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How To Build A Successful Blog From Scratch: My New Authority Site Case Study


There’s no point starting a blog now. It’s too competitive.

Have you heard this? Have you thought it too?

It’s perhaps a convenient excuse, but that’s all it is.

It’s simply not true.

What about, I don’t have enough time to build a successful blog.

What if I said you don’t need to work as hard as you do on your blog? That you could do it with minimal time just by focusing on the right things? What if I told you what those things are? And took you step-by-step through how to build a successful blog?

In this new case study, I’m going to show you how I can build a new site from scratch and have success with minimal effort.

And that’s not all…

I’m also going to show you how I am helping another blogger in creating a blog from scratch. This blogger has never had financial blogging success before and is building a new blog with my assistance part-time over the next six months.

You are going to get to see behind the scenes of how the sites are progressing. We will share income and traffic details. I’ll also share what we did to have this success.


How To Build A Successful Blog From Scratch: My New Authority Site Case Study - how you can build a new blog right from the start –and have success with minimal effort. All the steps I take, the decisions I make. #NicheSiteSuccess #AuthoritySite #BuildABlog #StartABlog

In this introduction, I’m going to share more details about both the sites that will make up this authority site case study and why I am taking the approaches that I am. I’m also going to tell you why I’m not building niche sites anymore.

Then I’ll be back regularly to show you how our sites are doing.

Let’s start!

You will learn...

  1. Why I am doing this – Showing you how to build a blog from scratch
  2. What is an authority site?
  3. Why I’ve moved on from niche sites
  4. All about Site One – my new blog
  5. How I’m helping a Digital Nomad Wannabe community member build her new site (and why)
  6. What to expect in these updates

1. Why I am doing this – Showing you how to build a blog from scratch?

There are many reasons why I am doing this.

The main ones are:

  1. To show people who keep making excuses about how building a successful blog isn’t possible that it is. That it’s not too competitive. That you don’t need to work so hard. You just have to work smart.
  2. To show that the strategies I talk about on this site and channels are repeatable. Having blogging success isn’t about luck; it’s being strategic.
  3. To keep my hands dirty. I never want to be someone who just talks about how to have blogging and SEO success. The only way to be good at these strategies is to keep working on them.
  4. You don’t have to be me to follow my strategies and have success. Anyone can. Which is why I am also working with someone else to help her build her site in this case study.
  5. You’ll be able to see all the steps we both take and mirror them if you want to learn how to have a successful blog.

I talk more about this in the video below.

I am excited to show the success I’m already having with my new blog and to work with my new student on how to build a successful blog – so that you really can see how possible it is to build a successful online business.

I really hope it leads to fewer excuses and more success for everyone.

2. What is an authority site?

On this site, I have previously run two niche site case studies.

Niche sites in this context are usually small sites built around product reviews.

What about an authority site?

An authority site is a very high-quality website that is respected by knowledgeable people in its industry. It is a website that has content on it that is so good and makes the site so useful that people are actually glad they landed on it and want to share it with their friends. Authority sites publish trustworthy information and link to other trustworthy places on the web.


Blogs would usually be considered authority sites which is what we are building. This site is an authority site.  So, as you follow my progress you’ll find out how to build an authority site.

3. Why I’ve moved on from niche sites

I have been a huge fan of niche sites in the past. I have done very well out of them and I still own and work on a few.

However, I am finding it’s getting harder and harder to build a financially successful niche site. My success rate is less and, when I have success, often I find that I don’t keep the high rankings unless I keep building links.

This is hard work as niche sites don’t lend themselves well to getting links easier.

Authority sites are different.

Not only are they more likely to get natural links but it’s quite straightforward to get links from other bloggers.

This is one element of why I have moved on.

The other is that there is only so much you can grow with a niche site. You tend to have limited options.

Whereas if you build an authority site, there are so many ways you can go. You can add more affiliate articles, you can advertise, you can work with brands, you can build your own products. The sky is the limit.

If I’m going to have to keep working on the site then I want limitless earning options.

So I’ve taken everything I learned from blogging and niche sites and built a new blog.

It starts with me being hyper-focused on doing everything I did to make my niche sites successful but with the site looking like a blog.

Once the site is earning money and proved it’s worth my time then I can look at investing more time to take it even further.

It’s a much different process than most people take with building a blog where they spend sooo much time before they even start monetising. And then a lot more just hoping it will be worth it one day.

I say screw that.

I’ve only spent 3-10 hours a month on this new blog which is now 6 months old. It’s earning money and getting great traffic already.

Doesn’t that sound like a better plan than working hard without a real strategy?

4. All about Site One – my new blog

I started my new blog about 6 months ago. I wanted to give it a head start before writing about it as I know some people may be crazy enough to copy me directly.

I have been making videos and writing notes as I go so that I can share this with you as though it’s in real time.

I think this is important as it’s really easy to get to the end of a process and imagine things went smoother than they did. Or more difficult than they were.

The following is the first video I made on 11th September 2017 before I created the blog.

It introduces what I want to achieve with this case study, my new blog and the risky decisions I made when deciding on my niche and how I would monetise. You can learn about my strategy in this video and everything I thought about before even starting.

I do get technical later in this video. Don’t stress. You don’t have to understand everything to gain from this case study. This part is for people who want to understand exactly why I made the decisions I did.

My strategy is a risk as I don’t know if I will be able to monetise it effectively. But I think it’s a risk worth taking.

Note when I recorded this, I still owned my travel blog which is why I reference it. This is no longer the case.

In these case study updates, I will share my progress a few weeks at a time. However, I’m going to give you a sneak peak of my traffic over the last six months.

The small blip in December is when I moved hosts and I was checking everything.

Can you believe I only published my first article written to keywords in December? And I don’t use social media at all for this site. I’m now getting over 500 people a day to my blog!

This is what a good strategy can give you.  And a good strategy is step one in how to make a successful blog.

5. How I’m helping a Digital Nomad Wannabe community member build her new site (and why)

Site two in this case study has not been touched by me at all. It is being completely created by Leanna, a DNW fan who contacted me with the offer to work on this case study with me.

Leanna’s site is a destination blog on a region in the US. I will share the URL in a future update.

Leanna is a travel blogger but it was only a hobby. She is dedicated to building a successful site before she has her second baby later this year.

Currently, the site has zero traffic and earnings. It has a few articles (not written fully to keywords yet) and Leanna has already managed to get a few links to the site.

6. What to expect in these updates

Every few weeks, I will show you traffic and earning metrics for each site as well as the main things we concentrated on.

My site is now six months old but I will share what the site was like as though these were published six months earlier, i.e. the case study update in mid-April will show you what was happening with my site in mid-October.

I will also share costs. I have been outsourcing some of my content which is the main cost. Leanna is working on her site herself so costs will be minimal.

I hope you are as excited as me to follow along on this journey. I hope it inspires and motivates you to take action and to stop making excuses about why you can’t have blogging success.

You can.

I’ll show you 🙂

Click here to subscribe and never miss an update.

You can read the second update here and find more posts on my case studies and niche sites here.

I’d love to know your thoughts on this case study in the comments below or let me know in the DNW Facebook group!

About the Author

Sharon is passionate about working online and helping others to follow in her footsteps. She started blogging in 2005, but became serious about it when she left Australia with her young family at the end of 2014 determined to grow an online business. She succeeded by becoming a SEO and affiliate marketing expert and now supports her family of 5 to live their dream lifestyle. She has a degree in web development, a graduate diploma of education (secondary teaching) and consumes everything SEO. She loves putting her teaching diploma to good use by teaching other bloggers how to have the same success that she has had.

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