Authority Site Model Vs Niche Site Model – Which One Suits You ?

It’s important to know what you are going to do when it comes to internet marketing. Have you ever seen an information product that says something like “I Make $700 a day with just 2 hours work and now you can too”.

Sounds pretty enticing.

It ticks all the hot buttons for someone desperately trying to succeed online.

But when you read the fine print or buy the product itself, it turns out that you have to do something that you don’t have any talent or skill for or simply aren’t comfortable doing (unethical or clashes with your values).

So you’re back on the hamster wheel of opportunity, look for the next crumb of comfort. And that’s why I like to ask or at least find out what I have to do to make a scheme or a model work.

And this feeling has inspired me to talk about what you can expect to do if you decide to follow and authority site model or a niche site model.

The Authority model

As a bit of a disclaimer, there is no clear cut definition of what an authority site is. If you are a quantum physicist and have discovered some new information on sub atomic particles, you could put up a one page blogger blog and it would be an authority on the topic. And depending on how much of an authority or how unique your information is there are varying degrees of authority site.

For the point of this article, an authority website is something that would be developed by an online entrepreneur looking to “exploit” a niche that has money making potential. Whilst being intimately involved in the niche might be a plus, it isn’t a prerequisite if you consider yourself an online marketer or entrepreneur trying to make money – in others world running a business.

So an authority site would probably concentrate on an evergreen niche that had proven money making potential in it.

We’re talking about

  • business and making money
  • health and fitness
  • relationships

These are primal needs, want and desires in humans. These needs, wants and desires equate to opportunities for online entrepreneurs.

If you went down the authority model, you would be focusing on one site and you’d be getting to know the market and the people interested in that market very well.

Your authority site would first try to help these people and then sell them stuff once you had established credibility and trust – authority for short.
You would do this in a number of ways.

Producing fine content that addressed issues people faced and presenting solutions.

You may also engage with the people in the market more too. For instance a forum could be created that allowed people to talk to others about issues within the niche.

In effect, the site would become the hub of a community of people.

So what would this entail for someone embarking on this model

commitment to the niche and the site. It will take time to establish authority and during that time, you probably wouldn’t be making much money.

If would require writing or producing lots of content – this could be outsourced but probably not if you want to present yourself as much of an authority as the website.

Eventually, you would have to produce your own products in the niche of your choice.

In short a niche product is plenty of work in the short term for a longer and more stable reward in the future.

It’s a safer model than the niche site model once you get over the initial “start up”. It is less likely to be affected by things like Google updates as it won’t derive all it traffic from the search engines. Given the type of niche it is in, it is unlikely to change much or even fizzle out like a niche product or issue might.

Think delayed gratification when you think Authority site.

The niche model

The niche model is at the opposite end to the authority model when it comes to delayed gratification.

Niche sites are about exploiting keywords or trends in a market. They cash in and then might easily fizzle out.

They are about ranking and getting free traffic – so that means you will be doing plenty of SEO work.

The content on the site might not be as important as the SEO.

You won’t really have to know the market or the people in the market either. It’ll always help but it’s not as essential as in the Authority model.

Niche sites are usually about selling products so it would be more product focused. You would be reviewing products and writing a bout them.

Putting up the site would be quick. You could probably have a site up and running in a day.

Most of the work would be in building backlinks.

This can be quite a tedious process but it can also be outsourced.

In fact, the niche model would be easier to outsource than than authority model in my opinion. It would be easier to create a factory process feel to a niche model than than authority.

Depending on your viewpoint, a niche model could be incredibly scattered brained or ADD or quite interesting.

You might be writing about Monster High dolls and redirecting people to Amazon one week and then reviewing an ebook or ecourse on weight loss.

The work would be varied or infuriating depending on your mindset.

Ultimately there is less commitment to each website you create. This could be a blessing if a website ranks and gets traffic or a curse if you have 20 or so sites that you don’t have time to promote and consequently get zero traffic.

The niche site model is also more risky.

Basically, Google don’t like niche sites or sites with thin content. It is getting harder and harder to rank them. It’s also harder to keep them ranked.

So, your work could just be a case of staying one step ahead of Google or adapting to whatever Google does next.

Some might even say that it isn’t a business model given that vulnerability it has to external entities.


An Authority site model is one site that requires greater commitment at the start but seems more stable in the long run.

A niche site model is less commitment per site, quicker results (which could be good or bad) but greater risk in the long term.

A niche site has a quicker proof of concept but the vision is limited by comparison to an authority site.

One Response to “Authority Site Model Vs Niche Site Model – Which One Suits You ?”

  • Ray Boreham on June 15, 2012

    Interesting article, Ade. I haven’t put up any niche sites, but, despite Google’s apparent disdain for them, I may give it a try. I’m an Amazon Associate, so could try promoting stuff from there. We’ll see.


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