Do you want to build a prosperous online business? Creating an authority site is an authentic way to establish yourself and generate passive income online.
When I started building high-traffic blogs a few years ago, my efforts paid off in a big way. That success was all built on becoming a credible expert that others got to know, like and trust.
It takes hard work to generate a buzz around your blog is a challenge, especially when you are starting out.
In this post I’m going to show you how to establish yourself as an authority site, get more traffic and maximize your sales potential.
What is an Authority Site?
Authority websites are trusted by users, search engines, other websites, and industry experts. The content that’s published on authoritative websites is of such high quality, that a reader doesn’t need to seek the information elsewhere. The information is also useful and share worthy in social media.
It makes sense that such a site would be profitable. When you have a trusted site, people are more likely to visit on a regular basis to get information and answers that solve their problems.
In turn, your audience is more likely to make a purchase through your blog because they trust you. That’s where the profitability comes in.
Authority Site Examples
One thing that is found in abundance on the Internet is content filled with regurgitated junk, spam and information that barely scratches the surface of a topic.
So, what does an authority site look like? After you take a look at these examples, you’ll know exactly how to spot them. Here are some of my favorite sites with great quality and a wealth of expert information:
- NeilPatel.com – as an expert in online marketing, Neil Patel is a recognized authority and well-respected by top industry experts. His site is the go-to for information about everything you can think of for succeeding online.
- DrAxe.com – With a mission of helping people change their health for the better, wellness physician Dr. Josh Axe is well known to the community of people who use natural remedies to solve health problems. With a radio show, huge social media following, and speaker engagement, Dr. Axe has shown to be a proven authority in his field.
- ThePaleoMom.com – Created by medical biophysicist and mom Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, PhD, her detailed content focuses on the science behind diet and lifestyle and how they impact our health. Her practical tips to help others make positive changes to their health make her one of the foremost authorities for healthy living through a Paleo lifestyle.
Those are just three high profile sites from experts to give you an idea of how they focus and solve problems for their audiences.
Exploring the Misconception of “If You Build it, They will Come”
Before we move on, this just has to be said.
Too often I hear bloggers giving other bloggers advice like this:
Just keep writing what you are passionate about and an audience will magically find and love you!
If only it worked that way!
Some bloggers get lucky but the percentage is too small to even talk about.
Here’s the deal.
Writing what you feel like writing and hoping others enjoy your content is just not realistic. Even worse, hoping people actually find your content is a far-fetched wish.
With over 2 million blog posts published daily, that type of wishful thinking just won’t cut it.
Here’s the truth:
You need a better plan than that, don’t you agree?
5 Practical Steps to create a valuable Authority Site
Now that you understand about how the experts create sites that people trust, let’s dig into the strategies you’ll use to establish your own authority online.
It takes time but when you become recognizable as an authority in your niche it’s like putting high-octane fuel in your marketing gas tank. You’ll be accelerating faster and achieving more results than you ever thought possible.
1. Choose a Profitable Niche Market
When you start building your authority site, research a niche market first!
According to Google, a niche market is a “specialized section of the population.”
Here’s the deal:
Writing about YOUR passion doesn’t guarantee that your audience will be a profitable one that is willing and able to spend money.
Many bloggers I know fail because they didn’t bother to research a niche – especially one with the potential to make money!
There are many factors that you need to take into consideration when choosing the best niche that will also be profitable:
- Profitability – everyone wants to monetize their site. Many fail at this because they didn’t research the products and services in a niche market. What are others successfully selling and how can you put yourself out there as an authority to sell those products too?
- Search Competition – what type of keywords are typical in your target market? Are they too challenging to rank for? Who are your competitors and how can you compete with them in search? For example, I see a lot of new bloggers starting recipe sites. Well, they are competing with top commercial sites that also provide recipes. It’s a tough market to compete in and get YOUR content to page one of Google.
- Do you like this topic? – While many factors go into researching the best niche for creating an authoritative site, you should also consider liking the topic. If you hate it, but it’s a great niche, you likely won’t do well.
Check out my post on How to Find the Right Niche for your Blog to learn the basics.
Gather all the information you can so you can make an informed decision.
2. Create GREAT Content Aimed at Your Audience
Creating high quality content is always first on the list. Remember, YOU want to be that site where people can come and need not look further.
When you create content that is relevant to your audience, you’ll also have a better chance of your content getting shared in social media.
Check out my post on How to Drive More Traffic to your Site to find out more.
Most of the content out on the Internet is low quality and copied from other “expert” sites.
I read all types of content about tips on how to do this and that. It’s just a bunch of rehashed material that barely grazes the surface of solving the problem.
Seriously, you can always tell when someone doesn’t really understand what they are writing about.
Content with little to no substance will NOT help you build YOUR authority online.
Here’s the thing:
Writing a fluff piece benefits no one.
In the same way, writing what you feel like writing doesn’t serve your readers. It is only self-serving.
The best way to create high-octane content is to write what is useful and relevant to your audience. Go into every detail as much as possible to show your expertise based on experience. Share what you know.
It’s all about them, after all. Not YOU.
Break your content up into digestible chunks of information. Most people are reading with a mobile device and huge blocks of text don’t help. Here’s what does help:
- Use relevant subheadings that support your headline.
- Write shorter paragraphs.
- Use bulleted and numbered list when possible.
- Use visuals to break up the text.
These are all factors that contribute to your becoming an online authority or NOT. Don’t be lazy, make it happen.
3. Use Long Tail Keywords for Authority Site Building
Some of my sites get a ton of free organic Google traffic because people are searching for the keywords that I wrote my content around.
It’s great because I do little to no promotion on those sites.
The point is that you must do keyword research to understand what people are actively searching for in search engines. If you don’t do that, how would you know what your audience is looking for?
One of the best ways to do this is through long tail keyword research.
Here’s the deal.
You can spend all your time using social media sites to posts your blog post links and hope that traffic comes your way.
OR, you can use some best practices to start getting traffic from Google. The best part is that you then understand the type of content you need to create for your audience.
I can’t emphasize this enough. Learning what YOUR audience needs is crucial if you want to build an authority site.
For example, Dr. Axe knows exactly what the pain points of his audience are. I am part of his audience and I know he will always have the answers I am looking for.
You can do that through long tail keyword research and then creating GREAT content that helps people searching for information.
If you’ve not targeted long tail keywords, start now. You can see in the graph below that long tail search traffic generate more organic traffic than popular keywords.
The first step is to identify long tail keywords and then understand how to focus your content around them.
Check out my post on How to Use Long Tail Keywords to get Quality Traffic to find out the basics.
4. Use the Learn, Do, Teach Method
I’ve used this method for years to create authority sites about a variety of topics. This doesn’t mean rehashing information.
What is learn, do, teach?
It means that YOU invest your time and maybe money to learn something in your niche market. Then you implement what you learned.
Over time you will get some result (hopefully positive) from what you learned and implemented. Once you have that result, you can now teach it to others over and over.
Even if you get a poor result, you’ll have to make corrections. That’s a great lesson to write about! People want to learn from your mistakes so they don’t make them.
That’s how you build up your expertise.
5. Does the Look of your Site Matter for Online Authority?
You may be the expert in a specific area or write the best content, but if the look and feel of your blog don’t express that, it can work against you.
Be sure to choose a WordPress theme that clearly indicates your authority and highlights your expertise. You want your visitors to understand your value proposition right away.
There’s no better way to do that on WordPress than with Authority Pro by StudioPress. I use it on this blog and love it!
It’s simple to work with, has a ton of customizable options and puts your expertise on display!
Definitely check out the Authority Pro theme. It’s well worth it and I am thrilled to finally have a blog design that can highlight all the best!
Developing an online authority blog is more than just throwing a few posts out on the Internet. It requires careful research to determine profitability and quality content that fulfills your user’s needs.
Use these tips as a foundation to begin focusing your blog content on those topics that help your audience and are so comprehensive, they need not look further.
I would love to hear your thoughts about building your online authority in the comments below!
LuLu B - Calabrisella Mia says
Great tips! Becoming an authority site is a huge deal when making your blog successful.
Wow! This post wasn’t so helpful! I just started blogging and keep hearing traffic will increase eventually, but after this post, I’m thinking I need to do a little more research. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!
Lisa Jahred says
Awesome! Traffic won’t magically increase…as bloggers we need to put the work into it. Happy Blogging!
Well, I feel like I could just spend all day here! Thank you for your very informative and helpful articles.