In this article, I will give you my proven step-by-step process that I use myself to start all my authority websites. I've been building authority websites since 2012 (it's actually the first thing I started with when I started working as an online entrepreneur), so I had time to refine and improve the process :) I also helped personally many people start their own authority websites using this process, and I really wanted to share this process with you as well.
I will tell you how to find a niche for your authority website, how to create your first articles, how to create the site, and finally how to grow your site. By following this process, you should be able to create a website that is generating at least $1,000 a month. Here, I will mainly talk about a website that would be monetised at the start via the Amazon Affiliate program, however this process could apply to any authority website. Note that of course this is a quite long process, so I will only give you an overview here. However, I invite you to check other articles on my site to learn more about each step of the process. Let's start!
Finding the Niche
Finding your niche is the most important step of the whole process, as choosing a good niche can really make a website be profitable or note. This is a quite complex process, but I'll give you here the essentials.
For every niche idea that you have, the first thing you have to do is keyword research to know if the niche that you are thinking about is something that people search for on Google, and also if there is not too much competition in the field. This can be done by many tools, the one I use myself & recommend is KWFinder. This is a paid tool, however they do have a free plan that is more than enough for what you will have to do at this point.
After that, you need to make sure that you can actually make money in this niche. For that, I recommend simply browsing the Amazon store for products in the niche. I usually aim for products in the $50 range, with at least 100 reviews to make sure that the conversion rate (people that buy after you send them to Amazon) is quite high.
To dive more into this topic, note that I also recently wrote an article about how to find a profitable niche for your authority website.
Finally, at the end of this step, you should have your niche selected, as well as a domain name that is still available. For that, I recommend using Instant Domain Search.
Creating the First Articles
I recommend having at least 5 articles ready when launching the site. This will show to your first visitors that you are a serious site, and not a one-page site that was made in 5 minutes by an amateur. I recommend creating two types of articles when starting out: articles that review products in the niche, and articles that answer a common question that your audience has.
The first type of article is the one that will bring the initial cashflow to your site, as it will review products and then redirect people to the Amazon store, from which you will get a commission when people will buy.
The second type of article will directly answer questions that are common in your niche. Those are equally important as the first ones, as not only they help your audience, but they are also easier to promote to other websites owners in your niche (more about that inside the last step).
For both type of articles, I recommend using the results you got from the first step at the keyword research stage. To find ideas of products to review, I recommend to simply check the Amazon store. To find questions that are commonly asked by your audience, I recommend checking Answer The Public.
Creating the Site
Now that you have your first articles, you can create the site so that everybody can potentially see your articles.
The first step for that is to book a domain name, that you should already have determined at the first step. To actually book it, I recommend using NameCheap, which is the platform that I use for all my websites.
Once you got the domain, you need actually create the site. At this stage, you have many options. The one I really recommend, especially if you want to grow your site in the future, is to use the platform that we developed called SiteEngine. This is an all-in-one online business platform, including a content management system, an email list manager, an online shopping cart, as well as detailed metrics, which makes it perfect to run an authority website. It also includes many articles templates that are coming from my own authority websites, so you won't have to reinvent the wheel when putting your articles online.
If you are more on a budget, you can get a cheap (but reliable) hosting like SiteGround, and then just install WordPress on it. You will quickly be limited by what you can do with this solution, but if you really want to spend as less as possible that's the way to go.
Art this stage, don't waste time on the design of your site: just put the articles out there, build a basic menu, and you're good to go!
Growing the Site
The last step is all about growing your traffic, and also create your traffic goals for this site, that will allow you to go to $1,000 a month of revenue.
For the first part, all you need to do is some simple maths. Let's say you want to get $1,000 a month of revenue. Let's also say that you promote products that are $50 on average, with a commission of 5% on the Amazon store. Finally, let's assume that people that you send on Amazon convert at a rate of 10%, and that people reading your articles convert at a rate of 25% (those are numbers from my own sites). This means that you will have the goal of generating 16,000 visitors a month.
Once your traffic goal is set, you actually need to get a strategy to reach it by having people come to your site. There are two ways to do that: publish new articles regularly, and get backlinks to your site. For publishing new articles, you simply need to go back to step two and generate more ideas.
The second way to get traffic is via backlinks, which are links from other websites that are pointing to your site. This will basically make Google see your site as an authority, and therefore raise your position in the rankings. To get backlinks, you need to do what is called outreach, which is the process of reaching to other websites owners in your niche to suggest to them to link to some of your best content. To find those other websites, I recommend using tools like SimilarWeb.
That's it for my process to build an authority website! If you have any questions about the process, please let me know by using the comments below!