Additional Income Stream Series #1 – Building an Authority Site

AuthorityI recently wrote up a post discussing how to diversify your income as a writer.  You can read the whole post HERE, but to put it simply, it discusses the fact that as writers, it is possible to make money in a wide range of different ways.  The fact that you can write high-quality content for yourself opens up many different opportunities to supplement any income you’re making as a freelance writer, and even create excellent passive income that will keep flowing in for years to come.  That post inspired me to create a series of posts detailing some of the great ways writers can earn income, outside of freelancing.

What is an Authority Site

An authority site is any website which contains a lot of different resources about a specific subject.  When someone is attempting to learn about the specific topic, they should be able to find virtually everything they need on one authority site.  There is no set rule as to the number of pages or posts an authority site has to have on them, though for most topics it would require quite a few.

Another thing that sets an authority site apart from other web pages is that there will be a constant flow of new content on the page.  The owner of the site should be adding new content regularly, especially when there is news or changes about the topic of the site.  Once an authority site has been created, the owner should be posting at least 1-5 new posts per month.  This will keep the site current as well as provide SEO benefits.

Why Create an Authority Site

As a writer, you might be wondering why you would want to create an authority site to supplement your income as a freelance writer.  There are quite a few reasons why this type of project is appealing to many writers.  The following are a few of my favorites:

  • Write about what you want – You can choose virtually any topic you’re interested, and start writing about it.  This is extremely attractive to many writers, because we’re used to writing on whatever topics our clients request.  No matter what types of things you’re interested in, you can make an authority site about them.   Some topics are easier to make money on than others, but if you’re writing about something you enjoy anyway, it seems less like work.  Plus, no matter the niche, you can make money from a good authority site.
  • Write on Your Schedule – While it may take some time and hard work to get the authority site started, it doesn’t take nearly as much to keep it going.  Once you have 20-30 great posts put up, you can keep adding more at a more manageable pace.  When you have some free time between clients, write up a few posts and schedule them to be published over the next couple weeks.  It is much less stressful than working under the often tight deadlines of clients.
  • Long Term Income – An authority site compliments freelance writing very well because the income comes in over a longer period of time rather than all at once.  When you write for a client, you usually get paid up front and that is it.  An authority site won’t pay you up front (in most cases) but you’ll be earning money again and again for months or even years to come.
  • Great Sample Writing – As a freelance writer, you’re going to need to be able to direct people to examples of your writing to show them your talent and style.  What better way to provide an example than to direct them to your authority site.  It will give them plenty of content to review, and will show them that your content will lead to a powerful site which brings in lots of traffic.

Of course, every individual will have different reasons for why they should build an authority blog, and some people won’t want to do it at all.  If writing about one topic on a regular basis is appealing, creating an authority blog might be right for you.

Monetizing Your Authority Site

Unlike freelance writing, you don’t need to worry about how you’re going to make your money on an authority blog right away.  This is a long term investment of your time and talent, and you won’t likely see big returns for at least a few months.  With that being said, however, it is important to have a plan on how you’ll be making money.  The following are some of the most effective, and most common ways to monetize any site.  Choosing the right one will depend on your experience, as well as the specific niche you’re writing about.

  • Ad Networks – One of the simplest methods to make money from an authority site is through advertising networks.  The largest, and most common, is Google’s AdSense network.  They provide you simple code to paste onto your site, and you get paid every time someone clicks an ad that shows up on your site.  With sufficient traffic, and a good click through rate, there is a lot of potential to earn money with this method.
  • Amazon Affiliate – Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer, and you can earn great money helping them make additional sales.  If you can find any products sold on Amazon that are related to your niche, get an affiliate link and write about it.  If someone buys a product through your link, you get a percentage of the sale price.  This is extremely profitable for some niches.
  • Create Products – Creating your own informational product and selling it to readers of your site is a great way to earn money from an authority site.  Make sure to create only the highest-quality products possible to ensure your customers are happy and will keep coming back for more.
  • ClickBank & Other Affiliate Products – If you don’t have the time or desire to create your own products, consider promoting those which are made by others.  ClickBank has thousands of products which you can promote, and make great money on every sale.
  • Direct Advertising – Once a site starts getting a lot of traffic, it is possible to sell advertising space directly to other companies.  Depending on the topic of the site, and how much traffic you are getting, you can make hundreds of dollars per month for each ad spot you sell.
  • CPA Offers – CPA, or Cost Per Action, allows you to promote different offers to your visitors.  Each one they complete will earn you money.  There are many different offers available, and finding one which will appeal to your audience isn’t too difficult.
  • Subscribers – Some niches are ideally suited for offering exclusive products, information or services only to paid subscribers.  Whether you are offering a class, a seminare or something else, you can make great recurring income by charging for access to exclusive content.

Finding what monetization methods work best for your site can be difficult.  It is, however, very important.  Once you discover what works best for you, it is possible to earn a lot of money from your authority site.

Do you own an authority site?  If so, what do you like best about it?  Consider posting a link to it below so we can all check it out.

Thanks for reading this post, I hope you found it useful. I'd love to hear what you thought about it in the comments below. If you're interested in publishing this, or any of my content, on your site I'd love to hear from you. Just contact me using my syndication request form HERE.

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