Creating a high-authority site with great content and lots of high-quality backlinks is a time taking process.
In general, you’ll need at least a year to establish an authority site from scratch and start making money from it consistently.
According to a research study by Ahrefs, only 5.7% of the top 10 search results are less than 1 year old.
Then why not just stick to the niche site model and create a dozen small sites that earn $50-$100/month instead of trying to compete with the big guys by following the authority site model?
Good question, even though it sounds a bit outdated today.
But I’ll give you a detailed answer to it in this article.
What Is A Niche Site?
Before going any further, let me quickly explain what I call a niche site and an authority site.
A niche site is hyper-focused on a very small sub-niche and is created for the sole purpose of making money through AdSense or affiliate sales.
This is why almost all of its content targets commercial keywords and it mostly publishes product reviews, comparisons, and direct sales content.
Instead of targeting a set of problems, niche sites are created around a very specific set of products.
Here’s a site called “10 Best Keyboards” which fits the niche site description perfectly.
Most niche sites use keyword-rich domain names (for example, buybestelectricshaversformen.com) and their homepage has several thousand words to optimize the page for their primary keywords.
Most of the time, their homepage is simply a mammoth article which has the best and the most detailed content of the site filled with affiliate links and ad units.
They don’t have many articles other than the homepage and whatever content they publish is basically designed to drive authority to the homepage.
Such sites usually make a few hundred dollars a month using grey hat and black hat SEO because they can’t compete with higher authority sites that have big budgets for top quality links like HARO.
They get links from PBNs and risky sources and ultimately get tacked down by Google algos and die a silent death.
However, some marketers keep it totally white-hat even with niche sites. But in that case, they create more content that’s focused on long-tail keywords.
Still, their objective is to make a couple of hundred dollars a month at max.
The marketers who run such sites also know that their lives are pretty short which is why they try to make as much money as quickly as possible before moving on to the next micro niche site.
What Is An Authority Site?
Theoretically, an authority site is also a niche site in the sense that it targets a well-defined niche.
However, the overall blogging approach is completely different for an authority site.
Authority sites are also designed to make money but not by publishing sales content only. Instead, they take the more long-term route by comprehensively covering a niche and its closely related niches.
NerdFitness is a great example of a super high-authority site that’s focused on a specific niche but also addresses the other closely related topics.
Headphones Addict is another great example of an authority site that promotes different types of headphones and earns money from affiliate marketing but also publishes some really useful info content to establish authority.
Authority sites focus on building authority in the niche by publishing content that’s focused on the problems of the readers. Most of their content targets the questions of the readers and answers them in detail by sharing in-depth guides, tips, and instructions.
As a result of their great content, authority sites get backlinks from other reliable publications in their niche. The more backlinks they have, the more authority they gain, and the higher their Domain Authority gets.
Instead of selling directly, authority sites first attract search traffic using informational content that’s built around long-tail keywords, then convert that traffic into email subscribers, and then pith the products that they’re selling or promoting.
Establishing such a site takes time and much more effort.
But once established, an authority site can grow into a full online business and keep earning for years.
Should You Start An Authority Site Or Multiple Niche Sites?
I’m going to keep this blog post short.
This is a question that’s been asked since I started out online over 5 years ago.
It was debatable then, but today… there’s no denying that one site beats multiple sites.
The way Google’s changed over the past couple of years has completely blocked out these “batches” of micro sites from ever becoming profitable.
Back then, it was easy to throw up a few sites and rank them quickly. There was no sandbox unless you did something to trigger it.
Today, the sandbox is real for every new site you build. New sites take longer to gain any traction in the search engines.
Most people get frustrated and either:
1. Give up
2. Lose interest and start working on a new site.
3. Blast thousands of links at it hoping maybe that will give it the nudge it needs.
Whichever you choose, the outcome is the same: You’re dumping what could have been and moving on to something new.
Today, it’s all about authority
It takes longer to build authority to a new site, but once you do… it becomes SO MUCH more profitable than it was in the past.
Because Google gives so much extra weight to these trusted domains, getting your site to this level makes it easier than it ever was to scale niche sites to a full-time income.
That’s the exact reason you often hear me say: It might be harder to get to $100/month today, but it’s a lot easier to get to $100/day than ever before.
At that stage, your domain has so much power over all the other sites out there. Instead of building a new site, you can just build it out as a category on your own domain.
That’s what I’m doing every single day to grow out my income.
There’s no debating whether a single site or multiple sites is better anymore. It’s always the single site.
Growing them out, building authority, then taking advantage of how much weight is given to authority sites in the search engines.
That’s the fastest, and most sustainable way of building a full-time income with Adsense niche sites.
What’s your plan with the site?
Most people who like the idea of throwing up dozens of micro sites are chasing after the “passive income” dream of just not having to touch the site at all.
Don’t get me wrong… Adsense niche sites are extremely passive. It’s one of the main reasons why I’m so drawn to sticking with this business model.
BUT… Answer this question:
Would you rather have a site generating $500-1000/month passively without needing to do any work at all?
Would you rather take that site, continue to work at it, and grow it out to a $5000-$10,000/month business?
I hope it’s the second one for you. I was actually surprised at how many people I’ve spoken with who would rather sit comfortably with a $500-$1000/month site.
Once you get to a point where you’re site makes $500-$1000/month, it’s so much easier than it was before to scale that traffic, and grow that income at a rapid pace.
You need to take advantage that you have at this point. Sure, it’s great to not have to do anything and get a nice fat cheque every month.
OR… you could realize the asset you have at that point and grow it out into a very lucrative income.
The hardest part is getting to your first $100-$1000/month, after that, all that’s required is utilizing your site’s authority to scale hard.
So if you’re considering turning Adsense into a real income for you, think authority. Think of growing out a massive asset for yourself.
Don’t think in terms of the past. Don’t plan on building out a batch of sites.
Building a single authority site and growing it out is the fastest way you’ll get to a full-time income with Adsense.
27 thoughts on “Authority Site vs. Multiple Niche Sites – What’s The Better Strategy To Make Money Online?”
Congrats on the launch Chris!
The sales page looks really nice.
Thanks, Tung 🙂
Great points as always Chris,
I agree with you that its far much better to have a single site than building multiple sites. You might get overwhelmed and confused in the process of trying to manage multiple sites and this end up to you loosing control and thereby abandoning all.
So I’ll go the single authority site model :).
One question please: Do you have any way you check the sites ranking for any particular KW on Google? I’m getting a weird results here :).
BTW: Just checked out your new course, an awesome landing page indeed. Would have loved to enrol but don’t have much money on me right now, will check it out later. Congrats
Thanks, Theo! I use serpbook for tracking rankings. What tool is giving you weird results?
Thanks for your response Chris,
What I mean is after you’ve figured out a particular KW and you want to see sites that are already ranking for it on Google, how do you normally refine your search so that you’ll get exactly what you want.
I just typed the KW on Google and most of the sites coming up are confusing. I’m search for hobby related KWs.
Oh, I see. How come they are confusing?
I just google the keyword myself to check out the competition. You can use incognito search to remove your personalized results.
Will check it out :). Thanks for your support so far
I just wanted to leave a quick comment about your new product RankXL. I’ve read thru it quickly and found it is direct and too the point, yet easy to understand.
I’ve purchased a good amount of products over the year but none have seemed to resonate with me as yours did. Now my next challenge for myself is to buckle down, get serious, stop looking for bigger and better and put your words into action!
Thank you for a great product. Best of luck to you in all of your endeavors.
Thanks, Cynthia. Really appreciate you joining the course and leaving your review.
is toptenreviews.com a good role model for this?
Hey Charles. Yeah, looks like they’re using an affiliate strategy for monetization, but the model is similar.
Thanks for your respond! I see. I’ll use their framework (hybrid with yours) for my upcoming niche site. They must be making 6 figures with that site! Funny thing is, all of their niches are in subdomains, do you think this strategy is better (vs. directory like mysite.com/niche-keyword) ?
That’s a long debate that everyone has mixed feelings about, but I’m on the side of sub-directories.
Unless your site gets massively large like about.com or ehow, I would stick with subdirectories rather than subdomains.
Great post chris , one site is great, but what if I am interested in different topics, like personal finance, pets , photography. I couldnt put them in one site for sure right. how do you approach on building it, as I’m not a big fan of the magazine (write about anything and everything) style.
Hey Bhuboy, for something like that, you’ll be better off creating multiple sites, one for each topic. They’re too broad to group together into one site.
But , I assume that I need to build one at a time , like to topic of this post. Lets say I do that, and focus on what site, when and how can you tell that the one you selected is good and profitable or its time to stop working at it and go the next project, thanks
Yup, you would want to build one at a time. That’s a tough call to make with many things to look at.
One way is to determine if it seems really difficult to build long-tail traffic even with 20 strong links.
Hi Chris, congratulations on all the blog.
I have a question on one site or many sites.
In principle it is always better understand one site today, but always within the same large niche?
For example, if your site is health, would you try to attack a niche fashion?
Or you think is best for each meganiche a portal apart to avoid mixing disparate themes.
Sorry for my English is not very good and I preferred to translate with translate.google
Thank you very much for answering.
Hi Pedro. Health and fashion are too unrelated to target on the same domain. And they’re large topics on their own to need to expand that far out.
If I wanted to get into health AND fashion, I would do it with 2 separate sites. But work on one at a time.
Chris Thank you for the answer.
I have read the whole blog, when I say whole is all items in one evening is amazing to see how you say a lot of things about how to make a blog and make money with Adsense.
The main problem in this world and in almost all areas of life is to be consistent and something that also recalcas.
As for the answer, is what I imagined, thanks again.
If you were so kind to answer other questions that I have, when structures blog and attack a large keyword timeless, you prefer to use page or post.
The problem I see with pages is that if you place yourself that page within a category means that the URL extends at least another word supposedly google says that fades from the fifth floor, still analyzing many very large domains almost all use the URL structure http://domain.com/category/post-or-page/
Think in a large domain is always better to leave well http://domain.com/post type URLs or use the permalink /% postname% /
I have seen instances of users using only the latter option, although the post-house is located in a category.
You think google just read the correct structuring although the permalink is blog /% postname% / or category must appear in the URL that is displayed.
In principle I understand that reading the structure would not be necessary, but the truth is I’m not quite sure.
I prefer to keep url’s as short as possible (while making sense), and don’t use the category inside the url for each post.
As always nice content you got here! This is also my question being in my mind before either One Site Or Multiple Sites. Agree with you, I would choose the second one.
Anyway, just wanted to say this post was awesome and keep up the good work.
As the end of the year draws near, I have decided to, for the remainder of 2017 & part of early next year, to just focus on one site.
It is great advice to sometimes not chase multiple sites and just work on one for a prolonged period of time.
With more effort, quality content and promotion, the site is sure to just keep growing – and bring in more money that can then be reinvested to grow it even further.
It is a similar way of thinking when considering which business to enter online or offline: to pursue multiple business ideas at once vs. focusing on just one business idea for awhile.
Well said. Thanks, Phil!
I’m interested on finance, health, internet marketing, computers niches. Should i start a separate blog for each of them or should i create different categories on same blog? any suggestion?
Chris…. Ive owned a multi topic review site for 3 years… got it to $1300/month before it got neglected… working on getting it back now… but my question, as has been mentioned before… (is this still the right thing to do in 2019).. ie: The site has multiple “not related” topis, for example I may review hair dryers and write handful of article to support a main monster article… then I may write a main mega article about lawn care in summer, and write a few supporting articles that link to it… so thats how my site sits right now..
I agree I need to totally flesh out a topic to the max with dozens if not hundreds of all “on topic” articles… and yes I see this working well when Im doing research… but I just wondered if we created a super category on my main site and that super category encompassed a main article and hundreds of related articles… so 5 years time the site would have thousands of articles spread across dozens of unrelated niches… do you think it would work?
Ive put a lot into the site and wouldnt want to lose what Ive put in… so if its best to put eah topic on its own domain Id be wanting to do it right so no link love, time served benefits are lost.. eek