2013 and Beyond: The Future of My Online Business

2013 Authority Case StudyToday is the three-year anniversary of my first post on SteveScottSite.com!

A lot has changed since January 2010.  I started this site intending to write about personal development and lifestyle design.

Now I focus on teaching Internet marketing strategies.  (Something I didn’t want to do at first.)

To commemorate this anniversary I’d like to make an exciting announcement about a new project.

This will be the focus for this blog in 2013 and many years beyond that.

But first, I’d like to talk about why I haven’t regularly blogged in the last few months…

[title color=”green-vibrant” align=”scmgccenter” font=”verdana” style=”normal” size=”scmgc-2em”]Why I Stopped Blogging[/title]

It’s been three months since I wrote a post that didn’t promote a Kindle book.

There are two reasons why I stopped blogging:

First off, for pretty much all of 2012, I felt burned out. Somewhere along the line, I lost that passion for publishing content on a regular basis.  I tried writing many different types of posts.  But nothing seemed to work.  I just couldn’t get excited about writing about ‘making money online.’

The second reason was a financial one.  When I started publishing income reports, I realized how little money I was making with this site.

It was the reverse of the 80/20 rule.  Actually it was more like the 90/10 rule.  90% of my effort was spent on something that generated 10% of my income.   This was a depressing realization, especially considering how much time I’ve spent on this site.

These negative feelings got so bad that there were many weeks when writing a post became my least favorite thing to do.  In fact, I came very close to retiring this blog.

This feeling lasted until…

[title color=”green-vibrant” align=”scmgccenter” font=”verdana” style=”normal” size=”scmgc-2em”]I Built a Kindle Publishing Business[/title]

You’ve probably noticed how I’ve recently published a lot of eBooks on Amazon’s Kindle publishing platform.  (Here are the titles I’m currently offering.)

During this time I discovered the perfect formula that generates income, while also helping my core readers:

  1. Give away free copies of my eBooks during a “free promotion launch”
  2. Get reviews and positive feedback from readers
  3. Make money from buyers in the Amazon store

Kindle publishing has completely revitalized my feelings towards teaching Internet business strategies.  Now I have numerous products I can *offer* to readers…for free or at a low  cost… that provide a ton of value.

So I’m now committed to publishing 1 or 2 titles each month.

Because of this goal, I don’t have a whole lot of time to publish blog content on a regular basis.  On the other hand, I still want to provide quality information that’s freely available to anyone – Even people who won’t download my Kindle books.

This leads to my project idea for 2013…

[title color=”green-vibrant” align=”scmgccenter” font=”verdana” style=”normal” size=”scmgc-2em”]Announcing: Authority Business Case Study 2013[/title]

Lately I’ve wondered if I could replicate my Kindle success in a different market.  Moreover, I wonder what would happen if I started a new brand from scratch and showed…step-by-step…how to build an online presence and generate income from it.

This site would start out like your typical “niche site,” but it would eventually grow into an authority site where I hope to become a leading expert in that market.

The major difference from the niche site model is I wouldn’t rely on Google Adsense for my monetization strategy.  Instead I’d focus on publishing Kindle books, creating information products, and recommending affiliate marketing offers.

I’ve thought about building an authority website for over a year.

The problem was I never found an idea that had that right mix of profitability with personal passion.

Then two weeks back, I had a great thought while running.  For the last few months, I’ve been working on a personal project where I strive to develop good habits.  This is something I’m doing for my own personal development.  But it’s also a topic that’s interesting to many people.

I can easily take my “good habits” journey and turn it into an excellent authority site.

Moreover, this idea can be used as a case study where readers of SteveScottSite.com would learn:

  • How to pick the right domain name
  • How to target quality, long-tail keyword phrases
  • How to create a wealth of compelling content
  • How to demonstrate authority – Even when you don’t have it!
  • How to write a quality affiliate product review
  • How to build backlinks that can withstand any Google update
  • How to turn a blogging presence into profitable Kindle books
  • How to generate additional traffic beyond the search engines
  • How to scale an authority business into a full-time income

Also, this will be a fully detailed case study!  I’m going to show exact traffic numbers, how much money I invest, and the income I generate.  It will be a ‘warts-and-all’ type of project where I won’t be afraid to reveal everything.

The key to all this is I have passion for this topic.  This isn’t a niche site I’m starting just to make money.  Instead, I’m taking an existing part of my life and turning it into an authority website.   I think this is an important distinction because this site probably won’t be profitable for at least six months.  Frankly, you need passion to get past those rough patches where you’re working “for free.”

[title color=”green-vibrant” align=”scmgccenter” font=”verdana” style=”normal” size=”scmgc-2em”]The Future of Steve Scott Site[/title]

I’m really excited about this authority case study.  I think it can provide a lot more value than the “5 reasons to be an affiliate marketer,” type of content you get with other blogs.


I have to make some sacrifices in order to make this happen.  My time is limited.  So I’m only able to concentrate on this case study and my Kindle eBooks.  The quality of this content would suffer if I had to do additional blog posts on top of these articles.

This means I’m no longer publishing the Income Reports or Traffic Generation blog posts.

The way I figure things:

[quote type=”medium” align=”left”] “It’s better to show people how to make money than to waste time bragging about it!” [/quote]

(Tweet This!)

So…that’s my major project for 2013!

I’m still working on two Kindle books for the rest of January.  But after that, I’ll start publishing blog posts about this case study.

Stay tuned for more details…

Take Action. Get Results.

100 thoughts on “2013 and Beyond: The Future of My Online Business”

  1. Forgive my ignorance, but in what ways will this authority site differ from your other sites in terms of how you’ll monetize it?

    • It’s different from the smaller niche sites because it is my intention to become a leading authority in this specific market. That means I’ll try to monetize the site in a number of ways:

      1) Kindle eBooks
      2) Affiliate Marketing
      3) Infoproduct Creation
      4) iPhone Apps

      There’s a lot you can do when you concentrate on a single website.

      • hi steve,
        i think that is a great way to go – especially to make yourself an authority in your niche. having your own info products will really help. what i´m interested in: did your income from the kindle books skyrock since you publish them twice per month? does it work for you (e.g. generate a full-time income?) i really love your books so you well deserve it.


        • Hey Monja — To be perfectly honest, the Kindle books are doing EXTREMELY well. They are generating a full-time income and I could see how this can be turned into a six-figure business. Obviously, this is in the “make money online,” so I really want to test this in a different market before making the declaration that it would work for everyone.

          • Thanks for addressing this. I wondered too if success could be found in other non-fiction, business oriented fields or self-help/personal development. I would think social marketing and standard marketing titles would appeal work, too. Do you have any non-MMO titles in the works?

            • I’m actually in the process of outsourcing a few eBooks in a different market. Plus this case study will emphasize writing books in the personal development market. So this will test the “money potential” in non-MMO markets.

    • Haha…didn’t think of that. I’m so far removed from that first post, that I’m not sure it would be helpful. But you gave me a reminder to go back and read it over…see how much I’ve changed 🙂

  2. Steve, congrats on your Kindle success. If this source of income is bigger than your affiliate business, then you need to change your signature:)
    What about your app business? How is it going?

    • Thanks! I’m definitely contemplating how to “rebrand” this site.

      The app business is so-so. I hit about $800 – $900 the last few months. Now I’m in the process of designing a couple of new ones and updating the old ones. I’m still not convinced it’s the best revenue model, so that’s why I don’t talk all that much about it.

  3. Steve, I look forward to seeing how you replicate your Kindle success as an authority site. I always love watching other case studies! They are without a doubt the best way to learn and it is also really rewarding to share all the details!

  4. Hey Steve,

    Good luck with your new plan. I’m looking forward to hearing how the Kindle turns out for you because I’m going to start getting more into it this year.

    I’ll stay tuned.

    • I definitely recommend Kindle publishing — Especially if you have a lot of book ideas. It’s a great market and an excellent way to monetize an authority site.

  5. Steve,

    I appreciate the transparent nature about building your business including the highs and lows. Focusing on this new strategy makes complete sense and a great example of being productive & profitable vs. spread too thin with little profit. I’m excited to read each concept within the bullet points listed above especially content creation, affiliate product reviews, kindle books…heck, all of them! Keep up the good work. Your audience appreciates your efforts!


    • Great to hear Rick! I’m really excited about this project — Specifically since it will test a bunch of “theories” I have about building a large-scale authority site.

  6. Hey Steve,

    Glad you are doing well with Kindle! I’ve downloaded and read all of your books and they are all awesome so it’s no surprise. Your a great writer and have a knack for making things easy to follow.

    I totally understand the burnout you experienced because I’ve been going through it myself. It’s been hard to get started with new projects I’ve been wanting to do. You’re always an inspiration so keep up the great work!

    • Great to hear Dan! It’s good to know people get value from these Kindle books… I try to put a lot of effort into each one.

      Yeah, burnout can be a pain in the butt. Sometimes it’s a simple matter of focusing your efforts on something else. What are you currently working on?

      • Yep, I’ve definitely learned quite a bit from your kindle books. The effort shows! I’m working on quite a few different things from health & fitness sites, niche sites and I have had pretty good success in the past year developing WordPress themes & plugins and plan to increase that this year.

        I’m planning on following you on your case study and will be building one for myself in a niche that I haven’t determined yet. Maybe that will be the re-focusing that I need.

  7. THIS is going to be fun to watch the growth of this baby – I know it will be successful and the experiment will be a blast.

  8. I appreciate Steve. Very well to see you back. I expect your coming blogs are very interesting and you will give useful things. Thanks for this post….

  9. Hey Steve,

    I discovered your site just a few weeks ago, but really appreciate your style. Can’t wait to follow you and your project. Hope to get something going in Kindle Publishing this year as well, so I’m sure I can learn a lot about monetizing a site with it. Good luck! We’ll all be following you closely :o)

    • Kindle publishing is definitely awesome. Hopefully this case study will show what it’s like to profit from a market beyond the “make money online” niche. Thanks for following along!

  10. Honestly Steve,
    you are such an inspiration.

    I have been struggling with the same issues.

    After I saw you publishing your ebooks and then NOT publishing on your blog except to publish your kindle books I felt well… better about myself.

    I was kicking myself for not being able to make my ebook product and blog and raise my family while trying to make the most out of our life in France.

    My new goal for the year is to devote more time to writing my book. I don’t want or rather CAN’T completely ignore my blog because i do get sponsors who pay me but I was thinking maybe as i write each chapter, i could take an excerpt from that chapter and make it blog appropriate post with a plug after each post saying “this was an excerpt from my upcoming book called blah blah blah.” that way i can still write my book and post a blog. 2 birds with one stone.
    Anyways, good luck on your upcoming project. If you ever need help with anything please don’t hesitate to ask.

    • Hi Annie..

      Love your idea:

      >> i could take an excerpt from that chapter and make it blog appropriate post with a plug after each post saying “this was an excerpt from my upcoming book called blah blah blah.” <<

      Only thing I'd be careful of is about plugging the book on every single post. A little more balance in the promoting might sit better with your readers..


    • Hey Annie

      Yes, it is definitely hard to balance writing an info product/eBook and do a regular schedule of blog posts. I don’t know how some people do it…

      I think you have a great idea here. The one thing I’d suggest is Amazon is fairly draconian with their KDP Select program. You can’t be exclusive on their site if more than 10% of the content can be found elsewhere. So I’d recommend doing a light edit to these posts if you’re planning on promoting through KDP.

      Thanks for the offer for help. We’re still contemplating a year move to another country, so might have a bunch of questions in the near future 🙂

  11. Hey Scott..

    Just discovered you a few weeks ago!

    I have a new Authority Niche site in the works.

    Originally I planned to brand my own name for the website and I’ve already started my Twitter following ( 6000+) under my name, and just started w/ Pinterest. Kindle book in the works. Youtube ready to go for “How To’s” in the niche.

    As I’m preparing the content and website design, it feels weird to have this new business under my name. Just seems pp would relate better if they saw part of the niche name in urls.

    On the other hand, if I build my name up (as you have here on SteveScottSite) the biz is more fluid and can change to fit my audiences needs.

    If I make the site have the niche name, I thought I’d have Youtube coincide but keep Twitter & Pinterest in my name where I can sometimes talk about the niche.

    Thoughts? Feedback?

    thanks, darlene 🙂

    • OK, so I just realized I called you “Scott” instead of “Steve.”

      I have a habit of flipping words and letters. Like one time I accidentally called Lynn Terry, “Terry” instead of “Lynn”

      sorry about that, darlene

      • No worries Darlene. Actually “Steve Scott” is my pen name… My first name is Scott. So I often confuse myself sometimes.

        My advice would be to pick a keyword specific name. I do like having my name in the title, but I get zero benefit when people link to my site, because I’m not trying to get traffic for “Steve Scott”. Using a niche name makes it easier to brand, plus ultimately it’s more “sellable” if you decide to have someone else run the website.

  12. hey Steve, I had very similar experiences last year and have reviewed my own blog’s direction, as well as focusing more on building my presence in the self help niche, and working to create more authority there as well. One thing I am doing is building up a weekly podcast where I am sharing my own thoughts on life and some of my experiences with various personal development techniques that I have learned. I am also planning to add in doing one or two interviews per month with other bloggers and product owners in the niche, and I think your new project would be a good fit, if your interested.

    • The podcast idea sounds often. I’m talking to another blogger and we might put one together jointly. I’m definitely open to doing an interview — Obviously, I’d like to have an actual website first 🙂

  13. This new project of yours will make you follow your blog from now on.

    I gotta be honest, I didn’t before, but this is exactly what I’ve tried to do with my blog for the past few months, so it’s the perfect case study for me!

    • Victor– Yes, it can be frustrating to start a large-scale website. The whole process can be a bit overwhelming … Hopefully this case study will provide a little bit of help.

  14. I’m really looking forward to this case study, Steve.

    I may have found the right niche for me, which was actually in front of my face the whole time. And your post about your affiliate site for dubturbo earlier in 2012 planted the seed for it.

    I’ll be following your case study very closely to apply the same methods to my site.

  15. I’m looking forward to following your progress on your new site. This process will so helpful to so many of us. I’ve been reviewing my own processes and progress lately, not publicly, but definitely rethinking some things I’ve been doing. Following your progress is going to be so helpful. Thanks Steve!

  16. Steve,
    I am very interested in this new project. I will be following along avidly. It will be refreshing to get every aspect of growing a business revealed. There are too many bits and pieces of success from narrow sources out there. Thank you in advance for allowing us to share your experience with this new journey.

  17. Heya Steve,

    This is pretty exciting news! Ties in well with my own authority site project for 2013 albeit with a different monetization model. I’m sure there will be much to learn from your project that can be implemented into my own site.

    On the flip side, opening your site to such public scrutiny may help accelerate your growth as I’m sure there are other experts following your blog who will pitch in with their views.

    All the best! Looking forward to your updates.

    • Yes, I think we’d all have different ways to monetize a site. I know some people love Adsense, but it’s never been a great model for me. I do like the idea of having “public scrutiny” because it forces me to stay on top of this project.

  18. Hey Steve, I didn’t have a clue you were going through these changes you’re describing in your post my man but it’s great that publishing to Kindle brought that spark back in you!

    I think it is wise that you stop doing the traffic and income reports and use your time to create even greater content for Kindle.

    I look forward to see what you do next and I’m pretty sure you’ll come up with something amazing as always, take care and all the best on this 2013 Steve!


    PS. I didn’t know you could make kindle bundles see? You always teach me something, thanks! 😉

    • Hey Sergio–

      I did like the income and traffic reports. But I didn’t think they were that useful, especially since the bulk of my income was derived from a site I couldn’t openly disclose. Not very useful for the end reader.

      The Kindle bundle idea is pretty cool… So far, the one doesn’t have that much money. But I like being able to offer something to people who want to buy multiple eBooks.

  19. Hi Steve,

    I released a short 40 page ebook recently on Amazon as a test. I’m currently working through my first main book. I read a lot so I’ve got dozens of book ideas that I’m itching to release; so your progress has been an inspiration to me (cheesy but true).

    I can understand your situation with your blog. I really enjoy blogging but I realise that it takes up a lot of my time. I’m going to reduce how often I blog, if necessary. I’m keen to release 2 or 3 books a month too though it will depend on the length of each book (the one I’m currently writing will be pretty long).

    Keep up the good work.


    • Hey Kevin– Thanks for stopping by! It’s definitely doable to write multiple books in a month. But it’s almost impossible to do while running a blog.

      Good luck with Amazon! I absolutely love this site. Feel free to ask me questions if you get stuck with something…

      • Thanks Steve. I appreciate the offer. I’ll be doing a free run like yourself. I’ll be sure to let you know about it or send you a copy manually.

        I know you’re very busy but I’d love to do an email interview with you for my blog. Let me know if you have time for this.


        • Hey Kevin,

          Sorry for the delay. Didn’t see this comment. I’m open to doing an email interview. Just send me a message and I should be able to complete it within a week or so.

  20. Hey Steve,
    Wow I’m very excited about the case study, I have a guess at the niche lets see if I’m right 🙂 So glad you are crushing it on Kindle, you’re such a great writer and I couldnt be happier for you.

    It’s going to be interesting to see how the non-MMO niche will scale for you on Kindle. It should be fascinating stuff.
    Best regards,

    • Hey Tim—

      The niche is “Develop Good Habits.” Basically how to create willpower and live a better life by adopting specific habits into your life. I like this topic because it’s what I do anyway and it would be fun to chronicle my journey towards developing it.

      Pretty confident this topic will be profitable. But still trying to find that right affiliate product.

      Talk to you soon buddy!

  21. Steve, assuming this makes sense for you, it sure does for your readership.

    I’ve been following Internet gurus for four years now and have learned quite a bit, but most of this group makes their money by telling others how to make money on the Internet, rather than taking their own advice.

    Look forward to watching how you do.

    One question: Are you saying that you give away your many Kindle books to build a mailing list that then you can promote various products to?



    • Hey Joe…The reason I give away Kindle books is it helps with Amazon’s algorithm. Basically you get downloads and positive results. Then this ultimately your book will start to rank on Amazon. This helps you get direct sales.

      Hope this helps!

  22. Well done Steve!

    Your 2013 goal resolutions is tied to your life where you will gain back your passion and momentum and will still benefit your readers, regulars and new.

    Looking forward to journeying with you on your case study and celebrating the journey too!

    Happy New Year 2013 and keep up the good job!

  23. Steve,
    I guess I’ve been following you all through your blog. I always enjoy your style and although I haven’t chosen to follow your leads so far, you have helped me immensely in developing my blog. What I realize is that I have been playing around up to now with no serious plan (or drive) to earn more money and the results show it. I am hooked on serious travel (just returned from one month in Buenos Aires) but my current income level damps my desire to travel at least three months a year. It’s time to get serious. I like your plan and will be considering how I might use it as a model for serious income development when I am at home.
    I love how you always have a surprise. No moss growing on you.


  24. Hey Ralph– Great to hear from you! You’re right — You’ve been around since the beginning. I’m pretty excited about this case study. I hope it helps with getting your website generating some income. Talk soon.

  25. Steve (or is that really “Scott”!), I believe your approach and materials have ended my search! Last summer I felt inspired to use writing skills to begin generating income for my family, but so far nothing appeared workable… Then in November I encountered you and have been watching your approach. You are developing a completely new business model (from any I have see thus far) and I can relate to your model. I, too, have a passion I believe can positively impact the world which I believe can be well-presented in e-book format, but have virtually no time to learn “attractive” blogging. I am excited for your success (you seem like such a nice young man!) and am grateful for your willingness to demonstrate how your method can develop a market from the absolute ground up. Thanks for the working example!

    • Thanks Jenne! (It’s been awhile since someone me a “young man”… I’m quickly creeping towards turning 40)

      I’m hoping this case study will help out people. It *should* be very informative, but I won’t know until I test the market. Stay tuned for more information…

  26. Hey Steve,

    I’ve never commented on your blog before, but I thought that I should at least tell you how much your Kindle publishing strategies have helped me.

    After having my niche site (with over 100 quality articles on it) go down the toilet after Google introduced us to Mr. Panda, I was looking for a way to capitalize on the work I’d already done to build back up the income I’d lost from the site.

    Some how, I stumbled onto your website (probably through Smart Passive Income) and I’ve been watching your self-publishing methods VERY closely since last year. After adopting a few of your strategies (and some I learned elsewhere), I’ve managed to publish a portfolio of books through Amazon that have just begun to bring in a net profit of over $1,000.00 per month. (This month it appears as if I will make $2,000.00 net profit.)

    I don’t know if it matters or not, but thanks for all that you’re doing. I’ve reviewed one or two of your books on Amazon and I wish you continued success in all that you do bro.


    • Glad you like my Kindle publishing stuff. I think it’s an excellent income model (if done correctly). It sounds like you’re on the right track with your books. How many do you have in the marketplace?

      Thanks a bunch for the reviews! As you know, they REALLY help out.

      • Yeah, reviews are extremely important in driving sales. The biggest challenge is getting them when you don’t have a blog or list (and not interested in building one at the moment).

        Right now, as of this writing, I have six books in the marketplace with one or two to be released between now and end of February. A short tip I’d like to leave to anyone reading this and interested in Kindle publishing: FOCUS on a niche market, and publish several books in that market that solve specific problems. I’ve noticed an exponential increase in sales as I began publishing in the same niche and cross-promoting the books.

        Thanks again Steve.

        • Hey Ron…Just saw this comment.

          I couldn’t agree more. Focusing on a single market is the quickest way to build a brand on Amazon and get people to buy multiple ebooks.

  27. It’s refreshing to see marketers who don’t just spend their time doing what everyone else does. I like the fact that you put your blog into perspective with respect to how much it brings in. I wish many of us have the courage to do so.

    I also love the idea of Kindle publishing but I can see that it is restricted to people in certain countries. I am thinking of ways to jump that hurdle, anyway.

    • Chimerzirim,

      You’re right. The country thing is the biggest limitation to Amazon publishing. That’s why I’m going to incorporate a bunch of other strategies as a way to provide value to everyone who follows along.

  28. Hey Steve,
    I’m with you on this for real, I’ve been enjoying your the pdf copy of your kindle books lately, and I’m very happy you’re taking on this project as I’m also planning on doing something similar.

    So, i will go along with you on this. Hope you’ll start it ASAP Steve, i can’t wait to see it.

    Thanks Man.

    Lets succeed together.


    • Thanks Theodore! I should have another post that provides an overview… maybe sometime next week. Then I’m going to spend the next month putting the site together for public view.

  29. Hi Steve, I know your website for a long time but i just found this article. I wait your autorithy case study, i’m sure it will be usefull for everyone who wants to earn money on internet.

    Thanks for your articles.

  30. I think that is a great way to go. I like your plan and will be considering how I might use it as a model for serious income development when I am at home. Following your progress is going to be so helpful.Thanks Steve…..

  31. Congrats on your ebook success, Steve. I read over a few sales pages emphasizing that biz over the last year but did not attempt it. My guess is that if you could make Kindle books work, you can hit a home run with your authority site program.

  32. You should try YouTube partner program. I think right now its the best paying program if you have the creativity and I am sure you have that.

  33. Hello Steve,
    I have listened to gurus and have got no where, I know a lot, but no sales. I like your comment in your sales page about how things changed when you stop listening to all the guru’s. The 2 page website that makes you money, they don’t teach that, all I ever heard was multi pages, multi articles, multi backlinks and of course multi sites. I just need something to follow. Is your Affiliate Marketing without the BS – Silver course updated? Looking foward to your case study.

  34. An authority site has multiple pages. How do you protect them all against malware and hacking? My family is considering setting up a site and Hostgator recommends SiteLock which is quite expensive for a new site. Are there any less expensive good alternatives that can be easily incorporated into a site? Any other tricks or add-ons that would help? Thanks.

    • Patrice — I don’t have a definitive answer here, but the tool I’m using is VaultPress which works on the WP platform. Since most of my security issues arise from the WP platform, I found this tool to be useful for protecting against malware and hacking.

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