource for aspiring CPAs? What type of content should I focus on? How should I market the business and what avenues should I tap into to get the word out?

Please be specific. I’d really appreciate your input and will try to incorporate it as much as I can.

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30 Responses to “My New Authority Site Revealed: The Authority Site Duel is Underway”

  1. Great to see the site doing so well right off the bat! One suggestion I would have is once you start getting some more traffic to think about changing the design of it. It looks a little crowded and hard to navigate in my opinion. Doesn’t matter too much at this stage, but once you really start getting going with it, it’s something to consider. Best of luck!


  2. As a CPA licensed in Virginia but living in Florida I would be interested in seeing how transferring my license really works. As I understand it now I have to take more upper level credit hours or wait for 5 years of experience to transfer my license to Florida.

  3. Hi Sunil – those user engagement metrics seem very encouraging to me.

    I’d be interested to see if you could increase user engagement by using some form of quiz – perhaps even a series of that assesses the visitor’s readiness for the exam. I’m not very familiar with the subject so I’m not sure how feasible that is. Actually, If you’d be interesting in running this experiment, I can give you a copy of Viral Quiz Builder when it’s ready – would make for a very interesting case study.

    Also, It’d be great to see if you could increase your opt in percentage by adding a small report cover graphic (similar to this blog). I made this change on one of my sites and it really bolstered opt ins.

    Are you planning on selling your own product in this niche?

    Thanks to your posts I’ve learned a good deal about content strategy. I’d really like to know if you have a “system” for creating blog posts. For instance, do you do your research in batch, then draft categories and then break that down into titles?

    • Sunil says:

      excellent feedback Paul.

      definitely working on a free course to entice readership. will definitely post an image and measure conversion. I might also take you up on the quiz builder offer – it sounds like a great initiative. let’s definitely stay in touch regarding that one.

      I do have a “system” – it’s really just batch processing. when I am in a creative mode, I churn out topics and put placeholders (posts and pages in draft form). when in writing mode, I go back and crank them out. works really well for me. that said, when I am multi tasking I run keyword research on the side and incorporate those in my drafts so I know what I am targeting when I go back and optimize. hope that helps?

      yes I am eventually going to be selling something that I create, still not sure what it’d be. ideas are welcome.

    • Andy says:

      I think the quiz idea is excellent!

      It could also be well-used to add a little gamification to the site: Take a quiz, it’ll determine of you’re Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced level and link you to a page that gives tons of info for their appropriate level (with of course a link to the other levels, just in case they want to see 😉

  4. Very excited to see how this site turns out, Sunil. As a CPA, I can definitely appreciate the content you’re putting together. Best of luck in the duel.

  5. Andy says:

    I think it looks like a very promising site Sunil. And WOW do you have a lot of content already! You’re a machine!!

    As for ideas for the site, I think Paul’s idea about the quiz is really great, and could be used in lots of interactive ways.

    I think a clicable map a la Pat Flynn could be very helpful. I don’t know much about the CPA exams, but it seems like everything is very state-dependent, so that could be helpful. And I agree with Thomas about the layout, but I’m sure you’re on top of that.

    As for marketing, it might be helpful to see if most people taking the exams are straight out of college, or if they work a bit first. If straight ouf of school, it might be helpful to work with universities just like corporations do to setup job fairs.

    I think the authority essence of the new site is almost going to require stepping outside of the online world, and stepping laterly within it. Maybe guest post or get on the podcast at Motley Fool or other popular financial advice venues?

    • Sunil says:

      batch processing is wonderful Andy. I agree with Paul’s idea too, as well as the clickable map which is in the works as well. love the idea on the guest podcast as I agree this is way beyond just the online space. also a great point on straight out of school vs already working. any thoughts on how to implement such a “survey”?

  6. 1 thing special about your website is the simplicity. I’ll always go with wp though.

    Still deciding on the best theme to use for my authority site and this weekend it will all be set.

    I will write the blog update soonest and send you the link.


  7. Your new authority site has better stats than my nearly year old PF blog!

    I’ve been considering redefining If You Can Read, You Can Cook as an authority site as opposed a blog. The activity on it isn’t very “bloggy.”

  8. Very interesting achievement Sunil, although i think the design i somehow crowded, maybe you should look into it.

    Thanks and best of lucks

  9. Anindo says:

    Hi Sunil, I had subscribed your newsletter way before. Digged into your website now. Great to get authority up your sleeve. Looking for ward to learn from you and sharing lots of interesting stuff! Thanks :)

  10. Congratulations on the launch of your site. Your site is a treasure trove of information for those seeking to obtain the CPA credential. The search engine stats stand proof of your accomplishments with your site.

    The two things I would like to suggest are:

    – Increase the white space around the content, as it aids readability

    – Add a few interactive e-learning courses, free or paid, leveraging multimedia to further enhance learning. The topic of your site is an excellent candidate to take the e-learning route.

  11. Hi Sunil, I think authority sites are the way forward now, and if it has a branded name then the site and name is what becomes searched for making life a lot easier. I will enjoy watching your new site evolve, all the best for the future with it.


  12. kindit77 says:

    hello sunil, am a first timer here and am glad i found you. i have a question about your authority site “CPA”, how can i generate the job board you have on that site. i have tried it with mine all to no avail. Regards

    • Sunil says:

      coincidentally I am working on a post about that stay tuned. it’s not difficult but sometimes coding can be conflicting behind the scenes. what platform are you using and what specifically is the problem?

      how did you find the blog?

  13. kindit77 says:

    Thanks for the response< am using indeed as a platform. the problem is am not able to make the available job listing on my site look like yours. how did you do that? saw your site on "SPI" keep up the good job

  14. kindit77 says:

    Thank you for the response, i appreciate them. Below is a visual example of what am talking about. i think it will be more clearer this way. in response to your question, i do not have any error when pasting the codes to my site, it comes out okay. my problem is that the job listing does not populate and stand out like the one you have on
    please see example:

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