I’ve hinted about my new authority website here and there, mostly on my Facebook page and a little bit here on the EMB, especially in this post. I want to tell you a little bit more about it today, why I started it, my content, marketing and monetization strategies and what I am hoping it would achieve.
I am at a point where I have several successful and profitable websites, yet outside of this blog, I cannot say that any one of those really hits on the highest level of all the attributes I’d like an ideal business to be comprised of, such as first hand knowledge, true expertise, real experience, strong passion, interest and desire to help others.
Because I am a big proponent of diversification and multiple streams of income, I am quite involved in the offline space as well. However, nothing I’ve got going on in the offline space as well constitutes the above. So when I recently thought about the next web based venture I wanted to focus on, I REALLY wanted it to satisfy all the attribute above.
Enter my new Authority Website project…
The more I thought about this the more I kept reverting back to my roots, which is to create an online business based on a topic that I know really well. I just had to think harder to ensure I didn’t just know the topic well, but that I had enough fire and desire to pursue this initiative to the point of making it the best resource of its kind in every sense.
So I laid out all the attributes of my ideal business (above) and went through each one thoroughly. The result is my new authority site project.
My new authority site covers a specialty designation many professionals pursue in Corporate America. Such career paths almost make it a mandate to get this certification if one is serious about their career success. The requirements to obtain this certification varies across each State.
It’s a highly saturated and competitive industry dominated by real big names – read why competition doesn’t mean much to me here. There are some gaps however that I feel I can fill with my first hand experience.
I picked this niche before I conducted any keyword research. Foolish? Time will tell.
Fortunately, there were/are some keywords within the niche which appeared reasonable in terms of trying to rank high for. My domain includes the main keyword I am attempting to rank #1 for, however it is not an exact match domain. Those are far and few these days unless you pay a good amount buying them in the secondary or domain resale market.
My content strategy is simple. Develop content not only around “profitable keywords” from my keyword research, but also around some of the most common questions, problems and confusions related to this topic. The content will be developed with the end reader in mind, just as it should. I will NOT outsource any of the content of this site, except for maybe the requirements pages in each of the 50 States. I will develop and dictate the content strategy however.
I don’t just plan on stopping at the certification stages. I also want to cover everything else that happens after one has obtained this professional certification. Most websites on this topic end there. However, this is truly where the journey of a successful career in this field starts. I plan to cover the entire journey.
I foresee this website to have well over 200 pages / posts of solid, pillar content, with enough on an ongoing basis to keep it growing.
How will I promote this website? I plan on having one of my VAs do some modest link building for the site. Outside of that, I plan on doing everything else myself. I will be doing things I have never done for any of my other sites before, micro niche, semi authority or authority.
What I really want to do is develop a solid CONTENT MARKETING strategy, an attractive content marketing strategy that will attract the readership and the marketing to me solely based on the amount and quality of content I provide across multiple mediums, text, audio and video. This is truly the best form of marketing in my opinion for a solid, long term and sustainable online business.
I plan on heavily engaging on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, interacting with my readership on a regular basis. I also plan on engaging in guest blogging efforts, and reaching out to some of the more popular websites such as FOX, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, etc. I essentially want most of the traffic to this website to be organic in nature, exactly what the essence of an “attractive content marketing” strategy is or should be.
I plan on taking this business offline as well, or at least establishing a tangent of it offline that can also benefit the online business. For example, promoting it through local educational and professional institutions.
This should be the easy part in my opinion if everything else is done right. Money is commonly a by product of the quality and value you can deliver. If I execute the Content and Marketing strategies appropriately, monetization should happen relatively easily.
There are several high quality affiliate products I can offer in this niche. I can also publish an ebook. I will have a section on the site where there will be job listings in relevant professions.
I can offer live coaching calls, webinars and even one on one consulting down the road if that’s what I wanted to do. For now these are all ideas. I will continue to publicly document what I decide to do and the results.
I also plan on having my VA help me solicit and manage private advertising vendors.
I bought the domain of this website earlier this year, but have not had any time to do anything with it until just a month or so ago. Currently the site has roughly 60 pages, with another 90 or so in the works (topic ideas) that I need to write and schedule for release over time.
The site is currently generating 15-20 visitors per day (strictly organic and no marketing done) and makes ZERO dollars. There are no ads displayed on the site, public or private.
I have NOT explicitly and publicly disclosed the website, but I have in a passive manner. I have given enough hints about this site, and will reveal it shortly if you haven’t guessed yet.
If you are wondering about everything else I’ve got going on, I put some careful thought into this one and I feel I have the capacity to make it work. Here is what I will be doing with the other businesses that I am involved with:
My most time consuming project is this Blog – yet I barely make money off of it to this day. I actually don’t when I factor in the cost of running it.
In my post about my top 5 income streams, I wrote about several businesses that I am involved in. Fortunately, these businesses are self sustaining for the most part, requiring very little ongoing maintenance from. I also have Virtual Assistants that help me with the upkeep, freeing up more of my own time.
In another post where I gave away $2,500, I mentioned some of the upcoming projects I was contemplating.
Here is an update on those:
SEO firm – It’s well and alive. We (partners involved) have been successful in the local community bringing on some clients, hiring staff both locally and overseas and managing the business development and quality control aspect of the business. It’s not a huge business, and frankly I have not invested as much effort into it as I had intended to (my profit sharing percentage reflects that), but perhaps will step it up in the coming months.
iPhone Apps – This one is also moving along. I am confident that I will be able to get at least 2 apps in the iTunes store before the end of the year. I really want 3 to 4, but I know I can do 2 for sure.
More eBooks – I had planned on two, and have already published one. The second one will likely be the one I will publish as part of this new authority site.
Sale of My Niche Sites – I was offered five figures for one of my websites. I decided not to sell it and I wrote about why here.
Develop 2 More Niche Sites – I don’t think I have the desire to pursue this one anymore. Instead, I am pursuing this large authority site project instead.
Consulting Project – This one was supposed to start in October, but it actually started this month. I will continue with this and likely not take any long term consulting engagement for some time after this one finishes.
Overall I am very much satisfied with where I am and what I’ve got going on in the next few months. I do know that I want to make this authority site the single most profitable online business I own. It is a tough challenge but I think it’s doable given my passion, expertise, deep insight and first hand experience in this area.
The topic is profitable and I expect to see several copycats enter the space as well. I am up for the challenge however. I am confident in my real world training, education and professional background, and I know that there is nothing like first hand and practical experience.
Interestingly enough, with the recent shift of search engines behavior and preferences, many bloggers and internet entrepreneurs have embarked on their own larger, “authority” type websites. Eric from My4HrWorkWeek and I were recently discussing this over email and an idea was born.
Since we had just started our projects, we thought it would be really cool to talk about it publicly, display actions taken, successes and failures, progress updates, what worked and what didn’t, etc. So we challenged each other! We took inspiration from Pat and his niche site challenge. Few emails later the idea had solidified some more. We knew a few others interested in jumping in so we reached out and immediately received a positive response.
The idea has been brewing and the pot is getting really hot. We are definitely ready to get the challenge going. It would be really cool and fun to see others join in as well. We can all learn from each other and help our websites become successful. We are finalizing the challenge and will be announcing it soon along with the rules of engagement 🙂
I WILL DOCUMENT EVERYTHING, INCLUDING INCOME REPORTS – something I have not consistently done to date and actually dislike.
If you are really interested in my thought process on why I am focusing on this new business, you can read more compelling reasons why I decided to engage in this initiative here and here.
For now however, CHALLENGE ACCEPTED. Stay tuned – the duel is brewing and will be announced soon . . .
What are some of the topics you’d like to see covered and discussed in this Authority Site Duel? In what form would you prefer the content – audio, video or text? Are you interested in participating? Can you guess the topic of the authority site?Previous: My Top 5 Internet Marketing Strategies for Niche Websites
Looking forward to seeing how you progress. I guess ‘authority’ is the trend these days. I, too, have embarked on this route toward quality over quantity and it seems to be working out well so far. I wish I stared with authority sites, but hey, we all need to learn and progress: with some of the steps, even know to be faulty, must be taken.
what were you doing before and how did it go overall?
Sunil- Authority Site Challenge sounds awesome and I’ll be reading intently….I loved the niche site duel, but this one is much more applicable to me so I’m excited to learn a few things from you guys!
you should consider joining the duel
Great post Sunil and I’m VERY excited to see where this goes, especially as your site seems to be at a similar standpoint to mine from a traffic perspective.
Look forward to seeing a solidified ‘challenge’ as well and its rules. As you know I have a fledging authority site, and again I’m not ashamed to admit my dedication to it hasn’t been at 100%, so this challenge could well be the stimulus I need to get me up to max effort.
I will be following this with huge interest.
With regards to the form of content, I find text based easier to access when I’m not at home, so a good chunk of it I feel should be text. However I do like audio too at times, for example I listen to Pat’s podcasts when I run, so maybe you could use this to showcase certain aspects. For something like this I don’t think I would miss video if it wasn’t included. Just my thoughts.
podcasts are def on the list, but keep getting pushed back! looking forward to your participation Dan
Hi Sunil, I am very interested in learning more about the new authority site. I prefer to read blog posts personally but also enjoy listening to podcasts at the gym, so a little of each is good. I think video only works if you need to demonstrate something, either practically or on screen. The challenge sounds interesting and look forward to taking part perhaps?!
would love to have you participate Catherine.
Hmmmm, I’m guessing the new site is either MBA or CPA related.
I’m starting a site that I want to be pretty authoritative as well, so I’m kind of interested in participating. The problem is I think I’ll get blown away by the pros that have VA’s helping them and don’t have full-time jobs getting in the way.
Maybe their could be a pro and amatuer-level challenge?
interesting dichotomy, and a very valid one. that said, most readers of this blog have full time gigs. you are dead on with your guess
Very interesting Sunil. I will keep an eye on this.
I’m quite bored lately of the blogging about blogging and MMO blogs. I’ve unsubscribed from most big blogs including Problogger and Copyblogger after months ignoring their content because I don’t see any fresh idea or point of view.
I have to say that EMB is one of the very few I’ve kept in my RSS/email.
what an honor, thank you, really mean that. I hope I can continue to meet expectations 🙂
Interesting blog post! I just started an Authority site in the fitness arena and look forward to your progress updates. Keep us all informed on your progress as we will all be very interested in the steps you take, given your IM experience.
definitely Dave. consider joining
Super excited about your upcoming plans, especially the authority site challenge and your upcoming apps – hope you write more about them later 🙂
a post on the apps is long due indeed Thomas. it’s coming
I believe I hold the designation that you speak of but unfortunately my license is in Virginia and I live in Florida. I hope to transfer it in a few years after I meet a Backdoor transfer requirement. I wont spoil it though!
backdoor huh – I may be able to use the tidbit as a fine piece of advice on my site Lance 🙂
Awesome idea with the duel Sunil. I bought a domain that I haven’t done anything with yet that was originally intended for a niche site. The more I’ve thought about it though, it will probably be better suited for a semi-authority site. Joining the challenge is tempting, but I want to focus on finishing my smaller niche sites and get some income rolling in. Well definitely be following the duel though for ideas and inspiration.
all the best with the smaller sites Matthew. feel free to jump into the challenge at any point
After I have five years of experience working under someone with my same designation I can just transfer my license down here. Otherwise I need to take a ton of additional credit hours which will take at least that long to finish. Seems like a no brainer to me.
I didn’t know about this “special provision”. I am sure some other States have similar rules. are you aware of any?
Definitely looking forward to your posts. I guess sometimes it helps to really document everything that way you don’t miss anything and it actually helps you grow.
it will be an interesting case study experiment
I’m excited to get this challenge started! Great preview of your authority site – it seems like you have some very robust plans. In the spirit of competition though, I have to hope that I can do better. 🙂 It’ll be interesting to see how this goes.
game on indeed buddy, will be very interesting to see how things pan out for everyone
Hi Sunil, i like the challange and i wish you success in all. I am also planning to set-up another blog on the health niche but just like someone pointed out initially, i don’t know if i can compete with you pros that already has VA’S. So maybe i should just stick around and watch the challange.
I think you should join Theodore. we are all trying this for the first time. the goal is to document everything, what works, what doesn’t etc. it will be interesting to see the progress of those with VAs vs not. I really believe both can succeed. this is a friendly competition
I’m with you guys. Lets get the party started.
Lets succeed together.
that’s the goal
Theodore, I wouldn’t be discouraged from participating. I’m going to be one of Sunil’s biggest competitors in this (at least, I hope), and I am neither a pro nor will I be using VAs.
ALSO, my site will be in the health/fitness niche, which is extremely competitive and difficult to penetrate. I would definitely say you should jump on board in the competition. This isn’t 100% about winning – it’s about getting a good experience and using it as a foundation to improve upon.
Definitely Eric, I’m in. Lets explore this challange together.
Thanks for the encouragment.
right on Eric – I second that
This post comes at the right time as I’m building an authority site myself. I’m in 🙂
PS: I guess your site is related real estate 😉 If so, we are targeting the same niche and even the same keywords. It makes this challenge more interesting 😀
I am looking forward to you joining the challenge my friend. stay tuned for more details
Your posts are truly inspirational and useful to the core. I think your site is about CPA, which suggests that you hold that credential.
Authority sites are the way to go with frequent search algorithm changes and such sites make avenue to provide authentic and rich content based on the site owner’s skill and experience.
At present, I am writing articles relating to various niches and selling them as PLR content and e-book. Is the PLR model going to sustain? I would appreciate your thoughts on the same.
Wish you all success with your authority site and other business pursuits.
thanks Sid. PLR has its own use and very specific kind in my opinion. this is the second PLR question I have received today alone and I will definitely write a comprehensive post on it in the coming weeks. I am curious – how is your business doing? is it scaleable to where it can become a mostly passive income stream?
I think I am doing ok with my PLR business. I would like to scale it up though, but first want to make sure about the future of PLR before I invest more of my time and efforts.
Please do write a comprehensive post on the PLR model. Thank you.
will do Sid. at the same time, as this is your business, I feel you’d be best able to assess what the current and future state of PLR is. what are your thoughts?
Lots of irons in the fire! That’s great. I appreciate the link to your other article about competition. My sole remaining niche site is in a high competition area and it isn’t a topic that can easily go authority, so I’ve managed to direct traffic it to it through YouTube instead of getting it ranked on Google. I talk about that here, but found it really interesting: http://livetheneweconomy.com/blog/2012/8/28/affiliate-sales-and-youtube-videos.html
Great post and great timing. After years of building niche sites I do believe it is time to diversify. Very interested in watching your progress with your authority site!
I will be in the process of creating my own in the student loan niche (stupidly competitive but should be fun).
why don’t you jump into the challenge Jon. it should be a fun ride
Count me in for the challenge! It will be great to see the progress/tactics of other building authority sites.
sure Jon. welcome
I really liked the way that you outlined each of your strategies in this post. I geared my “revealing: post towards the general ideas of my authority site. But you have given me the idea to write a few posts to outline each of the strategies that I will be using!
Thanks for the inspiration.
Your fellow “authority site dueler”,
awesome Mike. yes, the more granular and detailed we each can get into our posts, the more the readership will benefit and can apply what we are doing. this is the essence of the duel