Ah man… not another buzz word article!?!… Not quite yet. I’m pretty sure that you have heard the buzz words authority site? Besides niche sites, this is probably the other big flavor for those who aim to make a buck off of their site. You read elsewhere: the authority site model is the most performing in terms of traffic, passive income and sustainability. Yeah… I guess that goes along with writing compelling content and connecting with other bloggers, huh?
While the concept of authority site has been growing due to the popularity of blogs, the main concept of being an authority is much older. Each time we think the internet has reinvented the wheel; we find out that it has just copied/pasted a concept existing in the “real world”. Being an authority gives you a lot of advantages. Not just on the internet, but in the real world too. In fact, you are better off being an authority at work ;-).
I can say that I’m an authority at work. At least, in my field ;-). How do I know if I’m an authority or not? Because people seek my advice and they follow it. Because I am cited for what I do and my peers use my examples. Because each time there is a tricky file to close, I am called upon. What is interesting about being an authority is that you get the first pick on all windows of opportunities. Most opportunities are presented to authority people before others. I guess this is why it gets easier for those who succeed and harder for those who fail. Each success brings you to a higher level of authority … while each failure drags you down.
While it works pretty well in the real world, when I go back to the internet world; this is much harder to become one. Why? Simply because the competition level is much larger. If I had to compete against all financial advisers in the world, I would probably not be an authority. But because my playground is smaller, it’s easier to shine in the crowd. When you want to establish your site as an authority, you are competing against the world. Considering that there are now hundreds of personal finance blogs, it gets pretty hard to stand out in the crowd. Just checking the Wise Bread Top PF Blogs, there are 753 listed there. Out of my entire network, only 4 of them break the top 200 and I don’t even have 1 breaking the top 100!
All right, there is more than just ranking to be considered an authority. And rankings are worth what they are worth. From a traffic and monetization perspective, my four blogs in the top 200 are not even ranked properly if I only consider my own sites!
Here’s my homemade definition of an authority site:
An authority site is a reference used by new readers, regular readers and peers (other bloggers) for a specific niche. It’s a site that is mentioned all over the place and cited as an example of success. It requires the owner of the site to master a topic and identify trends before they become one. The owner doesn’t have to be the best player but he must be among them.
Being an authority is first and foremost being a reference. If your site is cited as an example by others for this and that, then you become an authority in these fields. For example, The Financial Blogger is definitely an authority when it comes to buying and selling blogs. I’ve almost created the market for PF blogs! I didn’t decide to become an authority, my readers did. There are several signs of this:
- I receive a lot of questions on how to market and sell a blog.
- I am asked if I want to buy blogs all the time.
- People ask me how to buy blogs and if this or that site is a good purchase.
- Most bloggers know TFB because they know that I own “half of the blogosphere” as they usually say (it’s actually one third to be exact, hahaha!).
- My business model has been copied by several other bloggers.
I’m pretty happy to be considered an authority in this niche. Unfortunately, this is quite a small niche! The advantage I got out of it is that I get the first shot on many transactions which have enabled me to buy important blogs. I was also able to use my reputation to make serious offers on other websites as well. On the other hand, having a copycat is also hurting my own business model since I had to put more cash on the table a few times in order to be the last bidder!
In about a month from now, I’ll be launching an authority site. I call it an authority site because I want it to become one. My mission is simple: I want to create the ultimate resource for a specific topic. We have been working on this site in the dark for the past 12 months. There are still a lot of things to develop and work on but we will launch the “beta” version of the site in a few weeks. The goal is to start creating a buzz, getting links and optimizing our platform with your feedback.
One word: www.smartpassiveincome.com. This guy was able to pull-out hundreds of thousands of dollars from his multiple internet projects. Why? Because he is a huge authority. He would not be able to generate between $40,000 and $50,000 per month (yup, this is not a typo) without being on the top of the authority food chain. If someone wants to start making money online,SPI articles will appear everywhere:
- In search engines
- On iTunes
- On other blogs
- In conferences
- On Facebook
- On Twitter
Therefore, chances are that by seeing the number of comments, retweets, downloads and likes SPIhas all over the internet, new readers will read carefully what Pat writes. If he says that BlueHost is the way to go to host your domain, you will most probably sign-up through his affiliate link. Here’s what happen when you create an authority site:
You basically get everything you need without asking for it! This is definitely the most effective passive income model you can reach on the internet.
The trick is that the higher authority you become, the higher your chances are to stay at the top of the mountain. This is why you should care about becoming an authority. Because it ensures the sustainability of your business model. I’m not thinking of just a business model for internet entrepreneurs, I’m thinking of a business model as a ME Inc. If you are the authority at work, you ensure the sustainability of your main source of income; your job! If you are an entrepreneur, you ensure the sustainability of your company. And if you are an internet mogul to be, this is your survival ticket for the next five, ten years in an environment evolving at light speed.
In order to be successful at becoming an authority, you must find your own voice. It doesn’t matter if your niche is small, in fact, it’s even better. What matters is that you are passionate about your niche. If you are not, it will be darn hard to know a lot of things and be ahead of most people in the same niche as you. You must be able to teach others a few things. You don’t have to be THE expert, you just have to know more than the average monkey. Once you get there, the ball will start to roll and you will climb the authority ladder one step at a time.
Tell me, in which field do you want to become an authority?
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