Choosing a Website Topic - Authority Website Experiment Pt. 1

Choosing a Website Topic – Authority Website Experiment # 1

Authority-Website-Exp.-Part-1

Recently I was featured on the 1-Day Business Breakthrough podcast with Pat Flynn and Chris Ducker. There were a lot of things that were said in the episode, but one of the key points that was mentioned is that I should spend my time creating a profitable authority website to prove to my followers that this is something I’m qualified to teach.

You can read my entire reply here, but in short I wanted to take that advice specifically and run with it. With that being said, I want to introduce part one of my authority website experiment which is focused on how to choose a website topic.

For those who don’t know, an authority website is a website that can be considered an authority in one particular topic. The reason why these websites work is because search engines want to make sure that they give their users the most relevant results to help them answer their questions. While there are many large companies that have general information about these topics, if an individual is able to find a topic with enough search volume they will be able to create an authority website that can bring somewhere in the range of $500 – $2500 per month.

In today’s blog post about choosing a website topic, we will cover the following:

  • Brainstorming website topic ideas
  • How to make money on your authority website
  • Common authority website misconceptions
  • NEXT STEP: Keyword Research

Brainstorming website topic ideas

Determining what your website topic should be is easier than most people think.

First things first, make sure that you choose a topic that you are truly interested in. I made this mistake previously when I created my 90% outsourced niche website. While the project hasn’t been a complete failure, I chose a topic that I was extremely uninterested in and have no desire to write about on a regular basis.

So, let’s learn from my mistake, how do you choose a topic that you’re interested in?

There are three specific tactics that can help you understand the topic that you’re niche website should be about.

The first tactic is what your job is and the industry that you work in.

It doesn’t matter if you are the leading sales representative at the company or if you are an administrative assistant, just by being employed by the company you have special knowledge that everybody doesn’t know. I find that this is typically a good place to target because there’s less of a learning curve and you’ll feel more confident that you already know more than other people about this particular topic. However, I also understand that if you work 40 hours a week you may not be all that interested in writing about it in your off-time.

The second tactic to focus on is your favorite hobbies. It doesn’t matter if you are really good at your hobby, what matters is that you have an interest in the hobby itself. For example, I have a friend named Jess over at Jewelry Tutorial HQ who has a passion for making jewelry and created a website out of it. While I won’t disclose the exact amount of visitors that come to her website per month, I will tell you that she has a substantial following between social media and her website which has allowed her to focus on this business full-time.

If the job you work at, the industry you’re in, and the hobbies that you have don’t give you an idea for an authority website, take a step back and use the third tactic which is to reflect on what your friends ask you for help with. Whether you realize it or not, your friends ask you for help in topics that they think you are knowledgeable in. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know much, the fact is that you know more than them and this is what an authority website is all about. As long as you know more than the average person, you are qualified to create an entire website about the topic so long as the information is accurate and you continue to learn and create valuable content.

It’s best to have three authority website topic ideas by the end of the step. Odds are that all three of the topics aren’t going to work once you do keyword research, but the good news is that one of the three probably will.

How to make money on your authority website

Once you’ve decided on some website topic ideas, you need to brainstorm how your authority website can make money. This doesn’t mean that you have to determine every last detail as we will do that later in the authority website experiment, but you do need to take a step back and think about ways that the website can make money from the start.

For example, as an individual I tend to gravitate towards authority websites that will help people get jobs in various industries. From a monetary standpoint, there is a good reason for this.

I know that with any job website I can:

  • Use a feed from Indeed.com and get paid when people click on sponsored jobs
  • Put Google Adsense on the website
  • Put links to affiliate products and/or training programs that will benefit the job candidate

In my opinion it’s always important to have at least three monetization strategies for any authority website that you want to create. I say this because all too often people think that they can just throw Google AdSense onto a website and will they will make thousands of dollars per month. While this may end up being the highest percentage of income for a niche website, it definitely shouldn’t be the only one that you rely on.

Common authority website misconceptions

At this point, you should have some ideas about what it is that you’d like to create an authority website on. That’s great, but let’s talk about some of the misconceptions that can ruin an authority website before it ever gets started.

There are typically four misconceptions that people have when they are looking at starting an authority website.

  1. I have to be an expert in the topic. Many people think that the only way that they are qualified to create an authority website is to be an expert on the topic. While being an expert definitely helps, it definitely isn’t a requirement in order to create a successful authority website. As a stated earlier, all that you need to know is more than the everyday person and this can be surprisingly easy if you choose a topic that you’re passionate about and want to continue to learn.
  2. Big companies like Amazon, Indeed, and eHow will outrank me in search engines. When you first start on your authority website, it’s extremely likely that you will be outranked by larger companies that have a page specific to your authority topic. On the other hand, if you continue to write on a regular basis and create content that truly helps people, what’s going to eventually happen is you will surpass the generic pages on these large websites and outrank them.  Think of it as a marathon, not a sprint.
  3. Competitors already exist so I shouldn’t try. If a competitor exists in your particular website topic, this is a good thing because it shows that somebody is already trying to do it. With that being said, you’ll need to be intelligent about looking at the competitor websites and really understand how high of quality they are. Usually you’ll find that your competitors are small niche websites that have under 15 total pages, but sometimes you’ll see someone who is also a authority website and it’s probably best to move on so long as they have a lot of great content. But that’s okay, this is exactly why we choose three authority website topics as opposed to one.
  4. It will be easy to make a lot of money fast. No, no it will not. One of the keys to creating an authority website is to choose a topic that you are passionate about and the reason for that is because you will be doing a lot of research and a lot of writing about that topic. By choosing something that you are passionate about, you will continue to work on it and I can tell you with absolute certainty you will need to consistently create content in order for it to be successful.

NEXT STEP: Keyword Research

All of this is step one in creating a authority website. It’s best to spend a lot of time on this step to make sure that you choose three topics that you are confident you can write about a few times a week for the next six months (minimum).

The next step in the process will be to complete keyword research which I will cover in the next blog post.  (This blog post has been created and is located here)

Truth be told, the next step is the most important in figuring out which of your three website topics will yield the most results. This is because we will look at the total search volume for your website topic and determine what the advertising competition is which will get you the highest possible payout on Google Adsense.

Is there anything you do to choose a website topic that I didn’t mention here? Please share it below in the comments.



Leave a Comment:

Gertrude Nonterah says May 30, 2015

Very interesting post Ron. I am actually dipping my feet in the authority website stuff myself and followed your first piece of advice without even knowing it – create the website around something you’re already interested in. In my case it has to do with science education since that’s what I have been doing for the last 10 + years.

I did my keyword research yesterday and took notes and so far have 2 ways I have thought of monetizing the site.Gotta think of a third. I will be following along with your progress as well as notes from the Niche Site Duel Pat did sometime ago.

Can’t wait to see where we’ll both be with this a year from now.

Reply
    Ron Stefanski says May 31, 2015

    Hey Gertrude,

    Awesome! Very glad to hear what I’m doing was spot on with what you are doing. I would 100% be up for some calls (again) on this project as we could probably help each other as we find things along the way.

    I’m leaning towards full disclosure on this and revealing my niche….but I’m also a little nervous about that.

    Think I should do it and tell people what the niche is? Or, should I just keep that little bit of information hidden and work through everything?

    Reply
      Gertrude Nonterah says May 31, 2015

      Yeah man, more calls would be great. Should you tell people what the niche is ? Well, if you are trying to take the readers on your journey, I think it would be good to tell them the name of the site and niche so that they can see it grow in “real time”. See what I mean ?

      Alternatively, you could work through it , get some results and then report back with figures such as your Google Analytics reports/Adsense reports etc without revealing.

      In the end, it will be what feels the most natural to you.

      Reply
        Ron Stefanski says June 2, 2015

        Yea, true.

        Just a bit nervous because I don’t want to deal with copycats.

        I’ll figure it out….

        Reply
          Aida Bond says June 2, 2015

          I like what Pat did. He kept it a secret for a while especially as he was doing a lot of the research and interviews with the food truck owners.

          Reply
          Ron Stefanski says June 3, 2015

          That makes sense….

          I’m totally on the fence about it and I’m not sure how I can show keyword research without disclosing the website name.

          Though I guess I could find a way……..hmmmmmmm

          Still on the fence about it haha

          Reply
Aida Bond says June 2, 2015

Hi Ron, thank you for sharing about the three tactics to consider when thinking about an authority website. I look forward to reading about keyword research (something I wish I would have done better with my site). I’m also following this new venture! Exciting!!

Reply
    Ron Stefanski says June 3, 2015

    Thanks, Aida!

    This is the next step in the process I think and I will be posting that one soon. 🙂

    Reply
Add Your Reply