Can you generate income with a brand new website?
How do you build a large authority business?
What’s the best way to make money online?
All of these questions will be answered in a brand new series titled: “Authority Internet Business Case Study.”
This will be a multi-year look at how to build a profitable business from the ground up.
Unlike other case studies, I’ll show how to take a new website and turn it into a property that generates income from a variety of sources. In other words, it’s my goal to create a long-term asset that has real-world value.
In true case study fashion, you’ll get both the good and the bad. Yes, I’ll talk about my breakthroughs and successes. But I also won’t shy away from discussing my failures.
You might have a lot of questions about building an authority Internet business. So I thought I’d provide an overview before we get to the meat-and-potatoes.
A big lesson I’ve learned as an online marketer is the importance of passion when it comes to building a business.
“ The #1 Secret to Authority Business Success is to Talk About a Topic You Love
Think of the question we’ve all heard before:
“What would you love talking about… for FREE … if you were already rich?”
Everyone has their own answer.
The one I’d give is “personal development.”
This has been a passion of mine for over a decade. I love to read books on this subject and apply the lessons in my personal life.
A lot of the information in the personal development space is filled fluffy, woo-woo content. I don’t believe in the Law of Attraction. Nor do I believe in wishful thinking.
It’s my opinion that the only way to get what you want in life is to work for it. Really, you can break down the “success process” into finding what works and repeating these action items on a daily basis.
In other words:
“ Your Daily Habits Determine What You’ll Achieve in Life
So yes, I’m not into most of the namby-pamby personal development stuff. But I do believe in the power of developing good habits.
My plan is to take a small part of a large niche and focus on becoming THE leading authority on this subject.
I feel you can demonstrate expertise in a variety of ways. Specifically you’d use one of the 3 B’s of Authority:
#1- Be an Authority: You have a detailed understanding of a niche and can draw from years of personal experience. You don’t just talk about a subject; you live it on a daily basis.
#2- Borrow Authority: You don’t have much experience with the topic, but you know how to find others who do. You demonstrate authority by interviewing these experts and getting them to reveal their secrets.
#3- Build Authority: You don’t have a lot of initial authority. Instead you have passion for the topic and a willingness to test different things. You build authority by reporting the lessons you’ve learned and talking about the breakthroughs you’ve achieved.
Do I have authority on developing good habits?
Yes and no.
I do have a college degree in psychology and I do have experience with forming a number of good habits in my life.
On the other hand, I don’t have a PhD or real-world experience with helping people form habits. All I have is a small amount of knowledge and a willingness to test different concepts.
That means I’ll focus on building authority. This will be done in a number of ways:
- Provide case studies of “30 Day Habits” from my personal life
- Review books dealing with habit development and related psychological concepts
- Define specific topics that help people form positive life habits
- Link to quality information in the personal development space
- Show examples from positive habits I’ve previously developed
Most of the content will be an examination of my journey towards building a great life – One habit at a time.
Authority Internet businesses are great because they can be monetized in a variety of ways.
This won’t be a niche site that generates a few nickels from Google Adsense. Instead I’ll apply everything I’ve learned as an online marketer to create a valuable, lifelong asset.
First off, my primary focus is to build an email list.
Email marketing has been my bread-and-butter since 2006. So the authority site will be designed to encourage opt-ins and build loyal subscribers through a quality autoresponder sequence.
In theory, this will help with the five income strategies I’m planning:
#1: Affiliate Marketing: The personal development space is filled with a variety of information products, software, and physical goods. The trick is to find the offers that actually help people develop good habits.
So, the first thing I need to do is to find a single affiliate product that is worth promoting.
#2: Kindle eBooks: Publishing small books on Amazon has become a profitable part of my online business. Naturally, I’d like to repeat this success by offering low-cost reports that solve specific obstacles with habit development.
My goal is to have one published Kindle book by the time I launch the site. That means I have to find a qualified ghostwriter to create this product. (More on this in a bit.)
#3: Information Products: Ultimately I’d like to become an authority on habit development. Then I can offer a detailed eCourse which provides a ton of value to blog readers.
I’m years away from this goal. But I think it’s important to think long-term when you start a brand new website.
#4: iPhone Applications: People use apps all the time to track their daily habits. So I can *hopefully* get a piece of this action with my own app.
This is another long-term strategy. The first thing I need to do is “de-construct” the existing apps in the iTunes store. This market is saturated, so I’d have to find an angle that’s unique and interesting.
#5: Physical Products: Not many case studies talk about selling physical products. I’d like to change that! My long-term goal is to offer a line of products related to habit development.
Nowadays, it’s not hard to ‘white label’ an existing product line. In theory, all I need to do is find physical products related to forming habits and promote them on my store (and on Amazon.com.)
These five ideas are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to building an authority business. I’m sure I’ll come up with more once I know more about the habits niche.
I’ve been “anti-niche site” for most of the past year. In fact, I even wrote a manifesto where I slammed the idea of building niche sites.
Since then, I’ve come to realize a few things:
- Niche sites can work if you have quality content
- Google does give preference to authority style websites
- There are many ways to build traffic besides Google
I think Spencer Haws put it best in his 11th podcast episode:
“ “Build your site to get as much Google Traffic as possible, but build your business like search engines could disappear tomorrow.” – Spencer Haws
My plan is simple. I’ll start out by focusing on the niche site model. But I’ll quickly scale it into a business where I’m not solely relying on getting Google love.
There will be three phases for this site:
Phase 1 will look very much like a niche site. I’ll focus on long-tail phrases and include a number of keyword-rich articles that define habit-related concepts.
In addition, I’ll include a few income-generating opportunities:
- A free eBook to build an email list
- A paid Kindle book offer
- A review of an affiliate product
During this phase, I won’t build backlinks or do any marketing. Instead I’ll design a framework that will (hopefully) lead to long-term income.
Phase 2 will focus on building authority. I’ll provide personal examples of how I use habits and talk about breakthroughs I’ve achieved.
Another thing I’ll do is write Massive Value Posts (Learn more about MVPs in my recent Kindle book) that will attract natural links and social shares. Again, I’m not going to worry too much about backlinking. Basically my strategy is to create good content and hope my site will get mentioned by other blogs.
This phase will last a few months. I want to organically grow the content and get all the pages indexed before I do any serious promotion.
Phase 3 is all about marketing. This will be the point where I network and focus on building backlinks. Furthermore, I’ll experiment with other tactics like: Writing press releases, creating YouTube videos, and building a social media platform.
I’ll probably invest at least $2,000 before seeing a return on investment. Primarily the money will be spent on outsourcing content creation. But I’m also investing in a nice looking logo and a high-converting blog design.
Realistically I won’t see any profits till the six-month mark. That should be enough time to create a few offers and build a baseline of traffic. From there, I’ll explore different options for how to scale this business.
I have mixed feelings about outsourcing. It can help you free up extra time. But it can also become a source of frustration and lost revenue.
Primarily, I’ll use outsourcing to create “seed content.” I’ve hired a writer to create simple articles which define habit-related concepts. I’ll then go over each post and add my own personal spin.
From there, I hope to train a writer to create blog posts in a specific style and format. If things go well, I can minimize the biggest headache with building a large website – Creating content.
I’ve also hired another writer to create my lead magnet. This will be a free book that covers “77 Daily Habits.” I’ll offer this report to visitors in exchange for their email address. That means I’ll build an email list from day 1.
Why am I hiring multiple writers?
Over the last few years, I’ve learned it’s really hard to juggle multiple content creation projects. Eventually I’ll write a lot of the content myself. But I’d like to immediately find someone who can handle some of this work. That’s the only way to quickly scale an authority site.
Right now, I’m working hard on my next Kindle book. I’ve been planning this one for awhile. So I want to get it done before I really begin the Authority Internet Business project.
I’m thinking it’ll be a few weeks before I do a follow-up post to this article. Till then, a lot will be happening behind-the-scenes. So stay tuned
Now it’s YOUR turn.
The #1 goal of this case study is to provide a learning environment for building a large-scale authority business. I can’t do this without your feedback. So I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you’d like to learn.
In the section below, please submit any questions or comments you have about this project.To Your "Internet Lifestyle",