Start Building An “Authority Blog” Before It’s Too Late

This is a guest post by Andrew Hansen.

I recently started a new “passion project” – a blog in the travel niche.

Like most projects, profit oriented or not, entering a new niche teaches many an interesting lesson.

This is a guest post by Andrew Hansen.

I recently started a new “passion project” – a blog in the travel niche.

Like most projects, profit oriented or not, entering a new niche teaches many an interesting lesson.

Big Authority Sites Kickin Your Butt?

The travel niche is one where the search engine rankings are dominated by authority sites. In many instances, you can have keywords that are super low in organic search engine competition, but who’s Google front pages are dominated by 10 “review” type sub pages on big old domains that can take a lot of work to beat.

It can be the name of a tiny restaurant in some remote area with only 100 people searching it a month, and as long as someone’s been there and written a review, you’ll find a page, an page, a Yahoo travel page, AOL travel page, and if you’re lucky a Wikipedia page too. It can make it tough when you’re writing on a keyword that has almost no competition, but the best 10 sites are almost unbeatable if you have a new blog.

Of course they got this way because, being so big, having so much content and such a strong root domain that’s aged and with so many backlinks, anything that gets published on them hits the search engines with force.

They’re Taking Over The Web!

And the thing is, it’s not just the travel search market. We all lament the annoyances of having to compete for rankings against the ubiquitous and inevitable Wikipedia pages, Amazon pages, eBay pages, big article directory pages, social network pages, and so many others.

It’s more annoying still when you think that with every passing day, more and more of these authority type sites are appearing in every market on the web. Do you ever think that there’ll come a time when any profitable market will have it’s organic and paid advertising results dominated by big unbeatable authoritative websites? Do you fear a time when it becomes impossible for us little guys to compete?

Of course, it won’t be the end of the world. There’ll be other ways to generate traffic. BUT, the point of this post is that we’re NOT at that point yet… it’s NOT too late!

Making YOUR Blog An Authority Site

Any of us can do what it takes to make our website an authority in our niche, provided we continually work at it, and invest for the long term.

In fact, this has been the positive element of the lesson taught by the travel niche.

It’s been interesting to watch the speed and ease with which our blog’s content can now attain rankings in the search engines the older it gets, the more links we build to it, and the more posts we add.

It’s taken, so far, 5 months of solid link building, and creating about 50 pieces of content on an ongoing basis. But sure enough, we’re starting to be viewed as “an authority”. How do we know?

Our new posts get indexed in the search engines within half an hour with no linking but internal links… Our search spider activity is high. For more and more keywords each day, we manage to beat out those big bad authority sites.

A recent post we made served as a great example. It was a post we wrote on a little restaurant in a town called Bucerias in Mexico. While the competition NUMBER is tiny, on the front page we’ve got authority sites like Tripadvisor, Chowhound, AOL Travel and a big portal site for the area. All except one of which our site was able to beat with a brand new piece of content and zero backlinks. Why? Because we’re slowly becoming an authority.

If you take the time and invest for the future, build your backlinks continually and grow your content as your domain ages, it’s not too late for YOUR site to become an authority regardless of what niche it’s in.

And once you’re at authority status, the benefits aren’t just easier search rankings. Your new popularity will see more people mysteriously finding you, more people wanting to partner with you, more people wanting to advertise with you, more people seeking you out on the social networks, and so on and so on.

New authority sites are blooming in your niche right now whether you see it or not. Make your site one of them and you will reap the rewards.

Andrew Hansen is an affiliate marketing strategist, CEO of Dreamlife Softwares and blogger at His free techniques and strategies at show how to blog for easy affiliate revenue by dominating untapped, profitable search markets.


  1. I am interested i building an authority site also but like everyone knows high quality content is key. What if you arent an amazing writer? Should you start a blog and keep writing until you get better? Wont that make you blog low quality until your writing skills improve?

    Of course you can hire writer but that doesn’t work for me. I would like to be the one to produce the content to find my style and create a bond with the audience.

    Its almost like a catch 22. You cant have an authority site without good content but you cant write good content until you get better by writing which will usually be low quality content.

    1. Everything need time to be perfect. To be able to hire a writer we must at least have the ability to distinguish between good and bad content. The way to improve that ability is writting a lot.

      Get more feedback on what we write is also a good way to practice. It’s hard but it’s worth the time

  2. Thank you for providing such a good article. It made me become more passionate again to build my blog. Yes, getting impatience is my big hurdle that must be to overcome. It will be a long journey to become an authority blog, but I believe I will get there for sure. 🙂

  3. I've had my blog up for several months but I stopped at one point due to impatience but also because I wasn't sure if I using the right tactic. I'm glad to find this type of information as I continue to learn what I need to do to make my site better. I keep making changes for the better an expecting an increase in traffic over night but just from reading these comments I've realized patience is the key, as well as a niche. Thanks for all the great insight.

  4. Great post. A partner and I just teamed up yesterday as a matter of fact to take on a massive niche in the travel industry. We're both good content builders and looking at the long-term of it. I'm thinking 18 months, 2 years just to get some decent cash coming in the door – and we'll be hammering it on content. Looking at 4-5 years to own this massive niche. Own, meaning – posts we wrote with a focus on a keyword phrase will show up top 10 all the time.

    The travel industry is still wide open – especially outside the USA. Wide open in the sense that you could own a big niche in a few years with serious effort.

    We just realized – man, we're working hard on 45 little sites… and not trying to be the big dog. We NEED to be the big dog in some niche. So we chose one. You should choose one too.

  5. Yup, the travel niche is tough; I;m a member of it. has been around since 1998 as a site for airplane photos, just recently I moved a blogspot blog over to it and most of the traffic followed. It is really hard to rank though. I actually rank on a keyword of going from Miami to Ft. Lauderdale as I have some data specific to that. So in this niche, you try to be an authority on a part of the niche and that usually works.

    I have a sub-niche at which works well, but there is lots of competition. But I'm slowly gaining an authority there I think. With as you say hard work and continuous posts and providing valuable content.

    Funny you write this guest post as I'm just trying to break into a totally new and untried niche, cooking with It is an uphill battle, but the keywords are there so I'm working on ranking well for those. Hard to get the experts in the field to follow my little site though :-), but I press on .

    Good luck everyone, keep writing!

  6. Yes I accidentally became an authority blogger in the travel niche and manage to make it on the front of google for certain keywords almost every time below the top 4 big hitters. I didn't start out with this plan in mind, I just wanted to write. It evolved and it was all timing and content.

  7. Definitely have to agree here: the time to move is now. 2 years from is going to be too late.

    There is so much to know, and the amount you need to know seems to grow daily, people getting into this game two years from now are going to have incredibly high hurdles to clear.

  8. That is some great insight. I was having a little planning session yesterday and this was actually a big part of my process. I know that it will take time to be viewed as an authority. My goals at the end of that little brainstorming session were pretty similar to what you said (wish I saw this first) producing content, relationship building, and time. I can't allow myself to get complacent or lazy because Financially Digital plans on being an authoritative power house!

  9. I think one of the keys to being an authority site is to just produce as much quality content as possible. Second to that is promoting your content to social networks.

  10. Good, relevant information. It's hard to build an authority site on your own, which is why I always prefer to hire writers right out of the gate, if I can.

  11. Thanks Alex, you're definitely on the right track. You'll hit that “critical mass” before long and your traffic will start to take off. Keep up the good work.

  12. My blog is still very young and I have had spikes in traffic based on various tactics that I have tried, but as a general rule, I have almost none and sometimes its hard to keep yourself really pumped, but you keep on keeping on, posting unique content and posting links to valuable reference sites. SO when I come along and read a post like this it gives me renewed strength and reminds me that there is a grand purpose in all that I am doing.
    Thanks Andrew, and might I add – Really well written!!

  13. There is something surprisingly satisfying when one of your pages ranks above the big boys in your field, it makes all the hard work feel worthwhile and spurs you on. The key is pure hard work and sometime sheer bloody mindedness when you enter a niche which is ruled by some big boys as I found out when I set up a movie review website.

  14. Definitely something to consider. More and more it is the authority sites that dominate but as stated the key is to always be building your own authority through new content and adding backlinks.

    Bloggers have an advantage as you are already creating content that is easy to reuse in other ways.

  15. I do a travel blog. I know it's everyone's “fantasy” to blog about travel, but it's tough. Trip Advisor is like a brick wall and there are similar sites popping up daily. I'm not saying it's impossible, but you'll definitely have your work cut out for you, even if you go niche.

  16. I think authority is the singe biggest key to getting traffic and being able to sell product on your blog. In the off line world, establishing yourself as an authority is the key to being that “go to guy.” The same applies to blogging. You want to be the guy (or gal) whom people think about when they have a question in your niche, and you want to be the guy that search engines think about when someone has that question. Great article!

  17. I know what you mean about big authority sites and search rankings. Blogger is one that always irked me. I started out on Blogger a few years back, but quickly decided that I needed my own domain. I bought it, put up a much better site that I'd had on Blogger, and quickly found that I got NO search traffic.

    It took me months of work to get the search traffic even up to the point that I'd been getting almost right off the bat at Blogger.

  18. Great post Andrew!

    It is frustrating competing against authority sites in S.E.R.Ps. But I agree that months of solid link building will definitely pay off in the long run. I am witness that now. Thanks for sharing!!

  19. I agree the link building is HUGE.. I am not working on getting stronger links coming in.Write good contentKeep content focused on what your blog is aboutPromote your contentBuild the back linksSEO your blogBuild connections with top bloggers in your nicheKeep it going at least 6-12 monthsDo this and the authority Luv will come.side note.. Awesome sales page 🙂

  20. You're right John, it's about building a great base of content and sticking at your blog long enough to get over that hump, and it's also about the all important link building. Plenty of links, particularly from sites who are already considered authoritative will accelerate your growth towards authority greatly.Andrew

  21. Good read Andrew… Making myself an authority site is one thing I'm currently undergoing and with what seems like little success at times. Of course time is the key here I'm sure as my site has been going for only a couple of months. I just want big things fast. Ha! Isn't that what we all want.I'll keep the Rock Star Movement plowing forward and keep working on that authority thing. Thanks buddy…

  22. This was an enjoyable read, as I'm trying to learn about 'authority sites'. “Our new posts get indexed in the search engines within half an hour with no linking but internal links… Our search spider activity is high. ” That's amazing!

  23. Very nice. Huge benefits to being an Authority site.But building and growing your blog as you normally do will make you an authority, so if you want a successful blog or authority blog, just keep working it like you normally do, the authority status will come.

  24. Yeah, I've seen that – once people get over the threshold and gain the status of an authority – the magic starts to happen – their traffic and comments skyrocket (spacerocket ?) and people and sites link back to it that previously didn't really care about it. It's a major shift in perception – and it's quite awesome. Congrats on your success with your travel blog – if you put in the hours and you produce awesome stuff, eventually you're going to make it – one way or another !

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