Podcast episode number 14 is now live on iTunes. In this podcast episode I go over a survey I conducted to determine if my readers and customers were more interested in niche or authority websites and subsequently provide my own analysis between the two options and explain which direction I’m heading with my business model.
The results of the survey are in line with what I expected to see, but you’ll have to listen to the episode to find out what people are most interested in.
Items Discussed In This Episode:
For the purposes of this podcast and to provide clarity overall. My definition of a niche website is one with 5 to 20 articles written (or outsourced) for a quickly built website that primarily targets one keyword. That keyword is typically used in the domain name as well.
Higher quality websites that require more on going content creation or maintenance. These websites are designed to be the best in their niche by differentiating in one or multiple ways from their competitors. For example I built an authority site and sold it in a six figure deal see details here: “How I sold a website for six figures”
Niche Authority Websites
Niche websites that are built with more in mind than a single keyword, quick content creation and a gaming of Google’s search engines. These websites don’t require as frequent updates but embody many of the qualities found in authority websites such as high quality content, design etc but don’t typically require on going content creation and maintenance.
Google Algorithm Update History via SEOmoz
AdsenseFlippers exact match domain update
Niche Pursuits results from the exact match domain update
How to buy websites – real life example mentioned in podcast
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When you’re done listening please leave me an honest rating or review on iTunes – I really appreciate it and it helps to get more people to listen to the podcast. Currently each podcast episode receives well over 10,000 downloads and I’d love to get that up to 15,000+ downloads!
Definitely it pays in the long run to setup authority sites.
I think that now the best strategy is to build a website that is “the place to go” in a particular niche.
btw. do you think the addition of a forum to a blog would raise the level of authority of a website?
Yes – but only if you have the traffic and community to support it. Launching anew forum is tough so just keep that in mind.
I’m all about the Authority websites – glad to see 58% of people agree! Thanks for another excellent podcast Chris. Keep it up!
(P.S. just crossed 1000 email subscribers on my blog thanks to your help, three months before my goal! Thank you!)
Great podcast Chris.
Didn’t hear much about “niche authority” websites in the podcast though… How is that different from a pure authority website?
I’m going to see if I can write a follow up blog post with a list of examples for each
I appreciate the podcast topic. I’m at a similar crossroads myself and trying to psych myself up to do an authority site after years of success with niche sites. The irony is that I already have a couple of authority (passion) sites, but they don’t make much money. I was earning much more off my niche sites before the algo updates. I’m a bit hesitant to “build it and wait and see” with an authority site –it takes so much more work upfront with no guarantees. But I know it’s a safer bet than a niche site these days.
It’s always interesting to hear what direction you are taking Chris. I was one of the ones that voted ‘authority site’ as I have recently decided to move away from micro niche sites and towards authority sites too. Building up one in the male fitness space currently, it’s so far proving much more interesting than micro niche sites!
Interesting podcast Chris. It’s a good topic to debate. I’m new in this online world, I learn a lot of things in the past months from guys like you and i start to take some action. At one point I was just wondering what to do, to start with some niche sites t make a quick dollar or to go directly with an authority website.
So, glad to listen to your podcast because it kinda helped me to decide…I think I will take the authority websites way. In my opinion it will pay off on a long term.
I still wanna get involved a little with the Amazon. I saw that you make some nice money on this market. What would you advise me? To try it or not?
Anyways, thanks for the podcast and keep it up with the good job.
I think it’s important to work with what is most interesting to you. I’m tired of the current landscape for niche sites so I’m shifting towards larger ones.
Great, great points in here Chris. I think everything is coming to a head, and we all need to stand back and think about what the end goal is when building out a site is. Are we building out a real business? Or a “stream of income” that could dry up depending on the shifting winds of the internet?
I definitely think when you build up “niche authority” or “authority” sites, success builds up and cascades on itself. Whereas building up smaller “niche” sites creates ever-growing and cascading chaos.
Yah great points. Ultimately I want robe building a buisness(es) that can be sold for bigger amounts and so that’s in large part why I’m shifting towards something bigger.
Great podcast. I’m really glad that you explained the difference between Niche and Authority sites. I’ve been reading various forums and blogs in this space for a 6-9 months, and no one, imo, has explained it as easily as you did.
Given your switch to a more “labor intensive” style of website, the authority site, in terms of income are you focusing on
– building your ad income with the major ad networks?
– cold calling/cold emailing businesses within the niche for ad placement?
– promoting your own products within the niche to the traffic you get?
– being an e-commerce portal and making affiliate/ppc style of income?
Also, given that you do have some failed niche sites, can you convert those sites to “niche authority” sites by adding more content?
I’m making money from the major ad networks like Adsense but on some of my biggest sites I’m always approached by new networks – the ones I often test will be done at a flat rate eCPM per 1,000 impressions and I negotiate for a pay bump over what any other network paid me before.
I’m not as interested in ecommerce, but I will be using paid affiliate marketing to some of my own products (specifically my software products)
I really like your take on what an authority site means to you when it comes to promoting it. Building a “real” marketing plan is definitely an important aspect of an authority site, not just throwing back-links at it.
As someone that has successfully built both niche and authority sites I enjoy your take on the current Niche vs Authority discussion.
i think niche website as we know em will die out slowly. in the end there will be small authority sites (which need not that much work and updates) and big authority sites (which need a lot of work and updates) like u said in ur podcast.
the thing with niche sites atm is that u need more and more time for less and less money in topics that don’t even interest you. so at some point they will not be economical anymore, even with the most specialized programs and tricks that r available.
so what is the difference between the old niche sites and the new small authority sites? i think it will be the quality. they will not be built for search engines alone anymore, they will be built for humans (and with good seo). they won’t just have content to have content, they will have great content for humans (that helps em or that they can enjoy). they won’t just have backlinks to have backlinks, they will have backlinks that humans click because they want to know more (aka “real” marketing).
It’s definitely getting tougher. I’m finding that almost all of the content I’ve put out in the last month hasn’t ranked. It’s like Google is stuck or has frozen their index. Sigh. I guess all we can do is keep on at it.
Hi Chris- looking forward to this new direction you are taking with authority websites. So appreciate your straightforward and practical approach. Feel this strategy can also help us serve our clients outside of this industry expand their businesses, as well.
Great podcast Chris and it really helps me a lot. It is really important to consider on how to build a niche for your website. Thank you so much for sharing this!
I’m definitely going for authority sites – broader in scope and can potentially reach out to more people. Sounds more exciting at the very least.
Anyway it seems like these days alot of online marketers are going the ‘video’ approach (i.e. posting videos on their blogs in addition to content and podcasts etc). What do you think about that and will you be going in that direction as well?
Well I’ve never wanted this blog to be my sole money maker. So I may pursue more video in another vertical but I’d feel a bit silly if the most money I made came from this blog where I talked about making money.
I enjoyed the Podcast. I run a few Amazon Turnkey Style websites, I’m trying to make authoritative. Only making nickles, dimes and pennies with them. I’ll have to SEO tweek them, get more ad/social media exposure and post high ranking keyword articles. But, I need money fast.
Therefore I’m learning more about niche sites for the moment. At the same time, I want to make more money from Amazon. Currently looking into Azonsnichetheme.com via CB Engine.com
wirelesshdmi.net is not in top pages anymore. is reviewzon the reason? whats the new strategy?
Just found your website Chris, and listened to your interesting podcast, my interest in affiliate marketing is only weeks old and still trying to get my head around the different ways to go forward.
I have a stock photography website and am looking at the best way to increase the income (very little money in the photos) still lots more to read on your site, thanks for the content!
I really enjoy listening to the podcast and find you normally give me ideas/thoughts I hadn’t thought of. Hope your planning more podcasts as I enjoy listening to them on my way to work (I haven’t found managed to earn the big bucks on my site just yet)
Fingers crossed more podcasts are on the way soon
Thanks for the information on niche sites vs. authority site.
I build niche sites so I know exactly what your talking about.
I was doing the EMD thing, and I was one of those folks who received
the dreaded Google-SLAP!!!!!!!
I still build niche sites Chris, and so will many others. Common sense tells me
that everyone cannot build authority sites!
This is for a very simple reason, which is of course, “You have to be an authority on the topic of interest,” and not everyone is an authority on something?
So do we just tell all those people that they are no longer allowed to have a website.
Well why not? Well because Google says your not smart enough thats why not!
I don’t think that would fly Chris? I figure that some people will still build simple little niche specific sites that are easy to build, and all the brainiac’s out there will build their authority sites.
I realize I probably could have worded this a bit differently than I did, but hey, I’m not really an authority on this? 🙂
Chris thanks for the Podcast buddy, and by the way, I thought you might want to know.
I found my way here today by way of your friend Glen over at viperchill.
Have a great day Chris,
Ultimately I’d estimate a small percent of people that have seen how I’ve proven how much money is possible with authority websites will actually move forward with creating one. As long as you can build something better + combine a better marketing plan it’s entirely possible to build a highly lucrative and better website than others out there.
Intgeresting post Chris and I agree with you.
I think you should diversify and build niche authority sites. I’ve been doing the same with my product reviews site.
When the last Panda/Penquin update appeared, I noticed that there were a lof of folks upset about actually having to develop sites with better copy. My foremost goal in any of my sites is to produce the best copy I can, and I do it all myself. Later I most likely will hire VAs but since I am an experienced editor, I ‘ll have the VAs write articles and then edit them. In this way I can insure quality.
Building an authority site of any kind is a commitment. It does take a heck of a lotta work, but I think it’s worth it to do.
I’ll be following your direction and movement with great interest. Thx for being transparent.