You must be thinking that I have already written about authority earlier, then why am I repeating the topic again. However, folks, this article is about site authority and not about domain authority. These are two different things, and people while looking for information generally tend to confuse themselves with these two terms. In this article, I will show you how to build the authority of your website. In other words, our focus will be to build a trusted website rather than just dumping your quality content on your website. A trustworthy website takes time to evolve, however, once you build this trust, you start getting ridiculous amounts of organic traffic. Building Authority Sites require time and patience, let me guide you step by step to create something which will make you quit your 9 to 5 job. How to build a trusted website? Is that’s your question you will get all your answers here in this article.
I always wanted to be a digital nomad. I wanted to open my laptop every day in the morning look at my earnings and enjoy the life I always wanted. However, when I tell people that I am living this life, they envy me. No one knows the amount of time, money and brain I invested to keep this blog alive. Even before I started earning from my web blog, I had to establish its authority.
What is the site authority & how to build a trusted website?
If you start googling about articles related to site authority, you will get tons of results on the first page about increasing domain authority. None of them talks about how to create a website that is an expert on a particular subject. Take a look at the definition of authority as per Merriam webster.
In website terminology, the above definition will imply that your website is a trusted source of information. Your website has information that people look for, share and recommend to others. For e.g. whenever I look for SEO articles I generally go to Neil’s website. Neil Patel is awesome when it comes to modern SEO techniques. Another example would be the shoutmeloud website of Harsh Agarwal. Shoutmeloud is another trusted website when it comes to WordPress and SEO.
In a nutshell, an authority website is a site that is packed with information relevant to a particular subject and is a known source of expert advice. Anyone who is interested in blogging and wants to get rid of their 9 to 5 job should actually be looking at creating an authority site, instead of just setting up a blog. Once you have this authority site up, then you can start monetizing it. We will talk about monetization in a while in this article.
Anatomy of a trustworthy website
The main commodity in these authority sites is information. These are content-driven respect sources of information for visitors. Since these sites also generate revenue, these are kind of small businesses. This is the most convenient job as per me when it comes to becoming your own boss. However, you need to invest a lot of time and do a lot of research before you could set up anything like this. Information is the commodity in these kinds of sites, so you need to invest a lot of time in creating quality content, spend time in doing SEO, and then build various channels of incoming revenue streams.
I always looked at blogging as a business on which I could thrive. Most noteworthy, thrive without getting into a lot of mess. This task if you look at is easy. Easy because.
- You do not have to maintain an inventory
- You do not have to interact with your visitors every time as in customer service.
- Once content is created and you are on top of the list all you need to do is keep on revising the content
Traffic sources of an authority website
I always believe in setting up multiple channels of traffic. So if there is a drop at one source you do not take a substantial hit on your overall traffic. For any website which is filled with meaningful information, there are four sources of traffic.
- Traffic that you get by doing periodic SEO or on other words organic traffic
- Social media gets tons of traffic to your site and is an important source of visitors
- You can run paid advertisements for your content to get more traffic
- I also use my social media platforms like YouTube channel, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram to promote my content
Moving parts of a trustworthy website
Authority sites are a bit complex than your normal blog sites. These websites have moving parts that need to be perfectly aligned with each other. Creating a blog site is easy, however, authority sites require you to master these moving parts. This is because you need to understand the terminology, your niche, and your visitors.
- Regular blog posts on your blog page
- Create videos regularly for your site and for your YouTube channel
- Podcasts are a new way of expressing your selves
- Images & infographics are eye-catching and drive more traffic
- The layout is important to build a trusted website. User should be able to navigate with ease
Revenue sources of your trustworthy website
Now once your authority website is up and running and getting traffic, it is time to earn from this traffic. Primarily, I use three channels to generate revenue from my website.
- Become affiliate partner to earn revenue
- Monetize your website with ads like Adsense to earn
- Develop your own products to earn revenue
Site authority & It’s challenges
Like every business, even authority sites have their own set of challenges. I have seen a lot of people trying to sell online money making guides and believe me only a few works. Let us talk about the challenges that you will face while building authority sites.
1. Developing Skill Set while building Authority Sites
Building a trusted website requires plenty of skills. I remember I used to suck at content writing. However, with time my writing skills improved and with the help of tools like Grammarly the skills further amplified. You need to develop your skills for setting up a rich information platform online.
Not just writing skills, but other skill sets like web development, SEO, social media marketing, etc. I am not saying that you need to learn extensively, however you should have a fair idea as to what you intend to do and how it can be done. This is not easy and it will take time. So if you think that setting up a blog and earning from it can be achieved in a short span of time. You’re wrong. Once you develop your competencies it will take time and energy and a lot of thoughts to get the ball rolling. I will list the core topic on which you should have the utmost clarity. In other words, you need to develop these skills if in case you want to create a trustworthy website.
- Research the topic of your blog site or better called as a niche research
- Effective and good quality link building
- You should have exemplary writing skills
- A considerate amount of small scale systems and web management
2. Gathering resources & building authority sites
When I talk about resources there are only two. One is time and the other is money. It is important to channel these resources in an effective way in order to make full use of them. As a new blogger, I spent money on things that were really not required at the initial stages. However, when I learned the anatomy of building a trusted website I spent my money on things that were ideally required. There are a few things that I would advise never to invest in.
I spent my money on content writing which was not at all required. I did not know about plagiarism and hence ended up posting duplicate content on my blog site which got me down in SEO rankings. Never buy content, and if you decide to buy make sure that it is free of plagiarism and the quality is top-notch. Also, make sure that you invest in technology only when it is of the utmost importance. I recently invested in a wonderful SEO WordPress plugin called Yoast. Furthermore, I purchased Newspaper 9 theme full version. These things helped me a great deal in jumping in Google rankings. So always think thrice while investing in things related to your trustworthy website.
3. Automation of authority website
The trouble I had while developing my blog site and its corresponding revenue systems was interlinking these small systems. Think of your authority site as a business, this business will have different parts and sections. In order to make them work together, you need to create links between these separate entities. This, in turn, requires a skill set and a lot of planning and making a robust strategy. Once these different complex revenue streams and their corresponding technologies work in tandem you start getting results. The problem here lies in the fact that a trustworthy site is a mix of a lot of moving part and systems which need to be integrated together to get your site moving up in the ranking chain.
Dealing with the above challenges while building authority sites
Once my blog site was functional I started looking at the traffic trend in comparison to my revenue channels. After studying the correlation between these two moving factors I came to know that these moving parts are interrelated in a specific way. The point, however, is that working simultaneously on these channels and streams will not give results. Instead, these channels and streams need to be developed one at a time. This way the system becomes more efficient and the revenue graphs start climbing. I would suggest that first start building organic traffic by doing SEO. I use the Yoast SEO plugin for my WordPress site. Then I developed social media platforms for social traffic and lastly came the paid ads. Below is what I understood by developing these individual channels.
- Organic traffic is best for generating revenue from affiliate channels.
- Social traffic is best for revenue generations from ad platforms like Google Ad-sense
- Paid traffic is specifically for the products that you develop on your website and sell.
Let me help you to build a trusted website
A trustworthy website or an authority website is built in stages. If you look at the infographic above, you will understand that building authority sites have different moving parts. If you start working on them at one go, you will fail. Rather, I worked and mind you still working in three stages to getting my site turned into an authority site. Furthermore, working on one thing at a time is more efficient rather than working on all the things in one go. This way you can start one revenue channel and once it’s stable then move to the next revenue streams. This way you won’t get into any financial crisis. In fact, the ROI (Return on investment) is much better.
Finalizing niche of your website
The first task even before you can start building a trustworthy website is Niche selection. A lot of people do it, a few people don’t. Look when I started my blog I just went with the concept of a travel blog as I like traveling. With time my interested developed in WordPress and SEO, so I created categories on my blog. If you want to create an authority website just for profit, then do thorough niche research. I just lais out things that I liked on my blog.
Of course, I do a lot of keyword research when I write content, but I did not really do extensive research on niche selection. However, again stressing the point that If you are creating a site just for profits then do extensive research on the topic which you are choosing. Below are a few questions that you can ask your self while doing niche research.
- Are similar websites doing good on that topic?
- Is it a passion or a profitable niche?
- Will you be selling physical products?
- Will this be an information website?
- In the keyword competition low or high?
- Are similar niche sites ranking well?
Once you are done with the niche research, let us go ahead and understand the anatomy of building authority sites in three stages. The reason why I divided the entire process into three stages is that it’s easy to work and establish one phase then move to the other one. Rather than working on everything at the same time.
Important note: While developing any traffic source for your website make sure that you start collecting emails from day one. This will help us in stage 3.Email list is a boon when it comes to selling your own products
Stage 1 (Building affiliate channels & organic traffic)
To build a trusted website, the first stage deals with building lots of affiliate product links and a lot of affiliate write-ups. Also, you need to build a considerate amount of organic traffic. The reason why I chose to build this combination first as this the easiest, cheapest and high ROI combination. To be quite honest I need some cash flow for my next two stages. This combination will start the ball rolling and will be a continuous source of revenue. This revenue can be invested in further stages to build more income from your website. Webmasters running the affiliate marketing on their website would now the massive amount of ROI in it besides being a consistent source of income.
Let us build some traffic (SEO)
Most of the traffic on your website in this stage will be coming via search engines. Furthermore, since this is a start I would advise you to start doing extensive SEO. I made a mistake when I started my blog. I published articles first and then did the SEO. However, this is a bad practice. Nowadays I optimize my posts right before posting. Check out my module on modern SEO, this will help you in ranking better in search engines.
So do the SEO, do proper keyword research, build more backlinks, and collaborate with others in your niche. This will give you an immediate boost in your SEO.
One important fact is that SEO these days takes a lot of time. You will not start getting results in a month or so. You might have to wait till months to see the organic traffic coming as a result of you doing SEO for your blog. It might take 6-12 months. So you need to be patient and should know upfront that this is a time taking process. Just do not do one thing while doing this. DON”T QUIT! Most people quit as they are looking for results from SEO in a short span. This is not possible at all.
The good part about organic traffic is that once you start getting it, it grows with time if you are creating content for your visitors and not for search engines.
Once you have a considerable amount to organic traffic coming you can start building your affiliate channels. The first affiliation I had was with Bluehost. Surprisingly, the Bluehost affiliate channel gave me a jump start when it comes to generating cash flow. I was getting $65 as a commission on each sale. Slowly and steadily I affiliated with Siteground hosting, booking.com, and Amazon. These companies too pay some amazing commissions. Few affiliate companies need your website to be a trustworthy website only then they approve your affiliate application. Affiliate channels in an authority website is not a perk or privilege, rather it has to be earned.
After you build a trusted website the first stage as discussed will be the development of affiliate channel and organic traffic. Your focus should be on writing about products which sell. Write exceptionally amazing affiliate content which compels your visitors to buy products from your affiliate companies. This would be the right time to invest in content, look out for writers who can write amazing affiliate content for you. I happen to have 3 such writers in my team. Let me know if you need help. Everything comes with a price! Wink wink 🙂
Types of affiliate selling
In any trustworthy website when it comes to earning from affiliate channel there are two ways.
- Firstly, you can write affiliate content like the way I did on my Bluehost page.
- Secondly, you can link different products form the affiliate channel as I do with Amazon.com affiliates.
Stage 2 of Building Authority Sites
The second stage in the trustworthy website is a combination of social media traffic and display ads. This can be a little tricky. I use Google Adsense as my display ad partner. Google approves only authority websites now. Their screening process is tough and they do not approve any authority website just like that. They look at every minute detail which can add value to their visitors.
Social media traffic in a trusted website
Building traffic is easy when it comes to social media as compared to building authority sites. You need to create a social presence of your website or blog on all major social platforms. I started with a Facebook page where I have close to 4.5 k people following me. Then I created an Instagram profile. Lastly, I created a twitter profile. My chunk of traffic would come from these three social platforms as these are used by the majority of users online.
Ad monetization of an authority website in stage 2
Now we are past building affiliate links and articles for our affiliate income. Now on your trustworthy website, you can induce ads. People will talk about a lot of platforms, however, nothing beats Google Adsense. Even though the approval process of Adsense is tough, however once approved its a boon for your authority website.
Unlike in building affiliate channel, your focus on selective keywords for specific products while creating content. However, in-display ads all you gotta do is write a user engaging information which may or may not be specific to any product which you are selling. Always remember content is the king and will always be.
Stage 3 in your authority website
This is the final stage in building authority sites. If you are paying attention to each detail in this guide by this time you’re website should be generating some amount of revenue. Here all the traffic sources and all the revue channels work in tandem and your trustworthy website becomes a full-fledged business.
There are final two additions here, first is the traffic source which will primarily be paid traffic and secondly, a product which you have designed and intend to sell. By this time we have two important things at our disposal. First is the traffic coming via SEO and social media. Second is the email list that I suggested that you start collecting even before stage 1 starts. A person who is taking the time to fill his details and share his email ID means that he is an avid visitor to your website. This is the most important form of traffic.
Monetization of your own products & Site Authority
Creating your own products on your authority website is the toughest thing to do. You need to extensively understand what your audience needs. Products can of any kind, however mostly webmasters who develop their own products fall under three categories.
- Information products like PDF guides which a visitor may purchase
- Physical products if you are manufacturing something
- Memberships if you post regular content and people like that you post. Kind of like a Netflix series. Most YouTubers do this and they have paid membership opened on their channel once they cross a million subscribers.
Kind of product that you design and sell to your audience largely depends on the niche and kind of audience you have built-in stages 1 and 2.
Traffic which will buy your created products
You now have a considerable amount of organic traffic, traffic from social media and an email directory of your avid visitors. You can continue to increase these by paying attention to individual traffic sources, however, this traffic will be enough for selling your products. I would suggest that you leverage your email list to its utmost capacity. An email list is a gold mine and people who can take an effort to list their email ID are certainly interested in your website and your products.
Content for your product
I would say create a page. I wanted to start offering SEO consultation to my clients so I am in the processing of creating a page that will be specific for my SEO services. Creating pages for your specialized products and explaining to people how you can add value to them will do wonders for you. Write exception content for your email list. Furthermore, create fabulous infographic filled newsletters for your subscribers. This will tell your visitors that you are coming up with a new product and how can you add value to their business.
This brings us to the end of the module where you learned to build a trusted website. Whatever website you build online to make sure it’s a trustworthy website. Else there are millions of websites willing to take your place.