Basic Authority Site Approach Questions

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I've been doing a lot of reading and taking notes, and I've worked out a plan for a basic authority site that I want to run by people who probably know better than I do.
  • Niche/Industry
    • It's something sort of the "new age" side of things adjacent to mindfulness, but not close enough to health that I think will fall under the your money or your life since it's pretty much just made-up, subjective, feel-good kind of chick crack stuff.
    • It's something that has a lot of products for sale and a lot of opportunity to sell books, courses, coaching and things like that.
  • Getting Traffic
    • I want to learn SEO first and foremost, and I want to use this site as a vehicle for that.
    • Later on, I want to learn more about marketing in general, but SEO is my focus as a skill set to learn for now.
  • Monetization
    • While I get started learning how to get traffic from SEO, I want to focus on that, so I'll only be monetizing via ads for the foreseeable future.
    • With that said, this niche has a lot of opportunity for other stuff to sell to people, so I can cross that bridge when I get there by split testing affiliate offers and whatever else.
  • Content Strategy
    • I'll be using WordPress with a purchased theme to make things look nice and hopefully not run slowly.
    • I have a core set of pages that need to be written with in-depth explanations of the key topics. These will focus on medium and medium-low competition keywords.
    • I've found a lot of keywords with various levels of traffic that have little competition. I plan to target these with posts that interlink to each other but also to the core pages noted above to direct what I've been seen called the link juice for lack of a better phrase.
    • I'll be writing the content myself for the foreseeable future at a rate of 3-4 pages/posts each week since that's what I have a background in.
  • Linking Building
    • After reading on this for a while, I don't think learning to build links manually would be a good use of my time, but I'm open to opposing arguments on that point.
    • Instead, I'll be purchasing some links here and there with a focus on quality and relevancy. I've got some more reading to do before I feel comfortable being able to identify exactly what that means, but I've got a somewhat reasonable idea of how authority is built and how links are evaluated so far.
So aside from this, it really just seems like a matter of consistently building until some time passes and traffic starts coming in unless I have something I'm horribly mistaken about right now.

I'm a big fan of the KISS approach to learning new skills, and that's how I'm trying to structure this in terms of just breaking it down to what exactly I need to do to start getting some traffic via SEO to monetize via ads. If anyone wants to throw me any advice or suggestions here, I'd be very grateful.

Also, Happy New Year.
 

larcha

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I've been doing a lot of reading and taking notes, and I've worked out a plan for a basic authority site that I want to run by people who probably know better than I do.
  • Niche/Industry
    • It's something sort of the "new age" side of things adjacent to mindfulness, but not close enough to health that I think will fall under the your money or your life since it's pretty much just made-up, subjective, feel-good kind of chick crack stuff.
    • It's something that has a lot of products for sale and a lot of opportunity to sell books, courses, coaching and things like that.
  • Getting Traffic
    • I want to learn SEO first and foremost, and I want to use this site as a vehicle for that.
    • Later on, I want to learn more about marketing in general, but SEO is my focus as a skill set to learn for now.
  • Monetization
    • While I get started learning how to get traffic from SEO, I want to focus on that, so I'll only be monetizing via ads for the foreseeable future.
    • With that said, this niche has a lot of opportunity for other stuff to sell to people, so I can cross that bridge when I get there by split testing affiliate offers and whatever else.
  • Content Strategy
    • I'll be using WordPress with a purchased theme to make things look nice and hopefully not run slowly.
    • I have a core set of pages that need to be written with in-depth explanations of the key topics. These will focus on medium and medium-low competition keywords.
    • I've found a lot of keywords with various levels of traffic that have little competition. I plan to target these with posts that interlink to each other but also to the core pages noted above to direct what I've been seen called the link juice for lack of a better phrase.
    • I'll be writing the content myself for the foreseeable future at a rate of 3-4 pages/posts each week since that's what I have a background in.
  • Linking Building
    • After reading on this for a while, I don't think learning to build links manually would be a good use of my time, but I'm open to opposing arguments on that point.
    • Instead, I'll be purchasing some links here and there with a focus on quality and relevancy. I've got some more reading to do before I feel comfortable being able to identify exactly what that means, but I've got a somewhat reasonable idea of how authority is built and how links are evaluated so far.
So aside from this, it really just seems like a matter of consistently building until some time passes and traffic starts coming in unless I have something I'm horribly mistaken about right now.

I'm a big fan of the KISS approach to learning new skills, and that's how I'm trying to structure this in terms of just breaking it down to what exactly I need to do to start getting some traffic via SEO to monetize via ads. If anyone wants to throw me any advice or suggestions here, I'd be very grateful.

Also, Happy New Year.

I think it is important that you acknowledged the key components of building a successful authority website. However, I think when you first get started after you pick your niche, just focus on content and keyword research (at least the first couple of months). Publish articles that you will realistically rank on the first page for and publish, publish, publish. Gathering data is an important element when building out a large authority site and you will accumulate that data the more content you have.

When I first built my large authority site (now has over 1000 articles), I focused on content in the beginning (first 4 months). Once I had content on my site aging, I started to focus on links and then eventually the path towards monetization with display ads. The first 6 months will move slowly but if you publish like crazy, things start to get exciting a whole lot faster.

Keep us in the loop and document your journey to monitor your goal progression.
 

Ryuzaki

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@JesseEddleman, thanks for the write up. You seem to have organized all these details in your head well. That clarity is priceless. I didn't see any questions, so I'll just tack on to some of the sentiments @larcha mentioned.

You were saying "I want to master this first before I add on this next skill set", etc. That's exactly how I would approach it. The master of none and jack of all trades only gets so far in life. You've chosen SEO. I'd consider breaking SEO down into skill sets too.

There are fundamentals that can't be ignored and must be chosen first. If you don't get your keyword research right, you've already failed. A lot of people get stuck here but it's not complicated. You want to find keywords with low levels of competition that you can realistically rank for with your backlink profile. The quick way to do this is to get metrics and keywords from some kind of tool. But at the start it'll help for you to manually pull up the SERPs and look at them and understand what the competition metrics and backlink metrics are telling you.

You must nail that first. Then I'd make sure to understand how the basics of on-page optimization work. Without this, your keyword research goes to waste and everything else is much harder. Honestly you don't have to go into the super-duper expert level advanced techniques. Nail the basics down and if you're producing quality content that really should be enough.

And that's what larcha is saying. Stay right there for a long while until you have a fat basis of content on your site. Now you're building topical authority since all this content is on the same topic and you'll start getting some feedback from Google and you'll start to understand what you're doing right and wrong.

Then keep the content going and bring in the link building. You can start link building from the beginning if you have the budget (since you don't want to get in the trenches with it), but don't expect a ton of results from it until your site ages into maturity (at least a year old, I suggest, meaning a lot of your content is a year old, not just the domain sitting on an empty Wordpress installation).

It really is this simple and you don't have to get lost in the weeds. The weeds are a trap. The real progress is simply getting the work done.

If you didn't see the Digital Strategy Crash Course, you should check that out. It's free to read just by clicking over to it here on the forum and there are "days" of topics on everything you could possibly need, including keyword research and on-page optimization to start.
 
Joined
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I think it is important that you acknowledged the key components of building a successful authority website. However, I think when you first get started after you pick your niche, just focus on content and keyword research (at least the first couple of months). Publish articles that you will realistically rank on the first page for and publish, publish, publish. Gathering data is an important element when building out a large authority site and you will accumulate that data the more content you have.

When I first built my large authority site (now has over 1000 articles), I focused on content in the beginning (first 4 months). Once I had content on my site aging, I started to focus on links and then eventually the path towards monetization with display ads. The first 6 months will move slowly but if you publish like crazy, things start to get exciting a whole lot faster.

Keep us in the loop and document your journey to monitor your goal progression.
Thank you for your detailed reply. I appreciate you sharing your experience with me.

It makes sense to let some aging happen before building links to me because it doesn't seem like people would be naturally linking to content that was super new unless it became viral on social media or was some niche entertainment product like a music video, so the order of doing things makes sense.

Regarding the first six months moving slowly, my attitude toward it is that adding content there is basically just a part of my routine that I'll be doing through the day and week and not really think much about it for at least a few months outside of that type of content accumulation.

I appreciate your response a lot. I've probably read over it 8-10 times before replying while I tried to figure out how quoting works on this forum. I apologize in advance for how long I'm sure this will be. Don't feel the need to reply to anything individually.

There are fundamentals that can't be ignored and must be chosen first. If you don't get your keyword research right, you've already failed. A lot of people get stuck here but it's not complicated. You want to find keywords with low levels of competition that you can realistically rank for with your backlink profile. The quick way to do this is to get metrics and keywords from some kind of tool. But at the start it'll help for you to manually pull up the SERPs and look at them and understand what the competition metrics and backlink metrics are telling you.
I'm using KWFinder for the time being. I'm not very familiar with keyword research tools, and it was one of the top recommendations in my research that had a free trial. I tried the free trial, liked the interface and got a paid version.

My process right now as I figure this out is to make sure I have some number of low-competition keywords (maybe 3 to 6 for a 1500-word post) by their metrics and then to look at the top SERPs for each to try to get an idea of what's going on and what the top competition is. Along with that, I'll include one or two medium-competition keywords as well based on the theory that if I do well, I could eventually start ranking for those later down the line without having to rework them into another post. A lot of the time, these medium-competition keywords are a part of a lower competition keyword anyway, so it seemingly fits on its own.

When I look at SERP results, I've been trying to pay attention to the types of metrics you've been talking about here but also things like Facebook shares, etc.

Then I'd make sure to understand how the basics of on-page optimization work. Without this, your keyword research goes to waste and everything else is much harder. Honestly you don't have to go into the super-duper expert level advanced techniques. Nail the basics down and if you're producing quality content that really should be enough.
I have a pretty solid knowledge of the basics in terms of the writing part. As far as things like optimizing page speed and images go, I've been reading on that. I plan to get a dozen or two things written and posted up first before I work on the speed, etc., so that I have something filling the space on the pages in the first place.

I'm sure here in a couple of weeks when I have enough content up and start working on it that I'll have all kinds of questions about speeding it up, but I figure once I have it set up in a way that works, I won't really have to mess with it too much hopefully.

Stay right there for a long while until you have a fat basis of content on your site. Now you're building topical authority since all this content is on the same topic and you'll start getting some feedback from Google and you'll start to understand what you're doing right and wrong.
It really is this simple and you don't have to get lost in the weeds. The weeds are a trap. The real progress is simply getting the work done.
That's more or less what I expected since it seems that's how things are in most areas of life, but it's great to hear that anyway.

If you didn't see the Digital Strategy Crash Course, you should check that out. It's free to read just by clicking over to it here on the forum and there are "days" of topics on everything you could possibly need, including keyword research and on-page optimization to start.
I saw it but hadn't looked at it yet. I'll work through it over the next few days. Thank you for the recommendation.