4 Skills You Will Need To Run a Successful Authority Site

It’s go time, did you decide to pursue the authority site model after reading about this business model? Well as mentioned in our brief about authority sites, these do need a certain amount of time and skills.

This post will outline the skills you will have to master to be successful with it. This is just to give you an idea of what you’re getting yourself into and what parts of your skill set you should be looking to polish.

Each post on this blog will then cover an aspect of a skill in much more actionable detail.

When it comes to creating authority sites, I believe that it boils down to 4 core skills that have their sub branches. This is great because it only takes you to master 4 things to be able to generate passive income:

create promote engage convert

But, yet each of these 4 skills can be very deep and each sub skill itself is something that could take you years to learn.

The authority hacker will focus on the 20% that brings him the 80% of the results. These 20% will vary depending on your niche and your audience. It is important you know about all these skills and experiment to find what works best for you.

1 – Creating content

create concept

If you intend to help people at scale, you WILL need to create content that can be consumed again and again. Specifically content that focuses around solving problems people may have.

When I mention content usually, people think directly about content writing. But the internet is much broader than that. The web is now made of sounds, images, videos and text content. You need to embrace your inner imaginative self to create something that will feel appealing to your audience.

What I mean by creating content is you creating things such as:

  • Regular blog posts (like this one)
  • Bigger pillar pages on your site (like this one)
  • Photoshopped Images, diagrams and infographics (like the one above)
  • Podcasts and webinars
  • PDF documents to give away to your subscribers
  • Powerpoint presentations for slideshare
  • Explainer / How to videos

And more. Now each of these could be taken to the extreme and even be someone’s full time job but you must not forget what your goal is here. Your goal is not to produce the most slick looking content in the world. Your goal is to help people.

Therefore you do not have to feel bad if your photoshopped images do not look like an apple designer made them. Don’t worry either if your explainer videos are not of professional level.

Actually, sometimes the amateurish look raises the trust. People see you’re just a normal person trying to help, not a commercial company trying to sell them at all costs. As a result, they’ll trust you more.

As an example, here is a not very good quality “infographic I made for one of my sites on Pinterest. The information is good and helpful but the design qualities are… less than passable.

It still resulted in over 1500 pins, thousands of visits to my site and hundreds of opt ins. because people trusted the information.

When it comes to content, done is better than perfect. You’ll also find tutorials on how to create each type of content on Authority Hacker soon.

2 – Promoting content

promote concept

So you’ve put a lot of time and effort in trying to create compelling content that will solve your reader’s problems. Now it’s time to get it in front of them.

There is a common issue associated with promoting content. It is to find the balance between actually pushing it and not looking too spammy/self promotional. People hate overly self promotional people on the web and overdoing it can quickly back fire against you.

As a result, most people do not promote their content and simply hope for the best after they publish. Hint: most of the time nothing happens.

Some ethical content promotion activities include:

  • Commenting on related bog posts to attract other blogger’s attention
  • Find niche groups on popular social media sites and share it there.
  • Optimize your content for keywords with good search volumes on Google
  • Answering people’s questions on Q&A sites with a link to your content
  • Submitting your content as a news story on link sharing site
  • Buy paid traffic to your highest converting content

There are a lot more of these and video tutorials on how to do each of these will soon be produced.

The real challenge for content promotion is “knowing the tricks” to be efficient. Promotion can be long and tedious if you do not use an optimised process. That’s why a lot of people give up on it ending up with poor results for their sites.

3 – Engaging your audience

engage conceptAfter you have done some promotion for your content, your website will start receiving traffic.It is now time to focus on the #1 goal of your authority site: build a long term relationship with your readers. Of course, you can not build a relationship with EVERYONE visiting your site.

That’s why you need to focus on those who loved your content so much they decided to take action. Be it commenting on your article, sharing your article on their social stream or signing up to your mailing list. You need to get back to them and show you care!

A few engagement activities include:

  • Monitoring your brand on the web and replying to those who mention it.
  • Setting up an email auto responder to email more great info to your subscribers.
  • Thank, follow and discuss with people sharing your content on social media.
  • Reply to people who comment on your content and try and help them.

Apart from the email part, one of the great thing with these activities is that they’re public. This means that others can see you interacting with people. This in itself is a form of promotion if your interaction is positive and can drive more engaged users to your site.

Engagement is where most web entrepreneurs drop the ball. They focus on getting as much traffic as possible but let down the people who actually show interested in what they do. This often results in poor site performances.

But don’t worry, once again, we’ve got plenty of engagement tips and trick to share with you on this site.

4 – Converting your audience

convert concept

Well now you’ve put all this time and effort into building, promoting and engaging, it’s time to get paid. By that time your readers should trust your advice and converting shouldn’t be a challenge.

Authority sites have a much easier time converting people over those who try to direct sell their audience. That’s because you’re now high in their esteem.

But there is still a challenge in converting. You have to find products or services that are both top notch quality and pay you well enough to justify all your time and efforts.

Conversion activities include things such as:

  • Selling ad space on your site to relevant advertisers
  • Searching for affiliate offers that can be helpful to your audience
  • Creating sales pages/emails for the products you’ve decided to promote
  • Creating products & services to fill a gap in the market

The aspect of conversion most authority hackers struggle with is setting up analytics. By failing to do that, they fail to understand what works and doesn’t work for them.

If you don’t actively keep optimising your conversions, your only way to grow revenue is to create more content. But you will have to go through the whole process again.

It is often easier to take what you have and tweak it rather than re creating a whole new chunk of content.

We will of course be creating tutorials on how to find the best monetisation strategy and optimise it for maxed out revenue.

To Conclude

There are a lot of activities you will have to carry on as part of running an authority website. However, this is part of the fun, you will rarely be doing the same thing all day. You will also get to learn a ton about how the internet works and how people interact with it.

The main challenge although is to balance your time and finding what works best for you in order to put more focus on it. This is why analytics are so important. They help you make the right decisions. This can be the difference between growth and stagnation for your site.

Do you have any question about the process of creating authority sites? If so, let me know in the comments.

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  1. Hi Gael
    Nice content you got here. I have a question for you, as you said above in the comment to drop $150-200 in each and then spend a week promoting the heck out of each piece, how many words count for each article?

    Anyway, awesome read and looking forward to more posts!


    1. Hey Imer,

      It’s not really a word count thing, it’s a value thing. If the article has value the word count is irrelevant.


  2. Just stumbled upon this website, which has a great marketing philosophy that I find really appealing. Will try to go through each of your blogspots in the upcoming days, as authority sites are for people who are in the game for the long term. So I have to say thanks for even starting this site, and I’ll do my best to learn more from it!


  3. Bhuboy Villanueva

    Love you site and the actionable tips you are giving, I am also listening to your podcasts in my car, and I decided to start reading your blog from the start, to have a good a foundation and applying the tips as I read and go. thanks for helping us, hopefully someday, like you, I can work on my business fulltime from home so I can resign from my work here abroad and be with my family.

  4. Thank you for this very helpful article Gael. I really enjoy reading your posts as they just seem to really click with me. I’m really excited and interested in starting an authority site now.

    Thanks again,


  5. Hi Gael,

    I love the your way to explain each and everything in very simplify manner. You really motivate me about authority sites. I am reading your blog from last two days.. really happy.

    Keep it up

    Chirag Nayyar

  6. Thanks for this Gael, really helpful, as a designer I often emphasise on appearance over helpfulness.

    PS. Looks like your Pinterest infographic link is broken ;)

  7. Thanks for the reply Gael, appreciated and interesting insights as ever – i have a few ideas in mind and I am looking at creating a project schedule for an old site that i started ages ago and left (ranks for a few terms in the mid 20s – 20k exact sch pm across the terms).


  8. Hey again Gael, love your content/design/actionable ideas.

    One thing I haven’t seen yet and I was curious about, money and time. These are key elements to building quality authority sites and like any business can be the roadblocks to people building this type of sustainable business model.

    I also expect this is why people take a greyer approach ;)

    How do you manage the time aspect to health ambition (being a primary focus example), how was this done initially?

    I expect it cost alot in terms of content to get started, this could be an issue for a new starter… how would you recommend they start with a lower budget?


    1. Hey Stu,

      Thanks for dropping by. In terms of managing time for Health Ambition, we’ve recently shifted to a project based system whereby each piece of content produced has its own goal and a piece of work tends to be a batch of content. We no longer publish ongoingly as we found it was not the best ROI for our business. So in terms of time management it works very much like a SPRINT developers do when they develop web app. Except we develop content instead.

      As for the cost if you do it in SPRINTs you can really lower it by not producing too much content and market it a lot. If I started a new authority site these days, I’d start with 3 pieces of content and make them epic. I’d be happy to drop $150-200 in each and then spend a week promoting the heck out of each piece. It might sound scary to drop that much money in a single piece of content but if you play with this much budget you can easily out do the competition, get custom graphics, hire a specialist etc. As a result you can get a ton of links/shares/sign ups/follows.

      Better model than spending 30x$30 to post every day IMO :).


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