Blogs have gotten a lot of the limelight when it comes to making money online, but people who are looking to work from home should also know that there are other website models that perform well. One of the most solid frameworks that you can use for a money-earning website is called an authority site. The premise of an authority site is to have a single place where people can read and learn about some particular niche or industry with an index-based navigation system instead of a date-based navigation system. We’re going to walk you through exactly how you can make money online with an authority website.
Planning Before You Start
Unlike a blog where you can mostly just jump in and get started, if you want to work from home with an authority site, you have to do a lot of planning ahead of time. The reason for this is that a blog’s structure is very fluid, while an authority site’s structure is rather static. Because of this, you have to plan out most of the categories and content on an authority site before you ever get started. When you’re first getting started, you should break your industry or niche down 10 to 12 individual areas or sub-topics. Each individual area should then have anywhere from eight to 12 articles. This means that you’ll begin with around 100 articles total, which is much different than a blog.
The Silo Linking Structure
Also unlike a blog, an authority site depends a lot on its internal linking structure. One of the easiest and most effective linking structures that beginners can use is called a silo structure. With a silo structure, your home page links off to individual pages dedicated to your 10 to 12 predetermined areas or sub-topics. Each page dedicated to a specific area of the overall niche or industry then links to the eight to 12 articles that have been prepared for that section. The pages for the articles themselves will link back to both the home page and the sub-topic page.
Other Website Structure Considerations
Launching Your Authority Site and Getting Indexed
A lot of people get put off by the idea of an authority site when they see that it’s recommended that you begin with something like 100 articles when you launch the site. However, you don’t need all 100 articles when you very first begin. You can get by with having 30 to 40 percent of that number as long as you put in the work and consistently add content after your initial launch until you reach somewhere around 100 articles. The reason for starting off with so many articles at one time is that you want to immediately establish yourself as an authority website to the search engines and not a website by a hobbyist. Aside from the quality of your content, your initial surge of content is one of the main things you can do to indicate to the search engines that your website is high quality.
Authority sites are good at getting a steady flow of traffic over time without a lot of maintenance, so how you decide to monetize your authority site will depend on what kind of business model you have. If you want to consistently update and tweak your site, then you will probably want to add some type of opt-in form to get information from visitors that you can use for some sort of email marketing campaign. However, if instead you only want to add new content about once a month to keep your site fresh in the eyes of the search engines and otherwise keep a hands-off approach to the site, then you can always try contextual advertising or some other type of advertising service. Many monetization methods work well with authority sites, but it all depends on how much time you want to spend testing and optimizing your site.