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In this week’s episode of the Extra Paycheck Podcast we’re comparing niche websites to authority websites.
I’ve been asked several times if a beginner to affiliate marketing should build a niche website or an authority website.
To be totally honest with you many beginners actually confuse a niche with an industry. An obscure vegetable-only 30 days diet is a niche. Weigh-loss is an industry. “Cases for smartphones” is a niche. Electronics is an industry. If you still aren’t 100% sure about what a niche is please do check out this episode: Earning A Living From Niche Websites With Dom Wells. In this episode we explain what a niche website is, how to find a niche, how to monetize it and so on.
Now that you already know what a niche website is you might want to be interested in building an authority website instead.
When it comes to beginner online marketers I always suggest starting with a niche website. There are several reasons for that.
Niche websites are simply easier to build. You’re concentrating on a small line of products or a very specific subject. You can (and should) concentrate on that and start writing. If you are consistent and the niche is not incredibly competitive then your articles will start ranking within a few months. If you’re always talking about a very specific subject, search engine will understand that quickly and will start ranking your website. Once you’re getting good rankings you’ll start receiving visitors and the money will start coming in.
Don’t expect to make millions overnight but you should start seeing results within the first 3-6 months.
The only issue I have with niche websites is that sometimes they get to their limit rather quickly. For example you’re promoting a specific product and there are only that many people on our planet that need that product. You might end up making $200 (or $1,000 or more) per month from that site and you’ll just get stuck there. I am throwing these numbers from the top of me head but I am sure you understand what I mean.
If your website growth stalls because there is a limited demand for your content (or the products you’re promoting) then you’ll have to start a 2nd site. Then 3rd, 4th and so on.
Unlike niche websites, authority website usually cover a large range of subject within a certain industry. In the past 10-15 years we’ve witnessed the birth of many tech websites that became very famous (and very lucrative).
An authority website is much harder to build. You’ll probably spend months just planning out the frameworks for that site and deciding on your general direction. You’ll start writing articles about different products and news in the industry yet it would seem like you just can’t get ranked. In my opinion this happens simply because the search engines can’t easily understand what your website is about since you’re covering so many topics.
Once again, there isn’t a set amount of time but I would assume it’ll take 1-2 years for an authority website to start picking up. Can you dedicate a year or two to building a website that isn’t bringing in any (or almost any) money?
Building an authority website is a long term game. Expect to work a lot without seeing any significant progress.
However, an authority website has a lot more potential. Since you are covering a variety of subject you’ll never run out of content ideas. There always will be news, new products and so on. I believe that an authority website can become a very successful business capable of supporting a family for the rest of their life.
… so which one?
Once again, I would always suggest starting with a niche website if it’s your first site. If you give it a generic and brandable name you could possibly expand it and turn it into an authority website with time. However, if that small website fails or you decide to give up because you simply don’t like online marketing, it’ll be a lot easier to part with a 3 months old small site than with a 1.5 year old authority site.
You probably know of the WireCutter, right? Brian Lam started this site in 2011. At first it was just a blog with personal recommendations for gadgets. 5 years later The Wirecutter was sold to New York Times for $30 Million. It’s not a typical story but I am just trying to show you the potential of a blog.
Much more is explained and talked about in today’s episode so I invite you to scroll up and press the PLAY button to hear the full episode.
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