My Authority Site Revealed (Plus a Job Offer!)

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit: Dimitri C

The following is part of an ongoing series, The One Hour Authority Site Project. If you’d like to read more about it then click here!

I tend to get a little itchy when I’m not regularly publishing case study posts here on Leaving Work Behind.

After all, this blog was built upon a foundation of case studies — whether it was my first niche site, my first authority site, my information product, or something else entirely. It’s an area I don’t like to neglect, and yet I have been over the past few months.

Well, that’s about to change. This post represents the resurrection of my One Hour Authority Site Project and will be the first of several upcoming case study posts here on LWB. As always, I will be giving you a front row seat on every aspect of my present and future projects — including both my successes and my failures. Read on to find out more!

My Authority Site Story to Date

I launched the One Hour Authority Site Project with ambitious intentions back in September 2012. From then until February 2013 I published nearly sixty posts optimized for extremely low competition keywords in an attempt to rank in Google without any backlinking. In short, it didn’t work — Google wasn’t interested.

With that first experiment behind me, I decided to build links to the site through a content marketing strategy based around guest posting. I revealed my planned strategy in a post, which was (briefly) as follows:

  1. Tweak the site’s design
  2. Publish some “bloggy” content
  3. Create a list of target posts to guest post for
  4. Comment on the top ten blogs in my list
  5. Guest post on each blog in my list
  6. Create and share an infographic

I got to (and completed) step four on my list before other commitments distracted me. Before long the site was all but abandoned, left in the shadow of other (more profitable) projects. It’s not that I haven’t wanted to give the site a fair chance; it’s just that life has got in the way.

But the fact is this: I still believe in the site. I believe that if more people were to find it, they would find the content genuinely helpful. I believe that it has the potential to generate an income. I just need to give it a proper chance.

Well, this post is my very public way of promising to give it the chance it deserves.

My New (Rough) Plan

The first thing I have done is set myself a deadline — a date upon which I will decide the site’s fate. That deadline is 12th August 2013.

At that time the site must be able to support itself (e.g. pay for a writer to regularly update it with fresh content) or demonstrate the potential to do so. If the site is not in that position by the deadline, I will cut my losses and move on. I believe that setting a deadline will allow me to better appreciate the task at hand and act accordingly.

Until then, I know I have my work cut out. The situation is complicated somewhat by my lack of available time — my freelance work coupled with this blog and the book I am currently working on (incidentally, you can expect a case study on that soon) takes up most of my working hours.

That is why I am turning to you.

I Am Looking for a Writer

Update 11th June 2013: please note that the writing positions have now been filled. Thank you to everyone who submitted a pitch!

While I am not typically in the habit of outsourcing, I am going to make an exception here. I want to give one promising freelance writer the opportunity to work with me in developing my authority site.

To put it simply, I want to find me, circa September 2011 — a hungry freelance writer who has raw talent but little experience. My offer to you is simple: the opportunity to earn some money and improve your blogging skills (and if the site takes off, who knows what else).

My initial plan is take a writer on board to write one article per week for the blog. I expect the job to expand from there but that is the baseline.

In short, I want someone who can take care of the content on the blog so I can take care of building links to the blog. Here’s my offer:

  1. A free copy of my guide to freelance writing (or a refund if you have already purchased it)
  2. A 30 minute Skype coaching call regarding your freelance business
  3. On the job training RE blogging best practice (i.e. headlines, style, structure, etc)
  4. $20 per post (500+ words)

I’m not just looking for any writer though; I’m looking for someone with very specific experience. Although I have been very keen to hide the identity of my authority site so far, I must now reveal it in the interests of explaining who I am looking for.

My Authority Site Revealed

So without further ado, cue the drum roll…my site is: freeonlinedatingadvice.net.

freeonlinedatingadvice.net

As someone who has dabbled in their fair share of online dating in the past (I met my girlfriend on Match), I thought the topic was both ideal for me to write about and also underserved in terms of quality content on the web. Furthermore, there are plenty of affiliate marketing opportunities with the commissions offered by the likes of Match and eHarmony.

My choice to reveal the site’s identity at this juncture is to make it clear what I am looking for in an ideal world: someone who has experience in online dating. That is my main consideration.

Of course, if no one comes forward with online dating experience I will have to to adjust my sights accordingly, so don’t feel put off if you are not an online casanova! I will consider all applications. Furthermore, if you do not think you suit the job but know someone that might, let them know or tweet a message out to your followers.

Here’s what I want from each applicant:

  1. A Pitch: i.e. why should I hire you?
  2. Samples: examples of your work.
  3. Headlines: three post ideas relating to topics that I have not already covered on the blog.

If nothing else this is an opportunity to test your pitching skills without fearing an unfriendly response — if you want me to critique your pitch then just mention it in your email; I’ll be happy to.

So what are you waiting for? Contact me now and let’s get the ball rolling!

Looking Forward

I’ve got a lot of work to do in terms of building “organic” links, so it is important that content is sorted out with relatively little involvement from me. I am also excited about the fact that I can help a budding freelancer develop their skills and nudge them in the right direction.

I hope you’ve got plenty to say in the comments section below. Now that the site has finally been revealed, perhaps you have thoughts on the viability of the niche I have chosen. Maybe you want to know more about the writing opportunity. Or perhaps you have a completely unrelated question. Whatever it may be, fire away in the comments section below — I’d love to hear from you!

Comments

  1. says

    Nice Tom! We all need a little more love in the air,

    You’ve already created a good pile of content for it, is that a strategy you recommend when building a site before publicizing and targeting your market?

    Love your drive and love of finding new thngs to dabble in :D

    • says

      Hey Joe,

      I personally think that when building a blog, if you intend to get good search engine traffic you should begin by creating a lot of keyword-optimized content that wouldn’t typically be considered “bloggy.” Once you’ve got a good base of that kind of content, then launch with the more “bloggy” stuff. That’s just one approach though…

      Cheers,

      Tom

  2. says

    I’m loving the opportunity to work with the guy who inspired me pursue a freelance career in the first place.

    Writing about online dating is certainly going to be different, but I’m certainly up for the challenge.

    It’s really great that you’re doing this!

  3. says

    Hey Tom,

    That’s not a topic that interests me but I wanted to wish you luck with the site. It’s a pretty competitive niche but could be very profitable if it takes off.

    Mike

  4. JM says

    Hi Tom,

    I have Internet dating experience (for my sins), but I’m way to busy to write a weekly post but am happy to write a one-off guest post on any aspect you like. Below is a link to my personal blog outlining my often sad and usually baffling dates which might give you an idea of what you’d like a post on – perhaps the ‘serial dater’ experience, or maybe the casually-hinted-at man who was wearing a nappy under his combats in the pub. Incredibly this incident happened on a date AFTER he grabbed a small child’s arm in a beer garden then argued with the kids dad. In retrospect, I should have made a run for it then…

    They might brighten up your weekend anyway!

    http://brightonwhite.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Internet%20Dating

  5. says

    Hey Tom

    Great idea and great opportunity for one of your readers. I was tempted so I could get a refund on the course but it’s paid for itself threefold already.

    I considered “pitching” for the experience but decided there will be others with more experience in the niche, that said I may still do so for the critique.

    Whatever I decide I wish you every success with this venture and hope your prodigy appreciates the magnitude of the opportunity.

    Regards

    Rob

  6. says

    Hi Tom,

    “One Hour Authority” seems like an oxymoron if you ask me…I am carrying out a similar challenge over at my blog which seems to be the “Every Hour of the Day Authority Site”

    I had a look through quite a few of your posts..the content looks good and carries real value but on-page SEO could be better (did you know you are running 2 SEO plug-ins on this site at the same time, not sure if this is intentional as part of an experiment)

    I really hope this works out for you but feel you may need to display a bit more patience to let things come to fruition, it is a heavily crowded industry you are stepping in to…

    All the best and I look forward to reading more!

    P.S. – Optimi*z*ed is spelt with an *s* :)

    • says

      Hi Paul,

      You’re right about the two plugins — I had one installed temporarily but it’s gone now :-) If you have any other suggestions RE onsite SEO I’m all ears!

      Cheers,

      Tom

      P.S. I generally spell in American English since Americans make up the bulk of my audience :-)

  7. says

    Ironically, I haven’t replied posted a comment because I’ve been busy writing 10 articles on a related topic….

    While I know it must be a disappointment that your authority site hasn’t quite panned out due to the lack of time that you’ve been able to devote to it, on the bright side at least it’s because you’ve been working on other worthwhile pursuits in terms of your business..

    • says

      That’s right! I’m not beating myself up about but it deserves a fair chance, especially given the amount of effort I’ve put into it so far.

  8. says

    Hey Tom,

    Great post. I just checked out your authority niche site as well and I’m amazed about the quality. Eventhough I don’t have any issues finding dates offline/online I found it quite interesting to read. I think I spent 5+ minutes on your site just out of curiosity.

    Have you considered adding some more professionally looking theme so it wouldn’t look like any other “review” type of website? Or you planning to add it once you get yourself ranked somewhere on Google?

    In either way good luck with it.

    • says

      Hey Mike,

      Good question. My opinion is that there is little point on spending your time on a more professional looking theme until you can reasonably calculate the benefit. Or to put it another way, if no one is looking at the site then the design is going to be of no consequence! Once I start building an audience, if I notice that engagement metrics (bounce rate, time on site, etc) are off then I will consider sprucing up the theme. Until then I’ll concentrate on creating content and building traffic.

      Cheers,

      Tom

  9. says

    I thought about starting a site on relationship niche almost a year back but later dropped the idea after putting on few articles since the CPC was way too lower. Then I did some aggressive keyword research and found a great keyword on which I’m working right now. Anyway, good luck with your site.

  10. says

    Hi Tom

    Sounds like a very fun idea! I would love to get involved even though I don’t have first hand experience. I’ve been following your P90X blog as well; my boyfriend and I started Insanity a while back but we haven’t been very successful. (Oops) Will be sending you an email shortly. ;)

  11. says

    Love the idea Tom! Id like to apply- can you give me an idea of your deadline please? Ive started two new projects this wk (bad timing) so I need to priorItise! Thanks Katie :)

    • says

      Hey Katie,

      I’ve had a lot of applications so far so if you’re busy it’s probably not the right time to be honest. I’ll be looking to move forwards very quickly.

      Cheers,

      Tom

  12. says

    Looking forward to working with you, Tom. It’s a really promising site, and it’ll be great to see you build it into something with clout in the dating niche. (I personally think it’s a wonderful niche–and the online dating blog community I’ve found on Twitter is a really lively and supportive one.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>