August 13, 2012, 5:00 am

I Want to Become an Authority

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Authority Site
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authority site model

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!


What is an Authority Site Anyway?


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.


Why Do You Care to Become an Authority Anyway?


One word: 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

–          Everywhere!

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:


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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I’d have to agree both TFB and SPI are authority sites. I’ve been trying to steer my blog into becoming somewhat of an authority site for retirement savings advice, strategies etc through my “Start Here” tab and carefully selected topics. But I realize there’s +1M other blogs that do this as well, and I’ll have my work cut out for me. In the future I may want to go more niche towards a more focused topic to become an authority upon.

by: The Financial Blogger | August 13th, 2012 (6:59 am)

Hey Money Design,

the retirement savings advice niche is pretty full indeed. However, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have your share of the pie. Tomorrow, I’ll post an article about how to reach the authority level. It might give you some tricks in the topic selection process.



I want to be an authority but am figuring out the whole blogging thing first. I know I need a more solid direction on my blog but I haven’t found it yet. Hopefully I can focus in on this over the next year!

It’s easy to focus on the potential income for a blog or even pumping out good content that’s useful.

For me, it’s about capturing my best ideas and thoughts. It helps me clarify my goals and vision. A forced way to learn to communicate more effectively. In short, it’s about me.

Thanks for the article.

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Interesting, the flip side to this is that many of the top bloggers and like got there not so much by a top authority. but by selling a dream. You don’t sell business advice, you sell a dream of “running your own business”

Even you are selling dream, the dream of a money making blog, that’s why I keep coming back (that and you’re a good writer) I keep hoping to make that dream come true.

Which brings up the second point, which is rarely brought up, not everyone has the skills to be successful in running their own business/venture. You’ve been successful not so much because you work hard or had some luck, yes that helps, but because you have required skills to make this work. Hard work alone does not guarantee success.

I for example am working on two/three sides businesses. A blog, swing trading, and a affiliate blog linked swing trading blog. I’m willing to put the work and time into it, but I’m not convinced I have the skills/time to do it. Does this mean I’ll quit, of course not, I think I can, and am willing to give it a good go.

BUT having said that, and this important, I know what is, for me, within the realm of doable. To quote SPBrunner

“I haven’t had a main stream job since 1999. To do this was a two prong attack of controlling spending and earning (dividend) income”

Will I be a top blogger (or even have more than a few readers) unlikely, will I make money swing trading (probable). But what I know is I can control my spending, learn about investing and in about a decade or so know that my Wife (she’s the primary wage earner) will be in a position to take a buy out and not have to return to work.

I usually don’t leave such long comments but it sometimes bother me when people who sell dreams don’t acknowledge that they do such.

On the other hand if they did that they’d be out of business.

by: The Financial Blogger | August 15th, 2012 (5:57 am)

Hey Rob,

thx for your comment. Good food for thoughts. However, let me give you a few hindsight about my skills:

– English is not my mother tongue (so I have someone editing my blog posts)

– I can’t even add a link on my sidebar (so I have a partner that is highly qualified in coding and technical stuff)

– Most of what I write about on TFB was unknown to me a few months before. I learn things and then I share them.

The funny twist about TFB is that I’m talking about how to make money online but this is not how I make money :-). Therefore, you can’t say that I’m selling a dream since I have nothing to sell.

Most of my money is done through my investment sites but my branding and my authority level is done through TFB.

I understand that most people are looking forward to buy a quick dream but in reality, hard work and sacrifices are what is required. When I started this blog back in 2006 I wasn’t even a financial planner. I was working days and night to make both my career and my online company flies.

Thx for the idea; I think I’m going to write on the balance of talent vs hard work required to be successful 🙂



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Hi Mike

Wow if English isn’t your mother tongue than you’ve done a great job of mastering it, one of the reasons why I come back here is you do a great job of communicating.

Anyways if my comments came across as a bit snarky (or not very nice) it’s wasn’t meant that way, can be hard at times to get the tone right.

Keep up the good work


Hey Rob,

no offense taken. I actually like those long comments 🙂

i’m French btw !

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