From a Niche Website to an Authority Website: Behind the Scenes Look

by Ralph

Niche Websites | myrun traffic sourcesLast blogpost about my purchase of two adsense websites was also relating to passion and the impact this (usually) has for websites. I realize that the website is called “niche websites” but every site starts out as a niche website and then grows into something more..

The term “niche” just focusses on a particular thing within a topic of your expertise or passion. If you write a lot (50/100 posts) then you can start to be seen as an AUTHORITY website.

I’ve build a few websites myself and only a few, in this case my running website, have been able to keep me interested and therefore I kept writing. This running site is my biggest website but also the one that doesn’t make any money (yet). Because running is a love / hate relationship I keep writing because I enjoy it, not because I have to. Which is a big difference.

Niche Website vs Authority Website

There are various Pro’s and Con’s to build a Niche Website and an Authority website, which I don’t really want to delve into here but I’ll sum up a few items that I think are key elements. There is a great (and long) discussion on Adsense Flippers where they discuss the Pro’s and Con’s with two guys who have their own speciality in each market.

Pro’s for Niche Website

  • Quick to build and rank
  • Small competition (usually)
  • Unless market changes not a lot of maintenance.

Con’s for Niche Website

  • Vulnerable for Google Updates
  • Easy to competete with (typical market)
  • Low Traffic (quick to top the maximum traffic)

Pro’s for Authority Site

  • Strong SEO position
  • High traffic potential
  • Long and deep footprint online

Con’s for Authority Site

  • Long time to build (higher cost)
  • Lots of competition for many keywords
  • Have to be passionate about it to keep writing (or outsource)

As you can see, each of the websites have pro’s and con’s which make the decision a very personal one. I have more niche websites than Authority sites because it was just easier to do. My running website (my largest) slowly grew from a niche website to a larger website. I’ll show you exactly what my larger (running) website is all about.

My “Authority” Website Examined

In the previous posts I spoke to Deborah who was asking a few questions about my running website. Since this is actually my biggest website where I write a lot of the content myself (some are guestposts) it is not yet an Authority website. My main topic is Running, and you can imagine this is a very broad topic which means it will need a lot more posts to become an Authority on running.

For instance I have yet to run a half marathon or more myself, which I think are the minimal requirements to call myself an authority.

However, I’ll share some stats on my running site so you sort of can expect or just to see behind the scenes of one of my biggest websites. Since this is also a website on monetization (which was also discussed in the comments in the previous post) I’ll got into some things that I want to experiment with for this particular website.  And obviously I hope this can help your website or at least give you some ideas and help you on your way.

The MyRun.com.au website started on the 17th of February 2011. As you can see there have been massive spikes and drops over the past year and a half. In the beginning the majority were sporadic visitors but as time progressed you really see a continuous stream of visits.

Niche Website | myrun traffic
The more you write the more keywords you will be ranking for, and the more keywords the more search results you will appear on. Hence the more traffic you can generate is often close related to how many posts you are able to write for your topic. As I said, Running is a very very broad topic and I am surely not the only one writing about it. The screenshot below shows the amount of keywords I am currently ranking for and the keywords that bring in the most traffic.

Over 34,960  keywords provide my website with traffic and this obviously doesn’t come with writing 15 posts, which you would normally do for a niche website.

Niche Website |myrun keywords
I try to utilize a lot of various social media websites as you can see below. Out all of these 3 of these (Coolrunning.com.au, au.sports.yahoo.com and Viperchill aren’t social media websites) T.co is also a twitter variant. As you can see a lot of the Social Media websites have been very kind for my website, counting for the majority of my traffic (Google is #7) which is excellent.

Its great to see that I don’t rely on Google too much, as every update they put through puts my website at risk for being slapped in the rankings. This doesn’t mean that I do anything grey or black hat (bad things) but not every update is 100% accurate in punishing the right sites.


A very simple way to get your niche website from “Niche” to “Authority” status is to add more RELEVANT and QUALITY content. It is as simple and hard as that. Writing more will expose you to more people, more people will like your quality content and come back for more…It just takes a lot of time…

MyRun.com.au status quo

Below a screenshot of the current status quo (13th of August 2012) of the amount of articles that are on MyRun.com.au. I want to have at least 100 articles on this website in the next three months so I better need to write a few things to make that happen.

Niche Website | myrun posts
You can see from the above screenshot that I have 83 posts live and also use quite a bit of tags. I previously had over 40 categories but it became harder to put each article in each category so I cut them down quite a bit. As you see I use Thesis in combination with a Thesis Skin of Kolakube. To make my life a lot easier I also use ManageWP.com to keep my websites under one umbrella dashboard. I’ll write more on ManageWP.com in a different post.

Generating more quality content also interlinks with my strategy to make some money of the website. I have a few things in place that I want to get started for me to leverage more traffic and also to increase my newsletter subscribers.

Niche Website | myrun traffic dashboard
As you can see, over the past 30 days I’ve seen a fair amount of traffic from various sources and this has been consistent for about 3 months now. The traffic is about 1500 – 2000 visits a month which is great. But obviously there are ways to increase this and this is why I have done the following.

My Strategy of Monetizing MyRun.com.au

There are a few key ingredients you need to be able to make money of any website.

  1. You need a website
  2. You need (relevant) traffic
  3. You need something to make money off or with.
Since I’ve got the first two covered, I now need to make sure I can use #3 into my advantage.

Building a mailing list.

You may have heard this is super important, and it is, but it only works if you attract the right and interested audience to your website and you are able to win their trust. There are plenty of shady guys out there who make a ton of money.. but don’t be one of them. In the long run you will be a lot better if you try to be honest don’t scam people out of their hard earned cash.

I’ve got 3 elements (actually 4) that help me build my mailing list. Not that my current list of 33 is a lot but I haven’t done  actively tried to get people to subscribe from the start. But hey, money doesn’t grow on trees so you can’t do it all from day 1.

Element 1: Email Program > Aweber

You may have heard about this from thousands of other bloggers that use Aweber but for me this has been such an easy ride. I’ve tried a different software once but this didn’t gave me the flexibility that Aweber offered. Also a lot of the WordPress plugins use Aweber as preferred mailclient.

Element 2: Capture Emails Plugin > OptinSkin and WelcomeSplash

I’ve used various plugins to create that niche little box at the end of every post but since I don’t know a lot about HTML and coding OptinSkin seemed like the perfect plugin… which it still is.

You get a few skins to get started and you can customize them in any color and text you want. And that is pretty much all I need them for >  get noticed + show my message and have people subscribe to my email list.

WelcomeSplash is the plugin you see when you first come to the myrun.com.au website. Here’s a screenshot of the splashpage:

Niche Website | myrun welcomesplash
This plugin basically loads a different page before you visit the site. This is a different approach then major pop-up plugins. As this is less intrusive and you also give the option to click away fairly easy. With pop-ups you are already on the site and reading the content that you want to read while you get interrupted with a pop-up.

I’ve tried various plugins and this was the easiest to use as it uses the basic WordPress editor like you are used to. And it is simply adding your content and picture and you are done. No HTML hassle to get your message shown.

This also leads me to the next element..

Element 3: Create a product people want to read > beginner running course

I did some research online and found a few products that helped me create the beginner running course. There are a lot of courses out there so a quick Google search can provide similar options but there is something different.

I’ve also added an email sequence which help people who signed up to stay motivated. There are about 18 emails which trigger every 4 days and help the participants to keep their head in the game. I also give them advice on nutrition, exercise routines and other tips to keep them going.

And I follow the same tips that I give, so I practice what I preach. 

Element 4, which I sort of told before is to provide value. “Under promise and Over deliver” is a quote that is used in sales a lot to keep clients happy. The same goes for your visitors, you need to blow them away with kindness.

And yes, that will take a bit of time.

I haven’t started with generating additional traffic to my website and squeeze page (a page which shows the email optin) but I’ll start doing this shortly and will show you what I used and how the conversion was for these pages.

Review Other Products

There are plenty of running products out there, and some are good and some are bad. Since I want to keep improving my own running time I am going to review a few of these courses and see what works and what not. I will use MyRun.com.au as the platform to broadcast it on.

I’ve done a few reviews already (I rank quite well for “Garmin vs Polar”) and I will continue to review other items too. For instance I ran with a set of headphones the other day for a running race and they were useless. So I’ll review this on my site shortly.

Creating your own paid product

It is one to create a free product or be an affiliate of someone elses product, but it is a whole new ballgame when you have your own product. This will be something I will look into in a later stage as my website has grown to double the size and posts as it is now.

This will give me already written content to work with and I can determine what people like and don’t like. There are various ways to sell this (own mailing list, affiliates etc) but I’ll worry about this later on.

Wrap Up

First things first, and build my own audience to a higher level. I hope this helps you find out what you can do with your own website and product. But this is the strategy that I want to follow to build MyRun.com.au to an even larger website.

If you liked this article please share this with you peers or if you have any questions, please leave your comments in the comments box below.

Talk soon,

Ralph

 

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

deborah nixon August 13, 2012 at 11:08 pm

Thanks so much! I won’t inundate you with questions but once again Ralph, you have given me more to learn.

Reply

Ralph August 14, 2012 at 9:58 am

Hi Deborah,
See what you made me do?? ;) haha
I hope this makes it clear what I have in mind and it is something you can put towards your site.

Reply

Matthew Allen August 14, 2012 at 1:19 am

This is something that I keep in the back of my head when choosing a niche or keyword to go after. Being able to expand into an authority site is definitely a great option to have. Thanks for showing us exactly how you are doing so Ralph. Your use of screenshots in your posts is fantastic too!

Reply

Ralph August 14, 2012 at 9:58 am

Very true, I’ve not always done this for a few of my sites as it wasn’t something I was interested enough in.
But its a great advantage to have if you can build it into an authority site.

Glad you like the screenshots :)

Reply

Ricardo Caicedo August 14, 2012 at 3:11 am

Hello Ralph
I really enjoyed your article. I started my own website a month ago as a niche site but now I want to devote a lot of time and make it an authority site. Thanks for the info, best of luck with your running site.

Reply

Ralph August 14, 2012 at 9:56 am

Hi Richardo,
Thats all it takes, time and quality :)

Reply

Rob Cubbon August 15, 2012 at 1:19 am

Great to see you sharing this. So interesting to read complete with visitor stats and your blogging plan. This looks like a solid start to a fantastic authority site.

Reply

Ralph August 15, 2012 at 6:08 am

Hey Rob, thanks for the comment! Hope you don’t mind I also post it within the LinkedIn group :)

Reply

Rob Cubbon August 15, 2012 at 9:03 am

Of course, not Ralph. Anything that brings value to the group, anything about setting up, creating and monetizing websites is good. This post certainly falls into that category! :)

Reply

Alexander Bastian Smith August 27, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Interesting. The only worry for me is the risk of an authority site getting deindexed due to a Google algo update. Then all the work goes to waste, big risk! I suppose it’s better for a beginner to build a few small sites and grow them as necessary. Then they can also learn the best (and safest) backlinking techniques before investing lots of time into an authority site.

How is the site you bought doing? Is it still making money?

Reply

Ralph August 27, 2012 at 10:47 pm

Hey Alexander,
Actually all websites have the risk to get hit by an Google update.. I’ve had that happen to me too :)
Yes, you have to learn which can take a while. .

Site is doing like it predicted, currently $5 dollars a month but need to put some time into it..

Reply

Sergio Felix January 8, 2013 at 4:20 pm

Hey Ralph,

I believe this is amazing advice for affiliate marketers my man, even though it seems like you are heavily inclined towards adsense sites (I’ve just read a post about why you bought two ready-made adsense sites which I think it was great for learning purposes) I do have one question in general:

Are you familiar with “Cloud Blueprint” from Viperchill?

I think I can identify many things from his course around here and I’m only asking because I LOVED that training but never took action upon it.

If you have used the advice on that training, has it worked well for you?

Thanks in advance!

Sergio

PS. I believe authority sites will be easier to convert but I still think there is space for niche sites.

Reply

Ralph January 8, 2013 at 4:31 pm

Hey Sergio,

Yes I know Cloud Blueprint (there should be a few comments in there which are mine).
Viperchill is one of the blogs I’ve been following for a while and I was actually the Moderator for his Forum (which is currently offline).

I have Adsense and Clickbank sites and Clickbank has outperformed Adsense by $1000 last year.
One thing that I need to do is backlinking to my Adsense sites which is something I haven’t done yet and not really good at.

I agree that there is a space for niches, but you really need to focus on quality content as Exact Domain ones aren’t an easy score anymore as they used to be.

Thanks for stopping by!

Reply

best juicers February 19, 2013 at 8:41 pm

great put up, very informative. I’m wondering why the other specialists of this sector don’t
realize this. You should continue your writing. I am confident, you have a huge readers’ base already!

Reply

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