Choosing between an authority site vs niche site as the way forward opens up a can of worms for many. Although the choice seems simple enough, there are subtle differences that will affect a person’s future outlook towards internet marketing.
Just a few words about an authority site. This is a site that contains a lot of content and is well established in a particular niche. Sites like NYTimes are authority sites in the news niche. Wikipedia is a giant in the information niche. They all have one thing in common – many pages of content that are regularly updated.
A niche site, on the other hand, is a site that focuses on a specific nice. I am tempted to say sub-niche but don’t really want to complicate matters. But for those who want to know what a sub-niche is, it basically is a topic that forms part of a larger topic. An example would be gluten free recipes that is part of the larger recipes niche. Another common trait is that niche sites are usually much smaller having a few pages, or to be more precise, much less content than authority sites. And usually they are not constantly updated with fresh content.
Pros and Cons of Authority Site vs Niche Site
So what is the dilemma? New internet marketers get confused as to which type of site to build. Do they go for an authority site with lots of pages? Or do they go for a niche site, dealing with a specific topic and less content. It really depends on the individual but here are a few pointers as to the pros and cons of each type of site:
Trying to build an authority site means that you must be very familiar with your topic of choice. You must not choose a topic that you feel you can write about and then run out of ideas. This is because your site will be deemed to be incomplete by search engines who expect certain topics to be covered in your budding site. If this happens, search engines will penalise your site and it will not rank well. On the other hand, if you are just familiar with a topic and did your keyword research, then you should be able to build a niche site that feels more complete.
Another thing to keep in mind is that most niches already have authority sites within that niche. This means that you will be competing with long established sites who are high in search engines rankings. Trying to stake your place on the first page of Google with these competing sites will require tremendous effort, patience and perseverance from your end. You must ask the question: am I prepared to do all this with no guarantee of top positions in Google? If this is just a labour of love, then go ahead. For example I like writing about earning money online, covering tips and resources to do so. I know that the competition is tough but I still like writing about it so this does not put me off.
If you want your site to make money online, then a niche site is the best way forward. Although the rewards of having a highly ranked authority site are much bigger, it is much harder to get to page 1 of Google for a large niche. On the other hand, a well designed niche site competing in a smaller niche will get to page 1 of Google much faster. So you should be seeing financial rewards much quicker. So ask yourself this question – do I prefer less money but seeing money more quickly or waiting longer and hopefully seeing more money?
The Best Strategy
So what is the best strategy? I would prefer starting out with a niche site. Find a tight niche you are familiar with. Then as time goes by, your niche site could become an authority site for the larger niche your chosen niche is found within. There is nothing stopping a niche site from becoming an authority site. But start small and you could see rewards sooner than later.
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And seeing rewards, whether monetary or your site on page 1 of Google, will give you more motivation, encouragement and willpower to continue building your site.
So choose wisely between an authority site vs niche site and when you feel your site is complete then use the internet marketing strategy I explained here.