Building an Authority Site to 500+ Articles in 8 Months

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My buddy, Charlie, started a site in 2020 and published a ton of content. He’s going to tell us about it and what’s going on with the site now in 2021. Plus, he has something new in store — a brand new project. (Here is the original interview with Charlie on YouTube.)

— Doug

Hey there, I’m Charlie.

Back in March of 2020, I decided to take advantage of the “Work-From-Home” atmosphere and build a passive income website driven by high-quality content.

While I had experience building websites before, I never used WordPress – never tried being an Amazon Affiliate – and never published a massive amount of content.

Journey & Goals

My journey started by wanting to achieve $1000/month in passive income online by publishing 100 articles on my niche site.

I set this goal thinking 100 articles should get me to this goal. After learning more about the value of content, my plan changed.

I figured more content would speed up the process of growing my site and achieve my passive income goal at a faster rate.

This Month in a Nutshell

This initial journey post will document my journey: where it started, how it went, and where it is going. This journey is so important to my journey of building online passive income through niche/authority websites because it is the first!

You will see my thought process throughout and my outlook for the future. While my journey is still young (8 months old), I have learned that building a business takes a lot of planning and patience.

Let’s start by reviewing my earnings report thus far. Next, I will mention how my journey began as well as my path towards a massive content push.

Finally, I will wrap up by discussing what I have learned and my motivation for my next project.

Traffic, Earnings & More

Here is my organic search traffic from Google –

A good majority of this traffic has not yet had time to rank in Google. Also, my niche is seasonal (finding a profitable niche). Things started to get exciting in August (the last solid month of traffic for my niche).

Here are my results for organic users from Google search (once my site truly exited the “Google Sandbox”):

  • August organic search users – 7,516
  • September organic search users – 9,405
  • October organic search users – 9,910
  • November organic search users – 9,061
  • December organic search users – 9,231

The best months for my niche are the summer months: May, June, July & August.

For December, the site made over $350 – $200 from ads and $150 from Amazon Affiliate.

In total, the site made over $1200 – $650 from Amazon and $550 from ads.

While the earnings are underwhelming for a 500+ article site, I remain very optimistic. A large majority of my articles are waiting to rank in Google.

Additionally, it is a seasonal niche. I invested over $14k in content – time will tell how this investment plays out.

The Beginning – Picking a Niche, Hiring a “Mentor” & Writing My Own Content

Picking a Niche

When building passive income websites, online publishers have an extremely difficult and impactful decision to make early on – what niche should I choose?

Luckily for me, I immediately gravitated towards a hobby that I was passionate about. This specific niche worked for me because I enjoyed writing content about the topic and I knew more information than the average individual, which would also help with keyword analysis.

Hiring a “Mentor”

Just when I thought I had a great grasp on this concept, I decided to hire a “mentor”… aka someone in the community that charged me $400+ dollars to teach me how an Amazon Affiliate Marketing website worked, set up my website, as well as write and publish my first 7 articles.

At the time, I felt like I had no other choice. As I reminisce on that experience, I can justify spending that money to learn some of the early basics of building a passive income website.

Sadly, most of those articles were low quality but I’m thankful for that experience, as it taught me what low-quality content was!

If only I stumbled upon Doug Cunnington’s Youtube channel…

Writing My Own Content

Now that my website was live and already had 7 articles (despite the quality), I was so motivated to publish content.

Not all content that I published was perfect for targeting the appropriate keywords and bringing in organic traffic from Google.

I made a lot of mistakes.

But those mistakes were important to learn on my own. Especially before I started to outsource hundreds of articles to a team of writers.

The Massive Content Push

After learning more about how to grow my website, I became determined to publish more content. Having more content meant more traffic, more trust with Google, and hopefully, more money.

I decided to target informational content for my niche. I figured this traffic would be easier to grow, being less competitive, and broadened my universe of potential topics.

This is how much content I published since starting my site in April…

  • April – 45 articles (including the original 7 articles when the site was launched)
  • May – 45 articles
  • June – 89 articles
  • July – 157 articles
  • August – 95 articles
  • September – 23 articles
  • October – 30 articles
  • November – 32 articles
  • December – 10 articles

What will 2021 bring for my first authority site? 

Stayed tuned.

Parting Thoughts – Previewing Authority Site #2

Going through the steps and building your first passive income website is so important.

While my first website has not yet achieved the level of success that I’d hope, it taught me valuable lessons to start my next site!

So, what did I learn?

  1. I should target low-competition keywords
  2. I should have built better templates for writers to follow
  3. I needed to focus more directly on answering the question in the article (IN BOLD) – especially for response posts
  4. I should spend more money on articles targeting low-comp keywords vs. paying for backlinks – CONTENT IS KEY!
  5. I can’t lose hope too early. Patience is essential when growing an authority website.

Emphasizing the last comment, patience is needed. My site is only 8 months old!

But if you are in a similar position as me, take what you have learned from building your first site and BUILD ANOTHER SITE!

Next Quarter – Building an Authority Site to 1000 Articles in 2021

I decided it is now time to build my next website. As I wait for my current site to age (authority site #1), I want to start building my next asset.

My idea behind Authority Site #2 started by stumbling upon a website that had over 1200 articles.

I was amazed.

The website was 11 months old and had 450,000 keywords ranking with over 800,000 organic views from search (according to SEMrush and Ahrefs).

I liked how simple the website was and it started ranking articles by targeting underserved topics.

I would be silly to copy their topics as they already rank high for many of them. But, I will use that site’s approach and target similar articles for topics that they have not yet covered.

I use keyword tools like ubersuggest and ahrefs to get an idea of search volume and I try to go after keywords that I think I can win the snippet for. Competing for underserved topics is key.

Seeing success to that magnitude, I want to publish a lot of content.

My next journey is going to be HUGE: Publishing 1000 Articles!

The niche will be more competitive. The keyword analysis will be better.

The results = ?

Be sure to follow along on my Youtube channel where I will document the entire journey.

Also, stay tuned as I provide updates on my first authority site here on Niche Site Project.





About the author: After spending numerous years experimenting with different methods on how to make money online, I have decided to devote my efforts to building large content-rich websites. I have built 2 authority websites – one with over 500 articles and another with 200+ articles. The second site will have 1000 articles by August…Follow my Journey – My Youtube Channel

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